Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 20, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide

Drought Adds to Syria’s Misery




The Divide


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Report

Thank God for the Whistle-Blowers

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jul 27, 2010
Lew and Mullen
AP / Maya Alleruzzo

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew, left, and Adm. Mike Mullen at a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq, on Tuesday. Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters he was “appalled” by the leak and “there is a real potential threat there to put American lives at risk.”


Q & A - Live Chat with Robert Scheer


A live Q & A session related to this column took place on July 29, 2010 at 11:00 am PT.

Click here to view the transcript.


By Robert Scheer

What WikiLeaks did was brilliant journalism, and the bleating critics from the president on down are revealing just how low a regard they have for the truth. As with Richard Nixon’s rage against the publication of the Pentagon Papers, our leaders are troubled not by the prospect of these revelations endangering troops but rather endangering their own political careers. It is our president who unnecessarily sacrifices the lives of our soldiers and not those in the press who let the public in on the folly of the mission itself.

What the documents exposed is the depth of chicanery that surrounds the Afghanistan occupation at every turn because we have stumbled into a regional quagmire of such dark and immense proportions that any attempt to connect this failed misadventure with a recognizable U.S. national security interest is doomed. What is revealed on page after page is that none of the local actors, be they labeled friend or foe, give a whit about our president’s agenda. They are focused on prizes, passions and causes that are obsessively homegrown. 

Our fixation on al-Qaida has nothing to do with them. President Barack Obama’s top national security adviser admitted as much when he said last December that there were fewer than 100 of those foreign fighters left in Afghanistan. Those who do remain in the region are hunkered down in Pakistan, and as the leaked documents reveal, that nation is just toying with us by pretending to cooperate while its intelligence service continues to support our proclaimed enemies. As Gen. Stanley McChrystal made clear in his famous report, the battles in Afghanistan are tribal in nature and the agendas are local—be they about drugs, religion or the economic power of military blackmail. The documents contain a steady drumbeat of local hustles that are certainly deadly but rise to the level of a national security threat against the U.S. only when we insist on making their history our own.

It has ever been so with the Afghans, and our continued attempt to bend their passions to our purposes will always lead to horrid results. That is, in fact, just how their nation came to be the launching pad for the 9/11 attacks, which is the ostensible purpose of our occupation. We meddled in their history in a grand Cold War adventure to humble the Soviets by attacking the secular government in Kabul with which Moscow sided.

When presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs intones, “We are in this region of the world because of what happened on 9/11,” he is mouthing a dangerous half-truth. The opposite is the case: 9/11 happened because the U.S. was in the region, and not the other way around. Entanglement with Afghanistan has been based on a tissue of lies since day one, when Jimmy Carter first decided to throw in with the religious fanatics there, as current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates revealed in his 1996 memoir. Gates had served on Carter’s National Security Council and in his book exposed what the publisher touted as “Carter’s never-before revealed covert support to Afghan mujahedeen—six months before the Soviets invaded.”

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
Our government recruited terrorists from the Arab world to go to Afghanistan and fight in that holy war against godless communism with even greater enthusiasm during the presidency of Ronald Reagan, who proclaimed the Muslim fanatics “freedom fighters.” As the 9/11 Commission report stated, those freedom fighters included Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks.

Three years before that attack, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s national security adviser, was asked in an interview with Le Nouvel Observateur if he regretted “having given arms and advice to future terrorists,” and he answered: “What is most important to the history of the world? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?”

One of Carter’s advisers back then was Richard Holbrooke, now Obama’s top civilian adviser on Afghanistan. Clearly he knows quite a bit about stirring up Muslims, and someone should ask him about the brilliant decision to give heat-seeking Stinger rockets to those same fanatics who then turned them against our side, according to the recently disclosed documents. They never learn. It was Holbrooke who helped design the Vietnam-era assassination programs exposed in the Pentagon Papers and now replicated in the Afghanistan documents.

Thanks to Daniel Ellsberg, who risked much to make the record of the Vietnam War public, we learned about the madness that Holbrooke and others were creating. We should be grateful to the whistle-blowers who gave us the Afghanistan war documents for once again letting us in on the sick joke that passes for U.S foreign policy.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



Get truth delivered to
your inbox every week.

Previous item: WikiLeaks’ Afghan War Diary

Next item: Quack Medicine on Taxes



New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By garth, August 16, 2010 at 8:38 am Link to this comment

The first time I went to England, I and the group I was with were taken for either Americans, which we were, or Australians.

I didn’t make any visual connection until I met some Australians.  I thought I could see the connection.

Kulu,

For one thing, I read about the Aussies and how they fought the Boer War.  I’d say, man for man it would be a big mistake for the US.

However, if Australia spent as much on war materiel as the US does and had Generals like Pallid Detritus who currently leads the Afghan War, I would be of another opinion.

The US advertises itself as the One-Stop Shop for War Materiel, and then gives examples of leadership in war that leaves the puchaser smiling to himself. It makes it fun to buy bombs from a blithering idiot, knowing that that idiot thinks he has an ace up his sleeves when, in fact, the idiot is wearing a short-sleeve shirt.

Report this

By DBM, August 15, 2010 at 3:09 pm Link to this comment

LOL ... too true Kulu!

Makes one proud to be an Aussie Deputy ...

Report this
kulu's avatar

By kulu, August 15, 2010 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

Garth,

If the US were to invade Australia the first reaction of our government might be to support them as a matter of course until it dawned on them that “oops that’s us we’d better not go that far.”

Report this

By ofersince72, August 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm Link to this comment

The Democrat and Republican duopoly squirm at the

and wrinkle their nose in hate at the very sound

of Reverand Jeremiah Wrights name, get defensive real

quick.  As well they should, for Wright’s dissent represents all their failings, all their lies, all their
thievery, all their institutional racism that they practice and every other bad policy that they practice,
and all the good policy they never get around to.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 13, 2010 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

China must reform or die
08/11/2010 | China


The Sydney Morning Herald
JOHN GARNAUT
August 12, 2010

A Chinese two-star general has warned his conservative Communist Party masters and firebrand People’s Liberation Army colleagues that China must either embrace US-style democracy or accept Soviet-style collapse.

As officers of similar rank rattle their sabres against US aircraft carriers in the Yellow and South China seas, General Liu Yazhou says China’s rise depends on adopting America’s system of government rather than challenging its dominance off China’s eastern coast.

‘If a system fails to let its citizens breathe freely and release their creativity to the maximum extent, and fails to place those who best represent the system and its people into leadership positions, it is certain to perish,’ writes General Liu Yazhou in Hong Kong’s Phoenix magazine, which is widely available on news stands and on the internet throughout China.

Report this

By ofersince72, August 13, 2010 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

So all you DEMOCRATS,  IT WAS ANOTHER

    1 0 0   T O   O     VOTE.

  so BERNIE SANDERS really does suck, and
  so does RUSS FEINGOLD….....

Report this

By ofersince72, August 13, 2010 at 1:15 pm Link to this comment

And here is just how our wonderful SENATE OF THE

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA…went about passing this

$600,000,000 piece of legislation.

Only two Senators were on the floor, because by rules,

when you have “WE ALL CONSENT” (I like to call it that)

that is all that needs to be on the floor of the

UNITED STATES SENATE.  It was Chucky wucky,  and

Benny Penny Cardin….Cardin was chair. Chucky did his

thing…...last thing before recess, snuck out the door.

BUT THANK GOD , THEY WON’T BE BACK UNTIL ,SEPTEMBER 13,
SO WE ARE SAFE FROM ANY MORE AUSTERITY FOR A MONTH WHILE
THEY GO COLLECT MONEY FOR ALL THE GOOD DEEDS THEY HAVE
BEEN DOING FOR THEIR   I V Y   F R I E N D S ........

Report this

By ofersince72, August 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

For all you get tough, beat up on slave Mexicans,

you should be happy with today’s headlines….........


Congress approves $600,000,000 for militerizatin
of border, gosh, quess which one??
They won’t be takining you hedge-trimming jobs from you
much longer!!!!!

(P.S…....this border thing is going to come back and
and bite everyone one of you bitchin about the Mexicans.)

Report this

By garth, August 13, 2010 at 6:35 am Link to this comment

DBM,

Thanks for the reference to Marc Thiessen.  Unfortunately, the likes of Rumsfeld are just the tip of the iceberg.

The Bushes have flooded government agencies with like-minded bureaucrats whose sole purpose is to bring down the government.

Their goal is convince Americns that government doesn’t work, so do it their way:  Forget the Constitution and make it up as you go along.

Ofersince72,

No party is addressing this problem honestly. American Investors wrecked that country and their economy and most of them have little choice except to come here to eat.
They have taken all the property away from them as to
where they can’t even have a little 10’ X 10’ ft. sq.
garden to sustain themselves.  Their problems are our
same problems, they are our brothers and sisters in
need of help , just like us.

I agree wholeheartedly.  I think only a few have mentioned this approach.

Report this

By DBM, August 13, 2010 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

My apologies drbhelthi,  I honestly thought your update was satire.

I guess I have to give you credit for your honesty, but on the accuracy side ... well ... I thought you must have been joking.  I don’t know where you get your info from.  It is a fascinating mix of ideas.

No offence intended.

Report this

By ofersince72, August 13, 2010 at 4:20 am Link to this comment

All I know is that Obama has sucked as a president

  He continued the Bush policies of letting the
infastructure deteriorate,  has killed thousands of
innocent human beings,  throws tax-payer money to his
Ivy League friends..ect., ect., ect.

  I am one that isn’t real concerned about Mexican
immigration since both parties lie about it and I seem
to get along extemely well with most Mexicans.
No party is addressing this problem honestly. American
Investors wrecked that country and their economy and most
of them have little choice except to come here to eat.
They have taken all the property away from them as to
where they can’t even have a little 10’ X 10’ ft. sq.
garden to sustain themselves.  Their problems are our
same problems, they are our brothers and sisters in
need of help , just like us.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, August 13, 2010 at 3:44 am Link to this comment

I fail to understand what is so laughable about
accuracy and honesty.

“Assange is a non-US citizen operating outside the
territory of the United States.  This means the
government has a wide range of options for dealing
with him. It can employ not only law enforcement but
also intelligence and military assets to bring
Assange to justice ...”

Should the U.S. Government behave IAW its
international agreements, it has none of the options
it has illegally employed with the hundreds of Arab-
types it has illegally captured and tortured. And
continues to do in a few “non-existent” European &
Mideast lock-ups. More recently with “American
patriot” types who are classified as “Homeland
Terrorists.”

Especially sad, when it takes a foreigner, rather
than an American, to reveal a few- of the not only
internationally illegal- activities of the US
Military, but inhumane genocide, violating
International Red Cross agreements.

Then, on the other hand, I remind myself that the
occupant of the U.S. Presidency is also a foreigner,
who is misusing the good-will of Americans, to
flush-in Mexicans and other foreigners, in order to
more-swiftly bankrupt and destroy the U.S.
by directing authorities to disregard
U.S. Federal Law, instead of providing relief
to the southern border states, as provided by
the U.S. Constitution.

It distresses me to consider the favourable effects
on the world this man might have had, if he had only
had self-respecting, decently-behaving parents. Or,
had he been raised by his loving old Grandma.

Report this

By DBM, August 13, 2010 at 2:07 am Link to this comment

Garth ... you ask   “Why don’t they invade Iceland, England, Germany and Australia? ...  I’ll tell you why.  They are not that crazy, yet. ...Emphasis on the ‘yet.’”


Well, Marc Thiessen used to write Bush’s speeches (as well as Donald Rumsfeld ... a quinella of stupid?).  Some would say the speech writers think for their bosses.  Certainly they are “Washington Insiders”.  Thiessen had this to say about Assange:

“Assange is a non-US citizen operating outside the territory of the United States.  This means the government has a wide range of options for dealing with him. It can employ not only law enforcement but also intelligence and military assets to bring Assange to justice ...”

“Military assets”!!!!  The last I heard, Assange was in London ... charming.

Report this

By DBM, August 13, 2010 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

LOL DrBHelthi

Well put ... that’s a riot!!

... or is it more of a Tea Party than a Riot?

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, August 13, 2010 at 1:35 am Link to this comment

The kenyan-U.S. administration.
Mr. Barack Hussein Obama.

What else could be expected from a man,
with such an unfortunate childhood,
whose singular, consistent supporter
was a loving old Grandma in Kenya?

His being seduced into the CIA for misuse of his
half-Negroid color, and skills with the arabic
language, and his twenty years of “secret operative”
experience, strengthened only his habituation to
dishonesty.

While he is not responsible for his parentage or
birthplace, it is time for him to publicly announce
that he is a Kenyan, does not have a valid birth
certificate, and takes orders from the satanic
Zionists who own the “U.S. Federal Reserve.”

It would also tend to “clean the slate” for him to
apologize to Americans, and admit that he is not
qualified even to run for the U.S. Senate,
much less, the U.S. Presidency.

It would also help, to explain that his alleged
“higher education” consists essentially of the
manipulation of records
by CIA agents and CIA operatives,
and a few sympathetic stooges,
found in the halls of higher education institutions.

Topped off by a defrauded wife, who furtively pulled
him by his bootstrings up into lawyerdom, in spite
of his fraudulent qualifications.

Report this

By garth, August 12, 2010 at 8:18 am Link to this comment

The Obama administration has issued what amounts to an APB or a BOLO for Julian Assange in England, Germany and in his homeland, Australia.  They are planning to put the squeeze on Iceland, too, the base for WikiLeaks.
They are planning on charging him with breaking the Espionage Act.

Let’s review:

At 10:00am on 9/11, the US Government already determined who the hyjackers were and where they came from.
  Remarkable considering it took the authorities a full day-and-a-half to identify the lone shooter at West Virginia Tech.

They then invaded Afghanistan and said that Iraqi officials had met with Mohammed Atta in Prague.  They then said Saddam Hussein had been buying yellow cake from Niger and was planning on another attempt to build a nuclear weapon.  So we invaded Iraq.

The counter argument to the Bush war theme of Terrorism was the idea that these matters should be taken up as a police action, Interpol, FBI, etc.

That was laughed down by the Right.

So, now the solution to WikiLeaks is: let’s use diplomatic pressure and interpol and the FBI.

Why don’t they invade Iceland, England, Germany and Australia? 

I’ll tell you why.  They are not that crazy, yet.
Emphasis on the ‘yet.’

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 12, 2010 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

Sodium-Na,

Your theory of The Real Reasons for the Destruction of Iraq appear well thought out.

Do I understand correctly that, you believe, the real reasons for both Gulf wars are largely or mostly related to the evil “new conservatives” defense of Israel?

Report this

By Sodium-Na, August 12, 2010 at 5:09 am Link to this comment

subject: The Real Reasons for the Destruction of Iraq

In order to provide a coherent collection of real reasons for the deliberate destruction of Iraq in the Second Gulf War of 2003,one must understand the real reasons for the First Gulf war in 1991.In doing so,a better comprehension may be achieved of the real reasons for both wars.

In other words,the reasons for both wars are the same,but conducted under different labels: for the First war in 1991,the pretext was to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein,while the pretext for the Second gulf War was to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction,a complete fabrication and a shameful lie,since all the cohorts knew through reliable information collected by the CIA that all major weapons in Iraq were destroyed by a combined efforts made by Iraq and the United nations,after Iraq lost the Firat Gulf war in 1991.

Two different pretexes for two wars were established. And that was to achieve one goal: THE TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF IRAQ,ROR GENERATIONS TO COME, AS A FUNCTIONING AND RAPIDLY DEVELOPING SOCIETY AND A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY.

