February 05, 2004


The lead letter in today’s Sydney Morning Herald:

Close to a year ago, one late summer Sunday morning, thousands of people gathered in Sydney in a peaceful protest. We were there to say "No war in Iraq. There is not sufficient evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction."

Our Government leaders called us rabble. They said we were unpatriotic and that we were supporters of the axis of evil.

We were correct. History will write a very critical and sad story of the activities of the "coalition of the willing" in which our Government played such an enthusiastic part.

Any chance of an apology to us or to all the innocent people who have suffered so dreadfully in this futile war, Mr Prime Minister?

Margaret Clark, St Ives, February 4

I, for one, am deeply sorry that Margaret Clark of St Ives is so fantastically stupid and sanctimonious. She should read Amir Taheri’s latest:

Those clamoring the loudest about the need for inquiries into the war are trying to narrow the focus to the WMD issue. What they say is simple: Show us the large stocks of WMDs that Saddam held, or admit that we should not have removed him from power.

No one could claim that Iraq never had any WMDs. Exhaustive lists of Iraqi WMDs are available from countless U.N. reports. Just a week before the liberation war started, Iraq admitted it was manufacturing the Al-Samoud missiles in violation of U.N. resolutions.

Let us also not limit the inquiry into the WMDs that Saddam had or did not have on the eve of the war. It is possible that at that time he had destroyed or shipped abroad his remaining WMDs to weather the storm he faced. What is certain, however, is that he had the intention, the scientists and the resources to re-launch his programs once the storm had passed.

Let us establish the circumstances under which the 4,000 mass graves came about and who were the 300,000 skeletons found in them. And should we not find out who organized those gas attacks that killed tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and Iranians in what is now regarded as the biggest use of chemical weapons since 1918?

Our inquiry should also take testimony from the estimated 5.5 million Iraqis who served prison terms of varying length under Saddam and, in many cases, were subjected to tortures unseen since the darkest days of Stalin.

And should we not hear from the former inhabitants of the 4,000 villages that Saddam torched and razed during his infamous Anfal campaign?

The inquiry will have to hear at least some of the 4 million plus Iraqis driven into exile during Saddam's reign of terror. It would also have to provide answers for families who are still searching for more than 10,000 people listed as "missing" after being arrested by Saddam's agents.

Tell us again, Margaret, about “this futile war”.

Posted by Tim Blair at February 5, 2004 01:05 AM

"Our Government leaders called us rabble. They said we were unpatriotic and that we were supporters of the axis of evil."

"We were correct."

Margaret, your perception of the Australian Government leaders was correct.

Bob Carter
Houston, Texas

Posted by: BC at February 5, 2004 at 01:29 AM

Yes, history will write a ``very critical story'' about the liberation of a 25 million people from a murderous dictatorship. I'm sure the Iraqi historians are sighing as we speak about this great injustice done to them.


Posted by: chip at February 5, 2004 at 01:32 AM

Nothing we can say here will cause Margaret to change her views, or plastic-turkey-believers to change theirs. It's like trying to discuss geology with someone who believes that the Grand Canyon is 5,000 years old.

Posted by: Ernie G at February 5, 2004 at 01:38 AM

"Any chance of an apology to us or to all the innocent people who have suffered so dreadfully in this futile war, Mr Prime Minister?
-Margaret Clark, St Ives, February 4"

Dear Ms. Clark...
Best Regards,
The Prime Minister.

Posted by: Wonderduck at February 5, 2004 at 01:42 AM

A sobering thought for Ms. Clark and company:

History, at least for the 20th Century, has often lamented acting too late (e.g., Munich), or in denying democracy (Mossadeq, possibly Allende), or supporting dictators (Batista, Somoza).

But when was the last time we concluded that removing a nasty dictator was the WRONG thing to do?

Posted by: Dean at February 5, 2004 at 02:03 AM

I think a goverment apology to Margaret and her ilk is about as likely as Amir getting one from her. Some innocent lives are more precious than others obviously.

Posted by: gaz at February 5, 2004 at 02:24 AM

No no no. You don't understand. Saddam raping and killing and gassing and torturing his people was OK 'cos he's a darkie and doesn't know any better. It's only when a gunner in a Bradley barbecues a bunch of fascists in a pickup truck with his chain gun that anything untoward has occurred.

The casual racism of the moral relativist Left never ceases to astound me.

