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Gee, what a surprise.

Professor Death has a ginormous roundup of links pertaining to the Hoekstra/Santorum announcement yesterday regarding the 500 chemical rounds, and a link this morning to some speculation from Chester. I'm not surprised that this isn't getting any coverage from the MSM, and frankly I expect this to have zero impact on the people who have been whinging for the last five years that there aren't any WMD and therefore we should pull out now so the Iraqi children can get back to flying kites, cuddling puppies, being shot, dying in chemical attacks and all the other happy things they did when that benevolent old fellow Saddam Hussein was in charge. After all, there weren't any reappraisals, agonsized or otherwise, when the troops found a shell full of sarin gas attached to an IED back in 2004, so why should we expect any now?

Also, it appears that "Mad Jack" Murtha may have gotten a bad case of sticky fingers when it comes to defense appropriations. This would appear to answer Jack Kelly's question: "Has he become senile? Or was he always that stupid?" Another reason to hope Diana Irey boots him out of office this fall.

In other news, I'm feeling under the weather somewhat and might be fighting off an infection. This would screw up this weekend's plans more than a little, but we'll see how it all works out.

Made a move this morning that hopefully will improve my fantasy team, dropping Carlos Guillen in favor of rookie phenom Jason Bartlett. I don't expect Bartlett to keep hitting over .400, of course, but Guillen's been in a slump lately. I'm also dithering over whether to bring back Brad Radke, but that's going to depend on whether Tony Armas is actually injured, I think.

Today's one of my rare busy days at work, since it's time to balance the internal billing here at the Evil Banking Neighbor, but I'm going to make the effort to get out this afternoon and hit the Farmers' Market. I want some tomatoes, and maybe some more fruit. Maybe.

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
badger2305
Jun. 22nd, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC)
Geez. What a weird set of assumptions.

We've known for nearly 25 years that Saddam Hussein had nerve gas. We provided him with the capacity to make the stuff during the Iran-Iraq War. UNSCOM's efforts to find WMD were sabotaged by the activities of the US intelligence community using UNSCOM as a cover. What's quite clear is that the original reason for invading Iraq - the ability to use WMD to threaten the US and the West within less than a day - was utter hogwash.

THEN you go on to set up a strawman argument that anybody who believes that there weren't WMDs must somehow also believe that we have to pull out of Iraq immediately. Bollocks. General Eric Shinseki got handed his hat - and lost his career - for suggesting that what we needed were far more troops than Rumsfeld, et. al. were wanting to commit. Our problem is not that we're there and should get out, our problem is that we were never there enough in the first place. It's times like these that the Powell Doctrine makes more and more sense.

And as for suggesting that the Iraqis will face more violence if we leave - well, it depends. It could be argued - as has been done here - that our continued occupation has actually made things worse because the insurgents have something to point at as evidence of "Crusaders" in their midst. (And Bush's on-again off-again love affair with the Christian Right doesn't help that image either.)

Bah. BushCo has gotten us into the sorry mess; neither "staying the course" (as the Administration defines it) or "instant pull-out" are answers. Your conflation of viewpoints merely reflects the success of the right-wing in defining anybody with questions about Iraq as somehow traitorous. I expected better.
qob
Jun. 22nd, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
Carl Lewis is Jealous!
"Your conflation of viewpoints merely reflects the success of the right-wing in defining anybody with questions about Iraq as somehow traitorous. I expected better." Sorry, don't see anyone calling anyone traitorous here.
I am somehow reminded of Proverbs 28:1a.
badger2305
Jun. 22nd, 2006 06:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Carl Lewis is Jealous!
You ought to read more carefully; that's not what I suggested.
qob
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Carl Lewis is Jealous!
Did I misquote you?
badger2305
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Carl Lewis is Jealous!
Yes. :)
qob
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Carl Lewis is Jealous!
Perhaps you want to restate your last point then, also explain why you expected better from a known religious conservative.
wombat_socho
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Carl Lewis is Jealous!
I'm not sure badger2305 knows I'm Catholic...not that most folks lump us bead-jigglers in with the Religious Right anyway.
badger2305
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Carl Lewis is Jealous!
And I don't lump Catholics in with the Religious Right (who seem often to be conservative Protestant and sometimes non-demonominational).
badger2305
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Carl Lewis is Jealous!
non-demonominational

What was I thinking? Or typing?

:)
wombat_socho
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Carl Lewis is Jealous!
That'll be ten yards and loss of down for politically-motivated Freudian slip! ^_^
qob
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:58 pm (UTC)
way off topic
Of course how can you be off topic in LJ? I remember trying to explain the varieties of Conservatives as well as those of Protestants to some leftist agnostic friends of mine once. Their eyes glazed over quickly. On one hand I won't deny that there is some log-step in every movement, it's quite short sighted to lump all conservative Protestants into an amorphous non-individual melange
wombat_socho
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:10 pm (UTC)
Hussein was told by the UN to get rid of the stuff. He didn't get rid of it, and blaming the intelligence community for his efforts to hide it and string along the UN inspectors - well, I thought better of *you*, so I gues we're even in the disappointment tally.

As for the argument that I'm conflating skepticism about WMD with an insistence on withdrawal, this is exactly the argument being made by people such as Kerry, Kennedy, Murtha and others. If it's not your argment, fine. I never assumed you were a donkey in need of having that particular tail attached; last I heard you were a Green, politically. As for Shinseki being given the bum's rush - I realize this is a popular meme in the antiwar community, but it's not the case. He stepped down as Army CoS four months after his testimony to the Senate and retired on schedule.

I could understand your reaction if I were personally calling you out on this - but I'm not. Frankly, I'm puzzled as to why you're taking this personally, because you seem to indicate that my cynical comment about the WMD and some on the anti-war left doesn't apply to you at all.

I do however wonder how you can simultaneously think we didn't go in hard enough (with the quantity of troops Shinseki and others thought were needed) while maintaining that we have too many troops there and it's aggravating the Sunni/nationalist resistance. I'm willing to admit that mistakes were made due to political pressure, but overall this looks like a win. Especially if you're a Kurd or a Shiite Iraqi.
badger2305
Jun. 22nd, 2006 07:41 pm (UTC)
Let's all read a little more closely.

Hussein was told by the UN to get rid of the stuff. He didn't get rid of it,

In large part, he did. USCOM's pretty clear about that. He had a cache of chemical weapons, and dismantled his nuclear program, and the biologicals were also largely set aside (for more reasons than being told to, apparently). Even if he retained a small(er) quantity, it was nothing like *either* the amount he had had during the Iran-Iraq War *or* what was being asserted by the Administration as his capacity. Which, incidentally, is what UNSCOM reported.

and blaming the intelligence community for his efforts to hide it and string along the UN inspectors

I'm not blaming the intelligence community - heck, Hussein's efforts to string UNSCOM along were well-known, and not as successful as he would've liked. What the CIA was doing was propelled by an Administration set on removing Saddam before UNSCOM could report. So who I am pointing at is BushCo and their attempts to structure the result before the facts were in.

As for the argument that I'm conflating skepticism about WMD with an insistence on withdrawal, this is exactly the argument being made by people such as Kerry, Kennedy, Murtha and others

...and...

I expect this to have zero impact on the people who have been whinging for the last five years that there aren't any WMD and therefore we should pull out now

I appreciate your clarity in noting that not all Lefties share this belief. I do object to the current Adminstration's rather blind approach to the entire issue - we don't seem to have much of a strategic or tactical approach, as has been noted by here, by British Army Brigadier Aylwin-Foster.

As for Shinseki being given the bum's rush - I realize this is a popular meme in the antiwar community, but it's not the case.

