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Thread: I have issues

  1. #46
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    I don't think it had anything to do with oil. I think it was all about ego and legacy. Unfortunately I don't think it's creating the type of legacy Bush wanted.
    I think that's part of it, but there's simply no way to ignore than closer-than-kin relationships this administration has with the oil companies.

    I believe ego and legacy played a part of it as well, but I also firmly believe that an ability to put a U.S.-friendly government in place in a nation with the world's third highest oil reserves was simply too big of a carrot to dangle in front of W.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

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  3. #47
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    It's not like they did this because they're evil either. I believe they honestly thought they could remake the middle east in their image and make the world a better place for it. I just happen to think that it was an incredibly misguided and dangerous thing to do and I don't see anything happening in Iraq to make me change my mind. I wish I was wrong.
    It is this arrogance that is so unbelieveably galling--that we have a place in the world to make it a better place in an image we define, and in any way that we see fit. We try to impose American Style democracy on nations regardless of whether they want it or not, our foreign policy is driven primarily on self-interest and (when it suits us) that of our allies. We'll invade a nation when it's convenient for us and our economic interests, or helps feed the ego of a President, but we'll turn the other way when the nation is a starved, third-world oil depleted African nation.

    This isn't solely a condemnation of Republicans, either. Bill Clinton's policy was largely based on the same ideals. It's an ideaology rampant through the entire U.S. government.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  4. #48
    Joe Oliver love-child Blimpie's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis
    ...I also firmly believe that an ability to put a U.S.-friendly government in place in a nation with the world's third highest oil reserves was simply too big of a carrot to dangle in front of W.
    Hey, I thought that we already had that in Saudia Ara...uhm. Never mind.
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  5. #49
    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    It's not like they did this because they're evil either. I believe they honestly thought they could remake the middle east in their image and make the world a better place for it. I just happen to think that it was an incredibly misguided and dangerous thing to do and I don't see anything happening in Iraq to make me change my mind. I wish I was wrong.
    That's how I feel as well. Personally, I was opposed to the war long before the first bomb was dropped and I even believed we'd find huge caches of WMD. I just didn't see it as a real threat to us at all and so I thought we should stay out (same reason why I was opposed to our actions in Kosovo). But I understood the opposing viewpoint and saw some of the merits in what they were saying. Then I bought into the "faulty intelligence" argument, which I still think has some level of validity.

    But now I've come to believe that President Bush was determined to find a reason to "liberate" Iraq while he was President one way or another. 9-11 gave him a story to sell, even though no connection existed. I think he probably saw things how he wanted to see them and at some level really believed he was doing what was right. But he was all too willing to go to war without thinking it all the way through, IMO. I wonder if he would have been so willing had he actually ever seen a real battlefield himself. I think that really matters. He seemed so cavalier about Iraq. It never seemed to be the last resort for him. I said it before the war started and it didn't take long to realize it was true, but I believe the Iraq war will go down as one of the biggest blunders in our nation's history. Maybe I'm just too stubborn, but I still don't see how we can leave at this point. An equally significant blunder, IMO, is going to war without committing everything possible to win. I think that's what has happened here. We're just spread too thin over there and our forces have not been given the resources to complete the task they were asked to complete. If you're going to go to war, go all-in. We didn't do that and it's costing us big time.
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  6. #50
    Member ochre's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    Well, I do believe that's part of W's motivation but it'd be hard to get everyone else to go along for the ride soley based on that.
    oh, I know that seems a bit tenuous. That's where the wolfowitz "democratization" crew fits in.
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  7. #51
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    this was on cnn.com today

    link

    Former aide: Powell WMD speech 'lowest point in my life'

    Friday, August 19, 2005; Posted: 1:04 p.m. EDT (17:04 GMT)

    Programming Note: "Dead Wrong -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown" airs Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET on CNN.

    (CNN) -- A former top aide to Colin Powell says his involvement in the former secretary of state's presentation to the United Nations on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was "the lowest point" in his life.

    "I wish I had not been involved in it," says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, a longtime Powell adviser who served as his chief of staff from 2002 through 2005. "I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life."

    Wilkerson is one of several insiders interviewed for the CNN Presents documentary "Dead Wrong -- Inside an Intelligence Meltdown." The program, which airs Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET, pieces together the events leading up to the mistaken WMD intelligence that was presented to the public. A presidential commission that investigated the pre-war WMD intelligence found much of it to be "dead wrong."

    Powell's speech, delivered on February 14, 2003, made the case for the war by presenting U.S. intelligence that purported to prove that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Wilkerson says the information in Powell's presentation initially came from a document he described as "sort of a Chinese menu" that was provided by the White House.

    "(Powell) came through the door ... and he had in his hands a sheaf of papers, and he said, 'This is what I've got to present at the United Nations according to the White House, and you need to look at it,'" Wilkerson says in the program. "It was anything but an intelligence document. It was, as some people characterized it later, sort of a Chinese menu from which you could pick and choose."

    Wilkerson and Powell spent four days and nights in a CIA conference room with then-Director George Tenet and other top officials trying to ensure the accuracy of the presentation, Wilkerson says.

    "There was no way the Secretary of State was going to read off a script about serious matters of intelligence that could lead to war when the script was basically un-sourced," Wilkerson says.

    In one dramatic accusation in his speech, Powell showed slides alleging that Saddam had bioweapons labs mounted on trucks that would be almost impossible to find.

    "In fact, Secretary Powell was not told that one of the sources he was given as a source of this information had indeed been flagged by the Defense Intelligence Agency as a liar, a fabricator," says David Kay, who served as the CIA's chief weapons inspector in Iraq after the fall of Saddam. That source, an Iraqi defector had never been debriefed by the CIA, was known within the intelligence community as "Curveball."

    After searching Iraq for several months across the summer of 2003, Kay began e-mailing Tenet to tell him the WMD evidence was falling apart. At one point, Wilkerson says, Tenet called Powell to tell him the claims about mobile bioweapons labs were apparently not true.

    "George actually did call the Secretary, and said, 'I'm really sorry to have to tell you. We don't believe there were any mobile labs for making biological weapons,'" Wilkerson says in the documentary. "This was the third or fourth telephone call. And I think it's fair to say the Secretary and Mr. Tenet, at that point, ceased being close. I mean, you can be sincere and you can be honest and you can believe what you're telling the Secretary. But three or four times on substantive issues like that? It's difficult to maintain any warm feelings."
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  8. #52
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis
    It is this arrogance that is so unbelieveably galling--that we have a place in the world to make it a better place in an image we define, and in any way that we see fit. We try to impose American Style democracy on nations regardless of whether they want it or not, our foreign policy is driven primarily on self-interest and (when it suits us) that of our allies. We'll invade a nation when it's convenient for us and our economic interests, or helps feed the ego of a President, but we'll turn the other way when the nation is a starved, third-world oil depleted African nation.
    I don't necessarily disagree with this assessment. However, collateral good has been known to come from arrogant (or egotistical) endeavors.

    In the XIX century, abolitionist movements were not entirely unselfish. Those who had abolished slavery found themselves in "unfair economic competition" with countries who still permitted it. Those movements were guided by greed as much as compassion.

    Also, Western "values" and government imposed on the losers of WWII (Germany and Japan) seem to have been -in retrospect- positives.

    As for imposing Democracy, it is certainly a fast-track method of what "should" or "could" be a gradual (and inevitable) process. We cannot know if undemocratic nations "want" it or not, since their will is not allowed to come forth. If 50 people have to elect a leader, the guy with the gun wins every time.

    That said, a democracy "given" is probably not as cherished as one that has been "won". Still, it can be a collateral "good".

    Just my two bits. Doesn't mean I'm in favor (or against) the war in Iraq.
    At this point, I really don't know.
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  9. #53
    The Mad Monk Jaycint's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis
    We'll invade a nation when it's convenient for us and our economic interests, or helps feed the ego of a President, but we'll turn the other way when the nation is a starved, third-world oil depleted African nation.
    I wonder how many kids we could feed in Niger right now with say 1/100th of the money we have used playing in the desert?

    What's galling to me is all of the different uses we could have put this war's money to. People starving in Africa, people starving in America, inner city schools crumbling.

    Oh, that and the fact that maybe I wouldn't have to take out a small loan to fill my gas tank up.

  10. #54
    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by pedro
    It's not like they did this because they're evil either. I believe they honestly thought they could remake the middle east in their image and make the world a better place for it. I just happen to think that it was an incredibly misguided and dangerous thing to do and I don't see anything happening in Iraq to make me change my mind. I wish I was wrong.
    But, like so many misguided people in life...they make the fundamental mistake of thinking that everyone else in the world thinks like them. In every piece of rhetoric that has come from the mouth of George W. Bush, it has been readily apparent that he simply does not understand or comprehend (or chooses to be willfully ignorant) that there could ever be a dissenting voice or another way to go about things. They cannot fathom a group of people who would rather not be free...or who were indifferent to the idea of freedom in the first place. Or, for that matter, a group of people who prefer the structures of an opressive religious regime to a democracy in which every man is free to choose his own way of life.

    Democracy cannot be forced upon people or given to them...democracy must be the result of the people uniting, standing tall, and demanding nothing less than their freedom. It must be won at a price, be it through acts of civil disobediance like the ones in India or through bloody conflict as in France and America. Either way, the people must emerge through the end of the struggle with an appreciation for what their efforts have wrought, for that appreciation is what leads to a true understanding of the cost and need for freedom.

    Iraq was not ready for freedom, and to force it upon them can only result in collapse and a return back to the way things used to be: internal conflict and civil war leading to a strongman returning to take power. Someday they will be ready to be free. The people of Iraq will decide the time and the hour of that day, and the rebellion and suffering/effort/bloodshed that ensues will be the soil in which a firm, real democracy can take root.
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  11. #55
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper
    I don't necessarily disagree with this assessment. However, collateral good has been known to come from arrogant (or egotistical) endeavors.
    Oh, it absolutely has...I wouldn't disagree with that at all. It's that we (America in general, not necessarily individuals here) view ourselves as these morally superior people--the proverbial beacon on a hill. And it's led to this mentality that if someone disagrees with our policies, the problem is with THEM, and not US. It's why we think the terrorists hate freedom, it's why everyone was so up-in-arms about the French, it's why war dissenters are labeled as unpatriotic...WE'RE right, and if you're not with us, well screw you.

    And as much as it can lead to collateral good, it also oftentimes leads to collateral BAD...the current Iraq war, or Nicauragua in the 1980s, for example.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  12. #56
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    Re: I have issues

    Project for a New American Century

    Wolfowitz however could not remain completely out of politics for long and in 1997 he became one of the charter members, alongside Donald Rumsfield, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Richard Perle and others, of the Project for a New American Century (PNAC). William Kristol and Robert Kagan founded this neo-conservative think-tank with the stated aim of "American global leadership" through military strength. In 1998 Wolfowitz was one of the signatories of the PNAC open letter to President Bill Clinton that was highly critical of his continued policy of containing Iraq. The PNAC advocated preemptive U.S. military intervention against Iraq and other "potential aggressor states" to "protect our vital interests in the Gulf". In 2000 the PNAC produced its magnum opus the 90-page report on Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century that advocated the redeployment of U.S. troops in permanent bases in strategic locations throughout the world where they can be ready to act to protect U.S. interests abroad. The Clinton administration however remained unmoved and pressed on with containment.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project...erican_Century
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Wolfowitz
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  13. #57
    Harry Chiti Fan registerthis's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor
    Iraq was not ready for freedom, and to force it upon them can only result in collapse and a return back to the way things used to be: internal conflict and civil war leading to a strongman returning to take power. Someday they will be ready to be free. The people of Iraq will decide the time and the hour of that day, and the rebellion and suffering/effort/bloodshed that ensues will be the soil in which a firm, real democracy can take root.
    Absolutely.

    And it has cost us nearly 1,900 American lives, and God-knows-how-many Iraqi civilian lives to learn this lesson...shoot, some people STILL haven't learned it.
    We'll burn that bridge when we get to it.

  14. #58
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    Re: I have issues

    I think the decision to go to war was a kind of "perfect storm" for Bush. There are basically three strains that have come together for the GOP in the Bush Administration: neocons, crony capitalists and fundamentalists.

    The neocons were, of course, the primary movers behind the war. The Office of Special Plans, the Pentagon agency that distorted intelligence to make the case for war, was rife with them. The Neocons plans for using power to achieve American and Isreali geopolitical goals was remarkably transparent. The American Enterprise Institute, The Project for a New American Century, American-Israeli Political Action Committe provide the intellectual infrastructure. Some prominent names include Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and the sinister Michael Ledeen.

    The crony capitalists were just intersted in making money. And the Bush family, Cheney, Frank Carlucci and just about anyone associated with the Carlysle Group, Haliburton, KBR or Blackwater stood to make a lot of money from any kind of war.

    Lastly, many fundamentalists have made the preservation of the state of Israel a keystone of their vision of biblical prophecy. Sometimes this even includes a "greater Israel". And, it should be said, that many fundamentalists relished a religious war with Islam.

    So, the cronies provide the money, the fundamentalists provide the voters and the neocons provide the intellectual patina to sway opinion leaders.
    Last edited by Rojo; 08-19-2005 at 05:24 PM.
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  15. #59
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by registerthis
    Oh, it absolutely has...I wouldn't disagree with that at all. It's that we (America in general, not necessarily individuals here) view ourselves as these morally superior people--the proverbial beacon on a hill.
    Yes, unfortunately this arrogance is leading to a drop in American leadership in the world. If (big if, sometimes) US values = freedom, freedom's stock is down and dropping.

    And as much as it can lead to collateral good, it also oftentimes leads to collateral BAD...the current Iraq war, or Nicauragua in the 1980s, for example.
    I'd say the jury is still out on those two. Way too early to tell in Iraq (in a historical sense). Nicaragua seems to be slipping back into Sandinista control, which IMO is a tragedy.

    We couldn't know what might have happened in Central America had the sandinistas not been held in check. Hard to say that Nicaragua is in worse shape today due to US intervention in the '80s.

    Just realized this is my 1,000 post. Didn't plan on using it on politics.

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  16. #60
    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: I have issues

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper

    I'd say the jury is still out on those two. Way too early to tell in Iraq (in a historical sense). Nicaragua seems to be slipping back into Sandinista control, which IMO is a tragedy.

    We couldn't know what might have happened in Central America had the sandinistas not been held in check. Hard to say that Nicaragua is in worse shape today due to US intervention in the '80s.


    (GO REDS)
    I wholeheartedly disagree. The US screwed Nicaragua over for years and then as soon as they kicked our buddies the Somazas out of power, we decided to start an illegal war to oust the Sandinistas, who were actually trying to help the people of Nicaragua. Not one of the shining moments in US history IMO.

    Yes, it is true that Daniel Ortega, is a Marxist, but not all Sandinistas were.

    It's easy to simplify this into a cold war POV, but is retrospect, of course the Sandistas turned to the USSR for help, the US was backing their enemies.

    If you want to learn more about the Sandinistas and what they were really up to, check out the wiki entry.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandini...2.80.931990.29

    BTW- the Sandinistas peacefully handed over power when they were voted out of office in 1990. More than I can say for their predicessors.
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