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Thread: A liberal columnist writes: "What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?"

  1. #1
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    A liberal columnist writes: "What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?"

    Well, it's really to early to say I told you so, but some libs are getting their chapstick on already.

    What if Bush has been right about Iraq all along?

    February 1, 2005

    BY MARK BROWN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST
    Maybe you're like me and have opposed the Iraq war since before the shooting started -- not to the point of joining any peace protests, but at least letting people know where you stood.

    You didn't change your mind when our troops swept quickly into Baghdad or when you saw the rabble that celebrated the toppling of the Saddam Hussein statue, figuring that little had been accomplished and that the tough job still lay ahead.

    Despite your misgivings, you didn't demand the troops be brought home immediately afterward, believing the United States must at least try to finish what it started to avoid even greater bloodshed. And while you cheered Saddam's capture, you couldn't help but thinking I-told-you-so in the months that followed as the violence continued to spread and the death toll mounted.

    By now, you might have even voted against George Bush -- a second time -- to register your disapproval.

    But after watching Sunday's election in Iraq and seeing the first clear sign that freedom really may mean something to the Iraqi people, you have to be asking yourself: What if it turns out Bush was right, and we were wrong?

    It's hard to swallow, isn't it?
    Read the rest of this article

    I love this quote,"It's hard to swallow, isn't it?" Yep, I'll bet it is...

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    Well, it's really to early to say I told you so, but some libs are getting their chapstick on already.




    I love this quote,"It's hard to swallow, isn't it?" Yep, I'll bet it is...
    Yep. An unalloyed victory for the Pres!

    BAGHDAD, Jan 31 (IPS) - Voting in Baghdad was linked with receipt of food rations, several voters said after the Sunday poll.

    Many Iraqis said Monday that their names were marked on a list provided by the government agency that provides monthly food rations before they were allowed to vote.

    ”I went to the voting centre and gave my name and district where I lived to a man,” said Wassif Hamsa, a 32-year-old journalist who lives in the predominantly Shia area Janila in Baghdad. ”This man then sent me to the person who distributed my monthly food ration.”

    Mohammed Ra'ad, an engineering student who lives in the Baya'a district of the capital city reported a similar experience.

    Ra'ad, 23, said he saw the man who distributed monthly food rations in his district at his polling station. ”The food dealer, who I know personally of course, took my name and those of my family who were voting,” he said. ”Only then did I get my ballot and was allowed to vote.”

    ”Two of the food dealers I know told me personally that our food rations would be withheld if we did not vote,” said Saeed Jodhet, a 21-year-old engineering student who voted in the Hay al-Jihad district of Baghdad




    Especially when you remember that the turnout in South Vietnamese elections was reported as high as 83%

    Sorry, its a little early for victory, and there has been far too much betrayal of what we are supposed to believe in for me to ever "admit" that this war was "right" in any way.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Don't worry EG, if us libs are wrong about Iraq, we are surely right about everything else

    Believe me when I say I am thrilled to death that the election was an apparent success. I only hope the best for the Iraqi people and for a speedy elimination of violence.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Yep. An unalloyed victory for the Pres!

    BAGHDAD, Jan 31 (IPS) - Voting in Baghdad was linked with receipt of food rations, several voters said after the Sunday poll.

    Many Iraqis said Monday that their names were marked on a list provided by the government agency that provides monthly food rations before they were allowed to vote.

    ”I went to the voting centre and gave my name and district where I lived to a man,” said Wassif Hamsa, a 32-year-old journalist who lives in the predominantly Shia area Janila in Baghdad. ”This man then sent me to the person who distributed my monthly food ration.”

    Mohammed Ra'ad, an engineering student who lives in the Baya'a district of the capital city reported a similar experience.

    Ra'ad, 23, said he saw the man who distributed monthly food rations in his district at his polling station. ”The food dealer, who I know personally of course, took my name and those of my family who were voting,” he said. ”Only then did I get my ballot and was allowed to vote.”

    ”Two of the food dealers I know told me personally that our food rations would be withheld if we did not vote,” said Saeed Jodhet, a 21-year-old engineering student who voted in the Hay al-Jihad district of Baghdad




    Especially when you remember that the turnout in South Vietnamese elections was reported as high as 83%

    Sorry, its a little early for victory, and there has been far too much betrayal of what we are supposed to believe in for me to ever "admit" that this war was "right" in any way.
    By the way good way to hit the DNC talking points....Viet Nam...yada...yada...Viet Nam...Ok, I give! You win because you mentioned Viet Nam (Let's not mention it was a democrat war) One report of a slight election irregluarity makes it all a wash. Let's leave Iraq tomorrow.

