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OK, dammit. Kerry, his comment today, and the IWR

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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:41 PM
Original message
OK, dammit. Kerry, his comment today, and the IWR
Edited on Mon Aug-09-04 11:42 PM by WilliamPitt
Please bookmark this post, because I am puking sick of typing it over and over again.

Kerry did not say he would still have gone to war in Iraq. This is what he said:

"Yes, I would have voted for that authority but I would have used that authority to do things very differently," Kerry said after a short hike from Hopi Point to Powell Point on the Grand Canyon's South Rim.

The 'Yes' vote on the IWR essential to the establishment of effective weapons inspections. Only the threat of force made the previous inspections effective. I asked Scott Ritter personally if his seven years in Iraq as an inspector would have been effective without the threat of force. He said the inspections would have been useless without the threat.

The US wrote Res. 1441. The US wrote "weapons inspections" into it. It was unanimously approved by the Security Council. The threat of force had to be there; Hussein had jerked around UNSCOM until we bombed him into compliance.

The threat of force got rid of the weapons from 1991-1998. The threat of force was needed to get rid of whatever he might have developed since. As Ritter said in my book, no one was absolutely sure they hadn't retained any of their weapons capabilities.

Are you in favor of weapons inspectors, backed by a unanimous UN Security Council, going in to make sure VX and other weapons were not being developed?

If you were in favor of weapons inspectors, YOU WERE IN FAVOR OF THE THREAT OF FORCE TO BACK THE INSPECTORS. There is no separating the two. Period.

====

PITT: Does Iraq have weapons of mass destruction?

RITTER: It's not black-and-white, as some in the Bush administration make it appear. There's no doubt Iraq hasn't fully complied with its disarmament obligations as set forth by the Security Council in its resolution. But on the other hand, since 1998 Iraq has been fundamentally disarmed: 90-95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capability has been verifiably eliminated. This includes all of the factories used to produce chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, and long-range ballistic missiles; the associated equipment of these factories; and the vast majority of the products coming out of these factories.

Iraq was supposed to turn everything over to the United Nations, which would supervise its destruction and removal. Iraq instead chose to destroy unilaterally, without UN supervision a great deal of this equipment. We were later able to verify this. But the problem is that this destruction took place without documentation, which means the question of verification gets messy very quickly.

(snip)

PITT: Isn't VX gas a greater concern?

RITTER: VX is different, for a couple of reasons. First, unlike sarin and tabun, which the Iraqis admitted to, for the longest time the Iraqis denied they had a program to manufacture VX. Only through the hard work of inspectors were we able to uncover the existence of the program.

PITT: How did that happen?

RITTER: Inspectors went to the Muthanna State establishment and found the building the Iraqis had used for research and development. It had been bombed during the war, causing a giant concrete roof to collapse in on the lab. That was fortuitous, because it meant we essentially had a time capsule: lifting the roof and gaining access to the lab gave us a snapshot of Iraqi VX production on the day in January when the bomb hit. We sent in a team who behaved like forensic archaeologists. They lifted the roof courageously, it was a very dangerous operation went inside, and were able to grab papers and take samples that showed that Iraq did in fact have a VX research and development lab.

Caught in that first lie, the Iraqis said, "We didn't declare the program because it never went anywhere. We were never able to stabilize the VX." Of course the inspectors didnt take their word for it, but pressed: "How much precursor did you build?" Precursor chemicals are what you combine to make VX. "How much VX did you make? Where did you dispose of it?" The Iraqis took the inspectors to a field where they'd dumped the chemicals. Inspectors took soil samples and indeed found degradation byproducts of VX and its precursors.

Unfortunately, we didn't know whether they dumped all of it or held some behind. So we asked what containers they'd used. The Iraqis pointed to giant steel containers provided by the Soviet Union to ship fuel and other liquids, which the Iraqis had converted to hold VX. The inspectors attempted to do a swab on the inside of the containers and found they'd been bleached out: there was nothing there. But one inspector noticed a purge valve on the end of the containers. The inspection team took a swab and found stabilized VX.

We confronted the Iraqis with their second lie. They took a fallback position: "OK, you're right, we did stabilize VX. But we didn't tell you about it because we never weaponized the VX. To us it's still not a weapons program. We decided to eliminate it on our own. As you can see, we've blown it up. It's gone, so there's no need to talk about it."

We caught them in that lie as well. We found stabilized VX in SCUD missiles demolished at the warhead destruction sites. The Iraqis had weaponized the VX, and lied to us about it.

We knew the Iraqis wanted to build a full-scale VX nerve agent plant, and we had information that they'd actually acquired equipment to do this. We hunted and hunted, and finally in 1996 were able to track down two hundred crates of glass-lined production equipment Iraq had procured specifically for a VX nerve agent factory. They'd been hiding it from the inspectors. We found it in 1996, and destroyed it. With that, Iraq lost its ability to produce VX.

All of this highlights the complexity of these issues. We clearly still have an unresolved VX issue in Iraq. Just as clearly Iraq has not behaved in a manner reflective of an honest effort to achieve resolution. And it's tough to work in a place where you've been lied to.

(snip)

Pitt: Considering everything you've experienced, how do you feel about the Iraqi government in general?

RITTER: The Iraqi government is firmly entrenched, having seen over thirty years of Ba'ath Party rule. The Ba'ath Party has seeped into every aspect of Iraqi life cultural, economic, educational, political. It's irresponsible to oversimplify what's going on there, to try to somehow separate Saddam Hussein from the rest of the political machinery. It doesn't work that way.

I'm realistic in understanding that the Iraqi government is much stronger inside Iraq than most people give it credit for. I don't think people should take the Iraqi government too lightly. It's a brutal regime that has shown a disregard for international law and a definite disregard for human rights. It's a regime that has shown as have many other governments around the world, including ours an ability to lie to people about policy objectives. There's no need to beat around the Bush. The Iraqis failed to tell the truth. I understand this cannot be accepted. But in the world of politics, if you cut off all activity with those who tell lies, no one would be do business with anybody.

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still_one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. The authority that Congress gave to bush
allowed him to go to war...
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. "allowed ***HIM*** to go to war"
Any President - even Mr. Gore - would likely have looked hard at Iraq post-9/11 because of that nation's history of WMD development. Gore would have gotten inspectors into the game, and would have asked for a threat of force to back the inspectors up.

