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The Political Thread - Browncoat edition... down with the Alliance!

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I wouldn't even say that Bush deserves the blame for the bad intelligence and its presentation- that was clearly the brainchild of the Cheney junta. The blame that attaches to Bush is that of believing and appointing Cheney et alia in the first place, and a bit of not being questioning enough. Then again Bush was clearly not overly encumbered with that sort of intelligence so I guess the blame defaults back to those who elected him.

 

OTOH Blair knew exactly what he was doing, slimy little louse that he is.

 

Coercion wise we'll never know if anyone in US intelligence/ government was forced to make stuff up on threat of their CIA wife getting burnt or similar, but we do know with certainty that was used as Chilling Effect post facto. If they were willing to do that to someone working for their own country believing they'd actively threaten others is no stretch at all; though by its nature it would be more likely to be coercion to suppress since it's usual to just pay someone greedy or immoral to write what you want rather than coerce them to by more stringent means.

 

And we absolutely know that coercion was tried on Hans Blix and El Baradei, they're just not american so don't count.

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Posted (edited)

as we noted, there were multiple reports regarding how US intelligence were untainted by coercion, and am doubting the kinda coercion discussed even contemplated overt threats o' harm to family.  zor might be indulging in a bit o' the dramatic.  reports couldn't even discover the kinda garden variety coercion one expects from your typical military/bureaucratic organization. the intelligence were uncorrupted by external influence, but the intelligence were wrong in many parts, and where intelligence were accurate but equivocal, the bush administration failed to transmit such uncertainty.  

 

can't speak to baradei, but we did hear blix speak live and in-person at berkeley a couple years after the invasion.  there were a multi-day event at Cal specific related to media in warzones and given our area o' expertise and boalt affiliation, we got invited.  "why didn't saddam just do what he was asked to do?" were the question posed to blix.  if saddam had simple allowed complete access and followed un rules the war woulda' been avoided.  "saddam were in an intellectual bunker." blix saw saddam as a tyrant who couldn't accept the possibility o' consequences and his ego refused to accept the indignity o' full inspections. regardless, the main reason we is so quick to defend bush regarding wmd claims is precise 'cause o' what we heard blix say. blix met the bush and bush told blix he were confident in blix's efforts and bush said so in front o' powell and cheney and rice and others as if making certain the cynics in his administration understood what the President were saying. blix were genuine reassured by meeting bush. blix seemed to focus his ire on pentagon intelligence sources as the real culprits o' misinformation. analogized investigation to middle age witch hunters who were not making up evidence, but were so certain o' conclusions from start that ambiguous evidence looked certain. furthermore, blix observed how, as o' december 2002, even he thought iraq had wmds and as o' 2003 he couldn't say they didn't with any certitude, but proving a negative is, well, you know.  instead o' giving blix an opportunity to do what he deemed necessary inspections, the bush administration instead chose to highlight iaea failures in the early 90s to discredit his advice regarding the need for more inspections and more intelligence. blix believed the threat o' a us invasion, at some unspecific point, were enough to have resulted in real and unimpeded inspections which woulda' provided definitive answers, but US and brits weren't listening. blix opinion were that the US were so worked up after 9/11, it weren't interested in critical reflection.  regardless, wasn't til may 2003 blix became convinced o' absence o' wmds.

 

at the same time, blix were also ambivalent 'bout outcomes.  he expressed concern that if his inspections had been allowed to continue, a monster like sadam woulda' been allowed to persist in power.  he also seemed to think that regardless o' inspections, military force mighta' eventual been necessary and approved, but he thought such were a job for UN. 

 

actual hearing blix helped convince us that while the US rushed into iraq with insufficient intelligence, there weren't some kinda conspiracy or coverup regarding wmds. as we noted, blix believed saddam had wmds as late as 2002, and he were uncertain if saddam had 'em in 2003.  what blix appeared certain o' was that neither he nor the US or brits had enough intelligence to make sound judgements 'bout iraqi wmds immediate previous to the invasion.

 

HA! Good Fun!

 

ps edit added how blix believed iraq had wmds as late as December 2002.

Edited by Gromnir
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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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That meme was more for a laugh than to provoke any kind of serious discussion. Funny political seems out of place in the funny things thread so we usually leave that here. 


"I care nothing for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it"

Abraham Lincoln

 

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One more note on Iraq, the lesson to be learned here is nothing in the world is so bad that it can't be made worse by not leaving it alone. But I'm not holding my breath that we're going to learn it. 


"I care nothing for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it"

Abraham Lincoln

 

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Posted (edited)

I'm gonna disagree with that to a point. I know you mean intervening militarily, but what about intervening in other ways? Take WWII, what would have happened if we didn't intervene militarily (and I'm invoking WWII as a whole, not just the European theatre)? 200 or even 100 years ago, 'leaving it alone' would be easier, but in todays globalized world, it's not so easy or simple an answer to 'just ignore it'. Don't get me wrong, I agree that there are things that we could have avoided doing militarily, like Iraq, but there are other situations where things could be made worse by ignoring diplomatically or otherwise non-militarily.

 

Anyhow, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee joins the race: https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/01/politics/inslee-2020-presidential-campaign/index.html I don't know much about him, but he seems to be pretty clearly a career politician, was in the state legislature, then US Rep., then Governor.

Edited by smjjames

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I'd say there is a big difference between intervening in an invasion and being the invaders. We intervened in Kuwait during the Gulf War, and it has been fairly stable since. We invaded Iraq and it is a mess. In WWII you can make the same argument. Japan and Germany were the invaders. 

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I'd say there is a big difference between intervening in an invasion and being the invaders. We intervened in Kuwait during the Gulf War, and it has been fairly stable since. We invaded Iraq and it is a mess. In WWII you can make the same argument. Japan and Germany were the invaders. 

 

am thinking invade v. intervene is largely a semantic differentiation and it ignores actual reasons for perceived success v. failure.  sadly, success in these kinda post-invasion operations comes down to a willingness to allocate sufficient resources to adequate maintain peace in newly occupied territories.  

 

https://www.rand.org/pubs/periodicals/rand-review/issues/summer2003/burden.html

 

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1753/MR1753.ch9.pdf

 

us peacekeeping force in iraq were too small.  woulda needed 3x as many troops 'ccording to estimates, and a whole lot more money invested into infrastructure if true lasting peace were the goal. coulda' sold iraq invasion to public if actual costs were known? doubtful.

 

bush administration mistaken thought once "liberated," the iraqi people would take care o' self policing and infrastructure development.  wrong.

 

obama made same stoopid mistake during arab spring, believing regime change, but w/o costly invasion, would lead to development o' stable democratic governments throughout the region. so obama helps spark the regime changes but then watched impotent as middle east burned. 

 

is an ugly reality to face.  ain't morality which determines success o' peacekeeping and nation building efforts.  is simple a matter o' having will to commit necessary troop numbers and intelligent allocate rebuilding dollars. 

 

gd suggests the investment is never worthwhile.  am not certain we agree, but we do recognize how the costs is typical far greater than politicians claim, and actual costs, if truthful communicated to public, would almost always be considered untenable. if all the US wants is to maintain influence with bad actors 'round the globe, is much cheaper ways to bring 'bout positive results compared to any sorta serious military campaign. blix, for example, noted just how effective were sanctions in limiting iraq's wmd programs.  'course sanctions hasn't been as effective insofar as north korea and iran. 

 

stay complete uninvolved is a bit 19th century and a little naive, but am recognizing any sorta state-sponsored regime change is likely to be far too costly to sell to American populace in all but most extreme situations. 

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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