Oh, the Yankee and the Iraqi Should Be Friends.

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Joseph Tartovsky reviews Foud Ajami's book on the Iraqi-American relationship and highlights this:

Ajami writes of the "exhilaration" after the fall of Saddam's statue on April 9, 2003. By the time of the elections in January 2005, "fewer and fewer Americans liked what they saw of Iraq and Iraqis; there were even conservatives now, former supporters of the war, writing off the surly, violent country they saw on their television screens." Ajami gives no indication that he thinks the decline in support has slowed. The grievous violence is one cause of American disenchantment. But, worse, Americans have seen their troops topple a dictator, fix potholes, pave highways, build sewage plants, fill libraries with books, open universities, administer millions of vaccinations, sponsor a flourishing free press, midwife a consensual republic, unstintingly give their lives—and yet there is scarcely a murmur of gratitude for their "foreigner's gift."

Why aren't the Iraqis grateful for that gift? I tried to ask one, but a mosque exploded a few blocks away and I couldn't hear his answer.

And why aren't Americans supporting the war anymore? Is it because the Iraqis aren't exhibiting gratitude for the massive rebuilding of their country? No; Americans never wanted to rebuild their country. They supported the war on the grounds that it would take out Saddam, get some revenge for 9/11 (don't ask how), and make the world safer… somehow. They had hoped the Iraqis would take care of the rest themselves, being liberated from Saddam and all. Americans never wanted to spend money rebuilding the country, because Americans are constitutionally opposed to stuff like that. Majorities of Americans opposed the first big spending package, that $87 billion that John Kerry welded into a bazooka aimed at his foot.

This pundit's fallacy isn't exclusive to neoconservatives. Many liberals still believe there's a national urge to rebuild New Orleans, even though a sizable minority of Americans rejected the idea of federally-funded rebuilding after Katrina and those numbers spiked in the wake of the president's speech calling for just that.

NEXT: Presidential Hopeful Gov. Bill Richardson Doesn't Grok Cock(fighting)

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  1. Why aren’t the Iraqis grateful for that gift? I tried to ask one, but a mosque exploded a few blocks away and I couldn’t hear his answer.

    My car was broken into the other day. I guess I’m going to go kill a couple of the local cops here.

  2. rocking back in his chair and gazing out the window of his office, Ajami can hold forth on how he would behave completely differently if he and his family where living in Iraq.

    No way he’d back the local militia as the lesser of two evils. He’s just too good a person for that.

  3. Argh!

    O K L A H O M A!

    poor Judd is dead!

    Good post, David. Thanks! (except for the musical and all. but thank you for not having Carousel’s “Clambake” instead)

    (awaiting liberal/conservative argument in 3..2… um. whatever comes before/after 2., “Mo”? fergot)

    cheers,
    VM

  4. I’ve always maintained that Americans supported the war on Iraq, at a most badic level, because Americans were simply itching to kick some ass. Anybody’s ass. Especially since Bin Laden was nowhere to be found.

  5. because Americans are constitutionally opposed to stuff like that.

    I guess that is why the Marshall plan goes down so badly in history. Is this Reason or Pat Buchanan? What are you talking about? Americans are the world’s biggest dogooders. They love to spend money on the less fortuneate. America has spent billions on the third world. Now whether that money did any good or not is a different debate. Americans hate rebuilding other countries so much they spend billions in aid everytime there is a tidal wave, earthquake or hurricane somewhere. Weigal’s view of the country really borders on the bizarre sometimes. I really think he thinks anyone who lives west of the Hudson or east of the Sierra Nevada is holed up in some evangelical commune.

  6. If the American public had been given a referendum in 1946 about whether or not to send a few billion dollars of tax money to rebuilt Europe, the proposal would have gone down in flames.

    This is a libertarian board, and you’re arguing that support for private charity = support for large government projects?

  7. Afghanistan was too easy. Bush laid out the plan from there–>Iraq, Iran, and then, North Korea. The plan bogged down in Iraq. So much for that shit list.