The difference is the handling of that power, not the delivery of it.
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #4
22. The IWR resolution is pretty clear.
it allowed Bush* to go to war. It was an irresponsible act taken by the House and Senate. Bush* should have been hamstrung by congress. Insteaad we have a quagmire. So 50% of the blame lies with them.
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Snivi Yllom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 08:22 AM
Response to Reply #22
75. and Kerry STILL would have supported it
that's all I need to know. Kerry just gave me another reason to take a good look at the only antiwar candidate.
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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #22
82. The Commander in Chief could have ordered the invasion anyway
The IWR gave him "teeth" with the UN and Saddam, making the "or else" stronger. But he misused it, insisting there was no time to wait for inspections to be completed.

Presidents order military strikes without the involvement of Congress.
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #4
23. The IWR resolution is pretty clear.
it allowed Bush* to go to war. It was an irresponsible act taken by the House and Senate. Bush* should have been hamstrung by congress. Insteaad we have a quagmire. So 50% of the blame lies with them.
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WillyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #4
27. Not Only That...
but ANY President can send troops off to fight. On his or her dime (discretionary funds) for 60 or 90 days. (If I'm remembering correctly.) And without the 'say so' of Congress.

Now Congress holds the purse strings, and can withhold funding after that initial period, but the President would hold that move over their heads as 'not supporting the troops'! And get their support through political blackmail. Sound familiar?

Congress has not held up their Constitutional War Powers duties since WWII!!!

Point being... in reality, there is no 'allowing' the President to go to war.

:grr:
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seventhson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Shhhhh....
it is a nonissue now.

In January 2005 IRAQ becomes THE issue.

NOT now.


Really. We have to beat Bush not beat on Kerry.
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Andy_Stephenson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. I am shocked to see this coming from you!
"We have to beat Bush not beat on Kerry."
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seventhson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Okay!!!
Bookmarked.

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. You're wasting your time--people will read into that whatever they want
Edited on Mon Aug-09-04 11:47 PM by jpgray
A lot of people here want to read into his statement that he's a PNAC stooge that is more likely to start a draft as a first-termer Democrat than a lame duck rightwing authoritarian would be. And you know what? They will continue to interpret all his statements with that in mind.

That said, I agree with your post--the IWR vote was a vote for war with this president at the helm, but the resolution could have been used effectively to bring a peaceful conclusion to the doubts some apparently had about Iraq, given a more peace-minded commander in chief. With Bush, war was very likely.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
6. that myth needs to be exposed (the need for additional force)....
1) Iraq was already disarmed;

2) Iraq's ambitions were already contained, and at a fraction of the cost of the war (the Pentagon estimates that 2.5 billion/yr would have been necessary to continue the level of prewar containment; Saddam Hussein would have died of OLD FREAKING AGE long before that rate of expenditure reached what the invasion has already cost and a bunch of other folks would still be alive);

3) Iraqi airspace was already an open book to U.S. and U.K. patrols;

4) Iraqi air defenses were bombed whenever they turned on their radars-- coalition patrols already used suppressing force with complete impunity;

5) Iraq's civil infrastructure was already shattered by more than a decade of brutal sanctions-- more than one million Iraqis died, including over 500,000 children;

6) Iraq's military was already broken by the Iran-Iraq war and Gulf War I;

7) Iraq was already salted with enough depleted uranium to produce an environmental disaster that will last for centuries;

8) Hussein had already allowed U.N. weapons inspectors to return with virtually no conditions on their activities;

9) The weapons inspectors would have certified that Iraq had already complied with the disarmament mandate-- because it had. It was all over except the foot dragging and chest thumping in the U.N.

What reason was there for needing additional threats of force? What objectives had not been met that required additional arm twisting? Kerry voted to give Bush permission to invade and says that if he knew then what he knows now-- ALL OF THE ABOVE-- he'd do it again. WHY WAS AN ADDITIONAL THREAT OF FORCE NEEDED?

This is at best a lame excuse for a politically expedient but morally bankrupt vote.
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seventhson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Vote for Bush, then
Edited on Mon Aug-09-04 11:52 PM by seventhson
or Nader. Same difference.

(on edit: I happen to pretty much agree with you, but it is not the time for this discussion)

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still_one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. No way...
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seventhson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:00 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. My thoughts exactly
we can provide ammo for Bush or we can nite to defeat him.

I choose the latter.

We could debate Will's points, I suppose, but for those of us who want Bush out it is a moot point. Kerry won the primaries and is the candidate. Let's focus on the election.

That said, I appreciate Will's point of view - and see no point in arguing the merits of it : EXCEPT that it is useful to rebut the Rethug Medi meme of the day.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #7
34. it seems that it's never time to speak the truth...
...when truth interferes with political ambitions.
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seventhson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #34
41. Right now it is not ambitions it is beating Bush
is all I'm sayin'

now shhhhh!!!!!

Say soimething bad about the OTHER guy NOT our guy (unless the other guy IS your guy, in which case leave, please).
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. In the hands of a decent president, that resolution would have done good
Edited on Mon Aug-09-04 11:52 PM by jpgray
The threat of force and invasion were more likely to get compliance from Saddam than continued 'sanctions' or bombings--witness the destruction of Al Samoud missiles on the eve of the invasion. I won't try to claim Kerry's vote wasn't likely to lead to war, because with Bush in power it was very clear that it would. But the resolution itself wasn't the major problem--it's what Bush did with it.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. he had already complied....
What part of that don't you get? There was no need to "force" him to do what he had already done-- and told the world he'd done, and allowed the inspections to resume so that his assertion coulb be confirmed by the inspectors.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
18. Scott Ritter, Hans Blix and other experts disagree with you
Edited on Mon Aug-09-04 11:59 PM by jpgray
And you are either ignorant of my example or are purposely ignoring it because it disproves your own assertions. The Al-Samoud missiles were brought forth and destroyed by Saddam, not the inspectors, because the threat of force was there. To deny it is a useful tool is silliness--most experts on the subject do not do that, why do you?

You also need to read Ritter's article, because you don't seem to know much about Saddam and his history with UNSCOM and others.

http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2000_06/iraqjun.asp
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:05 AM
Response to Reply #18
25. and you seem to still think those WMD's are somewhere...
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 12:49 AM by mike_c
...out in the desert. Ritter said they were gone in 2000 (date? I'm not going to search for the link now). Blix testified on the U.N.S.C. floor that there was little or no evidence to support U.S. assertions that Saddam Hussein had an active WMD development or deployment program. And of course, history has shown that to be the case.

on edit-- the al Samoud missiles were only just barely longer range than the U.N. mandate permitted. They were pushing the envelope, but if Iraq had seriously intended to build and hide a long range missile they would have built one that thrashed the limits rather than one that evidently tried to get as close to the limits as possible. And they did destroy the missles when confronted with the test firing data that showed them to slightly exceed the mandated range limits. they were sloppy, but not necessarily duplicitous.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:10 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. Now you misstate my own beliefs
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 12:23 AM by jpgray
I never argued that the WMDs were out there, because I read Ritter's article which you obviously have not. The threat of force, however, is a reasonable tool to have when dealing with Saddam. You can argue it was dumb to vote for such an authorization under Bush (it WAS!), but you can't argue that the threat itself was never needed with Saddam--that flies against everything the learned people have to say on the subject. So please, don't run from your original argument and put false statements in my mouth that I have never said. You said that force was totally unnecessary, I'm trying to provide facts and links to cast doubt on that assertion.

edit: Toning it down a little--don't want to get in a flamewar but I don't like being accused of believing in the WMD snipe hunt either.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #30
36. i've argued that there was no need for ADDITIONAL threats...
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 12:30 AM by mike_c
...i.e. the IWR. Saddam Hussein had already complied with the U.N. disarmament mandate. What did the IWR achieve that had not already been achieved, other than giving the neocons the green light to advance the PNAC war for ME hegemony? Not one damned thing.

edit-- throttling down, but without the WMD's, what need was there to apply additional threat of force in October 2002? All indications are that Iraq was disarmed by 1998 or '99 at the latest.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. It signified the US was ready and willing to go to war
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 12:25 AM by jpgray
Note again that Saddam only destroyed those missiles once the deadline imposed by Blair was fast approaching. So it did achieve something that had not already been achieved, and the evidence had been provided to you in my original reply. The vote was wrong with this president, and the resolution was not a good one, but it could have been used effectively and in a peaceful manner as a threat of force, not an invasion blank check. Since it was clear to most that it would be used as the latter, Kerry's vote was wrong. But again, the threat of force had proved effective in getting cooperation from Saddam, and it did so again in this recent instance.

I guess my main argument is that an authorization to use force could have been used in conjunction with a plan for a peaceful resolution. In this context, that was impossible. So while Kerry says that would be a useful tool, I agree with him. When he voted for this particular resolution for this particular president, I vehemently disagree with him.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:34 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. and he says that he would do it again today...
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 12:35 AM by mike_c
...knowing what he knows now. Here we've come full circle-- knowing that the WMD's were gone, knowing that Hussein had complied with the U.N. disarmament mandate, knowing that Iraq was not a threat to anyone, and knowing how many innocents would die so that George W. Bush could have his moment to strut on an aircraft carrier's deck.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. Does he say that?
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 12:39 AM by jpgray
"Yes, I would have voted for that authority but I would have used that authority to do things very differently,"

This is kind of a weird statement--he would still vote for it yet he would do things differently? Does that mean Bush doesn't factor into things and the authorization would be somehow used benignly, or that he would still vote for the authorization knowing what has happened under its auspices would still happen? That's the question, it seems, and you and Will have given different answers. Either one of the fragments makes sense by itself, but together...? I don't know which interpretation does right by what Kerry meant, and that makes this a poor statement.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #40
54. See post #52 for my comment on that, too.
It really is a rather odd statement.

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #38
53. Those missiles were NEVER a threat to the United States, though.
None of what we suspected he MIGHT have (and the nukes issue was a total joke) threatened our existence.

So, we went to war...why? Because Hussein maybe had some nasty stuff? Look around the planet - lots of nasty rulers have nasty things, and we didn't invade them.

The whole "we had to invade because of WMD" - EVEN IF IT HAD BEEN TRUE - would have been sheer hypocrisy. WE have more!

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #53
55. That's true--they were on the edge of the imposed range limit
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 02:00 AM by jpgray
And they were only on the edge if they were theoretically stripped of all guidance equipment, etc.

But the discussion mike_c and I were having wasn't about invading, it was about using the added threat of force to get cooperation from Saddam. Even though the Al-Samoud missile was perhaps incorrectly declared to be in violation of UN resolutions, it was only after the threat of force was thoroughly applied that Saddam abided by that declaration. That doesn't mean Bush's illegal invasion was right or that the IWR was the only viable tool, but it doesn't make sense to me to say that an added threat of force has zero potential value when it has produced results before.
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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Just because he let them in
doesn't mean he wasn't going to fuck with them. He was no angel, and the whole history of inspectons was him fucking with them until we blew his shit up.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:56 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. so what if he fucked with them (and he didn't, so it's a moot...
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 12:01 AM by mike_c
...issue). He told the truth. He had complied with the U.N. mandate to disarm his WMD program. The inspectors would have eventually come to that conclusion-- Blix was well on his way there when he had to leave Iraq in advance of the invasion.

on edit-- and you know as well as I do that WE manipulated the inspections process at least as avidly as Saddam Hussein did. If anyone was going to fuck with the inspections, it was just as likely to be the U.S. as the Iraqis.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:01 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. Saddam didn't 'fuck with' the inspectors?
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 12:02 AM by jpgray
Please, read the Ritter article I linked to above. His capabilities for making nerve gas, for example, had to be first laboriously researched and investigated, and then painfully extracted from Saddam--he was hardly cooperative.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #20
28. not after letting them back in under Blix....
Remember, that the Butler team was manipulating the entire inspections process under U.S. direction.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:13 AM
Response to Reply #28
33. Sure, but your argument is that the threat of force is unnecessary
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 12:14 AM by jpgray
I'm just trying to give examples that show it is sometimes necessary. Kerry's vote was wrong then and it would be wrong now, but not because the threat of force itself was wrong. His vote was wrong because the president so obviously intended to use it in a way that had nothing resembling peace in mind. Also the resolution itself sucked and was not in the spirit of the Constitution, but we already know that, and that's a whole other ball of wax.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #33
37. how many times do I have to say this...?
No FURTHER threats of force were necessary because Hussein had already complied with the U.N mandate. What did the IWR achieve that had not already been achieved?

I think we're both intelligent to know that the Bush administration was desperate to prevent U.N. certification of Iraqi disarmament.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 01:59 AM
Response to Reply #20
56. Even if he'd HAD those weapons, we weren't right to invade!
First off, WMD is (as Krugman pointed out), a terrible term - it lumps true "weapons of mass destruction", nukes, with "weapons of limited destruction unless you get really lucky" like VX and anthrax.

The nuke thing was NEVER believable to those like us who read and participated in debunking of the lies as they came out. And, per Ritter, anything Hussein might have had was likely beyond its useful shelf life.

There was no threat. None. Zero. We both know this. Kerry knows this. WHY would we need to threaten force? Hussein couldn't create more weapons, that's pretty much a given.

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #56
58. I never supported any invasion
But the UN resolutions weren't limited to WMD--they were the cornerstone of the rhetoric Bush chose to make his case. He couldn't mislead people into war talking about missiles that are .01 miles over an imposed range limit--WMD was the big scare card he could play, and so he did. No one worried about the potential to seek biological or chemical weapons, they worried about nukes or significant stockpiles of bio or chem weapons.

However, inspections still were necessary to ensure compliance with the UN resolutions, and the threat of force is still a viable tool in pursuit of that goal. It was clear that Bush had no interest in a peaceful resolution to the questions about Iraq, so it was a mistake to give him an authorization. But that doesn't mean that the threat of force has no place in getting cooperation.

As for the rest, Ritter argued that inspections were still necessary for Iraq in his June 2000 article. That doesn't meant that Iraq was a huge threat, but to ensure the resolutions were being followed inspections are necessary.
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Egnever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
17. Thank god there are still people out there !
Unwilling to buy into this revisionist bulshit kerry and others are trying to spread.

The vote was wrong then and its still wrong now.

Any attempt to justify it or worse yet say you would still vote for it today even if you knew what you know now is utter garbage.

Kerry not as bad as bush but trying really hard!
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Oilwellian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #6
24. Didn't you read Will's post?
Kerry did not say he would still have gone to war in Iraq. This is what he said:

"Yes, I would have voted for that authority but I would have used that authority to do things very differently."

He also explained WHY a threat of force was needed to get Saddam to comply with the inspectors.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #24
31. "WHY a threat of force was needed to get Saddam to comply..."
Lies. Plain and simple.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 09:12 AM
Response to Reply #31
81. Hypothetically, if we all knew then what we know now
Kerry would have been aware that there weren't WMD for Inspectors to find in Iraq had we sent them, so why (again assuming Kerry knew then what he knows now) threaten war over needing to search for weapons he knew did not exist?

The best argument left is that the World had good reasons to not trust Hussein. Hussein had agreed to U.N. Inspectors as a condition for the end of hostilities that left him in power. They had caught him lying in the past, perhaps Hussein would have restarted his weapons program again after he felt confident that a Bush Administration coming into office would not attack him. We needed inspectors on the scene, under this argument, to ensure that Hussein did not restart his WMD programs. This argument circles back to the "Hussein was a bad man who can not be trusted that we are better off without" argument. Like it or not, that's what we got.

I am not happy with Kerry's stated position, but I don't think Kerry would have started a war with Iraq, and I know that Bush did. My choice is still clear.
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DrFunkenstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #81
83. Exactly Right - Sadam History With Inspections
Made everyone agree that the only way to hold him accountable was through the threat of force.

Here's Clinton in 1998:

"The credible threat to use force, and when necessary, the actual use of force, is the surest way to contain Saddam's weapons of mass destruction program, curtail his aggression and prevent another Gulf War."

http://www.enquirer.com/editions/1998/12/17/loc_clinton...

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #6
32. But you forget that Jordan and other nations in the region
were warning us that he had the WMDs. Kerry has said that he would have allowed the weapons inspectors the opportunity to do their job. Will is correct, without the "use of force" provision, the resolution had no meat. SH has been dodging the inspectors and throwing them out of Iraq for years.

The problem was * did not pursue the hunt for Usama in Afghanistan. Then he went to war without allowing the inspectors the chance to inspect. The resolution provided that he would report back to Congress and everytime he did, he lied. The resolution was not bad the man who misused it is!

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:04 AM
Response to Reply #32
57. HUSSEIN DID NOT THROW THEM OUT.
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 02:07 AM by Zhade
Ritter himself has debunked this myth.

The inspectors were unilaterally withdrawn, despite agreements with the UN to NEVER do this, prior to Desert Fox.

EDIT: Also, how many times did b*sh report back? Many claim he did NOT report back, and this is why they excuse Kerry's pro-IWR vote.

And can you provide a link for the Jordan warnings? (Not that I don't believe you, but I don't remember that and would like to refresh my memory.)

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #57
80. General Tommy Franks details in his book
that he received warnings that the troops would face attacks by banned weapons -- in particular biological or chemical arm during private conversations with King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #80
91. Uh, Franks is hardly an unbiased source, you know.
So, let me ask another way: do you have a CREDIBLE source?

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merh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #91
96. See, that's the point - when you are in congress you trust
the guys that are working for the country and if Franks was advised by Jordan and Egypt that SH might use chemical weapons to attack us when we invaded, chances are that info was given to congress. There is so much you and I don't know and the little snippet of news or facts we gather from the internet doesn't come close to what has been told to congress and regarding what the admin actually does.

That is why Kerry cannot come out and make all anti-war folks happy, he hasn't a clue as to what the truth is regarding Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lybia, et cetera. This admin lies more than any admin before it and it is so secretative, no one knows what to believe anymore, including Kerry.

How simple it is to sit back and complain about things without first truly trying to appreciate the complexity of the situation.

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GreenArrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #32
76. sadaam did not throw them out
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 08:29 AM by GreenArrow
Butler late Tuesday ordered UNSCOM staff out of Baghdad. The entire staff was evacuated before dawn on Wednesday.

"I regret that I had to report the facts yesterday, which is that (unfettered access) had not been given, and we can't adequately do our jobs under these circumstances," Butler told reporters at the United Nations on Wednesday.

"It made logical sense therefore to pull our people out, and we'll see where this goes in the future," he added.


http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/meast/9812/16/iraq.strike /

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goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
93. right on!
The only reason the resolution was needed was so the US could invade.

And I'll happily work hard to get as many to vote for Kerry as I can.
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UdoKier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
8. It's a strange comment.
Without the WMD issue, there would have BEEN no IWR vote...
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BillZBubb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #8
21. Exactly. This is what makes Kerry's remarks so disgusting.
We know today (and a lot of us knew then) that Iraq was without any real WMD capability. So, why on earth would anyone vote for the IWR or support our invasion of Iraq knowing that? And we know now that Iraq is a mess on the verge of exploding. And we know that we lost nearly 1000 soldiers killed, thousands more severely wounded, and over 10,000 innocent Iraqis are dead. Who would vote for war then if they knew all this at the time? If Kerry said he would, he is greatly diminished in my mind.

Hopefully, this will be clarified without Kerry being made to look like he's flip-flopping.
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goodhue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #8
94. indeed
Presumed WMDs are written right into the resolution's whereas clauses.

Obviously if there was no "evidence" of WMDs, there would be no IWR!!!
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Egnever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
11. um why would he vote to use force if there were no wmd?
to threaten them into what again?
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-09-04 11:55 PM
Response to Original message
13. it doesn't really matter
what matters is we help people in this country economically and in turn better educate people. this would help in actually preventing wars. some would rather just hear words rather than think about true change. the first gulf war was about oil as was afghanistan yet you rarely hear people on here attack those who supported that and continue to . in fact some have attacked kerry for opposing the first gulf war.

but kerry's policies to help in alternative sources of energy and make us less dependent on oil, especially foreign sources of oil would do a lot in helping prevent wars. and of course changing of the tax system will help also.

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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:07 AM
Response to Original message
26. Then why did 23 senators vote against it?
Were they ignorant of the Iraqi "threat"? Was Kerry's fellow senator from MA just a fool who didn't want inspections?

And, he said he would STILL have voted for the war even knowing what he knows now. So, what does he know now? He KNOWS that Bush was going to "misuse" the power he voted to give him. Unless he's been ignoring Iraq since the invasion, he KNOWS that there are no WMD. He KNOWS that there is no connection between al-Queyda. And, he would STILL vote for it?

I've decided to clamp my nose and vote for him, but ridiculous statements like this latest, and his totally unworkable "plan", don't bode well for peace in Iraq.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #26
35. Here's the deal
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 12:24 AM by jpgray
The resolution first of all was flawed. It didn't limit the authorization to disarming Iraq, and it was unconstitutional in spirit. Next the context was a disaster, because we had a president who was clearly ready and willing to go to war at all costs and was not at all interested in a peaceful use of such an authorization. Any authorization that didn't tie his hands sufficiently would result in invasion and war.

My guess is that those twenty-three senators knew that, weighed the politics and voted 'no'. Kerry knew that, weighed the politics and voted differently. Motivation is impossible to judge, but ask me and I'll tell you--he voted incorrectly and it was clear to many that it was an incorrect vote when he made it.

But the resolution by itself would be a useful tool to get cooperation from Saddam in any inspection process. That forgets that the resolution sucks and the president is a warmongering pig, but it's still true.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #35
60. Here's the real deal.
Mostly, I agree with you. BUT--

The WMD-threatening-us issue was clearly a pretext for war. After all, how many OTHER unfriendly countries are developing weapons that we DIDN'T single out?

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:17 AM
Response to Reply #60
62. Well, our weird fixation on Iraq is a whole other ball of wax
I maintain that providing for inspections to ensure resolutions are being obeyed is a good idea. Backing up those resolutions with a threat of force is okay, so long as the legislation is good and the president can be trusted (neither was the case in 2002).

Whether so much energy should have been focused on Iraq in the first place is a good question--probably some instances of WMD problems like North Korea, given more attention, could have been prevented from spiralling out of control. The WMD line was BS and most who knew about the region knew it was BS--but inspections do not become a bad idea because WMD charges are BS.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:24 AM
Response to Reply #62
64. No, I agree - but why didn't Kerry know it was BS?
I maintain that it is impossible for a man like him not to have known, when even I knew.

Whatever. We're stuck with him or b*sh. I'll take Kerry, with zero expectation of a change in our imperialistic foreign policy without fighting him on it.

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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:26 AM
Response to Reply #64
65. I can only assume he knew, but his motivation is a mystery
There are lots of guesses all over this board, of course. :D I do know I utterly disagree with his vote. And his current statement is too convoluted for me to parse out objectively.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #65
67. I hope it's just a mistake, but even if it is, it's a bad fumble.
If he means it, well, fuck him. I'm already this close to not voting for him anyway. (Right now, only SCOTUS appointments sway me. Barely.)

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Old and In the Way Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #65
68. I have my theory too.
It has everything to do with the politics being played by this administration in September of 2002, in advance of the mid-terms. I think, no I believe, the Democrats were being set up on this vote. It's all hypothetical, but I wonder if the Democrats had all voted against the IWR, if there mught have been another US attack? This administration declares martial law, fingers Iraq, and away we go. Of course, Corporate media would have help denounce the Democrats as the Party of Terrorist Appeasers"....and we'd be sitting out this election, totally nuetralizd.

Would Kerry admit to that? No. But, I believe it. Of course, I also believe that 9/11 was LIHOP'd, so why would a complete takeover of our government be a stretch for this junta? 9/11 was not yet investigated, the Anthrax perps not apprehended, Wellstone dies mysteriously. Why else would Kerry, who voted against the 1st war come out for this one? Why would Kerry, who was so damn eloquent in his Congressional testimony against US policy in VietNam, suddenly vote for this war? I think he did the political calculus and gave Bush the vote (and the rope) to hang himself.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #68
92. Well, to be fair, LIHOP has far more evidence than your theory.
This one sounds like a rationalization minus any evidence to back it up.

And since a good chunk of Dems in Congress DID vote against the IWR, there was no reason not to launch a hypothetical attack and pin it on them, anyway.

Personally, I believe Kerry wanted this war, and his recent comments, and those from his foreign policy advisors, do nothing to dissuade my gut feeling (which, of course, is a feeling, not evidence).

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George_Bonanza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:08 AM
Response to Original message
29. First political misstep in quite a while
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 12:09 AM by George_Bonanza
Kerry's firm statements before this was that he would've voted YES on the IWR, BASED ON EVIDENCE HE HAD THEN. This strongly, if not outright, implies that he would've voted otherwise had he known better. He has said this many times and it was his official stance for a very long time, through the early days of the primaries to right about now.

It simply makes no sense. The whole point of the IWR and Iraq was WMDs. Saddam and regime change was a lousy flip flop of the Bush team. I sincerely doubt Kerry prescribes to this doctrine of temperamental regime change at America's whim and fancy. Bush probably just invaded Iraq to show up his daddy and to compensate for his life as a failure, especially compared to his father.

I'm willing to stick to that, as opposed to what Kerry just said on the GE campaign trail. I attribute this to a campaign error and a gaff that will be fixed later on.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:46 AM
Response to Original message
42. Why didn't Kerry support Biden-Lugar?
If force had been contingent on a UNSC resolution IWR would have been justified, effective, and would have saved thousands of lives.

NYT:
The major difference between the two resolutions is that the version agreed upon by the House and the president today authorizes Mr. Bush to use force to enforce "all relevant" United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq, leaving the White House free to determine what is relevant. In contrast, the Biden-Lugar language specifies that force is authorized to secure the destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and its ballistic missile program or to defend the United States and its allies against those programs.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #42
44. Kerry did support Biden Lugar
But not to the point of voting 'no' on the IWR, it seems.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #42
46. And I'm not sure about this claim you make:
"If force had been contingent on a UNSC resolution IWR would have been justified, effective, and would have saved thousands of lives."