Based on my first hand knowledge of the rapid development of Iraq,inspite of its eight year war with Iran,from 1980-1988,and on my countless and close business contacts I had,in 1970s and 1980s,with the most educated Iraqis who in actuality were running the country(many of them holders of advanced degrees from American universities),and based on my knowledge of the American political system,I submit the following reasons for the First and Second Gulf Wars:

(1) Most neoconservatives who pushed for the wars against Iraq were,and still are,strong supporters of Israel. They were,and will remain,the Israeli appologists or as some writers called them the Israel Firsters in the U.S. More importantly,they know how to play the political game very well and within the legal limits of the land. That does not mean that deception,fabrications,distortions,misinformation and sophisticated lies are absent from their activities;whether such activities are conducted in both houses of Congress,Executive Branch of government or in the main stream media or even in some Christian churches run by Right Wings Evangelists who have embraced Zionism for the fulfillment of their own agenda: Christ Second comming,Armageddon and Rapture.

(2) In 1995,Senator Jessy Helms was Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relation Committe. In his defense of the huge amount of financial aid to Israel,he stated
that if Israel did not exist,it had to be invented. I,in turn,ask: It had to be invented for what?? The answer is a lengthy one,but well known to any serious student of the Middle East affairs.

(3) Saddam Hussein’s miscalculations in Kuwait and in Palestine/Israel gave the neocons,his enemy in the West and the liers of the Iraqi exiles who were helped by Iran,his arch enemy,gave enough amunition to push harder in their calls for war. The oil interest joined in the foray.

(4) After the Iran-Iraq war which lasted from 1980-1988,Iraq was becoming a role model for the rest of the Arab countries to emulate,in most fields of human endeavors,ranging from genuine political independence to emancipation of women to elemination of illiteracy,to free education from kindergarden all the way through colleges and universities to the free and best healthcare system in the Arab world to the superb dedication of the Iraqi professionals to the progress and advancement of Iraq as a sovereign entity,capable of keeping Iran’s ambition to dominate the whole region in check,at all times. All of that meant that Iraq had become more powerful than its actual size. Such developments were incompatible with the agenda of the neocons-the Israel Firsters,the Military (Congressional) Industrial Complex and the big oil interest.

The rest of the story has become history: that is to say that the DESTRUSTION OF IRAQ HAS BECOME HISTORY,FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.

Report this

By ofersince72, August 11, 2010 at 6:38 pm Link to this comment

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

DBM ,  they will word you to death, these administration

apolgists come in many colors and will go to extreme ends,

put on any mask they have too, 

But as you see,  they stand naked !!

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 11, 2010 at 6:34 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

I honestly believe I understand your views.  I can see how you have reached your many conclusions.  Nonetheless we disagree.

Removing Saddam Hussein was far from a blunder.  It was costly.  It remains difficult.  It was deadly.  It was brilliant.

Saddam is no more.  More than two-thirds of the Sept. 11 leadership and technicians have been killed or captured.  Al Qaeda types defeated and humiliated in the Land of the Three Rivers.  Al Qaeda and affiliates almost completely driven out of Afghanistan.  Libya disarmed.  A.Q. Kahn’s nuclear support to N. Korea dismantled.  three-fifths of the shadow banking system which supported Islamic militants has been closed down.  The nine (9) nations openly supportive of Islamic militants in 2001 has been reduced to one.  Iran. 

Strategically speaking, that’s an tremendous amount accomplished.

The thugs and thieves amongst the U.N. failed to act against several clear and present dangers and failed to uphold it’s own mandates.  Thank God several strong-willed and morally responsible world figures stepped up and acted decisively.

Now the Iraqi and Afghan people are owed a tremendous debt, by dozens of nations, for their sufferance in a battle they did not create.  Failure to support them now is the most horrific and inhumane tragedy I can today imagine.

-

I respect you, my friend.  I particularly respect your goals.  We are worlds apart in our understanding of global events.

Report this

By DBM, August 11, 2010 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment

I know we won’t simply agree on the Bush thing, and you’re missing my point, but I can’t resist a comment on what you’ve posted.  Kerrey is a Dem right?  (I get the two Kerrey’s confused but I think they’re both Dems).  No matter, this statement is so bereft of historical context that it is arguably full of lies by omission Let me provide a few extra words that would have made it less duplicitous:

“... America refuses to coexist with a regime which has used chemical weapons [which we sold them] on its own citizens and on neighboring countries [which we didn’t complain about at the time - especially when used on Iranians], which has invaded its neighbors twice without provocation [but with our active encouragement in the case of Iran and - for some reason - thinking we were Ok about the invasion of Kuwait ... he must be a near illiterate simpleton] ... which is attempting to develop nuclear and biological weapons [as best it can with the crippling sanctions we’ve imposed for the last seven years], and which has brutalized and terrorized its own citizens for thirty years [and don’t think because we ignored that for 20 years that we don’t think it’s a bad thing]. I don’t see how any democratic country could accept the existence of such a regime [especially if they had the military and economic power to do anything about it], but this bill says America will not. [because we do have that power]”

As I say ... there were lots of people who were wrong or lying or both.  The difference with Bush is that he didn’t seem to understand that power brings with it responsibility.  It is one thing to agitate for violence (and for unleashing corporate greed, brushing aside ecological safeguards or pissing off your allies) but it is quite another to act on all those things once in a position of power to do something about it.  He never seemed to get it that it was his job to really understand and to make the right decisions.  Invading Iraq is a classic case where he was wrong and acted on it ... he blew it spectacularly badly.

Regarding the Congressional vote ... the Congress and Senate appear to be full of cowards who are very keen to “serve” for decades.  This vote was right after 9/11 and it would have taken political courage to vote against it for moral reasons against a mob mentality.  An attribute that appears to be sadly lacking ...

Report this

By garth, August 11, 2010 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Paul O’Neill said on Fareed Zakaria’s show last Sunday that he paid $85 million in taxes since 1980.  Fareed grabbed the focus and switched to Paul Rubin introducing him as someone who probably paid more.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  $85 million in taxes.

How many of you made anywhere near that amount let alone paid it in taxes.

How much are these people worth?

The separation of the excessively wealthy from the middle class will be the cause of the this nation’s problems.

Buffet, Gates, et al promise to give 1/2 their wealth to charity when they die.

Mighty generous, you might say.

Well, maybe.  Their cash is probably not going to be worth all that much when it comes time for them to cash in.

Or, they might be bolstering the right-wing mantra that charity is the only means that the constitution provides for administering ‘alms to the poor.’

To them, war is their thing.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 11, 2010 at 7:19 am Link to this comment

Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998


According to Senator Bob Kerrey:

  “This bill, when passed and signed into law, is a clear commitment to a U.S. policy replacing the Saddam Hussein regime and replacing it with a transition to democracy. This bill is a statement that America refuses to coexist with a regime which has used chemical weapons on its own citizens and on neighboring countries, which has invaded its neighbors twice without provocation, which has still not accounted for its atrocities committed in Kuwait, which has fired ballistic missiles into the cities of three of its neighbors, which is attempting to develop nuclear and biological weapons, and which has brutalized and terrorized its own citizens for thirty years. I don’t see how any democratic country could accept the existence of such a regime, but this bill says America will not.”

-

DBM,

Does it appear to you that Sen, Bob Kerry was duped into his 1998 vote to remove Hussein?  Does Sen. Kerry, for whatever reason, appear to have believed that Iraq was seeking banned weapons?  Was he at all ambiguous on the goal of the U.S. government to remove Saddam Hussein from his seat due to the danger Hussein posed several years before Bush entered office?

Four years after the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed the Iraqi Liberation Act mandating the removal of Hussein from power the House and Senate overwhelmingly passed a “Congressional Resolution Authorizing Force Against Iraq”.

In part the authorization to use force read as follows: “The bill authorizes the President to use the U.S. armed forces to: (1) defend U.S. national security against the continuing threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.”

-

It’s simply not feasible, not in the realm of possible, to believe several hundred democrats were “duped” by a dozen Bush officials.  Not after almost a decade of a democratic president and several hundred democratic congressman all saying the exact same things.

Yes, DBM, we were lied to.  With respect, it’s time to see the liars.

Report this

By DBM, August 11, 2010 at 5:22 am Link to this comment

Regarding WMD, we may as well stop here as we will forever talk past each other quoting a lot of facts about a lot of people who had reasons for being wrong or lying about WMD in Iraq.  They may have been wrong because they believed the wrong sources.  They may have been wrong because they were poor at interpreting what they were hearing.  They may have lied, or even believed what was not true, because it fit their world view or even just supported their personal agenda.

There is only one world leader who said things that were untrue about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction AND pulled the trigger on starting a war in Iraq.  Before you talk BS about a coalition just try to imagine a scenario where any world leader at the time other than George W Bush could have invaded Iraq without U.S. involvement.  You know that it was more than U.S. involvement.  Bush and his government were the loudest exponents of the WMD lies, they worked very hard to round up something they could call a “coalition” (largely for domestic PR purposes), they started the war when the wanted, how they wanted and hte U.S. provided almost all of the military power in the invasion.

You can go on about other leaders, prior leaders, other commentators or whoever you like.  There was one leader who, without even the clear support of a Declaration of War by the legislature as required by the U.S. Constitution, went ahead and started a war based on “facts” which were untrue.

Now we can argue about whether he believed those facts to be untrue (it didn’t seem that he even tried very hard to give that impression to anyone looking at the same information).  However, you like to talk about the heavy burden and the need of “Kings and Presidents” to actually make policy and act on their decisions.  I would suggest that this comes with the additional heavy burden of getting it right.  Bush failed miserably ... he got it totally wrong.

Report this

By DBM, August 11, 2010 at 4:56 am Link to this comment

C’mon now Go Right!  You know the answers to all those questions about Iran.

Yes, of course Iran’s desire for a nuclear bomb has something to do with Iran.

Yes, the concerns of all Iran’s neighbours are important ... though they don’t take much “understanding”, they are simply logical.

Of course you would be unable to find a single government in open support of a nuclear Iran.  Though it might surprise you that you would be unable to find a single government in genuine support of ANY other nation’s nuclear weaponry.  That includes the U.S.  No-one is happy that anyone else has nuclear weapons.

Should Iran become a nuclear power?  I presume you’re asking my opinion despite my having already clearly said that they shouldn’t.  If you’re asking for an objective answer then No, ideally no country should be a nuclear power.  Adding Iran to the existing list would be bad.  Not removing countries from the existing list would be bad.  Every country with nuclear weapons poses particular threats and dangers.  Iran most certainly would.

But the last question you ask is the important one; particularly in the way you frame it: 

“If not, who and how will Iran be stopped?—If you say via United Nations I’ll point our attention toward India, Pakistan, N. Korea, Iraq in 1991 and Israel.”

Well, you might call me on this but it sure sounds like you’re saying the only way to handle this situation is for Uncle Sam to rise to the defence of the world and become the arbiter between men.  Correct me if I’m reading you wrong—I’m happy to admit to a mistake.  However, if that is the case then my response is that, while I don’t have a simple or straightforward answer to the problem of Iran seeking nuclear weapons, the approach that the U.S. has used to date and what has been threatened is not a good solution.  I do think that a successful solution will have to take into account the history of Iran and an understanding of Iranian concerns and motivations.  The trouble facing the U.S. is that, due to the role of America in Iran’s recent history (the last 60 years), the U.S. will be substantially challenged if it is to be a positive part of that solution rather than a complication.

There are 75M Iranians.  It is a country 3 times larger than Iraq and, despite ongoing sanctions, not nearly the basket case Iraq was reduced to before the 2003 invasion (let alone Afghanistan in 2001).  Clearly the U.S. possesses the military power to wipe Iran off the map entirely.  This would be immediately followed by a queue of countries around the world racing towards a nuclear deterrent.  Short of that, the U.S. antagonising and threatening Iran is only giving them more reason to do exactly what everyone is trying to avoid. 
Being a realist, I don’t believe that it would be feasible in terms of domestic politics for an American leader to adopt a reasonable approach toward Iran.  There are no American politicians I’m aware of who have given themselves room to act sensibly without being accused of flip-flopping (which seems to be a political cardinal sin regardless of changing circumstances).  My answer then is not just “the United Nations” and in fact I am sure there is no simple answer to this dilemma.  What I am fairly sure of is that the U.S. being totally uninvolved would help matters.  The challenge for the U.S. would be to allow anything that it deems important, anywhere in the world, to happen without interference.  That would involve trusting others to do the right thing and accepting that there may not be a superior American led solution. 

As an American, do you think you could do that?

Report this

By ofersince72, August 10, 2010 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

You are exactly right except you for got the pay offs
to get the vote

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 10, 2010 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

I never suggested that you support a Nuclear Iran.  I was sincerely asking if you thought Iran should be able to pursue its apparent nuclear goals against the wishes of every near-abroad neighbor and most of the rest of the world. 

So you do not want to see a nuclear Iran.  How would you prevent Iran from becoming a military nuclear world power?  It’s a serious and direct question.  No wishing the question away if you’re the U.N. General Secretary.  Or the Defense Minister of Turkey or Egypt. 

You state: “assigning some inexplicable megalomaniac motivation to Iran gets in the way of defusing the situation.”

Who has done that?  I pray you have not read that into anything I have written.  Stating a provable fact, that next to no one, including not a single Iranian neighbor, is supportive of a nuclear Iran, is not “assigning” a situation onto Iran.  Openly dealing with the facts is an attempt to see and conduct ourselves within the world as it is at this time.

Simply put: Not a single Iranian neighbor is supportive of a nuclear Iran.  What’s the common denominator?  Seriously.

-


WMD

I am certain I can show you, at least, 300 statements from 300 U.S. congressman in support of the belief that Iraq possessed or was pursuing banned weapons.  If you wish to see what I can produce for you, you have only to ask. 

You know me.  We can differ on opinions and arrive at different conclusions, yes.  But I do not make claims I cannot prove.

We can scale this back if you wish.  It’s up to you. 

If I could prove to you that President Clinton, along with his entire National Security Team, and the top 25 democrats in the House and Senate made all the same dire claims and predictions prior to Bush entering office, how would you explain “the lies” and “exaggerations” then?  More group-think years BEFORE Bush became president?  If that be the case exactly who lied?

Report this

By DBM, August 10, 2010 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Regarding Iranian nuclear capability:

Did anyone say they were in favour of a nuclear Iran?  I am against ALL nuclear capability.  I wish all nations were signatories to the NPT and that all were living up to their commitments.  An “inverse deterrence” cycle resulting in the eradication of all nuclear arms would be a great thing.  What I’m saying is that there are incentives for Iran to get nuclear capability.  I wish there weren’t but, acknowledging that there are, I wish they would accept or attempt to manage those risks in other ways. 

Those are just wishes.  But assigning some inexplicable megolomaniac motivation to Iran gets in the way of defusing the situation.  The one option that leaves “on the table” is threats and/or military intervention.  Dealing with reality would be smarter, safer and more effective.

Regarding WMD claims:

I think you overstate the number of Congress who made the claims (as opposed to voting with the majority).  I would explain this “problem” with the comment that it takes rare courage to speak truth against Group Think.  Too rare.  A more detailed analysis of incentives and risks (financial support, media attacks, being proven “wrong” when the majority thought a different way) would take more time than I have at present!

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 10, 2010 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

DBM, “The point Bush made was that there was an “imminent threat” which required an immediate military response.  Claims were made that Iraq could or would soon be able to deliver a WMD strike to the U.S. in “45 minutes” ... that the risk of not acting immediately would be a “mushroom cloud”. 
_

You have stated the problem as you see it.  And If could prove to you that the former U.S. President and his National Security Team AND at least, say, 300 congressman made those very same types of claims prior to Bush entering office -“imminent threat” and “Mushroom clouds”-  how would you explain the problem then?

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 10, 2010 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

DBM, - “You may of course be right that without a nuclear Israel, Iran would be less likely to pursue nuclear weapons.  I would guess that that is not the key driver ... but as I say, who can know?”

-

May I ask?  Irregardless of Israel, the current Iranian government openly proclaims its national goals in the region and the world.  Is it possible Iran’s apparent desire for nuclear weapons has something to do with Iran itself?  Again, irregardless of Israel?

The Egyptian government has its own well documented opinions on Iran as a Nuclear Power.  Is it not important to understand Egypt’s concerns?  Or, for that matter, each and every near-abroad neighbor to Iran?  All of whom are openly opposed to a nuclear Iran.

