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> Was Bush misled by the Intelligence?, An analysis of the Intelligence
Kuni
post Dec 11 2005, 08:09 PM
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The SIC Report contains this little tidbit about an Intelligence Report that the Administration got in the summer of 2002.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/intell/libra...chapter12-c.htm
(U) The Deputy Director for Intelligence (DDI) directed that Iraq and al-Qaida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship be published on June 21, 2002, although it did not reflect the NESA's views. CTC's explanation of its approach to this study and the analysts' differing views were contained in the paper's Scope Note, which stated:

(U) This intelligence assessment responds to senior policymaker interest in a comprehensive assessment of Iraqi regime links to al-Qa'ida. Our approach is purposefully aggressive in seeking to draw connections, on the assumption that any indication of a relationship between these two hostile elements could carry great dangers to the United States.

(U) We reviewed intelligence reporting over the past decade to determine whether Iraq had a relationship with al-Qa'ida and, if so, the dimensions of the relationship.

[BLACKED OUT] Our knowledge of Iraqi links to al-Qa'ida still contains many critical gaps [DELETED]



Now this tells us a couple of things. First that Bush was told that they were throwing in everything including the kitchen sink, with the ‘purposefully aggressive’ statement, into the report. Secondly, that they didn’t really know what the &$%# they were talking about with their ‘many critical gaps’ disclaimer.

So how do we know Bush was misled? Let’s look at some of his statements, but first, let’s look at a portion of the “Interpreting a Murky Relationship” from June 21, 2002 that the SIC Report failed to mention.

June 21, 2002 CIA report, “Iraq and al-Qa'ida: Interpreting a Murky Relationship,” starts with: “In the past several years, Iraq reportedly has provided specialized training to al-Qa’ida in explosives and assistance to the group’s chemical and biological weapons programs, although the level and extent of this training assistance is not clear.


And it shows us what part the [BLACKED OUT] and [DELETED] parts from the above extract from the SIC Report contained.

Our knowledge of Iraqi links to al-Qa'ida still contains many critical gaps because of limited reporting [BLACKED OUT] and the questionable reliability of many of our sources."

And finishes with:

“The CBRN Angle. The most ominous indications of Iraq-al-Qa’ida cooperation involve Bin Laden’s chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) ambitions. Although Iraq historically has tended to hold closely its strategic weapons experts and resources, Baghdad could have offered training or other support that fell well short of its most closely held secrets. [BLACKED OUT] of Iraq or Iraqi nationals in al-Qa’ida CBRN efforts, but we cannot determine which, if any of these Iraqi nationals Baghdad directed.


And now for the parts of the October 2001 NIE that Bush got to see.

The October 2, 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's Continuing WMD Programs, states:
As with much of the information on the overall relationship, details on training and support are second-hand or from sources of varying reliability. The most conspicuous pattern in the reporting is of al-Qa’ida enduring interest in acquiring chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) expertise from Iraq. [BLACKED OUT] suggest the involvement of Iraq or Iraqi nationals in al-Qa’ida’s CBW efforts. We cannot determine however, how many of these Iraqi nationals were directed by Baghdad or how many of the reported plans for CBW training or support were actually realized.

None of the hundreds of al-Qa’ida members captured during Operation Enduring Freedom report having been trained in Iraq or by Iraqi trainers elsewhere, but given interest over the years in training and expertise from outside sources, we cannot discount reports of such training entirely.



Entirely? They could not discount the claims 100%. Interesting comment. And let’s not forget the “We cannot determine however, how many of these Iraqi nationals were directed by Baghdad or how many of the reported plans for CBW training or support were actually realized.” comment; they could not determine even One. Interesting.

Now let’s see what Bush did with the “We don’t know” and “we can’t be 100% sure that there is nothing there” comments. But first I should mention another Document that has just had portions declassified.

[URL=levin.senate.gov/newsroom/ supporting/2005/DIAletter.102605.pdf]Ditsum No. 044-02[/URL]:
In February 2002, when al-Libi’s claims about chemical and biological weapons training were first reported in the Intelligence Community, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) issued DITSUM # 044-02 containing al-Libi’s claims and the following comment:

“This is the first report from Ibnal-Shaykh in which he claims Iraq assisted al-Qaida’s CBRN efforts. However, he lacks specific details on the Iraqi’s involved, the CBRN material associated with the assistance, and the location where training occurred. It is possible he does not know any further details; it is more likely this individual is intentionally misleading the debriefers. Ibn al-Shaykh has been undergoing debriefs for several weeks and may describing scenarios to the debriefers that he knows will retain their interest.

Saddam’s regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements. Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control.”


So now we have: “We don’t know”, “we’re not sure, but were almost 100% sure nothing is there”, and “the one guy we tortured some info out of, is lying about the training”.