That isn't exactly true. The major difference between the two is that IWR is not limited to disarming Iraq while Biden/Lugar is. Bush could still have 'justified' the invasion in the same way he did using Biden/Lugar--you could argue that his certification to Congress would be more damning, but his path to war would remain basically the same. Certainly the invasion and its aftermath would scarcely be any different. The scary part of IWR is that Bush could conceivably use it for conflicts outside of Iraq having to do with the larger 'war on terror' that wouldn't be a danger with Biden/Lugar.
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wtmusic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 01:10 AM
Response to Reply #46
47. Possible that Bush would have invaded anyway
but much more likely he wouldn't have. That's why the admin fought BL tooth and nail. Should have been a red flag.

The UN wanted 90 days from the day we invaded to pursue more inspections. IMO that is the avenue which would have been taken, and prevented a war.

We'll never know.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 01:12 AM
Response to Reply #47
48. Right--it's very difficult to guess
Certainly Biden/Lugar was a better bill than the IWR.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:22 AM
Response to Reply #47
63. "Should have been a red flag." DING DING DING!
Very simple - they fought restricting it to just Iraq. This should have been a HUGE clue that their intent was WAR, and with MORE countries than Iraq.

23 Senators picked up the clue phone. Kerry must have been out of the room, and never checked his voice mail.

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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:16 AM
Response to Reply #42
61. Oh, there was no difference between IWR and B-L!
</sarcasm>

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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #61
84. There was NO significant difference that would have stopped Bush from war.
Bush would have been just as dishonest implementing Biden-Lugar as he was in implementing the IWR and all of you would be ripping at anyone who voted for B-L, too.

As it stands now, every time you blame the IWR and those who voted for it instead of its dishonest implementation, you let Bush off the hook.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
43. So basically the difference between Kerry and Bush...
Kerry was willing to do whatever it took to disarm Saddam Hussein. Bush was willing to do whatever it took to get halliburton its oil.
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 12:57 AM
Response to Original message
45. Please help me.....I must be slow or something....
Sen Rockefeller has said if he knew then, what he knows now, he would NOT have voted the way he did.

Several others have agreed with this line of thinking.

If Kerry knew there were NO WMDs, why would he have given authorization to Bush to go to war? Without the weapons, what threat did Saddam pose to us?

If he posed no threat, what is the reason for war?

1. Oil?
2. Protecting Israel?
3. Remaking the Middle East?
4. A substitute for Saudi Bases?

I find none of the above reasons acceptable.

Not to mention loss of lives, Iraqi & Americans, & billions of $$$$$.

Senator Kerry s nuances are beyond my comprehension...someone please explain. Thanks!
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George_Bonanza Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #45
49. Dumb political mistake, goes against everything Kerry has said previously
He must've been goaded into it by Bush's brouhaha-ing or something. The thing is today's statement goes against everything Kerry has said and implied for the past few YEARS. He has always stated that he voted for the IWR, BASED ON EVIDENCE HE HAD AT THE TIME. If that doesn't outright say that he would've voted otherwise had he had better evidence, then what will? Well, other than just saying it bluntly of course. Kerry has always said he would've never gone to war under false intelligence, and that intelligence was about WMDs. If there were no WMDs, the intelligence would be correct and hence no rationale for the war. Kerry has always said that the only rationale for the war was the potential harm to America Saddam might've been capable of, not regime change or oil interests or showing up H.W. Bush or any of that Bush crap.
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #49
50. Thank you, I agree.
We can discuss Biden-Lugar, Scott Ritter, UN inspections, etc, etc.

But all of that simply diverts from the real issue.

If you knew there were no WMDs, why vote yes?
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. 23 members of the Senate, including Kerry's collegue...
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 02:23 AM by mike_c
...from MA did not vote "yes." Your question is the crux of the issue, but I'd ask its converse-- why would those senators vote "no" if they thought Iraq was an imminent danger to the U.S. or to the rest of the ME?

on edit-- 26 corrected to 23
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:08 AM
Response to Reply #51
59. That's twenty-three
Some, like Bob Graham, believed the resolution was too timid, and voted no for that reason.
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CTLawGuy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #59
74. wrong
he voted against the IWR because it was wrongheaded. He thought we should have spent our military energy going after Al-Qaeda, not Iraq.

"... Graham, who voted against the Senate resolution authorizing the Iraq war, said he believes it diverted military and intelligence resources away from the war against terrorism. "


http://www.command-post.org/gwot/archives/007007.html
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #74
89. I'm sick of doing the research for others--read his speech
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 02:33 PM by jpgray
"But Madam President, tonight I have to vote no on this resolution. The reason is that this resolution is too timid. It is too limited. It is too weak."

"Madam President, the resolution that I had hoped we would pass would contain what the President has asked for, relative to the use of force against Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq and more. It also should provide the President all necessary authorities to use force against all international terrorists groups who will probably strike the United States as the regime of Saddam Hussein crumbles."

Graham played you for a fool, and it appears you were too ignorant to realize it. Sorry to put it that way, but it is mind boggling to me that you would presume to correct my statements when you haven't even bothered to research the issue in question thoroughly yourself--it would take about half a minute to Google, for crying out loud.
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CTLawGuy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-04 08:56 AM
Response to Reply #89
103. is the statement I cited invalid in some way?
and thank you for insulting my intelligence :eyes:
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-04 02:32 AM
Response to Reply #103
109. Well, perhaps you can explain it to me
Sorry to get mad at you, but are you telling me a statement Graham made over eight months later is a more valid description of his motivation for voting 'no' than the long speech he gave to describe that very motivation on the actual day of the vote? That doesn't make any sense. He says in no uncertain terms:

"But Madam President, tonight I have to vote no on this resolution. The reason is that this resolution is too timid. It is too limited. It is too weak."

"Madam President, the resolution that I had hoped we would pass would contain what the President has asked for, relative to the use of force against Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq and more. It also should provide the President all necessary authorities to use force against all international terrorists groups who will probably strike the United States as the regime of Saddam Hussein crumbles."

Now here was my post:

"Some, like Bob Graham, believed the resolution was too timid, and voted no for that reason."

You replied to this with "wrong". Can you explain how anything I said there was wrong? Do you believe any recent justification a politician makes is automatically his de facto stance even if there is a blatant disconnect from his statement on the DAY of the vote only a few months earlier? I'd like to hear your answer to this. Describe how my post was "wrong", and how a political reinvention on the IWR vote is fine and dandy to you.
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:29 AM
Response to Reply #51
66. I can understand an honest disagreement before the war
on whether or not Iraq posed a threat to the U.S.

Obviously, senators voting no did not see a threat, for whatever reason.

Those who voted aye because they believed the trumped up intelligence, I can also understand. At least they were voting for what they believed was a true threat.

Some voted aye because they WANTED to go to war, threat or not.

Kerry fits none of the above categories. He saw a threat, but that threat is non existent. Yet he says he would not go to war because he wants to, but ONLY, ONLY because we have to.





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GreenArrow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #45
77. all of the above are correct
Remember, Kerry told us previously that there was a "right way and a wrong way" to do this, which is to say, he didn't agree with the means, but had no problem with the ends.
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Zhade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 01:39 AM
Response to Original message
52. It's not only an infuriating statement (spin aside), it's weird.
He couldn't both VOTE for the authorization and USE it. He could either vote for it as a member of Congress, or use it as President.

Odd statement.

Keep in mind, too, that he said the following: "Why did he mislead America about how he would go to war?"

He SHOULD have said "Why did he mislead America INTO WAR". The way it reads, Kerry is basically saying that the IWR would lead to war, and his beef with b*sh is that b*sh misled America about the manner in which, given the power of the resolution, he would go to war. This presupposes that war was the aim of the resolution. Otherwise, he might have asked why we were misled about IF we would go to war, not HOW that would happen.

In other words, despite the spin, Kerry's own words show that he, at least, saw the IWR as a vote for war.

At least, that's how it reads to me. I freely admit I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.

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GalleryGod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 03:38 AM
Response to Original message
69. Right On,Will! Seems We have Our Very Own Shiite Wing at DU!
As they say in West Virginny,"Fer or Ag-in' ???" :grr:

Your Man in the Faculty Lounge,Dustin'-Off the Espresso Maker, :hangover:
G.G. :smoke:
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 04:51 AM
Response to Reply #69
70. That is for sure...
No amount of logic and presentation of the facts will deter some people from believing what they want to believe especially when they have a "cause" to fight for. Just like the rightwing.

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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
71. Every time you have to explain what your candidate meant to say...
is further proof that there is a problem here with what the candidate is saying.

Words have power, and they can hurt feelings (such as Kerry's comments about Missouri's constitutional amendment on same sex marriage).

Most people in this country do not have the time or the inclination to dissect a candidate's words to a Talmudic frenzy. They only retain in their long term memory whatever words their short term memory captured. Therefore, the only thing they know is that Kerry would have voted for war even with the benefit of hindsight. Whatever convoluted rationale one gives about what sort of strategy Kerry would have followed, the bottom line is that bombs would have fallen on Iraq and people would have died with Kerry as President, just as they did under Bush and under Clinton.

The Kerry handlers are making a terrible mistake if they think their candidate can get away with tailoring his message to a particular audience such as in Missouri or Nevada. The news is carried nationwide so that any pandering to the bigots in Missouri, or to the war hawks elsewhere, is broadcast to everyone in the country and this is what is creating controversy.

When Kerry opens his mouth, his words are heard by everyone in the country, not just by the people he is addressing. This is 2004 and not 1948, so my suggestion to the campaign is that they either ditch any comments that ruffle ABB feathers or confuse the public, or that they at least recognize that they are hurting the feelings of people that they will need to get the vote out in November.

And yes, one last thing, we don't need any more spinmeisters telling us that what we heard is not what we heard!
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Snoggera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 07:46 AM
Response to Reply #71
73. Too bad
the level of some people's understanding has dropped to the level of *. There is a difference between explaining what Kerry said to those seemingly incapable of understanding what Kerry said, and explaining what he meant to say.
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DrFunkenstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #73
79. Some Are Incapable, Others Unwilling To Understand Kerry's Position
Kerry's position has been - since the beginning - using the threat of force to make Saddam accountable (especially given his record on inspections during the 90's), but also exhausting every peaceful resource available.

If Kerry were to invade, France and Germany would have backed him up because it would only have been after exhasutive diplomacy.

If you cannot - or will not - understand that, oh fuckin' well.
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Myrina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #73
90. 'explaining what he meant to say'
... now if that doesn't sound like something Rice or Rummy or McClelland would say to cover Bush's arse ... I'll eat my hat.

Meisters shouldn't have to 'explain what Kerry meant to say' ...
it should be plain enough for every voter to understand, without
a need for 'reinterpretation'. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
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Donating Member ( posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #71
86. If you don't want spinmeisters,
then you're in the wrong place! :evilgrin:
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Justice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 07:18 AM
Response to Original message
72. Thanks Will, Exactly Right
and until people start repeating that truth, Kerry will suffer as a result.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
78. "Mission Accomplished!" Bush did this to rile up anti-war vote vs. Kerry!
And it looks as if he is succeeding. Bush abused the authority given to him by Congress and the United Nations, yanked out the UN inspectors and "rushed to war"--as Kerry has repeatedly said.

Bush did not exhaust diplomacy; he lied when he repeatedly insisted, "War is my last resort." Bush acted in bad faith and is deserving of impeachment, but since that is impossible in a Republican controlled Congress, he must be held accountable by the American people and voted out in November.

We must restore "trust and credibility" to the White House.
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Radio-Active Donating Member (735 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
85. Kerry needs to master the Bush art
of not answering a question that he doesn't want to answer. As a rule, hypothetical questions should never be answered by a candidate.
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WI_DEM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
87. I think knowing what we know now
and still saying you would vote for that resolution is stupid. I can only speak for myself though. But if I had been a senator and voted for the resolution initially and if asked if I would do so again, I would say, "Not knowing what I know today because first, the intelligence was faulty and second, this president (Bush) cannot be trusted. He was in a rush to war. I couldn't possibly give Bush authority to wage war knowing what I know today."

I think that Senator Kennedy, Byrd, Feingold and the others who voted No--understood this. I honestly do believe that Sen. Kerry, who voted against the Gulf War Resolution in 1991, voted for the resolution because he was running for president in 2004 and he couldn't afford to be linked to an anti-war stand because, while it might play in the democratic primaries (it didn't this time) it may not in the general election.
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gasperc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
88. "worse than watergate" clarifies Pitt's point greatly, in chapter 8
Edited on Tue Aug-10-04 10:35 AM by gasperc
to paraphrase from what I remember from the audio, IWR required Bush to report back to congress with findings of fact that would show proof of WMD, and thus necessity for war. However, Bush simply refered to IWR AS THE reason war was needed since it said that Bush should do all that is necessary to rid Iraq of WMD. NO finding of fact was done and Bush in his letter to congress committed fraud and an impeachable offense.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-04 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #88
108. It was Congress's responsibility, but Bush knew no one would call him
back and confine his rush to Invade. Congress has failed miserably in restraining Presidents who take us to war for their own purposes. This must stop.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
95. RIGHT! The media and Bush will spin this if we let them. I swear
sometimes I don't feel the left is any brighter then the right EGADS! :(
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
97. Since when was the resolution necessary to threaten force?
Congress could have reserved to itself the right to threaten force. In what way was it necessary to yield this right to Bush?
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Booster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
98. A good analogy of this that most Americans who
belong to a union can understand is when you send your negotiators to go up against the big guys you HAVE to give them a strike vote before they go; if management knows they don't have that strike vote, you're all toast. Stop beating Kerry over the head for this; he did what he had to do under the circumstances.
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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-04 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #98
101. Dennis Kucinich voted against the war resolution
Kerry is the only Senator that believes that IWR was not a war resolution, even Ted Kennedy called it that!

If Amerika was so god-damned hell-bent in enforcing UN resolutions, how come we haven't bombed Israel out of Occupied Palestine?

All of this is pure bullshit! Kerry voted for war because he believed in the war. He is as much an agent of neo-liberal PPI imperialism as Bush/Cheney is of neocon PNAC imperialism.

This issue will become "perfectly clear," to quote Nixon, sometime next year when President Kerry will no longer will be able to hide behind some nuanced pronouncement and his actions in Iraq will be seeing for what they are: an illegal and criminal occupation.

Nothing short of an unconditional and immediate US withdrawal from Iraq will do.

March 20, 2005, will be the second anniversary of the criminal invasion of Iraq. Nationwide antiwar demonstrations will be held on that day as they were this year. Let's see if President Kerry will use PATRIOT Act and Bush's "free speech" zones against the peace demonstrators as the current criminal gang in the White House has.

So vote for Kerry this November, but don't put your protest signs away! Getting rid of Bush is only the first step in changing the warmongering imperialist policies of this nation.
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Sugarbleus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-10-04 11:41 PM
Response to Original message
99. IMO, we should have put Saddam on the back burner until
we dealt with THE IMMINENT terrorist threats in other areas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We had Saddam under surveillance, we were putting squeeze on him. He couldn't fly north or south..he had limits. He couldn't leave the country. We could have used threat of force for more inspections BUT we SHOULD NEVER EVER HAVE GONE INTO THAT DAMNED place until we had finished hunting down the culprits that ATTACKED US.

We would have had to deal with Saddam eventually as per UN resolutions but not when we did, like we did.

Voting for allowing a president to have sole authority to make war is an abomination. Pre emption is a tricky matter; I don't think it should be a built in mandate but used as last resort measure.

I think Kerry screwed up on this one but I can forgive that if he will MAKE HIMSELF PLAIN ON THE REASON AND QUIT LETTING OTHERS DEFINE WHAT HE MEANT.

We were suppose to be going after those that had attacked us...not after someone violating a UN resolution/some human rights thug. The WHOLE world knew we were wrong.......I knew it, many of you knew it. Why didn't Kerry know it?

There were only a handful of people up there in DC that knew Iraq was the wrong place to attack at the wrong time. It's mind boggling.
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underseasurveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-04 01:39 AM
Response to Original message
100. *sigh*
:kick:
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allemand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-04 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
102. Kerry in his own words
In the joint interview on Late Edition on August 1:

"KERRY: <...>
The president did not exhaust all of the diplomatic remedies and the inspection process and the building of an international coalition so that, Wolf, number one, our troops would be safer. So that the chances of success for this mission would be higher. So that the cost to the American would be lower. "

<...>

"KERRY: You make this not a mistake. If I were president, I wanted the authority. I wanted to give that authority to President Clinton in 1998. I voted to give the authority, and if you read what I said on the Senate, I made it very clear what the expectations of the president were: Build an international coalition, exhaust the remedies of the United Nations and other countries, bring people to our side, and if you have to go to war, go to war as a last resort."

Edwards also spoke on the issue:

"EDWARDS: <...>
It was important, to answer the question specifically, it was important for the president to have the authority that he was given. I would have wanted John Kerry to have that authority if he had been president at the time. But the difference is, John Kerry would have dealt with this completely differently, and the result would have been very different.

He would have done the hard work to build international support for this effort. He also would have made sure we had a real plan to win the peace. We would not be in this place, we'd be in a very different place.

<...>

BLITZER: Let me rephrase it, the way the war was conducted, that was a mistake, was it?

EDWARDS: The way this president led up to the war and the fact that he had no plan to win the peace was an obvious mistake, yes."

http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0408/01/le.00.html


I think this is a good way, if not the only way, to counter the "but it's a good thing Saddam is gone" criticism.
To win the support of other Arab countries would have been a necessary precondition. Now that would have given you a long, long time for exploring other means to solve the problem. Just as Wes Clark once said, there was no reason to rush into war.
But excluding the war "a priori" would have given away the leverage.
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wicket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-04 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
104. kick!
:kick:
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DaveSZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-04 09:05 AM
Response to Reply #104
105. Good points Will
Edited on Wed Aug-11-04 09:09 AM by DaveSZ
I'm sure Gore wouldn't have tried to have regime change, but he would have still used force to threaten Saddam to get inspectors back in.

Even W's father was smart enough not to go in and invade.

The problem is that Kerry has never really had a very clear position on this issue at all.

I was watching The Capitol Gang and they played clips of Kerry talking about bringing democracy to Iraq and sounding like Holy Joe, and another clip of him saying he was an anti-war candidate

I'd like to know where he really stands on the invasion because I still don't know.

The debates are his last chance to make his position clear, so I hope he clears things up for us.
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meti57b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-04 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
106. thanks, Will!
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Jack Rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-04 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
107. You're absolutely right, Will

If you were in favor of weapons inspectors, YOU WERE IN FAVOR OF THE THREAT OF FORCE TO BACK THE INSPECTORS. There is no separating the two. Period.

The ironic thing is that had Bush accepted the inspectors' results rather than fighting tooth and nail to discredit them, he would have come out smelling like a rose.

Otherwise, I posted some remarks in editorials in a thread anchored by a piece critical of Kerry from the Toronto Star that seem appropriate here.
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