Iran as a nuclear world power is a terrifying notion to almost every state capital on earth.  We would be unable to find a single government in open support of Iran becoming a military nuclear power.  So resounding are the harsh opinions of a nuclear Iran.

Other questions: Should Iran become a global military nuclear power over the objections of 97% of the planet?  If so, what makes it right?  If not, who and how will Iran be stopped?—If you say via United Nations I’ll point our attention toward India, Pakistan, N. Korea, Iraq in 1991 and Israel.

Report this

By DBM, August 10, 2010 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

I’m going to regret this ... but regarding WMD lies:

The point Bush made was that there was an “imminent threat” which required an immediate military response.  Claims were made that Iraq could or would soon be able to deliver a WMD strike to the U.S. in “45 minutes” ... that the risk of not acting immediately would be a “mushroom cloud”. 

The U.S. strong-armed and enticed various governments to go along with this charade.  There was a scandal in the U.N. when it was revealed that the U.S. was spying on foreign delegations.  Small countries would have learned from previous situations like Yemen’s vote against the first Gulf War:  “A member of the U.S. delegation candidly told the Yemeni ambassador that it was “the most expensive vote you ever cast,” and indeed it was, and might even play a part in the chaos there today. Not only did Washington cut off its $70 million foreign aid program, but the Saudis also abandoned their long-standing treaty with Yemen which allowed its nationals preferential treatment as immigrant workers.”  Palau was fully on-board.

Still, outside the U.S. where the media full-court press was less intense, it didn’t seem that any populations were on board with their governments (except in Israel).  The Turkish government agreed (against the objection of 95% of their population).  Australia went along (against the objection of 75-85% of their population).  A majority of British people didn’t buy it either.  The demonstrations against going to war in Iraq were the largest anti-war demonstrations ever ... PRIOR to going to war.  In the United States, a majority favoured going to war but I have faith in the American people.  I believe that if they had not been grossly lied to they would have been no more pre-disposed to going to war than anyone else.

Do not confuse government agreements of convenience with belief.  There was no credible case for the war.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 10, 2010 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

Sodium-Na,

I do remain curious as to how you would explain two U.S. Presidents, from two opposing political parties, (along with every member of their respective National Security Teams), over 500 congressman, the United Nations (including each of the “Top Five” in the U.N.), for over a decade making all the same claims regarding banned weapons, however, it was only “Bush Who Lied”?

So you don’t further misunderstand; I’m not requesting you share with everyone the many things President Bush or his staff had to say about Iraq’s banned weapons and programs.  I think that’s been covered ad nauseum.  I’m not asking for information about how wrong France or Germany or Australia or Egypt or Poland or China all turned out to be regarding WMD in Iraq. - That could not be any more clear.

How do you countenance all of the above making the exact same claims, for nearly a decade, yet only a small handful of people lied?

-

Post Sript:  Hans Blix was clear in his book that after studying United Nations Weapons Inspectors reports he too fully expected to find banned weapons in Iraq.  He also explained in great supportive detail how, in his “opinion”, Iraq maintained the most important and sensitive components of weapons programs in contradiction to United Nations mandates.

In his book, Dr. Mahdi Obeidi, -Lead Scientist within the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission- reported in detail how he had been ordered in 1991 by his boss, Saddam’s son-in-law, to retain the full plans, along with the most essential and difficult to obtain equipment, for uranium enrichment centrifuges “for future use”. 

Yes, wink I can read.

Report this

By DBM, August 10, 2010 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment

Kulu,

The point I was trying to make was in my last sentences:

“However, I think the real question about a “moral right” doesn’t relate to the use of nuclear weapons but rather to the desmonstrated penchant for violent invasion of weak nations without nuclear capability.  This pattern of violence is the reason why that “moral right” rings hollow.”

Who can know what “would have” happened or what anyone’s motivations really are ... But it seems that countries without a nuclear deterrent are treated very differently from those that do.  In particular, when large powerful nations have a pattern of violent invasion but never go near muclear armed states (with good reason) the incentive to achieve nuclear status is apparent.  I suspect that as long as Iran feels threatened by more powerful nations they will have this incentive.

Now, looking at Iran’s modern history you see that they were essentially colonised and were having their natural resources stripped by the English.  When they pushed back on this, the powerful country assuming England’s imperial role, the U.S., organised a coup (with “impunity”!!) and installed a ruthless dictator more amenable to Western interests (in Iranian oil).  When they eventually overthrew this tyrant they were “blacklisted” by the U.S. led Western countries and have been living with belicose threats ever since (“Anyone can go to Baghdad. Real men go to Tehran.”).

You may of course be right that without a nuclear Israel, Iran would be less likely to pursue nuclear weapons.  I would guess that that is not the key driver ... but as I say, who can know?

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 10, 2010 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Sodium-Na,

At this point I will simply repeat myself and allow you the last word.

If you look again you’ll see that no one on this thread has claimed there was WMD in Iraq just prior to 2003.  No one disputes that President Clinton and his entire National Security Team, along with the United Nations itself, miscalculated Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. 

Obviously you missed the point.

Report this

By Sodium-Na, August 10, 2010 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man,August 1o at 2:09 pm.

GRYM,

Your above Re is full of holes. I have no desire nor have I the time to disect it and cut it to pieses. But,I feel that I must tell you the following points to get even with your obvious arrogance:

First: To be on the constructive side,I suggest you do some non-ideological readings;something like the following reports and book:

The Reports: United Nations Special Commission(UNSCOM),headed by Rolf Ekeus from 1991-1997.

The book: “Disarming Iraq” by Hans Blix,the United Nations’ Chief Inspectors on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,from 2002-2003.

Second: Since you have started the insult,I will finish it up for you,body boy! And I know for certain that I am not the only one who have such an unpleasant encounter with you. There are several posters,who post at Truthdig websites, who too rejected,so explicitly,your distortions and arrogance,in a way similar to mine: 

ITEM: I agree that you are not my “adversary”. But unfortunately,you are an enemy to the facts that condradict your distorted claims. And you are certainly an enemy to the ability of anyone who exposes your implicitly constructed comments that meant to falsify specific facts. You are good at that.

ITEM: He who needs to “relax” is you,my boy,since you could not stand an honest rejection to your deviated attempts from the subject at hand to quoting Bill Clinton and Al Gore etc,to suit your belief. The destruction of Iraq took place under a Republican administration of Cheney/Bush. Quoting Democrats such as Bill Clinton,Al Gore,Madelin Albright etc,is a truly cheap shot,on your part,in order to avoid the exposure I made a point in exposing,in the last two paragraphs of my post of August 9 at 2:13 pm,addressed to you. They are under the word,Question,which you have failed answering. Read them again to see that I have not missed your implicit destortions. I have exposed it.

ITEM: Rest assured that when I post I do so either to help out those who are not well versed in the topic at hand,or to expose a distortion or a lie,in case I feel it is worth it to do so. In your case,I am convinced it is not worth it. Therefore,the interest or disinterest of your ilk in my posts is not even close to my thoughts. From now on,please do not read my posts.Just ignore them. And from now on,I will certainly ignore yours. If anyone thinks he or she can change what you believe in,a disappointment will be in the offing,at the end,regardless of all common courtesy and diplomacy they may use. Your kind must earn the courtesy,not to give it to them free of charge.

ITEM: I can assure you that I am not a proud man who refrains from expressing an apology to anybody,regardless of race,color,nationality ethnicity,religion,gender,etc,who deserves it,if I felt I had made an error. In your case,you simply do not deserve one from me.Period.

Have a nice day/evening.

Report this
kulu's avatar

By kulu, August 10, 2010 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Thanks DBM,

Your observations on my comment re US’s right to require other nations to desist from doing what it, itself has done on the nuclear front is valid.
I guess, but can’t be certain, that if the US had done its level best to prevent Israel from developing a nuclear capability, Iran might not now be pursuing a nuclear option (if indeed it even is). I am extremely suspicious of the US’s motives in all this and do not accept at face value their assertions about Iran’s intentions, even if its got a lot of other countries to go along with it in imposing sanctions on the country.

I don’t have the facts only the history to guide me in this assessment.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 10, 2010 at 8:09 am Link to this comment

Sodium-Na, - “My intent,here,is to show all claims that claimed that Iraq had Weapon of Mass Destruction(WMD) were wrong.”

-

First:  Can you simply relax yourself?  I am not your adversary.

Second:  If you look again you’ll see that no one on this thread has stated that there was WMD in Iraq just prior to 2003.  Obviously you missed the point.  A simple apology would have sufficed.

Third:  If you are here to be contrary simply for the sake of it I’m not interested.  If your intentions are in the excitement of an rancorous argument then, again, I’m not interested.

Fourth:  I can find nothing meaningful or productive in a discussion which begins with; “I care less” what anyone else had to say regarding Iraq’s banned weapons.  I only care about “the people who lied”.  Truly meaningless to have that conversation.

You are correct.  We live in completely different worlds.

-

If your next post has anything to do with the U.S. stealing Iraqi oil, or the evil Halliburton and the Military Industrial Complex, or the “Neo-Con” cabal taking over the world you will be completely wasting your time on me.  I’ll not read past the first two or three sentences.  Others my find it intriguing, however.

On the other hand I would be very interested in seeing any explanation as to how two U.S. Presidents (along with every member of their respective National Security Teams), over 500 congressman, the United Nations (including each of the “Top Five” in the U.N.) made all the same claims regarding banned weapons but, only “Bush Lied”. - It seems a great deal more likely that the “lies” first appeared after no banned weapons were found.  The “lie” is in those who claimed they were duped by their own words several years prior to Bush throwing his hat in the ring.

Report this

By DBM, August 10, 2010 at 4:49 am Link to this comment

Just a further note to bring my last update in line with the thread topic ...

It is interesting the reaction that the release of these documents is producing.  While it has been suggested that the documents show a pattern of civilian killings some of which may be war crimes, this activity by soldiers acting on behalf of the country has been almost completely ignored.  The actions of Special Ops assassination squads are potentially war crimes.  Any actions taken “in the line of duty” are treated with impunity and no investigation or prosecution is even considered.  This was true even in the case of the irrefutable video evidence of murder by helicopter gunship.  It seems like it is true even in cases of American deaths by “friendly fire”!

On the other hand, the act of releasing the documents (and the video) which was certainly NOT “in the line of duty” is being investigated an prosecuted vigorously.  It has been suggested that the soldier in question should received the death sentence.  It has been suggested that because Julian Assange is a non-U.S. citizen outside the United States that military options for finding him or dealing with him should be employed.  Military options!!  This guy was in London the last I heard!!

Let’s compare here.  Undeniably, thousands of deaths (many civilians) are laid out in the documents.  A pattern of cover-up and denial could quite possibly be proven.  These are real deaths that have actually occured.  So what gets the government spokesmen, politicians and right-wingers wringing their hands?  The possibility that there MIGHT be deaths of people unknown, at the hands of the enemy of course, that could possibly be traced to information which may be discerned from the documents (although there is “nothing new” in them).

This the impunity of power.

Report this

By Sodium-Na, August 9, 2010 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

For Go Right Young Man,

Sorry,GRYM,to tell you that you have deviated from the essence of your own question to sheer typical neoconservative typical propaganda.

You asked me a general question and I answered it with specific facts and I clearly included you as the one who claimed that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq prior to the 2003 illegal war against Iraq.


Your paragraph that I have quoted in my earlier post addressed to you has left no doubt in my mind that you are one of those who also propagandized that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction prior to 2003.

You have quoted Bill Clinton,Al Gore and Medalin Albright what they said about Saddam Hussein in order to support your argument against one person,Saddam Hussein. That is clear deviation from your original question which was about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,prior to 2003. 

I care less what Bill Clinton,Al Gore and Medalin Albright had said about Saddam Hussein. We are talking about the people who lied to the American people and the rest of the world to wage an illegal war against Iraq that had done no harm to us. We are talking about the criminal destruction of Iraq.

It is criminal to destroy a functioning human society because of your hatred of one man. If you believe in collective punishment,I DO NOT.

I really have no additional time to waste on this matter. It will be a waste of time to end up in an argument,not a discusion,with an ideologue. You and I will never agree. We live in completely different planets.

Beside,DBM wishes to continue the argument with you. I must respect his wish and I wish him well. Same wish to you.

However,I will post one more post here,as I have promised,to show that the desrtuction of Iraq has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction. WMD was a buffoonery,horseplay.

Report this

By DBM, August 9, 2010 at 4:55 pm Link to this comment

Sorry this has become a bit of a pile-on regarding WMD ... I’ll steer clear of that one (some we’d call a “hiding to nothing”)!

On a more philosophical note, I take statements like “We will not agree that the U.S. acts with impunity.” as a bit of a challenge!  So, here’s some thoughts ...

im·pu·ni·ty [im-pyoo-ni-tee] 
–noun
1. exemption from punishment.
2. immunity from detrimental effects, as of an action.

Clearly the U.S. suffers consequences for its actions (refer “Blowback”!).  However, it would be fair to say that they are disproportionately small (I await your view on that!).  Similarly, the U.S. acts in the world on the assumption that any act against it *could* result in a massively disproportionately large response.  The clearest case is nuclear deterrence but consider recent history:

3 buildings destroyed = multiple nations’ infrastructure completely destroyed.  Hundreds of thousands killed and wounded.  Millions of people displaced (lives ruined).

The U.S. does not wish to even give the appearance of conceding the use of its military and economic power.  The example that comes to mind immediately is the that the U.S. is the lone hold-out on signing up to the International Criminal Court (despite considerable concessions being made when it was drafted).  Similarly the Kyoto Accord on Climate Change.  However, a quick Google search highlights numerous examples where the U.S. stands alone ... because it can!

* The Convention on Child Rights
* The ban on cluster bombs
* The Tobacco Treaty
* The “Law of the Sea” Agreement

... there are many more including unilateral support for specific Israeli actions and resistance to universal trade agreements in the interests of bilateral agreements where the U.S. can exert more pressure as the senior partner in each deal.

As for the question:  “[Why is] the U.S. ... the nation which is sought after to broker agreements and, yes, keep the peace.  It is not Russia and China most turn to.  It’s not France or Britain or Germany most turn to.”  First of all, I disagree that the U.S. is sought after to “keep the peace” militarily nearly as often as the U.S. public is told that that is the reason it is involved in military conflicts.  Secondly, Russia, China, Britain and Germany ARE asked for assistance in many cases but not military assistance.  The same request is made of the U.S. and if you look at who comes to the aid of stricken nations after disasters you’ll find that many many nations are assisting as best they can.

But the U.S. has disproportionately more of the world’s wealth for historical reasons and is able to assist more than others.  Thankfully, due to the fact that it is NOT “rife with murderous thugs and hegemonic dictators” it does so.

However, the rest of what you describe as the duty to be an “arbiter amongst men”, to intervene militarily when necessary etc. is the usual position of empires.  The British used to call it “The White Man’s Burden”.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 9, 2010 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

Sodium-Na, - “Well,GRYM,your question quoted above should have been in the plural form since the ones that insisted that Iraq had Weapon of Mass Destruction were so many. The following names are the tip of the iceburge:

-

Yes the tip of the iceberg.  But this was not my question.  I asked who here, today, on this thread, has claimed Iraq had actual Weapons of Mass Destruction just prior to 2003?

I think most today understand what people believed before going into Iraq.  I’m unclear as to your point.  Are you implying that most global intelligence agencies agreed with President Clinton and his National Security Team regarding banned weapons in Iraq prior to 2003?  If so, well said!  We are in complete agreement.


The Tip of the Iceberg:

“We have to defend our future from these predators of the 21st century. They feed on the free flow of information and technology. They actually take advantage of the freer movement of people, information and ideas.”

“And they will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. We simply cannot allow that to happen.”

“There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. His regime threatens the safety of his people, the stability of his region and the security of all the rest of us.”

U.S.  President William Jefferson Clinton. - Feb. 1998

“Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”

Former Vice President Al Gore - September 23, 2002

Madeline Albright, Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, in Town Hall Meeting at Ohio State University, February 18, 1998:
“Iraq is a long way from Ohio, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face. And it is a threat against which we must, and will, stand firm.”