Now let’s go look at what Bush said? Not yet, we still have to deal with the 1998 “Indictment” that many are claiming proves that Clinton must also have lied.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/artic...004Jun16_2.html
. . . Patrick J. Fitzgerald, now a U.S. attorney in Illinois, who oversaw the African bombing case, told the commission that reference was dropped in a superseding indictment because investigators could not confirm al Qaeda's relationship with Iraq as they had done with its ties to Iran, Sudan and Hezbollah. The original material came from an al Qaeda defector who told prosecutors that what he had heard was secondhand. . .


So now we have: “We don’t know”, “we’re not sure, but were almost 100% sure nothing is there”, “the one guy we tortured some info out of, is lying about the training”, and “Clinton’s Justice Department didn’t confirm it either”.

Now let’s look at what Bush said.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/20...0030206-17.html
“Saddam Hussein has longstanding, direct and continuing ties to terrorist networks. Senior members of Iraqi intelligence and al Qaeda have met at least eight times since the early 1990s. Iraq has sent bomb-making and document forgery experts to work with al Qaeda. Iraq has also provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training. We also know that Iraq is harboring a terrorist network, headed by a senior al Qaeda terrorist planner.” Source: President Bush: World Can Rise to This Moment", White House (2/6/2003)


Notice the “Iraq has also provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training” comment? The Intelligence obviously did not say that; it said that it can’t prove that comment and we’re almost 100% sure it’s not true.


And let’s not forget the January 29, 2003 CIA report, the one that came out about a week before Bush’s comment in question, called; “Iraqi Support for Terrorism”

January 29, 2003 CIA report, "Iraqi Support for Terrorism"

Iraq-al-Qa’ida Training:

After contacts the [BLACKED OUT] reporting touches most frequently on the topic of Iraqi training of al-Qa’ida. Details on training range from good reports {BLACKED OUT] varying reliability, often the result of long and opaque reporting chains or discussions of future intentions rather than evidence of completed training. The general pattern that emerges is of al-Qa’ida enduring interest in acquiring CBW expertise from Iraq.

There have been fewer reports of al-Qa’ida receiving conventional terrorist training from Iraq after Bin Laden relocated to Afghanistan in 1996, possibly because Bin Ladin’s needs were less in this area. [BLACKED OUT]

Some of the most ominous suggestions of possible Iraqi-al-Qa’ida cooperation involve Bin Ladin’s CBW ambitions. Although Iraq historically has guarded closely its strategic weapons information, experts, and resources, Baghdad could have offered training or other support to al-Qa’ida. [BLACKED OUT]

Most of the reports do not make clear whether training initiatives offered by Iraqi’s or discussed by the two sides remained in the planning stages or were actually implemented.

In about half of the reports, we cannot determine if the Iraqi nationals mentioned had any relationship with the Baghdad government or were expatriate or free-lance scientists or engineers.

At least [BLACKED OUT] of the reports appear based on hearsay:

[BLACKED OUT] of the reports are simple declarative accusations of Iraqi-al-Qa’ida complicity with no substantiating detail or other information that might help us corroborate them.



So we have Bush saying that “Iraq has also provided al Qaeda with chemical and biological weapons training”; yet a week before, the Intelligence was still saying, we can prove that claim.


So given the above: Was Bush misled by the Intelligence?
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Mrs. Pigpen
post May 5 2006, 12:40 PM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ May 5 2006, 05:12 AM)
Comments from Rice and Powell about Iraq before 911
Rice July 29, 2001
QUOTE
But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."


And Powell from the same link in May 15 2001
QUOTE
Powell: The sanctions, as they are called, have succeeded over the last 10 years, not in deterring him from moving in that direction, but from actually being able to move in that direction. The Iraqi regime militarily remains fairly weak. It doesn't have the capacity it had 10 or 12 years ago. It has been contained. And even though we have no doubt in our mind that the Iraqi regime is pursuing programs to develop weapons of mass destruction—chemical, biological, and nuclear—I think the best intelligence estimates suggest that they have not been terribly successful.


The link above wasn't the original. I found it though. Thanks. flowers.gif

From my perspective, this pretty much demonstrates what I mentioned about pushing for continued sanctions. In order to do so, and enact the "smart sanctions" that they hoped would alleviate suffering but also wanted to demonstrate that the sanctions were effective and shouldn't be removed. That doesn't mean they didn't consider Saddam to be a threat. Before Rice said this, the very same transcript, she said this:
QUOTE
RICE: Well, the president has made very clear that he considers Saddam Hussein to be a threat to his neighbors, a threat to security in the region, in fact a threat to international security more broadly. And he has reserved the right to respond when that threat becomes one that he wishes no longer to tolerate. I think it's always best not to speculate about the grounds or the circumstances under which one would do that.

