Spiegel: Bush can barely string a sentence together, and more

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Submitted by powayseller on November 12, 2006 - 10:23pm

Spiegel, a german magazine
"In practical terms, Rumsfeld's departure was a completely botched operation. Bush stumbled through the two press conferences -- over both of which the issue of Iraq hung like a foul-smelling cloud -- as clumsily as he used to do during his Texas days. The elections seem to have rattled him.

Indeed, Bush was barely able to string a sentence together. He avoided the questions he was asked, lost track of what he wanted to say and produced verbal monstrosities like this one: "And he (Donald Rumsfeld) and I are constantly assessing. And I'm assessing, as well, all the time, by myself, about, do we have the right people in the right place, or do we -- got the right strategy? As you know, we're constantly changing tactics. And that requires constant assessment." Not much later, Bush said: "I think it sends a bad signal to our troops if they think the Commander-in-Chief is constantly adjusting tactics."

End of a 6 Year Nightmare
"Europe has been increasingly skeptical of US foreign policy under President George W. Bush. While France and Germany led the opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, even former allies in Spain and Italy have since been swept from power by parties opposing the war. And British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who led his country into the Iraq war despite widespread public opposition, is now all but a lame- duck leader, expected to stand down in May next year at the very latest.

Now the midterm elections in the United States have dealt a severe blow to the White House, it would seem the Europeans are relishing dealing with a weakened president. There is even a hint of schadenfreude on this side of the Atlantic -- and some relief.

Europe has been increasingly skeptical of US foreign policy under President George W. Bush. While France and Germany led the opposition to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, even former allies in Spain and Italy have since been swept from power by parties opposing the war. And British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who led his country into the Iraq war despite widespread public opposition, is now all but a lame- duck leader, expected to stand down in May next year at the very latest.

Now the midterm elections in the United States have dealt a severe blow to the White House, it would seem the Europeans are relishing dealing with a weakened president. There is even a hint of schadenfreude on this side of the Atlantic -- and some relief."

Editorial comments
"The left-wing Berliner Zeitung writes that the election was not so much a defeat for the Republican Party as it was "a defeat for a school of thought, a defeat for the neo-conservative ideology".....
"The Financial Times is happy to see that Bush got an electoral "slap in the face" for the war in Iraq, Abu Ghraib, and his "one-dimensional foreign policy."....
"Meanwhile, the center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung calls the Democratic victory at the polls nothing less than the "victory of democracy." The paper says "the US nation experienced a revolt of the political center" against its commander-in-chief, whose "arrogant one-party rule threatened to undermine pillars and principles of America's system of governance."....
"Finally, Die Welt argues that although the US president is not yet a lame duck, "the end of the era of George W. Bush has begun."

Personally, I can't stand Bush, and am perplexed that our nation elected a man of such inferior intelligence, who can't even carry a speech, and killed 100,000 civilians, many more people than the terrorists killed in the trade tower attacks. Bush is an arrogant man who uses his religion and greed of power to justify war and killing civilians for his higher purpose (God wants him to do it). Doesn't that define a terrorist? In my opinion, Bush is a terrorist.

Bush's war in Iraq killed five times as many civilians as were killed in the 9/11 attacks. His war is an obvious blunder, and he is a worse murderer than the terrorists. Life for Iraqis is now worse than before the US came to save them.

"the risk of death by violence for civilians in Iraq is now 58 times higher than before the US-led invasion.....Violent deaths were mainly attributed to coalition forces - and most individuals reportedly killed were women and children.

Dr Les Roberts, who led the study, said: "Making conservative assumptions we think that about 100,000 excess deaths, or more, have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. "

Bush, as well as the terrorists, should be tried for mass murder, and I hope the Democrats will uncover every one of his horrendous secrets.

It is amazing that Americans have not held Bush accountable. He should be fired. The guy is a complete moron.

Submitted by qcomer on November 13, 2006 - 2:23am.

