gwen (gwenix) wrote,
gwen
gwenix

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in the not so news.

As part of my news reading routine, I read the Weekly Standard, since that's been pretty well shown to be one of the mouthpieces of the Bush Administration. I'd like to dissect this article, since it made me nearly laugh out loud.



OPPONENTS of the war in Iraq must be chagrined to see pretty much all of their arguments discredited by events.

Er, what?

Let's see, Iraqis in revolt, no WMDs found, and the American dollar falling rapidly as the rest of the world's anti-American sentiment soars. Yup, current events are justifying my position, that's it.

The invasion did not cause greater regional unrest; instead it led to a resumption of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

Until they failed this morning. :)

There have been no massive refugee flows or other humanitarian disasters. U.S. troops did not encounter a Stalingrad on the Euphrates. And so on.

So, the fact that we can't get water to thirsty people, AI and other world organizations pleading for this to be resolved... this isn't a humanitarian disaster? Uhm, ok.

And I never thought we wouldn't win this war. I have far more faith in my military than that, thank you.

Not able to forgive George W. Bush and Tony Blair for being right, the naysayers are now emphasizing what looks to be their strongest argument: the failure so far to find weapons of mass destruction. The European press is in a frenzy about the "lies" that led to war. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is already suggesting this may be "the worst scandal in American political history."

Perhaps it's our strongest argument because it was your strongest argument going in?

Those who make this argument must think that the U.S. and British governments are not only deeply venal but also stupid.

You said it, not me.

Their theory, essentially, is this: The president and prime minister deliberately lied about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction to justify an invasion that they knew would show that no such weapons existed.

Actually, what the world is in an uproar about is the showing that we *haven't* found the WMDs and what this says about our reasons for invading. We gave no due process, and we're invoking the consequences.

It is indeed puzzling that U.S. forces haven't found more evidence of WMD, but this hardly shows that Bush and Blair lied. It does show how imperfect our intelligence about Iraq was, which actually makes the case for preventive war that much stronger.

Ok, this is where it gets funny.

Let me repeat that line:

It does show how imperfect our intelligence about Iraq was, which actually makes the case for preventive war that much stronger.

Makes me laugh every time. But better yet, the reasoning for it:

Critics of preventive wars (those undertaken to head off a future danger) suggest that we should wait to hit back until just before we're going to be attacked (preemption) or just after (retaliation). But how are we going to find out about an attack just before it happens, or even how are we going to assign blame afterward?

The CIA's long history of failures in Iraq--the agency was surprised by the extent of Hussein's nuclear program in 1991 and again in the mid-1990s--suggests that we can have very little hope of figuring out exactly what closed societies are up to.

The safer course when dealing with rogue states that have demonstrated a capacity to manufacture and use WMD is to stop them before it's too late. Iraq, despite the paucity of "smoking guns" (aside from two possible mobile bioweapons trailers), fits this category. No one--except a discredited former CIA analyst--doubts that Hussein used chemical weapons against the Iranians and Kurds. Neither can there be any serious doubt that he kept WMD long after he was obliged to give them up by United Nations resolutions.

It wasn't just the U.S. government (under presidents Bush and Clinton) that accused him of stockpiling WMD; so did other governments, including France. A senior French official recently told some American visitors that his government continued to believe that Hussein had WMD. Which makes sense. Why else would the French push so hard for inspections unless they thought there was something to inspect?

Nothing since the war discredits the casus belli, which was Hussein's failure to fully cooperate with weapons inspectors--a failure that continued until the end, even though it cost the regime billions of dollars in lost oil revenue.


So, let me get this straight... because we CANNOT KNOW, it MUST BE TRUE. No wait, let me try this again, we CANNOT KNOW what "closed societies are up to", so therefore we must presume the worst!

I also like how France insisting on finding more proof means that they assumed guilt. Lovely -- why bother with investigations at all? I mean, it would have been great to hang the security guard (who is now a cop) for bombing Atlanta, screw finding Rudolph later. Yup.

Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix's last report, released this week, found "the long list of proscribed items unaccounted for, and as such resulting in unresolved disarmament issues, was neither shortened by the inspections nor by Iraqi declarations and documents." Was Blix too part of Bush's pro-war conspiracy?

Blix is saying a lot of things in a very guarded fashion, since he wants his people back in to investigate. Nice selective quoting there.

The mystery, in light of the postwar failure to find any WMD stockpiles, of course is why Hussein was so uncooperative. The simplest answer is that he did have something to hide--and we'll still find it. The more unlikely but possible explanation is that he destroyed his stockpile (or smuggled some of it out of the country) but didn't want to definitively declare his lack of WMD because this would dispel his aura of power.

When you later point out that he was a very bad man, of course he had something to hide. We've also all known he's an insane meglomaniac, he didn't trust people coming in and telling him what to do. This point easily answered.

Hussein may well have been playing a canny game by destroying his stockpiles but keeping the capacity to manufacture more as soon as the world's interest faded. In 1998, after all, he stopped cooperating with U.N. weapons inspectors and suffered no serious consequences. He provided limited cooperation this time only because of the presence of hundreds of thousands of U.S. and British troops on his borders--a deployment he knew could not be maintained indefinitely. He probably hoped to outlast the international community again.

Actually, he said he'd destroyed them. I like how no one is pointing this out. He was told to destroy them, so he did. Next.

That strategy failed, of course, because of the determination of Bush and Blair to hold him to account. They decided that, even if Hussein was not about to strike now, it made sense, based on his long record of violating international law, to remove him from power rather than wait for him to augment his WMD capacity in the future, possibly even by acquiring nuclear weapons. It is reasonable for critics to find this rationale for war unconvincing. It is not reasonable for them to accuse Bush and Blair of lying.

I'd like to point out that earlier you said he'd lost a lot of money. So, what would have funded this expansion of his weaponry?

But moreover, this is where we say, "And due to all of the circumstantial evidence we've just biased to prove our point, this is why he is guilty even without any of the proof needed."

Whatever the details of his WMD program, the fact that Hussein was a dangerous monster is no lie.

Nice last line. Give this one its own essay, don't defend a position that has been proven false. And don't give this line as a throwaway, this is the only one worth investigating so that we learn not to follow his lead.

* The rationale behind the weak American dollar is that "other countries will trade with us more". Er, that means also that they're trading with us less now, which is not good for the economy. When they start trading again, the dollar will get stronger.
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Now, why did I waste time counter-arguing what has been shown time and time again to be a rag that loves to discuss matters with little merit, and falsely (I'll call upon their article about how the american dollar being weak is somehow good for the economy*)? Because this essay will likely be the basis of Bush's justification speech later (today?). Keep this in mind when he gives it.
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