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1/12/2007
THE “GLORIOUS” BURDEN
CATEGORY: War on Terror

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
The President weeps at yesterday’s Medal of Honor Ceremony for Corporal Jason Dunham.

I must start by stating the obvious. I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist, or liberal know it all who tries to play at psychoanalyzing political opponents by ascribing laughable motivations or evil intent to people whose only psychological malady is that they fail to see the brilliance and simple goodness of liberals and left wing dogma. Armchair Freuds and Jungs abound on the left and it can get rather tiresome being told that you suffer from some kind of mental disease simply because you disagree with someone politically.

But you don’t have to be a trained mental health professional to recognize the fact that the President of the United States is under a terrible burden and that at this moment in history, when all the ancient furies have been loosed to torment him, George W. Bush is feeling the loneliness of his office more keenly than at any time in his presidency.

You saw it in his posture and the way he delivered his televised speech on Wednesday night. His cadence was stiff and unnatural. Rather than flowing from one point to another, the speech seemed choppy and out of kilter. His peroration - usually a chance for any President to hit the ball out of the park - fell flat rather than soar and inspire.

We usually chalk this kind of performance up to the fact that Bush is a poor communicator. But, as Hindraker points out, these set piece Oval Office speeches have seen Bush excel in the past:

In the past, I’ve often said that President Bush has been more effective in televised speeches than he has been given credit for. Not tonight. I thought he came across as stiff, nervous, and anxious to get it over with. The importance of the issue seemed to overwhelm the President’s ability to communicate. I suspect that only a few listeners absorbed more than a general impression of what the new strategy is all about.

Hindraker isn’t the only one who noticed that Bush was way off his game that night. Howard Fineman of Newsweek, who has covered Bush since 1993, said basically the same thing:

George W. Bush spoke with all the confidence of a perp in a police lineup. I first interviewed the guy in 1987 and began covering his political rise in 1993, and I have never seen him, in public or private, look less convincing, less sure of himself, less cocky. With his knitted brow and stricken features, he looked, well, scared. Not surprising since what he was doing in the White House library was announcing the escalation of an unpopular war.

I’m not sure about the President looking “scared,” although I would agree he didn’t look very sure of himself. In short, his speech did not inspire confidence among his supporters and, judging by the reaction in Congress on both sides of the aisle, it appeared to embolden his political foes. The Democrats are seriously considering legislation that would deny the Commander in Chief funds that he feels is necessary to protect the country. You can argue that he is wrong, misguided, or even stupid. You can even argue (and lefties are, of course, doing so) that he is lying through his teeth and that Haliburton isn’t through squeezing all the money out of our Iraq adventure yet - hence the surge in troops.

But what you cannot argue is that Bush is Constitutionally empowered as a result of being elected by a free and fair vote of the people President and Commander in Chief to act as he sees fit to protect the troops under his command and the nation he is responsible for. The coming confrontation with Democrats over funding for the Iraq War will strain our Constitutional government to the limit as age old questions about Presidential prerogatives versus Congressional power of the purse clash and battle lines are drawn that could determine the future security of the country and the world.

Is it any wonder that the President looks a little haggard? Weighed down with the fact that his policies in Iraq are failing, his political position eroding, the enemies of America becoming more aggressive, and many of his old friends deserting him on Iraq, the crushing responsibilities of his office appear to be taking a toll. Contrast this picture below from 2000 with the one above taken yesterday:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Certainly 6 years as President would take a toll on any man - except perhaps Ronald Reagan whose innate optimism and sunny disposition overcame almost all the vagaries and pitfalls of the office that normally turn Presidents into old men before their time.

But what becomes immediately apparent in comparing the two photos is the striking collapse or, more accurately, deflation of the President’s face. The flesh hangs loosely now. He has become a little jowly. And the worry lines have become pronounced on his forehead. He looks tired and frankly, beaten down.

For those who wish nothing but ill for this man, I say shame on you for you know not what you do. George Bush, at the moment is it. History has tapped him on the shoulder and until January 20, 2009 at the stroke of noon, he is the only President we have. If you care one whit about this country, you would hope that whatever happens, the President is able to bear the enormous burden that we have placed upon his shoulders. We may disagree with him on any number of issues. We may believe him to have blundered horribly in Iraq and the Middle East. But to gloat about the pain he is suffering and the loneliness he is experiencing or worse, hope that it all becomes too much for him demonstrates a monumental lack of empathy for a fellow human being and a breathtaking disregard for the well being of the country.

Presidents deal with the enormous burden the office places on them in different ways but they all have felt it at one time or another. Harry Truman used to relate an anecdote from his first official cabinet meeting following FDR’s funeral. The discussion went around the table about war policy toward Japan and then, a silence settled over the room. With a start, Truman realized that all eyes were on him as the cabinet was waiting expectantly for a decision. He said at that moment, he first felt the horrible loneliness of the office and wished devoutly he was back in Missouri.

Lincoln probably suffered from clinical depression for most of his adult life which made his time in the White House during the Civil War a living hell. The country agonized along with him and when he died, it was not uncommon to hear eulogies that compared his suffering and death with that of Jesus. The analogy was taken a step further as many also compared him to the redeemer - a man who died for the sin of slavery and hence, redeemed the country in the eyes of God.

In an article a few weeks ago, Tony Blankley summed up Bush’s slide following the elections in November:

The American presidency has been called “A Glorious Burden” by the Smithsonian Museum, and the loneliest job in the world by historians. As we approach Christmas 2006 Anno Domini, President Bush is surely fully seized of the loneliness and burden of his office.

For rarely has a president stood more alone at a moment of high crisis than does our president now as he makes his crucial policy decisions on the Iraq War. His political opponents stand triumphant, yet barren of useful guidance. Many — if not most — of his fellow party men and women in Washington are rapidly joining his opponents in a desperate effort to save their political skins in 2008. Commentators who urged the president on in 2002-03, having fallen out of love with their ideas, are quick to quibble with and defame the president.

Blankley is surely being disingenuous when he writes that opponents of the war are “barren of useful guidance.” Surrender and retreat is a perfectly viable option to push if you believe the war is already lost and nothing is to be gained by leaving our soldiers in Iraq one moment longer.

Bush does not believe we’ve already lost but it is an open question as to what kind of “victory” he envisions his augmented force can bring him. If he can accomplish what he outlined in his speech on Wednesday night - a large reduction in sectarian violence and the establishment of some kind of viable Iraqi state, then he will have at least avoided catastrophe. The problem is that both those goals cannot be achieved solely by the American military but are heavily dependent on the political actions of the Iraqi government. And given their track record, it is very difficult to be optimistic about a positive outcome.

George Bush is not a stupid man nor is he oblivious to what is going on around him - despite the ignorant commentary from the left about the mental acuity of their political opponents that has dogged Bush and every Republican President since Eisenhower. And watching that ceremony yesterday in which the Medal of Honor was awarded to Corporal Jason Dunham for the heroic act of falling on a live grenade to save two of his comrades, I was struck, as I often am with Bush, about how deeply he empathizes with those who have lost loved ones in the war. The dozens of private sessions he has held with widows, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers of the dead - out of sight of the cameras - are rarely reported on and even more rarely is he given credit for them. By all reports from family members, they are extremely wrenching emotionally as some parents yell at him and berate him for killing their child while others stand aloof, too upset with Bush to even acknowledge his presence.

I don’t care what you think of the man, but going through with those sessions knowing that some of the survivors are likely to accuse you of what amounts to murder takes guts. And, of course, there are many who report that the President’s words and actions comforted them during these private meetings.

The point is simple; whether because of his deep religious beliefs or simply the way he is, Bush’s enormous stores of empathy denote a man who is more likely to become emotionally crippled when the whole ball of wax begins to collapse. I don’t think Bush’s public tears are necessarily indicative of anything except perhaps exhaustion. But we have two long, hard years to go before the President leaves office. And judging by the way he looked during his speech Wednesday night and the way he looked yesterday at the medal ceremony, I am worried that events may simply overwhelm the President if a crisis occurs.

I feel for the man. I disagree with him but he is still my President, the elected leader of the United States. I sincerely hope that his faith in the Almighty and the love of his family can sustain him during the coming months.

By: Rick Moran at 8:50 am
53 Responses to “THE “GLORIOUS” BURDEN”
  1. 1
    gregdn Said:
    9:30 am 

    I think Bush is actually a very good speaker. He has the folksy,easy delivery sort of like Reagan did. The problem right now is that he’s about run out of ideas, and he knows it.

  2. 2
    Ray Said:
    10:13 am 

    What’s worse I wonder, being GWB or having your legs blown of by an IED?

  3. 3
    Rick Moran Said:
    10:17 am 

    You know, I’ve read some pretty ignorant comments on this site. But that one takes the prize.

    The towering straw man you set up in one sentence there is unbelievable. One, of course, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the other. It has nothing to do with the post above. It has nothing to do with rational thought.

    It is, to put it mildly, bullshit. And if that’s the best you can do to contribute to discussion here, you will be banned.

  4. 4
    Rick Moran Said:
    10:18 am 

    Your comment was deleted for being non germane to the post. It couldn’t even be described as shallow. It was just ignorant.

    You gone.

  5. 5
    Hick Said:
    10:28 am 

    For those who wish nothing but ill for this man, I say shame on you for you know not what you do.

    Wishing Bush ill is the single most patriotic thing anyone can do if they truly love America.

    History tapped Bush on the shoulder

    This is pitiful. Did history start a war based on lies that he knew were false? Uh..no. Bush and his surrogates stovepiped the intelligence agents who disagreed with his plan for democratizing the mideast ( very clever, why not teach a pig to whistle? The pig didn’t ask for it. This is what happens when you’re a dumbass like W who had never been out of the country before his presidency and he avoided combat with priviledged placements) and decided to attack Iraq against the advice of his major allies and almsot all of his generals.

    Bush is not the legitimate president of the United States. He is dangerous and sociopathic man. Anyone who defends him is incredibly wrong. and you can wish all day that history paints you well. It won’t.

  6. 6
    Rick Moran Said:
    10:44 am 

    And your clinical evidence that Bush is “sociopathic?”

    There is none of course. Which makes you an ignorant blowhard.

    As for “history tapping Bush on the shoulder” - that’s what happens when the people elect a President - something only a paranoid fool would deny at this point.

  7. 7
    The Thunder Run Trackbacked With:
    10:49 am 

    Web Reconnaissance for 01/12/2007

    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

  8. 8
    Rick Moran Said:
    11:02 am 

    Hick:

    Your comment was deleted for profanity as well as for being personally insulting to the host.

    Read any comment thread on any post. There is plenty of criticism of me - as long as it isn’t personal and insulting it stays.

    Life’s too short to deal with idiots. If you can’t be civil and refrain from using profanity (too much of which gets this site banned from many libraries) then go somewhere else.

  9. 9
    Rick Moran Said:
    11:16 am 

    Your comment was deleted for being non germane to the post and insulting to the host.

    Buh-bye.

  10. 10
    Mary Kay Smedstad Said:
    11:18 am 

    ”This is what happens when you’re a dumbass like W who had never been out of the country before his presidency and he avoided combat with priviledged placements) and decided to attack Iraq against the advice of his major allies and almsot all of his generals.”

    When something like this is posted, not any part of it being true, one knows that such ignorance must be ignored. But it is sad that the Left is only able to deal in lies to further their agenda.

    I totally disagree with Rick. President Bush and those working with him have a very workable plan and the effects have already been positive, except for those who deal only in doom and gloom and refuse to attempt to follow their vision.

  11. 11
    Fahagie Said:
    11:44 am 

    Good one, Rick. It’s always amazed me why anyone would want to be President. In my lifetime I’ve always thought that Clinton had more fun in the role than any other President - and that’s got nothing to do with Monica, who in the long run caused more pain than anything else. But if you look at the 2000 and 1992 pictures you can see it took quite a toll out of him too.

    At the time of the Monica stuff I felt bad for Clinton. I thought he should have resigned for perjury, but when it was clear he wouldn’t and that the votes for impeachment weren’t there I think the Republicans should have dropped it as my call for resignation is a tight one. I feel there should be a bright line at certain things, like perjury, that should disqualify one to be President. Others don’t and I can understand that.

    But Clinton never went through what Bush has had to go through. Open revolt within his own branch, all kinds of ridiculous accusations (see Hick above, which would be funny except for the fool actually believes what he wrote). I deplore what’s happened to our politics and what will happen once a Democrat becomes President again, and the worm turns. NOTHING is off the table now. Once you’ve crossed the threshold of Democratic LEADERS mouthing the same idoicy of the likes of Hick there can be no expectation of decorum or fair play. If we weren’t so damn rich this country would split - of that I have no doubt.

  12. 12
    Sirius Familiaris Said:
    11:57 am 

    Rick,

    When I read this entry, I knew you’d be deleting a lot of comments. Any blog commenter - whatever their polticial persuasion - who thinks they can possibly fathom the responsibilities that accompany the Presidency of the United States is a) an unapologetic egomaniac, b)an idiot with a room temperature IQ or c) both.

    The more I read this stuff, the less I like Americans. This rancor can be witnessed in all corners of the ’sphere, but, as I’ve stated numerous times, something is seriously wrong when a growing number of Americans look across the table and begin seeing enemies rather than fellow citizens.

  13. 13
    Flopping Aces Trackbacked With:
    12:44 pm 

    RIP Marine Cpl Dunham

    Marine Cpl Dunham was awarded the Medal of Honor yesterday in a ceremony given by President Bush.  Below you will find the whole video of the ceremony: CITATION: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above…

  14. 14
    Carol Johnson Said:
    1:21 pm 

    I know that the President is under a tremendous strain. I mean…who wouldn’t be under these trying times. I will just say one thing. It takes an extraordinary amount of courage to do what’s right for the country.

    God bless you, Mr. President.

    Carol

  15. 15
    Jonathan Said:
    1:27 pm 

    I’m sorry but I have no sympathy for George W Bush. Bush wanted this unnecessary war and pulled out all the stops to get it. Bush thought the war would be easy and quick but allowed his handpicked SecDef, Donald Rumsfeld, to overrule the expert opinion of military professionals and invade Iraq with woefully inadequate forces to do the job at hand and no plans for the occupation. I hold Bush and his administration fully responsible for thoroughly botching what could have been a difficult but not impossible war and turning it into the mother of all FUBARs. Note that I in no way whatsoever blame the military, they did their duty as they were ordered by their ignorant and willful civilian superiors and they did it to the absolute best of their abilities.

    My heart aches for the dead and injured, their loved ones and their friends. A boy I know that my daughter went to middle school with still lives in my neighborhood, he came back with only one leg. My sympathies also lie with the troops currently in Iraq and their families at home missing them and waiting fearfully for that sickening notification of their loved one’s death, I can only imagine their terror and despair when they get that final knock on the door. It is only by sheerest chance that my own son in law didn’t go to Iraq, he got out of the Marine Corps with a partial disability only a few weeks before the stop loss orders started coming down.

    George W Bush made his bed of thorns through his own ignorance, arrogance and hubris, let him lie in it I say.

    No leader should put troops into the field merely to gratify his own spleen; no leader should fight a battle simply out of pique. But a kingdom that has once been destroyed can never come again into being; nor can the dead ever be brought back to life. Hence the enlightened leader is heedful, and the good leader full of caution.

    – Sun Tzu

  16. 16
    Andy Said:
    2:51 pm 

    I’m no great lover of GWB, but the strain of the office is unmistakable. Some of the people here who spew such hatred at the man I bet would be ecstatic if he dropped dead from the strain. Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it - President Dick Cheney.

    I actually met GWB about a year ago and I was shocked to see him in person. He looked so much older and more tired than he looks on TV (also shorter, btw). He shook my hand, made a nice comment about my kids and moved on. They say the office ages people, and with respect to GWB, I don’t think there’s any doubt.

    Whatever one can say about the policies and mistakes of the Bush administration, I’ve always felt that he was a true believer in what he was doing. Unlike Clinton, who’s policies seemed to shift with the tides, Bush has never been afraid to go for what he believes in. Tossing out the ISG report and going with his own plan is but one example. Even though it’s bitten him in the ass many times, I can respect that kind of attitude because at least it’s clear where he stands unlike the typical politician who has conflicting talking points depending on the audience or they shift their views to whatever will get them elected. The other side of that coin is that I believe he really does personally feel the impact of the mistakes he’s made. The tear in that picture is genuine in my view.

  17. 17
    Abu Daboo Doo al Bedrocki Said:
    3:13 pm 

    Great post. I would have to say that most US Presidents have had a very rough time of it, just the nature of the beast. And I would say that any President who leads during a time of war will have the added stress of knowing that his decisions may cost the lives of his countrymen. That said, my Father-in-law has a saying: ‘if you refuse to make a decision, the decision will be made for you’. I think that is where we are as a country. President Clinton, despite his personal foibles, made a very bad mistake by not acting to defend US interests when they were attacked (Khobar towers, US Embassies in Kenya & Tanzania, USS Cole). His refusal to make a difficult decision caused the emboldened Islamists to believe they can attacked US interests without retribution (other than dozens of FBI agents investigating and international arrest warrants being issued). Unfortunately, GWB was forced to decide a course for our country that was difficult and trying. Nobody should forget his speech on Sept 16, 2001 (?) to the US Congress where he stated that it would be a war like no other we have ever faced, and it will be long and arduous, and will take many years to win. This speech is conveniently forgotten by those raised on MTV who have the attention span of a blowfly.

    The US and our allies won WW2 with the full support of the American people, including the media. I don’t think we would have been able to win if our own prominent countrymen were on the airwaves repeating the same kinds of propaganda as Tokyo Rose. This is what we have come to, our own sense of freedom of speech is helping to destroy us.

    Thanks for your great article and your site. I like that you try to foster a polite conversation among your posters, rather than a disrespectful and profane Jerry Springer-meets-Crossfire kind of approach.

  18. 18
    Sally Vaci Said:
    5:42 pm 

    The most polite way I can describe this column is: a puddle of drivel. If I hadn’t been reading you for awhile, and didn’t know you were capable of far better use of your time, I’d wonder if you’d been out drinking with Peggy Noonan last night.

    Good. God. I do not appreciate you painting this sad sack picture of my president… while pretending to come to the defense of the poor, emotionally crippled loser. And then act like you’re really noble to delete comments from the disturbed individuals you court with this hogwash. It’s the kind of blather I might expect to hear on The View.

    Meanwhile, guys like Guiliani & Gingrich write about “success” and offer helpful, practical ways to succeed in Iraq.

    A couple days ago, before the Prez even delivered his speech, I believe you wrote that you’d ‘lost faith in him.’ Now, it appears you have the need to prove that to yourself, and innocent readers. Well, sir, I have not lost faith in GWB. Not for one second. And your “feelings” mean nothing to me.

    I stand proudly with George W. Bush.

  19. 19
    Kate Said:
    6:54 pm 

    Rick, the President is an emotional guy. While I don’t deny he’s had a rough run, I recall reading about Bush crying at a televised cabinet meeting right after 9/11. Colin Powell, in his usual self-serving way, commented in a Bob Woodward book that he was concerned with the President showing such weakness right after the attacks and what the enemy would think.

    Bush will earn his salary in the months ahead. He will have to turn this around on the ground and mount a much better communications effort. He needs to counter the media in him speeches and media events, but he needs a communications “blitz” to counter the coordinated media attemtps to destroy him and his policy.

    Tears at a memorial ceremony for a true American hero do not concern me, they move me. His poor delivery of his critical speech does concern me, since it makes me wonder what’s up with this White House team.

  20. 20
    brattleboot Said:
    8:17 pm 

    GWB was a bad investment when not elected at the beginning and continues to pay the negative dividends of any poor choice. He has created a debt to history with his massive ignorance about the Middle East and his nearly incalculable arrogance about America. This combination has been fatal to over 3000 American soldiers and countless Iraqis. For this he shows no grief or sense of shame.

  21. 21
    Jonathan Said:
    9:04 pm 

    The more I read this stuff, the less I like Americans. This rancor can be witnessed in all corners of the ‘sphere, but, as I’ve stated numerous times, something is seriously wrong when a growing number of Americans look across the table and begin seeing enemies rather than fellow citizens.

    It’s not as bad, yet, as it was in 1861.

    I’ve been watching the gradual radicalization of the US electorate in general, and politicians in particular, for many years now. The problem, it seems to me, is that there are two roughly equal sized blocs of the voting public that have radically different views of what government is and what it should do. When either bloc seizes power, they set out to implement the governmental agenda of those who brought them to power. To both sides, the other side’s agenda is anathema, to be fought tooth and nail at all costs.

    I think it is telling that GW Bush, who ran as a “uniter, not a divider”, has in the five plus years since 9/11/2001 managed to take a nation more united than I’ve seen in my lifetime and divide it more bitterly than I’ve seen it in my lifetime, with the possible exception of Vietnam and the Nixon resignation.

    I think one party rule is bad for America, the American government works best when it is divided and the various branches can check and balance each other as the founding fathers intended.

    The internet has been at least somewhat responsible for the growing divisions in American society. It allows zealots on both sides to segregate themselves into echo chambers where their rhetoric enters into a positive feedback loop and spirals ever more out of control. I’ve been banned from Democratic Underground for being too conservative and from Free Republic for being too liberal. Neither side is willing to admit that maybe, just maybe the other side has some valid points. Both sides play “gotcha” with the tiniest details of what the other side says or does. Both sides are hypocritical and incapable of recognizing their own hypocrisy.

    I’m argumentative by nature, whatever the prevailing wisdom might be of those around me I see the flaws in their positions and just can’t help pointing out those flaws. Needless to say, this makes me a lot of enemies.

    I really try to take the objective approach and keep my own emotions out of my arguments, but like all humans I’m imperfect and very often fail in my objectivity.

    What the solution might be to the continually escalating divisions in American society I have no clue. It will be up to calmer and wiser heads than mine to find and pursue any solutions.

    Good Night and Good Luck

  22. 22
    Jonathan Said:
    9:38 pm 

    The US and our allies won WW2 with the full support of the American people, including the media. I don’t think we would have been able to win if our own prominent countrymen were on the airwaves repeating the same kinds of propaganda as Tokyo Rose. This is what we have come to, our own sense of freedom of speech is helping to destroy us.

    By this point in the timeline, the US and the Allies had already won WWII, a war that was forced on us and for which we were unprepared militarily. Much of the Pacific Fleet was destroyed at Pearl Harbor on the first day of US involvement in WWII. On December 8, 1941, the day after Japanese forces attacked the American military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Franklin Roosevelt addressed Congress and asked for a Declaration of War with Japan. The Senate and House of Representatives approved the war declaration unanimously with the exception of one vote - Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin became the first member of Congress to vote “no” on both the declaration of war on Germany during World War I and the declaration of war on Japan in 1941 - and FDR signed the resolution that day. The American people and American industry were mobilized and a truly shared sacrifice was demanded of all. Taxes were raised and war bonds were sold to adequately finance the war effort.

    In contrast, the war in Iraq was a war of choice for which we had plenty of time to prepare. Rather than being called to a common sacrifice, the American public was told to “go shopping”. Taxes were not raised and money was borrowed from Japan, China and other foreign powers to finance the war. The American people had and have no emotional investment in this war and the only ones doing any sacrificing are our brave servicemen and women and their families and friends.

    A nation or a people are drawn together by common sacrifices. When everyone is seen to be sacrificing it makes the individual more likely to accept those sacrifices. GW Bush has never called on the American people to sacrifice in any way, that is why most of us are apathetic and disconnected from the sacrifices our military is suffering in our name.

    I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.

    You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

    You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.

    Winston Churchill, May 13, 1940

  23. 23
    Rick Said:
    11:06 pm 

    You know, you’re all absolutely correct.

    This blog IS a puddle of drivel.

  24. 24
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    2:20 am 

    This was the most well written blog post I have EVER read. Fantastic job sir. I salute you. I like your intellectual honesty.

    You Lefties screaming insults are ignorant and lacking any facts or true Liberal COMPASSION when somoene says something you disagree with.

    In 2002 and 2003 it was reported that the NSA satellites had taken satellite photos of Iraqi Convoys leaving suspected chemical facilities and going into 3 sites in Syria.

    Saddam Hussein’s #2 Iraqi Air Force General, General Sada, testified that Chemical Weapons were transported into Syria disguised as a “humanitarian” aid into Syria in 2002 and 2003 before the invasion:.
    http://newyorksun.com/

    These 20 planeloads are what General Sada said contained the Chemical Weapons:
    http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/ACOS-64BRQW?OpenDocument&rc=3&cc=syr

    Saddam Hussein said those 20 planeloads contained “humanitarian” assistance, but he was under U.N. Sanctions?!
    He said he didn’t have enough humanitarian supplies, which is what he used for the excuse to let his own people starve??!!

    But he had enough to send 20 planeloads of “humanitarian aid” to Syria??!!

    ————————————————————————————
    And this was further validated by Nizar Nayuf (Nayyouf-Nayyuf).
    “A Syrian journalist who recently defected from Syria to Western Europe and is known for bravely challenging the Syrian regime, said in a letter Monday, January 5, 2004, to Dutch newspaper “De Telegraaf,” that he knows the three sites where Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) are kept. ”

    http://www.2la.org/syria/iraq-wmd.php

    ——————————————————–
    Now if you want to talk about chemical weapons/anthrax getting into the hands of al-Qaeda or insurgents that has been done by Syria as recently as 2004.

    10 al-Qaeda terrorists were captured in Jordan with more than 20 tons of Chemical Weapons. The reported targets were the Jordanian prime minister’s office and the headquarters of Jordanian intelligence, and the U.S. Embassy.
    It has been reported that up to 100,000 could have been killed in the Terrorist Bombing.

    Many of the chemicals had only been produced by Iraqi Scientists! And Syria gave them to al-Qaeda.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3635381.stm

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/04/26/jordan.terror/

    http://www.chinadaily.net/english/doc/2004-04/27/content_326599.htm

    IN a live televised Jordanian interrogation those al-Qaeda terrorists admitted to receiving the 20 tons of WMDs from those three Syrian Sites reported by General Sada and seen by NSA satellite photos.The al-Qaeda terrorists also received training at those Syrian Sites.
    ———————————————————————–

    You also want to talk Diplomacy? Saddam Hussein signed a Cease Fire agreement and agreed to disarm and agreed to inspections. He broke both agreements.

    Let’s look at Saddam’s track history of non-compliance to inspections:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/unscom/etc/cron.html

    Not only did Saddam Hussein have a 12 year history of not complying to his own Cease Fire Agreement he shot down a U.S. Plane 1 month before 9/11!

    That is an act of WAR in itself. Saddam was asking for war and he got it!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1511540.stm

    Tariq Aziz even bragged that they were able to upgrade their anti-aircraft technology with brand new technology illegally purchased during the U.N. Sanctions.

    Saddam got what he deserved and you idiots posting your Liberal moral relativism makes me puke.

  25. 25
    The Coffeespy » How Wide the Gulf Pinged With:
    10:43 am 

    [...] From the Right - Rick Moran is one of the most thoughtful posters on the web.  Read his posts on the President’s burden. [...]

  26. 26
    Joe Helgerson Said:
    11:01 am 

    Yeah, all the wmd’s went to Syria, the war would be won in 6 months, the oil revenues would pay for the war, the new Iraq democracy would be a beacon of hope in the Middle East, freedom is on the march….. Bush and Rummy were smarter than the historians and the generals, you reap what you sow. Read Fiasco by Thomas Ricks and then discuss this war and its leaders. Bush has caused his own pain and divided this country. I won’t defend him or his ilk.

  27. 27
    Lorna G. Tippet Said:
    12:42 pm 

    Right on Rick!
    May God blest and support GWB and give him strenth and grace.

  28. 28
    Jonathan Said:
    2:23 pm 

    Saddam got what he deserved and you idiots posting your Liberal moral relativism makes me puke.

    I’ve read all the posts in this thread and I’ve not seen anyone defending Saddam.

    Perhaps you could provide a quote or two where someone in this thread has defended Saddam.

    Obviously, your reading comprehension is far and away better than my modest skills since you can glean information that I totally miss.

  29. 29
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    4:39 pm 

    Hey Jonathon,

    Care to address any of the facts presented?

    Rick has had to delete many posts due to Liberal idiots venom.

    Get a clue.

    Typical response from a Lefty instead of responding to any facts you put up a strawman and want to get personal.

  30. 30
    Jonathan Said:
    7:43 pm 

    Sgt Thomas:

    You got personal first sir. (yes I know, tu quoque)

    I already admitted you are more intelligent than I, what more do you want?

    Your first link wouldn’t open in my browser.

    Your second link has no mention of WMDs.

    Your third link seems to be valid but it never mentions the nature of the WMDs. A nuclear weapon program requires a truly massive infrastructure which would be hard to ship in twenty airplane loads. The US nuclear fuel program during WWII at Oak Ridge Tn. was the largest building in the world at the time.

    OK, Saddam had chemical and/or biological weapons.

    Your fourth link mentions Al Queda and chemical weapons but does not state where they came from.

    Ditto your fifth link.

    Ditto your sixth link.

    Your seventh link timeline ends in 1999

    Your eighth link, the plane was an unmanned spy drone but the article mentions that a U2 was narrowly missed. I had no idea we still used U2s, I thought they had been retired some time ago in favor of the SR71.

    OK, I’ve looked at your links, now here is one of mine.

    At a press conference on 24 February 2001 during Powell’s visit to Cairo, Egypt. Answering a question about the US-led sanctions against Iraq, the Secretary of State said:

    We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions — the fact that the sanctions exist — not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein’s ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq…

    If Saddam had WMDs in 2001, why would Colin Powell assure the Egyptian government that he did not?

    Did you know that a terrorist cell was broken in the USA that had chemical WMDs

    And the funny thing is that it never made it beyond the local news in Tyler, Texas.

    “This was a huge arsenal,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston, “absolutely a huge arsenal of military style weapons.”

    Found in Noonday were hundreds of bombs and machine guns, and 500,000 rounds of ammunition. The inventory list of what was found is extensive. But the most startling discovery was the combination of sodium cyanide, acid and gunpowder. Mixed together it becomes a lethal chemical bomb capable of killing everyone inside a 30,000 square foot building. Authorities believed Krar a threat to national security, suspecting him of being a part of a “criminal scheme” to violently attack the U.S. Government.

    “We have yet to figure out the actual destination of any of these bombs or any of the devices,” said Featherston, “but I don’t think you possess these weapons for defensive reasons.”

    Go ahead and do a search, you won’t find it on any national news.

    I wonder why that might be?

  31. 31
    Jonathan Said:
    7:56 pm 

    Sgt Thomas:

    The question is, now that we are in Iraq and it has descended into bloody chaos, what do we do next.

    Do you have any suggestions?

    Even though I seriously doubt it will do any good, for reasons I have already expounded upon numerous times, I’m in favor of allowing President Bush to go ahead and increase troop levels as he sees fit. After all, Bush is the CiC and has far better intel than any of us just posting on a blog.

    I think we need to try everything within our power to prevail in Iraq. I just hope that we do not get trapped like a coyote in a spring trap and have to chew our own leg off to escape.

  32. 32
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    10:11 pm 

    I agree Jonathan we must prevail in Iraq, but if you knew or had a family member who actually was serving in Iraq you would have a completely different perspective on Iraq.

    90% of Iraq is secure and stable. Baghdad is not and if it is secured we win in Iraq.

    This the plan for winning in Iraq. If U.S. Troops are allowed to do what they do best we will bring stability to Baghdad, Iraq. This also takes into account Prime Minister al-Malaki’s pledge to not hinder attack’s on Shia Militia’s and death squads along with cooperation by Iraqi Forces in this endeavor as well.

    1) Establishing security in Baghdad is paramount, along with severing the rat lines from Syria and Iran. To achieve security in Baghdad, 17,500 U.S. troops will partner with an additional 20,000 Iraqi troops and police (18 brigades total). This is a return to the successful partnering program that was used in Anbar province and elsewhere prior to turning over more control to Iraqi units. To achieve this, the U.S. is sending in 5 additional Army brigades. Three brigades are having their deployment schedule accelerated. Anbar province will receive 4,000 additional Marines.

    2) The plan is clear that the Iraqi government must take responsibility for security, and commit to ending the actions and dismantling the death squads and militias (read Sadr). Prime Minister Maliki has just fired a warning shot across the bow of the Mahdi Army. “Prime Minister al-Maliki has told everyone that there will be no escape from attack. The government has told the Sadrists (the political movement that supports the Mahdi Army), if we want to build a state we have no other choice but to attack armed groups,” a senior Shiite legislator and close al-Maliki.

    3) The Rules of Engagement (ROE) will be modified to remove restrictions on hunting terrorists, death squads and militias. Iraqi political interference will not be tolerated. It is not clear if this means the end of the ‘catch & release’ program, where known insurgents are freed do to the current flaws in the legal system.

    4) The Iraqi Army will be expanded (this isn’t new news) “from 10 to 13 Army divisions, 36 to 41 Army Brigades, and 112 to 132 Army Battalions.” The Iraqi military will form a National Operations Center, National Counterterrorism Force, and National Strike Force. Police reform is a priority.

    5) The new strategy emphasizes getting “all elements of the national power” involved in Iraq. State, USAID, Commerce and other agencies will play a larger role in Iraq. Provincial Reconstruction Teams will be embedded within each Brigade Combat Team. The numbe rof PRTs will double. The number of State employees outside of the Green Zone will increase from 100 to 400. Bureaucratic snags to get personnel deployed will be lifted Mr. Snow indicated the department have into the plan.

    6) The Military and Police Transition Team program will continue, and will be expanded. The plan is not taking a blanket approach by repartnering all units with U.S. forces. This allows units that are developing well (as they are in Fallujah) to continue to develop on their own.

    7) The Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP) will be reinstated, and $350 million dollars will be allocated. This will place money in the hands of the military combatant commanders to spend money in their Area of Operations as they see fit. CERP is extremely popular among military leaders, and has been described as an effective tool in working the local populations.

    We will see. Agree or disagree with the Iraq War we all must pray for success in Iraq now.

  33. 33
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    10:28 pm 

    Here is the link about Saddam Hussein’s #2 Air Force General speaking about transfering chemical weaposn into Syria.

    http://www.nysun.com/article/26514?page_no=2
    Iraq’s WMD Secreted in Syria, Sada Says
    By IRA STOLL
    Staff Reporter of the Sun
    January 26, 2006

    The man who served as the no. 2 official in Saddam Hussein’s air force says Iraq moved weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war by loading the weapons into civilian aircraft in which the passenger seats were removed.

    The Iraqi general, Georges Sada, makes the charges in a new book, “Saddam’s Secrets,” released this week. He detailed the transfers in an interview yesterday with The New York Sun.

    “There are weapons of mass destruction gone out from Iraq to Syria, and they must be found and returned to safe hands,” Mr. Sada said. “I am confident they were taken over.”

    Mr. Sada’s comments come just more than a month after Israel’s top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Moshe Yaalon, told the Sun that Saddam “transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria.”

    Democrats have made the absence of stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq a theme in their criticism of the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in 2003. And President Bush himself has conceded much of the point; in a televised prime-time address to Americans last month, he said, “It is true that many nations believed that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. But much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong.”

    Said Mr. Bush, “We did not find those weapons.”

    The discovery of the weapons in Syria could alter the American political debate on the Iraq war. And even the accusations that they are there could step up international pressure on the government in Damascus. That government, led by Bashar Assad, is already facing a U.N. investigation over its alleged role in the assassination of a former prime minister of Lebanon. The Bush administration has criticized Syria for its support of terrorism and its failure to cooperate with the U.N. investigation.
    =====================================================

    And this is a stroy written in talking verifying General Sada’s story about his planeloads of “humanitarian assistance” to Syria.
    General Sada says it was chemical weapons.
    http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/ACOS-64BRQW?OpenDocument&rc=3&cc=syr

    In 2003 Saddam Hussein’s Nuclear Scientist Dr Obeidi also testified that he was ordered to hide key nuclear documents, nuclear blue prints, and key nuclear centrifuges needed to reconstitute Saddam’s clandestien nuclear weapons program.

    Dr Obeidi testified he was ordered to hide these by Saddam Hussein’s order and be “prepared” to reconstitute Iraq’s clandestine nuclear weapons program.
    http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/06/25/sprj.irq.centrifuge/

    It was also reported that Saddam Hussein already possessed 500 tons of uranium and it was secured in the 2003 invasion.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3009082.stm

    That was enough uranium to arm 142 nuclear weapons if Saddam Hussein’s clandestine nuclear weapons program was reconstituted.

    I am not going to get into semantics.

    After 9/11 the threat of Saddam Hussein giving chemical weapons to al-Qaeda was a real threat.

    President Clinton even stated that he believed Iraq maintained a chemical and biological aresenal of WMDs after he left office. President Clinton had to remove inspectors in 1998 due to Saddam’s non-compliance to weapons inspections. When 9/11 happened Iraq had not had a weapons inspections for 3 years!

    I believe Bush made the correct decision and Democrats are trying to re-write history. It hurts to have the country so viciously divided, but you are entitled to your opinion.

  34. 34
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    10:32 pm 

    Jonathan,

    Thanks for the link! http://www.kltv.com/Global/story.asp?S=1562621

    Holy crap that was a huge arsenal!

    Great job by the FBI and it disgusts me that our main stream media ignored this story.

  35. 35
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    10:42 pm 

    Here is another link to a June 2002 story talking about Iraq sending planeloads of “humanitarian assistance” to Syria.

    http://wwwnotes.reliefweb.int/w/rwb.nsf/480fa8736b88bbc3c12564f6004c8ad5/18027974e7eb4adc49256bd4000bf0b9?OpenDocument

    General Sada testified those plane flights actually contained chemical weapons.

  36. 36
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    1:31 am 

    I would also like to any one calling Bush a “liar”, about the threat of Saddam Hussein, do you believe President Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Madeleine Albright, John Kerry, Sandy Bergler, all lied, also? I don’t.

    I believe they all told the truth about the threat of Saddam Hussein and after 9/11 Saddam’s games and threats could no longer be tolerated.

    http://www.cnn.com/US/9812/16/clinton.iraq.speech/

    December 16, 1998
    Web posted at: 8:51 p.m. EST (0151 GMT)

    WASHINGTON (CNN) — From the Oval Office, President Clinton told the nation Wednesday evening why he ordered new military strikes against Iraq.

    The president said Iraq’s refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors presented a threat to the entire world.

    “Saddam (Hussein) must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons,” Clinton said.

    Operation Desert Fox, a strong, sustained series of attacks, will be carried out over several days by U.S. and British forces, Clinton said.

    “Earlier today I ordered America’s armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces,” Clinton said.

    “Their mission is to attack Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors,” said Clinton.

    Clinton also stated that, while other countries also had weapons of mass destruction, Hussein is in a different category because he has used such weapons against his own people and against his neighbors.
    ============================================================

    http://web.archive.org/web/20040204225854/www.johnkerry.com/pressroom/speeches/spc_2003_0123.html
    Quote:
    John Kerry (Jan. 23, 2003)

    “Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime … He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real…”

    http://www.cnn.com/US/9802/04/us.un.iraq/

    Quote:
    Bill Clinton (Feb. 4, 1998)
    “One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”

    http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9802/01/iraq/

    Quote:
    Madeleine Albright (Feb. 1, 1998)

    “We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/index/iraq/iraq172.htm

    Quote:
    Sandy Bergler (Feb. 18, 1998)

    “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”

    http://www.house.gov/pelosi/priraq1.htm

    Quote:
    Nancy Pelosi (Dec. 16, 1998)

    “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”

    I believe President Clinton and President Bush told the truth but anti-Bush haters can’t have it both ways.

    Did they both “lie” or tell the truth?

    Do you also support President Clinton’s decision to sign the “1998 Iraqi Liberation Iraq” endorsing “REGIME CHANGE” for Iraq?
    This was approved by a Majority vote of Democrats and Republicans.
    http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/libera.htm

  37. 37
    Jonathan Said:
    2:10 pm 

    Here’s an interesting quote I found today:

    ‘‘Just as the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan emboldened and enlarged al-Qaida, just as our withdrawal from Somalia encouraged them to go find more targets, our defeat in Iraq would expand the numbers of terrorists and embolden them to seek new strategic targets,’’ said Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas, a Republican member of the House Armed Services Committee

    Apparently, Rep. Thornberry doesn’t remember that the US supported the Afghani Mujahideen insurgents in their guerrilla war against the Soviets. It would seem that is yet another example of “blowback”.

  38. 38
    Jonathan Said:
    2:15 pm 

    Sgt Thomas:

    Your outline of the new plan for Iraq is interesting and enlightening.

    Two questions.

    I trust that you have not violated opsec by posting this?

    Why, in the three plus years that we knew Iraq was steadily going downhill, has this not been tried before?

  39. 39
    Jonathan Said:
    2:21 pm 

    Sgt Thomas:

    In my post #30 above I quoted Secretary of State Powell:

    At a press conference on 24 February 2001 during Powell’s visit to Cairo, Egypt. Answering a question about the US-led sanctions against Iraq, the Secretary of State said:

    We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions—the fact that the sanctions exist—not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein’s ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq…

    I still don’t understand why, if Saddam Hussein had WMDs, SecState Powell would assure the Egyptian government that he did not.

    Judging by your links above, it is apparent that a lot of people did think Saddam had WMDs, why, in light of this fact, would Powell state in Feb, 2001 that Saddam did not have WMDs?

  40. 40
    W.B. Reeves Said:
    3:29 pm 

    Rick, Did you intentionally compare Pres.Bush to Jesus Christ or was that a subconscious slip? Bush’s critics “… know not what they do” indeed.

    For the record, I don’t have any strong personal feelings about Bush as an individual, unless you count finding the idea of having a beer with him excruciating.

    I don’t have any particular sympathy for him either. He is, in the final analysis, a victim of his own choices which, as we all know, have consequences. My sympathy is entirely reserved for the collateral victims of his colosal bad judgement. The ones who won’t be retiring to their private ranch two years hence to enjoy a well heeled retirement.

    To be sure it is good to know that Bush has enough human feeling to respond appropriately on so sad and solemn and occaision. However, the fact remains that this event was about a brave,heroic soldier who gave his own life rather than sacrificing the lives of others. Shouldn’t he and his bereaved family be the focus?

    It strikes me as more than a little unseemly to use this event in an attempt to garner sympathy for a beleagered politician who has been the architect of his own sufferings which, need it be added, pale to insignificance compared to the sacrifice of this soldier and his loved ones.

    Certainly the thought of the President cracking under the strain of office is a sobering one. Nevertheless, Bush applied for the job. If he wasn’t up to it that’s unfortunate but the responsibility is his and one he eagerly embraced so long as he could ride rough shod over his opponents. Now that he’s come a cropper the weight is beginning to tell.

    Sad? Yes. Far more sad though, is the wider human costs of his inadequacy.

  41. 41
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    3:44 pm 

    Jonathan,

    One can surmize that the fact that Colin Powell stated this in February 2001 that President Bush was not sworn in January 20, 2001 with the pre-conceived notion of attacking Iraq to “avenge his Father and steal Iraq’s oil” correct?

    I don’t believe Iraq was on the Bush Administration’s radar before 9/11 as Colin Powell’s statements prove in February 2001 prove.

    9/11 happened 7 1/2 months into Bush’s Presidency. In 1998 President Clinton had pulled all weapons inspectors out of Iraq and attacked Iraq’s “nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons facilities”. Unfortunately President Clinton did not get weapons inspectors back into the country so when 9/11 happened Iraq had gone 3 years without any oversight. So one could surmize that on February 2001 Bush obviously didn’t have grand “neo-con plans” of attacking Iraq.

    After 9/11 the Bush Administration began looking at the intelligence and I believe made the correct decision to take Saddam Hussein out and prevent his cooperation with al-Qaeda.

    Did you know the Clinton Administration and Richard Clarke linked Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda in 1998 and 1999?

  42. 42
    Rick Moran Said:
    4:29 pm 

    Pure sophistry.

    Like we weren’t going to support anyone fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan?

    “Blowback” only applies when the policy that causes it was stupid. Supporting the Mujahadein was a no brainer.

  43. 43
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    5:06 pm 

    To back up my statement concerning the Clinton Administration stating an alliance between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda I will provide the facts.

    In 1998 the Clinton Administration stated that Iraq was aiding al-Qaeda in the production of VX chemical weapons.

    =============================================================
    Embassy Attacks Thwarted, U.S. Says;
    Official Cites Gains Against Bin Laden;
    Clinton Seeks $10 Billion to Fight Terrorism:[FINAL Edition]
    Vernon Loeb. The Washington Post.
    Washington: Jan 23, 1999. pg. A.02
    Full Text (859 words)
    Copyright The Washington Post Company Jan 23, 1999

    “Clarke did provide new information in defense of Clinton’s decision to fire Tomahawk cruise missiles at the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan, in retaliation for bin Laden’s role in the Aug. 7 embassy bombings.”

    “While U.S. intelligence officials disclosed shortly after the missile attack that they had obtained a soil sample from the El Shifa site that contained a precursor of VX nerve gas, Clarke said that the U.S. government is “sure” that Iraqi nerve gas experts actually produced a powdered VX-like substance at the plant that, when mixed with bleach and water, would have become fully active VX nerve gas.”

    “Clarke said U.S. intelligence does not know how much of the substance was produced at El Shifa or what happened to it. But he said that intelligence exists linking bin Laden to El Shifa’s current and past operators, the Iraqi nerve gas experts, and the National Islamic Front in Sudan.”

    “Given the evidence presented to the White House before the airstrike, Clarke said, the president “would have been derelict in his duties if he didn’t blow up the facility.”
    ==================================================================

    Here is a story, from the New York Times, reporting the Clinton Adminstration linking the Iraq al-Qaeda connection in August 25, 1998, also! How can the New York Times forget they reported this in 1998????????

    http://partners.nytimes.com/library/world/africa/082598attack-rdp.html
    ——————————————————————–
    New York Times
    August 25, 1998

    U.S. Says Iraq Aided Production of Chemical Weapons in Sudan

    WASHINGTON — The United States believed that senior Iraqi scientists were helping to produce elements of the nerve agent VX at a factory in Khartoum that American cruise missiles destroyed last week, administration and intelligence officials said on Monday.

    The evidence the administration has cited as justification for the attack consisted of a soil sample secretly obtained months ago outside the pharmaceutical factory, the Shifa Pharmaceutical Industries, the officials said. Officially the administration has refused to describe its evidence in any detail, or to say how it was obtained.

    The sample contained a rare chemical that would require two more complex steps to be turned into VX, one of the deadliest nerve agents in existence, and the chemical, whose acronym is EMPTA, has no industrial uses. The United Nations and the United States have long agreed that Iraq is extremely skilled at many kinds of VX production, having worked for years to perfect the best process.

    The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said there was evidence that senior Iraqi scientists had aided the efforts to make VX at that factory, and at another plant a couple of miles away.

    The connection with Iraq emerged as a key part of the administration’s argument for why it was justified in launching cruise missiles at a plant in another country without any warning.
    ====================================================================

    The Clinton Administration’s idictment of Osama Bin Laden stated a specific ALLIANCE between Iraq and al-Qaeda!

    http://www.fas.org/irp/news/1998/11/indict1.pdf

    #4.
    In addition, al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of
    Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on
    particular projects,
    specifically including weapons development, al
    Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq.
    ==================================================

    With this knowledge how could this have been ignored after 9/11?

  44. 44
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    5:07 pm 

    Here is he New York Times link:

    http://partners.nytimes.com/library/world/africa/082598attack-rdp.html

  45. 45
    Jonathan Said:
    5:24 pm 

    “Blowback” only applies when the policy that causes it was stupid. Supporting the Mujahadein was a no brainer.

    It certainly has come back and bitten us on the *ss really hard.

    A lot of people seem to be claiming that the Islamic terrorists are a far bigger threat than the Soviet Union ever was. They may well be right, atheistic communists, no matter how fanatical, are far less likely to indulge in suicide missions than fanatical theists who believe they are getting a free ticket to that great wh*rehouse up in the sky. The atheists, after all, have no expectations of an eternal reward, for them this life is it.

    We used the Mujahideen for our own purposes, and then when we were done with them, we dropped them as casually as one would discard a used sanitary napkin. People don’t like being treated like that and often react negatively to such treatment.

    Hosea 8:7
    For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.

  46. 46
    Jonathan Said:
    5:43 pm 

    One can surmize that the fact that Colin Powell stated this in February 2001 that President Bush was not sworn in January 20, 2001 with the pre-conceived notion of attacking Iraq to “avenge his Father and steal Iraq’s oil” correct?

    I have no clue what Bush was thinking, I’m not a mind reader and don’t pretend to be one.

    I do, however, know what some other Bush administration figures were thinking becuase the were part of the Project for a New American Century or PNAC.

    In 1998, following perceived Iraqi unwillingness to co-operate with UN weapons inspections, members of the PNAC, including former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, wrote to President Bill Clinton urging him to remove Saddam Hussein from power using US diplomatic, political and military power. The letter argued that Saddam would pose a threat to the United States, its Middle East allies and oil resources in the region if he succeeded in maintaining his stockpile of Weapons of Mass Destruction. The letter also stated “we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections” and “American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.” The letter argues that an Iraq war would be justified by Hussein’s defiance of UN “containment” policy and his persistent threat to US interests.

    Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were SoD and Deputy SoD for the Bush administration and I would be surprised if they had no input into the thinking of the Bush administration given their positions of influence in said administration.

    I do know that on Sept 27, 2002, CNN reported that Bush said.

    He said the Iraqi leader’s “hatred” was largely directed at the United States and added: “After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad.”

    If someone tried to kill your father, do you think that might influence how you think about that person?

    Bush might be inhuman and not react to such an event and allow it to influence his judgement, but I rather doubt it.

  47. 47
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    8:42 pm 

    Jonathan,

    When President Clinton attacked Iraq in 1998 he did not ask congress for a vote of approval to bomb Iraq for 4 days due to their “nuclear, chemical, and biological programs”.
    http://www.cnn.com/US/9812/16/clinton.iraq.speech/

    Compare that to President Bush who asked for approval from Democrats for the Iraq War.

    Democrats were given chance to vote against attacking Iraq in 2002. The majority of Democrats and Republicans voted “YEA” for attacking Iraq:
    http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/10/11/iraq.us/

    Care to address the fact that the Clinton Administration specifically stated an alliance and cooperation in “VX gas weapons development” between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda in 1998 and 1999?

    Do you think that is an important factor to calculate into the decision to attack Iraq after 9/11?

  48. 48
    Jonathan Said:
    11:28 pm 

    Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz calculates true cost of Iraq war at over $2 trillion.

    11/03/06 “Milken Institute Review” — – In January, we estimated that the true cost of the Iraq war could reach $2 trillion, a figure that seemed shockingly high. But since that time, the cost of the war – in both blood and money – has risen even faster than our projections anticipated. More than 2,500 American troops have died and close to 20,000 have been wounded since Operation Iraqi Freedom began. And the $2 trillion number – the sum of the current and future budgetary costs along with the economic impact of lives lost, jobs interrupted and oil prices driven higher by political uncertainty in the Middle East – now seems low.

    One source of difficulty in getting an accurate picture of the direct cost of prosecuting the war is the way the government does its accounting. With “cash accounting,” income and expenses are recorded when payments are actually made – for example, what you pay off on your credit card today – not the amount outstanding. By contrast, with “accrual accounting,” income and expenses are recorded when the commitment is made. But, as Representative Jim Cooper, Democrat of Tennessee, notes, “The budget of the United States uses cash accounting, and only the tiniest businesses in America are even allowed to use cash accounting. Why? Because it gives you a very distorted picture.”

    Sgt Thomas:

    I may have missed it but I don’t recall seeing a link for Al Queda and Saddam cooperating on VX gas production.

    Given that we really do not know yet whether or not the newest stategy in Iraq is going to work, do you think the invasion of Iraq was worth the cost that we have paid so far in blood, wounded and treasure?

    Apparently, the pharmaceutical plant in Sudan that was supposedly producing chemical weapons was not in fact doing so.

    On August 20, Clinton ordered cruise-missile strikes on a bin Laden camp in Afghanistan and the al-Shifa pharmaceutical plant in Sudan. But the strikes were at best ineffectual. There was little convincing evidence that the pharmaceutical factory, which admin istration officials believed was involved in the production of material for chemical weapons, actually was part of a weapons-making operation, and the cruise missiles in Afghanistan missed bin Laden and his deputies.

    Instead of striking a strong blow against terrorism, the action set off a howling debate about Clinton’s motives. The president ordered the action three days after appearing before the grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair, and Clinton’s critics accused him of using military action to change the subject from the sex-and-perjury scandal — the so-called “wag the dog” strategy. Some of Clinton’s allies, suspecting the same thing, remained silent. Even some of those who, after briefings by administration officials, publicly defended the strikes privately questioned Clinton’s decision.

    It appears that the Republicans in Congress at the time didn’t care too much about terrorism either since they accused Clinton of using the bombings as a distraction from Monicagate.

  49. 49
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    1:32 am 

    Jonathan,

    That is factually inaccurate. Your own link states, “In particular, reporters and some members of Congress were not convinced by the administration’s evidence that the al-Shifa plant was involved in chemical-weapons production.”

    Republican leadership unanimously supported the bombing and attacks on al-Qaeda in 1998. The majority throwing the “wag the dog” scenario were reporters.

    http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2006/09/the_truth_about.html

    “I think the president did exactly the right thing,” House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said of the bombing attacks. “By doing this we’re sending the signal there are no sanctuaries for terrorists.”

    Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) called the attacks “appropriate and just,”

    and House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) said “the American people stand united in the face of terrorism.”

    Gingrich dismissed any possibility that Clinton may have ordered the attacks to divert attention from the scandal. Instead, he said, there was an urgent need for a reprisal following the Aug. 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

    “Anyone who watched the film of the bombings, anyone who saw the coffins come home knows better than to question this timing,” Gingrich said. “It was done as early as possible to send a message to terrorists across the globe that killing Americans has a cost. It has no relationship with any other activity of any kind.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/react082198.htm

    “Sen. Orrin Hatch announcing his support of President Clinton’s decision to strike against terrorist facilities in Sudan and Afghanistan. (AP)”

    “Speaker Newt Gingrich has made it clear to me” that the attacks were necessary and appropriate, Galen said. “This is a time to put our nation’s interests ahead of our political concerns. I am asking you to help your listeners, your friends, and your associates to look at this situation with the sober eyes it deserves.”

  50. 50
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    1:34 am 

    Jonathan,

    Here is the 1998 New York Times link:

    http://partners.nytimes.com/library/world/africa/082598attack-rdp.html

    New York Times
    August 25, 1998

    U.S. Says Iraq Aided Production of Chemical Weapons in Sudan

    WASHINGTON —The United States believed that senior Iraqi scientists were helping to produce elements of the nerve agent VX at a factory in Khartoum that American cruise missiles destroyed last week, administration and intelligence officials said on Monday.

    The evidence the administration has cited as justification for the attack consisted of a soil sample secretly obtained months ago outside the pharmaceutical factory, the Shifa Pharmaceutical Industries, the officials said. Officially the administration has refused to describe its evidence in any detail, or to say how it was obtained.

    The sample contained a rare chemical that would require two more complex steps to be turned into VX, one of the deadliest nerve agents in existence, and the chemical, whose acronym is EMPTA, has no industrial uses. The United Nations and the United States have long agreed that Iraq is extremely skilled at many kinds of VX production, having worked for years to perfect the best process.

    The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said there was evidence that senior Iraqi scientists had aided the efforts to make VX at that factory, and at another plant a couple of miles away.

    The connection with Iraq emerged as a key part of the administration’s argument for why it was justified in launching cruise missiles at a plant in another country without any warning.

  51. 51
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    1:48 am 

    http://www.oldamericancentury.org/downloads/1998-08-20-clinton.htm

    “And so, this morning, based on the unanimous recommendation of my national security team, I ordered our Armed Forces to take action to counter an immediate threat from the bin Laden network.
    Earlier today, the United States carried out simultaneous strikes against terrorist facilities and infrastructure in Afghanistan.
    Our forces targeted one of the most active terrorist bases in the world. It contained key elements of the bin Laden network’s infrastructure and has served as a training camp for literally thousands of terrorists from around the globe.
    We have reason to believe that a gathering of key terrorist leaders was to take place there today, thus underscoring the urgency of our actions.

    Our forces also attacked a factory in Sudan associated with the bin Laden network. The factory was involved in the production of materials for chemical weapons.”

  52. 52
    Jonathan Said:
    6:50 am 

    Sgt. Thomas:

    OK, you win, President Bush is the greatest geopolitical and military genius since Napoleon. And invading Iraq is the greatest military adventure since Napoleon invaded Russia.

  53. 53
    Sgt Thomas Said:
    11:07 pm 

    Jonathan,

    Actually, my personal opinion, is that Bush is an idiot.

    I am just pointing out that Demcrats stated the same thing in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001 before dummy Bush was sworn in on January 20, 2001.

    Many mistakes have been made in managing the war and any less military would have folded long ago, but not the U.S. Military.

    If we win in Iraq it will be due to the men and women serving in the U.S. Military overcoming all the mistakes not due to Bush.

    I just don’t like the Democrats trying to change history and put it all on Bush and imply he “lied” us into Iraq.

    After 9/11 the threat of al-Qaeda flying a plane filled with chemical weapons is a real threat.

    I also belive if Iraq can become a strong Arab-Democracy Liberal and Moderate Arabs will have a chance to defeat Radical Isalmists. Freedom and Democracy gives them a chance…oppression does not.

    That’s my belief anyway. :)

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