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Mark Atwood

Invading Iraq because it had a bunch of nerve gas artillery rockets in a bunker somewhere would have been foolish. Lots of countries have those, and we don't invade them. Invading Iraq because it had a connection with Bin Laden would have been foolish. There was no such connection. Invading Iraq because it represented an immediate threat to American interests would have been foolish. There was no such threat.

And while we're on the subject, invading Iraq to liberate the Iraqi people would have been foolish. Trying to give freedom to people who aren't prepared to take it for themselves, is more trouble than it's worth.

All of those things were *propaganda*, and particularly blatant and obvious propaganda. If I thought for one minute Bush actually believed a word of it, I'd have to revise my opinion of him substantially downward, just as I have had to do with so many otherwise intelligent people here who so completely fell for it.

The United States, under the leadership of Bush II, invaded Iraq because Saudi Arabia represented an immediate threat to American interests, and to a lesser extent Syria and Iran, because all three of those nations have such compelling reasons for their threatening behavior that nothing short of an invasion or convincing threat of an invasion would stop them, and because the conquest of Iraq is a prerequisite for any invasion or credible threat of invasion of Syria, Iran, or Saudi Arabia.

And, having conquered Iraq, we can see the governments of Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia acting in a manner consistent with having recieved a quiet but convincing threat of invasion if they don't shape up. A bit of applied geopolitics that may not be as satisfying as dropping the 82nd Airborne into the Hejaz, but it gets the job done (or at least underway) with a lot less bloodshed.

What he said.
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pr10n From: pr10n Date: April 7th, 2004 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)


My feelings exactly, too. Iraq is the apparent reason... Proximity to real nasties with admitted incipient nuke programs, or who obviously harbor and train terrorists, is the underlying "real" reason. Passing this vision to the American voter is the task before the White House. I'm not sure that task is doable.
docorion From: docorion Date: April 7th, 2004 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, please.

1) This is retroactive damage control of the lowest order. I am not impressed. We've now heard not less than three or four 'reasons' to invade Iraq, *none* of which were the ones explained to the American people as the reason when Bush was trying to sell it to them (WMD, if you've forgotten; Iraq as a threat to America and it's citizens because they had convincing numbers of weapons of mass destruction, and were a rogue state). None are convincing.

2) Sorry, Bush isn't that smart. If Colin Powell was being blamed for this bit of realgeopolitik, I might buy it. Not Bush II.

North Korea is *much* more real as a danger to the nation, and we're not only doing jack-all there, but the one ground force positioned to threaten them (the 25th Infantry Division, Light) just got mostly deployed to Iraq. I know because I watched them leave-they're stationed here. Several of my friends went with them.

Keep trying, though. It's an endless source of amusement...
pr10n From: pr10n Date: April 7th, 2004 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Please

1) If you don't think Georges II is all that smart, why can't you imagine him caving to his strongarm advisers? Even some wicked shadow adviser we don't know about? Seems obvious to me. Even SNL has been pushing Cheney as Bush's Puppet-master General since the Inaugural Speech.

2) Korea = Asia, Asia = China, China = Taiwan, therefore US can't move on No. Korea, because then China might move on Taiwan. No such nuclear threat in the Mideast -- yet. The White House seems to be gambling that Pyongyang is bluffing, and that they will starve their citizens to death before doing something radical. Whereas, Iran is proclaiming that they are doing nothing radical -- that makes them much more dangerous. See also, the dangers of liars believing that everyone is lying.
docorion From: docorion Date: April 7th, 2004 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Please

1) Because he is far too much of a twit. [Yes, it's ad hominem. Deal). And seriously, because I don't think he's caving, even to his smartest advisors. Cheney and Powell are both smarter than Bush II, but I will say I believe Bush is actually being the President. He's flat out *wrong*, but he is in charge.

2) China has no more interest in N. Korea having nukes than we do. Work *with* them, instead of against them, in Asia and see how fast things get done. China can get things done in Asia, especially when their interests are at stake. The big issue is probably the continuation of the current regime; if China guarantees that, with quiet assurances from the US, on the condition that the Nukes Must Go, they'll go. They'll go quietly-face is all in Asia, still (and not just Asia-in politics, the concept of 'face' has value everywhere), but they will go. (Foreign Affairs from last month is instructive, both in the essay by Colin Powell, which is frankly and unsurprisingly apologist, to the remainder, which covers both the Saudi Arabia and N. Korea problems in depth).
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: April 7th, 2004 07:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
You know he's "not that smart" because you see him look stupid in the press and blink a lot on camera and mangle phrases. Now, think of everything that you know about anything you know, that you've seen reported in the press. And realize that politics is not immune to this effect. And guess what, blinking a lot on camera, and mangling phrases, does not mean "dumb". *I* blink a lot on camera, and constantly mangle phrases, especially when addressing a large group. (And I can't spell worth a damn.) Does that make *me* "not that smart"?

The previous occupant of that office had a plastic face, an "ain't I such a stinker" attitude, and an inablilty to keep his fingers out of unwilling skirts. Those are just as valid for a basis of an accusation of "not that smart" (i.e., not very).

Bush is not a Rhodes Scholar, no. OTOH, he is demonstrably extremely cunning, plays interpersonal politics like a combination of chess and poker, and has run the "tightest ship" for keeping his advisers, his underlings, and his adviser's advisors and his underling's underlings under control in over five decades.

I don't like his domestic politics. I don't like his corporatism. I loath his AG even worse than I loathed the previous one (and that takes some serious doing). ((But I do understand the political forces that created and support the current AG, and the fault and the blame for *that* can be laid squarely in the lap of seven decades of smug dismissive east coast "progressives".))

But this constant refrain of "The Shrub is a moron" is about as dumb as, and will backfire exactly like, the spittle soaked "The Clintonistas are murderers! Vince Foster! Blowjobs in the Oval Office! Horror!" raving lunacy did 4 years ago.

I am pro-choice, but every time I running into a NARALite, I have to fight the temptation to send some money to Operation Rescue. I am deeply suspicious of police procedure and culture, but every time I have to suffer thru a "Free Mumia" moron with a megaphone, I have to fight the temptation to flip sides, just to avoid being even slightly associated with those loons. I am pro-bicycle, but the Critical Mass folks make me want to mow them down (those destructive assholes owe me money).

I cannot go to Pride anymore, because all of these such idiots are bad for my blood pressure.

And, gods below, all this hateful "The Weed Is a Moron!" and all this profoundly *stupid* "Inspections would have solved Iraq. The Islamists are not a threat."... And I've I see *one* more protestor with a "No Jews" logo, an Iraqi flag with Saddam's handwriting, that "I *heart* NY (without the WTC)" banner, or people making *costumes* of suicide bombers, or gloating about dead "mercenaries"...

History holds people responsible for their allies, not their enemies. I Do Not Want to be on the "side" of anyone who thinks that those signs, logos, chants, or ideas are appropriate, positive, or even funny.
docorion From: docorion Date: April 8th, 2004 12:15 am (UTC) (Link)
OK, perhaps I phrased myself badly. "Bush is a moron", is, in most of my friends mouths as in mine, a simpler way of saying that his policies, both domestic and foreign, are wrong, not to say wrong-headed, to a high order, that his advisors on domestic matters are absolutely foul, and that he declines to listen to his arguably good advisors on foreign policy matters, where even his admirers admit he is not strong (or did before Gulf 2. Now, said same admirers will tell you he is the greatest foreign policy president since Nixon).

And saying that does not imply that I, or anyone else who says it, does not believe Islamists are a threat. (Or that I believe that Mumia doesn't belong in jail, or that Critical Mass et al are not obnoxious to the point of making me want to buy another SUV). But it is my opinion that the response to Iraq, Iran and *especially* the morass that is Saudi Arabia, could have been more nuanced, more subtle, and more intelligent. And that, if war was necessary (and I am *so* not naive or foolish enough to think it is not ever necessary, although I have grave doubts about the necessity of *this* war), that we could have approached it in a smarter fashion. Bush I *worked like a dog* to put and hold together the anti-Iraq alliance; I didn't like him to start, but I admit he was better than I thought he would be, especially with respect to foreign policy, where he had background and experience. Bush II seems to have decided it wasn't worth the effort. This is a failure for which, in my sole opinion, history will judge him wanting, if for nothing else.

(And I will admit, I have a visceral dislike for *anyone* who cannot pronounce the word "nuclear". Hint-it is NOT pronounced "nukular". But if I thought he was right about most other things, I would get over it. Furthermore, public speaking for cameras is part of politics; learn how to do it, and do it properly. If you complain about Al Gore looking like a nimrod in front of the camera-and he did-why is it OK that Bush looks like a frog on the highway at night, and talks like one, as well? This is one of the skills the job requires).
From: flying_pegasus Date: April 7th, 2004 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sorry don't know how to make link to other journals or on my lap top without my client. I like what he said and the article he posted. He got the right Idea. To my views and opinions.
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