  8. I think shecky has the right of it. Nobody really wanted to “liberate Iraq.” They were pissed at ragheads and Saddam was the “bad” raghead that was dangled in front of them like a pinata. Wasn’t it uber-moderate Thomas Friedman that argued that “every once in a while, America has to take some fourth-rate nation and slam it up against a wall to show that we mean business?”

    Lots of dictators, Saddam included, filled potholes and built universities. Turns out love is hard to buy. Think of all the nice things Congress buys for you and everyone on this site does nothing but bitch about them. The Iraqis maybe got a bad impression when the US gave no indications of an early exit. Then we starting constructing medieval fortresses in their capital and permanent bases elsewhere. Then we began writing new resource laws that were grossly favorable to our oil companies and presenting them to the Iraqi parliament to be rubber-stamped.

    Turns out there’s a lot of strings attached when foreigners liberate you. Who knew? Most Lebanese loved the Syrians at first…the Red Army got a parade and some genuine expressions of gratitude when they liberated Poland from the Nazis. But then they just completely failed to leave.

  9. I think most people were motivated by the desire to prevent the Iraqi government from giving weapons it didn’t have to terrorist groupos it hated.

    Now, whether they were more willing to believe this threat was real because the 9/11 atttackers were Arabs is pretty indisputable, but the idea that we were attacking Iraq to get revenge for 9/11 is a misleading simplification.

  10. We attached Iraq because Sodamm Husane was responsible for 9-11.

  11. I applaud Weigel’s openness to paleoconservative isolationism, but his attempt to explain the American “constitution” is rather embarrassing. Americans are indeed do-gooders, and plenty of people actually bought into the idea that all would be well in Iraq once Saddam was deposed, and that democracy would spread throughout the Middle East, etc. Who knows, maybe things will improve there after a decade or so of mayhem. Will it then have been worth it or not? I don’t know.

    Also, as the Grand Chalupa alludes to in his first comment: To what extent are Americans to be blamed for Iraqis killing each other?

  12. “To what extent are Americans to be blamed for Iraqis killing each other?”

    That’s what really gets me about this post. It’s like Weigel doesn’t give a damn about the difference between the mosque being blown up by an American bomb vs. a suicide-bomber insurgent.

  13. “I applaud Weigel’s openness to paleoconservative isolationism…”

    That’s a really great snark, because objecting to wars and nation-building necessarily means one is opposed to international trade and collective security arrangements.

    “plenty of people actually bought into the idea that all would be well in Iraq once Saddam was deposed, and that democracy would spread throughout the Middle East, etc.” Plenty of people accepted this as an answer to objections about the war, and even came to see it as an added benefit to pre-empting the alleged threat. Very few actually got behind this as a justification for the war.

    “To what extent are Americans to be blamed for Iraqis killing each other?” To what extent is the guy who smashed your window to be blamed for the guy who reached in and stole your stereo an hour later?

    To what extent are the LAPD to be blamed for the deaths that occured during the Rodney King riots?

    But putting that aside, we spent three years 9and counting) arming and training “government” forces that are largely active participants in the murder campaign against Sunni civilians.

  14. “To what extent are Americans to be blamed for Iraqis killing each other?”

    Is this what your asking in 2003?

  15. Look at the upside of the Iraq war for libertarians: the debacle has dealt a body blow to one morally forceful argument for modern statism, namely partially limited majority rule. Democracy in its corrupt form has taken a heavy hit, and that concept of democracy has been a major legitimizer of all manner of modern statist corruptions, has it not?

  16. Disenchantment with the rebuilding Iraq has little to do with being “constitutionally opposed to stuff like that.”

    Americans aren’t averse to rebuilding…they’re averse to pointless wastes of blood and money.

    We look at Iraq and new Orleans and see waste, fraud, curruption, incompetence on the part of our leaders and the Iraqi government.

    We see American sodiers getting killed for what appears to be an unwinnable strategy.