For someone who is ready to read between the lines, I'm surprised at your acceptance of the Army Public Affairs line on this issue. Shinseki's successor was named far further in advance than had been done in the past, and neither Rumsfeld not Wolfowitz were present at his retirement party, which was quite unusual in the military. It's pretty clear that Shinseki got sidelined for being right (which, regardless of whether or not he got badly treated, just happens to be true).

Frankly, I'm puzzled as to why you're taking this personally, because you seem to indicate that my cynical comment about the WMD and some on the anti-war left doesn't apply to you at all.

Thank you. I think I have a trip-wire set for what appears to be fuzzy thinking, which happens on the Left as much as it does on the Right. Some of the characterization of the Left you've made seems too dismissive of the real concerns that exist - what surprises me is the lack of criticism from the Right of Bush's management of the Iraq conflict - vast overbilling, lack of accountability, and an inability to maintain clarity of objectives - these are all things that ought to have Republicans and others enraged. I will admit that some on the Left have gotten tangled up in echoes of Vietnam-era anti-war fuzzy thinking, but not all of us.

I do however wonder how you can simultaneously think we didn't go in hard enough (with the quantity of troops Shinseki and others thought were needed) while maintaining that we have too many troops there and it's aggravating the Sunni/nationalist resistance.

It is not *just* about numbers, but also about deployment and intended result. I don't fault the military in uniform for the current state of affairs; I have too many friends in uniform who are doing their level best to make good on a bad situation. If there is anybody who I think is incompetant, it is Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith and their ilk.

I'm willing to admit that mistakes were made due to political pressure, but overall this looks like a win. Especially if you're a Kurd or a Shiite Iraqi.

I think the jury is still out, and I don't like the look of the evidence so far.




wombat_socho
Jun. 22nd, 2006 08:14 pm (UTC)
The point wasn't that he had less than some arbitrary level of WMD, it was that he had it at all and was apparently willing to share it with terrorists. I think the intel folks can be excused for thinking that 1) Iraq has WMD, 2) Iraq supports terrorists, therefore 3) Iraq could supply terrorists with WMD.

Don't get me wrong, I respect General Shinseki for being Old School and keeping his mouth shut in retirement when he could clearly reap huge rewards by taking a public position in opposition to the Administration. His friction with Rumsfeld was over a lot more than Iraq, though. They clashed a lot over the kind of Army we're going to have in the 21st century, and Shinseki was definitely on the side of buying more stuff intended for the Big Throwdown in Central Europe such as the Crusader SPA system. While it's traditional for the top civilians in DoD to attend retirements of senior generals, it's also true that those generals have the prerogative of setting the guest list, and as the Wikipedia article says, that list has not been made public and Shinseki won't discuss it.

There is criticism from the Right, though it tends not to get much play. (Probably because it confuses the blow-dried fools in the MSM.) I would cite Jerry Pournelle and Pat Buchanan as having been against the war in Iraq from the beginning, as well as ex-Republican James Webb, who's running against George Allen for the Senate on the Democrat ticket. Criticizing the conduct of the war is one of those things that's gotten poisined by the partisan sniping that's gone on since the 1980s - while there are definitely criticisms to be made, not too many people in the GOP or the "hard" libertarians want to be identified with the anti-war left, who are the folks usually screaming about contractors, Halliburton, etc.

It is not *just* about numbers, but also about deployment and intended result. I don't fault the military in uniform for the current state of affairs; I have too many friends in uniform who are doing their level best to make good on a bad situation. If there is anybody who I think is incompetant, it is Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Feith and their ilk.
It's usually the civilians who screw things up, but on the other hand there have been occasions when the suits have been right and the generals wrong.

I think the jury is still out, and I don't like the look of the evidence so far.
I would humbly submit that most news sources don't present a very positive picture of Iraq and largely omit the very real accomplishments of our troops, our allies, and the Iraqis themselves in favor of reporting the latest terrorist act, especially if it involves a lot of dead civilians. I don't watch television any more and long ago stopped reading the Star Tribune, and most of what I read online is actually more libertarian than conservative, with the exception of the milblogs. Oddly, they tend to have a more positive take on things.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )