Come On and Take a Free Ride

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With props to Edgar Winter, please note that Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski now says the Bush administration duped him on WMDs in Iraq.

"That they deceived us about the weapons of mass destruction, that's true. We were taken for a ride," Kwasniewski told reporters.

Poland was last seen holding the fort down Basra way, and has some 2,500 highly-skilled troops in-country.

NEXT: Seg(no)way

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  1. Really?
    Poland was fooled?

  2. It’s simple: if you talk tough about terrorism, and blow up enough stuff that might be semantically linkable to terrorists, then if things go well people should vote for you because it worked, and if they go badly, they should vote for you because otherwise you’re appeasing terrorists.

  3. Wow. Polish politicians talking more sense in 5 minutes than I’ve heard from American politicians in months.

  4. I had always sort of assumed that most of the Coalition contingents were going to withdraw sometime around the transfer of sovreignty– save for the US which alone is anticipating permanent bases in Iraq. I am not sure what handing over security assistance to UN command would mean (or whether they would be willing), but it might not be a bad idea.

  5. Andrew,

    “I had always sort of assumed that most of the Coalition contingents were going to withdraw sometime around the transfer of sovreignty…”

    You obviously aren’t paying attention then; the Bush administration has been harping about getting in more non-American and non-Iraqi forces after June 30 all along. Indeed, that’s why they’ve been pushing for Nato to get involved.

  6. Yesterday I was O’Ruthless.
    Today I’m proud to be …

  7. So much for New Europe.

  8. The Russians are coming.

  9. Dink, you are a very bad person.

    he he he he he he

  10. Douglas Fletcher,

    Yes, just as soon as they deal with a civil war that is killing several thousand Russian soldiers per year.

  11. Nowhere in the article does he say the U.S. ‘took them for a ride’. How do we know he’s not talking about Saddam’s Iraq? Is the full text of the interview available?

  12. Am I suffering from amnesia or something? When was the case for WMD ever that strong? Powell’s presentation to the UN pretty much summed up our position. Go back and look at it again. Really, there wasn’t much that we knew. Who out there decieved themselves that there were whole nuclear weapons just waiting to be discovered? Because the administration didn’t do much decieving… they let the people do it themselves, like a good democracy.

    And, yes, even with the ‘evidence’ that Powell gave being so light, I supported the war. Because, hell, what kind of reasons do you really need to go to war?

  13. I’ve read the same account but in the Polish press. It seems like there’s a bit of a translation error. He didn’t say “taken for a ride”, rather a better translation would be “mistaken” or “mislead”. And the “we” he used referred not to Poland but rather to Poland, US and UK – so basically what he said is that “the coalition was mistaken about WMDs” or “the coalition was mislead by reports of WMDs in Iraq”.
    It’s still a criticism, perhaps, but not what the US press reported (actually he was speaking to French reporters, who did the translating so…..)

    I think the mistranslation occured largely because of what happened in Spain – some folks were just to eager to have it appear like Kwasniewski was joining Zapatero.

    A disclaimer: Like I said, this is the Polish press’ version. I haven’t seen the original text. It’s possible that it’s also spin.

  14. “I’m still not entirely clear why people think that there was some sort of malicious intent to decieve.”

    Because Bush and his people said they knew there was a threat, a threat serious enough that we had to go to war RIGHT NOW, not wait a few months or years, because the threat was so serious. Since there are no WMDs, the could not have known that there was a threat.

  15. I’m still not entirely clear why people think that there was some sort of malicious intent to decieve. . .I would imagine the Bush administration is as surprised as everyone else to not find WMD in Iraq. . .

    I mean, if they knew in the first place that there were no WMD and they went through all that trouble to decieve people, why the hell didn’t they just ‘find’ WMD, and by ‘find’ i mean fake it?

    Intellegence is a tough business, and policymakers have to make decisions with ambiguous and difficult to interpret data. I’m not saying that the administration was ‘right’ for going to war over this ambiguous data, but I AM saying that perhaps everyone shouldn’t be so quick to assume that there is some kind of conspiricy theory going on here.

  16. Reported today that he was, in fact, referring the Hussein & his regime, NOT the Bush administration.

  17. I am inclined to agree with Wilson. If memory serves, Kamel Hussein defected and said Iraq had significant stockpiles biological WMDs. The UNSCOM inspections during the 90s found ample evidence that Iraq possessed such weapons. UNSCOM supervised the destruction of over 400 tons of chemical weapons agents after the first gulf war. By UNSCOM reports, some agents and delivery systems were “unaccounted for.” As noted in a Reason article, Saddam Hussein certainly acted like a despot with something to hide.

    I am not suggesting the Iraqi infatuation with WMDs justified an invasion, however, I am inclined to think the Bush administration expected to find something. Say for a moment the administration knew conclusively that there were no WMDs in Iraq. Why then use WMDs as a justification for war, particularly understanding the ferocious backlash when truth comes out? If one can trust anything, it’s that politicians know political calculus. I imagine the Bush administration expected to have a photo op with some chemical or biological weapons stockpile. This would have shown the world, and more importantly for Bush, the American electorate, how the war had saved Wyoming from certain attack.

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