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Thread: A "summing Up" Of The Wmd Situation.

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    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Another column by a really smart guy-other than myself, I mean.

    Irresponsible politics
    Thomas Sowell

    July 8, 2004

    This may go down in history as the year when an attempt to win an election, at all costs, led to longer run disasters that make any election pale into insignificance. The biggest and loudest political rhetoric of this year is that President Bush "lied" about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

    What are the known facts about Saddam Hussein's chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons?

    We know that, at one time or other, he was either developing or producing or using such weapons. Back in 1981, the Israelis bombed an Iraqi nuclear facility, to the loud condemnation of many nations. But, without that pre-emptive strike, the outcome of both Gulf wars could have been tragically different.

    Saddam Hussein not only had, but used, chemical and biological weapons against his enemies, foreign and domestic. With the help of the French, he was rebuilding nuclear facilities, ostensibly for civilian energy purposes, but oil-rich countries do not need nuclear power plants to generate electricity.

    More than a decade of playing cat-and-mouse with international weapons inspectors raised more and more suspicions about Iraq's weapons programs, and various nations' intelligence services reported that in fact he was back to his old tricks and developing weapons of mass destruction that could pose a major threat.

    Who said so? The Russians said so. The British said so. Bill Clinton said so. Leaders of both political parties said so. George W. Bush was one of the last to say so. Yet he alone is accused of lying.

    Were all these people wrong? While that is possible, it is also possible that Saddam Hussein used the long months between the time when the threat of invasion was debated at the United Nations and the time when it actually occurred to dismantle his weapons facilities and disperse them, perhaps to some neighboring country.

    There is already photographic evidence of a massive dismantling of a facility of some sort before last year's invasion. These photos were published on the front page of the New York Times. Whether or not that particular building was producing weapons of mass destruction, it shows that Saddam Hussein saw the need to get rid of some things before they got captured.

    Nations do not wait for iron-clad proof when there are lethal threats. The massive Manhattan Project that produced the first atomic bomb was begun when the United States was at peace because of reports that Hitler's scientists were working on such a weapon.

    We had no proof -- and, after Germany surrendered, it turned out that Hitler's atomic bomb project was nowhere near the stage that we feared. But we couldn't take that chance.

    People who talk glibly about "intelligence failure" act as if intelligence agencies that are doing their job right would know everything. But intelligence-gathering has always been a chancy business. In a nuclear age, the only thing that makes sense is to fail safe -- and strike pre-emptively, if necessary. If that offends people who think and talk in abstract terms about international law, then it is better that they be offended than that we wake up some morning and find New York or Chicago in radioactive ruins.

    It was Saddam Hussein who chose to play cat-and-mouse with the weapons inspectors whom he had agreed to let monitor Iraqi facilities as part of the peace treaty ending the first Gulf War. It was his intelligence failure to think that he could keep on doing that indefinitely.

    Iran and North Korea -- the other nations identified as part of the "axis of evil" -- are now playing the same cat-and-mouse game, and North Korea is openly threatening to produce nuclear bombs. Either or both these countries are potential suppliers of such weapons to international terrorists.

    Libya backed out of the nuclear weapons game after Qadaffi saw what happened to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. What would have emboldened Iran and North Korea? Only a disunited America, full of loud irresponsible election-year talk about "lies" on weapons of mass destruction, making it unlikely that the United States can muster the political will to strike Iran or North Korea.

    An election-year frenzy has let the longer run fate of this country fade away into the background.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    So what point exactly are you after here J2 ?
    There will always be people that think Bush lied about the WMD and some that if they don't think he lied he was certainly "economical with the truth".
    Personally i gave Bush the benefit of the doubt when he said he acted on "the poor/incorrect intelligence he had at the time" Then the invasion became " the fight for the freedom of the Iraqi people against a brutal dictator" and even though he stated that his intelligence was flawed he stuck by it and "possesion of WMD" (which he stated Saddam had) became "WMD programs" ( a pretty vague term )

    The article to me appears to say we know without a doubt Saddam has/had these weapons.... but we could be wrong......and if we are wrong and he doesn't have these weapons, it's not our fault because why take the chance.... better bomb someone else by mistake than have it happen here.

    I have never like Saddam. I think he was a brutal man and i am glad to see the back of him, however ( and you must take into account that i never approved of the invasion) i feel that in doing what we did we have made things worse for international safety and the world is now a more dangerous place because of it.
    Iraq may come out in the end as a much better country (by our way of thinking) but i fear that the price to the world is going to be high.


    PS i hear that you watch a spice girls video.

    it’s an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Originally posted by vidcc@23 July 2004 - 18:29
    So what point exactly are you after here J2 ?
    There will always be people that think Bush lied about the WMD and some that if they don't think he lied he was certainly "economical with the truth".
    Personally i gave Bush the benefit of the doubt when he said he acted on "the poor/incorrect intelligence he had at the time" Then the invasion became " the fight for the freedom of the Iraqi people against a brutal dictator" and even though he stated that his intelligence was flawed he stuck by it and "possesion of WMD" (which he stated Saddam had) became "WMD programs" ( a pretty vague term )

    The article to me appears to say we know without a doubt Saddam has/had these weapons.... but we could be wrong......and if we are wrong and he doesn't have these weapons, it's not our fault because why take the chance.... better bomb someone else by mistake than have it happen here.

    I have never like Saddam. I think he was a brutal man and i am glad to see the back of him, however ( and you must take into account that i never approved of the invasion) i feel that in doing what we did we have made things worse for international safety and the world is now a more dangerous place because of it.
    Iraq may come out in the end as a much better country (by our way of thinking) but i fear that the price to the world is going to be high.


    PS i hear that you watch a spice girls video.
    Vid-

    What was the title of the thread, and the aim of the article?

    A "summing up" is pretty damned accurate, I'd say.

    The content of the article is irrefutable.

    What did you make of this passage:

    "Who said so? The Russians said so. The British said so. Bill Clinton said so. Leaders of both political parties said so. George W. Bush was one of the last to say so. Yet he alone is accused of lying."

    (How true&#33

    Do you assign a certain intent to my posting of this opinion piece?

    Yes, you certainly do.

    If I might take the liberty, it seems you and others do not care to be reminded that your reactions heretofore have been just a wee bit presumptive.

    I am not rubbing anything in, either, aside from that.

    Have a superb evening.

    BTW: My knowledge of "Spice Girls" is limited to a factoid, the gist of which is that one of them is involved to some significant extent with an over-rated soccer player or something.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    Originally posted by j2k4@23 July 2004 - 17:07
    "Who said so? The Russians said so. The British said so. Bill Clinton said so. Leaders of both political parties said so. George W. Bush was one of the last to say so. Yet he alone is accused of lying."

    (How true&#33

    I answered that in my third sentence... I am not one of those accusing bush of fibbing. In a thread a while back about bush on meet the press i said i took my hat off to him for admitting mistakes were made and that the intelligence was flawed (although he did stop short of admitting that he had any responsibility for them). All i said was that there will always be people that think bush did lie...just as there will always be people that say clinton lied under oath.

    Adding onto it the author did say they may all have been wrong. At one point everyone on the planet said the world was flat...were they wrong?
    The amount of people saying something doesn't make it any less right or wrong.

    I think it all boils down to what we chose to believed. Bush chose to believe the intelligence and our politicians chose to believe what Bush told them the intelligence was.

    We had no proof -- and, after Germany surrendered, it turned out that Hitler's atomic bomb project was nowhere near the stage that we feared. But we couldn't take that chance.
    Did America join WW2 because they thought hitler had an atomic bomb or was trying to make one then? Funny i thought it was because after pearl harour and America joining the pacific conflict, Germany declared war on us because Japan was their ally. ( i know it was more complex ) However i take my hat off to the author for getting a hitler reference in...

    If that offends people who think and talk in abstract terms about international law
    Is international law abstract then? perhaps we are fortunate to have such an obvious law system at home.

    A "summing up" is pretty damned accurate, I'd say.
    but the summing up was just an opinion. Perhaps the facts are irrefutable but the interpretaion is and should be open to question.
    Had the author stopped after he had issued the facts then it would be a "summing up" but he went on to give opinion as to the merits of pre-emptive strikes as a defence and that those strikes are worth the price of any mistake...as long as it's not Americans paying the price. ( America has the right to be free from fear but not those we think don't like us...even if we just think they don't like us and actually they do).

    Iran and North Korea -- the other nations identified as part of the "axis of evil" -- are now playing the same cat-and-mouse game, and North Korea is openly threatening to produce nuclear bombs. Either or both these countries are potential suppliers of such weapons to international terrorists
    Identified by who? The same intelligence agencies that Bush told us gave him "flawed intelligence" ?
    I note the use of the words "potential suppliers" ...... (I'm not saying they will but who knows)... and he accuses the people that quote international laws are being abstract
    Under what precedent is the author suggesting that North korea or Iran are breaking any laws by having a nuclear program?....could it be the same international laws or treaties that he suggests are being used "abstractly" when used to denounce the Iraq invasion?


    BTW: My knowledge of "Spice Girls" is limited to a factoid, the gist of which is that one of them is involved to some significant extent with an over-rated soccer player or something.
    Well i think we need to send in some "bad taste inspectors" you won't mind if you have nothing to hide ?

    Have a superb evening.
    right back at you crazy republican.... with bells on

    it’s an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Come now, vid.

    I wasn't commenting on what you had previously said nor demanding capitulation on the point; I was asking what you thought of the statement, objectively (change hats if you must).

    I don't personally feel the sentence needs any type of qualification or caveat; it doesn't brook dissent.

    Thomas Sowell doesn't leave much to be said, does he?

    Bedtime for Bonzo, here-long days lately.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    zapjb's Avatar Computer Abuser BT Rep: +3
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    When Clinton lied nobody died!

    We're all wearing the blue dress now.

    Elect someone who DIDN'T run away from service to his country in war time. Elect a REAL war hero. KERRY/EDWARDS 2004!

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    Rat Faced's Avatar Broken
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    We know that, at one time or other, he was either developing or producing or using such weapons. Back in 1981, the Israelis bombed an Iraqi nuclear facility, to the loud condemnation of many nations. But, without that pre-emptive strike, the outcome of both Gulf wars could have been tragically different.
    True, but with a lot of spin here..

    Iraq was upfront and was conforming to all International Laws and International Monitoring when it was building the power station.

    Israel bombed a sovereign country it was not at war with.

    At the time, and to this day, Israel had developed and was producing its own Nukes. It does not allow International Monitoring, and still "Officially" doesnt have any.

    It's also sold this technology to countries the rest of the world refused to under non-proliferation treaties (South Africa comes to mind, before the change)... and doesnt even get a slap on the wrist.

    It also sold American Military technology that it had aquired, to places that the USA would rather not have it... again, without even a slap on the wrist.

    In conclusion:

    It was openly, and with full International Monitoring building a Power Station. It's never been known to sell the technology under non-proliferation treaties... however its lauded that a country that has done both, bombed the crap out of it 20 years ago.

    Saddam Hussein not only had, but used, chemical and biological weapons against his enemies, foreign and domestic. With the help of the French, he was rebuilding nuclear facilities, ostensibly for civilian energy purposes, but oil-rich countries do not need nuclear power plants to generate electricity.

    Its never been denied that he has had and used Chemical weapons prior to the Gulf War, its also widely suspected that both Iran and Iraq used Biological Weapons during their war with each other.

    If your going to use this as "evidence" then why isnt the author also pointing out that, just about every country in WWI has has used Chemical Weapons on their enemies? The UK, if you class Palestine as "Domestic" in the 1930's, also used it on "Domestic Enemies".

    The USA used them in Vietnam, together with other very nasty "Illegal" stuff under International Laws.

    I nearly laughed my Ass off at "Oil Rich Countries do not need...". No One NEEDS Nuclear Power Stations. The USA is an "Oil Rich Country", the UK is an "Oil Rich" country...we both have them.

    Any country that relies on Oil Powered Electricity Generators is asking for trouble these days... in case you havent noticed, we only have 20-30 years worth of the stuff left at current demand. It would be a bloody stupid Government to not look 20 years into the future for its possible power demands.

    I notice that the author forgets to mention the fact that the type of power station they were talking about cannot be used for Nuclear Weapons grade Uranium/Plutonium...slight oversight perhaps? Hell, he never even scraped up the old "Nuclear Research" stuff he'd buried in 1991...as it was useless to him with this type of station. He also neglected to ask his Nuclear Scientists to start working again.

    . but hey, its spin, lets leave some stuff out....

    More than a decade of playing cat-and-mouse with international weapons inspectors raised more and more suspicions about Iraq's weapons programs, and various nations' intelligence services reported that in fact he was back to his old tricks and developing weapons of mass destruction that could pose a major threat.
    I'll admit he did not co-operate with the original Inspectors. Well, he did sort off...but he refused to make it easy for them, and left himself open to the accusations levelled.

    However, the 2nd lot of inspectors reported that Iraq even made suggestions on how they could verify what was told to the UN on what had been destroyed, and the technology that could have cleared it all up was blocked by US/UK.

    They co-operated with the Inspectors, it was the coalition that didnt.

    As to the "Intelligence" of other nations. He neglects to mention that Britain has admitted that its Intelligence was incorrect and Blair has taken full responsibility for that (Half of the yapping @ Bush would probably go away if he was man enough to do this... take responsibility. I cant stand Blaire, but at least he was man enough to do that)

    If you ask the Intelligence Agencies to "Find Evidence of XXX" they will... that is not the same as looking at the intelligence as a whole to decide what is happening. The 1st way ensures that every little bit of Gossip and Rumour, much from people with a lot to gain by a particular course of action, suddenly becomes "Intelligence". Anything contrary to this innuendo is conveniantly not looked at.. as its not what you were asked for.

    The Russians BTW, did not say he had a WMD program until fairly recently... so the author is actually mistaken to say "Bush was Last" to say it.

    Again, clever bit of spin... but that one includes an error, whether mistakenly or on purpose. Makes Bush look good, so you decide.


    [quote]There is already photographic evidence of a massive dismantling of a facility of some sort before last year's invasion. These photos were published on the front page of the New York Times. Whether or not that particular building was producing weapons of mass destruction, it shows that Saddam Hussein saw the need to get rid of some things before they got captured.
    [QUOTE]

    OK.

    So let me get this straight....

    Hes told to dismantle stuff... and the author is taking this as evidence he had something to hide when he complies.

    Well Saddam is totally fucked then isnt he?

    On the one hand he "isnt complying" and on the other "He is complying so he has something to hide"... way to go. I Guess we can all see who shouldnt be on his Jury then....

    Nations do not wait for iron-clad proof when there are lethal threats. The massive Manhattan Project that produced the first atomic bomb was begun when the United States was at peace because of reports that Hitler's scientists were working on such a weapon.

    We had no proof -- and, after Germany surrendered, it turned out that Hitler's atomic bomb project was nowhere near the stage that we feared. But we couldn't take that chance.

    The Manhatten Project commenced in 1942, Pearl Harbour was in 1941..You do the math.

    It also appears to imply the project was wholley American. It wasnt... theres a reason Britain got the Bomb too.

    People who talk glibly about "intelligence failure" act as if intelligence agencies that are doing their job right would know everything. But intelligence-gathering has always been a chancy business. In a nuclear age, the only thing that makes sense is to fail safe -- and strike pre-emptively, if necessary. If that offends people who think and talk in abstract terms about international law, then it is better that they be offended than that we wake up some morning and find New York or Chicago in radioactive ruins.
    This is the firts thing he said that is wholley and indisbutably true.

    "People who talk glibly about "intelligence failure" act as if intelligence agencies that are doing their job right would know everything. But intelligence-gathering has always been a chancy business."


    However, Intelligence can only work if its used properly.

    As I said earlier; if you ask for Intelligence on something, then all the information needs to be looked at and analysed and weighed against each other. You will find lots of conflicting evidence going lots of different ways.

    If you reduce this to "Find evidence that X is involved in Y", or "X is doing Z"... then that is all you will get back. The Gossip and useless stuff too, without the weighing of evidence against what you want.

    It reduces the Intelligence Agencies to nothing more than a Rumour Mill and Gossip College.


    As an example;

    If you ask the Intel Agencies for evidence that the US plans to attack Russia, you will find plenty of it. We have had War Games like everyone else, contingency plans in place for Decades. Nukes aimed etc etc etc

    If you simply ask the question "Is the US going to attack Russia?", then the answer would be a simple "No".

    Iran and North Korea -- the other nations identified as part of the "axis of evil" -- are now playing the same cat-and-mouse game, and North Korea is openly threatening to produce nuclear bombs. Either or both these countries are potential suppliers of such weapons to international terrorists.
    Iran was making overtures into re-joining the International Community, before that stupid speech about the "Axis of Evil". All that did was make them withdraw again... way to go. As full members of the International Community, we would have a lot more influence.

    And lets see, exactly when did Iran start to look into Nuclear Weapons? After it was plain that the Coalition was going to attack Iraq no matter what, and it was also named... again, way to go.

    Before this, it was a fully co-operative State as far as the IAEA is concerned

    This suggests it feels the need for a defence against someone?

    North Korea: Ive always said this was a problem. However I dont think USA is the one to handle this particular one.. I think China is in a much better position to sort out North Korea.

    Strange the author misses out Israel, Pakistan, South Africa and India... none of whom are even signatories of the non-proliferation treaty.


    Its Pakistan that sold Iran the technology for its Enrichment program.

    Its Israel that passed the technology to South Africa.

    ie: The only 2 countries to openly sell the technology and spread it around, appear to be OK to do this...


    Libya backed out of the nuclear weapons game after Qadaffi saw what happened to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. What would have emboldened Iran and North Korea? Only a disunited America, full of loud irresponsible election-year talk about "lies" on weapons of mass destruction, making it unlikely that the United States can muster the political will to strike Iran or North Korea.
    Oh, please.

    Libya has been making overtures for 10 years that it wants to re-join the International Community. Its known the price too.

    It started paying that price before Iraq was even on the table.

    The process started with the handing over of the guys that committed the Lockerbie bombing ffs, and has continued steadily since then.

    To try and link Libya with all of this requires a huge "Leap of Faith", everyone else appears to have gone the opposite way and started developing the bloody things... coz they dont feel safe any more.

    I wonder why?





    The whole artical is designed to move the reader in one direction, giving some facts and implication... its spin, pure and simple.

    An It Harm None, Do What You Will

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Rat-

    You've just moved to the head of the "that's alot of typing" group.

    All that you've noted is arguably true, although when terming something as "spin". one should differentiate between, say, headlines and opinion pieces, which is what this is (careful examination reveals that opinion, while in the strictest sense satisfying the definition of "spin", rotates much more slowly, so as to not blur the verbiage and reason).

    In the sense that opinion is presented to offer another viewpoint, you see?

    Sowell didn't intend to recount the entire history of WMD, nor did he intend to discuss the question of Israeli nuclear capability; he intended to make the case relative to the question of war with Iraq/Saddam as it equates to Bush and those who have "spun" his role in the whole affair; Sowell has done this rather neatly, and without clouding it by inclusion of these peripheral issues you seem to think relevant.

    The article serves the intended purpose; to deflect the misplaced criticism of those who continue to vex Bush over the questions about WMD.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    vidcc's Avatar there is no god
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    Originally posted by j2k4@24 July 2004 - 06:23
    The article serves the intended purpose; to deflect the misplaced criticism of those who continue to vex Bush over the questions about WMD.
    As i've stated i am not one of those that say that Bush Lied about WMD, however he has himself said that what he said was wrong...but only because he was given the wrong intelligence. So on the basis of this i will Sum up

    Bush didn't lie because he believed the evedence to be factual at the time. He should take no responsibility for his actions because he thought them to be right at the time......even though the intelligence by his own admission turned out to be wrong.

    Seems pretty fair to me.... can't imagine why anyone would feel the need to use their misplaced criticism

    it’s an election with no Democrats, in one of the whitest states in the union, where rich candidates pay $35 for your votes. Or, as Republicans call it, their vision for the future.

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    BigBank_Hank's Avatar Move It On Over
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    I never thought I’d see the day when Vid is actually defending the President. Next thing you know he’ll be bad mouthing Clinton

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