Poway,

I dislike Bush and strongly disagree with the Iraq war and the reasons for this war. Let me make it very clear that this war was redundant/useless and it has made America weaker. As I always say, the war ideology lacked basic understanding of the middle east culture/values as well as the fragile Shia/Sunni equation of Iraq.

Having said all that,to equate Bush with terrorists like OBL or alqaeda is absolute rubbish and naive. Just as I cannot stand the neo-cons, I also cannot stand the ultra liberals who see Bush as a retarded, christian fundamentalist, who is fighting this war in Iraq as a crusade. Bush was elected by the American people as the comander in chief of their armed forces. He used this mandate to decide Iraq war was justified and would help American interests in the region. He also doesn't instruct American soldiers to kill Iraqi civilians intentionally. That is the difference between Bush and a terrorist who intentionally blows bombs to kill civilians.

Secondly, I don't buy the report's claim that most people killed in violence are by coalition bombings. Most innocent people being killed in Iraq are murdered in bomb attacks carried out by their fellow muslims (Sunni vs Shia and vice versa). There are no numbers for terrorists killed in any reports because they mask themselves as civilians.

Submitted by BikeRider on November 13, 2006 - 7:45am.

powayseller, this is the greatest country in the world, proved by the fact that you can say what you just said about our president and you aren't executed. Now, for what you said..... no person should speak about our president like you did. You should be ashamed of yourself.

I feel that he took the fight overseas so that more blood wasn't shed in our country. Keep them busy over there so they don't have time to regroup and come over here. I fear that once the Democrats succeed in stopping the fight, we're going to have bombs going off in our streets and malls. You want to see home prices tank? Well, that would give you your wish. And I don't know what kind of freedoms would be taken from us in the name of National Security. Troublesome. There are no easy answers to all this. You are dealing with people that are totally insane, willing to blow themselves up. Don't care if they kill women and children. Everyone is their enemy.

Submitted by powayseller on November 13, 2006 - 8:52am.

The excess death claim comes from the Lancet, one of the most respected medical journals in the world.

"A study published by the Lancet says the risk of death by violence for civilians in Iraq is now 58 times higher than before the US-led invasion."

If you disagree, please link a study which shows Iraq is safer now. Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF, NATO, IMF... surely someone can vouch for this war?

I just checked Doctors Without Borders website. They are a non-political humanitarian organization run by volunteers and donations. "according to the United Nations, more than 400 specialized doctors have left Iraq since hostilities began in 2003. Furthermore, hundreds of other doctors have been killed. This is why, for example, the General Surgical Hospital of Baghdad currently has only one orthopedic surgeon. The threats against doctors also affect their patients as well, since this type of surgery requires an average hospital stay of three weeks—three weeks during which the patients are at the mercy of revenge operations by the various armed militias."

Anyone who is defending this war, should first read some first-hand accounts of how much worse off Iraq is today than before Bush sent our troops over there.

In this Sept 2006 article, A Health Care System Overwhelmed, an Iraqi orthopedic surgeon describes the situation.

"September 2006
Iraq: A health care system overwhelmed

Dr. Bassam is an Iraqi physician specializing in orthopedic surgery, who took part in the launch of this project. He now lives with his family in Baghdad, and is a member of the partner team working with MSF. He explains the current situation of the Iraqi health care system, and talks about his collaboration with MSF:

How would you describe the health care system in Iraq today?

The level of medicine has deteriorated considerably in Iraq. It had already dropped after the Gulf War, but it has really gotten worse in the past few years. Before the war, a lot of patients came to Iraq for surgery, from Syria, Jordan, and elsewhere. It wasn't expensive, and there were a lot of specialists. And medical care here had a good reputation. The situation deteriorated after the Gulf War, but got even worse after 2003. Now, security issues have top priority for the few existing financial resources, and medical needs are forced to take a back seat. This morning, dozens of people were killed in Fallujah. Yesterday it was Baghdad. And that's not counting the wounded, who add to the long list of emergency cases packing the hospitals. Every day brings a new batch of dead and wounded1. In this context, patients simply cannot receive proper treatment from an increasingly overwhelmed health care system. Some are forced to sell their car, or even their house, to get certain kinds of care in the few hospitals able to provide it.

Which areas of medicine are primarily affected by the situation?

Specialized procedures are very difficult to provide, particularly when they require sophisticated techniques. For example, when it comes to reconstructive surgery, congenital malformations, microsurgery, or neurosurgery, it's almost impossible right now to get operated on in Iraq. All the more so, since many doctors have gone farther north, or left the country, looking for someplace safer. As a result, there are fewer and fewer specialists, and—on top of everything—they are being particularly targeted. Many of them were kidnapped after the war began in 2003. They are caught between a rock and a hard place. Either they work for the Iraqi health care system, and earn a salary that makes them targets of abduction and ransom demands, or they get jobs with foreign nongovernmental organizations, and risk being perceived as working for the Americans.

How do you keep working, in this context?

The task is especially hard when, in addition to the shortage of doctors and specialists, you have overcrowded hospitals, little adequate equipment, corruption, and the constant insecurity and curfew requirements restricting our practice. This is why, in partnership with MSF, we are trying to seek out patients waiting for reconstructive surgery. We offer them the chance to come to Jordan for treatment; we take care of their medical paperwork, their administrative paperwork, and the logistics of their transfer to Amman. In addition, we are making contact with various Iraqi hospitals, which will allow MSF to supply them regularly, depending on their needs. Security constraints, however, prevent us from taking action and publicizing the project in the way we would like. Indeed, MSF is considered to be a foreign organization, which exposes its collaborators to the risk of abduction, or worse. So we have to keep a low profile, as much for our safety as for that of the patients. This is why a huge amount of discretion is a must, in order for a project like this to succeed. On the other hand, we have an excellent network of doctors in Iraq, whom we know, and with whom we are in contact. I graduated in the 1980s, and others even before that. So we have many relationships in the country. But despite our respective experience, we are running into many difficulties.

What are the difficulties facing patients trying to go to Jordan?

Before the war, it was very easy for people in northern Iraq to get to the south. For example, if someone living in Ninawa wanted to get to Baghdad, 400 miles away, it would take him four hours of traveling. Today, the trip takes two or three times longer. Given the numerous checkpoints, the risk of being targeted, and the bombings, people are afraid to come to Baghdad; they prefer to treat themselves, and stay home. The second important point has to do with getting passports. They are very hard to get right now. For example, one of my colleagues, under direct threat in Iraq, had to flee the country and now works for MSF in Jordan. But his wife waited more than a month to get a passport. The third point has to do with the nature of the project, which is focused on three narrow areas: maxillofacial, orthopedic, and plastic surgery. There are so many patients needing other types of surgery, which we cannot provide in Amman.

1 According to a Pentagon report written at the request of the U.S. Congress and released on 1 September, in three months, the number of weekly attacks increased by 15 percent, and that of Iraqi victims—civilians and soldiers—by 51 percent."

Submitted by BikeRider on November 13, 2006 - 9:15am.

Poweyseller, stop posting this crap and start babbling about housing again, like you normally do. Of course they are in more danger. It is a war, against people that blow themselves up and target civilians while doing it. Put yourself in their place for one minute..... Ask yourself.... would you rather be ruled by a dictator or fight for freedom? Would you rather be FREE or live under the rule of one horrible leader unable to speak your mind? I would want to fight for freedom, no matter what the media said or some asshole study said. I'd rather be dead than live under a dictatorship.

You think that the war stopping ends everything? Nope. They will just come over here and start blowing themselves up. You'll want action then for sure. I say take the fight to them and keep taking it to them. You make our country look weak.

Submitted by PD on November 13, 2006 - 10:01am.

Powayseller’s posts are exactly the kind of thing I was talking about when I said our policy had been “niced up” in attempt to pacify the media and the left. Even though we have gone to the most extraordinary lengths in the HISTORY OF THE WORLD (and warfare) to prevent civilian deaths while also trying to mitigate problems for them, powayseller wastes no time in declaring our president a terrorist. That makes me sick.

War is ugly. The occupying country is usually unbelievably harsh. We have been phenomenally benign in our occupation. Anyone who says otherwise needs to pick up a history book.

Powayseller wants us to stick our head in the sand like an ostrich while muttering about peace and love. Meanwhile, our a**es would be waving in the air, the perfect target for our next butt kicking.

Take your Bush and anti-America hate somewhere else.

Does anybody really think our problems with radical Islam are going to get better because we turn tail and run now that the Democrats have control of the House and Senate? Do they have any good solutions? I don’t think so. They certainly had a bag full of blame and a lot of finger pointing at their disposal, however.

Submitted by powayseller on November 13, 2006 - 10:34am.

PD, you are right that the Democrats have no answer either. Bush made a huge error in entering Iraq, and the intelligence at his dispoal, including his own father, predicted that civil war would result. Bush wouldn't listen. Now, it is hard to fix this mistake. I don't know what can be done now. I'm sure the Democrats are real worried, since they are expected to solve this difficult problem. Bush created a bad situation. He should have finished the job in Afghanistan, instead of cutting tail in Afghanistan.

PD, why do you think that people should not speak out against our politicians if they disagree? We should never impeach anyone? You think that anyone who disagrees with you should be silenced, or go away? Where would they go? Another forum, or another country? I can be friends with people who disagree with me, as long as they can be respectful toward me. Can you?

I'd like to hear your response to the quotes by der Spiegel, Lancet, Doctors without Borders, and how you will convince Europe and the rest of the world that this war is worthwhile for our national interest. It is the rest of the world that you must convince.

Submitted by surveyor on November 13, 2006 - 10:36am.

Before the Iraq war, the Europeans and Iraqis were accusing us of genocide because of our embargo. Osama Bin Laden used the Iraqi embargo as rationale for attacking us. So the good old U.S. decided to approve and institute an oil for food program, which was corrupted. Still, the Europeans and Iraqis were accusing us to genocide. So, in an effort to improve the situation, the U.S. undertook a war to remove a threat to the world. And these same people still call us terrorists and accuse us of genocide. So non-partisan or not, these criticisms are hardly credible.

And incidentally, Powayseller, you always complain when others make personal attacks on you. At least show others the same courtesy, even the President of the United States. Name-calling is not useful in a debate, and it decreases your credibility.

Submitted by PD on November 13, 2006 - 10:43am.

PS, you talk about being respected yet you give none to the President of the United States. You even go the unbelievable lengths of calling him a terrorist. You spew hate and vitriol at the President yet expect respect for yourself?

I don't think we have the obligation to convince the rest of the world of anything.

We have one obligation - protect and nurture the United States of America.

Submitted by PerryChase on November 13, 2006 - 10:59am.

The opinion expressed by powayseller is how most of the world thinks of Bush. They just don’t say it because they fear our military power and they want commerce with us.

I don’t think that comparing GWB to OBL is useful.

But let’s take a step back and look at how Iraq began. We started with good intentions but because our reasoning for the war was misguided, the war turned into a quagmire.

Let’s look at the consequences of our actions. Approximately 150,000 Iraqis and 2,900 American soldiers have been killed. What do we have to show for?

I agree with PD that war is brutal. However, Iraq wasn’t supposed to be a war of conquest. We promised to bring democracy and prosperity to Iraq. But what did we bring instead? Deaths and more deaths. By these measures, we have completely failed.

It’s not a matter of looking weak or strong. It’s a matter of integrity and living up to our ideals. In that respect, America failed miserably.

Submitted by sdcellar on November 13, 2006 - 11:20am.

This just occured to me for the first time, but you say that "because our reasoning for the ware was misguided, the war turned into a quagmire." I've heard this sentiment many times, but thinking about it, what would be different if we had found these much ballyhooed WMDs? I suppose we might have more global support at this point, but also feel that such support might be in spirit only. Either way, we'd still be there right now, wouldn't we?

Not trying to pick sides or anything here. I'm just wondering how things would be different. For some reason, I don't feel they'd be that different--war sucks, nobody likes it, and when it's all said and done, people want it over.

(also PC, you didn't say WMDs yourself, I just wedged that in there because I seem to hear it a lot elsewhere... and I'm just kind of running stream of conciousness here)

Submitted by kristinejm on November 13, 2006 - 11:38am.

Breaking news-

Bush to resign and take job with the NAR.

Submitted by deadzone on November 13, 2006 - 12:03pm.

NewFlash: For all you ingnorant Bush apologists, Iraq and Hussein had no connection with Al Queda. So, quit using the lamb rallying cry "We would rather fight them over there than over here".

If you want to fight Al Queda, then why not invade Saudi Arabia, they had a more proven track record with developing Al Queda terrorists.

Doen't it bother any of you that the entire world is against this war, and the entire world thinks Bush is a buffoon? Woudn't it be better if the world respected our country and President? It may be nice someday when we actually need coalition support for a legitimate military operation.

Submitted by PerryChase on November 13, 2006 - 12:14pm.

WMDs or not, the world was against this war. They thought that we could contain Iraq like we contained the Soviets and the Chinese for half a century.

Think of it this way. Bush is the boss of America, the biggest company in the world. When the boss wants to make an acquisition really bad, he bullies the lower level managers into submission. They have no choice but to fall into line if they want to remain employed.

If the boss succeeds, he's on the covers of magazines that proclaim him to be a visionary.

If the boss fails, people snicker behind his back and undermine him. Eventually the boss gets fired if the company looses too much money. The only way to turn around a failed organization is to hire a new chief executive. That new boss will then take the products from that failed acquisition and try to develop them into saleable items. The company will go through new bosses until it can turn around or go bankrupt.

Iraq is America’s failed acquisition and the products from that acquisition are all junk that will need a lot of engineering. America has a new Board of Directors but since the CEO’s contract is not up yet, he’s still hanging on. Meanwhile, America’s competitors are developing new products and building market share. If we don’t watch out, 10 years from now, we’ll still be stuck in Iraq while the rest the world moved on.

Submitted by juice (not verified) on November 13, 2006 - 12:25pm.

A few comments:

Issue: The facts, as understood by most people, are that the U.S. and the world thought there were WMDs, we went to war to get rid of them, but then discovered there were none. The concept of spreading democracy and making Iraq a beacon of demnocratic reform in the Middle East was never a premise for going to war, never sold to the American public or world before the war, but was instead used as a conveinant alternative mission once WMDs were not found.

Question: Isn't it likely that the Bush Administration had already decided to go to war long before the case was made, the UN debates happened etc? Troops were being told 15+ months before the invasion that it was a done deal, that it would happen in 18 or so months. Isn't it likely that the WMD argument was chosen as a compelling reason for war, and equally likely that Bush and company did everything they could to sell the plan, focus on intelligence that backed it up and ignore intelligence that refutted their WMD case?

Conclusion: A Democratic Congress will do more than demand troop withdrawals. They will launch investigations and reveal the truth about 'how' we went to war. IMO, this will further reveal that major lies were told, intelligence manipulated and that the American people were sold a case for war that was nowhere near as solid as it was portrayed. We have already seen evidence of this and it will only get deeper with a Democratic Congress.

If you believe that what I have stated is true, then the logical conclusion is that the President of the U.S. lied to the American public and manipulated intelligence in order to justify his preplanned invasion. the argument is not to say, "Well, the whole world thought the WMDs existed," but rather to see that the world was lied to and manipulated by an information operations campaign by the White House to sway public opinion for the war.

Submitted by JJGittes on November 13, 2006 - 12:20pm.

Why should the Country "hold Bush accountable" regarding Iraq, when it just put into power people who said the following...... once upon a time:

"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." -- John F. Kerry, Oct 2002

"The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation." -- John Kerry, October 9, 2002

"(W)e need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. ...And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War." -- John Kerry, Jan 23, 2003

"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 mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." -- Carl Levin, Sept 19, 2002

"Over the years, Iraq has worked to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. During 1991 - 1994, despite Iraq's denials, U.N. inspectors discovered and dismantled a large network of nuclear facilities that Iraq was using to develop nuclear weapons. Various reports indicate that Iraq is still actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability. There is no reason to think otherwise. Beyond nuclear weapons, Iraq has actively pursued biological and chemical weapons.U.N. inspectors have said that Iraq's claims about biological weapons is neither credible nor verifiable. In 1986, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran, and later, against its own Kurdish population. While weapons inspections have been successful in the past, there have been no inspections since the end of 1998. There can be no doubt that Iraq has continued to pursue its goal of obtaining weapons of mass destruction." -- Patty Murray, October 9, 2002

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. 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." -- Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998

Submitted by deadzone on November 13, 2006 - 12:34pm.

Obviously the world did NOT believe there were WMDs because the world did not support the invasion as evidenced by the pathetic, non-existant coalition.

In fact, the UN security council specifically voted against military action and Bush basically flipped his middle finger at the rest of the world.

The fact that no WMD was found is an absolute EMBARRASMENT to Bush and the U.S. We specifically distanced ourselves from the UN and world opinion by invading Iraq so it was quite a risk to begin with. If you are going to take a risk like that, you better be right!

Well, clearly it was a disastrous mistake and that is why the Republicans are paying the price.

Submitted by surveyor on November 13, 2006 - 12:44pm.

No, the world did believe that Iraq had WMDs. They just did not support the war because they hoped appeasement would work better. Also, many European countries had significant Muslim populations and they were fearful of Muslim rioting if they supported the U.S.

Lastly, many European countries were actively doing business with Saddam Hussein and were making loads of money from the situation. They of course were not interested in a war because they would be basically cutting off their own hands. France and Russia, the ones who were most opposed to the war, had billions owed to them by Saddam Hussein. Because the U.S. wouldn't guarantee their payment, they were vehemently opposed to the war.

Submitted by powayseller on November 13, 2006 - 1:03pm.

juice, everything you said is so true. You are right. We were lied to by the President, who told us that Saddam Hussein was a thread to our national security. Democratic investigations will reveal that Bush knew WMDs did not exist, and that his advisors knew our war in Iraq would cause the civil war we now see.

JJGittes, excellent quotes.

PD, Your writing sounds almost like a dictatorship, where people are condemned for voicing their opinion and disagreeing with the politicans. I wonder, how do you feel about free speech?

Submitted by JJGittes on November 13, 2006 - 1:03pm.

Wow, the idiot that can't string a complete sentence together fooled all of the Democrat rocket scientists quoted above, along with the rest of the "world community." That Bush, he clearly is an evil genius.

Of course, one must wonder why such an evil genius, knowing WMDs would not be found, did not have them planted ahead of time, did not forsee the discord resulting from them not being found, and ended up as a lame duck with an opposition party now controlling the legislative branch for his final two years. Alas, perhaps the grand plan will unfold in time for our grand children's history books.

One last question though, what happened to all that non-WMD stuf that rained down on those Kurdish villages that suffocated those thousands of men, women and children? Even after 10 years of inspection (less the 2 or 3 Saddam kicked him out), the Swede lawyer Blix could still not certify that Iraq had destroyed its arsenal. For all our sakes, I hope it does not end up here, via Syria or the Becca Valley, or the worst predictions regarding San Diego's unfolding real estate plunge will certainly come true.

Submitted by juice (not verified) on November 13, 2006 - 1:39pm.

deadzone - The truth is somewhere in between what you and I said. Much of the world did in fact think he had WMDs, but even WMDs were not enough for them to support an invasion. They preferred more peaceful means, like inspections. Anyway, I think that if you asked the average guy like me, or even the average European, before the war if they had WMDs they would have said 'yes' or 'probably.'

The interesting thing about my statements above is that they don't require that you believe/believed Iraq didn't have WMDs. There was a good case that they did in fact have them. I thought they did in 2003. It only requires that you accept the evidence that Bush's team engaged in a hard sell, ignored intelligence and dissenters and perhaps lied on multiple occasions. After all, what exactly defines lying? Not telling the 'whole' truth should qualify in my book. I am certain that proof of this is forthcoming and might even result in the largest scandel to hit the Presidency in decades.

Submitted by bubba99 on November 13, 2006 - 2:01pm.

The issue was never to stop or not to stop Hussein and his two sons, but how. A quick decapitation of the govt, and military would have done it. Completely dismantling the whole government and army was a mistake. "Stay the course is a mistake."

I just don't get how supposed patriots can justify the killing of 100,000's of people with "Our intentions were good". Tell it to the families of the dead. They don't care if it was a terrorist or Bush and company; their loved ones are gone. Our actions in Iraq have made the United States the bad guy. We have raped and tortured innocents, we are holding hundreds without charges nor access to hapeus corpus, we have kidnapped and "Extraordinarily Renditioned" too many people to claim the moral high ground any more.

It will take years for our men and women in uniform to live down this disaster, and they are the ones who will pay the price. Any backwater country can now ignore the Geneva Convention for treatment of prisoners because the U.S. did. Abu Grabe is not an isolated case of a few soldiers going wild, it is part of a system of interrogation that is totally disregards any human dignity and seeks to generate information at any cost - be it good Intel or bad. Torture anyone long enough and they will start talking about something.

Submitted by deadzone on November 13, 2006 - 2:02pm.

I believe the truth will eventually come out, may take many years.

One aspect that I find troubling is that the US, with the most sophisticated intelligence gathering capabilities in the world, could be so wrong. For me, this is not realistic.

We supported the invasion because we belived in our government and our intelligence. However, we were clearly duped. Meanwhile we are the laughing stock to the rest of the world.

Submitted by PD on November 13, 2006 - 2:11pm.

Powayseller, free speech means only that government may not punish you for voicing your opinion. Have I suggested that the government should lock you up?
Free speech does not mean that others are prohibited from disagreeing with you.
Free speech does not mean that the press can publish/or report a story that aids our enemies (like reporting government secrets, military positions, movements or plans).

A good example of people who do not understand free speech is the country band The Dixie Chicks. They bad-mouthed the President while overseas. This resulted in angering many Americans who had previously been their fans. Those same former fans quit listening to The Dixie Chicks (me included). Radio stations quit playing their songs because the people listening did not want to hear them anymore. From the beginning of their stupidity, they have been whining about how their right to free speech has been hampered. This is so absurd. Sure, they have a right to spout their anti-Bush stuff. Their audience also has a right to refuse to listen to them anymore. Their problems have nothing to do with free speech and everything to do with the fact they are entertainers who rely on their fans for success. No more fans means no more success.

Submitted by deadzone on November 13, 2006 - 2:21pm.

Most rational people don't base their musical tastes on the political views of the artists. I personally don't listen to the Dixie Chicks because their music sucks, but so does most country music in my opinion.

Submitted by PerryChase on November 13, 2006 - 2:23pm.

I'm a fan of the Dixie Chicks for speaking up. In my view, they understand free speech perfectly well. So do Johnnie Depp, Kanye West and other entertainers.

Submitted by juice (not verified) on November 13, 2006 - 3:01pm.

-Rapes happen everywhere and we should not condemn the US Military for 'raping' Iraqis.

-How much responsibility should we bear for the fact that Sunnis and Shittes are killing each other? We gave them freedom from a dictator and they are using it to kill each other. We did not kill 150,000 - most of that number is Iraqis killing each other.

-Our original mission was changed mid-course because we did not find WMDs. Bringing democracy to Iraq was a noble cause, but not one we bought into as a nation. The Iraqis have proven that they cannot live in democracy.

-If anything, at least we have proven that democracy in a unified Iraq wont happen. It probably took this invasion to prove that point, and it has implications for the whole Middle East and the manner in which the Western world deals with them in the future. Instead of pushing democracy, perhaps we should be capturing oil fields for our own benefit.

-We should redeploy and either put a strong man in power or divide the place in three. Let them kill each other like barbarians. There are strong men in power across the Middle East - this has been the proven model our allies in the region display to maintain control. Whether it is Egypt or Saudi Arabia, it is clear that we are probably a few hundred years too soon to expect the Middle East to start sprouting democracies. So let's take the next best alternative and find a ruthless leader we can ally with.

Submitted by sdnativeson on November 13, 2006 - 3:27pm.

It was the time when wholesale houses close
Their shutters with a moody sense of wealth,
But retail dealers, diligent, let loose
The gas (objected to on score of health),
Convey'd in little solder'd pipes by stealth,
And make it flare in many a brillant form,
That all the powers of darkness it repell'th,
Which to the oil-trade doth great scaith and harm,
And supersedeth quit the use of the glow-worm.

Submitted by santeeman on November 13, 2006 - 3:32pm.

"It was the time when wholesale houses close
Their shutters with a moody sense of wealth,
But retail dealers, diligent, let loose
The gas (objected to on score of health),
Convey'd in little solder'd pipes by stealth,
And make it flare in many a brillant form,
That all the powers of darkness it repell'th,
Which to the oil-trade doth great scaith and harm,
And supersedeth quit the use of the glow-worm"

I'd like to hear President Bush say that! That'd be funny!

Submitted by powayseller on November 13, 2006 - 4:15pm.

PD, thanks for your reply to how you feel about free speech. Earlier, you wrote, "Powayseller wants us to stick our head in the sand like an ostrich while muttering about peace and love. Meanwhile, our a**es would be waving in the air, the perfect target for our next butt kicking. Take your Bush and anti-America hate somewhere else."

With such strong words, I got the impression you preferred I did not voice my opinions. Whether the government locks me up, or you ask me to go somewhere else, is only a matter of degree. Both are attempts to silence my opinion, and both are anti-American.

If you wish to have an exchange of ideas, or simply choose to go away yourself (instead of asking me to go away), then you are a true patriot.

juice, I agree with everything you say. If democracy is a goal, should we invade every country that is not a democracy?

I also think the Iraqis are too strung out on their rigid religions to get along. Saddam Hussein may have been a tyrant, but he knew the primitive tribesmen of Iraq could not handle a democracy. He kept order in Iraq.

Bush's advisors knew the country would fall into civil war if Hussein, the only person who kept a semblance of order, was removed. Only we, the people, did not know. But don't cover up for Bush, because unlike us, he had full acess to Middle East experts and intelligence.

I also think it's important to admit when a mistake was made. Let's see if we will spend as many billions digging into Bush's deception of Iraq, as we spent digging into Clinton's sexual escapades.

Submitted by startingout on November 13, 2006 - 4:12pm.

Gonna throw my 2 cents in...I don't really consider myself GOP or Democrat, but I can say I'm not particularly happy with Bush. However, I don't believe him to be the maniacal evil genius some make him out to be- he just could have done a much better job than he did.

Some points:
-It is true that Europe looks down on Americans. While it is due in large part to our President's performance and the questionable nature of our dealings in the Middle East, it is also due to the American people themselves and our general ignorance about any country besides our own. I don't think that really applies to the people on this board, but I think we've all seen the "Jaywalking" segment of the Tonight Show. 'Nuff said.

-Arguing about whether or not we should have gone to war in the Middle East is a moot point at this stage in the game. While I don't necessarily agree with the fact that we went out there in the first place, I do think that it would be a huge mistake to leave Iraq now and pull out our troops. It's not about "winning," it's about the Iraqi people- we promised them freedom, we took away their government and promised them a better one. We should, on principle, follow through with our promise- pulling our troops out now would make the situation much, much worse. I may be optimistic, but I don't believe the Democrats will just pull the troops out, it would be disastrous.

There is much wrong in our government, but I don't believe that just the government is to blame- the American people voted those politicians into office. And the typical American way of life is completely out of hand- it only takes a visit to a few other countries to see how ego-centric, wasteful, and obsessed with possessions Americans can be.

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