Sunday, October 31, 2004

Before you punch that chad ...

... or make your mark

... or punch that touch screen


... who lied about stockpiles of WMD?

The Duelfer Report told us that Saddam's own generals believed he had WMD stockpiles, up until right before the war.

I admit it sounds far-fetched (even more far-fetched than Ronald Reagan beating Gorbachev at nuke poker with the relatively-weak SDI hand) --
but if he was successful in maintaining that perception even within his own military leadership cadre, it is no wonder that intelligence agencies across the globe thought stockpiles were there ... and even that George Tenet thought the existence of stockpiles was a "slam dunk".

Saddam was the liar ... not Bush.

Bush acted prudently AND patiently on the information he had ... and had he not, the inspections would have been completed, Saddam would have been "exonerated" (or face a few slaps-on-the-wrist for minor infractions), further inspections would have been "locked out" ... and Saddam would have restarted those WMD programs mentioned in the Duelfer Report, with impunity.

Don't think so -- check the picture in this post at the Mudville Gazette out. Then tell me that Saddam was no threat, and could be left alone.

As for the intelligence failure -- we were had by the Mother of All Liars. You can spread the blame for that across both sides of the Congressional aisle ... but be sure and spread it extra thick upon the cheerleaders for both emasculating our intelligence capabilities and relying excessively on diplomacy -- the Democratic Party, including their present Presidental candidate.

... who was the real Coalition of the Bribed?

The Duelfer Report also reinforced other findings regarding the corruption of the UN Crude-for-Food program -- corruption that involved highly-placed people in places like France and Russia, who were a brick wall to the expedient prosecution of this war. Since this corruption involved powerful people in the UN, as well, it had the capacity to severely compromise the weapons inspections efforts ... certainly, at least rush their "completion" to the point that Saddam would be left with the UN seal of approval ... with his WMD programs, ready to be restarted or even expanded with an increase in cash flow as a result of lifting sanctions ... and the United States told in no uncertain terms to leave Saddam alone.

... who directed the most comprehensive weapons inspections ever performed in Iraq?

We were fooling ourselves to think that any inspections process that did not involve the surrender of soverignty by Saddam & Sons would have been sufficient to assure the absence of WMD capabilities. Thanks to George W. Bush and our armed forces, we have completed major portions of an inspection that is sufficient in that respect.

... who believes this War on Terror must only focus on Al Quada?

Don't get me wrong, here -- I still want Osama's head impaled on a spike of the White House fence. However, he and his buddies are not the only terrorist threat ... in fact, not even the least predictible one.

That distinction belonged to Saddam Huessein. He was the loosest cannon on the deck of the Middle East ... and, even after the Gulf War and sanctions, still had the military to take over all his neighbors (except for perhaps that other paragon of terrorist virtue, Iran) were our forces not in the neighborhood. He also had the resources (in large part, thanks to the corrupt cash cow called Crude-for-Food) and infrastructure to expand his military and develop WMD (as was illustrated in the Duelfer Report). Unlike Osama, he HAD used WMD ... and had the capability to make them again.

Being a true-believer, Osama had at least a few "rules" he adhered to ... making him somewhat predictible. Saddam had no such constraints.

Does anyone think he would have sat still in the event of American actions outside Iraq, yet closer than Afghanistan (like, say, in Syria or Saudi Arabia)?

And, given the need to prioritize our efforts -- choosing between the pursuit of an old, sick man in Afghanistan, whose greatest achievements to date involved box cutters and airplanes (something, BTW, that will be very hard to repeat, now that passengers know what happened on 911), and a known thug with the capabilities to help terrorists (even AQ) achieve their common goals on a scale of at least one order of magnitude above 911, I think the choice is a no-brainer.

(... especially if you think about how the Russians fared in those same mountains. We emulated MacArthur instead, and are leaving OBL to die on the vine, until we can pick him at the next convenient opportunity -- like, say, when we can do it without making him a martyr)

... who is the incompetent one, here?

If Bush is incompetent, so were Churchill, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, and MacArthur, based upon the costs and mistakes of their various campaigns

Instead, he has taken on a goal more difficult (and more noble) than even the accomplishments of this august list of leaders ... the transformation of a dictatorship into a rights-respecting republic, WITHOUT grinding its people to powder first! And, when compared against the history of warfare, is performing this task reasonably well.

OTOH -- who keeps insisting on diplomacy, when the diplomats are shown to be corrupt?

Who keeps insulting our real allies, while kissing up to the real Coalition of the Bribed?

Who approaches this war from the standpoint of getting ONLY those who have already bloodied our streets, instead of looking at all the threats we face?

Who believes that throwing lots of money at such homeland-security measures as expanded port inspections should be the other prong of their approach to terrorism? (Can you say "Maginot Line"?)

I'll probably be adding more to this list as daylight comes.

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