presidential endorsement

From Friday's White House press briefing:

Q: Ari, two things. What do you say to these Americans who say they are patriotic, who want disarmament, but don't want war for the examples that we're seeing now ? death and destruction in Iraq? ...
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the President's message to those people is, they're just as patriotic as anybody who has a different view of how best to achieve disarmament. There is no question about that.

Good. Now if only all the bonehead would-be super-patriots in our fine country would arrive at the same conclusion.

19 comments so far

1 Mar 25 '03 9:02am:

Pagan Priest replied:

"Please provide a link if you've already addressed the question I'm about to ask. Your opposition to the war is well established. Rolling back the clock to, say, the summer of '91 how would you have handled the Iraq question to avoid military action? Was there a political or economic solution all along?"


2 Mar 25 '03 5:09pm:

tODD replied:

"I'm a little confused as to what this has to do with the press briefing snippet, if it does at all.

And I'd challenge that my opposition to the war is, say, firm or unchanging.

True, I think that a pre-emptive strike is morally unjustifiable, but I'm aware that it may be a good strategic option. Only time will tell.

Anyhow, my thoughts on this war change constantly as I read more about what happens and what other people think about it. Were I not to have the moral opposition I do, I'm not sure I would fall easily into any camp, but I definitely wouldn't be knee-jerk anti-war. Heck, I'm not that now.

Anyhow, do you mean what would I have done after the first Gulf War ended to avoid the military action we're now involved in?

The short answer is that I don't know enough, as it is, about what was going on back then to give you a very good answer.

If we're going to play "what-if", though, why not let me roll things back to before the war ended and point out that, as I understand it, it was probably a mistake not to 1) get Saddam while we were engaged in war and 2) support the uprisings we encouraged and then abandoned to be crushed by Saddam.

At least the first Gulf War was predicated on an actual attack. While I am fairly convinced that the reasons we got involved were far from pure (oil and military concerns seem to rank pretty high), it had that going for it.

But then, I'm solving the need for our current military intervention by wishing we'd perfected our previous military intervention, not with politics.

Does this mean that no diplomatic or economic solution could have solved the Saddam problem back in the day? Like I said, I don't know.

But to answer what I think is your point, from a purely practical point of view (which is to say one which ignores moral absolutes), sometimes politics can't solve everything, and war is pretty much unavoidable when you have intransigent parties leading opposing nations."


3 Mar 27 '03 1:28pm:

Erik McDonel replied:

"We want to avoid death and destruction? I presume you mean such as the deaths of innocent Iraqi civilians?
It is a fact (that is to say, undisputable information) that Mr. Hussein has killed 450,000 of his own people, almost all of which are civilians during the last 25 years. How's that for death and destruction in Iraq? Seems to me that if we know about this and continue to let it go on, we are also responsible for those half-million deaths.

Let's say we accidentally kill 1,000 Iraqi civilians over the course of a month or so. Saddam kills an average of that many every 10 days. Better than the half million more he'll kill before he dies if left alone.

Don't give me this "we want to avoid death" crap. If you want to avoid much more death, you take out Saddam. Anything else is a lie. If you hate George Bush, fine. Don't put your political motives against the lives of 450,000 innocents, not including potential ones in the future.

Sincerely Yours,

Erik J. McDonel
tmcdonel@iusb.edu"


4 Mar 27 '03 6:04pm:

tODD replied:

"Dear Erik,

The "'we want to avoid death' crap" that raises your hackles so wasn't said by me, it was a snippet from a White House press briefing. If you have a problem with that statement, you'll have to find out what journalist made it and berate him instead.

My point in selecting this snippet was simply to show that even the president doesn't think peace protestors aren't patriotic, as some would have it.

As to the other points you made:

It is, of course completely disputable how many of his own people Saddam has killed. This New York Times article speaks to the difficulty of counting such a number, and it also depends on whether you count things like the war with Iran or not.

It is even disputable whether or not Saddam famously gassed his own people, as discussed in this piece which ran in the New York Times opinion section (and excerpted on some random Web page, but also found in other places). Hey, I didn't even know that before I started responding.

(Why so many New York Times links? They're a fairly trustworthy source of information on the Web, not just some random site. And, of course, because as part of the vast liberal media conspiracy, they will print any lie to bring down George Bush. Oh, I'm kidding ? lighten up.)

As to your assertion that (450,000 Iraqis / (25 years * 365 days/year)) = (1,000 Iraqis / 10 days), that's simply bad math. -10. Show your work.

Furthermore, it contains the idea that Saddam is still killing Iraqis at the rate of 50 a day. While I don't doubt that people have recently been murdered by his regime, you'd think that such a sustained rate would have been publicized somewhere.

In fact, most of the atrocities attributed to Saddam are over ten years old. To maintain that, without American intervention, 18,000 Iraqis would be killed by Saddam every year is without basis. To claim that Saddam would kill a half million more people before he died (what, you expect him to live another 25 years, or do you expect him to accelerate his pace?) is similarly baseless.

Now, I would hardly argue that it is possible to avoid some form of death or destruction in this situation. Either some Iraqis will die at the hands of a brutal regime, or they will die at the hands of their would-be liberators. There is no guaranteed way to prevent their death.

So the question is how to minimize death and destruction. It is my belief, or at least my hope, that most in America desire to do this ? the peaceniks assume that Saddam is not so bad or could be enticed (or kindly forced?) to stop being so bad, and that war is the unnecessary source of death, while the warniks assume that Saddam is worse than a hopefully short war and that Saddam is the worse of the two evils.

If you think all peaceniks simply hate George Bush (oh sure, some do, I know), then I imagine you're as biased as your perception of the peaceniks for whom you show such barely-disguised loathing. Which is a horribly-written sentence, sorry.

Anyhow, I find it interesting that in your first paragraph you express concern for "innocent Iraqi civilians", while in the second you seem to brush aside the accidental death of 1,000 Iraqi civilians.

I mean, why is it better for them to die accidentally by an invading force than at the hand of a cruel dictator? Do you think it makes those who die happier to have died a needless death due to a tactical error than an intentional death due to the cruelty of Saddam?

Oh, I know, it's all about the numbers to you. Some sick problem of death math in which, it would seem, morals are of no concern. Let's just go kill all those who kill to solve all our problems!

Never mind that, using such logic, any Iraqi-sympathizing terrorist who killed the president would be sickly justified because, to him, he is reducing the number of deaths of his brothers. Great.

Also, it is interesting that so far, the Iraqi people have not embraced your logic. They are not overthrowing their oppressors, they're fighting against the US invasion. Heck, some Iraqi exiles who oppose Saddam are even returning to fight against our soldiers. I guess they don't see things your way, either.

I'm not saying all Iraqis think our attacking them is wrong, but not everyone who would be affected is for such "liberation", which at least weakens arguments from those who sit comfortably in their not-being-bombed houses.

Finally, your argument that "if we know about [Saddam killing his own people] and continue to let it go on, we are also responsible for those half-million deaths" is interesting, precisely because we did know about it when it happened, and we didn't do anything. Oh sure, we're invading now, but where were we ten or more years ago?

What about the thousands of Kurds and Shias we explicitly encouraged to rise up and then failed to back, allowing them to be crushed by Saddam? Are we responsible for them?

What about all the Rwandans who died last decade? Are we responsible for them? And how about all the tens of millions (by some sources) of Russians killed under Stalin? Should we have invaded the USSR back then? Surely that justified military action!

My point here is not to suggest that the US is to blame for not stomping out all evil, or even that it is wrong in applying different standards at different times. It is simply to point out that the US is not and never has been "all about freedom".

We have supported dictators who murdered their people. We have allowed evil to exist. And, yes, we have at times moved to stop evil ? almost always when it served some other purpose to us, I would add.

But ask yourself why we have chosen to focus on Iraq now, well after many of Saddam's most notorious atrocities. The answer is quite obvious, and still our main stated objective ? to disarm Saddam of his ability to obtain and (supposedly) disseminate chemical and other weapons.

Why didn't we care about this enough to attack before September 11th? Because we didn't consider such terrorist attacks against us to be a reality.

In short, we don't really care about the Iraqi people. We never have. What we care about is us.

Sure, it may be nice that the Iraqis, as a result of this war, will be rid of such an oppressive regime. But it wasn't nice enough to move us before we perceived a threat to our own people.

My apologies for the extraordinary length of this reply. Sort of."


5 Mar 28 '03 8:24am:

Chip replied:

"Todd,
Great reply I must say. I'm not in agreement with all of it but then again we do not agree on many things :)

I will say that I liked it because you backed you position with logic and with information.

Not backing the uprising that we encouraged is one of the biggest issues that I had with the last war. I thought we should have gone on to bagdad and taken out the regime. We had more of the Iraqi Army distroid or surendered last time then this time. They also kept very few of the army back in bagdad as they played the front game.

A few things they learned from the last war. 1) You do not line your tanks up and try to intemidate the US military. We have great tanks ourselves and just as many. 2) Tell your people not to run the tanks at night to stay warm. The Iraqi Army did this during the first gulf war and the infrared of the Apachie really liked it.

I do think we need to get this mad man and there are a few more that need to be taken care of in my oppinion.

Just some thoughts from a conservative.

Chip"


6 Mar 28 '03 11:20am:

Erik McDonel replied:

"Do I expect Saddam to live long or accelerate his pace of killing?

I expect him to accelerate his pace. A guy like that doesn't end his life/regime without taking a lot more with him (such as all the civilians Saddam's forces killed today who were trying to flee Basrah (possible incorrect spelling there)

Do I brush aside the death of 1000 civillians?

No, but many more than 1000 will die if Saddam remains in power. I don't think anyone will dispute that. Which is the worse of two evils - a small number of civilian deaths or a large number?

Do I think we should police the world and take out every murderous dictator? No. I simply wish to throw the "Iraqi civilian casualties are not acceptable, so war is not acceptable" argument. If those people hated Iraqi civilian casualties so much, they'd have Saddam out.
I think we need to take out Saddam not for this reason, but to keep ourselves safe. I honestly don't care about the Iraqis. I just hold people who are against the war for this false reason in total contempt. As you said yourself, Americans don't care about Iraqis."


7 Mar 28 '03 9:31pm:

Elise replied:

"I suppose I would be considered a "peacenik" by many - although I find that most of the motives ascribed to me are often inaccurate - as most statements that characterize a group of people usually are about an individual person.

My Grandfather only narrowly missed being killed by Hitler in the Second World War. And even though he wanted to fight with the Allied forces when he came to America, he had very strong pacifist tendencies. These pacifist tendencies could have been a part of his nature - but more than likely - they came from the horrendous things he had actually seen in war. "No one who has ever seen the aftermath of a battlefield talks of 'glorious victories'". Death isn't glorious and seeing hundreds of human beings reduced to blood and guts and mangled limbs wouldn't fill anyone's heart with pride - unless you're a deeply disturbed individual.

Yet, even though my Grandfather hated war so much and thought it an unnecessary evil most of the time - he recognized that there were times when certain maniacs forced war upon the world. If someone is taking others lives en masse - that person certainly should be stopped.

I suppose I'm much like my Grandfather in many ways. I don't think war is the answer 99.9% of the time - but I recognize that there are times when it is forced upon the world and that not acting to stop someone from killing people is irresponsible and wrong.

Yet while I recognize that Saddam Hussein is certainly a tyrant that has caused many people to be tortured or killed, I have many issues with the way our government has handled this.

I certainly wouldn't be among those who insist that Hussein isn't so bad or that he should be allowed to stay in power. I don't think anyone who kills, tortures should remain in power. I don't think any leader who fails to recognize the basic civil rights and civil liberties of the people he or she governs should be allowed to keep their job.

But by that argument, then Bush should not be allowed to keep his job. He may not be murdering people in America - but the Bush administration has certainly shown a hefty disrespect for civil liberties and civil rights and has condoned such things as racial profiling and detention of individuals without trial or the ability to talk to a lawyer. Also, America has resorted to torture as well lately. The Bush administration has also been enormously irresponsible concerning our economy (e.g. the tax cuts and our deficit), our environment and diplomacy with other nations. He has not shown himself to be a compassionate or responsible steward.


But I'm not against this war because I'm against Bush per se. I'll admit that Bush's is linked to why I think this war is a mistake. It's the ideology that the Bush administration holds that made it so that decisions were made that have eroded diplomatic relations with other countries, trounced the UN and may have set up a very bad precedent where other countries who are having issues with another country may try their own "preemptive" attacks.

I don't think this administration's actions help make the world a safer place. I think they make it an immeasurably more hostile place - one where other countries feel it has to make a nuclear weapon to ensure that we don't just attack them (i.e. North Korea), where other countries may feel they can ignore the UN because we do, where the risk of terrorism is actually increased because we're doing so much to generally piss people off from other countries.

There is something very uniquely barbaric in the way we have approached the problem of "Iraq" and what to do with Hussein that from my perspective makes America look hypocritical.

Should Saddam Hussein be removed from power? Yes he should. My argument has always been that the way we've gone about doing this is what is objectionable and should have been reconsidered.

I will say this though - I don't believe for one nanosecond that our doing this at this time has anything to do with any humanitarian regard for the Iraqi people or whether Hussein remained in power or not. Nor do I seriously believe it has a darn thing to do with our worries about terrorism or their supposed weapons of mass destruction. It's my opinion that those are just lame excuses for the real reason why important members of the Bush administration had its heart set on Iraq (as well as a few other places).

If the Bush administration was so concerned for the Iraqi people, he would have taken things slower, worked with the UN more, gathered support from other nations and did everything possible to win the trust of the Iraqi people so that they didn't feel worried that they were simply going to give up a dictator for a potential long-term occupation of American forces. The American and British forces wouldn't be having such a hard time of it now if more people in Iraq believed that we were sincerely there to help them - and not there for selfish reasons. Bush didn't help matters much in the process by issuing threats on an almost daily basis - even when Iraq was starting to cooperate with the UN. I don't think this bravado made the Iraqi people feel more at ease and I think the way this has been handled will ensure that there are many more deaths than there had to be.

- Just some thoughts from a stupid Physics student...

(No I'm not making fun of Chip - I'm making fun of myself... Carefully considered though overly verbose writings notwithstanding - I'm quite capable of saying stupid things or putting my foot in my mouth as some people on this forum can attest to - which is why I was signing my entries on various forums as "Mud" for a couple days)


"


8 Mar 31 '03 8:45am:

Chip replied:

"Elise,
OK let us start with a few things in your post. I think that racial profiling is a good tool. Lets look at terrorism for a second. Of the attacks against US citizens how many of the attackers where not Arabs between the ages of 18 and 35? How many of them where not Muslims? Lets look at serial killers in the same regard. The majority of them are White males between 25-40. Does that mean when we should start harassing old woman when a serial killer might be operating in an area just so we don't racial profile? This whole idea that we should not profile is stupid. You are racial and gender profiled every day and most do not even know it. If you think I have no idea what I'm talking about look at advertising. They profile by gender, age, and race. They call is demographics.

Anyone want to tell me what the census is for if not to profile the people that fill it out? FYI I did not fill in the race or gender areas of the census I only filled out the number of people living at the address.

Did you know as a military member you fill out 2 census? One for where you live and one for your home of record(state you call home). You actually get counted twice.

As for not giving the UN enough time. The UN had 12 years from the last gulf war and they did nothing. How much more time should they have had? Tell me how was Iraq actually cooperating? By destroying a dozen illegal missiles out of the 100 that even Hanz Blix said they had?

Just some thought from a conservative.

Chip
"


9 Mar 31 '03 7:01pm:

doug replied:

""Of the attacks against US citizens how many of the attackers where not Arabs between the ages of 18 and 35?"

You mean like the ones in the Oklahoma City bombing?

Or the as yet unsolved anthrax attacks?

I have profoundly mixed feelings about profiling for a number of reasons, of which these examples illustrate one.

"As for not giving the UN enough time. The UN had 12 years from the last gulf war and they did nothing. How much more time should they have had?"

Well, let me rephrase that. After 12 years, what makes this war suddenly so important that it should be fought now? Why is it more important than the economic health of the United States, or the clear and present danger that those of us on the left coast face from North Korea, a country who a. has missiles that can reach the United States and b. has nuclear weapons?"


10 Apr 01 '03 8:35am:

Chip replied:

"OK you have listed 1 out of the last decade of attacks that was not an Arab. Most people would call that a bad statistics to support an argument against something. I find it amazing how if a child goes missing they immediatly want a profile of a possible predetor yet here we have a known threat where the profile stands out and no one wants it used.

The importance is that we have tied him to Al-quada. We know he supports terrorism, example he pays suicide bombers relatives. we also know he will not flench at the idea of using WMD against his own or other people. North Korea will be another target and if needed we will go in with the military. As for the fact that they can reach the left coast you are correct. What worries me more is that they can reach Vietnam, Japan, and Hawaii very important military strategic points. Also they can reach Alaska and our Oil fields there.

If Clinton had not allowed the sales of computers and nuclear reactor pieces to them then we would not be having a conversation about North Korea.

Just some thought from a conservative."


11 Apr 01 '03 10:54am:

Elise replied:

"I feel like this argument has become a runaway train. I just pop back on every once in a while to see who has hit the next volley.

The only thing I will say is that the reason why profiling on a mass scale doesn't work - is that if you're trying to solve a crime, you will want someone to come forward. You will want insider?s information. But if you alienate the ENTIRE group of people - then no one comes forward and everyone (the innocents who get harassed, the ultimate victims of the real criminals and the cops alike) loose.

It's just not a smart way to solve a crime. Doing a profile on a possible suspect is one thing - but dragging everyone in who looks different only rakes up animosity and bad feelings in an entire population and at the same time achieves NOTHING in the process.

The FBI dragging all the foreign students in on this campus and asking them point-blank "are you a terrorist?" doesn't do a damn thing to help. It only insults them.

Neither does having those from Arab countries come in for registration and detaining them in prison cells. They are good honest people who have just been treated by criminals. Now they feel like they've been singled out and treated unfairly. So why should they help us now? It just makes the whole thing worse.

Here's another hint: The criminals WON'T come in for registration. It's only the innocent hard-working people who happen to be born in Arab countries who are getting the sharp stick in the eye on this one.

I could put in more of my own two cents - but it probably wouldn't be worth that much at this point - without repeating things already said in this and other strings. Plus - as I've mentioned before - I'm getting worn out by the whole issue. I'm tired of all the arguments. I think we just need to wait to see what happens. Then arguments will be proven one way or another without the need to argue back and forth.

maybe...

I don't know.
"


12 Apr 01 '03 1:44pm:

doug replied:

"does the Unabomber count as a terrorist?

or Eric Rudolph, the guy who detonated a bomb at the 96 Olympics?

or people who shoot doctors at abortion clinics?

"Terrorist" is a horribly vague word, but there's no question that many of the practitioners of it (including, most likely from the last I read, the perpetrators of the anthrax attack) are outside of the demographic you define.

For that matter, the DC sniper incident is a failure of profiling entirely - wasn't the sniper profiled as a white male?

All of which is to say that, again, I have MIXED feelings about profiling. I never said I don't want it used, please read my note again and argue against me, not what you think I stand for.

And for that matter, I'm not defending Clinton's actions in N. Korea, or for that matter, Iraq. (Or in a host of other areas, most of which are irrelevant to this discussion.) And I somewhat agree with your point about the UN - the status quo was not sustainable, and I think the failure of the anti-war movement was to provide a plausible alternative, which inspections and (especially) sanctions and no-fly zones never were.

FWIW, I'm not a "liberal" or a "conservative" - if anything, I'm a libertarian, although I don't subscribe fully to that approach, either.

And can you provide a source that both provides a definitive, substantive link between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda and argues that said link is substantially stronger than links to Al-Qaeda by any other government? From what I've seen, the Hussein/Al-Qaeda links have been largely tangential, as opposed to, say, royal connections to Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. "


13 Apr 01 '03 1:48pm:

doug replied:

"This article, while slightly dated, elaborates on the point I was trying to make - why Iraq instead of these other countries? Or is this the first action in a goal to invade numerous other countries, and if so, why isn't that the argument that's been made by our government?"


14 Apr 02 '03 12:26am:

tODD replied:

"Discussions like these make me think I would do well to invest some time and coding into a threaded comments system, but I'm not so silly to think that Cock-a-hoop is some sort of public forum of great import, nor am I not-lazy enough to do something about it.

And now some responses to Chip.

"OK you have listed 1 out of the last decade of attacks that was not an Arab."

It's quite possible I'm forgetting some obvious examples, but how many attacks against Americans were committed by Arabs? Right now, I can think of two: the 9-11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Oh, yes, I can think of other terrorist attacks against Americans not on American soil (the embassy bombings in 1998, the attack on the USS Cole), but discussion of racial profiling in other countries is a bit immaterial (especially given that in Yemen, say, looking for an Arab person 18 to 35 years old is a bit silly).

"The importance is that we have tied him to Al-qaeda."

I agree with Doug on this one. We haven't tied the Iraqi regime to Al-Qaeda any more than we could tie Pakistan, our supposed ally, to Al-Qaeda. But I suppose this is a question of whether one trusts our leaders or not. As a general rule, I don't.

"What worries me more is that they can reach Vietnam, Japan, and Hawaii - very important military strategic points. Also they can reach Alaska and our Oil fields there."

Not to belabor the obvious, but there are people who live in these places whose jobs don't explicitly involve putting their lives on the line. Maybe we could also shed a sweat drop for them, too, hmm?

"If Clinton had not allowed the sales of computers and nuclear reactor pieces to them then we would not be having a conversation about North Korea."

I won't argue that Clinton wasn't stupid in some of his dealings with other countries, but to imply that a megalomaniacal despot like Kim Jong-Il is only a threat because of technology help from us seems a bit naive.

Finally, Doug, I'm betting that Iraq is but the first (or second) in a series of countries we plan to attack in some way.

I base this partly on the reading I've been doing on the Project for a New American Century, but I need to read a lot more on that.

As to why no one in the Bush administration has admitted that we'll eventually invade other countries, well, I think that would be very unpalatable to the world at large and a majority of the American people.

Would we have invaded Afghanistan if we knew we'd be attacking Iraq soon after? Probably, but the public might have balked rather than enthusiastically backed such action.

Would the public have supported the war in Iraq as much as it did if it knew that a war with some other country was to come next? Maybe, but the debate would have been more rancorous.

Many in the Bush administration have been advocating regime change in Iraq since before Bush took office, for reasons that obviously have nothing to do with 9-11, or al-Qaeda, and only tangentially to do with the freedom of the Iraqi people.

But those are the reasons that American people will swallow, so that's what we hear, flimsy or not. In some ways, you know, 9-11 was a gift to those in the Bush administration who have wanted to get Saddam for a long time.

I'm not sure who we'll attack next, or what newfound justification we'll use to trigger our attack but look for it to be every bit as ham-handed as our dealings with Iraq have been."


15 Apr 03 '03 2:46pm:

Chip replied:

"OK for your link to the Al-quida have non of you seen the reports that the kurds along with coalition forces raided an al-qaeda training camp? Am I the only one that has seen this on 3 different news networks?

Todd,
The comment of the bush administration wanting to get saddam for a long time is interesting since the bush administration was not even a year old when 9-11 happened so I guess less then 1 year is a long time?

Oh Doug I am a registered libritarian and I am a conservative as are many of my fellow party members that I convers with. Just like all parties we have moderates like yourself and liberals.

Just some thoughts from a conservative."


16 Apr 03 '03 5:21pm:

tODD replied:

"Chip,

As to the link between al-Qaeda and Iraq, I'm willing to believe that al-Qaeda or splinter groups thereof has operated out of Iraq. What I'm not so sure of is to what degree it did so with Saddam's blessing.

Even this Christian Science Monitor article, which implies that Saddam does support Ansar al-Islam in northern Iraq, seems to think that he has done so to destabilize the de facto independent Kurdish area established with the help of the northern no-fly zone.

In other words, Saddam doesn't seem to have supported Islamic radicals for the purpose of attacking America (and certainly there is no proof he was involved in the 9-11 attacks), but to his own ends of attacking the Kurds.

Which isn't a good thing, of course. But it makes Iraq's support of terrorism as bad as that of many other countries which we are notably not attacking, nor have any intention of doing so.

As I remain convinced that this war is not about the safety or freedom of the Iraqi people per se, but rather the safety of Americans, Saddam's warring against the Kurds is not a convincing casus belli.

I'd like to think that America opposes evil anywhere it lurks, but it doesn't, and that's not a tenable foreign policy.

And as to my comments on the Bush administration wanting to get Saddam, what I said was, "Many in the Bush administration have been advocating regime change in Iraq since before Bush took office", which implicates the individual members, not the administration as a whole. I mean, I said "since before Bush took office", which means there was no Bush administration at that point.

As to what I'm referring to, I have not fully read up on the Project for a New American Century to understand them better, but here is an example: a letter to President Clinton dated January 26, 1998 in which the authors urge a strategy that "should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power."

And who signed the letter? Here are some names you might recognize: Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and Donald Rumsfeld."


17 Apr 03 '03 6:00pm:

doug replied:

"As to the link between al-Qaeda and Iraq, I'm willing to believe that al-Qaeda or splinter groups thereof has operated out of Iraq. What I'm not so sure of is to what degree it did so with Saddam's blessing.

Right. To amplify, there have been al-Qaeda cells in - what? 40 countries? Something like that. Are we going to invade them all?

Actually, don't answer that. I'm worried I already know what the answer is."


18 Apr 04 '03 9:14am:

Chip replied:

"Todd,
I apologize for miss reading yout administration comments. My mistake. As for the signed letter well I think it just proves that these guys knew what they where talking about back then. No matter the reason why Saddam had the al-qaeda there he still harbored and supported through monitary and protection these people. That IS a direct link between him and the terrorist group.

Doug,
We do not have to invade a country that has al-quada cells in them however if the country is supporting them then I can see the possible need for a preemtive strike. Maybe not a invasion but a strike to clear a training camp. Even Clinton did that much just in my opinion not enough of it.

Just some thought from a conservative."


19 Apr 08 '03 10:56am:

doug replied:

"more on that Al-Qaeda "link" - scroll down a bit on this page. "


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