But I can be certain of this, and the world can be certain of this: Saddam Hussein is on the radar screen for the administration. The administration is working hard with a number of our friends and allies to have a policy that is broad; that does look at the sanctions as something that should be restructured so that we have smart sanctions that go after the regime, not after the Iraqi people; that does look at the role of opposition in creating an environment and a regime in Baghdad that the people of Iraq deserve, rather than the one that they have; and one that looks at use of military force in a more resolute manner, and not just a manner of tit-for-tat with him every day.


Kind of presents a larger picture than the single sentence.

QUOTE
QUOTE
MPP. Curveball, aluminum tubing and Nigerian yellow cake were far from the only pieces of intelligence. This is a common bromide, and an erroneous one. Repeat it three times and it's true! The analysis of prewar intelligence alone is over 200 pages long. If you look at the chronologies attached in the link I supplied earlier, you will see a list of sanctioned procurements during this time.


I'm no longer willing to pour through long pdfs that people throw at me as an answer. If you have specific examples of evidence that was so credible and so suggestive of imminent danger that it warranted an invasion rather than a continuation of the on going inspections then I would be interested in seeing it.


Understood. I'll remind you that I posted that link a while back for you to peruse on the stacking the deck thread . My only point is, there is a lot there. Much of it was analyzed and found to be false after the invasion. Intelligence under the conditions of a closed and secretive regime like Iraq, I assume, is kind of like a puzzle. You won't see all of the pieces, only a few. Some won't fit, and they are discarded (or should be), and from that the overall picture is attempted to ascertain. I think most of the problems stemmed from the dearth in trustworthy human intelligence. Be that as it may, the above link of the Senate Report on Intelligence comes to the conclusion that there is much blame to go around for the CIA, State Department, Defense intelligence, ect. Obviously there was no information suggestive of compelling imminent danger. With this I agree, as I said I don't agree with the action. That doesn't mean I think he fixed the intelligence. Which, incidentally, is the same conclusion that the Senate committee also came to in my link above.

I really don’t have much else to say on this issue. It doesn’t surprise me that agents are coming out now with claims of “I told him so…” Next to the books in the store of “How Bush lied about WMD” there are books “How Bush Ignored signs of 911.” I just have to shake my head. Congress saw virtually the same intelligence when they approved the move. Paragraph number 5,000 Nigeria yellow-cake wasn’t the deciding factor, it was the big picture that mattered. Now that things didn’t go well parties are trying to escape responsibility by feigning ignorance, when I am virtually certain would have acted the same after 911 (unless Ralph Nader or Carter were the presidents). Look at the last fifteen years or so, not simply the last five. This doesn’t all come down to one evil administration, though the concept is good for selling books and booking speaking engagements.

About seven years ago I was a member of FOX debate forums. At the time, I really didn’t like Clinton. He was my reason for being there to vent, in fact. I found that the assertions were so unfounded and ridiculous I became a virtual online Clinton advocate. I didn’t want to be, but I couldn’t sit back and read illogical unfounded accusations. Not saying that this thread is full of them, specifically I’d say this thread is pretty fair, I’m simply bringing up the general pattern I’ve been seeing. I have followed the Iraq issue much more closely than most through the years because I had a vested interest in knowing. My husband flew over the place for quite a while. I've seen a lot of ostensible "surprising new information" that should have been common knowledge as I'd read it through many times through the years.

I came to this forum because I didn’t like Bush (still don’t), and I find myself generally placed in the same position as I was seven years ago. The Senate Committee analyzed the intelligence and found it lacking. They interviewed all of these individuals who are writing books that they “knew” now, and they still came to the conclusion that there was a lot of blame to go around. Not Bush only, or even primarily, or even heavily, “cherry picking”.

Bottom line, Congress agreed that means democratic voters are responsible. Regime change has been official national policy since Congress passed the Iraq Liberation Act. I wish I had a dime for every time I heard "Bush should have finished the job in Iraq", "Now Clinton has to finish Bush's job", ect...ect....I can't help but wonder how many of these very same people are now the ones swearing that all of this is the work of one Doctor Evil Bush and his associates? It would be nice and much more productive, if as much concentration and energy was expended on actually fixing the problems.

'Nuf said. zipped.gif

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: May 5 2006, 01:33 PM
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Vladimir
post May 5 2006, 08:04 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ May 4 2006, 02:39 PM)
QUOTE
Vladimir
It really is a matter of degree. I am sure that almost every government in the world is "involved with" terrorists ways similar to the Iraqi regime's "involvement" with Al Qaeda. And for that matter, it is highly likely that the governments of some of our allies in the middle East are thus "involved with" Bin Laden's forces. This does not necessarily warrant war.

Secondly, it really is preposterous to spin theories out of the many muddled and contradictory reports that came out of Iraq in the years and months leading up to the war.


Again there is evidence Iraq had connections with terrorists including AQ. IMO he hated the US enough to support anyone who hated us as well – the well known “Enemy of my Enemy ……. Theory holds here in spades.

I have no clue what you mean by “muddled reports” out of Iraq before the war. I have posted the sworn testimony of UN inspectors. If you disagree please say WHY they were all wrong. And since Iraq admitted to most of what was alleged I fail to see how you conclude this was “muddled”. 12,000 pages details their WMD programs. EVERY single inspector in Iraq up to 2003 said they retained massive stockpiles of WMD so if you have new data please post it here. Tell us what for example the statement below by Butler, who headed the group that uncovered most of Iraq’s WMD program was wrong. CLEARLY in 2003 this was the intel that indicated that Iraq, under UN sanction for over 10 years and having developed and used WMD as well as invading a neighbor was a danger to the US, or interests, and the region.

As Butler said in 1998:

Iraq's record on biological weapons is "pathetic," Butler said. "For
four and a half years Iraq flatly denied having any. When we
confronted them with compelling evidence to the contrary they then
admitted that they had a program, but sought to minimize its nature
and extent."

"The fact is that Iraq created a quantity and quality of weapons of
mass destruction that, when one thinks of the size of the industrial
base, etc., was virtually unique, breathtaking in its scope and its
danger to its region and population beyond," Butler said.

*



Ah, please, what are you trying to do, re-write history? All of this has been evaluated by experts far more capable of weighing it than anyone on this thread, and the conclusion was that there was no credible evidence, either before the war or now, either that Iraq possessed any weapons of mass destruction or that it was substantially cooperating with Al Qaeda. If you want people to change their minds about that, go get yourself a soapbox, take it Central Park, and wave your purported evidence around. But I very much doubt that you'll get very many people to stop and listen to you.

One is not an expert in the evaluation of these things, but one does tend to trust the interpretation of those who are expert over the theories of right-wing ideologues bent on retroactive justification of the war. In any case, there is no point in debating this point here, since there has already been a national debate about it and, precisely because the experts would not back the Administration up, your side lost.

This post has been edited by Vladimir: May 5 2006, 08:06 PM
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Wertz
post May 5 2006, 08:10 PM
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I won't go on at much length here because this is starting to stray from the topic - and we seem to agree that the intelligence, cooked or otherwise, was irrelevant to the illegal invasion of Iraq.

QUOTE(moif @ May 4 2006, 04:25 PM)
His WMD's were never intended for use against the USA. They were to defend him against his regional enemies. By not using his WMD's Saddam Hussein was playing his last card and his continued survival to date demonstrates how cool his game really is.

Exactly - thanks. You have just argued that Hussein posed no immediate threat to the US and that we are, therefore - by definition - international war criminals. I agree entirely.

QUOTE(moif @ May 4 2006, 04:25 PM)
You have the right to defend yourself, but International Law forbids you to attack first, so how will you defend yourself? Its easy. Rule Nr 1 of the human race. You ignore the law and use the first and best excuse to kill them first!

Or you wait until there is evidence of a credible threat and act lawfully in your defense.

QUOTE(moif @ May 4 2006, 04:25 PM)
So, all pre-emptive war, regardless of cause, context or circumstances is equal to raping a child?

In that both are unlawful, absolutely. Yes.

QUOTE(moif @ May 4 2006, 04:25 PM)
Thats ridiculous. Thats like saying we can never defend ourselves until we are attacked. That we must sit and wait until a threat has been carried out before we react to it.

That I must sit and wait for the maniac with a machine gun to open fire before I retaliate.
*

Not in the least. But the bully next door simply owning a machine gun is not enough. If I saw that bully leaving his house with his Uzi and entering my front gate, I'd have every right to meet him with my Sig 228 9mm and tell him to drop his weapon. As you've already admitted, the bully in question had no machine gun capable of hitting the US - and he had certainly not left his house and marched into the front yard of America. We are the bullies in your analogy, moif, not Hussein.

Your questions about international law are valid - as is your concern about porous borders and nuclear weapons (though I hasten to add that neither Iraq nor Iran have nuclear weapons), but they belong in a different thread.

In this thread, I can but agree with you. The intelligence was immaterial. The Bush administration was going to do whatever it wanted, with or without credible intelligence - and that's exactly what they did, breaking every international agreement in existence in the process. The United States, moif, is the rogue nation that you should be fearing. We have nukes - and we may well be using them unless this administration is stopped. What are you prepared to do about the very real threat of America?
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Ted
post May 5 2006, 08:22 PM
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QUOTE
Vladamir
Ah, please, what are you trying to do, re-write history? All of this has been evaluated by experts far more capable of weighing it than anyone on this thread, and the conclusion was that there was no credible evidence, either before the war or now, either that Iraq possessed any weapons of mass destruction or that it was substantially cooperating with Al Qaeda. If you want people to change their minds about that, go get yourself a soapbox, take it Central Park, and wave your purported evidence around. But I very much doubt that you'll get very many people to stop and listen to you.

One is not an expert in the evaluation of these things, but one does tend to trust the interpretation of those who are


Come on please don’t insult my intelligence here. This is not “sound bite” news. The people I quoted ARE the experts and they were THERE and they testified to the facts – which by the way IS the Intel available in 2003.

So if you have some data to refute what I posted – esp. any available in 2003 please post it rather than attacking me personally. There is nothing “purported” about what I posted. But your statements are typical of the nonsense from the left and fools like Teddy K who thing it possible to bury thousands of pages of evidence and years of work with simple (and stupid) statements like “Iraq never had WMD”.

Nothing could be more ludicrously wrong than that. And if we get back to the thread. PLEASE show me your expert data from 2002-03 since that is what we are discussing here.
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Paladin Elspeth
post May 5 2006, 08:36 PM
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You're right, Mrs. Pigpen. While we do go on about Bush in this forum, though, there are many of us who still remember that Democrats as well as Republicans in Congress gave this man carte blanche to invade Iraq.

Curmudgeon and I contacted our Senators and Congressman urging them not to go to war, obviously to no avail. And we have not excused the Congress from their role in this invasion.

But while the members of Congress share the responsibility for invading a country that had not attacked us and was not threatening us, it required the Chief Executive to actually send the troops to invade. And while I blame Congress for not insisting that they remain in the loop, constitutionally, by claiming their power as a body to declare war if there was going to be a war, I blame George Walker Bush for "rushing in" where his father George Herbert Walker Bush "feared to tread," and then for not having the grace or humility to acknowledge his mistakes until far later when it was moot.

It was the Bush administration, according to Richard Clarke and Paul O'Neill and many others, that was dying to connect Iraq to the events of 9/11/2001, to the point of sending back collaborative reports to be redone by the State Department, CIA, and FBI because no evidence could be found. In criminal court such an effort to find a person guilty to the point of disregarding other evidence would be called a "malicious prosecution," yet it was done.

Saddam Hussein was a monster to his own people. The order he imposed was cruel. In reply, western countries imposed an embargo on Iraq, and who did it hurt? Not Saddam.

Yes, in many cases, this was the fault of Congress as well. As a dictator, all you have to do is oppose Communism and cooperate with the United States in fighting it, and it is all too easy for the U.S. to wink at your barbarism.

But we look at the Victory Poster Boy landing on the deck of the U.S.S. Lincoln like a fighter pilot and then taking the podium under the banner, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED, and we know for a fact that Bush was all too ready to wear the laurel wreath on behalf of (or in spite of) the people of the United States. Twenty-five hundred deaths and approximately 17,500 injuries later, it doesn't look like it was such a great victory. We're all sadder but wiser about the idea of waging war and occupation in a culture that is different from ours, where they appear to hate the occupiers as much as they did their dictator.

So while Bush is not exclusively to blame for cherrypicking the intelligence and running with it--EDIT: Yes, he actually was; Congress was to blame for not questioning it--he and his administration performed the deed based on what he wanted to believe vs. the body of intelligence the agencies had. To this day there are still people who believe that Iraq was connected to the 9/11 attacks, and it is President George Walker Bush who did not and does not discourage this belief. He is willing to perpetuate misconceptions if they are to his advantage, even as he willingly took dubious intelligence and ran with it to get us into this unfortunate, undeclared war.

This post has been edited by Paladin Elspeth: May 5 2006, 08:53 PM
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moif
post May 6 2006, 01:07 AM
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QUOTE(Wertz)
Exactly - thanks. You have just argued that Hussein posed no immediate threat to the US and that we are, therefore - by definition - international war criminals. I agree entirely.
Weeeeelllll... I'd have said that the possibility of Iraq attacking Saudi Arabia was the actual threat against the USA, and this is the threat I still think exists, even today... in fact, given Iran's meteoric rise in regional power, sans Saddam Hussein, I'd say this is actually still a threat.


QUOTE(Wertz)
Or you wait until there is evidence of a credible threat and act lawfully in your defense.
Ahh... yes... but.. what if you can't raise enough evidence? What if the threat is credible to you, but you can't prove it to other people?

Then you have to either live with the threat hanging over your head, fake some proof, or you have to allow yourself to be misled by 'the intelligence'.


QUOTE(Wertz)
Not in the least. But the bully next door simply owning a machine gun is not enough. If I saw that bully leaving his house with his Uzi and entering my front gate, I'd have every right to meet him with my Sig 228 9mm and tell him to drop his weapon. As you've already admitted, the bully in question had no machine gun capable of hitting the US - and he had certainly not left his house and marched into the front yard of America. We are the bullies in your analogy, moif, not Hussein.

Your questions about international law are valid - as is your concern about porous borders and nuclear weapons (though I hasten to add that neither Iraq nor Iran have nuclear weapons), but they belong in a different thread.

In this thread, I can but agree with you. The intelligence was immaterial. The Bush administration was going to do whatever it wanted, with or without credible intelligence - and that's exactly what they did, breaking every international agreement in existence in the process. The United States, moif, is the rogue nation that you should be fearing. We have nukes - and we may well be using them unless this administration is stopped. What are you prepared to do about the very real threat of America?
How is America a threat to Denmark?

I understand the rest of your point, but not this question...

So, okay, GW Bush allowed himself to be misled by the fake evidence to get what he wanted... but he did that to get rid of a perceived threat in the Middle East and by doing so, he not only helped out the some what ungrateful people of Iraq, but he also helped out his allies, the some what ungrateful people of Europe.

But, okay, you've asked an interesting question, and I admit, it has crossed my mind that Denmark's best bet in this post 9/11 world might possibly be to start a secret nuclear weapons programme of its own whistling.gif (not likely to happen since Denmark considers itself a nuclear free zone) but a threat from the US was not an aspect I had when considering Denmarks enemies.

For me, the greatest possible threat from the USA comes from the opposition to GW Bush. As Gary Brecher has pointed out, the people of the USA are not always rational. They got rid of GHW Bush after he gave them the greatest US military victory since 1945, but elected to retain his son despite the latter's poor record in Iraq. That irrational choice was not made without exterior context of course, but the point is valid nonethless. If the people of the USA are so fickle as to disregard the winning of their wars as politically significant then the real threat to Denmark, or any where else in the world, comes not from the aggressive tendencies of GW Bush, which will always be constrained by simple logistics if by no other means, but rather the pacifist indifference of the American electorate that would rather the USA, for all its strength and authority, did nothing.

If the most powerful nation in the west does nothing and allows men like Saddam Hussein to act with impunity, THEN we in the west face a very serious threat indeed. This is why Saddam Hussein is still a threat.

There is something else as well. If GW Bush did allow himself to be misled by the (fake?) intelligence, then how does one explain the many world leaders who, whether they were in favour of attacking Iraq or not, also believed he same intelligence?
After all, even the French believed Iraq had WMD's. Why?

Obviously Saddam Hussein was a threat, but he was a threat in such a way that many people would rather turn the other cheek than bring him to book. There is that common slogan, 'no blood for oil'

...but if not for oil then what? Oil is the blood of the western world. Without it, and the regions that produce it, the entire industrial economy is under a severe threat.

Oil is the physical embodiment of 'American freedom' because its the oil thats given you Americans the strength to build the nation you have today. Without that oil you could never have won the second world war (and I'd not have been born, because my Mother would never have been able to travel to Denmark to meet my Father).
Every thing we have today and take for granted, stems, ultimately from a society that requires energy and oil is the best form of energy we have. Its such an important strategic resource that to not go to war to defend it is to surrender outright. And consider this. What happens if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia falls and the USA finds itself facing a Middle east dominated by Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood?

Will international law protect us from that threat? The world as we know it will end and the Islamic fundamentalist agenda will have broken the western world unless the USA and its allies take immediete steps to destroy the threat and control the oil.

GW Bush knows this. In fact I think the whole world knows this which is why so many other western leaders agreed that Saddam Hussein was a threat prior to the war, but most people are either too scared by the impending nightmare to do anything about it (its much easier to agree with the USA, then sit on the fence and avoid the hardship of fighting for your freedom)

...or, as is the case with many on the left (who look upon this New World Order as being something desirable since it might possibly see an end to the hated US imperialism they've been raging against for decades) they don't consider Islam to be such a threat.

In other words, I believe that not only did GW Bush know the intel was directly misleading, but so too did most of the rest of the world.
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Cube Jockey
post May 6 2006, 02:27 AM
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QUOTE(moif @ May 5 2006, 06:07 PM)
QUOTE(Wertz)
Or you wait until there is evidence of a credible threat and act lawfully in your defense.
Ahh... yes... but.. what if you can't raise enough evidence? What if the threat is credible to you, but you can't prove it to other people?
*


You know that I thought of when I first read this moif? What if you can hear voices in your head but others can't hear them? The answer, clearly, is that you are insane.

That is much the same answer here. If the threat is credible to you then you will have evidence to back it up, period. In order for the threat to be credible by definition you must have evidence to back it up, there is no other way for it to be credible.

It just surprises me that you keep arguing that the threat was credible when you argue just a few sentences later that the war was primarily about oil. You can't say the WMD threat was credible on the one hand and thhen posit that the war was about oil on the other, just doesn't fit together.

QUOTE(Moif)
...or, as is the case with many on the left (who look upon this New World Order as being something desirable since it might possibly see an end to the hated US imperialism they've been raging against for decades) they don't consider Islam to be such a threat.

Islam itself is not a threat Moif, it is the extremist teachings that are a threat. Of course that is pretty much an off topic discussion for this thread. I will state that I'd really like to see people stop attributing things to "the left" that simply aren't true. There certainly is a progressive/liberal component that are philosophically pacifists, but these people are not anywhere close to a majority of those that call themselves liberals or Democrats. In fact out of thousands of members here on ad.gif I'm aware of one pacifist, Quarkhead. You quickly forget that many of the same people speaking out against Iraq supported what we did in Afghanistan.

QUOTE(moif)
Weeeeelllll... I'd have said that the possibility of Iraq attacking Saudi Arabia was the actual threat against the USA, and this is the threat I still think exists, even today... in fact, given Iran's meteoric rise in regional power, sans Saddam Hussein, I'd say this is actually still a threat.

Iraq attacking Saudi Arabia? That is ludicrous, do you have something to back that up at all?

And you've identified yet another problem with the login of removing Hussein as well - increasing Iran's power in the region. Iran has always been a much bigger threat to the region and to our interests there than Iraq ever was. So you remove one of the checks on that power and that makes sense how?
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moif
post May 6 2006, 12:53 PM
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QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
You know that I thought of when I first read this moif? What if you can hear voices in your head but others can't hear them? The answer, clearly, is that you are insane.

That is much the same answer here. If the threat is credible to you then you will have evidence to back it up, period. In order for the threat to be credible by definition you must have evidence to back it up, there is no other way for it to be credible.
You are correct in your reply, since history backs you up.

When General Bond was told there was a credible threat from Japan against Singapore, he dismissed the notion, much as you describe, he saw no evidence that the Japanese military would be able to destroy the Royal Navy battleships which guarded the city or that the IJA would be able to mount a successful cross land invasion to take Singapore from the rear.

His intelligence people knew the risk was real and tried to make the case to prove it, but they were not able to. On the day after the attack on Pearl Harbour, the British Commander at Singapore, Lt Gen Percival learned just how 'insane' the notion of a Japanese attack was and by 15th February, Singapore fell to a Japanese force, inferior in numbers to the British garrison. Churchill described the loss of Singapore as the greatest capitulation in British military history.

If you look around the history section of your book shelf (or local library if your not into history books) you'll probably find more examples of people being considered 'insane' because they could see a threat they could not prove existed.

Recent European history is crammed with such examples. The Jews of Europe for instance knew full well what was coming and tried desperately to avoid it. Many tried to flee to the USA, but the borders were closed to them. In desperation many sent their children out of Germany. The UK accepted 10,000, the USA, a mere 1,000.
They were the lucky ones. They survived, as orphans.

If your paying attention to whats going on in Iran these days, you might have noted that the Iranian clerics have recently begun to talk of nuking Israel out of existence. Rafsanjani, who is often described as a 'moderate' has noted that the nuclear destruction of Israel would wipe out the Jews, but a Jewish counter strike would have only a passing effect on Islam.

Is it 'insane' to take note of this threat? No.
Can I prove it will happen? No.

Consider this, there are six million or so Jews in Israel. Is it 'insane' to act pre-emptively to counter a threat that might save the lives of six million Jews... or should we appease those who make such threats in return for 'peace in our time'?

If you want to look closer to home, ask yourself how people in the US intelligence community, on Sept 10th, 2001, treated the notion that there was an imminent attack by Islamic terrorists on the US mainland...

'Insane?'

Sure.

Wrong?

hmmm.gif


QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
It just surprises me that you keep arguing that the threat was credible when you argue just a few sentences later that the war was primarily about oil. You can't say the WMD threat was credible on the one hand and thhen posit that the war was about oil on the other, just doesn't fit together.
Of course it does.

The threat, which was shrouded in deliberate misinformation by both sides, consisted of more than one possible danger. Tony Blair made the claim Saddam Hussein was able to hit targets in Europe within 45 minutes (and that was what prompted my initial support for the war) but the truth is really that Saddam Hussein was a threat to Saudi Arabia. This was after all why the US military had troops in that country (which in turn was what got Osama Bin Laden all upset).

The real threat to the USA was a possible attack by Saddam Hussein's forces, possibly in connection with terrorist allies, probably using WMD's against Saudi Arabia.

The danger, or should I say, the uncertainty surrounding the danger of such an attack lay in the fact that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not a trust worthy ally. The USA could not afford to fight both the Iraqi's and the Saudi's at the same time. If Hussein had attacked Saudi Arabia in conjunction with a Saudi uprising, then the USA would have no option but to withdraw and lose a vital oil resource.

The best purely military option for the west would be to invade Saudi Arabia and ethnically cleanse it, like the Romans might have done, but to even suggest such a course of action in this day and age is outrageously unacceptable. So what is the alternative?
To protect the western worlds strategic interest in the oil of the middle east, the USA launched a pre-emptive strike against Saddam Hussein and simply removed him from the equation. This means that the US military presence is out of Saudi Arabia which lessens the pressure on the US allies there and keeps the oil flowing.

It also retains a US military presence in the region whilst putting more pressure on Iran.

Geo-politics 101.

All the Bush administration needed was a credible pretext and Saddam Hussein gave them that by refusing to fully disclose the state of his WMD arsenal. Its worth noting, that even to this day we do not know what became of all Iraq's stockpiles of WMD's.



QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
Islam itself is not a threat Moif, it is the extremist teachings that are a threat.
Yeah? Whats the difference?


QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
Of course that is pretty much an off topic discussion for this thread. I will state that I'd really like to see people stop attributing things to "the left" that simply aren't true. There certainly is a progressive/liberal component that are philosophically pacifists, but these people are not anywhere close to a majority of those that call themselves liberals or Democrats. In fact out of thousands of members here on  I'm aware of one pacifist, Quarkhead. You quickly forget that many of the same people speaking out against Iraq supported what we did in Afghanistan.
I'm sorry CJ, but when I referred to 'the left', I mean the real left, not that middle of the road lot you have in the USA. I'm not talking about the US Democrat Party, which by European standards is a conservative party.

I'm talking about the Socialist and 'Communist Light' party's which dominate the European political landscape. The people who marched in Europe's streets, under red banners on May 1st.

...and these people are certainly not pacifists. For all their rhetoric and moral arguments regarding the far right or US imperialism, the European left is violent.

What I said was, 'they' welcomed the rise of Islam because they do not consider it a threat. 'They' see it as a new counter weight, an ally to assist and strengthen Europe against the USA. 'They' being the socialist elements of the EU who have deliberately been allowing millions of Muslims into Europe in order to strengthen Europe's geo-political ties to the rest of Eurasia.

If you want to know more about this look closer at who in Europe is urging for Turkey's inclusion into the EU.


QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
Iraq attacking Saudi Arabia? That is ludicrous, do you have something to back that up at all?
Only history.

Do you deny this was a credible threat? If you do, perhaps you know of another reason why the USA had so many troops in Saudi Arabia?


QUOTE(Cube Jockey)
And you've identified yet another problem with the login of removing Hussein as well - increasing Iran's power in the region. Iran has always been a much bigger threat to the region and to our interests there than Iraq ever was. So you remove one of the checks on that power and that makes sense how?
Your question answers itself.

Iran was always a threat and the invasion of Iraq and removal of Saddam Hussein didn't change that or make Iran more or less of a threat. All thats really changed since 2002 is Iran is now in an even tighter geo-political situation with US military assets on two flanks.

As you can see for yourself, Iran is feeling the pressure since its becoming more desperate and more belligerent as a result and started to make empty threats against Israel in the hope that such angry rhetoric will make west back down by causing the American population to flinch.

A tactic that has already worked so well on Europe where people are terrified of another 'US war'.


edited to add:

Irans threats stop being empty once they build enough nuclear weapons to launch a strike against Israel.

This post has been edited by moif: May 6 2006, 01:02 PM
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Ted
post May 8 2006, 07:56 PM
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QUOTE
Cube Jockey
It just surprises me that you keep arguing that the threat was credible when you argue just a few sentences later that the war was primarily about oil. You can't say the WMD threat was credible on the one hand and thhen posit that the war was about oil on the other, just doesn't fit together.


The threat was both of course. A threat to our “people” assets on or off our soil is one threat. We know Saddam had terrorists connections and could pass WMD if he chose to.

Just as serious a threat is a threat to the world oil supply we are so addicted to. Certainly this threat was as serious as the WMD threat. If we get hit by terrorists with WMD we lose lives and billions of dollars. In the same way if the flow of world oil is effected we lose many billions and our economy goes into the tank. Both threats are serious and both IMO were considered when we decided, based on the available intel, to go to war.
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