Posts Tagged ‘threat’

Only just now have nearly 50% of the people figured this out?

Nearly half of American Adults see the government today as a threat to individual rights rather than a protector of those rights.  – Rasmussen Reports


He overestimates the importance I place on his opinion

Sadly we need disasters like this to show people. Some people don’t believe in climate warming – like those who don’t believe there was a Holocaust. – Paul McCartney


Over at McGoo’s, he has a horse pic – muddy beast – and he asked what the lightly embossed letters are in the mud… here’s what I can pull out of the noise so far:

There’s some sick people out there (not McGoo) but I suspect it says “destroyahorse@yahoo.com”.   Anyone care to take a stab?

The image below was wavelet decomposed and several scales suppressed.

If you can make sense of it, let me know… I’m curious.

Read Full Post »

I found an excellent, and I mean excellent outlining of the timeline and events in their context and how Iraq was really the only morally allowable thing to do. It is LONG. But it is also the single best compilation of information I’ve yet seen in one place.  I’m impressed enough with this that I’m going to pimp for the site where I first saw this material:  Commentary Magazine:  Who We Are

Some of the information provided by Arthur Herman will surprise you. Below I’m going to post some snippets. What is amazing is how much we forget and how easy it is to look back and say things about Bush that are unkind and unflattering, yet we forget how clear and present of a danger it all seemed then. Just read on, and please be patient, as this is dense stuff.

PDF File: why-iraq-was-inevitable-arthur-herman

Source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/viewarticle.cfm/why-iraq-was-inevitable-11456

Selected quotes. Quotes that are indented were quotes given by the people making the statements.

It is too often forgotten, not least by historians, that George W. Bush did not invent the idea of deposing the Iraqi tyrant. For years before he came on the scene, removing Saddam Hussein had been a priority embraced by the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton and by Clinton’s most vocal supporters in the Senate:

Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas, or biological weapons. . . . Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: he has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. . . . I have no doubt today that, left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.

These were the words of President Clinton on the night of December 16, 1998 as he announced a four-day bombing campaign over Iraq. Only six weeks earlier, Clinton had signed the Iraq Liberation Act authorizing Saddam’s overthrow—an initiative supported unanimously in the Senate and by a margin of 360 to 38 in the House. “Iraqis deserve and desire freedom,” Clinton had declared. On the evening the bombs began to drop, Vice President Al Gore told CNN’s Larry King:

You allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons. How many people is he going to kill with such weapons? . . . We are not going to allow him to succeed. [emphasis added]

In a February 17, 1998 speech at the Pentagon, Clinton focused on what in his State of the Union address a few weeks earlier he had called an “unholy axis” of rogue states and predatory powers threatening the world’s security. “There is no more clear example of this threat,” he asserted, “than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq,” and he added that the danger would grow many times worse if Saddam were able to realize his thoroughly documented ambition, going back decades and at one point close to accomplishment, of acquiring an arsenal of nuclear as well as chemical and biological weapons. The United States, Clinton said, “simply cannot allow this to happen.”

Convincing Congress that the United States enjoyed a right of “anticipatory self-defense” against Saddam was hardly a difficult task. On the contrary, in September 2002 the Senate virtually arm-twisted Bush into giving it time to pass a new and more specific resolution than the Clinton-era one authorizing regime change in Iraq. In ringing the tocsin, moreover, leading Democrats spoke at least as assertively as leading Republicans. One of them was Charles Schumer:

Hussein’s vigorous pursuit of biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons, and his present and potential future support for terrorist acts and organizations . . . make him a terrible danger to the people of the United States.

Another was Hillary Clinton:

My position is very clear. The time has come for decisive action to eliminate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s WMD’s.

John Edwards was still another:

Every day [Saddam] gets closer to his long-term goal of nuclear capability.

Howard Dean, then the governor of Vermont, was of a similar mind:

There’s no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the U.S. and our allies.

More than half of Senate Democrats, including John Kerry and Joseph Biden, joined with Republicans in authorizing the President “to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq,” and in so doing to enforce all the relevant but ineffectual resolutions passed by the UN Security Council. In the House, 81 Democrats (out of 209 in total) concurred. Later, many would claim that they had been tricked or misled or even lied to. In fact, the vote reflected nothing more than an affirmation of the old Clinton-era position, now urgently reinforced by the experience of 9/11.

It was, after all, California’s Nancy Pelosi who had warned the nation on December 16, 1998, during Operation Desert Fox, that Saddam’s “development of WMD technology . . . is a threat to countries in the region.” During the House debate in October 2002, Pelosi sounded the same urgent theme, summing up a threat whose imminence the Democrats had been insisting upon for years. “Yes,” reiterated the tireless Pelosi, “[Saddam] has chemical weapons. He has biological weapons. He is trying to get nuclear weapons.”

That said it all.

And the most damning thing of all?

As the leaves turned in Washington in the fall of 2002, mainstream Democrats were on board with Bush, just as they had been on board with Clinton. The real reluctance for war came from Republican ranks—and from within the administration itself. The most serious dissenter was Secretary of State Colin Powell, together with his assistant Richard Armitage. Both men wanted to find a way to prop up the containment “box” around Saddam without having to resort to drastic military action.

Their hopes, however, were already more than three years out of date. The main feature of the containment regime had become the Oil-for-Food program, set up by the United Nations in 1996 with Clinton-administration approval. Within months, the program had become a spigot of cash for Saddam and his family and cronies. The full extent of the corruption, and the full roster of who paid in and who was paid out, may not be known for decades, if ever. But the overall picture is reasonably clear, thanks again in large part to documents seized in the 2003 invasion.

Saddam had shrewdly realized that vouchers for the sale of his oil might serve as a kind of international currency, distributed by him to favored customers who would be obliged to pay him kickbacks, all out of reach of the scrutiny of the UN. Eventually, UN administrators were brought into the conspiracy as well.3 Within a year the program had miraculously restored Saddam’s personal wealth and power, even as the Iraqi people continued to suffer. By the time of the U.S. invasion, he had skimmed at least $21 billion from the program, in addition to the billions made through smuggled oil sales to other Middle East countries, including his old enemy Iran.

The list of recipients of Oil-for-Food vouchers grew to more than 270 names, constituting a Who’s Who of slippery international politicians and diplomats—all of whom, needless to say, opposed any talk of military action against Iraq. On the Security Council, Russia, France, and China, key adversaries of U.S. policy toward Iraq going back to Clinton days, were among Saddam’s key beneficiaries. Not only was Oil-for-Food the biggest scandal in UN history, it had turned the UN’s mandate inside out. A program established to punish a rogue tyrant was systematically making him more powerful; nations that were supposed to be his custodians had become his accomplices; and the institution whose purpose was to protect international order was destroying it.

At the time, though, no one in the Bush administration knew this. That was why, in September 2002, President Bush was willing to yield to Colin Powell and British prime minister Tony Blair and ask the UN for one more resolution, this one explicitly threatening Saddam with military force if he did not finally comply with all the preceding resolutions against him.

What Powell found at the UN astonished even him. At a press conference, the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, shrieked that “nothing! nothing!” justified war—making Powell so angry that, as he would later tell the reporter Bob Woodward, he could barely contain himself. “Any leverage with Saddam was linked directly to the threat of war,” Powell recalled, “and the French had just taken the threat off the table.” He could not believe the Europeans’ stupidity. Neither could the President. But it was not stupidity; it was self-interested duplicity.

Read Full Post »