August 02, 2004

WEEK OF FURY

My Reason convention team-leader Matt Welch on our time at Democrat double-fantasy camp:

I have been gratified to learn that some people out there found our Reason coverage to be at least worth noting, and sometimes good for a laugh. Itís the consolation prize for what was really one of the most infuriating and difficult weeks Iíve ever experienced. New York, I can assure you, will be at least 300% better.

Mainly because something will actually happen there, whether it be speeches that might offer a policy besides "If we are attacked, well, we'll fight back, eventually, if Europe allows us" or wildcat rioters storming hamburger joints because they think Ronald McDonald is really Dick Cheney. Matt did all of the heavy lifting in Boston; I think he was hoping for someone to make a series of substantial points, but by the end of day two he looked like this and was becoming visibly agitated by my serial raids on the Reason expense account.

Anyways, Matt's work was terrific; whatever valuable fragments could be retrieved from the collision of evasion and assertion that was DemFest 2004, he got 'em. I came away from the convention with my usual number of thoughts (one). This is it: George W. Bush can run on his record. John Kerry can't.

Posted by Tim Blair at August 2, 2004 05:04 PM
Comments

Thatís a good thought.

Posted by: ForNow at August 2, 2004 at 05:06 PM

I wonder how many people are going to come in and squeal in defense of Kerry's record, and whether or not any of them will know about the other half that contradicts it. . .

Posted by: Sortelli at August 2, 2004 at 05:16 PM

Damn you Sortelli, Kerry fought in Vietnam. This is obviously more important in a war situation than

A) Voting for military funding
B) Leading a country through two successful war..

Damn you!

Posted by: Trolls Inc. at August 2, 2004 at 05:21 PM

I came away from the convention with my usual number of thoughts (one). This is it: George W. Bush can run on his record. John Kerry canít. óTim Blair

By his ďrecordĒ on which he asks us to judge him, John Kerry means up through around 1972.

Would anybody now elect John Kerry if he were just as he was in 1972, transported forward, so to speak, to the present time? Of course not.

So what has John Kerry done since then to merit serious consideration for the Presidency? Nothing.

In fact his 20-year Senate record shows zero leadership & a long series of votes for tax increases & against defense, security, & intel programs. They show that he has been mostly a Wrong-Way Corrigan of defense, intelligence, & foreign policy for two decades.

Posted by: ForNow at August 2, 2004 at 05:28 PM

Trolls - Whoa, whoa, whoa! What's all this crazy talk about Kerry serving in Vietnam about? You made that up!

ForNow - So what has John Kerry done since then to merit serious consideration for the Presidency?

Well, I hear he just now finally reported for duty to make up for all those senate votes he missed.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 2, 2004 at 05:45 PM

George.W is more than welcome to run on his 'record'.

Posted by: Sincerity Slips at August 2, 2004 at 05:52 PM

Nice attempt at a sneer there, SS. It's a record. Whether it is good or bad is up to the voter.

But saying "record" makes you seem like the stupid twat you are.

Posted by: Quentin George at August 2, 2004 at 05:55 PM

Now, where are those weapons of mass destruction? Are they under here? Nope. What about here? Noooo. Over here maybe? Nup. Oh well...Mission Accomplished!!!!Yayyyy

Posted by: George W the stand-up comedian at August 2, 2004 at 05:55 PM

Looks like Sincerity Slips decided to hit the bottle even harder than usual before daring to post here today...she's more of a cultural can't-find-my-ass than a cultural crusader.

Posted by: PW at August 2, 2004 at 05:59 PM

I enjoyed your convention coverage and agree with (most of) your conclusions about it. However, it seems to me that most conventions, Dem and GOP, have been little more than indulgent gabfests, ever since they stopped performing any real purpose, such as actually deciding who the nominee would be. Why is there (seemingly) no protest movement amongst American taxpayers to discontinue public funding for them, given that these days they are just lightweight window-dressing? I would have thought it would be a good populist issue for an "outsider" candidate of the Dennis Kucinich/Pat Buchanan ilk to pick up and run with.

Any thoughts from our American contributors?

Posted by: tim g at August 2, 2004 at 06:00 PM

BTW SS, the currently accepted lefty sneer is "there are no stockpiles of WMD in Iraq", not "there are no WMD in Iraq". Please report back to the factory for a talking points update when the buzz has worn off.

Posted by: PW at August 2, 2004 at 06:02 PM

He had wmd.The Kurds know it.Where are they.HMM?

Posted by: larado at August 2, 2004 at 08:07 PM

"there are no stockpiles of WMD in Iraq", not "there are no WMD in Iraq".

We should make it a game, sort of like "Simom Sez" every time some nobhead screws up like that, we could all squeal excitedly and spam him with urls to articles about the WMD's that have been found.

(hmmm...on the other hand maybe squealing excitedly doesn't quite have the proper RWDB ring to it, we might be mistaken for some lefty that's found another dictator to protect.)

Posted by: Michael at August 2, 2004 at 09:13 PM

Re Bush's record: More WMD will eventually surface, for better or worse. At least we have muddy boots and military assets exactly where they're needed- between Iran and Syria. And Saddam behind bars. And the Taliban on the run. A good start, all in all, by Bush.

Enjoyed the convention coverage by Tim and Matt. Looking forward to the next one.

Posted by: c at August 2, 2004 at 10:58 PM

David Kay testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee:

But I also believe that it is time to begin the fundamental analysis of how we got here, what led us here and what we need to do in order to ensure that we are equipped with the best possible intelligence as we face these issues in the future.

Let me begin by saying, we were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here.

Admit it, move on.

Posted by: bleh at August 3, 2004 at 12:08 AM

I don't remember going to war just because there were stockpiles of WMD in Iraq. I remeber it being something more like we didn't know about his WMD and programs like we were supposed to per agreement.

Posted by: aaron at August 3, 2004 at 12:21 AM

Well, never mind that David Kay's statement predates those findings that Byron mentioned above. Is anybody disputing the notion that Bush et al. overestimated the presence of WMD? Nope. Is anybody disputing the notion that there are absolutely no WMD whatsoever, as lefty bozos like Sincerity Slips keep peddling? You bet we are, and we'll be doing it until the last Leftist has finally gotten it through their thick skull. (I know, fat chance...)

You kindly MoveOn (er, move on) first and quit repeating canards that were disproven by reality long ago, and the rest of us won't need to keep correcting you. Deal?

BTW...nice whiny email, SS. I hope it's okay if I laugh but don't bother to respond.

Posted by: PW at August 3, 2004 at 12:28 AM

This SS character made some sarcastic comment, playing on the joke that Bush made a while back about finding WMDs and the seemingly premature Mission Accomplished announcement. OK. Presumably to make the point that Bush's record is not exactly the greatest, yes? Then you guys start waffling on about finding ancient abandoned WMDs. Huh? Explain it to me slowly, please? ;)

Posted by: bleh at August 3, 2004 at 12:52 AM

Kerry refuses to release plans for his Iraq exit strategy...

"I don't care what it sounds like. The fact is that I'm not going to negotiate in public today without the presidency, without the power."

Um, exactly who is he "negotiating" with? The American voters? "Elect me and maybe I'll tell you what I'm going to do, you sweaty peasants. Don't take that tone with me! Theresa! the whip!"

Can't wait to see him take that attitude into the debates.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at August 3, 2004 at 01:07 AM

Looks like bleh has stumbled across the next level in leftist evasion of the issue..."but they were just old WMD's!" Gawd. Nevermind mate, you're never going to get it. Keep boldly refighting the runup to the Iraq War, I'm sure it helps keep you out of more serious trouble.

Posted by: PW at August 3, 2004 at 02:16 AM

David Kay also said that what we did find in terms of WMD program infrastructure & resources showed that the invasion was even MORE justifiable than we originally thought.

And it was NEVER only about masses of WMD ready to rumble. Why does the Left keep talking all its stupid agitprop, why canít leftists conduct themselves & speak as adults & human beings instead of as the mouthpieces & barristers of twisted goons straight out of a Batman movie?

Posted by: ForNow at August 3, 2004 at 02:23 AM

Please thank the www.reason.com folks for the convention blog; I found it to be a good source of information!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 3, 2004 at 03:00 AM

David Kay also said that what we did find in terms of WMD program infrastructure & resources showed that the invasion was even MORE justifiable than we originally thought

As David Kay says:
"Anyone out there holding - as I gather Prime Minister Blair has recently said - the prospect that, in fact, the Iraq Survey Group is going to unmask actual weapons of mass destruction, are really delusional," he said.

"There is nothing there. There is a programme there. There was an intention of Saddam Hussein at some point to reconstitute it.

"There were clearly illegal activities, clear violations of UN Security Council resolutions. We have accumulated that evidence and really have accumulated that evidence to a considerable degree four months ago.

"There are not actual stockpiles of newly produced weapons of mass destruction."

Mr Kay repeated his previous assertions that the US-led coalition had been mistaken in its assumption that Saddam Hussein had possessed the banned weapons.

"We simply got it wrong," he said. "Iraq was a dangerous country, Saddam was an evil man and we are better off without him and all of that. But we were wrong in our estimation."

Agitprop eh?

Posted by: bleh at August 3, 2004 at 04:02 AM

"Agitprop eh?"

Yep:

"There is a programme there."

"There were clearly illegal activities, clear violations of UN Security Council resolutions. We have accumulated that evidence and really have accumulated that evidence to a considerable degree four months ago."

The rest is talking about stockpiles, and is superfluous.

Posted by: Robert Crawford at August 3, 2004 at 04:34 AM

bleh is too blindered to understand that he has so quoted Kay as to make our case for us. bleh lives in the 20th, maybe the 19th, Century. bleh is deluded that Saddam & his regime had a presumption of innocence as pertaining to our decision to invade. bleh is deluded that Saddam & sonsí established long-term patterns of behavior were irrelevant to judging what he was up to & what he & his sons would eventually be up to. bleh is deluded that all the mandatory UN resolutions against Saddam were repealed by Franceís call for yet another such resolution, when in fact it is France that failed to get them repealed, not even trying. bleh is deluded that the political & logistical limits on our window of opportunity to act against Saddam (who cooperated to the extent that he did only bcause of our troops in Kuwait) were no legitimate factors in our decision to invade. bleh is deluded that there is no significant element of absurdity in sitting around & talking staidly about what the geopolitical situation will be like two decades from now. bleh is deluded that there is no geopolitical or world security impact, to be addressed now while we can, of the accelerating pace of development, in power, accessibility, miniaturization, deadly combinations, etc.óof technologies adaptable for mass destruction. bleh thinks that most of the bridges in our view are way too far off for us to be crossing now. Whether this dieter on agitprop is a neo-isolationist right-winger or a post-humanitarian leftist, bleh is singing We'll go walking out while others shout of warís disaster oh, we wonít give in, letís go living in the past, let us close out eyes; outside their lives go on much faster oh, we wonít give in, weíll keep living in the past.

Posted by: ForNow at August 3, 2004 at 05:30 AM

Thank you, ForNow, that was most eloquent! But think of all the bandwidth you could have saved by just stating "bleh is clueless". At least, that's short enough for bleh's attention span.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 3, 2004 at 05:56 AM

Remember, we didn't just go so much because of the intelligence we had, we went in because of the intelligence we didn't have. And many, many other great reasons. If you cared more than to read the headlines and soundbites. Stuff is still out there, available to the public.

Posted by: aaron at August 3, 2004 at 06:19 AM

I do so like to unload occasionally, thanks.

Posted by: ForNow at August 3, 2004 at 06:59 AM

Unloading is good! Especially on idiot leftoids.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 3, 2004 at 07:31 AM

I quote again:

"Anyone out there holding - as I gather Prime Minister Blair has recently said - the prospect that, in fact, the Iraq Survey Group is going to unmask actual weapons of mass destruction, are really delusional"

I don't remember talking of stockpiles. Please point it out to me.

Posted by: bleh at August 3, 2004 at 12:45 PM

Bleh, here's a suggestion: why don't you get a life instead? No one here really cares about your opinion.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 3, 2004 at 12:56 PM

Change the subject, insult, then refuse to discuss any further. Nice...

Posted by: bleh at August 3, 2004 at 01:08 PM

So bleh, does that mean that Saddam wasn't in material breach of 1441?

OH, wait, what's this you posted?

"There were clearly illegal activities, clear violations of UN Security Council resolutions. We have accumulated that evidence and really have accumulated that evidence to a considerable degree four months ago.

Wow! It's like Saddam was not complying, and now he's gone. The tragedy! The horror!!! Saddam has fallen, oh alas and alack! If only we had just continued inspections, then Iraq would still be safely oppressed to this day! My leftist heart bleeds.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 3, 2004 at 02:20 PM

But noooo. I'm sorry. I took bleh into the land of "I love Saddam", clearly, all he wanted to point out is that we all agree there's no stockpiles of WMD. I mean, it couldn't possibly be that bleh is just some pig-ignorant facist-hugging son of a bitch moron fucking asshole dickweed who regrets that Saddam is no longer in power for fear that it might make Bush look favorable to people who don't like dictators, right?

Posted by: Sortelli at August 3, 2004 at 02:23 PM

Gee, Sortelli, I just thought bleh was clueless!

;-)

Posted by: The Real JeffS at August 3, 2004 at 03:28 PM

I ask again: where do I talk about stockpiles? The only reason I posted was to contradict the "See, we did find WMDs" attempted justification for the war. If you dispute what Kay and many others say, fine! Then you guys started responding to points I never made, perhaps reinforcing Kay's point that "Anyone out there holding... the prospect that, in fact, the Iraq Survey Group is going to unmask actual weapons of mass destruction, are really delusional".

Posted by: bleh at August 3, 2004 at 03:29 PM

But we did find WMD. And as for attempted justifications, your own source is full of actual justifications given that Saddam was not cooperating and we had cause to go in and provide the "serious consequences" for his failure to comply. Are you behind the times or just stupid?

And frankly, if you're going to use words like "attempted justifications" I want you to answer: What was so bad about removing Saddam?

I'm sorry. That's a loaded question. What was so bad about removing Saddam, asshole?

Dang, I just can't get any nicer on that note. Sorry, asshole.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 3, 2004 at 03:51 PM

What about the Sarin claim? The warhead was found to contain an insignificant amount of sarin gas. The armaments were left over from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. "Due to the deteriorated state of the rounds and small quantity of remaining agent, these rounds were determined to have limited to no impact if used by insurgents against coalition forces."

In David Kay's own words:
"We will be digging up smaller pieces for the next 15 years, but we should not wait for every piece and not be able to begin to reconstruct what happened," he said. Kay added that he is "afraid that ambiguity would be used as a delaying function by some people to delay trying to find out what went wrong."

Are insults and links to Fox News the best you guys can do? Here's a refutation of the Polish find mentioned so confidently up-thread: "Sixteen rocket warheads found last week in south-central Iraq by Polish troops did not contain deadly chemicals".

Posted by: bleh at August 3, 2004 at 05:35 PM

Oh okay -- now it's "only poison gas is WMD." Gosh, it's hard to keep up with this movable meme.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 3, 2004 at 08:24 PM

What are you talking about Andrea? Where did I say or imply that "only poison gas is WMD"?

Posted by: bleh at August 3, 2004 at 08:51 PM

Actually, bleh, you haven't "said or implied" much of anything. You're boxing at shadows when others are wrestling with reality.

Saddam was a murderous tyrant, an avowed enemy of the US, a proved owner and user of WMD, a friend of terrorism, a deceitful manipulator and corrupt king-pin, in gross violation of the first Gulf War cease-fire and also UN sanctions, unwilling to submit to inspections absent 100,000 troops amassed at his borders, and a megalomaniac in an unsteady and unravelling Middle East, on whom the developed world depends for oil and in a post 9/11 world of Arab terror aimed at the West.

Now, you tell us- why shouldn't his regime have been in our cross-hairs?

Posted by: c at August 4, 2004 at 12:40 AM

(Sorry, Andrea, for the length of this, but it's a good run-down of Kay's findings, since Kay is so selectively quoted by anti-war-unfazed-by-a-little-sarin types.)

bleh, here is melaniephillips.com August 2, 2004 channeling your beloved David Kay:

"In an interview on October 6 last year, Kay said this:
'Well, we certainly found that ó have not yet found illicit arms. But that's not the only thing the report says. In fact, I'm sort of amazed at what was powerful information about both their intent and their actual activities that were not known and were hidden from UN inspectors seems not to have made it to the press. This is information that, had it been available last year, would have been headline news.'...

(Kay said, in stating his) evidence to the Senate last January:

'We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002...

'A clandestine network of laboratories and safehouses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service...

'A prison laboratory complex, possibly used in human testing of BW agents, that Iraqi officials ... were explicitly ordered not to declare to the UN...

'Reference strains of biological organisms concealed in a scientist's home...

'New research on BW-applicable agents, Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin...

'Documents and equipment, hidden in scientists' homes, that would have been useful in resuming uranium enrichment by centrifuge and electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS)...

'Continuing covert capability to manufacture fuel propellant useful only for prohibited SCUD variant missiles...

'Plans and advanced design work for new long-range missiles with ranges up to at least 1000 km - well beyond the 150 km range limit imposed by the UN...

'Clandestine attempts between late-1999 and 2002 to obtain from North Korea technology related to 1,300 km range ballistic missiles... and other prohibited military equipment.'..."

Kay then listed factors hindering the search for weapons, their components and programs in Saddam's Iraq and post-war, which included on-going threats to scientists, systematic concealment and destruction of documents, and probable transport of materiel across borders.

Posted by: c at August 4, 2004 at 02:00 AM

The warhead was found to contain an insignificant amount of sarin gas.

Ha ha ha! So start saying that Saddam had an insignificant amount of WMD then, fuckface. Seriously. I want every thread you troll to contain this comment. I want you to look every warmongerer in the eye and say "S...S...Saddam had an insiginficant amount of WMD!!!" Well, if only he told the UN that he had an "insiginficant" amount of WMD, he might not be gardening in jail and waiting for the noose right now...

PS - You should be thanking me for giving you so many easy outs, bleh, now you can keep complaining that we are insulting you instead of addressing things like "Why should Saddam still be in power" or everything that C just posted, you pimply pus-sucking facist-licking Saddam defending son of a syphallitic cock-sucking whore.

Posted by: Sortelli at August 4, 2004 at 09:50 AM

Sortelli, Saddam killed an "insignificant" number of Arabs.

Saddam ignored an "insignificant" number of binding UN resolutions.

The UN scammed an "insignificant" amount from the Oil-for-Food program.

Uday and Qusay were killed by an "insignificant" number of bullets.

See, it rolls off the tongue.

Posted by: Quentin George at August 4, 2004 at 05:49 PM

Why bother trying to discuss anything rationally? Let's just attack people with a different opinion and call them Saddam-lovers and appeasers, it's easier hey? Enjoy your echo chamber Sortelli...

'c', does any of that information you quoted from Kay contradict or invalidate his opening statement to the Armed Services Committee, which I quoted, or conclusions he's expressed in more recent interviews? I don't think so, feel free to disagree, but I'm not sticking around to be called names by the juveniles on here.

Posted by: bleh at August 4, 2004 at 05:57 PM

Disagreement = "You're attacking me!"

Oh, go whine to your dorm monitor.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at August 4, 2004 at 08:35 PM

Well Bleh what is your opinion then???

Saddam should still be in power because all signs of his WMDs had nearly gone??

We should have waited until the unicorns & kind fairies told us it was alright??

That you are a morally bankrupt arsehat??

Clown

Posted by: Just Another Bloody Lawyer at August 4, 2004 at 10:27 PM

bleh,

Two words for you re WMD and Saddam: risk assessment. I've no time to discuss just now, but here's a hint- don't just look backward, look ahead.

Here are a few re geo-politics and Iraq: Iran, Syria, Saudia Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan.

A couple of concepts, too: regional political reform and better situated US troops.

Later.

Posted by: c at August 5, 2004 at 02:08 AM