Posted by: David Gillies at February 5, 2004 at 02:56 AM

Stalin coined a term for people like Margaret Clark - useful idiots. Thanks to Margaret, dictators will sleep well tonight.

Posted by: perfectsense at February 5, 2004 at 04:07 AM

My family and I were vacationing in Sydney during the "peace" rally, and I remember it well. You can probably imagine how it felt to us American visitors, who were pouring money into your economy, to see our "allies'" disregard. However, I wasn't as upset as I could have been, considering all those protesters looked rather silly than serious, rather impotent than important. Thank God for John Howard--a man with a lot of sense--and the Australians who had the sense to vote for him.

Posted by: amosjo at February 5, 2004 at 06:43 AM

But when was the last time we concluded that removing a nasty dictator was the WRONG thing to do?

Never. But if you try to overthrow a dictatorship and fail, watch out: see Korean War, Vietnam War etc.

Posted by: Quentin George at February 5, 2004 at 06:51 AM

Margaret, you just don't get it do you.

It was a war of liberation!! We did it to free our Iraqi friends. Our intentions are pure: the goodness and efficacy of American power.

Of course, if and when the Iraqis decide to elect an anti-american government, we may have to rethink our commitment to democracy in Iraq, but until then, let freedom reign! God bless Ahmad Chalabi!

Posted by: bongoman at February 5, 2004 at 07:06 AM

"There is not sufficient evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction"

Does anybody remember the protesters saying that pre GW2?

Posted by: Gary at February 5, 2004 at 07:39 AM

Sure hope you enjoyed your holiday in Sydney.
I've been there a couple times - it is probably the most human-friendly city in the western world.

Pity about the protestors, but I think most regular Aussies were pretty pissed of with them. I've been told that most of them were 'whinging poms' and 'bludgers', led by a bunch of 'commie shop stewards'.

Hope that helps ...

Posted by: Arik at February 5, 2004 at 07:51 AM

That's an interesting spin to put on the anti-war protests Arik. whatever makes you feel better I suppose. Any one who questions the unbridled use of military force must be an idiot.

And no, Gary, I don't remember any of the protestors arguing that there was no evidence of WMD. I think to the anti-war crowd, the whole reliance on WMD always seemed a pretext, a furphy for more ideological considerations.

At best, those considerations include a sincere belief in the "goodness & efficacy of American power", as Frum puts it in his recent book co-authored with Perle. That American power is a force for good and that the US is morally bound to use its might throughout the world.

At worst, the WMD farce masked a drive for military and economic domination of an incredibly strategic part of the world.

Posted by: bongoman at February 5, 2004 at 09:13 AM

Ernie G and perfectsense have it just right. I am tired of spending time even thinking about what fools like Margaret think. These useful idiots exist and will continue to live in their nice world. They have been around forever and paying attention to their weeping and moaning only encourages them.

Posted by: Ted at February 5, 2004 at 09:37 AM

You shure dumb son. "Unbridled military force" - what you call an eighteen month crawl through Congress, 25 allies and numerous appeals to the UN ? That looks like one helluva bridle to me boy.

Bongo-drongo, just cause you string a pretty phrase together don't mean shit - it still gotta make some kinda sense son.

Elsewise all you do is reveal the FOOL who you really are.

And look! Bongo-thongo read a book! By Frum & Perle no less. You such a intellectual Bongo, how come you spit out nonsense like a uptight lefty high-school boy - crap like "masked a drive for military and economic domination".

That economic domination cost the US tens of Billions - that they'll never see again.

And Bongo-Bingo: the 'Murricans (and their 25 allies) sure did 'MASK' that military domination good, didn't they ? That gotta be the best 'masked' military campaign I ever see. Who noticed ? Not Bongo-face.

"incredibly strategic part of the world". You saved the best bit for last bone-brain. That region is strategic for just ONE reason - it grows terrorist who come over to 'Murrica and blow up 'Murricans.

And then goes to Asia to blow up Poms and 'Strains in Bali bars.

Gee wouldn't it be so, like, imperialist to try and close that down!

You a prick who hates his own culture and wants it to die - well guess what Bongo-Bum - I am your culture, and I think you should crawl off into a corner and DIE - cause thats what your terrorists would love - so go please them NOW!

Posted by: Arik at February 5, 2004 at 09:47 AM


"At worst, the WMD farce masked a drive for military and economic domination of an incredibly strategic part of the world."

Didn't mask it very well. The clever people of the world saw through this mask. But, we did have them all fooled for a while. Even the noble masses at the UN were fooled into believing there were WMDs in Iraq.

We'll have to think of a better mask as we go forward in our plans for world domination. Don't know what to use as a mask that can better what we had with Saddam and sons. Oh, the problems of conquering the world while trying to hide that's what we're doing!!

Posted by: Chris Josephson at February 5, 2004 at 10:15 AM

Your mock umbrage might be acceptable if you hadn't invaded the wrong country.

Posted by: Miranda Divide at February 5, 2004 at 11:33 AM


don't worry . . . . their time will come.

Posted by: steve at February 5, 2004 at 12:08 PM

And Miranda will be right here whinging and complaining about how evil we are to invade them. Ignore her; she only comes here for attention.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at February 5, 2004 at 12:23 PM

WMD were the reason for going into Iraq. not to overthrow saddam. George W Bush was thinking about himself, not the iraqi people. and he's not doing a good job keeping it saddam free, is he?

Posted by: John at February 5, 2004 at 12:30 PM

Yeah, John, he's not. Coz when they caught Saddam, Bush didn't ship him off to face the stern judgement of the Hague immediately. He's perfectly willing to let the Iraqis have Saddam. The fool!

Posted by: Sortelli at February 5, 2004 at 12:54 PM


If the US, UK, Australia and dozens of other countries had not invaded Iraq, Pakistan would still be selling the plans for nuclear bombs to countries like Libya, who were trying very hard to build them.

Guess what happened? Pakistan is exposed, Libya has capitulated and is letting inspectors crawling all over the nuclear program picking up the plans and backtracking them to their source.

What a GREAT result!

Posted by: Bruce at February 5, 2004 at 01:02 PM

Bongoman, no one is spinning about the peace protests. Apparently, they really are a forum for commies and their dupes! But what if you're right about the WMD arguement? What if it was just one pretext to invading Iraq? Why... what does this do to the popular "You only bring up the humanitarian cause now that there are no WMD" chant that is circling in the anti-war harpy gang? BUSH REALLY HAD A HIDDEN AGENDA, AND IT WAS BRINGING DEMOCRACY TO THE MIDDLE EAST!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Miranda, you warmongering fascist, why do you want us to invade the peaceful people of Pakistan? Give international diplomacy a chance.

Posted by: Sortelli at February 5, 2004 at 01:03 PM


Hrm? Why is my link broken? Is is because I am mysteriously unable to read the instructions above the very comment box? Yes... yes.. that must be it. X_X

No more HTML for me.

Posted by: Sortelli at February 5, 2004 at 01:20 PM

I love these middle-class, Anglo-Saxon lefties like Margaret Clark of comfortable, leafy, upper North Shore suburbs like St Ives (average house value: in excess of $1 million)who decide to pen a letter of protest to dear old Granny Herald. Very much a lefty in the Philip Adams Paddington millionaire mould.

Can you imagine the SMH leading with a letter in broken English from a first-generation, Iraqi-Australian from Campbelltown writing in support of the war. No such luck! The SMH's middle-class lefty readers want to read letters from people like themselves. Besides, the SMH doesn't sell in Campbelltown, (or anywhere else beyond the North Shore and Eastern Suburbs).

Posted by: Freddyboy at February 5, 2004 at 01:28 PM

Ignore her; she only comes here for attention

Isn't that the whole point of these blogs? Attention?

Posted by: LD at February 5, 2004 at 01:47 PM

Missing among the list of bad things Hussein did or ordered done are what his supporters, the US and Europe, did for him to sustain his butchery. To expect his previous allies to have the moral high ground is a bit rich. Especially when the crimes committed by their current allies illustrates that there is not some new, wonderfully altruistic sentiment sweeping the Pentagon or Brussels.

Posted by: fatfingers at February 5, 2004 at 02:53 PM


I cannot see how a country who used to pride herself an "arsenal of democracy" would want to call the Iraq war a "liberation" when she had the dubious record of supporting "democrats" like Macros, Ngo Dinh Diem,Pol Pot, Pinochet, the Shah with his Stasi-like Savak and even Saddam himself in the 1980s. Call a spade a spade, its a war of greed and agression, save all the futile attempt at window-dressing.

Posted by: sickofGOP at February 5, 2004 at 03:03 PM

Don't forget about the incredible cosmic powers, wealth and glory that come with starting a blog.
1.)It's the sweet taste of Freedom of Speech.
2.) It feels nice to express what's on your mind and hear what other people think. That's the point, in my humble 'Murican opinion.

Posted by: RabblerouserinOklahoma at February 5, 2004 at 03:07 PM

"unbridled military force"
No...not even close. Unbridled military force would be the Sunni triangle = world's largest sheet of radioactive glass.

Posted by: Steve B at February 5, 2004 at 03:21 PM

Illin' GOP:

You cite the "STASI-like SAVAK." I'm curious, who were the STASI? Whose side were they on? Do you recognize irony?

What you and Bongoman, etc. seem not to recognize is that there was a war on then, too---namely, the Cold War. And, for the sake of winning that war, we made alliances of convenience, with people who, in better, safer times, we don't have to tolerate. Sorta like, I dunno, allying w/ a bloodthirsty dictator whose body count rivaled Hitler's. You remember him, don't you, Joe Stalin?

The question remains, though. We allied w/ the likes of Marcos and the Shah because we had a greater enemy to face down. What's your excuse for shedding tears over Saddam?

Posted by: Dean at February 5, 2004 at 03:53 PM

I know!

The greater enemy is TIM BLAIR'S BLOG!

Posted by: Sortelli at February 5, 2004 at 04:15 PM

Margaret is incorrect. We thought Iraq had WMD too. We actually said that Iraq was no threat, even if it did have WMD.

The absence of WMD was only really clear after the war started. It did not prove us correct, as it was never part of our case. Put another way, even if WMD had been found, we would still have opposed -and still be opposing - the war.

But it did prove us to be even more correct than we knew. If Iraq was no threat WITH WMD, it sure as hell was even less of a threat WITHOUT them.

Apart from that nuance, which I'm not convinced many of you will understand, I'm with Margaret on this. Surprise.

Posted by: Nemesis at February 5, 2004 at 04:28 PM

Good to see a “me me me, not in my name” peacenik again. Demanding an apology for supposed wrongs committed against her and already rewriting history. Totally self-absorbed, high handed and wrong. If the people of Iraq didn’t count to M. Clark before the war they surely don’t now. An apology won’t help you Margaret.

Posted by: Simon at February 5, 2004 at 05:00 PM

I know this is a nuance you may not be able to grasp... but David Kay disagrees with you on the threat level there and we'd still not know how right you didn't know you were if not for him, Nemesis.

Rogue states that defy international law (no, I don't mean the USA+friends, you lovable clowns) and endorse a barbaric interpretation of religion that glorifies the murder of civilians, excuses rape and oppression, and teaches those whom it starves to become living bombs to be exploited by their masters are, in fact, a threat to the rest of us. Maybe not imminently, but a threat none the less. And they don't go away on their own. And remember, GWB's case for was was not that Iraq was an "imminent" threat, it was that we need to stop waiting for threats to be imminent. Oh, yeah, and that we should stop ignoring or exploiting oppressed countries because they might ram planes into buildings.

Since we lack the resources and the desire to take them all out, we've got to be creative. Taking down the nastiest, easiest target; bullying or dismissing his friends; bypassing the Global Tyrant's Protection Agency; leaning on the countries that are at least willing to talk; and providing the opportunity for the freedom and prosperity we enjoy and take for granted to grow in a place it has been strangled out of . . . well, that might just give people a reason not to blow themselves up to kill infidels like us. We can't do everything and we can't do it perfectly, but that is no excuse to do nothing.

Unless the Nelson Mandela Power Rangers are gonna down from outer space and do their global love and tolerance dance to bring a smile into the hearts of all evil men, frankly, we may have to use force to address the threats you want to ignore. I'm sure the chances that YOU will be personally effected by a murderous regime in the Middle East are slim, and I'm sure you'll never be the direct target of one of the human-hand-grenades they lob at us in general . . . but don't let your small-minded local paranoias or simple greed get in the way of progress and freedom for others, huh?

Posted by: Sortelli at February 5, 2004 at 05:03 PM


You certainly seem to have a bit of knowledge abt the Cold War.. But i am sorry that it is only the US-centric side of the story and it seems you may probably be one of those who cheered with Reagan that US has won and USSR had lost the Cold War.. A far too simplistic black and white version of the Cold War. Anyway Vietnam did illustrate to u thatsupporting a repressive right wing regime does not win the Cold War for you but earned u the 50000 casualties and humiliating withdrawal from Saigon if i have to remind u of that quagmire.

My point is if you are supporting these right wingers that are as bloody as the communist despots, for the sake of God, STOP ALL your pretentious and disceitful preaching to others abt democracy and human rights! One is trying to use all these democratic jargon as a sheep's clothing for a wolf when one sided consciously with these architects of the killing fields. The war on terror requires the appeal to hearts and minds and appeal to US's soft power of cultural appeal and the attraction of her democratic roots. Its a war for the minds of the people not a one that you show you have better firepower and weapons. We are fighting a military war while the terrorists are fighting a political war. In the long run, the politics would triumph over military esp when this is a faceless war unlike the Cold War where you could target the Communists in the Krelim. Got ur priorities really wrong, i suppose?

Posted by: sickodGOP at February 5, 2004 at 06:35 PM

And when by the way Reagan did support Saddam covertly in the 1980s when he is gassing his people and slaughtering them to preserve his Baathist tyranny and carrying out his wars of aggression. Yet im surprised to see his conservative disciple, George W Bush condenming the beligerent despot that his idol had been helping consciously, sounds interesting isn't it? The White House must really be infected by Reagan's Alzheimer’s disease to be so forgetful.

Posted by: SickofGOP at February 5, 2004 at 06:43 PM

And by the way Reagan did support Saddam covertly in the 1980s when he is gassing his people and slaughtering them to preserve his Baathist tyranny and carrying out his wars of aggression. Yet im surprised to see his conservative disciple, George W Bush condenming the beligerent despot that his idol had been helping consciously, sounds interesting isn't it? The White House must really be infected by Reagan's Alzheimer’s disease to be so forgetful.

Posted by: SickofGOP at February 5, 2004 at 06:44 PM

One is no fan of Saddam, but the pt is Bush lied to the public in order to go to a war which its consequences may come back to haunt us. First why depreciate our democratic institutions over a despot? Worth it? Did the war get us more security? No, it get us more scorn and anti-Americanism and our unquestioning friendship with Tel-Aviv set us agianst the entire world when the whole world was outraged by her atrocities. We are squandering the sympathy in post 911 and the soft power that we need to eliminate Islamic extremism which is the root of the problem. Israel shown us that killing even the terrorists leaders didn't get them anything except being caught in a vicious cycle of violence and deaths.

Posted by: sickofGOP at February 5, 2004 at 06:53 PM


I applaud u for calling the UN a "Global Tyrant's Protection Agency" for u know it was envisioned by an American President which later formed as an arm of US foreign policy which is purely ugly since US could marshall three vetoes on the Council(by stubbornly retaining the KMT clique on the seat of China) and control a massive voting bloc of US allies in the Assembly. However in the 1960s US turned her back on it simply because it malfunctioned as a convenient tool for her interests and checked her reckless cowboy actions.

Posted by: sickofGOP at February 5, 2004 at 07:10 PM

Soft power to eliminate Islamic extremism?

I was a Muslim for the first 20 years of my life and I can assure you that soft power does not work with these guys.

But I would like to know your suggestions on what the United States should have done after 9/11 to appease angry Muslims.

Posted by: rainier at February 5, 2004 at 08:47 PM

Anybody know where that Serbo-Croatian sounding guy is to take care of this sickofGOP guy?

Posted by: Razor at February 5, 2004 at 08:53 PM


To no offense, but how can one who have already renounced his faith claim to represent that the view of his former fellow worshippers? What empirical evidence did you have to prove it does not? You are but only one Muslim among the millions of them, know what is hasty generalization? The terrorist recruits are ready to be fed with extreme doctrines because US actions just match what these fanatics are preaching Moral high ground of righteousness and leading a comprehensive alliance had allowed US to defeat the Fascist endeavor to conquer the world, it will work again if the US is able to regain that trust from rest of the world.

You see I am not saying that in this war on terror, the military hardware takes a backseat. What US needs is a full program to combat terrorism decisively and thoroughly. First we need to cement the old alliances and bring law and order back to the world. The multilateral approach did have flaws but what we need is to try and repair it as a world policeman and not join the rogue states into bringing the world back to the law of jungles. The UN system needs the decisive will of the US to support it and enforce law. We certainly did not want to return to isolationism and let UN fail like the League of Nations simply because of the myopic view the Republicans took then. We need to fight a war of the mind by showing that we are sincere in helping the Arabs and one of them is stop our partial policy of supporting Israel without questions. We need to condemn them if they need to be condemn and penalize them when they are out of the line. Others include more aid for social development and cultural exchanges and all these takes time but decisive in our victory over the fanatics.

These did not mean ignoring our defense. Military readiness must be maintained and offensive on Osama and his gang would intensify. While we are prepared to open dialogue with states of concern, we will show that that force will still be employed should they do harm to us and our allies. For instance, Saddam’s case could have been more appropriate if the US hold on to a few months more of inspections and negoti9ations to look as if all options have been exhausted to launch a war and also more prepared for a post-war Japan occupation. The real thing is: Domestic politics drives the urge for war, Bush tried to boost his popularity by going to war in a timetable which suits his own political needs but not the real needs of US and her people as a whole. America and her people has been stabbed in the back by Bush and his war mongering aides. I urge a tougher version of the Old policy of containment and last resort intervention rather than a first measure preemptive strike policy which is to return the world back to the abyss of violence and disorder. That’s how the British had defeated the Malayan communists back in 1948 despite the former being immensely popular initially and where the US failed in dealing with the poorly armed Viet Cong because they propped up the Diem autocracy instead.

Posted by: sickofGOP at February 5, 2004 at 09:42 PM

Just so you know, I'm ashamed this letter writer is from the area of Sydney I live in.

Posted by: Andjam at February 5, 2004 at 09:50 PM

Nah, just nuke them.

Posted by: TFK at February 5, 2004 at 10:23 PM


I have no empirical evidence, sorry. I base my opinions on my day to day contact with Muslims from the moderates to the extreme. (To them I am still a Muslim because it would be extremely stupid for me to publicly renounce Islam.)I generalize based on my experience.

You assume that Muslims all over the world sympathised with the United States after 9/11. I think you got it wrong. The general mood of Malaysian Muslim on 9/12 was "guarded glee" not sympathy. And Malaysia is one of the saner Muslim countries. Imagine what the reaction was in Egypt or Jordan. Estatic.

I fail to see how Islamic extremism can be defeated by being nice. The problem has been brewing since the 70's. It has nothing to do with US foreign policy. Iran called America the Great Satan back when Jimmy Carter was president, and nobody is nicer and spineless than Jimmy.

The fanatics are preaching moral righteousness not because of US policies but because they see US as a morally dissolute country. Ironically Hollywood has contributed more to the negative perception of the US among Muslims compared to its foreign policy. You think cultural exchange programme would work? I'll be suprised if they want to learn anything from the great Satan. Foreign aid doesn't work either. Well, it hasn't work so far in changing the negative perception of US in Egypt and Jordan.

Regardless on how George Bush conducted himself after 9/11, soft power or hard power, the extremist will still continue with their mission.

I say let's give the "hard power" a try and see how the extremist like it. Sooner or later they have to get tired of being killed.

Bill Clinton tried the soft power for 8 years with poor results. It culminated with 9/11.

Posted by: rainier at February 5, 2004 at 11:43 PM

But we're saving trhe environment! Think of the children!

From The Age via UN Environment Programme [sic] and Google:

The Mesopotamian marshlands are returning to life as locals tear down earthworks and open floodgates allowing spring waters to surge on to land drained by Saddam Hussein.

If only I could find a quote equating environmental mismanagement to WMD...

Posted by: Alan M. Robertson at February 6, 2004 at 12:45 AM

Whether or not one believes the US was wrong for alliances formed with less-than-desirable despots in the past, I find it hard to swallow that GWB can be tarred with responsibility for this. If anything, his taking a different approach would seem to me to be a sign of a nuanced approach, and flexibility of thinking, that those of the Left often accuse him of not being capable of. Previous administrations picked rotten leaders in order to combat more rotten leaders, GWB realizes that doesn't work.

Nemesis: Your point is flawed. The idea that you were "even more right" has no merit, as we are discussing two separate points. Secondly, and I've argued this all along, the war was justified not because Saddam had WMDs, but because he might have WMDs. I put the threshold of certainty at around 5-10% -- that is, if there was a 5-10% chance he had them, we needed to go in, given the unique circumstances of this regime.

Finally -- where is any evidence at all that Bush lied? And before you start, I don't mean the presentation of erroneous intel. I mean, documentation that GWB knew for certainty that Saddam did not have WMDs, and intentionally put in place a policy to convince the populace otherwise. In this context, that would be the only true application of the word "lie." So, where are the memos, etc.? I'll be far more convinced of the lie once these items are produced...

Posted by: Jerry at February 6, 2004 at 12:54 AM

If GWB had lied, he should have planted evidence in Iraq to cover his lie.

It just doesn't make sense that he lied.

Posted by: rainier at February 6, 2004 at 02:17 AM

U now, sometiems I fret over the littel spellng errs i maek in my posts.

i applgd u for maekng me feel better, sickofgop

Posted by: Sortelli at February 6, 2004 at 08:48 AM


First, no doubt Jimmy was a nice president, but unfortunately his good intentions and policies were haunted by the bad policies of previous administrations. Certainly Jimmy should not be responsible for backing the Shah’s rotten autocracy but he had to shoulder the blame for failing to save his tottering regime. What other Presidents lack is to be bold enough to try new approaches that might work like him.

I never said the Muslims sympathized with US in post 911, in fact, they cheered like the way our forefathers did when they brought down Hitler and his Nazi tyranny. The US is certainly no Hitler, but have we questioned ourselves why they hate us so much? We failed because we ignore all this anti-American sentiments and carry on as usual without reflection. It takes two hands to clap in every conflict; it would be unfair to blame it squarely on the Muslims and ignore effects of US policy in the Middle East since 1948 (Formation of Israel, not only just in the 70s). Hatred of US does not come in one or two years; it snowballs over the years but we say f**k it and carry on without the consequences in mind and this culminated in 911. To blame either Carter or Clinton would be unfair as their terms did not last from 1948 to 2001. In fact, some who were longer in office should have a bigger pie of the blame (Reagan 1980-1988, George Bush 1988-1992, total of 12 years successively).

I still cannot see how hard power were to achieve anything for us. We deployed over half a million troops and dropped a tonnage of bombs that well exceeded that amount we dropped in WWII in order to defeat the Viet Cong. Did we in the end? As a first rate superpower, we cant even defeat Skinny Uncle Ho then, let alone Osama if we depend only on firepower again. All we got were numerous body bags home, the Tet Offensive and the embarrassing withdrawal from Saigon. You said 8 years of soft power failed to get us anything, but we also see for ourselves nearly half a century of hard power on the part of Israel has hardly achieve anything for her security as well. The danger is we choose to rely on convenient firepower to fight terrorism without a thought the soft power also plays a crucial part in the long run. It cannot yield us results immediately; it takes determination and time while at the same time maintaining military power and offensive on Osama and his gang. We mistakenly filled the place of Britain and France in the postwar years in the ME since 1948 all thanks to the unwise Secretary Dulles, our “imperial” image need a long time to be rid off, but we must start doing it now!

It is quite clear that Bush had misled the public on the WMDs in Iraq. First he claimed that there is WMD now when they can’t find it, they tried to play the democracy card. The occupation of Iraq was not even planned systematically. The fact that they did not rebut Paul but question only his sources; Bush is a minority president that he needed something to boost his popularity. Doesn’t all these make you smell a rat? If he is truly misled himself, he should not be president all the more. We don’t want a man so easily “misled”, so careless to be our Commander-in-chief.

Posted by: sickofGOP at February 6, 2004 at 01:43 PM


If the argument of posing even a minimal potential threat is enough for one to go to war, we will all be heading for Armageddon. Going by your point, then the only way to assure maximum security for us would be the day where the US has planted the Stars and Stripes in almost every corner of the world. First on the list would be Iran, N Korea, Syria and then China and India and Russia… (The list goes on). Other nations also follows: India invades Pakistan, Russia invades Georgia, China invades Japan and Taiwan, Australia invades Indonesia.. Do you see the naïve and fallacious argument behind this? No country could enjoy maximum security until she conquers the world because the armed forces of others would pose a threat no matter how minimal it is. I can see the preemptive strike policy is more ambitious than Hitler’s Lebensraum (meaning extra living space) plan.

Posted by: sickofGOP at February 6, 2004 at 02:04 PM