    We hear the president disregarding the advice of people who had a hand in the Gulf War (largely perceived as a win).

    So goes rebuilding New Orleans. No one wants to fund putting 10,000 homes right back into a flood hazard no matter how strong the levees are.

  17. I don’t think “rebuilding Iraq” was ever the primary motivation for backing the war, but I think most Americans were okay with the idea as long as the Iraqis seemed to be on board with the idea. Trying to separate them from killing each other, and getting killed our service people killed in the process, isn’t what most people think of when they think of “rebuilding” and “bringing democracy”.

  18. Bush would have had the longest leash in the world for rebuilding if we would have found nukes.

    No nukes, no patience.

  19. Also, as the Grand Chalupa alludes to in his first comment: To what extent are Americans to be blamed for Iraqis killing each other?

    To the extent that the killing would not be occurring but for American intervention. At least, that’s the way tort law works in this country.

  20. “I think most people were motivated by the desire to prevent the Iraqi government from giving weapons it didn’t have to terrorist groupos it hated.”

    I think you are right about that Joe. That is a reasonable take on why people supported the war. Weigel’s view that we just went to war because Americans wanted to kill a bunch of Muslims in revenge for 9-11 has to be the most narrow-minded, elitist opinion I have ever heard. It is not that Weigel objects to the war that makes him so uniquely ignorant and repulsive, all the Reasons staff objects to the war. It is his idea that it was undertaken out of some bloodlust that is so repulsive. That is worse than the tinfoil hat we did it to steal their oil position. I can’t believe someone of his ilk was ever hired by an allegedly serious publication.

  21. …the Yankee likes to keep his guns
    Iraqis shoot each other for fun
    but that’s no reason why they can’t be friends!

    Liberated folks should stick together
    Liberated folks do all you can
    Yankees help to rebuild Iraq
    and Iraqis help when we fight Iran!

  22. The fact is we fucked up, and they are fucking up. Of course, that can’t be stated by either a politician or someone getting paid to get readers such as Weigel. Look at all of the shit Cathy Young gets for taking the position that *gasp* both sides can be wrong on occasion.

    Weigel has chosen his side while playing a game of black and white, in a world that lives in a shade of grey.

  23. That’s a really great snark, because objecting to wars and nation-building necessarily means one is opposed to international trade and collective security arrangements.

    To the interventionist, unless you’re bombing somebody somewhere you’re just not relating.

    “Isolationism” as used today means a reluctance to travel long distance to kill foreigners at great expense. Your “international trade and collective security arrangements” lack the bracing, community-minded smell of cordite.

    BTW: Great post, Dave.

  24. Weigel’s

    Oh. My. God.

    He spelled it correctly.

    FINALLY!

  25. Are you referring to my “Weigel’s”, thoreau? Because I’ve hardly ever posted here before. I think it’s a case of mistaken identity.

    To joe and Jim Henley: I wasn’t exactly being snarky. I think people who could roughly be classified as “paleoconservatives” (e.g. Steve Sailer, Randall Parker) are providing some of the best criticism of the Iraq War these days. And I know Weigel reads Sailer. Perhaps “isolationism” wasn’t the best choice of words, however.

  26. Nope, I was referring to John. Sorry, should have made it clear which post I was quoting.

  27. Mamba,

    Thoreau is referring to me and my consitutional inability to spell WEIGEL’s name correctly. Regardless of whether you speel it with two “e”s or one “e” there is not a lot of clear thinking in Weigel.

  28. John,

    I don’t think you fairly described Weigel’s point about getting revenge for 9/11.

  29. Jim Henley,

    Nice post.

    “Your “international trade and collective security arrangements” lack the bracing, community-minded smell of cordite.”

    Seriously. Feeding a bunch of babies hardly counts as a “great national undertaking.”

    No National Greatness has ever depended on a bunch of filthy merchants haggling with each other.

  30. green mambe (If that IS your real name),

    I don’t know a great deal about those two gentlemen, but if you are seeking to describe an old-fashioned conservatives in contrast to a neo-con (a Reagan/GW Bush/Nixon foreign policy conservative), you might want to go with “realist” or even just “conservative.”

    “Paleo-conservative isolationist” goes back even farther, to pre-WW2 Republicans, and lives on in Pat Buchanan. Or perhaps “libertarian isolationist,” if you wan to refer to Justin Raimondo types – like Buchanan, but without the protectionism.

  31. John,

    While I’m no Weigel fan, for reasons of age partly (I’m a little bit older and find his take on serious matters kind of juvenile-snarky at times), I think your Shoot the Messenger attitude is equally boring and oversimplistic. If you disagree with him, make clear why he’s So Wrong, and stay away from the ad hominem…

    FWIW, I think he’s (to a small degree) right that there was a strong element of “Get the Ragheads!” at work in approving Iraq invasion… I mean, I’m a foreign policy wonk in Manhattan who hangs out with nerdy liberal MIA post grads…. and there was a strong sense of “Goddamnit I want Osama’s Head on a Fucking Platter” during the years following 9/11… and my comparatively ‘country’ relatives in NC, VA were very much pro-Bomb-Anybody pre Iraq. My Dad, a former Marine lawyer in the pentagon, knew damn well Saddam had no connection to 9/11, but defending the invasion as ‘show of force will terrify state-sponsors like Iran and Syria, and also eliminate loose ends from 1991 Gulf War…

    Yes, these are just anecdotes from personal experience, but to deny that the general public was hyped up to Fuck Someone Up is kind of silly… jesus, the ‘spreading democracy’ thing wasnt even on the table until it was clear mid 2003 that no WMDs were showing up. Americans supported Bush’s move into Iraq out of a) Fear and b) Revenge… not out of any long term strategic thinking. If you were Pro War in 2003, what were your reasons? Anyone who claims they believed Primarily in the potential for democratizing the middle east…well, either they’re being disingenuous, or were just naive… anyone whos seen lawrence of arabia knows more about middle eastern politics than they do.

    JG

  32. It is not our national constitution to support losing efforts. If there were an increasing arc of stability in Iraq, this war would be popular. There isn’t, so it isn’t.

    There may not be a less useful distinction in the world than “isolationist” and “interventionist”. These preferences usually translate to “stay home unless it makes sense to do otherwise” and “in addition to diplomatic and economic engagement, use military action when it makes sense to do so”.

    There are basic differences there, but they aren’t as far apart as people act like they are. Few people actually hold to “never leave your house” or “drop bombs on everyone”.

  33. Granted, Jason, everybody will support staying home under at least some circumstances, and almost everybody will support taking action under some circumstances. But there’s no denying that some are a lot more willing to intervene than others, and some are a lot more skeptical of intervention than others.

    The fact that there is no sharp dividing line doesn’t mean that there aren’t some significant differences.

  34. My suggestion to those interested in preventing the next military action – don’t take the shallowest view possible of why people supported this conflict at the outset. You might miss the opportunity to address some real concerns with your own counter proposals in your haste to dismiss everything as chest thumping.

  35. thoreau:

    Then by all means let the world have a serious discussion about the real differences and not what Henley just gave us.

    To treat the decision to go to Iraq as just an expression of the desire to bomb someone at random because it is fun is probably not helpful.

  36. Gilmore,

    I agree. Weigel’s BS about their desire to rebuild Iraq aside, I believe most Americans wanted something more satisfying than the “secret war conducted in the shadows” that the war on terror started out to be. The neocons were happy to oblige with a highly visible, old-fashioned war in Iraq. Most Americans bought the argument, strategy, and plan despite the complete lack of fundamental logic behind them. How else to explain that except emotion overriding reason.

  37. There is a video on YouTube showing an American army officer, Jim Chartier, circa early 2003. After lecturing his troops on the importance of treating the Iraqis with the utmost respect, he says:

    “remember, we are liberators, and we’ll be leaving soon”

  38. ‘The grievous violence is one cause of American disenchantment. But, worse, Americans have seen their troops topple a dictator, fix potholes, pave highways, build sewage plants, fill libraries with books, open universities, administer millions of vaccinations, sponsor a flourishing free press, midwife a consensual republic, unstintingly give their lives-and yet there is scarcely a murmur of gratitude for their “foreigner’s gift.”‘ Fouad Ajami

    Stunning example of neo-nonsense. Apparently Prof. Ajami doesn’t recall that Iraq was supposed to be “the central front in the war on terror” from the beginning. Living in the middle of it for a couple years is bound to dampen any feelings of gratitude.

  39. “If you were Pro War in 2003, what were your reasons?”

    1. The UN sanctions were breaking down and I didn’t see how we could continue to contain Saddam Hussein much longer under the then current regime

    2. 9-11 showed the problems with ignoring people who constantly said they planned to kill Americans. Hussein made no secret of his desire for revenge for the first Gulf War and I took at his word that he would at some point do something.

    3. 9-11 showed and still does show that keeping the animals down through dictatorship theory of foreign policy was no longer practicable. The horrible dysfunctional and oppressive governments of the middle-east contributes both to the rise of extremism and the hatred of the U.S. The world has gotten too small to just ignore it anymore. Oppressive governments like Saddam’s have to go.

    4. The credibility of the United States had come to be at stake in dealing with Iraq. Hussein never lived by any of the terms of the 1991 cease fire of UN Security Council Resolution 1441. Further, he threw out UN weapons inspectors and openly ignored both the Security Council and the terms of the 1991 ceasefire. If the U.S did nothing about Hussein, then its word and its threats meant nothing.

    Lastly, the U.S. encouraged the Shia and the Kurds to rise up against Hussein in 1991 and then abandoned them to their fate. The U.S. owed a moral obligation to help these people get rid of Hussein.

    That is more or less why I supported the war. I did not support the war out of blood lust against Muslims. No one I knew did. Everyone I knew that supported the war did so out of concern that eventually Hussein would develop WMDs and give them to terrorists. You may not agree with those points, that is your right and we shouldn’t highjack the thread by rehashing the Iraq war debate.

    There is nothing in fact to support Weigel’s claim. There has been no rash of hate crimes against Muslims since 9-11. Hell, if everyone just wants revenge against Muslims, why go to Iraq when there are Mosques in Muslims in every major city? Further, what about the 1000s of people who have sent things like toys food, cloths and the like to Iraqis? How do you explain those people? When I was in Iraq, there was a orphanage in Kirkuk that my mother was able to get a ton of stuff for from ordinary people out in the big scary country Weigel seems to fear and despise so much. How do you explain that if people just wanted revenge?

  40. The war did not start as an exercise in “liberation”. It started over the WMD issue against the backdrop of multiple radical muslim attacks on the US, with.

    The appeasors finally had to yield and admit that their approach brough us the WTC attack in 1993, the Marine Barracks in Beirut, the cole, the attack on the embassy in Kenya, the 9/11 attacks, etc., in short appeasement was a failure.

    It sounds to me as if many of you are appeasers as well. Your way won’t work, and it won’t bring us peace.

  41. edit… strike the, “, with”.

  42. “Further, what about the 1000s of people who have sent things like toys food, cloths and the like to Iraqis?”

    John is right. We get boxes of stuff everyday from ordinary Americans to distribute to Iraqis. Where is the hate?

  43. Further,

    Go back and look at all of the 100s of threads of hit and run about the war. I don’t recall anyone, not the worst pro war troll, of which I am probably by most opinions the worst, ever say the war was justified out of the need to kill Muslims in revenge for 9-11. That is what Weigel seems to be saying, that U.S. could have declared war on any Muslim country, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and the average American would have supported it. That is just stupid and just shows what an out of touch narrow-minded elitist Weigel is.

  44. edit: strike the “appeasers.”

    How’s that peace going, “pre-emptor?”

  45. Looks like the “if it’s not the Klan, it’s not racism” argument is popping its head up again.

    You don’t have to have a conscious, burning hatred towards a group to have your thinking clouded by racism.

    “Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, is allied with Al Qaeda, and might give them WMDs” were all thoroughly refuted before the war, yet large numbers of Americans – I daresay, almost everyone who supported the war – believed at least two of them. People can convince themselves – or allow themselves to be convinced – of almost anything, but they have to have a motivation to do so.

    Why were so many Americans such suckers for this line of bull in 2002 and 2003? Why would they ignore some pretty bright lines that exist between two significantly different groups of people (Iraqi government vs. Al Qaeda)? I daresay it’s related to the reason why vigilantes looking for the perpetrator of a crime are so likely to find one who belongs to a racial, ethnic, or religious group they’ve got a pre-existing problem with.

    John was clearly read to mount a full-scale invasion of Iraq prior to 9/11, and for principled reasons, but most Americans were not. Most of the people who came to support the war had their minds changed by 9/11, and there is realistically one nexus between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

  46. “Everyone I knew that supported the war did so out of concern that eventually Hussein would develop WMDs and give them to terrorists.”

    This was the biggest logical flaw in the sales pitch and is still being used today. Whatever you may think about state sponsors of terrorism, they absolutely understand power, how to acquire it, and how to maintain it.

    Terrorists are loose cannons. International Islamist terrorist groups are especially so. States like Saddam’s Iraq, Syria, and Iran are comfortable giving terrorist groups over which they have some control enough support and weapons to cause trouble for their enemies. However, they are not going to give them “keys to the kingdom” like WMD because that could be turned on them to undermine their power.

    The exception I would offer is North Korea (well done, Matt Stone and Trey Parker) simply because that country is so ethnically homogenous and so locked down that Islamist terrorists are not in a position to turn on Kim Jong Il with a nuke he supplied. Other than that, the best sources of WMD for terrorists are in the black market.

  47. Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11, is allied with Al Qaeda, and might give them WMDs

    I don’t know anyone who thought that. Really I don’t. But even if they did Weigel never goes to the lengths that you go to. He just casually throws out slanders against the American people and pats himself on the back at how smart he is.

  48. John

    i dont think you and I differ much. other than we each seem to think our exceptions make a rule 🙂 I dont deny your point and can still hold that there was a substantial support for attacking Iraq for reasons other than the ones you present. I mean, look at the hot buttons the president was pushing to justify the action – they werent yours… they were a) nukes and b) terrissts. Which is the argument that congress swallowed out of fear of offending their base of angry, unsophisticated-in-international-affairs populace. I dont think lack of attacks on ‘muslims’ in the US has much to do with wanting to stomp all over some middle eastern Big Name.

    9-11 showed and still does show that keeping the animals down through dictatorship theory of foreign policy was no longer practicable.

    well, ok, but explain why we didnt invade Saudi Arabia if thats the case?… 🙂

    JG

  49. John,

    You don’t recall the polling during the 2004 campaign, in which some 70% of Fox News viewers agreed that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11?

    You don’t remember the President and Vice President repeatedly calling Saddam Hussein an ally of Al Qaeda?

    And did you just agree, a little upthread, with my statement that most people supported the war because the didn’t want Saddam to give WMDs to Al Qaeda?

    “He just casually throws out slanders against the American people and pats himself on the back at how smart he is.”

    Let’s go to the tape: “They supported the war on the grounds that it would take out Saddam, get some revenge for 9/11 (don’t ask how), and make the world safer… somehow.”

    You have to squint pretty hard to see “slanders against the American people” in that phrase.

  50. and yet there is scarcely a murmur of gratitude for their “foreigner’s gift.”

    War supporters couldn’t understand that attitude when we were in Viet Nam, so what makes you think they could understand it out now?

  51. I don’t think it’s fair to say that either “Saddam might have WMDs” *or* “Saddam was allied with al Qaeda” had been “thoroughly refuted” pre-invasion.

    Several foreign intelligence agencies in addition to our own believed that the Iraqi regime possessed WMDs. Hell, even the New York Times ran a series of articles about it. Saddam’s refusal to let weapons inspectors into presidential areas didn’t exactly give a huge boost of confidence to the “there must be nothing there” hypothesis either.

    As far as al Qaeda goes, no, there was no “operational link” between al Qaeda and Saddam’s government, but they did have a kind of non-interference pact. Saddam’s $25,000 payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers was also a good basis for concern about his attitude toward terrorism more generally. Al Qaeda is unfortunately not the only terrorist group out there.

  52. Graphite,

    This was all “thoroughly refuted” in the delusional memories of leftists, and especially those who are tortured by the theft of the presidency in 2000. The fact is, no intelligence agency in the west contradicted the notion that Iraq had bio WMD, and they all believed that Iraq was working on nukes. Hans Blix said the UN arms inspectors could not find any WMD, but he was not very persuasive for two reasons: he was a UN flunky, hence he was not trusted; the Iraqis led him on one wild goose chase after another, hence it lead most to believe that the arms inpectors conclusions were suspect. It turns out that Hans was right, but as the cliche says, “even a broken clock is right twice a day”.

    That being said, I have no doubt that Bush wanted to go to war with Iraq for many reasons and used the WMD issue as a convenient smoke screen. Still it is partisan blindness, or just a plain lie to say that there was even a cursory refutation of the WMD beliefs.

  53. Graphite,

    “Saddam’s WMD program poses a threat which requires military action” was thoroughly refuted prior to the invasion, although most of us still agreed that he had programs of some sort in place. The plausibility of his giving weapons to Al Qaeda had been pretty solidly knocked down.

    But most importantly, the evidence the administration provided to make its case – including the reports that backed up the NYT story – had been thoroughly refuted, as the NYT admitted when it ran a review of those stories. The information proving the allegations false was out there, but many people just chose to ignore it.

    And wayne? It’s time for you to re-evaluate whose clock was broken, because it wasn’t Hans Blix.

  54. Joe,

    I said Hans was right about WMD, and that he had no credibility on the matter. I am correct on both counts.

    I implied that if you want to know the status of Iraq’s weapons you don’t trust UN inspectors who have been lead around by the nose by Iraqi troops. That was the perception of Hans’ credibility during the run-up to the war. I still think Hans had his head up his ass and just got lucky (like the broken clock) when he said he could find no WMD and it turned out there were none.

    Everybody posting on this board remembers the days leading up to the war. Joe, do you really “remember” that all the WMD claims were “thoroughly refuted”, or do you just hate Bush (and Republicans) so much that you really think that?

    By the way, did you see the news item that quotes the defense secretary, Gates, as saying “the US has proof that Iran is militarily involved in Iraq”?

  55. Well, if Iran *is* militarily involved in Iraq, it’s our fault because we took out the one man who would have stopped them, Saddam Hussein.

  56. “That was the perception of Hans’ credibility during the run-up to the war.”

    That was YOUR perception of Blix’s credibility, a perception that turned out to be wrong.

    Tell the truth, Graphite, what was it that made you decide that Blix had no credibility? It was the fact that said there were no ongoing WMD programs, right?

    ‘Joe, do you really “remember” that all the WMD claims were “thoroughly refuted”‘ I remember that the Bush administration’s claims about WMDs had been thoroughly refuted before the war began, although a lot of people didn’t realize it.

    “By the way, did you see the news item that quotes the defense secretary, Gates, as saying “the US has proof that Iran is militarily involved in Iraq”?” No, I haven’t.

    Please tell me you’ve learned something about taking these people at their word.

  57. “Please tell me you’ve learned something about taking these people at their word.”

    Joe, who do you mean by “these people”? Gates is a new player.

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