    BTW - Are those rides to the poling stations from the local Pipefitters union and Planned Parenthood, are they free to Republicans also?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally posted by el Guapo
    BTW - Are those rides to the poling stations from the local Pipefitters union and Planned Parenthood, are they free to Republicans also?
    Off Topic - My Gran used to routinely accept lifts to the polling station from the Conservatives, and then promptly go in and vote Labour. Now theres a devious Socialist for you (but of course that was in the days when Labour were socialist )

  6. #6
    Cirrus's avatar
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    Gee, there might be point here somewhere if the justification for war all along was to bring democracy to Iraq, rather than that being a pleasant side effect.

    Whether everything turns out OK in the end for Iraqis or not, the Bush administration's justifications for going to war were not valid. There are no WMDs and Saddam had fewer ties to Al Qaeda than Bush. Unless people are prepared to argue that the end justifies the means, democracy in Iraq doesn't change anything from the perspective of this being an illegal war.

    That having been said, now that we're there we can't just leave. It's obvious that the second there isn't an outside military force in Iraq the country will devolve in to civil war. BUT, our presence will be justifiably seen as an occupation if we continue to call the shots once a democratically elected civilian government is in place. The solution, I think, is for us to “pull out” and be replaced by a UN peacekeeping force. Even if the UN peacekeeping force consists mostly of the same American soldiers that are there now, the change in flag would make the whole thing a lot more credible.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Everyone knows my stand on this... (I agree with El G.)

    But, let me ask this question, what would you do if you had the power when it comes to Iraq?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    ...what would you do if you had the power when it comes to Iraq?
    I would have have told the Iraqis to defeat Sadaam and create their democracy on their own.

    And I know the insurgency of the early 90s was crushed by Sadaam, but that's not a justification.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Everyone knows my stand on this... (I agree with El G.)

    But, let me ask this question, what would you do if you had the power when it comes to Iraq?
    Same thing we do when it comes to North Korea

    (and by that I don't mean sit idly by while they build nukes)

  10. #10
    "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us."
    - Dick Cheney 2002

    "[Saddam] has amassed large clandestine stocks of biological weapons... including anthrax and botulism toxin and possibly smallpox. His regime has amassed large clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX and sarin and mustard gas... [he] has at this moment stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons."
    -Donald Rumsfeld 2002

    "He's got weapons of mass destruction. This is a man who has used weapons of mass destruction."
    -George Bush 2002

    He's a man who has told the world he wouldn't have weapons of mass destruction, yet he does."
    -George Bush 2002.


    Again, its great that the Iraqi people are free to vote, but it would also be great if every person in the world had that right. There are plenty of coutries that are just as oppressive as Saddam's Iraq. The reason we invaded Iraq was because they supposedly had weapons of mass destruction and were a threat to the US.

    Yeah, Bush was right about Iraq.
    "I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."

    - Homer Simpson

  11. #11
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    RepoMan I believe there are plenty of quotes by Bill Clinton and other Dems that states nearly the same. Both parties have at one time or another, advocated the removal of Saddam Hussien.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  12. #12

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    My "Vietnam" "talking point" was just a reminder that your triumphalism may be premature. Since I am at least a "Democrat," of course I will quote things I agree with. I know that your parroting of Republican "talking points" need not be mentioned.

    I remain a skeptic is all I will say. I hope I am wrong.

  13. #13
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    Everyone knows my stand on this... (I agree with El G.)

    But, let me ask this question, what would you do if you had the power when it comes to Iraq?
    Qualification: I am a liberal-leaning moderate (slightly left of center). My dislike of him stems from my exposure to him living in Texas and his more domestic policies here.

    I really don't know what I would have done had I been in Bush's shoes. He acted on the advice and information supplied by those he trusted (or else they would not have been in cabinet / national security positions). Now, based on that, I won't get too critical of Bush's final decision, but I will be critical of his selection of advisors. I won't get into whether Bush might have encouraged Dept of Defense or CIA to find a reason to invade Iraq, because that is something we could argue until blue in the face since their is no evidence indicating that is what happened. I expect my bosses to act on my expert advice; why would I expect Bush to do differently? I believe Rumsfeld and whoever else was involved in the intelligence gathering should be burned at the stake for not putting more effort into verifying information before making a recommendation to Bush that involves the likely death of many U.S. troops.

    Do I think the end justifies the means? I'm not sure on this one yet. I REALLY hope Iraq becomes the shining beacon of democracy or whatever the hell Bush said, but that country still has a lot of growing pains to deal with. One thing I do believe for sure is that once we are there, regardless of our reason, we need to finish the job properly. We were already heavily committed to the war after it was determined that the WMDs and viable threat to U.S. interests really wasn't there. With any war, you need strong motivation. About the best thing we could come up with is that Saddam was one bad motherf***er that needed to go and that the Iraqi people did not have the resources to effectively rise up against him (people that got funny ideas like that had a habit of "disappearing"). I'm normally pretty Machiavellian in my approach to government change in that the only way to sustain a change is for it to have the strength on its own to initiate it. I don't believe this would work in Iraq because Saddam had the ability to squesh anything before it really got organized. If you ask me, we blew it in the early 90s by bailing out just as a stronger resistance was beginning to form.

    Imagine what would happen if we bailed out at this point. Rather than hearing about 30 troop deaths a day, we would probably be hearing about Sunni muslim supporters of Saddam overthrowing what we started and slaughtering millions of ****ites. At this point, I think we need to stay and finish properly.

    When it comes to how this war has been conducted, I think just about everyone shares blame. Bush did a s***ty job of getting allies together and communicating with them. Rumsfeld underestimated our possible involvement in Iraq that has now cost several lives. Rumsfeld sent troops without the necessary supplies. The Legislative branch has failed to adapt the fiscal policy of the nation based on our involvement in Iraq.

    Had I received the same information from someone I trusted to do their job correctly and properly research everything, I probably would have made the same decision. However, had I been given accurate information about the situation and threats in Iraq prior to our involvement, this would not have been a large-scale deployment and more likely a surgical removal of the card deck based on human-rights violations such as the massacres of the Kurds. I sure as hell wouldn't have picked Rummy to be my defense advisor.

    That's the best I can do for now. Keep in mind that I'm definitely not some kind of foreign policy expert.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  14. #14

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    Having an election is the first step in creating a real democracy. But it's actually an easy first step, relative to the difficulty of what comes next: creating a legitimate government with the support of the people and the stong institutions neccessary to ensure that you can have another election ... and another .... and another.

    In the '90s we invaded Haiti and gave them an election. Then we left, thinking we had created a democracy there. We were wrong. The guy who came to power through that election was not a "small D" democrat. Sure, he was legitimately elected by the people of Haiti. But once in office he consolidated power, ignored the will of the Haitian people, and systematically destroyed the institutions of democracy. So, after that, there really were no more free elections in Haiti. Recently the country erupted in chaos as Aristide, America's one-time favorite son, the "democrat," was deposed.

    The election in Iraq was a major step forward, a first step toward legitimate democracy. But the real test will be whether the government actually operates according to electoral mandate, and thus gains the trust of the Iraqi people.

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    Quote Originally posted by gerblunk
    Having an election is the first step in creating a real democracy. But it's actually an easy first step, relative to the difficulty of what comes next: creating a legitimate government with the support of the people and the stong institutions neccessary to ensure that you can have another election ... and another .... and another.

    In the '90s we invaded Haiti and gave them an election. Then we left, thinking we had created a democracy there. We were wrong. The guy who came to power through that election was not a "small D" democrat. Sure, he was legitimately elected by the people of Haiti. But once in office he consolidated power, ignored the will of the Haitian people, and systematically destroyed the institutions of democracy. So, after that, there really were no more free elections in Haiti. Recently the country erupted in chaos as Aristide, America's one-time favorite son, the "democrat," was deposed.

    The election in Iraq was a major step forward, a first step toward legitimate democracy. But the real test will be whether the government actually operates according to electoral mandate, and thus gains the trust of the Iraqi people.
    As with everything, the situation in Haiti is much more complicated (and nefarious per our involvement) than this, but your basic point is there.

    But, I would argue several points:

    1. Was the election that legitimate? The country is in the middle of a major insurgency/terrorist war, and a significant minority group sat out the election entirely. (Not that I am crying too many tears for the Sunni oppressors)

    2. What if the Shiites do exactly what Aristide purportedly did-create a centralized, non-democratic, theocratic state inimicable to American interests? Will we then re-invade (or never leave)?

    3. How much soverignty will the government have? There are tens of thousands of American troops still occupying the country, and every attempt to establish an independent Iraqi police or military force has been riddled with Sunni obstructionists and radicals.

    Plus-how are we going to pay for all this? Eventually, empires cost money. Eventually, the Chinese will stop loaning us said money.

  16. #16
    What if the elected government wants to blow up Israel and be best nuclear buddies with Iran, what will we do?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Maybe all of those Iraqi's who were dancing in the street in celebration of democracy were actually dancing because of food rations?????

    I would just cut to the quick here, while George W. Bush has been President there have been free elections in:

    Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine.

    one word, WOW.

    Credit should be given where it is due.

    Strange how true liberal dems don't seem to embrace this incredible demonstration of true freedoms.

    With that said, naysayers, you can start the handwringing again...

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    What if the elected government wants to blow up Israel and be best nuclear buddies with Iran, what will we do?
    Exactly.

    "Let's just imagine what the policies might be of an independent Iraq, independent, sovereign Iraq, let's say more or less democratic, what are the policies likely to be?

    Well there's going to be a Shiite majority, so they'll have some significant influence over policy. The first thing they'll do is reestablish relations with Iran. Now they don't particularly like Iran, but they don't want to go to war with them so they'll move toward what was happening already even under Saddam, that is, restoring some sort of friendly relations with Iran.

    That's the last thing the United States wants. It has worked very hard to try to isolate Iran. The next thing that might happen is that a Shiite-controlled, more or less democratic Iraq might stir up feelings in the Shiite areas of Saudi Arabia, which happen to be right nearby and which happen to be where all the oil is. So you might find what in Washington must be the ultimate nightmare*a Shiite region which controls most of the world's oil and is independent. Furthermore, it is very likely that an independent, sovereign Iraq would try to take its natural place as a leading state in the Arab world, maybe the leading state. And you know that's something that goes back to biblical times.

    What does that mean? Well it means rearming, first of all. They have to confront the regional enemy. Now the regional enemy, overpowering enemy, is Israel. They're going to have to rearm to confront Israel*which means probably developing weapons of mass destruction, just as a deterrent. So here's the picture of what they must be dreaming about in Washington*and probably 10 Downing street in London*that here you might get a substantial Shiite majority rearming, developing weapons of mass destruction, to try to get rid of the U.S. outposts that are there to try to make sure that the U.S. controls most of the oil reserves of the world. Is Washington going to sit there and allow that? That's kind of next to inconceivable.

    What I've just read from the business press the last couple of days probably reflects the thinking in Washington and London: "Uh well, okay, we'll let them have a government, but we're not going to pay any attention to what they say." In fact the Pentagon announced at the same time two days ago: we're keeping 120,000 troops there into at least 2007, even if they call for withdrawal tomorrow.

    And the propaganda is very evident right in these articles. You can even write the commentary now: We just have to do it because we have to accomplish our mission of bringing democracy to Iraq. If they have an elected government that doesn't understand that, well, what can we do with these dumb Arabs, you know? Actually that's very common because look, after all, the U.S. has overthrown democracy after democracy, because the people don't understand. They follow the wrong course. So therefore, following the mission of establishing democracy, we've got to overthrow their governments."

    Noam Chomsky 2004

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
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    BKM

    I think you are missing a pretty critical notion here: Democratic, freedom loving peoples seem to have much less animosity for other democratic, freedom loving states.

    Of course no one can predict anything in that volitile part of the word but a free Israel is not the enemy of Iraq. Iraq's enemies are the theocratic, anti-democratic nations that surround them.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally posted by gkmo62u
    BKM

    I think you are missing a pretty critical notion here: Democratic, freedom loving peoples seem to have much less animosity for other democratic, freedom loving states.

    Of course no one can predict anything in that volitile part of the word but a free Israel is not the enemy of Iraq. Iraq's enemies are the theocratic, anti-democratic nations that surround them.
    I hope you are right.

    I think some on the right are fetishizing elections quite a bit. There is more to stability and peace than an election in an occupied country that our client state does not even control (Iraq and Afghanistan).

    And, I don't believe for one moment that "democracy" had anything to do with the Administration's support for elections-the fear of widespread Shiite rebellion forced the CPA to drop the Chalabiites and other suspect elements.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    My "Vietnam" "talking point" was just a reminder that your triumphalism may be premature. Since I am at least a "Democrat," of course I will quote things I agree with. I know that your parroting of Republican "talking points" need not be mentioned.

    I remain a skeptic is all I will say. I hope I am wrong.

    TRIUMPHALISM?* Is that even a word? Where did I sing out, "Ding Dong the wicked witch is dead and you guys suck."? Damn, I just posted a thread that references a column by a lib who's backtracking. I'm hardly doing a Dewey Defeats Truman grin and accompanying polka.

    And aren't we all a bit trimphalistic? I mean BKM, surely you don't believe in the points your pushing, wouldn't that make you...a...



    tri•umph•al•ism ( P ) Pronunciation Key (tr-mf-lzm)
    n.
    The attitude or belief that a particular doctrine, especially a religion or political theory, is superior to all others.
    tri•umphal•ist n.

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