“The evidence is strong that Iraq continues to hide prohibited weapons and materials. There remains a critical gap between the number of weapons we know Iraq produced and the amount we can confirm were destroyed.”

“Saddam continues to deny UNSCOM access to dozens of suspect sites. He’s also trying to discredit UNSCOM, and to change its character so that it will no longer be independent, and its inspections no longer credible. As President Clinton made clear in his strong speech yesterday at the Pentagon, the United States will not allow this to happen. Iraq must permit UN inspectors to do their jobs, as the Security Council has directed. If this does not occur, we must be, and we are, prepared to use military force.”

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

II

Bill Cohen, Secretary of Defense under Bill Clinton - February 1998:
“Despite Iraq’s deception program, let me say, the UN inspectors have done a remarkable job. They have destroyed the following: 38,000 chemical weapons; more than 100,000 gallons of deadly chemical agents; 48 operational missiles and 6 missile launchers; along with a biological warfare factory. But the UN inspectors believe that Saddam Hussein still has his weapons of mass destruction capability – enough ingredients to make 200 tons of VX nerve gas; 31,000 artillery shells and rockets filled with nerve and mustard gas; 17 tons of media to grow biological agents; large quantities of anthrax and other biological agents.”


Sandy Berger, National Security Adviser under Bill Clinton - February 1998:
“Imagine the consequences if Saddam fails to comply and we fail to act. Saddam will be emboldened, believing the international community has lost its will. He will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. And some day, some way, I am certain, he will use that arsenal again, as he has ten times since 1983.”

“In the 21st Century, the community of nations may see more and more of this very kind of threat that Iraq poses now—a rogue state with biological and chemical weapons. If we fail to respond, Saddam and all those who follow will believe that they can threaten the security of a vital region with impunity. But if we act now as one, we will send a clear message to would-be tyrants and terrorists that we will do what it takes to protect our security and our freedom in this new era.”

“There is no question that the Iraqi people and the world would be better off without Saddam. And we would gladly work with a successor regime that is ready to live in peace with its neighbors and resume its place in the family of nations. We have worked with Iraqi opposition groups in the past and we will continue to do so in the future.”

Report this
kulu's avatar

By kulu, August 9, 2010 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Well said Sodium. Now for Iran. For myself I feel they are another target of the ind/mil establishment’s lies.

Report this

By Sodium-Na, August 9, 2010 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Re: Go Right Young Man,August 7 at 7:23 pm.

Quote
=====

Sodium-Na,

Who is claiming Iraq had actual Weapon of Mass Destruction just prior to 2003?

Unquote
=======

Well,GRYM,your question quoted above should have been in the plural form since the ones that insisted that Iraq had Weapon of Mass Destruction were so many. The following names are the tip of the iceburge:

~ Dick Cheney in a speeech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars,on August 26,2002:

“Simply stated,there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has weapon of mass destruction.”

~ George W.Bush in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly,on September 12,2002:

“Right now,Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.”

~ Ari Fleischer,Press Secretary in the first term of Bush’s administration,in a Press Briefing,on December 2,2002:

“If he declares he has none,then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world.”

~ Air Fleischer in a Press Briefing on January 9,2003:

“We know for a fact that there are weapons there.”

~ George W.Bush in his State of the Union Address to the Congress of The United States of America,on January 28,2003:

“Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin,mustard gas and vx nerve agent.”

~ Colin Powell,Secretaey of State,during the first George W. Bush’s first term,to the United Nations Security Councel on February 5,2003:

“We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction,is determined to make more.”

~ George W. Bush in a Radio Address on February 8,2003:

“We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons-the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have.”

~ Colin Powell in an interview with Radio France International,on February 28,2003:

“If Iraq disarm itself ,gotten rid of its weapons of mass destruction over the past 12 years,or over the last several months since (UN Resolution) was enacted,we would not facing the crisis that we now have before us…But the suggestion that we are doing this because we want to go to every country in the Middle East and rearrange all of its pieces is not correct.”

~ Colin Powell to the United Nations Security Council
on March 7,2003:

“So has the strategic decision been made to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction by the leadership in Baghdad?...I think our judgment has to be clearly not.”

~ George W. Bush Addressing the Nation on March 17,2003:

“Intelligence gathered by this and other goverments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to posseess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.”

~General Tommy Franks,who led the destruction and invasion of Iraq,in a press conference on March 22,2003:

“There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And…as this operation continues,those weapons will be identified,found,along with the people who produced them and who guard them.”

Donald Rumsfeld,Secreteray of Defense,in ABC interview:

“We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east,west,south and north somewhat.”

I can go on and on and on,but I am approaching the 4000 characters limit rule set by Truthdig.I stop here.

Question:

What did you exactly mean by,“The fact is there are thousands of pages of U.S.,British and UN investigations which illustrate,quite conclusively,that most everything thought to be in Iraq found in Iraq.”,as you stated in your post of August 6 at 3:38 pm ???

If my understanding of the above comment of yours is correct,I may add your name and your comment to the listed names listed above. In the light of the comments that have been made by officials of the U.S goverment,I have found your comment quoted above astounding!! Prove me wrong. Thank you.

Report this

By garth, August 9, 2010 at 7:46 am Link to this comment

C-SPAN is currently featuring a parade of so-called Government anti-terrorist experts.  Last week it was Patrick Rowan, former Assistant US Attorney General under Bush, and this week starts out with Michael Hayden former head of the CIA now retired.

Rowan kept getting back to what seemed his reason for appearing: to drum up fear of home-grown terrorist.  He reiterated how they spoke in the vernacular and could easily fit in—the precursor to watch your neighbor.

Note:  The guy next to me in my Army physical in his attempt to avoid the draft complained to the doctor that his eyes did not move in tandem.  One stayed staring straight ahead while the other wandered.  The doctor discarded the claim by informing the draftee that that was impossible.  I laughed picturing this guy’s view of the world with eyes akimbo.

Rowan reminded me of that guy.  As he describes it, the world to him must look like a view through a kaleidoscope with an overwhelming theme of swarthy, Arab-looking terrorist.  And this guy, Rowan, has power.

I thought of the poem.
———————————-
“THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
——————————————————————-

Michael Hayden who has the unfortunate DNA so that he looks like Elmer Fudd was once asked by Wayne Madsen of Wayne Madsen Reports back in 2004 if Hayden knew what the 4th Amendment to the Constitution said.  Hayden knew all of it but openly doubted the existence of the clause,‘probable cause’.

Anyway, Hayden was stressing how we always get the number three man of Al Quaeda because that guy leaves himself the most vulnerable due to his operational duties, and he is the one who moves freely in our society, no doubt speaking in the vernacular.

————————————————-

Also interesting on C-Span was the meeting of writers from the magazines, American Spectator, a guy named Klein, and American Prospect, a guy named Serwer (sp?).

They were positioned around the moderator correctly with Klein to the right and Serwer to the left.  Proximity, though, belied the true relationship.  Klein should have been not only to the right but out in the parking lot.  American Spectator is owned by the right-wing zealot, R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.  His madness, though, helped in the creation of Media Matters.

But the eye opener came when Klein started talking about the Obama Stimulus bill.  He said that the ‘Socialist’ bill did nothing to help the economy and ‘just as FDR turned a recession into a full-scale Depression with his Socialist programs, Obama’s stimulus bill will do likewise’. 

With this point, Klein introduces something akin to computer-to-computer communication called a ‘null byte’.  One use of the null byte in computer communication is: Null Byte Injection, an active exploitation technique used to bypass sanity checking filters in web infrastructure by adding URL-encoded null byte. 

For the listener who is trying to follow the argument, the phrase itself that ‘the 1929 Crash started out as recession’, but that 3 years later FDR exacerbated the situation with Keynesian economics and drove the country into Depression, stops the listener in his or her tracks. 

‘Wait a minute!’ is the first reaction.  Then as the moderator and Server let it go, I thought maybe that’s the only way to handle sophistry. 

A few minutes later an elderly woman from Georgia called and she declared that Fascism, Socialism, Communism are all the same and Obama programs are leading us down the path to all three.

Klein achieved what he set out to do: confuse the casual listeners and drive them deeper into desperation.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 7, 2010 at 3:23 pm Link to this comment

Sodium-Na,

Who is claiming Iraq had actual Weapons of Mass Destruction just prior to 2003?

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 7, 2010 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

The United States does receive a great deal of attention.  The old adage; “when the U.S. sneezes the world catches cold” is certainly true today.  This does not make the U.S. special.  It does, however, make the U.S. unique in many ways.  Not royalty.  Not divined by God.  The U.S., like it or not, is the sole Super Power left standing after WWI, II and U.S.S.R/U.S WWIII.

We will not agree that the U.S. acts with impunity.  That is precisely the chasm between our respective views of the world.

We know that China, long the banker to the U.S.  is always there working in it’s own best interest in the Far East, in the U.S. itself, and the remainder of the globe.  We see that Russia wields it’s own significant influences on Europe, N. Africa, the Middle-East and Central America.  Mexico is not a play-thing to a president on the U.S. southern border.  And while Mexico must always consider the large Super Power to its north, it still works in it’s own best interest in South and Central America.  Syria influences all of the Middle and Far East.  Largely against U.S. interests.  Same with Iran.  When the U.S. Congress deals with Iran and Syria it understands the dangerous influences both of those nations have in Lebanon and the West Bank and Gaza.  Every thread Australia sews or pulls effects the globe.  Not unlike Japan or Georgia. 

The United Nations currently has five permanent members.  Each with veto power.  And each has wielded that power, for good or bad, right or wrong, in countless ways which run contrary to U.S. interests.  The U.S. never acts with true impunity.  Hence the reason I keep repeating hpw the world is not a vacuum.

It’s ALWAYS incomplete when anyone “makes an issue” of how many conflicts or wars the U.S. has been involved in.  Really?  What was China doing at the time?  What was Yugoslavia doing at the time?  What was El Salvador doing there?  In most cases I receive a blank stare.  On truthDig I get… “Yeah, well, oh shut up you “Neo-Con” War Monger!!! wink

-

You skirted my point on how the U.S. is, most often, the nation which is sought after to broker agreements and, yes, keep the peace.  It is not Russia and China most turn to.  It’s not France or Britain or Germany most turn to.  This does not make the U.S. “special”.  It simply makes it what it is.  The most sought after arbiter amongst men and nations.  Why is that?  Because the U.S. is rife with murderous thugs and hegemonic dictators?

It’s well worth repeating that when there’s a world catastrophe of any kind, including in China and Russia, it’s the United States which is ALWAYS sought after for aid.  Why?  Because the United States is an evil enterprise tearing up the world like criminals and acting with impunity?  Why, exactly, do so few turn to India or Turkey for help?

-

The United States is not the cause of the world’s ills.  The United States is not the cause of wars.  It’s not the cause of the starvation of human beings. The United States did not create the corporation.  It did not create famine. - There are MILLIONS of human beings starving in China today.  Literally millions.  Unfortunately one goes to prison for peaking or writing about these millions of human beings.

The worlds ills stem from Humans habitating the planet.  The LEAST of India’s or Uzbekistan’s, or Denmark’s problems is the United States.

-

My problem with kulu’s question is that it does, very deliberately, ignore the globe as a whole.  It’s simply not, in any way, shape, or form an Iran/U.S. imbroglio.  Next to no one wants Iran as the next “nuclear nation”.  Not even Russia or China.  But are they stepping up for the cries of everyone to stop Iran?  Is Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, the UAE, Qatar, Turkey, Pakistan and Israel begging China and Russia to stop Iran?  No.  Each of the above is begging the U.S. to protect them from Iranian instability.

Report this

By Sodium-Na, August 7, 2010 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

Although the First American Gulf War in 1991 was the mother of the Second American Gulf War of 2003,I would not touch in this post the First but concentrate on the Second. However,I wiil discuss the Second in a seperate post,later on.

My intent,here,is to show all claims that claimed that Iraq had Weapon of Mass Destruction(WMD) were wrong.

To make a long story short,I suggest to Google the following headline:

Iraq WMD Lies:The words of Mass Deception.

What one may find in the above,a massive propaganda tactics loudly spelled out by different individuals who were pushing for war . However,one may find the following statements as most revealing and,indeed,paramount for deeper understanding of what was going on.

From a memo found in the office of the British Prime Minister,Tony Blair,in London:

Quote
=====
From President Bush to Tony Blair:“The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconneisance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq,painted in UN colours.If Saddam fired on them,he would be in breach.”

Bush:“The U.S. would put its weight behind to get another resolution(at the UN)and would ‘twist arm’ and ‘even threaten’ but he had to say that if ultimately failed,military action would follow anyway.”

Unquote
=======

Paul Wolfowitz,DOD Deputy Secretary,in 2003,is considered,by those who knew what was going on,as the ARCHITECT,(along his friend and neighbor,Richard Perl),made the following most revealing statements:

Quote
=====

For bureaucratic reasons,we settled on one
issue,weapon of mass destruction(as justification for invading Iraq)because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.

Unquote
=======
I wonder what other reasons they discussed!

The foregoing is the tip of the iceburge that took place before the war which started in March,2003.

How about after invading and occupying Iraq,what happened?

Well,the U.S. kept appointing inspector after another and none of them could find WMD,as the Cheney/Bush administration and its neocon of advisors pretended to know they were there,even rudely specified their locations.Review the statements made by Rumsfeld before the war and then review his statements after Iraq was invaded and occupied. Complete contradiction-the second neutralizes the first.

To make what I am trying,here,to convey to the interested persons,I submit the following statements made by the AMERICAN INSPECTORS:

~ Lt.General James Conway,1st Marine Expeditionary Force:“It was a surprise to me them/ it remains a surprise to me now/ that we have not uncovered weapons,as you say,in some of the forward dispersal sites.Believe me,it’s not for lack of trying.We’ve been to virtually every ammunition supply pointbetween the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad but they’re simply not there.”

~David Kay,the strongly pro-Bush fellow had testified:”(I)t turns out that we were all wrong.I believe that the effort that has been directed to this point has been sufficiently intense that it is unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed ,militarized chemical weapon there.”

~Kay retired on January 23,2004.Charles Duelfer took his position.Duelfer stated:“After more than 18 months,the WMD investigation and debriefing of the WMD-related detainees has been exhausted.As matters now standthe WMD has gone as far as feasible.”

~The CIA final finally published its final report:NO WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION FOUND IN iRAQ.

I have skipped giving the sources I used because of Truthdig’s rule:only 4000 words,space and punctuations are allowed per post.

All the sources and dates of such sources I quoted in this post can be found in the following references:

* Memo from the Office of the British Prime Minister.
* Iraq WMD Lies:The Words of Mass Deception.
* Biography of David Kay.
* Biography of Charles Duelfer.

In my next post,I shall attempt to show the real reasons for desroying Iraq.

Report this

By DBM, August 7, 2010 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Just an observation Go Right ...

In part you responded to Kulu “I am continually stymied by those who focus so intently on the United States.  There are roughly 40 nations involved ...”. This was in relation to Iran this time but it is a point that has been made before when discussing “Coalition Forces”, support for various conflicts, etc.

But just a couple of days ago you said:
“Amongst these many nations there is one, more than most, which gives its time and resources in aid to others.  There is one which is always called on, by every single nation on the globe, after a catastrophe.  There is one which has been an ardent proponent of human rights and representative forms of government.  There is one which feeds more people on the planet than all other nations combined.  There is one, warts and all,  which is most often called upon to act as an arbiter amongst men. “

So, is America only special when doing the right thing?  Does it deserve unique credit for acting in good ways but only shared responsibility when criticised?  I’m not sure that it isn’t a heightened sensitivity on your part that makes you “stymied”.  Kulu asks about “the country with the most powerful military force ever” and we all know who is being referred to.  Along with that distinction (and the vast distance between the U.S. and “2nd place”) comes a special responsibility and more attention from others.  It is only natural and it makes sense.  Because of this military power and the attendant economic power, the U.S. can act with impunity (and does).  Certain U.S. allies can also act with impunity ... some have fallen from grace and suffered the consequences (see Saddam Hussein). 

So, the answer to “why does the U.S. ...?” can never be “lots of countries are ...”.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 7, 2010 at 6:57 am Link to this comment

kulu, - “Has the country with the most powerful military force ever and which has not failed on several occasions to use it against several nations far less powerful than itself the moral right to insist that other nations refrain from protecting themselves by obtaining a nuclear capability themselves?”

-

I personally think you’ve asked the wrong question.  If we keep with the premise of your question, and assume you’re asking about nuclear weaponry, I would have to answer, No.  But then I reject the premise.

But if we are to ask the question differently, I think more realistically, I would offer this:

Does Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria, the UAE, Qatar, Turkey, Pakistan and Israel -Iran’s immediate neighbors- have the right to pressure the United States into stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?

-

I am continually stymied by those who focus so intently on the United States.  There are roughly 40 nations involved in preventing Iran from, what appears to be, a desire for nuclear weapons capabilities. 

There is not a single Middle-Eastern nation whom desire to see Iran as a nuclear power.  In fact it frightens them tremendously.  They also happen to be almost powerless to prevent such an event themselves.

Report this

By DBM, August 7, 2010 at 6:37 am Link to this comment

Kulu - the question you ask is not material to this conversation (have a look at http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/65_years_after_hiroshima_trumans_choices_20100806/?ln) but relates to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.  My understanding of the agreement is that the current nuclear powers at time of signing agreed to decrease their arsenals and work toward eradication of these weapons while the non-nuclear signatories agreed not to seek to attain nuclear capability.  The logic is simple, a kind of inverse deterrence whereby the threat of nuclear weapons is reduced making them less necessary for any country.  While some countries have abided by the treaty, a handful of non-nuclear countries refused to sign (or withdrew) and have developed nuclear weapons (India, Pakistan, North Korea) and Israel has reneged on the agreement with the support of the U.S.  At the same time, the acknowledged nuclear powers have not made efforts to decrease their nuclear capability.  However, I think the real question about a “moral right” doesn’t relate to the use of nuclear weapons but rather to the desmonstrated penchant for violent invasion of weak nations without nuclear capability.  This pattern of violence is the reason why that “moral right” rings hollow.

Report this

By DBM, August 7, 2010 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

Hey Go Right,

Thanks for that update ... I wrote my previous entry late at night a I suspect I was both to blunt and not very logically convincing.  I appreciate you taking it the right way!!

A few things I thought I might add for those still following this thread.  The first is an admission ... I often find I am unable to articulate things as well as I’d like (especially when I go back over them a day later!).  The same cannot be said for the great Tom Engelhardt!  You suggested that I ought to listen to Left, Right and Centre but I already do and have done for years.  Can I commend Tom’s wonderful site http://www.tomdispatch.com ...  With respect to the topic of this article and the thread of discussion, Tom wrote a brief piece himself which says it better than anyone else I’ve read:

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175282/tomgram:_engelhardt,_out,_damned_spot!/

FYI - Tom is a book editor by trade.  He started editing and posting articles of note shortly after 9/11 I think.  The articles on his site (about 10% or less are his own) are a little longer than news articles (about 6-12 pages usually) but shorter obviously than books.  That means that they can contain some real thought and analysis ... have a look for a while if you haven’t already.  It’s usually a great read.

Secondly, I kind of have to respond to the statement “I feel both Iraq and Afghanistan have, for the purposes of security and stability, been HUGELY successful!”.  It would be trite to say that you wouldn’t if you were an Iraqi or an Afghan.  You know that story ... civilian death and injury counts are (purposely I believe) hard to come by and are disputed generally and for specific cases.  But they would extend well into the hundreds of thousands and probably more.  There are certainly millions “displaced” ... which doesn’t sound so bad when it’s happening to poor people on the other side of the world, but if you can imagine having to leave your house behind with no compensation is horrific.  From that moment you become dependant on others whether and international refugee or and “internally displaced person”.  Before the first Iraq-Iran War, Iraq was a relatively prosperous nation.  Now they are near the poorest on earth and are still one of the most dangerous to live in.

On the other side of the world, neither of these terribly poor and backward countries can cause the U.S. much harm.  They never could.  However, the level of extremism in the United States has been matched, or has been a reaction to if you’d prefer, the level of extremism in the Muslim world.  Regardless of who is reacting to who, this state of affairs is hardly “secure” nor “stable”.  The Iraqi and Afghan conflicts (both the initial easily won wars and the ongoing failing occupations) have been a major factor in stoking extremism.  As terrible as it was, I can’t help but think that 9/11 was a missed opportunity for the U.S. to unite and lead the world in an effort to end the crime of terrorism.  The moral pressure on every nation to assist was overwhelming and most stood ready the be a part of the effort with the full support of their populations.  It seems like having been criminally attacked by people A, the U.S. attacked country B and then oil-rich country C thereby wasting that priceless moment of unity.  The connections between A and B and C have never been made to the satisfaction of much of the world.  Given that the death and destruction of those conflicts has far exceeded the original crime by many orders of magnitude they have made the entire world much more insecure and unstable.

Report this
kulu's avatar

By kulu, August 7, 2010 at 1:46 am Link to this comment

Change of topic.

Has the country with the most powerful military force ever and which has not failed on several occasions to use it against several nations far less powerful than itself the moral right to insist that other nations refrain from protecting themselves by obtaining a nuclear capability themselves? Has the only country ever to use nuclear weapons against another that right?

I only ask.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 6, 2010 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

DBM, August 6 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

To put it far more succinctly:

I thought it was a terrible idea to invade Afghanistan in the first place (as we’ve debated before).  After 10 years of failure, I would have thought my position pretty well vindicated.  But, in the same way that ware apologists now try to justify the “belief” that Iraq had WMD (when millions of people around the world demonstrated against starting the war because they saw no credible evidence to support the assertion at the time), it seems that no amount of evidence, no passage of time, no cost is so high ... as to get some people to admit that they are wrong.

Sorry my friend ... I call it as I see it.

-

Right back at you….lol…I call it as I see it.

I hope that I will always admit when I am wrong.  I was certainly wrong on the amounts of banned weapons in Iraq.  On the other hand I feel both Iraq and Afghanistan have, for the purposes of security and stability, been HUGELY successful!  If NATO and others bide by their promises to Afghanistan the world can avoid falling backwards.

And I think you are revising history with your assertion that there was “no credible evidence” of banned weapons and programs in Iraq prior to 2003.  There was volumes of evidence which, I believe, many anti-war and anti-Western individuals and groups wished to ignore.  How else would you explain a dozen U.N. Resolutions condemning Iraq for its banned weapons and programs?  How do you countenance Russia, China, France and Germany, all publicly against using force to topple Hussein but, each having stated publicly that banned weapons were likely being sought by Iraq at the time?  No credible evidence?

The fact is there are thousands of pages of U.S., British and U.N. investigations which illustrate, quite conclusively, that most everything thought to be in Iraq was found in Iraq.  Everything less the stockpiles Saddam, as it now appears, wished others to believe he possessed. - I know you don’t believe this.  I can only refer you back to the U.N. Weapons Inspectors reports prior to 2003 and the Kay, Dulfer and U.N. investigations after 2004.  It’s all there for all to see.

Al Gore was correct when he stated: Saddam’s weapons programs have proven impossible to deter and we should assume he will continue as long as he remains in power.

-

As I have written in the past; our fundamental disagreement has to do with threat assessments.  You do not believe Saddam was a threat.  You do not believe Al Qaeda is a threat.  The world looks a great deal different to you than it does to me.

Report this

By ofersince72, August 6, 2010 at 11:21 am Link to this comment

return my secrets,  return my secrets ! ! ! !

Two of todays headlines

Senate fails to pass settlement for black farmers

Senate confims nomination of Kagen to Supreme Court


In the first headline ,the Democratic controlled Senate
will blame Republicans for obstructing.
In the second headline , confirming a Goldman/Sachs
alumni,  they will proudly proclaim bi-partisanship.

Doesn’t matter,  Blacks are used to Austerity Programs.

Report this

By Sodium-Na, August 6, 2010 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

I am inclined to believe what Tarik Aziz says these days. Reasons:

~ Saddam Hussein is now dead in a grave in an Iraqi town called Takrit,where he was born 70 or 75 years ago. Therefore,Tarik Aziz needs not worry about the wrath of Saddam,if he says something without Saddam’s approval.

~ He knows that he can get the applaud/cheers and approval of Saddam’s enemies if he condemns Saddam’s rule,policy,actions or inactions. He can do so,if he wishes. Since he has not,so far,done so is an indicative that Tarik Aziz has a character,has principles,and above all,or he has a sense of humanity toward his former boss and comrade.

~ While holding positions of Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs and later as Deputy Prime Minister,next to Saddam,he was reputed in the world and especially in the Arab world as the Force of Moderation in the entire Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein.

The reasons cited above are good enough for me to have an inclination favorable to what he is saying now,except about the American troops in Iraq. They should be withdrawn from Iraq by 2011,as President Obama had promised to do. These wars are bankrupting us morally and financially and would bankrupt our children and grandchildren and even our great granchildren.

As a reminder to those who push for wars,the total debt of the United State of America,the only superpower in the world,is mor than $54 Trillion. Yes,you read it correctly: Trillion. 

In addition,my countless business trips to Iraq in 1970s and 1980s have made my inclination to believe him even stronger. I do know plenty about Iraq,Saddam’s tactics and his highly educated Ba’athists whom I had to deal with,on behalf of a multi-national American corporation.

In short,Tarik Aziz is a decent human being,as far as I am concerned. He has earned and deserved my compliments.

New subject: Invasion of Iraq has nothing to do with Weapon of Mass Destruction,at all. Stay tune for more shortly,since I have to do,now, some errands for my disabled wife.

Report this

By Sodium-Na, August 6, 2010 at 8:51 am Link to this comment

CORRECTION:
============

In my post of August 5 at 1:45 pm,I have made a spelling mistake that must be corrected because the name,Noam Chomsky,whom I hold in high esteem,is involved.

Please correct the title of Chomsky’s book from,

“Hegemony Or Survivor” to “Hegemony Or Survival”.

Thank you.

Report this

By DBM, August 6, 2010 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

That’s supposed to read “WAR apologists” ...

Report this

By DBM, August 6, 2010 at 8:45 am Link to this comment

To put it far more succinctly:

I thought it was a terrible idea to invade Afghanistan in the first place (as we’ve debated before).  After 10 years of failure, I would have thought my position pretty well vindicated.  But, in the same way that ware apologists now try to justify the “belief” that Iraq had WMD (when millions of people around the world demonstrated against starting the war because they saw no credible evidence to support the assertion at the time), it seems that no amount of evidence, no passage of time, no cost is so high ... as to get some people to admit that they are wrong.

Sorry my friend ... I call it as I see it.

Report this

By DBM, August 6, 2010 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

Go Right,

I think we are largely in agreement that these situations are not easy to manage.

Timor was being invaded by Indonesia.  The U.S. and Australia stood by and let it happen for various reasons.  Look up Richard Holbrooke’s involvement as well.  It is unlikely that Suharto would have gone ahead with his plans if he had not been given a “Green Light”.  Not a pretty episode. 

Rwanda was engulfed in a civil tribal conflict and no help came in time to save thousands.  More than a decade later the aftermath is still a deadly bloodbath in the eastern Congo.  Intervention may have averted this.  One can never know what would have happened in retrospect.  A disaster for sure.

No help came in time for Sarajevo but Serbia was bombed to help ethnic Albanians in Kosovo ... in retrospect, the “good guys” and “bad guys’” in that conflict are not nearly as clear as they seemed at the time (and that was none too clear either).  A tough call.

Aristide’s election in Haiti no doubt needed reversing for some reason.  The U.S. made sure of that.

Hamas’ election in Palestine similarly needed to be fixed.  Israel has punished those voters in a big way with U.S. support.

Iraq threatened the world with mass destruction and had to be militarily stopped.  Or so people were led to believe.

China’s occupation of Tibet has been terrible for the Tibetan people but China is too important to mess with.

The Burmese military have crushed democracy in that country and mulitple uprisings which could have re-instated a more equitable government have failed without any international support. 

Grenada narrowly avoided the scourge of communism thanks to the intervention of the U.S.  Make of that what you will in retrospect.

One could go on and on.  The point is there have been many opportunities for intervention for Humanitarian reasons over the years and there are many instances around the world today which could be militarily intervened in.  For the most part the results of intervention and non-intervention have been messy and the situations have proven far more complex in retrospect.  Some cases where intervention did not occur, it may have produced a better outcome.  Certainly in many cases where intervention did occur the outcome was not an improvement.  Military intervention is often described as a very blunt tool.  Outcomes are not usually predictable.  One thing for sure though:  The time for intervention in each of these cases came and went.

So, it seems that two things need to be true for an intervention to be successful:

1.  A better option than the current one must be available through military means
2.  Sufficient force must be brought to bear for an appropriate period of time.  No more, no less.

In the case of Afghanistan, it seems a failure on both points.  If there is no better option than the Taliban I would disagree with your assertion that any of the options other than the Taliban would improve women’s rights.  Most of the other power players are both very conservative and criminal.  Which brings us to point 2 ... how long is an appropriate period of time.  It’s been 10 years without a shred of success.  There is no imminent, or even not so imminent, likelihood of any success.  So, the only thing we are debating is whether continued American military presence in Aftghanistan is the lesser of 2 evils.

You argue that it is ... for reasons I cannot make sense of.  I argue that it is not for reasons you cannot seem to make sense of.  We may have to leave it at that ... hopefully not for another 10 years.

Report this

By garth, August 6, 2010 at 7:39 am Link to this comment

Aziz said. “They had waged war on us for eight years so we Iraqis had a right to deter them. Saddam was a proud man. He had to defend the dignity of Iraq. He had to show that he was not wrong, or weak.
————————————————————————

Geopolitical gobbledy-gook.  Why is the International Press Conglomeate taking this man’s words at face value?

Well, I guess, because we are now onto Iran and we have bigger fish to fry.

When Iraq invaded Iran, millions of so-called disposessed Iranians thronged to enlist in the army.  When Israel invades Iran, or Mullin’s forces do, what do think the Iranians are going to do?

—————————-

This is all like so many crimes and disasters before:
The Invasion of the Bay of Pigs, The JFK Assasination, the Invasion of Iraq I, Desert Storm, and last but not least, the right-wing insurgency act of 9/11. 

So much media flak was unleashed to difuse any reasonable analysis that one began to wonder, as the 1913 Civil War veterans did when they returned to the scene of the Battle of Gettysburg, ‘Did it really happen?’
————————————————————-

The game plan seems to be to argue, argue, argue till they’ve gotten what they wanted then who gives a damn.

Occam’s razor might prove fruitful in this debate.  Look at the facts and cut the shit.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 6, 2010 at 7:04 am Link to this comment

Tariq Aziz: ‘Britain and the US killed Iraq. I wish I was martyred’

• WMD an illusion was to deter Iran, says former minister
• Nostalgia for Saddam Hussein rule – but he calls on US to stay

When asked why Saddam kept the US guessing about his weapons programme, he confirmed the dictator’s account to his captors that he had been playing to Iran, not to the west. “Partially, it was about Iran [the deterrent factor],” Aziz said. “They had waged war on us for eight years so we Iraqis had a right to deter them. Saddam was a proud man. He had to defend the dignity of Iraq. He had to show that he was not wrong, or weak.

-

Iraq did indeed have every right to deter Iran.  Unfortunately for Iraq the United Nations had banned the Iraqis from holding or perusing various, so-called,  Weapons of Mass Destruction.

As the Dulfer report indicated, as Saddam Hussein himself said, and now Aziz has told the BBC Iraq’s deliberate, calculated, “illusion” of WMD led to Hussein’s downfall. 

-President Clinton’s entire National Security team warned the world of Iraq’s WMD programs for the last six years of the Clinton administration.

-Every leader of the democrat party warned the world of Iraq’s WMD programs between the years of 1994 through 2004.

-In 2004, after no WMD was found in Iraq, a number of prominent Democratic senators—Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Tom Daschle, John Edwards, Diane Feinstein, John Kerry, and Harry Reid—who had once given ringing speeches about invading Iraq, now about-faced. They abruptly claimed that they had earlier only reluctantly authorized, not advocated, a war—one that had been illegitimately hyped to them through doctored and misleading intelligence.

-

Bob Scheer’s insistence that the claims of two U.S. Presidents, the entirety of each president’s National Security teams, the democratic and republican leadership, thousands of news accounts and several dozen global leaders all saying the very same thing led to the “Bush” lies about WMD.

BRILLIANT!

Report this

By garth, August 6, 2010 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

The spokesman for the DoD, who looks like a holdover from the Bush Dynasty has said that WikiLeaks ought to destroy the remaining 15,000 reports.

Presto, change-o.  If we don’t see it, we can’t form an informed opinion on what’s going on in Afghanistan.

WikiLeaks ought to say that yes, they will destroy them and then release them.  A sort of reversal of policy worthy of the Obama.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, August 6, 2010 at 1:26 am Link to this comment

Right.
And now, Republican reprobate, congressman Mike
Rogers of Michigan, former FBI agent, proposes
capital punishment for Private Manning. He suggests
Private Manning has commtted treason, and treason
deserves the death sentence.

TREASON ?
What about Junior Bush, and his pimps who leaked the
identity of the CIA personage, Victoria Plame? What
about the deals he and his “sire” made with Sadaam
Hussein and the bin Laden family? Does the concept
of treason not apply to all employees of the
American government?

Does it apply only to the “little folk,” who have
not scarfed billions from the U.S. Treasury, and who
release incriminating evidence against the super-
rich-treasonists?

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 5, 2010 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

Food for thought:

In the 1990’s the United Nations turned its collective back and exited peacekeepers from E. Timor.  800,000 people died in roughly 28 days. President Clinton later said that it was the single largest mistake of his presidency in not using his position in the world to prevent these deaths. - Some say the U.S. President’s inaction was intentional.  Years after leaving office Clinton explained that he simply failed to comprehend the situation until it was too late.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 5, 2010 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment

DBM, - “It’s almost as if the Afghans haven’t bought in to American objectives ... or maybe they’re like most people and just don’t understand what on earth those objectives are.”

-

The objective is to prevent Afghanistan from falling into what it was prior to the Taliban.  This has been said, although poorly, countless times, yes?

The objective is to not make the exact same mistakes which were made after the last time the Afghans bore the brunt of a global conflict.  The exact same mistake that left 25 million people in horrible poverty amongst five waring fiefdoms tear-assing all over the country. 

The objective is to prevent those same mistakes which allowed for the conditions that brought about the Taliban/Qaeda/Pakistan triad created in the absence of stability, security, education, and infrastructure.

The objective is to prevent an sworn enemy of over 60 nations from regaining a hold on a place they have already once possessed and, continue to fight for at the time of this writing.  An enemy which has displayed it lethality in the starkest of terms in New York, Washington, London, Africa, Madrid, the Philippines, Grozney, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel and Poland.

-

The world owes all Afghans an tremendous debt.  Turning its collective back once again, whether for reasons of expense or that it creates hardships for others, screams of foolishness and, in very real ways, has proven tremendously, demonstrably, dangerous.  None of that speaks to how incredibly wrong it would be to repeat!

NO SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE should ever be tolerated by any world bodies which, by its very design, does not educate over half its population.  That form of governance is, by design, inherently dangerous to its people and its neighbors.

-

Bob Scheer

Perhaps I should not have used ” ” when recalling Bob Scheer’s words.  If you go back and listen to the program again you’ll hear him opine on how he does not buy into the risks or deaths to American soldiers (wiki) as those soldiers are already there and dying.  He completely brushed the issue aside.  He was dismissive in every way possible.  As he was in regards to the lives of others on the wrong side.  Mr. Scheer repeated himself.  The U.S., by way of these 92,000 documents, must pay for its past and present intransigents.

You write: Saleh’s “characterization of what will happen if the U.S. leaves is no doubt intended to make the U.S. stay since he has been supported in his civil war by the Americans.”

No Doubt?

Bob Scheer did much the same on KCRW.  Completely dismissive of those not on the correct side.  Scheer too seems to always imply that those who speak in opposite terms from his own must be bad, nefarious, or dishonest in some way.

Why so easily dismiss the opinions and warnings of the Afghan Security Chief as mere hyperbole?  Do you know something of him or, does his particular insight simply make you uncomfortable with the image?  Is it something you’re not accustomed to seeing or hearing?

I wholeheartedly agree that a “win” in Afghanistan/Pakistan is not going to look like a “win” in any sudden or exacting way.  I am not quick to dismiss that realism and hardship.  But what we don’t hear repeated much in Western media is that Saleh’s warnings are but one of several hundred similar opinions given by security and intelligence specialist across the globe.  The French, German, Spanish, British, Israeli, Saudi and Jordanian leadership have, at some time or another, given very similar warnings.  I think it’s unwise to so easily dismiss Amrullah Saleh’s intentions or truthfulness.

Report this

By DBM, August 5, 2010 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

Occupation ...

Indian-controlled Kashmir is 100,000 square kilometres and occupied (with considerable challenge and unrest) by 700,000 Indian troops.  Afghanistan is 650,000 square kilometres and occupied by what 150,000 American troops?  Occupation is an expensives long long term prospect.  A wildly under-manned occupation is even less likely to be effective and less likely to defeat resistance.  The only way Afghanistan can be deemed a success is if the Afghani army steps up and makes up the real numbers needed.  After 10 years and billions of dollars the Afghan army is nearly non-existent.

It’s almost as if the Afghans haven’t bought in to American objectives ... or maybe they’re like most people and just don’t understand what on earth those objectives are.

Report this

By Sodium-Na, August 5, 2010 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

When one follows the news of the day,not from the well controlled American media,but from foreign sources such as Al-Jazeera,Haaretz,The Gardian and Independent etc,one may realize that the American people need,once in a while,Whistle-Blowers,to wake them up to see the abuse of power practiced by their governments,world wide.The following points attest to that:

(1)Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989-1991,the neoconservatives succeeded in highjacking the foreign policy of the U.S. Their fundamental belief is “Might Makes Right”,irrespective of anything else,or rather"Bomb Baby Bomb”.As a result,the American Marines were made ready to knock at the gates of any country that refused to abide by the American dictate,especially in Globalization and the New World Order,whatever that meant to President Bush-Senior who frequently used the term,“New Word Order” in his speeches.The American people passively went along without knowing what really was going on.

(2)The chicken hawks of the neocons selected small to medium size foreign countries to humble in order to enforce their dictates on the rest of the world. And the international community listened out of fear,not out of respect and admiration.In his excellent book entitled,entitled,“Hegemony or Survivor”,Noam Chomsky made that particular point abundantly clear.Examples of the selection: Granada war,Panama war,Iraq War,Afghanistan War.To those who are interested,I suggest to STUDY the book,as I had.

(3)Saddam Hussein was implicitly encouraged to invade Kuwait through polite discussion,in his office,with the American Ambassador to Iraq then,Ms.April Glaspie.The meeting took place in July,1990. Saddam Invaded Kuwait in August,1990.The statements made by Glaspie to Saddam are on records for anyone to read and reach his or her conclusion.It was a trap Saddam miscalculated and fell into,especially after Iraq ended-up having the upper hand in its 8 year of war with Iran(1980-1988).And the U.S. had done a great job in cutting him and his regime to pieces,destroying Iraq and killing thousands,if not more than a million Iraqis,in the process.Iraq was the medium-sized,the ideal country that fitted the chicken hawks agenda.

(4)The tragedy of Afghanistan has started way before 9/11.It has started when the marxist government there asked the Soviet Union to help out in flushing out religious fanatics who were rebelling against the Afghani communist government.The rebels were supported by the CIA,Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.In 1979,the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan and remained there,as occupier,until 1989,when it had no other option except to withdraw from Afghanistan.In addition to the Afghani “freedom fighters”,as President Reagan called them,were Arab fighters who were recruited by agents of Saudi Arabia,from across the Arab world. They were called “The Afghan Arabs”. Among “The Afghan Arabs” was a young wealthy Saudi Arab called Osama ben Laden.After the Soviets withdrew,the CIA left Afghanistan as well.Sadly,Afghanistan plunged into civil war.With the help of Pakistan,the Taliban ruled most of the country from Kabul and the Northern Alliance controlled a small part in the north.Therefore,Afghanistan was already torn-up country when Cheney/Bush administration attacked it as a revenge for 9/11.The minimum requirement to win hearts and minds is to be compassionate not practicing vengeance against a country that was in very very bad shape because of war America was deeply involved in,from the very beginning of the Soviet union invasion in 1979.

(5)Without the testimony of Alexander Butterfield and to lesser extent John Dean’s testimony,no one would have known about President Nixon’s abuse of power,as Watergate Scandal unfolded in 1970s.

(6)Pantegan Papers in 1960s?

It seems to me that the Whistle-Blowers are the conscience of America.Must respect as such.

Report this

By DBM, August 5, 2010 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

My apologies Go Right ... this is a total misunderstanding.

What I said was that you were calling this conflict “the lesser of two evils” AS OPPOSED TO “war is a good thing” which is a position I think would only be supported by psychopaths and war profiteers.  I would never assume that “war is a good thing” is the position of anyone sane.  Please don’t feel so attacked.

I’m interested if you are saying your quote of Robert Scheer that “Soldiers are there to die” is an exact quote or if that was your interpretation of his intent? 

Your quotes of Mr Salah only serve to support my point that this is a civil war.  His characterisation of what will happen if the U.S. leaves is no doubt intended to make the U.S. stay since he has been supported in his civil war by the Americans. 

Since this is about a possible future there are many opinions.  You could listen to the American military brass as quoted by Rep. Barbara Boxer recently: 

‘Major General Bill Mayville, Chief of Operations for the war, was quoted as saying: “It’s not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win. This is going to end in an argument.”’

The reason he is saying that is because picking the good guys in this conflict appears to be a real challenge.  I’m not sure the U.S. has any choices which would warrant real support.  What does seem to be happening is that the American soldiers are being jerked around, fed incomplete or false intelligence and generally being used as a weapon by some Afghans against some others.  The War, such as it was, was won in 2001.  Ever since it doesn’t seem like the U.S. has actually gained a thing.  The Afghans put in “power” have had only a tenuous almost symbolic control of the country.  They have used that only to enrich themselves through the narcotics trade and theft of aid money.  Attempts to train the Afghan military and police have been even less successful than the Soviet efforts in the 1980’s.  Imagine what those billions of dollars could have done for education of American children instead!  Every bit of land the American go after, they get ... and when they leave there is no vestige of American control as the land is seized again by the Taliban or some local warlord.  COIN has been an abject failure.  There has been no success rebuilding the country’s wrecked infrastructure. 

Most importantly, there is no “win” to be had.  Go ahead “defeat” the Taliban.  If they’re smart (and they appear smart enough) they will never fight a pitched battle.  But’s let’s say they are “defeated” somehow.  Firstly the warlords and narco-criminals will take control then the Taliban will be replenished and returned by the ISI (possibly with a different name). 

If the leaks that have been made show that what has been described as a “war” is simply year upon year of aimless patrols, minor but deadly skirmishes and assassinations then perhaps the futility of the exercise will be apparent from that angle as well.  It boggles my mind, however, that so many people can be so keen to continue such a costly exercise with no realistic goal in view.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 5, 2010 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

“Go Right, you go on to say that you understand my perspective on Afghanistan but that I have to understand that there are a lot of people who think differently.’  -  ‘My point is that I don’t see any convincing argument that it is “the lesser of two evils”.  I’ll assume that is the position you’re describing ... presumably the position that “war is a good thing” (or in this case “military occupation is a good thing”) is very narrowly held by psychopaths and those who have financial gain at stake and value this over any moral responsibility.”


DBM,

War is never a good thing. 

You make an analogy which almost no one argues in favor of.  It’s a gross, and very unfortunate, mis-characterization.  And, I believe, you make a terrific miscalculation when you equate anything I have written in regards to Afghanistan with the views of those “very narrowly held by psychopaths and those who have financial gain at stake”. 

Truly a terrific miscalculation.

-

If we could I would spend a week introducing you to the Arab community of Dearborn, Mich.  A place to which I travel as often as I can.  Few people know that Dearborn accommodates the largest population of Arabs and Arab Americans in the U.S.. 

I would introduce you to several dozen restaurants and coffee houses in the area.  I would have you sit down with several Afghan families so you could hear, first hand, how the many calls to leave Afghanistan are considered to be nothing short of reneging on the obligations the U.S. holds in this Third World country.  What, I wonder, would you say after dozens of Afghans speak of the obligations the United States has in Afghanistan?

I passionately believe in living up to these promised obligations.  Calls to leave Afghanistan before meeting those obligations leaves me feeling deeply ashamed and thoroughly embarrassed.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 5, 2010 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

DBM,

Amrullah Saleh was the person responsible for Afghan security until June of this year.  He fought alongside American troops and the CIA when Taliban controlled Kabul fell with only 82 American troops on the ground (which Mr. Saleh argues is not an invasion).  He was recently interviewed by CBS and 60 Minutes.  The segment is titled “Out Of The Shadows”.

How would you advise Mr. Salah after he explains what he very much believes will happen in his country if NATO and the U.S. fail to meet their promised obligations?

“I am very clear on what will happen. First, a massacre campaign will start. The human cost in this country will easily be up to two million people killed, at least. It will not be a big news for Afghanistan. We are used to tragedies, throughout our history. But the cost for you will be bigger.”

Asked if he considers it his war, Salah said:

“Oh, yes. I am ready to die any moment. I am not fighting for America, no. This is my war. I am fighting for my wife, for my children, for my community, for this country. And indirectly fighting for America. Because we have common enemies.’ - ‘The American public is underestimating the Islamic fundamentalist groups, and terrorism and extremism.”

Amrullah Saleh was hunting bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar. And they were hunting him: just days before the CBS interview, Saleh’s deputy Abdullah Laghmani - the second-ranking intelligence official in Afghanistan - was assassinated by a suicide bomber.

Saleh said they managed to get so close to Laghmani by waiting for a long time.

“They could be waiting for you,” CBS’s Logan remarked.

Sure, and if they kill me, I have told my family and my friends not to complain about anything, because I have killed many of them with pride, so, I am a very, very legitimate target, very legitimate, because when I stand against them, the desire to stand against them is part of my blood. I believe they are wrong,’ - ‘Bin Laden cannot engender a vision for this world or for this country. Mullah Omar is the same. I am not saying this to flatter the U.S. politicians or public. The enemies we are fighting, they are truly forces of darkness.

-

Mr. Salah’s views are very typical of the Afghans I have listened to.  It would be helpful if you could see Mr. Salah’s face when he speaks of these matters.

It remains fascinating to me how we can both misunderstand the others view of the world.  I am completely taken aback by how you believe that I have been arguing that “war is a good thing”.  It seems to me that you and others should be strenuously arguing your point to Dr. Zawahiri and Mullah Omar.

Report this
kulu's avatar

By kulu, August 5, 2010 at 1:00 am Link to this comment

Go Right,

You say, “If I can press you for a choice?  Which nation would you most like to see as the world’s strongest military and economic power?  You have all the choices in the world.”

It is a great pity that the world is now saddled with a single superpower. I would rather there were none, but I don’t have the choice. If I did, it would be one of those countries who least aspire to being a superpower and/or demonstrate a willingness to help other countries less endowed than themselves and also arrange domestic matters in a way that reduces disparity between the haves & have nots.

I would not choose China or India or Russia ahead of America but I would chose perhaps the Scandinavian countries, Costs Rica, Bhutan or perhaps Switzerland. Obviously none of my choices are contenders and who knows, if they were suddenly bequeathed superpower status what they might do with it. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely they say. I suspect that saying is true but there is a rider, I think… only people who are interested in gaining power in the first place get to be powerful.

On some of your other points I note. America is indeed the food basket of the world as you say but there is nothing particularly magnanimous in the way it handles this resource. Yes it gives some of the stuff away in famine relief efforts. But largely it protects it agricultural production by perverse subsidies and with free trade agreements such as NAFTA that have the consequence of impoverishing peasants, eg in Mexico, and undermining the rest of the worlds agricultural potential. Yes America has freedoms that countries governed by dictators don’t enjoy, but these freedoms are being eroded all the time by the state security set-up and an increasingly unrepresentative press. Also I am not even sure your judicial system is entirely independent given some of the recent rulings they have given. There certainly seems to be a more than natural bias to it in many respects and the punishments it dishes out are sometimes outlandish.

Report this

By DBM, August 4, 2010 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment

Go Right,

I listen to Left, Right and Centre every week and I did hear the discussion you quote from.

I don’t think Scheer was hearing the argument that individuals were going to die as a result of these leaks.  Earlier in this thread you talked about Afghan collaborators who would be identified by the Taliban and presumably murdered.  If Scheer had been asked this question he could have quoted Press Secretary Robert Gibbs who commended the media outlets and Wikileaks for withholding exactly that sort of information.  I’ve had a look at a few of the documents myself now (as I know you have) and I haven’t seen informers or collaborators named.

If you are going to take the broader point that Tony Blankley made by quoting Defence Secretary Robert Gates, you would be concerned that other parties will know more about U.S. military operational procedures and be able to take advantage of it.  I think that is a valid concern albeit it sounds a little over-stated.  If the U.S. military was not vastly better equipped than all their potential adversaries, this would make more difference but it could well be akin to knowing which hand the machine gun is in while holding a knife.  That is, I do not think it is a given that these revelations alone are going to make that much difference.  The argument that they potentially could will no doubt make the prosecution and substantial punishment of the leaker more acceptable to a larger number of people. 

We cannot know for sure if the dangers imposed by the leak are being built up in order to gain that public support or if the concerns are quite real.  This is, after all, the same military that facilitates the theft of billions of taxpayer dollars in warzones, lies brazenly about lucrative military weapons programs, who lie regularly about civilian “collateral damage” incidents and who are concurrently arguing that the presence of homosexual soldiers is an operational threat.  So, I wouldn’t necessarily believe it just because someone says it.

If Scheer ever said “soldiers are there to die” [anyway], I missed it.  If he didn’t that’s a heck of a paraphrase to put in quotes!!

Report this

By DBM, August 4, 2010 at 8:41 pm Link to this comment

Go Right / Kulu,

Some big fundamental points you raise in your latest updates!

First a philosophical point if you don’t mind.  My “turd” analogy was not referring specifically to the Afghanistan situation.  I was merely saying that if a “world leader” says an idea is a “diamond” but provides no evidence or argument that the more apparent characteristics of a turd are an illusion, I’m still going to think the idea a turd. grin

Go Right, you go on to say that you understand my perspective on Afghanistan but that I have to understand that there are a lot of people who think differently.  Of course I recognise that!  My point is that I don’t see any convincing argument that it is “the lesser of two evils”.  I’ll assume that is the position you’re describing ... presumably the position that “war is a good thing” (or in this case “military occupation is a good thing”) is very narrowly held by psychopaths and those who have financial gain at stake and value this over any moral responsibility.

So, the argument you make is that the Taliban is bad for the people of Afghanistan and that the U.S. in its role as “the world’s strongest military and economic power” and “arbiter amongst men” to sort that out.  Both Kulu have asked the question then:  Who should replace the Taliban?  If the U.S. wishes to make Afghanistan the 51st state then it should state as much and see what “world leaders” think of that.  But if the U.S. is simply supporting one set of leaders who are bad for the people against another set of bad leaders, is it worth it to anyone involved? 

You realise that being “the world’s strongest military ... power” means an unparalleled ability to inflict violence.  That’s all.  It doesn’t add to any credentials as an “arbiter amongst men”; that would take wisdom an independence from self-interest which is not apparent.  As you say, countries act “Each doing what’s best, first for themselves, and then their respective friends and foe.”  All of the reasons you give for your allegiance to the U.S. (representative government, property rights and free press) exist in every one of the 1/2 dozen countries I have lived in (lucky me).  It would be an interesting discussion as to the relative strengths of democracy, law and press freedom amongst the countries.  I can assure you that the U.S. has been an important role model for 250 years but is not necessarily at the forefront of all those measures.

One of the key differences in starting assumptions here is the contrast of Go Right saying that the U.S. “is most often called upon to act as an arbiter amongst men” as opposed to Kulu’s view that the U.S. demonstrates that is “intent on ruling a large slice of the world for the benefit of itself and of course its mega corporations”.  If it helps, Go Right, you are out by a factor of 10 regarding the bases.  The number is nearly 1000 for official admitted bases and if secret bases are included would almost surely exceed 1000.  You say that “If Germany wanted U.S. bases out they would force the U.S. out.”.  A moot point.  The people of Okinawa would disagree with you vehemently.  So would be people of Diego Garcia who wouldn’t mind having their island back.  I’m fairly certain there are an awful lot of Saudi Arabians who object to U.S. military presence and you can be quite sure that the “world leader” of Cuba is none to happy to have Guantanamo Bay in U.S. hands.  I would expect that there are few overseas bases which have the full support of the people and governments where they are situated.

What you describe is unvarnished American Exceptionalism ... which IMHO is widespread amongst the U.S. population largely because your “free press” is subject to so much pressure that you get a very biased perspective.  It’s convenient, however, to any American leaders with Imperial ideas and to corporation leaders who can use it as cover to get support for operations which make them richer.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 4, 2010 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment

DBM,

Have you ever listened to KCRW’s Left, Right and Center?  It’s a panel program with Bob Scheer in the “left” seat opposite Matt Miller, Arianna Huffington and Tony Blankley.

During the FRI JUL 30, 2010 program Bob Scheer was asked whether or not the potential dangers of releasing this information was justifiable.  His answer(s) were so cavalier I found myself appalled. 

Mr. Scheer said that he didn’t “buy the argument” that U.S. soldiers may die as a result of an ninety-thousand page document dump.  He said, well, “soldiers are there to die”.  - That was his first reaction to the question.

When pressed on the issue of the lives of the many -non U.S. citizens- who have chosen to aid NATO and the Afghan and Pakistan governments he went into this long recitation on how the U.S. is a bad place with bad history.  - He did not address the question.

When pressed one more time for an answer to the question he simply reverted back to the same.  Essentially, it seemed to me, he was arguing that if one chooses to aid NATO or its allies you’re on the wrong side.  The U.S., he argued, needed to suffer for its historic sins.  The lives on the wrong side meant nothing to him.

Mr. Scheer was completely dismissive of anyone who may lose their life as a result of being on the wrong side of this conflict.  I wondered to myself how this makes him any more “brilliant” or “humane” or “peaceful” than, say, the President of France or the President of Japan.

If you have a mind to listen to the program don’t hold back in telling me if I misunderstood the brilliance in Bob Scheer’s position.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 4, 2010 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

Kulu, - “The US picks and chooses its bad guys aiding some and condemning others.’ - ‘It invades smaller countries or organizes coups against democratically elected governments almost on a whim.”

-

I am under no illusions.  I do not believe the United States to be the world’s Knight in Shinning Armor.  And, by and large, I believe the U.S. does pick and choose it’s friends and foe.  But it does not happen in a vacuum.  There are over 160 nations on the globe.  Each doing what’s best, first for themselves, and then their respective friends and foe.  It’s not a static situation either.  It’s dynamic.  It changes daily.

Amongst these many nations there is one, more than most, which gives its time and resources in aid to others.  There is one which is always called on, by every single nation on the globe, after a catastrophe.  There is one which has been an ardent proponent of human rights and representative forms of government.  There is one which feeds more people on the planet than all other nations combined.  There is one, warts and all,  which is most often called upon to act as an arbiter amongst men. 

I could choose Canada, China, Iran, Germany, Australia, Iceland or Namibia to lend my support when it comes to “choosing sides”.  And choices do, in fact, have to be made if one chooses to work in the global arena. Example:  Mexico has no choice but to concern itself with all of Central America.  The “friend” and the “foe” alike.  Mexico will do what is in Mexico’s best interest while navigating this arena.  Mexico is not the exception.  This is the way of things all over the planet. - Corporations and all.

-

I lend my allegiance to the United states for a multitude of reasons.  Not the least of which include the following basics.

-Free and representative forms of government, with rights of private property, along with an independent judiciary and an open press, are the most humane and the least dangerous forms of governance.

-There are, without the least bit of doubt, those whom would like nothing more than to replace the the United States as the sole Super Power.  Some are actually “friends”.  Some are true enemies.  All would choose themselves first to replace the U.S..

If I can press you for a choice?  Which nation would you most like to see as the world’s strongest military and economic power?  You have all the choices in the world.

-

If I had to decide a few issues that you and I most disagree on it would be how the United States does not navigate the globe in a static vacuum.  Our focus should not be all encompassing on the U.S.. 

I believe it’s a mistake to see the 100+  military bases about the globe as a conquest.  We do not, in any way, control Germany.  If Germany wanted U.S. bases out they would force the U.S. out.  The German Chancellor knows this as well as the American President.  Not understanding this, I believe, is to take the entire globe out of all context.

Report this
kulu's avatar

By kulu, August 4, 2010 at 11:35 am Link to this comment

Go Right,

The Taliban are not good guys and if they could be surgically removed and replaced with some benign form of government that met with the approval of the Afghan people who could object? But why the Taliban as DBM says?

The US picks and chooses its bad guys aiding some and condemning others. It invades smaller countries or organizes coups against democratically elected governments almost on a whim. It has hundreds of bases around the world and hundreds of thousand of military & CIA personnel stationed everywhere. It has military capabilities that outstrip the rest of the world’s put together. If all this does not mark it as intent on ruling a large slice of the world for the benefit of itself and of course its mega corporations (intermingled parts of the same thing - the corporations and the government) then I wonder what does? In other world it is building itself an empire - not by persuasion but by coercion. That makes it evil in my eyes and like DBM I do not believe the military leadership really believe they are engaged in these conflicts for the greater good of the people either abroad or at home.

If I were Iran or for that matter Venezuela I would be very, very wary and be hoping the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Pakistanis, the Sudanese and so on would continue to occupy the minds and the resources of what with any luck might be the fading empire - and the last one at that.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 4, 2010 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

DBM, - “However, there are many many examples of human rights violators in the world.  Why the Taliban?”

-

For all the many reasons I outlined in my last post.  I thought I was clear on “why” Afghanistan and “why” the Taliban at this time and in this space.

I do understand why, from your perspective, why you and others have a hard time wrapping your thoughts around others logic.  I believe I do understand.  I understand, from your perspective, my thinking is all too illogical. 

I believe your perspective is logical.  But we remain in disagreement on the conclusions we have each arrived at.

-

When I write that “There are people who believe having troops in Afghanistan and drones in Pakistan will actually save more lives than would otherwise be lost” I’m not saying something aside from what I wrote.  There ARE people who believe it.  You simply can’t imagine it.  But you must imagine it if you wish to understand the logic being applied. -  I did not vote for Mr. Obama.  I do, however, believe that he believes in what he and many other world leaders are attempting to do. 

Your write:  “I just don’t buy in to “divine royalty”. 

Neither do I, my friend.  I do not believe anything of the kind.  But you imagine it to be my position.  You’re not able to grasp the logic of those who passionately believe that NATO in Afghanistan will, ultimately, save huge numbers of human lives.  You do not have to believe it, however,  you must understand that others do.

You write:  “If the U.S. Commander in Chief tells me that a turd is a diamond ...”  -

You seem to assume the U.S. Commander in Chief is lying or attempting to pull the wool over our eyes.  I do not.  I actually understand very well why NATO and others are using their respective military’s and NGO’s in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  It’s not a diamond.  It’s a turd.  I call it a turd.  I believe the U.S. President has, in every speech he has delivered on the subject, has described a turd of a situation in the Afghan/Pakistan/Iranian region.

Also I point out the U.S. Commander in Chief only because I live in and support U.S. interests.  But I could have easily pointed to the policy as set out by the Polish President.  Or, for that matter, the Afghan President.

In every delivered speech I have read from the Polish President he appears to believe as i do.  If I truly listen to the Polish President I see that he too believes that the Taliban in control of Kabul, at least in its current form, will be dangerous to the Afghan people and a destabilizing force and an unacceptable risk to the rest of the world in the coming decade and beyond. - Let me clear.  I do not assume the Polish President believes in these things.  I have simply listened to him when he speaks on the matter. 

-

I believe there are no good, or necessarily correct, answers to the problem of leaks.  I do know it’s not nearly as simple as Bob Scheer seems to think it is.  His rationale is certainly not “brilliant”.  I see his focus as myopic and potentially very dangerous.

Report this

By DBM, August 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment

Go Right,

That was as very eloquent defence of the Afghan people you wrote in reponse to Kulu.  I don’t think you’d find many people who would wish to condemn an entire country’s population to what Afghanistan has suffered in the last few decades.  I was interested, however, that you see it as an American responsibility to defeat the Taliban.  I’m glad you explained that the reasons for this are the hardships which the Taliban has inflicted on their fellow Afghanis rather than something which the Taliban did to the U.S. 

However, there are many many examples of human rights violators in the world.  Why the Taliban?  Because there is an army already there??  It would seem that the original reasons for the invasion are no longer valid.  We argued them another time (me for extradition and a trial - you suggesting that this would never have worked and justifying an invasion).  Clearly, though, Al Qaeda is no longer a factor unless Afghanistan is just a base for attacking them in Pakistan.  But you are quite clear that the Taliban should be defeated.  The problem is that doing that is taking part in a civil war. 

Who, of the power players in Afghanistan, is so clearly a superior choice for the Afghan people that they deserve American support?  In no-one, then it seems like a pointless exercise of violence.

In you earlier reply to me you said “There are people, apparently including the U.S. Commander in Chief, who believe having troops in Afghanistan and drones in Pakistan (Sudan included) will save more lives than would otherwise be lost.”  Again, we’ve discussed this before.  I just don’t buy in to “divine royalty”.  If the U.S. Commander in Chief tells me that a turd is a diamond ... it’s still a turd!  The one thing that troops and drones are good for is inflicting deadly violence.  The idea that their presence will save lives takes a lot of faith in the assessment that the alternative would be worse.  I’ve not seen any convincing arguments that that is the case and I don’t think anyone should take such a thing at face-value ... even from a Commander in Chief.

Finally, on the topic of the leaks, I still agree with you that there is a risk that this release of information may lead to some bad outcomes.  It may also lead to some good outcomes but as per my previous post I don’t think you will be able to put total credit nor total blame on the leaked documents for very much.  They are merely an additional factor in the equation.  The degree of concern which right-wing pundits have for all these terrible outcomes seems a little hypocritical given that the presence of thousands of heavily armed troops is only seen at worst as the lesser of two evils.  Usually the presence of these troops is lauded as a wonderful thing.

Report this

By ardee, August 3, 2010 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment

garth, August 3 at 4:30 pm

I see clearly now that you are one disturbed individual, one for whom truth is what you say it is and nothing more. Sorry to have bothered you , get help soon.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 3, 2010 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

kulu, - “Go Right, You and others, some of them arguing against you, seem to take it for granted that the occupying forces and their allies and collaborators are the good guys and the Taliban and their supporters (or those who would sooner have them in control than the occupiers) are the bad guys. Those caught in between are irrelevant it seems.

-

You then write that you see the situation differently.  As do I. 

So we agree that Afghanistan/NATO/Pakistan has not much to do with what you’ve described above.

I believe most of the rest of the world owe the Afghan people a debt almost beyond repaying after twice using the nation as a global battle front.  I believe, at the minimum, most of the rest of the world should agree never again to leave the people of Afghanistan with an horrendous broken and tattered mess.  I believe history is clear that repeating that self-serving and catastrophic mistake will prove tremendously dangerous for real, living and breathing, Afghans.

Do I choose sides against the Taliban?  Absolutely and unequivically, YES!

I comprehend what life was like for over 25 million people under the Taliban.  I witnessed how millions of females were denied any and all education.  I understand well how a woman without a male family member was prohibited from working.  How they were forced to beg on the streets by the tens of thousands.  I’ve seen the World Health Organization investigations describing the nightmarish slavery across the country. I know music and dancing was punishable by death.  As was rape of a woman.  It was the victim whom was stoned to death for “adultery”.  I know about the systematic cleansing of any and all cultures not Muslim under “the Taliban”.

Without apology I side with the Afghan people who do not want the Taliban in control of the government.  I would feel completely ashamed of myself if I failed in that. - I cast no aspersions toward others if they see it differently. 

-

A Safe and Stable Afghanistan

I passionately believe that if the world desires a more stable and prosperous Afghanistan the dozens of countries who had a hand in breaking the nation, in very real contemporary terms, needs to step up, deny the Taliban types the control they desire, assist everyone -including the Taliban- with an economic model, and, more important to ALL of the above, educate the woman immediately.  I can think of no more powerful force before educating the nations woman.

-

Do I believe the people of Afghanistan to be in the middle of a global conflict not of their making?  Yes!  Do I believe the evil United states is widely killing and maiming the populations of Afghanistan for some nefarious, imperialistic, purpose?  No.  Not even a little bit.

Report this

By garth, August 3, 2010 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

ardee,

I apologize.  I’m sorry for your the loss of your ‘cajun’ wife. 

I, too, try to pass as a liberal by marrying a Cape Verdean.  Talk about tough customers.

Well, if you can scatter insults about the sanity of the your detractrrs, so can I.

I remember.  Oh, yes, I remember the 60s.  The stalwart, fat kids from the North who went South and were going to show the rednecks and the hicks how to live. 

Some had brutal ideas.  Some, probably like you, never learned a godamned thing.

It was easy then.  Civil rights seemed so self-evident, they were and they still are, but jokesters like you who went there like I did retreated and gathered fuzzy thinking.  It’s probably the high point of your life.  One with moral meaning.

Who cares if you supported Obama.  After you said that, what’s interesting is that you do not want to be associated with the Democratic, Ted Kennedy-like-happy warrior campaigners who are flooding the tv.

I’ll bet you are one who’d agree with Rep Ryan’s agenda:  Privatize Social Security, Vouchers for Medicare, continue the tax cuts for the ones who brung us here.

Or, are you interested in quelling the debate on WikiLeaks.  It seems we have two wars going on in Afghanistan.  The one you see on tv with the army with the national guard rebuilding and then there’s the real war where Special Forces kick down doors and shoot anything in sight.

What’s your point: attack me, attack the old South, or get to nub of the sickness in this country?

I hope you flourish.

Report this
kulu's avatar

By kulu, August 3, 2010 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Go Right,

You and others, some of them arguing against you, seem to take it for granted that the occupying forces and their allies and collaborators are the good guys and the Taliban and their supporters (or those who would sooner have them in control than the occupiers) are the bad guys. Those caught in between are irrelevant it seems. I see it differently - if a few more US or NATO soldiers or their Afghan collaborators die as a result of these leaks then that is too bad but I hold out hope that overall there are more likely to be net savings in lives if the increased transparency afforded by these leaks plays a role in shortening the war.

Another point is that the US soldiers and those of their allies are volunteers in countries who themselves more or less volunteered to go to war. The Taliban and the Afghan people had no choice.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, August 3, 2010 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

Those darn leaker’s, how dare they make the fine tuned well versed MSM look like the propaganda machine they are the bogus news machine for what it is, how unsporting of them using facts of all things! .....How dare they, this could really ruin the whole Fox thing!

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 3, 2010 at 4:32 am Link to this comment

LocalHero, - It. Does. Not. Matter. One. Iota. Nor should it. If. A. Young. Liberal, Afghan. And. His. Family. Are Tortured And Killed. So What?  As long as these documents are genuine.  It. Does. Not. Matter. If. The. Entire. Globe. Learns. Operational. And. Technical. Details. And. Movements. Of. NATO. Soldiers!

-

Yes,  LocalHero.  It seems the documents are authentic.  You’re right.  It does matter.

Report this
LocalHero's avatar

By LocalHero, August 2, 2010 at 8:09 pm Link to this comment

Go Right Young Man, your hand-wringing over the motives of the person or persons who leaked these documents is just so much twaddle.

It. Does. Not. Matter. One. Iota. Nor should it.

The only single thing that matters is are they genuine. To that, no one has disputed. If some career mercenary or spook gets killed, so what. Maybe that will cause the other criminals currently occupying the country illegally to reevaluate their career choice and put down their arms and go home.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 2, 2010 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

diamond, - “Oh GRYM you’re priceless, bless your little cotton socks.”

That’s when I stopped listening.  I’m not interested in your antics. 

Good luck to you.

Report this

By diamond, August 2, 2010 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment

Oh GRYM you’re priceless, bless your little cotton socks. A Pakistani intelligence officer looking for al Qaeda? Well, for heaven’s sake all he has to do is look in the mirror. Who do you think created the Taliban? Who do you think is still funding and supporting the Taliban to this day- the ISI, in other words, Pakistani intelligence. That was one of the most embarrassing facts contained in the documents on the Wikileaks site: that Pakistani intelligence supports the Taliban. I’ve known this since at least 2006 so I’m not in the least amazed by all this stuff.

And no matter how you roll the dice, you can’t make wrong right and black white and night day or war peace. It’s one of the Fascist’s biggest mistakes: to think you can shoot the truth. You can shoot or imprison the truthteller but the truth itself can never be destroyed or defeated. You know, like the law of gravity proving that the Twin Towers were blown up. That kind of thing. As the old saying goes, ‘The truth is always inconvenient’.

Report this

By ardee, August 2, 2010 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment

garth, August 2 at 7:01 pm

You are certainly an odd duck, and possibly unbalanced as well. Find me one such post of mine in support of Barack Obama’s policies, just one and then perhaps this forum ( or at least the sane among us) wont think you one stupid jackass…well its too late for that but nevertheless prove your bullshit or have your mother wipe it off your face.

Oh, and that Cajun to which you refer was my wife and the mother of two of my children. Were she still among us she would show you why they call creole women “spirited”.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 2, 2010 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment

garth, - “Where are you getting these questions?”

-

I devised these questions after, as is my habit, reading through these documents for myself.

Report this

By garth, August 2, 2010 at 4:04 pm Link to this comment

GRYM,

“The public’s need to know: 

I have some questions you may be able to answer.  Does the public need to know how many troops and the exact types of vehicles normally deployed when reconnoitering the town of Marjah?  Or how much time it takes between calling in an air strike to the time of the strike?  Or the name of an Pakistani Intelligence Officer working to locate an Al Qeada camp in Peshawar?  Can this information be used by persons intent on harming or evading young NATO volunteers?”

Where are you getting these questions?

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 2, 2010 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

diamond, - “Well I would have thought that was obvious Go Right Young Man. The whistleblower is ‘always’ trying to bring out truth that they believe the public has a right to know.”

_


It may be obvious to you.  It remains unclear to me. 

Your answer appears to be quite an assumption in light of how it’s identical to the rationale FBI Special Agent, Robert Hanssen, gave for his theft and release if secret information. - “For the good of the country”.

My question was specific:  While I invite your opinion on the matter it doesn’t actually get to my question.

Do you believe you understand the intentions of those who stole these recent documents?  If so, how did you come by that information?  I would like to evaluate that myself.

-

The public’s need to know: 

I have some questions you may be able to answer.  Does the public need to know how many troops and the exact types of vehicles normally deployed when reconnoitering the town of Marjah?  Or how much time it takes between calling in an air strike to the time of the strike?  Or the name of an Pakistani Intelligence Officer working to locate an Al Qeada camp in Peshawar?  Can this information be used by persons intent on harming or evading young NATO volunteers?

These are but a few of the of details in these documents.  Is this brilliance?  If so, why?

Report this

By garth, August 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment

ardee,

Look, Chump, the fact remains: the WikiLeaks revealed a disastrous day-to-day reportage of how the Americans and Nato forces are winning hearts and killing people.  We’re losing.

The Netherlands just withdrew 2000 of its forces, and might I say they are the most well-trained in the world, while Massachusets just committed more than 700 to the Afghanistan (shall I call it, the ardee War Effort?).  There was a big do.  The kind you’d flourish in.

So it all balances out.  The Dutch pull out; the Americans make up the shortfall.

Where’s your head beside being up Obama’s ass?

War, war, war, war, war, war, war, war, war.


I will guess that a fat-ass, self-important-New Yorker like yourself who’s only claim to fame is that he graduated from the same high schol as Mario Savio and that he went to to Louisiana during the civil rights struggle and ten came back with just a vague reference to a ‘cajun woman’, then I guess, after 40 or so years, your life has been misspent.

You, Sir, are a loser.

Report this

By ardee, August 2, 2010 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

garth, August 2 at 5:32 pm

The real pity here is that you do not see how this garbage post of yours diminishes you and says nothing whatsoever about anyone or anything else. Do you come here simply to insult? You certainly fail the litmus test for both intelligence and socialization skills.

I guess you are beyond the point of male menopause being responsible, if you have truthfully noted your generation. Thus I find no other excuse but your own failure. If you have a point to all of this it yet remains a mystery to me.

Report this

By garth, August 2, 2010 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

By diamond, August 2 at 12:13 am Link to this comment

For God’s sake, Garth, read a book: firstly ...
———————————————————————-
Really now!  You should get yourself a grammar book.

For some reason I thought more highly of you.  Typos are excusable, but Firstly,... ?

If you ever stop kissing your own ass you’ll realize that something else is going on.  And it’s quite different from what you describe.

Your buddy ardee, like a true head-up-his-ass-with-face-in-the-PC dweller has looked up my genereation on the internet and has come up with some syrupy generalizations the would only pass muster on a roll call for WikiPedia experts.

In the end I don’t think it matters much what you read or even if you read.  Some people are beyond education.

And you are one and ardee makes two.

Report this

By diamond, August 2, 2010 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Well I would have thought that was obvious Go Right Young Man. The whistleblower is always trying to bring out truth that they believe the public has a right to know. The public are the ones who pay for the war and they are, in terms of the soldiers themselves, the ones who are maimed or killed. In terms of motive I think it might be instructive to remember what the Bush administration did to someone who leaked UNCLASSIFIED INFORMATION:

‘Bush, Cheney and Ashcroft have cobbled together the equivalent of a new unofficial secrets act more awesome than anything Congress might give them. They have used existing laws and the type of thinking employed by the Fourth Circuit in Morison v. United States (that if the language of the statue itself covers the situation, then the legislative history is irrelevant). This approach was employed to prosecute Jonathan C. Randel, a former intelligence analyst with a Ph.D in history who worked in the Atlanta office of the Drug Enforcement Agency. Randel leaked nonclassified information to a British journalist. The leak-which had nothing to do with national security- exposed the fact that the name of one of the richest men in the United Kingdom, Lord Michael Ashcroft (no relation to John), appeared in a number of DEA files relating to investigations into drug trafficking and money laundering in Belize…To criminalize Randel’s leak, Ashcroft’s Justice Department threw the book at him. The twenty count indictment provides a sample of the administration’s new unofficial official secrets law.  It relies on the government’s general theft statute, a statute protecting information in government computers and the general mail/wire fraud statutes, making each of sixteen uses of a DEA computer to obtain information on his lordship a discrete scheme to defraud the government…It is worth stressing again, that none of these laws were (originally) written to criminalize leaks.’ ‘Worse than Watergate: the Secret Presidency of George W. Bush’, John Dean.

The fascinating part is why the Bush Administration wanted to protect a British lord involved in drug trafficking and money laundering and why they made certain that a man who had only, in fact, done his job as he saw it, was sentenced to one year in jail and three years probation plus a $2,000 fine for doing said job. In all likelihood Randel would not have leaked the information if he hadn’t felt that the DEA was giving his Lordship a pass on his criminal activity because he was his Lordship.

And they call these politicians ‘lawmakers’? More like ‘lawbreakers’.

Report this

By garth, August 2, 2010 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

Thank you, ofersince72, August 2 at 12:10 pm #

—————————————————————————-
Garth,  welcome to Truth Dig !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
————————————————————-

The extra exclamations made the joke.

You’re right on.  I’ve been doing this for a couple of years and I should’ve known or I thought I knew what the protocol was—none at all, just follow the rules laid out by Truthdig.  And yet I ‘thought’ I had something to add that was being overlooked.

I needed a good laugh at myself.  You provided the punchline.

As Chuck Berry might’ve said in song, ‘Too much botheration for me to be involved in.’

I want to say something profound here, so I’ll just say humility is sombody’s friend. 

Pride is a clique.


Thanks again, ofersince72.

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 2, 2010 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

DBM,

I have another question, I believe, worth asking.  One which I have yet to see or hear anyone address.

What are the intentions of the person(s) who who stole tens of thousand of classified and secret documents?  Do we judge the intentions good or bad?  Was this theft designed to aid the U.S. and NATO?  Or is the design to aid those parts of the Pakistan Intelligence Services whom are aiding Mullah Omar?  Is the design to save Afghan lives or have more humans die?

Mr. Scheer is on record as describing this event as brilliant before anyone has had an opportunity to see, let alone judge, the results. 

I will stress this again.  The release of these documents could go disastrously wrong.  At least in terms of Mr. Scheer’s hoped for result.

Do you believe you understand the intentions of those who stole and released these documents?

Report this
Go Right Young Man's avatar

By Go Right Young Man, August 2, 2010 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

DBM,

“I think you are a little caught up in your pre-disposed interpretation of intent which is that I agree with leaks when they suit my “causes” and disagree when they don’t.  What I’ve been trying to point out is something distinctly different which is that those in power need to be held to account.

Correct.  I am caught up in the issue of intent.  That has largely been my point.  But it’s also a matter of the “process”.  You are not saying anything distinctly different at all.

I believe I do understand the points you’re stressing.  But do you see how your very statement above illustrates how it does, in fact, come down to your intent to hold the government accountable, thus, you applaud this particular set of documents being leaked?  In fact it’s so important to you that the costs of leaking all this information is, well, acceptable for you.  Even at the cost of many lives.  You deeply desire your own set of goals to be met.

Please keep this in mind.  There are people, apparently including the U.S. Commander in Chief, who believe having troops in Afghanistan and drones in Pakistan (Sudan included) will save more lives than would otherwise be lost.  Failure to keep this in mind is a failure in keeping this situation in context. - It’s very likely that several world leaders feel just as strongly as you do about Afghanistan.  They simply see the situation much different than you or I do.

With that in mind, at least for the moment, one can see why the theft of this information is a terrific detriment to actually saving the lives many world world leaders believe in saving. - They must think globally and decades into the future.

People will die as a direct result of the release of this information.  The Tehrik-e-Taliban has just released a statement to that very effect.  They are reading these documents and noting all those working with allied troops and the Afghan and Pakistan governments.  In many cases the “enemy” will not have to expend time or resources to confirm, what they believe to be, some of the tactics or procedures of their “enemy”.  They can now simply study these documents.  These documents outline day to day tactics and logic for actions.  Understand what this means?  It’s an enormous gift to to those with the intent of killing allied soldiers and others. - It also means liberal minded Afghans who are friendly and assisting NATO will think good and hard about lending aid or support.  Why help NATO if one fears the theft and release of information as to their involvement?

People will die as a direct result of these documents.  It’s wrong to belittle these very real dangers. - Not directing that toward you personally.  I am, however, stressing an important point.

-

You Write - “In the event of a “good” outcome ... let’s say disentanglement of the U.S. or even peace in Afghanistan.  To say that this would have come about solely due to these leaks is clearly an inadequate analysis…..”

Yes.  That would be the reason I never suggested anything of the kind.

Report this

By ofersince72, August 2, 2010 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Garth,  welcome to Truth Dig !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Report this

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 >

Newsletter

sign up to get updates


 
 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook