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Author Topic: Episode V: The Obama Strikes Back...  (Read 8088 times)
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helot2000
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« on: May 16, 2008, 10:40:49 PM »

Yesterday, President Bush addresses members of the Knesset and had this memorable line. His remarks were widely seen as a rebuke to Senator Barack Obama, who advocates greater engagement with countries like Iran and Syria.
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Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

Today in a speech in South Dakota, Obama hoisted the President on his own petard.  In case you don't want to sit through his 9 minute speech, here is one of a number of body blows.
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I want to be perfectly clear with George Bush and John McCain and with the people of South Dakota. If George Bush and John McCain want to have a debate about protecting the United States of America, that is a debate I am happy to have any time, any place. And that is a debate that I will win, because George Bush and John McCain have a lot to answer for.

George Bush and John McCain have a lot to answer for. They have to explain why we are now entering our sixth year of war in Iraq. We were supposed to be going over there for weapons of mass destruction that we never found. We were told that it was going to last a few months and cost a few billion dollars. We have now spent over 600 billion dollars. Thousands of lives lost, and we have not been made more safe. They’re going to have to explain the fact that Osama bin Laden is still at large and is sending out videotapes with impunity. They need to answer for the fact that al Qaeda’s leadership is stronger than ever because we took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan. They’ve got to answer for the fact that Iran is the greatest strategic beneficiary of our invasion in Iraq. It made Iran stronger. George Bush’s policies. They’re going to have to explain why Hamas now controls Gaza, Hamas that was strengthened because the United States insisted that we should have democratic elections in the Palestinian authority. They’re going to have to explain why it is that Iran is able to fund Hezbollah and poses the greatest threat to the United States and Israel in the Middle East in a generation.



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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 11:32:15 PM »

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George Bush and John McCain have a lot to answer for.
My GOD is that true.  I'm hoping that they get to actually 'stand tall before the man' at some point.
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cheeba
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2008, 12:01:08 AM »

I thought this whole thing was weird, because my first thought when I read the controversial part I thought he was talking about Jimmy Carter meeting with Hamas.

Quote from: helot2000 on May 16, 2008, 10:40:49 PM

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And that is a debate that I will win, because George Bush and John McCain have a lot to answer for.
I don't know if he'd win it or not. Obama doesn't seem to be able to carry his eloquence over to debating. In his last debate with Hill-dog he got his ass kicked. Disappointing.
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George Bush and John McCain have a lot to answer for.
And here he begins his campaign of equating McCain with Bush.
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They have to explain why we are now entering our sixth year of war in Iraq.
Because the job isn't done.
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We were supposed to be going over there for weapons of mass destruction that we never found.
That's just 1 of the reasons. Intelligence failed.
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We were told that it was going to last a few months and cost a few billion dollars.
Were we? I don't remember anyone saying that. Anyone got a cite for this?
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They’re going to have to explain the fact that Osama bin Laden is still at large and is sending out videotapes with impunity.
Because we cannot find him. Does Obama-mama think he'll find Osama?
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They need to answer for the fact that al Qaeda’s leadership is stronger than ever because we took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan.
Except that the US has not been attacked since 9/11.
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They’ve got to answer for the fact that Iran is the greatest strategic beneficiary of our invasion in Iraq.
Except that the US is the greatest strategic beneficiary.
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They’re going to have to explain why Hamas now controls Gaza, Hamas that was strengthened because the United States insisted that we should have democratic elections in the Palestinian authority.
So he's against democracy for Palestinians?
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They’re going to have to explain why it is that Iran is able to fund Hezbollah and poses the greatest threat to the United States and Israel in the Middle East in a generation.
I'll save ya the time, Obama: Iran has oil, dumbass.
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Brendan
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2008, 12:13:04 AM »

I don't have the energy to deal with all of the typical cheeba misinformation, so I'll take the easy query and leave the remainder to other smart people:

Republican estimated cost:  $50-60 billion.
Actual cost:  $1-2 trillion

Estimated length:  "Weeks, rather than months."
Bonus hubris:  "Do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?"  "I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators."
Actual length:  More than five years, longer than WWII.

Bonus Obama predictions about Iraq war in 2002:  Perfectly on the money.

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'What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne....

'I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.

'But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors, that the Iraqi economy is in shambles, that the Iraqi military a fraction of its former strength, and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history. I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a US occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of Al Qaeda. I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars."
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helot2000
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 12:13:45 AM »

Quote from: Obamaman
We were told that it was going to last a few months and cost a few billion dollars.

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 12:01:08 AM

Were we? I don't remember anyone saying that. Anyone got a cite for this?
Cheeba, I'm not a fan of the line by line rebuttal followed by another and another which quickly becomes unreadable.  So I'll pick the easiest of the bunch.  Here's a sampling of quotes to jog your memory. 

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Richard Perle, chair, The Pentagon's Defense Policy Board: "Iraq is a very wealthy country. Enormous oil reserves. They can finance, largely finance the reconstruction of their own country. And I have no doubt that they will."

Lawrence Lindsey, White House economic adviser:"The likely economic effects [of a war in Iraq] would be relatively small.... Under every plausible scenario, the negative effect will be quite small relative to the economic benefits."

Kenneth Pollack, former director for Persian Gulf affairs, National Security Council: "It is unimaginable that the United States would have to contribute hundreds of billions of dollars and highly unlikely that we would have to contribute even tens of billions of dollars."

Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense: "When it comes to reconstruction, before we turn to the American taxpayer, we will turn first to the resources of the Iraqi government and the international community."

Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense: "There is a lot of money to pay for this that doesn't have to be US taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people. We are talking about a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."

Mitchell Daniels, director, White House Office of Management and Budget: "The United States is very committed to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid."

Is that enough or would you like me to find some more Post Iraq Pollyannas?   icon_wink
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Pyperkub
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 12:32:46 AM »

Here's a little more:

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 12:01:08 AM

And here he begins his campaign of equating McCain with Bush.

What are you claiming McCain will do differently than Bush?  McCain has already stated that he won't pull the troops out until 2013 at the earliest (kind of convenient that's after the next presidential election).

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They have to explain why we are now entering our sixth year of war in Iraq.
Because the job isn't done.
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We were supposed to be going over there for weapons of mass destruction that we never found.
That's just 1 of the reasons. Intelligence failed.

Bullsh*t.  Intelligence didn't fail, Intelligence was manufactured and skewed to achieve the desired result of invading.  Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld didn't like the intelligence they were getting, so they went out and made their own, using sources discredited by both the CIA and British Intelligence.  WMD's were also the primary reason for going in at the time we did.

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We were told that it was going to last a few months and cost a few billion dollars.
Were we? I don't remember anyone saying that. Anyone got a cite for this?

2 words - Mission Accomplished.  Says a lot to their ideas about what it would take.  If you want a lot more detail on the screwups and misplaced assumptions in Iraq, check out this early Frontline look into What went wrong in Iraq.

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They’re going to have to explain the fact that Osama bin Laden is still at large and is sending out videotapes with impunity.
Because we cannot find him. Does Obama-mama think he'll find Osama?

Taking the eye off the ball in Afghanistan in order to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq *may* have had something to do with this.

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They need to answer for the fact that al Qaeda’s leadership is stronger than ever because we took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan.
Except that the US has not been attacked since 9/11.

Wrong.  We have been attacked in many places, just not the continental US.  Terrorism  is up across the globe since 9/11.

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They’ve got to answer for the fact that Iran is the greatest strategic beneficiary of our invasion in Iraq.
Except that the US is the greatest strategic beneficiary.

You're going to have to back this one up.

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They’re going to have to explain why Hamas now controls Gaza, Hamas that was strengthened because the United States insisted that we should have democratic elections in the Palestinian authority.
So he's against democracy for Palestinians?

That was a pretty dumb thing to say.

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They’re going to have to explain why it is that Iran is able to fund Hezbollah and poses the greatest threat to the United States and Israel in the Middle East in a generation.
I'll save ya the time, Obama: Iran has oil, dumbass.

They had it before.
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cheeba
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2008, 12:58:52 AM »

Quote from: helot2000 on May 17, 2008, 12:13:45 AM

Is that enough or would you like me to find some more Post Iraq Pollyannas?   icon_wink
I'll readily concede the money portion. My real question is about a time frame. Got any quotes from people saying it'd be a few months?
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gellar
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2008, 01:04:50 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 12:58:52 AM

Quote from: helot2000 on May 17, 2008, 12:13:45 AM

Is that enough or would you like me to find some more Post Iraq Pollyannas?   icon_wink
I'll readily concede the money portion. My real question is about a time frame. Got any quotes from people saying it'd be a few months?

I believe Brendan has already pwned you on that point.

gellar
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cheeba
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2008, 01:13:50 AM »

Quote from: Pyperkub on May 17, 2008, 12:32:46 AM

What are you claiming McCain will do differently than Bush?  McCain has already stated that he won't pull the troops out until 2013 at the earliest (kind of convenient that's after the next presidential election).
I have no idea what McCain will do differently from Bush. I'm just commenting on Obama's general election strategy, which will be that McCain = Bush. Given McCain's record of pissing off republicans, I would be surprised if that were true.
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Bullsh*t.  Intelligence didn't fail, Intelligence was manufactured and skewed to achieve the desired result of invading.  Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld didn't like the intelligence they were getting, so they went out and made their own, using sources discredited by both the CIA and British Intelligence.  WMD's were also the primary reason for going in at the time we did.
So the CIA and British Int didn't think there were WMD's?
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2 words - Mission Accomplished.
Yeah knew that was going to come up. The mission accomplished was the invasion of Iraq.
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Taking the eye off the ball in Afghanistan in order to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq *may* have had something to do with this.
Only so many people can search so many caves. I don't think our cave-searching ability was diminished by our invasion of Iraq.
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Wrong.  We have been attacked in many places, just not the continental US.
I was obviously referring to the country of the United States.
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You're going to have to back this one up.
Already did in some other thread. I'll look for it and link it.
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That was a pretty dumb thing to say.
Well argued. Explain why he is complaining about US insistence "that we should have democratic elections in the Palestinian authority."
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They had it before.
And they funded Hezbollah before.
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helot2000
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2008, 01:18:19 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 12:58:52 AM

Quote from: helot2000 on May 17, 2008, 12:13:45 AM

Is that enough or would you like me to find some more Post Iraq Pollyannas?   icon_wink
I'll readily concede the money portion. My real question is about a time frame. Got any quotes from people saying it'd be a few months?
I appreciate the fat and juicy slowball pitches.  I owe you a couple myself somewhere down the road, Cheeba.

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"Now, it isn't gong to be over in 24 hours, but it isn't going to be months either."
- Richard Perle, Chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, 7/11/02

"The idea that it's going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990. Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that."
- Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, 11/15/02

"I will bet you the best dinner in the gaslight district of San Diego that military action will not last more than a week. Are you willing to take that wager?"
- Bill O'Reilly, 1/29/03

"It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could be six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
- Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense, 2/7/03

"Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse after the first whiff of gunpowder."
- Richard Perle, Chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, 7/11/02

"Desert Storm II would be in a walk in the park... The case for 'regime change' boils down to the huge benefits and modest costs of liberating Iraq."
- Kenneth Adelman, member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, 8/29/02

"Having defeated and then occupied Iraq, democratizing the country should not be too tall an order for the world's sole superpower."
- William Kristol, Weekly Standard editor, and Lawrence F. Kaplan, New Republic senior editor, 2/24/03

"There is zero question that this military campaign...will be reasonably short. ... Like World War II for about five days."
- General Barry R. McCaffrey, national security and terrorism analyst for NBC News, 2/18/03

"The Iraq fight itself is probably going to go very, very fast. The shooting should be over within just a very few days from when it starts."
- David Frum, former Bush White House speechwriter, 2/24/03

"I think it will go relatively quickly...weeks rather than months."
- Vice President Dick Cheney, 3/16/03

Not a single Nostradamus among them.  Perhaps we would do better divining the future by looking at chicken entrails. 
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cheeba
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 01:22:29 AM »

Quote from: gellar on May 17, 2008, 01:04:50 AM

I believe Brendan has already pwned you on that point.
Oh christ we're going to use internet nerd speech, like this is counter-strike now?

I said I didn't remember being told it would last a few months and asked for a cite. When a cite is provided you think that's "pwned"? Grow up, this isn't a video game.

No official timetable was provided. There were some predictions made that should not have been made. I personally don't put much weight into predictions from government officials, so when they say something like they don't think it'll last more than a few months I personally don't pay any attention to it, but I'll concede the point.

So far, that gives Obama 1 good point.

Edit - That's what I was looking for, thanks helot2000! Though quoting Bill O'Reilly? slywink
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Brendan
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 01:26:14 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 01:22:29 AM

I personally don't put much weight into predictions from government officials, so when they say something like they don't think it'll last more than a few months I personally don't pay any attention to it, but I'll concede the point.

You're unbelievable.  You don't put much weight into predictions from government officials, but you're willing to let them send thousands of Americans to their deaths and spend trillions of dollars while doing it?  I'm going to start calling you Mr. Blank Check.

Their job is to consider all of the predictions and make a prudent choice.  As evidenced by the speech I linked earlier, Obama was right on every count - while Bush was wrong (and continues to be wrong) on all of them.
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 01:27:27 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 01:22:29 AM

Quote from: gellar on May 17, 2008, 01:04:50 AM

I believe Brendan has already pwned you on that point.
Oh christ we're going to use internet nerd speech, like this is counter-strike now?

I said I didn't remember being told it would last a few months and asked for a cite. When a cite is provided you think that's "pwned"? Grow up, this isn't a video game.

I'm perfectly well grown, thanks.

gellar
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Brendan
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2008, 01:32:53 AM »

Funny, "grow up, this isn't a video game," is exactly the right recommendation to the warmongers who don't value the lives of the patriots in the military dying every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There's thousands of these chickenhawks unwilling to volunteer to fight in their monumentally important war of civilizations.
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Brendan
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2008, 01:35:44 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 01:13:50 AM

So the CIA and British Int didn't think there were WMD's?

blah blah blah

Quote
Wilson was not the only official looking into the matter. Nine days earlier, the State Department's intelligence arm had sent a memo directly to Secretary of State Colin Powell that also disputed the Italian intelligence. Greg Thielmann, then a high-ranking official at State's research unit, told TIME that it was not in Niger's self-interest to sell the Iraqis the destabilizing ore. "A whole lot of things told us that the report was bogus," Thielmann said later. "This wasn't highly contested. There weren't strong advocates on the other side. It was done, shot down."

Except that it wasn't. By late summer, at the very moment that the Administration was gearing up to make its case for military mobilization, the yellowcake story took on new life. In September, Tony Blair's government issued a 50-page dossier detailing the case against Saddam, and while much of the evidence in the paper was old, it made the first public claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa. At the White House, Ari Fleischer endorsed the British dossier, saying "We agree with their findings."

By now, a gap was opening behind the scenes between what U.S. officials were alleging in public about Iraq's nuclear ambitions and what they were saying in private. After Tenet left a closed hearing on Capitol Hill in September, the nuclear question arose, and a lower-ranking official admitted to the lawmakers that the agency had doubts about the veracity of the evidence. Also in September, the CIA tried to persuade the British government to drop the allegation completely. To this day, London stands by the claim. In October, Tenet personally intervened with National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice's deputy, Stephen Hadley, to remove a line about the African ore in a speech that Bush was giving in Cincinnati, Ohio. Also that month, CIA officials included the Brits' yellowcake story in their classified 90-page National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons programs. The CIA said it could neither verify the Niger story nor "confirm whether Iraq succeeded in acquiring uranium ore and/or yellowcake" from two other African nations. The agency also included the State Department's concerns that the allegations of Iraq's seeking yellowcake were "highly dubious"--though that assessment was printed only as a footnote.
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cheeba
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2008, 01:35:55 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 01:26:14 AM

You're unbelievable.
Thanks!
Quote
You don't put much weight into predictions from government officials, but you're willing to let them send thousands of Americans to their deaths and spend trillions of dollars while doing it?  I'm going to start calling you Mr. Blank Check.
Yes, of course I have an innate mistrust of government. Did you think we would be in and out of Iraq? I don't know of anyone who believed it - which doesn't excuse those officials who gave their stupid predictions. And yes I'm willing to let them send thousands of Americans to their deaths and spend trillions of dollars (are you holding your pinkie to your mouth when you type that?) to do what I think is the right thing. The government just needs to be accountable for its actions, which it is. I can now vote to have the government go a different way if I so choose. As for Mr. Blank Check, it's the democrats who control the funding of the war you should assign that moniker to smile.
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« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2008, 01:38:20 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 01:35:55 AM

Yes, of course I have an innate mistrust of government. Did you think we would be in and out of Iraq? I don't know of anyone who believed it - which doesn't excuse those officials who gave their stupid predictions. And yes I'm willing to let them send thousands of Americans to their deaths and spend trillions of dollars (are you holding your pinkie to your mouth when you type that?) to do what I think is the right thing. The government just needs to be accountable for its actions, which it is. I can now vote to have the government go a different way if I so choose. As for Mr. Blank Check, it's the democrats who control the funding of the war you should assign that moniker to smile.

You clearly don't have a mistrust of government - you expect to be lied to.  If you had a mistrust of government, you would have suspected the fucking claims about Iraq made by your authoritarian President and party.
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cheeba
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« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2008, 01:47:20 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 01:38:20 AM

you would have suspected the fucking claims about Iraq made by your authoritarian President and party.
First, it's not my party. I'm an independent, leaning conservative, not a republican.

Second, why no hate for the democratic party?
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"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."
    President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
    President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
    Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
    Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
    Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 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."
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
    Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.

"There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
    Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
    Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
    Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
    Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction."
    Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
    Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
    Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years . We also should remember we have alway s underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
    Sen. Jay Rockerfeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002,

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
    Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
    Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction. "[W]ithout 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 has continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...
    Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.
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helot2000
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« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2008, 01:48:18 AM »

I can't contain myself.  When you read these, the words "light at the end of the tunnel" can substitute for "turning point."

Quote
Bush, 11/2003: "We've reached another great turning point."
Bush, 6/2004:  "A turning point will come two weeks from today."
Bush, 1/2005: "Tomorrow the world will witness a turning point in the history of Iraq."
Rumsfeld, 2/2005:  "On January 30th in Iraq, the world witnessed ... a major turning point."
Bush, 5/2005: "Good news to the men and women who fought ... their mission is complete."
Bush, 05/2006;  "We have now reached a turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror."
Cheney, 5/2005: "They're in the last throes, if you will, of the insurgency."
Bush, 12/2005:  "2005 will be recorded as a turning point in the history of Iraq ... and the history of freedom."
Cheney, 12/2005: "The elections were the turning point. … 2005 was the turning point."
Cheney, 03/2006:  "Q: Do you still believe the insurgency is in its final throes?  Cheney: Yes."
Bush, 08/2006: "This is a turning point for the Iraqi citizens."

Ok, that's enough from the men who play at war.  Here is a quote about turning point from someone who actually serves. 

Quote
David Petraeus, 2007: “People keep asking me if we've reached a turning point," Petraeus says, "and I can't say that we have. We'll probably realize we passed a turning point six months after we reach it." In fact, the general has been very cautious in his assessments of the war, saying repeatedly, to the dismay of many hawks, that "military victory is not possible."

And one more from another war hero.  You have to guess who he is. 

Quote
how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?....
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 01:54:25 AM by helot2000 » Logged

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Brendan
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« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2008, 01:52:14 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 01:13:50 AM

Only so many people can search so many caves. I don't think our cave-searching ability was diminished by our invasion of Iraq.

I'll continue the charade that you'll allow any information that contradicts your previously held beliefs into your brain:

CIA operative says Bush, military leaders let bin Laden escape

Quote
The top CIA counterterrorism officer who tracked Osama bin Laden through the mountains of Afghanistan says the United States could have captured the terrorist leader if President George W. Bush and the American military had devoted the necessary resources to the hunt and capture.

Quote
In the book, Berntsen says his Jawbreaker team tracked bin Laden to Afghanistan's Tora Bora region late in 2001 and could have killed or captured the al Qaeda leader there if military officials had agreed to his request for an additional force of about 800 U.S. troops.

Did US Mistakes Let bin Laden Escape from Afghanistan 3 Years Ago?

Quote
While more than 1,200 U.S. Marines sat at an abandoned air base in the desert 80 miles away, Franks and other commanders relied on three Afghan warlords and a small number of American, British and Australian special forces to stop al-Qaida and Taliban fighters from escaping across the mountains into Pakistan.

Quote
Military and intelligence officials had warned Franks and others that the two main Afghan commanders, Hazrat Ali and Haji Zaman, couldn't be trusted, and they proved to be correct. They were slow to move their troops into place and didn't attack until four days after American planes began bombing - leaving time for al-Qaida leaders to escape and leaving behind a rear guard of Arab, Chechen and Uzbek fighters.

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U.S. intelligence analysts estimated that 1,000 to 1,100 al-Qaida fighters, along with some of the group's top leaders, escaped the American dragnet at Tora Bora.

A Pakistani official later told Knight Ridder that intelligence reports suggested that some 4,000 al-Qaida members escaped and that 50 to 80 top leaders paid Zaman or Ali as much as $40,000 apiece for safe passage out of Tora Bora.

etc etc etc
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DarkEL
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« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2008, 01:55:10 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 01:35:55 AM

And yes I'm willing to let them send thousands of Americans to their deaths and spend trillions of dollars (are you holding your pinkie to your mouth when you type that?) to do what I think is the right thing.

So if you really believe it's the right thing to do, then why don't you enlist?

Or is it only the right thing when you don't have to risk anything?
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Brendan
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« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2008, 01:55:48 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 01:47:20 AM

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 01:38:20 AM

you would have suspected the fucking claims about Iraq made by your authoritarian President and party.
First, it's not my party. I'm an independent, leaning conservative, not a republican.

Yeah, you've voted for a Democrat?  My point stands - you claim that you expect to be lied to by your government, yet you're not willing to examine the case they made to send Americans into war.  Genius.


Quote from: cheeba
Second, why no hate for the democratic party?

Oh, super cute.  Look who got forwarded a chain letter.  Send us the one about the cookie recipe next.
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cheeba
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« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2008, 02:01:05 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 01:55:48 AM

Yeah, you've voted for a Democrat?
Not for president. I'm sure you won't believe me when I say that I am very seriously considering voting for Obama in this election, but it's true. I'm probably as close to 50/50 as I can be right now.
Quote
My point stands - you claim that you expect to be lied to by your government, yet you're not willing to examine the case they made to send Americans into war.  Genius.
Oh I'm willing to examine it and I have. There were undoubtedly lies thrown around. The dumb thing is those lies were unnecessary and we had better reasons to go to war. The WMD issue was among the least of my concerns with Iraq.
Quote
Oh, super cute.  Look who got forwarded a chain letter.  Send us the one about the cookie recipe next.
Nah, it's on snopes. Note the "Status: True." Do you deny any of those quotes? If not, why aren't you also bitching about the democratic party?
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Brendan
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« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2008, 02:03:50 AM »

You're prepared to go to the mat for this dishonesty, huh?  The quotes are real, the context you're using them in is false.  Read the entirety of your Snopes citation.

The scorecard of "Who made the correct predictions about the war in Iraq?" still reads Obama: 1 million, Bush:  0.
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cheeba
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« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2008, 02:18:27 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 02:03:50 AM

You're prepared to go to the mat for this dishonesty, huh?  The quotes are real, the context you're using them in is false.  Read the entirety of your Snopes citation.
I did. Nowhere did I state that these were arguments for the Iraq war. However, they do show that democrats believed as far back as 1998 and the Clinton administration that Saddam was actively seeking to build WMD or had WMD.
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Brendan
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« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2008, 02:40:30 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 02:18:27 AM

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 02:03:50 AM

You're prepared to go to the mat for this dishonesty, huh?  The quotes are real, the context you're using them in is false.  Read the entirety of your Snopes citation.
I did. Nowhere did I state that these were arguments for the Iraq war. However, they do show that democrats believed as far back as 1998 and the Clinton administration that Saddam was actively seeking to build WMD or had WMD.

In some cases, that's true.  Did the CIA and State Department issue reports opposing those claims?  Did the Democrats pick and choose evidence to make the strongest possible case for starting a war?  No, they didn't.  They took a measured approach - and yet, took entirely appropriate military actions.

cheeba, there were weapons inspectors in Iraq, who left after Bush declared that he was taking us to war.  And while they were no great fans of Hussein, what'd they say about our rush to judgement?  Remember Curveball?  As you know, the Neocons who ran foreign policy for Cheney had an agenda - and they made sure we spent American blood to pursue it.

I see now that your rhetorical strategy is to present as many thin scattershot arguments as possible, and if even one of the dozens proves even quasi-true, you'll just hang your hat on that.  Your defenses of the President here are as laughable as your contention that you're "50/50" for Obama.
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Blackadar
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« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2008, 03:00:56 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 02:18:27 AM

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 02:03:50 AM

You're prepared to go to the mat for this dishonesty, huh?  The quotes are real, the context you're using them in is false.  Read the entirety of your Snopes citation.
I did. Nowhere did I state that these were arguments for the Iraq war. However, they do show that democrats believed as far back as 1998 and the Clinton administration that Saddam was actively seeking to build WMD or had WMD.

I have so utterly destroyed this red herring in other threads it's not funny.  So I'll just repost it verbatim.

---
This is a "justification" by right-wingers that I hear a lot and it's absolutely meaningless.  Yes, Clinton's administration thought he had WMDs because not all were accounted for during the UN destruction of the WMDs after Gulf War I.  The UN inspectors pulled out in 1998 due to the interference by the Iraqi governement.  From this point on, we have no UN on-site inspectors and reduced intel capabilities.  So our assumption was they still must have possessed some WMDs because we had little on-site intel and their uncooperative attitude towards the UN suggested they had something to hide.

Due to Bush's saber-rattling (this was OK), UN inspectors were allowed back into Iraq in November, 2002, providing our best on-site intel in over 4 years.  From November, 2002 until March, 2003, the Iraqi government was significantly less obstructionist than in previous inspections and the inspectors found NOTHING.  In January 2003, United Nations weapons inspectors reported that they had found no indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active program.  Another report in January said that the chemical agents Saddam did have in the past had been rendered inert by time (3-5 year shelf life).  The lead UN inspector's report in early March said Iraq was actively cooperating with UNMOVIC - a drastic change from their attitude in 1998.  This on-site intel was entirely ignored, as were many reports from the CIA that suggested that Iraq did NOT have WMDs anymore.

This simple fact is that the vast majority of independent intel available in March, 2003 suggested that Iraq did not have WMDs, that they were cooperating with the UN and that an invasion was entirely unjustified.  Same thing with the supposed (and non-existent) Iraq/Al-Queda links.  But Bush and his cronies only wanted to hear - and disseminate - intel that supported the justification of an invasion.  So trying to use the claim that "Clinton thought he had them" is entirely irrelevant to this discussion - the facts on hand and the situation within Iraq were radically different than when Clinton left office.

So jam that right-wing red herring back into the filing cabinet under "useless excuses".  It isn't going to work here.
----

"You know you can't bring that weak ass shit up in this humpy bumpy!"

« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 03:02:50 AM by Blackadar » Logged

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Autistic Angel
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« Reply #27 on: May 17, 2008, 03:29:58 AM »

Quote from: cheeba
I did. Nowhere did I state that these were arguments for the Iraq war. However, they do show that democrats believed as far back as 1998 and the Clinton administration that Saddam was actively seeking to build WMD or had WMD.

...and yet, it was not the Democrats who pressed the country into an invasion of Iraq, nor the Democrats who went on an international media tour trying to gin up foreign support, nor the Democrats who botched its planning and execution this badly.  They did vote to authorize the use of military force, but had they known that the Bush administration's justification for using it was based almost entirely on a source judged to be a mentally unstable liar by the CIA, and other known con artists like Ahmed Chalabi, perhaps they would have acted differently.

Believing you can fly is a lot different than actually throwing yourself off a cliff.

-Autistic Angel

EDIT: Beaten by both Brendan and Blackadar.... icon_redface
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 03:33:07 AM by Autistic Angel » Logged
cheeba
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« Reply #28 on: May 17, 2008, 03:39:06 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 02:40:30 AM

I see now that your rhetorical strategy is to present as many thin scattershot arguments as possible, and if even one of the dozens proves even quasi-true, you'll just hang your hat on that.
Nope. My strategy here is to argue that both republicans and democrats are responsible for the war.
Quote
Your defenses of the President here are as laughable as your contention that you're "50/50" for Obama.
By definition if I'm 50/50 then I'm not for Obama.
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cheeba
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« Reply #29 on: May 17, 2008, 03:57:13 AM »

Quote from: Blackadar on May 17, 2008, 03:00:56 AM

So trying to use the claim that "Clinton thought he had them" is entirely irrelevant to this discussion - the facts on hand and the situation within Iraq were radically different than when Clinton left office.
"Clinton thought he had them" is like 2% of the quotes I listed. By all means click on the snopes link so you can read them in full context. Often the democrats caution about going to war, but they all believed there were WMD's, based not only on American intelligence.

Of course, if you want to hold the democrats completely blameless for the war, knock yourselves out. That's an incredibly naive position to take, but it makes it easier for you to vote democrat, so I understand.
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Brendan
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« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2008, 04:01:16 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 03:39:06 AM

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 02:40:30 AM

I see now that your rhetorical strategy is to present as many thin scattershot arguments as possible, and if even one of the dozens proves even quasi-true, you'll just hang your hat on that.
Nope. My strategy here is to argue that both republicans and democrats are responsible for the war.

Yeah, let's stamp that strategy "failed."

Quote from: cheeba, seriously
Quote
Your defenses of the President here are as laughable as your contention that you're "50/50" for Obama.
By definition if I'm 50/50 then I'm not for Obama.

Ah, more pedantry.  Truly the refuge of those with nothing consequential to say.
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Geezer
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« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2008, 04:30:06 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 04:01:16 AM

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 03:39:06 AM

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 02:40:30 AM

I see now that your rhetorical strategy is to present as many thin scattershot arguments as possible, and if even one of the dozens proves even quasi-true, you'll just hang your hat on that.
Nope. My strategy here is to argue that both republicans and democrats are responsible for the war.

Yeah, let's stamp that strategy "failed."

It's undeniable that both Rs and Ds bear responsibility for the war.  It's obvious that the Rs sold the public a bill of goods in an effort to twist public opinion, but it's just as obvious that the spineless Ds rolled over like the dogs they were.   Further, the Ds have had mulitple opportunities to end it - just pull funding.  But they won't, because even though everyone knows that another strike on US soil is more or less inevitable, they know the public is going to blame (rightly or wrongly) whichever party/individual can be successfully portrayed as "soft on terror."

It's similar to the disingenuous argument that the R strategy has been effective because there haven't been any "terrorist" attacks (on US soil) since 9/11.  Thing is, there weren't any BEFORE 9/11 either.  It's all superficial BS - the taking off your shoes at the airport BS, the "3 oz of liquid are ok, but 4 are not" BS, the "war of terrorism" that can, by definition neither have an end nor a victor.. it's both parties trying to cover their asses so that when the next crisis hits they can point the finger at the other party.

« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 04:32:35 AM by Geezer » Logged
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« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2008, 04:35:36 AM »

Yes, that's all true - but responsibility for starting the war lies with Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, etc.  The Democrats certainly didn't fulfill their responsibility for oversight, and that will always be a black mark.  Congress was controlled by the Republicans at the time, so they would've had to pull some seriously obstructionist tactics and they didn't have the stomach for it.  But don't lose sight that the justification for this immoral war was cooked behind the scenes by a cabal intent on seeing it happen - they just knew that the opposing party was too weak to do anything about it.
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« Reply #33 on: May 17, 2008, 04:38:53 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 01:13:50 AM

Quote
Taking the eye off the ball in Afghanistan in order to fight an unnecessary war in Iraq *may* have had something to do with this.
Only so many people can search so many caves. I don't think our cave-searching ability was diminished by our invasion of Iraq.

Oh, come on thats just insipid. Don't make me assume you think Afghanistan was ever down to a cave-searching operation.
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cheeba
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« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2008, 05:09:02 AM »

Quote from: CSL on May 17, 2008, 04:38:53 AM

Oh, come on thats just insipid. Don't make me assume you think Afghanistan was ever down to a cave-searching operation.
It's just a metaphor.
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CSL
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« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2008, 05:10:37 AM »

Quote from: cheeba on May 17, 2008, 05:09:02 AM

Quote from: CSL on May 17, 2008, 04:38:53 AM

Oh, come on thats just insipid. Don't make me assume you think Afghanistan was ever down to a cave-searching operation.
It's just a metaphor.

You could do a damned sight better explaining yourself then.
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cheeba
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« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2008, 05:14:04 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 04:35:36 AM

Yes, that's all true - but responsibility for starting the war lies with Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, etc.
I love how in one post you state unequivocally that democrats have no responsibility whatsoever for the war, and the next post you say, "yeah ok but the other guys started it."

So now you're forced to admit that I'm right, that democrats bear some responsibility for the war, huh? biggrin Come, Brendan, take your first step to a new world of enlightenment!
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Brendan
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« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2008, 05:22:11 AM »

I know in your world of stark blacks and whites, you've created your own moral equivalence between the two parties, cheeba.  That's illusory.  The Republican party generated this thing - the Democrats failed to stop them.  That's bad on both counts, but the reprehensible conduct here is 99.9% Republican and 0.1% Lieberman.  The cowardly conduct is what's split evenly.

I can't even tell you how much I wish you were off fighting this war instead of my friend; it's not too late for you to enlist and put your life where your mouth is.  Your cavalier attitude towards human life is sickening.
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cheeba
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« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2008, 05:23:34 AM »

Quote from: CSL on May 17, 2008, 05:10:37 AM

You could do a damned sight better explaining yourself then.
With regards to looking for Osama, there comes a point where adding additional troops to look for him is no longer useful. Also, someone was cited above saying he just needed 800 more troops and he'd have had Osama. If this were substantive, he'd have had his 800 troops. Bush would have no reason not to comply. His ratings would jump 30% if he found Osama.
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cheeba
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« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2008, 05:24:45 AM »

Quote from: Brendan on May 17, 2008, 05:22:11 AM

I can't even tell you how much I wish you were off fighting this war instead of my friend; it's not too late for you to enlist and put your life where your mouth is.  Your cavalier attitude towards human life is sickening.
You forgot to mention that I was right.
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