Congress and the Iraq war: Do they have the authority to stop it?

Posted by: ST on January 25, 2007 at 12:48 pm

The Wall Street Journal editorial page has a piece up today arguing that Congress has no Constitutional power to micromanage any war:

To understand why the Founders put war powers in the hands of the Presidency, look no further than the current spectacle in Congress on Iraq. What we are witnessing is a Federalist Papers illustration of criticism and micromanagement without responsibility.

Consider the resolution pushed through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday by Joe Biden and Chuck Hagel, two men who would love to be President if only they could persuade enough voters to elect them. Both men voted for the Iraq War. But with that war proving to be more difficult than they thought, they now want to put themselves on record as opposing any further attempts to win it.

Their resolution–which passed 12-9–calls for Iraqis to “reach a political settlement” leading to “reconciliation,” as if anyone disagrees with that necessity. But then it declares that the way to accomplish this is to wash American hands of the Iraq effort, proposing that U.S. forces retreat to protect the borders and hunt terrorists. The logic here seems to be that if the Americans leave, Iraqis will miraculously conclude that they have must settle their differences. A kind of reverse field of dreams: If we don’t come, they will build it.

The irony is that this is not all that far from the “light footprint” strategy that the Bush Administration was following last year and which these same Senators called a failure. It is precisely the inability to provide security in Baghdad that has led to greater sectarian violence, especially among Shiites victimized by Sunni car bombs. The purpose of the new Bush counterinsurgency strategy is to provide more security to the population in the hopes of making a political settlement easier.

But then such analysis probably takes this resolution more seriously than most of the Senators do. If they were serious and had the courage of their convictions, they’d attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq effort. But that would mean they would have to take responsibility for what happens next. By passing “non-binding resolutions,” they can assail Mr. Bush and put all of the burden of success or failure on his shoulders.

Read the rest here. (Hat tip: ST reader Sev)

On a related note, make sure to check out Daniel Henninger’s opinion piece in today’s Real Clear Politics, on how we’re ‘talking ourselves into defeat’. He writes:

The United States is talking itself into defeat in Iraq. Its political culture is now in a downward spiral of pessimism. In the halls of Congress, across endless newspaper columns, amid the punditocracy and on Sunday morning talk shows–all emit a Stygian gloom about America.

Yes, on any given day on some discrete issue (Prime Minister Maliki’s bona fides, for example), the criticism of the American role is not without justification. But the cumulative effect of this unremitting ill wind is corrosive. We are not only on the way to talking ourselves into defeat in Iraq but into a diminished international status that may be harder to recover than the doom mob imagines. Self-criticism has its role, but profligate self-doubt can exact a price.

Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins wonders “whether the clock has already run out.” To U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton the new strategy is “a dead end.” For the Bush troop request, presidential candidate Joe Biden predicted “overwhelming rejection.” (His committee resolution to that effect yesterday passed by three votes.) Presidential candidate Chuck Hagel: “We have anarchy in Iraq. It’s getting worse.” And not least, Sen. John Warner this week heaved his tenured eminence against the war effort, proposing another “non-binding” resolution against more troops.

It’s a pretty comprehensive piece with a lot of good points. Make sure to read it all.

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32 Responses to “Congress and the Iraq war: Do they have the authority to stop it?”

Comments

  1. arcman says:

    The sad part of this whole episode is two-fold. Had Bush not invaded Iraq, and the intelligence had proven to have been correct on Saddam, the Left would have been calling for Bush’s head on a platter due to gross negligence and misconduct. Look at the way they squawk about the PDB, that had no defining intelligence in it, merely the statement that “Bin Laden was attempt to attack the United States.”

    The other part of this is that the Left would desperately love to make Iraq the next Viet Nam, Thousands died because we cut and ran from Viet Nam. Our reputation was tarnished, and that was one of the reasons given by Bin Laden for attacking us on 9-11.

    The Left would love nothing more than us to lose in Iraq, and I don’t want to be a gloom or doomer, but the stakes this time around are much higher. Yes, thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Iraqis will end up dying, and the reputation of the U.S. will again go in the toilet. Never again will the U.S. be able to intervene in a trouble spot in the world. But the worst part of the whole thing will be when the Islamists became emboldened by our loss and bombs start going off in U.S. cities. Who does the Left think will come to our rescue? The French? The United Nations? Get real. We will be isolated. And then we will be in real trouble.

  2. NC Cop says:

    Well, when you have most of the major media outlets as your cheerleader, you can certainly sell the “Iraq is a failure” story to the American public. Most people don’t have the time to spend researching what’s really going on in Iraq and our media certainly do not want anyone to hear that.

    I remember watching Chris Matthews and just before they cut to a break he said “That’s because wars aren’t about building schools, they are about destruction”.

    Got that? Chris Matthews and the rest of the drive by media will decide what the American people need to know. How thoughtful of them.

  3. Bob says:

    Wait—on one hand, cheerleaders for the war are saying that Congress has no constitutional authority to manage the war. Congress’s positions have only ever been symbolic, as in giving the president initial authority to invade or not, as he saw fit. No one is pretending that this new resolution is any more than advisory. So the current situation in Iraq is entirely the responsibility of the Bush administration and the Pentagon leadership.

    Yet at the same time, supporters of the administration’s policy seem to be preparing their rhetorical stand to blame everyone else if the war fails. They take as their number one unprovable assumption that the war was ever winnable, and make the improbable assertion that if we lose, it’s only because the hippies demoralized everybody by saying all those pessimistic things. How ridiculous.

    And look, nobody knows the definitive answer to the question of whether the war is winnable or not. For those who maintain it is, then it’s understandable that they would want to press on. But there is also a case to be made that has at least as much evidence to support it that says the war is not winnable. The evidence is that despite a truly heroic effort from our country, things have only gotten worse in the years since “Mission Accomplished.” Disagree with that position all you want, but please don’t imply that those of us who hold that position want us to lose. We just can’t see the point of sacrificing any more of our soldiers’ lives in a war that may not be winnable, and in any case, was not worth getting involved in in the first place.

    Finally, for those who worry about a bloodbath if we withdraw our troops, well guess what: the bloodbath is already happening, with something like 35,000 Iraqis being slaughtered by their countrymen last year. It was perhaps a noble but misguided effort to try to bring democracy to this land, but I’m afraid that the Iraqis themselves have ruined all of that. A majority of them (over 60%) hate the Americans and think it’s fine for terrorists to attack them. Fine. It’s their country. Let them deal with it themselves.

  4. Tom says:

    The sad part of this whole episode is two-fold. Had Bush not invaded Iraq, and the intelligence had proven to have been correct on Saddam, the Left would have been calling for Bush’s head on a platter due to gross negligence and misconduct.

    Comment by arcman

    But saddam didn’t, did he? You cannot re-write the failures of your president based on what ‘might have been’. saddam was useful to the us (rumsfeld) for many years – so we let him do awful things to the region and his own people. Bush did the wrong thing, to the wrong country, for the wrong reasons. That is why americans look at him in disgust for his negligence and misconduct. Dreaming of another course of events to raltionalize your deluded admiration for the administration is borderline psychcotic.

  5. sanity says:

    Tom states:
    But saddam didn’t, did he? You cannot re-write the failures of your president based on what ‘might have been’.

    First if your an American, then he is your president also. President of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    Second of all, these countries all over the world, all the senators, ect were not duped by President Bush. they saw the reports, the other countries were adding to the reports with their own intel stating the same. We have rehashed this over and over again, and as Baklava likes to state, its time to quit looking at the past and look at the present and the future and find out where we go from here.

    As for the “based on what might have been”, is the same type of thing the liberals / democrats are doing when they go on about Saddam didn’t have WMDs. they saw the reports, they voted, no one duped them…the intel was wrong, but the “what might have been” bad intel never seemed to come up during that time did it when Kerry talked about Saddam and removing him, and Clinton and a whole host of others.

    So please spare me the the self-righteous “what might of been”. Hindsite is 20/20 in both cases, armchair quarterbacking the war and what was NOW known about the WMDs once we went in there.

  6. arcman says:

    Tom states:
    But saddam didn’t, did he? You cannot re-write the failures of your president based on what ‘might have been’.

    Whether Saddam had WMD or not is no longer the issue. The issue is that, given the intelligence that was available; intelligence that the Clinton’s, JF Kerry, and most of the rest of the Senate saw, and concurred with; intelligence that the French, the Russians, and the British all had indicated that Saddam was a threat. Now, as the President of the United States, do you ignore the evidence? or do you act. For eight years, the hero of the Dems, Bill Clinton, ignored the WTC attack in ’93, the Kolhbar Towers, the USS Cole, etc. There is a reason that we haven’t had another attack since 9-11, and that is because we had a President who said “enough is enough” and acted in the best interest of the country. Will we be safe and avert another attack? It’s doubtful, but I like our chances with a President that will act, rather than one who will ignore the problem.

  7. Tom says:

    Whether Saddam had WMD or not is no longer the issue. The issue is that, given the intelligence that was available; intelligence that the Clinton’s, JF Kerry, and most of the rest of the Senate saw,

    Those words are false. The administration has not shared ALL the intelligence it had with everybody who needed to see it. Many congresspeople have said so over and over. They have asked for many different briefs and white house says no. Getting accurate information from this administration is impossible and has been impossible from the beginning. They are even classifying data that has been out there for years. No sir, you can believe what you want, but it is not true. The administration ignored most everyones requests for information. Where is the NIE? They are sitting on it. Where is phase two of the Pat Roberts report about Iraq? They are sitting on that too. Curious, no?

    BTW, the reason we have not been attacked is simple: Mr. Bush is training all the terrorists right now in the biggest classroom in violent history. Bin Ladens goal is to allow us to bankrupt our nation and destroy the long standing alliances we have had with nations of the world. Mr Bush is creating bin ladens vision for america all by himself – he is just to stubborn to see it.

  8. arcman says:

    So Tom, what you are saying is that your Democrat Senators are so STUPID that they got duped by the EVIL CHIMPY BUSHITLER. BUSH LIED!!! Clinton had the same intelligence that Bush had. Remember Clinton WAS the President for eight years. Get a clue Tom, you’re as dumb as the rest of your leftist friends.

  9. NC Cop says:

    Tom:

    I had to cut and paste this from a previous thread. I don’t know if you are the same Tom I was responding to then, but I think this might help answer some of your questions. As for the regulars on this site, I apologize for posting this stuff over and over, but apparently it’s necessary:

    Oh, gosh, Tom where do I begin? Let’s start here:

    Mr Bush invaded a soverign nation under incorrect and flawed (read: lies) reasons.

    Perhaps my personal favorite of the Bush haters. The reason for the Iraq invasion was to stop Saddam’s WMD program. Here’s a long list of democrats who agreed with the war for those reasons.


    Iraq quotes

    I can’t list all the quotes, there are so many of them, but here are a couple of my favorites:

    “People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons.”

    Former President Clinton
    During an interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live”
    July 22, 2003

    Then there’s the quote by Hans Blix, certainly no friend of the war:

    “Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance — not even today — of the disarmament, which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace.”

    Dr. Hans Blix, Chief UN Weapons Inspector
    Addressing the UN Security Council
    January 27, 2003

    Notice the date of Blix’s comments. January 27, 2003, a mere two months before the U.S. invaded. So even while being surrounded by coalition forces, Saddam was refusing to cooperate with the U.N. inspectors.

    He avoided the real enemy (osama been forgotten) and went ahead with his vanity war in a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 or al quida.

    Incorrect. As far back as 1998, which I believe was the Clinton administration, the U.S. had reason to believe Iraq and Al Qaeda were working together:


    The Clinton View of Iraq-Al Qaeda ties

    The U.S. had been suspicious for months, partly because of Osama bin Laden’s financial ties, but also because of strong connections to Iraq. Sources say the U.S. had intercepted phone calls from the plant to a man in Iraq who runs that country’s chemical weapons program.


    Clinton first linked Al Qaeda to Saddam

    In fact, during President Clinton’s eight years in office, there were at least two official pronouncements of an alarming alliance between Baghdad and al Qaeda. One came from William S. Cohen, Mr. Clinton’s defense secretary. He cited an al Qaeda-Baghdad link to justify the bombing of a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.

    The indictment disclosed a close relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam’s regime, which included specialists on chemical weapons and all types of bombs, including truck bombs, a favorite weapon of terrorists.

    So, was Clinton lying too, or did Bush manipulate intelligence while he was still governor of Texas? Hmmmm?

    Because Mr Bush’s crusade (his word) created tens of thousands of new terrorists, it seems misguided to think dems don’t understand the wider conflict (created by Mr Bush).

    Oh exactly, tom! Because the terrorists liked us soooooo much before we went into Iraq. I could have sworn that 9/11 happened BEFORE we went into Iraq or Afghanistan, but maybe that’s my crazy right-wing loyalty coming into play. It was much like the Kamikaze recruitment almost doubled AFTER we declared war on Japan. Sometimes standing up to criminals and terrorists will create a frenzy. I would much rather them go to Iraq to get killed by our military than to be in the streets of our nation. Not to mention, if it wasn’t Iraq, it would have been something else; the Pope’s comments, the Danish cartoon, etc.

    Since Mr Bush and the neocons screwed everything up in the middle east

    Yeah, right tom, the middle east was perfect before we showed up. Are you reading from the Nancy Pelosi textbook of history?

    8-|8-|

    dems want the Iraq people to govern themselves (it’s their country). Repubs seem to want continual war. Why is that?

    Maybe because the Republicans want to make sure Iraq CAN govern itself so that we don’t have to come back in 5-10 years.

    Here’s a few other articles you may want to browse:


    ‘Iraq Al-Qaeda’ welcomes US poll


    Al Qaeda send message to democrats


    Al Qaeda, Iran, Hugo Chavez, NY Times celebrate democart victory

    Personally I would be a little concerned if all of the U.S. enemies were happy about an election result, but that’s just me. Probably that blind right-wing loyalty again.

  10. Bob says:

    NC Cop, whether there were questions or suspicions about what Saddam was up to between Gulf War I and Gulf War II is not the same as saying that there was a legitimate case for war, or that the Iraq war was a good idea. There were always other ways to deal with Saddam, such as UN-managed disarmament, weapons inspections, the no-fly zone, containment within his borders and the much-despised-by-conservatives UN sanctions. Those may not have been perfect solutions, but christ, what supporter of the current debacle has any right to demand perfection?

    The fact is, thousands of American lives were not lost to either terrorism or misguided military adventures during the Bush I and Clinton presidencies. George Bush I and Bill Clinton took the smart approach in dealing with Saddam. They kept him contained, kept the military and political pressure on him, but did not take the reckless and unjustified step of getting involved in Iraqi internal politics, holding U.S. servicemen as hostages to sectarian strife.

    You imply without any proof to back it up that somehow Iraq was a threat to come and kill Americans here in the streets of the USA. Hogwash. I believe in dealing militarily with al Qaeda (such as the Afghanistan campaign, which has always received strong support among Americans of all political persuasions), but Iraq never had anything to do with al Qaeda. The Iraq war has been a huge waste of resources on something that was never that big of a threat, and has only exacerbated the problems in the real war on terror.

    Seeing Saddam as a dangerous person is no excuse for screwing up on a massive scale. Such logic doesn’t add up.

  11. sanity says:

    Bob:
    There were always other ways to deal with Saddam, such as UN-managed disarmament, weapons inspections, the no-fly zone, containment within his borders and the much-despised-by-conservatives UN sanctions. Those may not have been perfect solutions, but christ, what supporter of the current debacle has any right to demand perfection?

    Welcome to reality Bob. 12 YEARS of the UN undermining sanction, getting kick backs, ect (oil for food program, ect), selling weapons underneath the sanctions (hell0 france), ect.

    Sanctions only work if they are upheld, and the UN were getting kickbacks and illegal activities.

    We have debunked this way too many times.

    UN is a corrupt organization that you want to put all your trust in.

  12. Bob says:

    What about billions of dollars of fraud and waste being committed by private contractors and Iraqi official agencies? Like I said, the pre-war scenario may not have been perfect, but Iraq war apologists have no legitimate basis to criticise anything.

  13. sanity says:

    Wow bob, there is the same in New Orleans, big time fraud and waste and pork.

    Does that mean we just stop helping?

    Or does that mean we try and root out and stop the waste, stop the fraud, and get money to where it will do the most good?

    There are millions and billions in fraud and waste every day with this government also. Waste in many different places, Medicare fraud, ect.

    Here is a nice site to look at: Citizen’s Against Government Waste.

    Does that mean we don’t have the right to speak cause waste in our own government also?

    You adjust, you get rid of the fraud, the waste, and get money to where it needs to go, not where greedy people want it to go.

    Bob states:
    Iraq war apologists have no legitimate basis to criticise anything.

    First I am no apologist for the war. I wish we didn’t have to go, but now that we are there, we need to win.

    Second, I never have told you or anyone that you cannot criticize, or speak out about something, so don’t tell me or anyone else for that matter that they do not have free speech rights to criticize.

  14. Lorica says:

    What about billions of dollars of fraud and waste being committed by private contractors and Iraqi official agencies? Like I said, the pre-war scenario may not have been perfect, but Iraq war apologists have no legitimate basis to criticise anything.

    Ohhh and what gives you all a legitimate basis to criticize the Katrina Relief effort??? Come on Bob think both ways not just one sidedly. – Lorica

  15. Bob says:

    OK you guys. Just.take.one.step.back. My comment about fraud was in response to sanity’s complaint that the UN Oil for Food program was full of corruption (which I don’t disagree it was). If such corruption is to be taken as a fatal flaw in the pre-war situation by Iraq war enthusiasts, then for the sake of fairness and honesty, it should also be taken as a fatal flaw in the current (post-war) situation. But if, like you guys say, corruption should be dealt with and rectified, then it could also have been rectified in the Oil for Food case. I’m just insisting on a little logical consistency, that’s all. And I’d still argue that we were better off under the pre-invasion scenario than we are now, even with the Oil for Food problems.

  16. NC Cop says:

    NC Cop, whether there were questions or suspicions about what Saddam was up to between Gulf War I and Gulf War II is not the same as saying that there was a legitimate case for war,

    Spin it however you want, Bob. The bottom line is most of the politicians in Washington were supporting this war including the previous administration.


    Clinton supports successor’s push to war

    So, again, is Clinton lying about the threat Saddam posed, Bob?

    There were always other ways to deal with Saddam, such as UN-managed disarmament, weapons inspections, the no-fly zone, containment within his borders and the much-despised-by-conservatives UN sanctions.

    UN managed disarmament? Apparently you missed Hans Blix’s comment in my last post. Try reading it this time.

    No fly zone? You mean the one in which our planes were locked onto by Iraqi anti-aircraft sites? Real effective.

    Much despised by conservatives UN sanctions? You mean the sanctions that killed over 500,000 Iraqi children?


    UN Sanctions

    Gosh, that’s sure humane.

    They kept him contained,

    Yeah, so contained that he was able to train terrorists, pay the families of suicide bombers in Israel, get around the sanctions, as well as skirt the oil-for-food program. He sure was contained.

    You imply without any proof to back it up that somehow Iraq was a threat to come and kill Americans here in the streets of the USA. Hogwash.

    Yeah, I guess you were probably saying the same thing about Al Qaeda on 9/10/01. Perhaps you missed the part (again) about the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda that the CLINTON administration established. You do remember Al Qaeda, right Bob? Perhaps you ‘ve heard of a training site in Salman Pak, Iraq that was a terrorist training site that contained an airline fuselage for them to train on.

    The fact is, thousands of American lives were not lost to either terrorism or misguided military adventures during the Bush I and Clinton presidencies.

    LOL!!! You’re right Bob! Just because the plot was planned, financed, recruited for under Clinton’s watch, just because the terrorists entered the country under Clinton’s watch, just because we were attacked by Al Qaeda throughout Clinton’s watch for 8 years and he did nothing…..it’s Bush’s fault. Talk about Hogwash.

    but Iraq never had anything to do with al Qaeda

    Wow, talk about denial. Bob, did you bother (AGAIN!) to read my previous post. Good Lord, do you bother to read the posts or just trash other people’s opinions without considering them. Try it sometime, Bob, you might actually learn something new.

  17. Bob says:

    NC Cop:

    “UN managed disarmament? Apparently you missed Hans Blix’s comment in my last post. Try reading it this time.” Message from the real world: No WMDs were ever found in Iraq, so the disarmament seems to have been total and complete.

    “No fly zone? You mean the one in which our planes were locked onto by Iraqi anti-aircraft sites? Real effective.” Name a single incident of a U.S. plane being shot down by the Iraqis.

    “Much despised by conservatives UN sanctions? You mean the sanctions that killed over 500,000 Iraqi children?” Let’s not pretend that you ever gave a damn about Iraqi children. And since the war started, there are estimates that the civilian death toll is likely in the hundreds of thousands. What about those children?

    You say Saddam trained terrorists? Where’s your proof? You say Iraq did have something to do with al Qaeda before we invaded? Where’s your proof? Being concerned about the possibility and keeping an eye on it (as was done during the Clinton administration) is one thing, and part of the due diligence that any administration taking terrorism seriously should routinely do. But using this (as it turns out false) rationale as an excuse to start a war is another thing altogether.

  18. Lorica says:

    Let’s not pretend that you ever gave a damn about Iraqi children. And since the war started, there are estimates that the civilian death toll is likely in the hundreds of thousands. What about those children? Yeah Bob, I did, and I care about the children of the Sudan too, and a host of other places that you all only flap your gums about. You need to stop analyzing people’s motives and start realizing that this war is completely winable, if only the bozos on the left would let us. We would have more status in this world 2 years out of a Democratic Iraq than ANYTHING the Dem party has done in the last 50 frickin’ years. Ohhh and that little poll that the Drive-by media was heralding?? Notice once the news broke that the author of the poll was running for Congress they stopped trumpetting it so much. Anything for the party Bob, just like a good little goosestepper. Comments like this really tick me off. – Lorica

  19. Bob says:

    Lorica, the comment about Iraqi children wasn’t directed at you, but at NC Cop’s apparent selective concern where only children harmed by UN sanctions seem to count. I also suspect that the figure of 500,000 children is something that no loyal Republican would have accepted when it came from the mouth of Saddam Hussein. But as long as it comes in handy to blow smoke and evade accountability over the current mess in Iraq, as usual, anything goes.

    Iraq war enthusiasts keep saying the war is winnable. Since we haven’t been able to win so far (without anyone interfering with the Bush administration’s brilliant war strategies), that statement is pure speculation on your part. Like too many other assumptions that war supporters keep making, it’s merely something you wish to be true.

  20. NC Cop says:

    Message from the real world: No WMDs were ever found in Iraq, so the disarmament seems to have been total and complete.

    Oh, I see. Perhaps you could tell that to Hans Blix or Bill Clinton or Madeline Albright who all thought Saddam had them. So for a third time I ask, Bob, were they lying or not? It’s a simple yes or now question, why won’t you answer it?

    Name a single incident of a U.S. plane being shot down by the Iraqis.

    Locking anti-aircraft devices onto our planes is an act of aggression, Bob, but I guess since you weren’t flying them, what do you care.

    Let’s not pretend that you ever gave a damn about Iraqi children.

    Whoa, easy there Bob! I seem to recall in another thread you were jumping all over people for stating that they knew what liberals were thinking. You don’t seem to have a problem knowing what I care about, though, do you? Pot, meet Kettle. I do care that half a million children died as a result of OUR sanctions, apparently you don’t, I wonder why? Oh, that’s right, it happened under a democrat. I find it interesting that you don’t really answer the question though, as usual.

    And since the war started, there are estimates that the civilian death toll is likely in the hundreds of thousands.

    What estimates? From the “I hate Bush” websites? I would gladly view any links you might have to a credible site that has the estimates in the hundreds of thousands.

    You say Saddam trained terrorists? Where’s your proof?

    I thought we already covered that, Bob. Ok, I’ll try again. Salman Pak is a terrorist training site IN Iraq, Bob. Our troops found it after invading. On that terrorist training site was an airline fuselage that they were training on. What do you think they were using that for, Bob?

    You say Iraq did have something to do with al Qaeda before we invaded? Where’s your proof?

    I guess you’ll have to ask Clinton on that one. If you’ll look at my previous post you will find the links to the Clinton administration linking Al Qaeda to Iraq. So again, Bob, was Clinton lying?

    It seems, Bob, that your idea of evidence is an 8X10 glossy of Saddam handing cash to Al Qaeda or other terrorists. In the real world, that doesn’t happen. It seems you are determined to remain willfully ignorant, and that is certainly your right. However, please don’t deny events that actually occurred, or deny evidence that actually exists. Also, please don’t tell ME what I do and don’t care about.

  21. Bob says:

    Yes, NC Cop, anybody who produces information that portrays the situation in Iraq as unfavorable—no matter how objective their methods tried to be—could only be motivated by hatred for the president. The study in question was produced in a British medical journal called The Lancet, and it estimated that as many as 100,000 additional civilians deaths could have resulted after the Iraq invasion, making the country 58 times more dangerous for civilians than it had been before the invasion. Now I know that this number (and the study’s methodology) has been called into question, so I’m not going to insist on it being a hard estimate. Another study done by a group called Iraq Body Count estimates the total casualties so far at about 54,000 to 60,000. Yet another study done by the UN claims that 34,000 Iraqi civilians were killed last year alone. So clearly there is a lot of mayhem going on there. I’m not blaming anybody but the insurgents for these deaths, but I think it tends to rebut the argument that it was worth invading Iraq to make life safer for the Iraqi people.

    I still find the excuse of “Bill Clinton thought so too” to be pretty weak stuff to justify the wasting of a trillion dollars and thousands of soldiers’ lives when none of the supposed goals of the invasion—finding WMDs or bringing a stable democracy to Iraq—have been accomplished. It seems like a terrible mistake to me, but maybe you can find a way to blame Clinton and Albright for that too if it doesn’t work out.

  22. Lorica says:

    You treaded on ground you shouldn’t of went Bob. YOU are not God, You cannot declare you know better the motives of someone else in this life or the next. All it does is makes people think you are just another lib a-hole when you do crap like that. It is not a matter of being directed at me. It is a matter that to say you know or suspect that it is just a convience thing for us, makes you look bad. Get back to me when you can start healing the blind Bob.

    You are telling me that 6000 to 12000 terrorist can defeat the American Army?? Are you that stupid Bob?? It is not a wish, to say this war is winable. It is winable, if it was conducted right. Yes Bush as made some big mistakes. YES Bush shouldn’t have had so much faith in Rumsfield. NO ONE is arguing that. Hell I was thinking LAST YEAR that Bush/Rummy needed to deal with situations that were popping up, but didn’t. And No I or anyone here are happy about the deaths of our soldiers. God how I wish Tommy Franks wouldn’t of retired, but he did, and Abaizaid just wasn’t the General to take Franks’ place, but that has been fixed. Let’s see what the new General, the author of the surge plan, can do.

    As far as WMDs go, we did find Chemical/Biological ones Bob. We didn’t find nuclear true, but you can’t say there were NO WMDs when there were, and some of these we found were in the hands of the terrorists. Also Iraq has a constitition and is a democracy. I love how you all have now added the word “stable” to the goal. Well what’s gonna make it stable Bob, a bigger military. Now who would you want traing your military?? I can’t think of a better group than the folks that are over there right now. This war is winable and you all are going to look like bigger idiots when it does happen, and that goes for Hagel and the lowlives that signed that resolution, God Bless the day those idiots are thrown out of office. – Lorica

  23. Great White Rat says:

    I still find the excuse of “Bill Clinton thought so too” to be pretty weak stuff to justify the wasting of a trillion dollars and thousands of soldiers’ lives when none of the supposed goals of the invasion—finding WMDs or bringing a stable democracy to Iraq—have been accomplished.

    You miss the point, Bob. No one is using the fact that the Clinton administration also believed the WMD reports as the justification. That fact is used to show the hypocrisy of those who parrot the “Bush lied, people died” line, but who found absolutely nothing to criticize when a whole host of liberals were rattling sabers right up to January 20, 2001. On that date, your average liberal apparently switched sides, as they had a more important enemy to fight, namely the new administration. All of which is more confirmation that liberals do indeed want America to fail in Iraq.

    By the way, Bob, you probably missed it, but our intelligence wasn’t the only one that concluded the WMDs were in Iraq. The British and Israelis also thought so. So did the twin gods of the American left, the French and the UN.

    And I’m still not buying the spin that there were no WMDs there anyway. Last time I looked, poison gas cannisters count, and no one has yet explained the sudden rash of military shipments to Syria from Iraq as the US incursion began.

  24. Bob says:

    Lorica, I’m happy to discuss things with you, but not going to waste my time if you lose your cool and start calling me names like “liberal a-hole.” The problem I see with pro-war rhetoric is that it has always been inconsistent and intellectually dishonest. For example, it’s simply not true that any WMDs were found in Iraq. No biological weapons or residues were found anywhere (Dick Cheney just tried to pretend for a while that a couple of trucks used to produce gas for observation balloons were “mobile biological weapons labs”). Everyone knew that Saddam used to have chemical weapons before Gulf War I. Those were almost completely destroyed before Gulf War II, and the only thing that was found were a few forgotten empty artillery shells with traces of mustard gas on them. And of course we know that Saddam had neither nuclear weapons nor the capability to develop them. These are just simple facts, Lorica. There’s no way to honestly spin any of this as WMDs.

    And GWR, I’ll say again, that just because people suspected that Saddam might have some of these things does not equate to it having been a good idea to invade. George Bush I and Clinton thought Saddam had some of these weapons and they decided that it was safer to simply keep him contained. I think that events have only strengthened the contention that their course of action was the most prudent one.

    And neither of you still has any proof that this war is winnable. I’d argue that the price we’ve paid for this war is far beyond any potential benefit it will have for our country. It was too much to spend on what was essentially an experiment or a gamble. It’s like betting your inheritance on a race at Pimlico. Irresponsible as hell, and not very smart.

    But since we’re being dragged into this fiasco anyway, do I hope we somehow manage to win it? Hell yes! I would gladly eat crow and offer my sincere congratulations to GWB and David Petraeus if they pull out a win. Why would I want to see all this effort, expense and all of these lives go to waste? I just don’t think it’s very likely, because the Iraqis themselves refuse to pull together to make it happen. You can lead a horse to water . . .

  25. Bob says:

    Just to put things in perspective, it’s worth considering just how unpopular both this president and this war are. Hard core conservatives need to face up to just how marginalized their views have become, largely over the conduct of the Bush administration and its supporters in misleading the nation into this fiasco. Consider this latest news from Newsweek:

    Jan. 27, 2007 – President George W. Bush concluded his annual State of the Union address this week with the words “the State of our Union is strong … our cause in the world is right … and tonight that cause goes on.” Maybe so, but the state of the Bush administration is at its worst yet, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. The president’s approval ratings are at their lowest point in the poll’s history—30 percent—and more than half the country (58 percent) say they wish the Bush presidency were simply over, a sentiment that is almost unanimous among Democrats (86 percent), and is shared by a clear majority (59 percent) of independents and even one in five (21 percent) Republicans. Half (49 percent) of all registered voters would rather see a Democrat elected president in 2008, compared to just 28 percent who’d prefer the GOP to remain in the White House.

    Public fatigue over the war in the Iraq is not reflected solely in the president’s numbers, however. Congress is criticized by nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans for not being assertive enough in challenging the Bush administration’s conduct of the war. Even a third (31 percent) of rank-and-file Republicans say the previous Congress, controlled by their party, didn’t do enough to challenge the administration on the war.

    Right wingers need to recognize who’s really to blame for the current situation. It’s not just “Bush-hating liberals” making a lot of noise. It’s the vast majority of Americans, many of whom are independents and solid Republicans, who are just tired of the BS. Don’t blame us sensible folks, and don’t blame Congress, for trying to mitigate this disaster.

  26. Lorica says:

    1st off I didn’t call you a lib a-hole. I said it makes people THINK you are a lib a-hole, as too many times left wingers get into a conversation and wish to tell people what they think and how to think. It is the nature of leftists, comes from their communist roots.

    Also the senate had information that Sadamn had over 500 artilery shells that contained sarin gas, all usable at the time of the invasion.

    Then there was a certain picture that USA Today had on their web page with a briefcase full of sarin gas vials that we liberated from a terrorist from Fallujah.

    Lastly how do you ‘prove’ the war is winable?? I don’t have the ability to ‘prove’ this war or any war is winable. Just like you cannot prove that this war is un-winable. It is idiotic to think that someone should have to prove that to you Bob. It is winable because I have faith in our military and I am a patriot. Now the majority of the left on the other had, well let’s face it, would cripple the military, both Carter and Clinton did it, and make them look like the Keystone Cops, again both Carter and Clinton did that too, which pretty much shows where the left stands with things. – Lorica

  27. NC Cop says:

    I still find the excuse of “Bill Clinton thought so too” to be pretty weak stuff to justify the wasting of a trillion dollars and thousands of soldiers’ lives

    Just like GWR said, I never said it was a reason to invade, please check my previous posts, but it was a counter to the “Bush lied” accusations that so many of the liberals have screamed. They, much like you, don’t want to know about the facts and the truth, since they do not support any of your accusations. So, instead, you turn a blind eye to them, or call them right wind propoganda. Of course, you never answered my question that I have asked 4 times now. Did Clinton and Albright lie about Saddam’s WMD?? I don’t blame you. I woulnd’t want to answer that question either, if I were you.

    I noticed you had no comment on the Salman Pak training grounds. Perhaps you learned a little something today, hmmmm?

    Just to put things in perspective, it’s worth considering just how unpopular both this president and this war are.

    Oh, of course it is, Bob, that’s become your rallying cry. Apparently you want the country to be ruled by the polls. Very interesting. You might find this poll interesting.

    A majority of Americans believe the news media’s coverage of the situation in Iraq is generally inaccurate. Among this group, the majority says the inaccuracy is in the direction of presenting too negative a picture. Two-thirds of Republicans say the media’s portrayal of the situation in Iraq is biased toward being too negative. The majority of Democrats say news coverage of Iraq is generally accurate.

    So basically, Americans realize that the information they are getting from the media is innacurate. What a shock that their opinions are generally against the war, huh? That’s the media at it’s finest, the fourth branch of government.
    If Americans got a fraction of the REAL story going on over there, they would have a much different attitude. Of course, that’s not in the media’s best interests is it?

    However, if you are a fan of ruling by polls, perhaps you’ll like this:


    Majority support eavesdropping

    Fifty-three percent of the respondents said they supported eavesdropping without warrants “in order to reduce the threat of terrorism.”

    So I guess, that controversy is over, huh?


    Majority support border fence

    Americans support building a security fence along the entire 2,000 mile U.S.- Mexican border by a landslide, a new Time magazine poll has found.

    So, I guess our new Congress will be all over that one too, right?

    Be careful about touting polls, Bob, they have a way of coming back to bite you.

    it’s simply not true that any WMDs were found in Iraq.

    You are making this too easy, Bob. You really do need to do a little bit of research. I guess you know more than the department of defense, huh?


    WMD in Iraq

    I realize mistakes were made in this war, and I have no problem recognizing that. Those mistakes are Bush’s responsibility and he has already said so, himself. However, for you to sit there and claim that Saddam wasn’t a threat is ridiculous.

    Perhaps, Bob, you could tell us. What exactly does a country have to do to be considered a threat by you? Maybe this could help clear some things up.

  28. Lorica says:

    HAHAHA I am to believe a Newsweek poll. Is that how we govern our world affairs there Bob, by polling data?? How stupid is that?? – Lorica

  29. Ryan says:

    And GWR, I’ll say again, that just because people suspected that Saddam might have some of these things does not equate to it having been a good idea to invade. George Bush I and Clinton thought Saddam had some of these weapons and they decided that it was safer to simply keep him contained. I think that events have only strengthened the contention that their course of action was the most prudent one.

    And many of us would say that the prudent action was to take action sooner rather than later, when it could come at a much greater cost.

  30. Bob says:

    NC Cop, what the American people are overhwelmingly tired of is the unending misrepresentations made to justify this war. In the link you provide about WMDs—specifically referring to artillery shells—was the following statement:

    “The munitions addressed in the report were produced in the 1980s, Maples said. Badly corroded, they could not currently be used as originally intended.”

    The country did not go to war to unearth forgotten remnants of 20-year-old, obsolate and non-functional weapons. We went to war because we were threatened with scenarios about mushroom clouds over American cities and active WMD programs. Only by playing deliberately misleading semantic games about what constitutes a WMD could these corroded artillery shells be construed as anything like the reasons we were told we needed to invade. Americans are fed up with the BS. From the same Gallup website that you pulled your statement about public perceptions of press coverage of Iraq was the following:

    President George W. Bush’s latest job approval rating remains about where it stood in early January — notable because it means his recent televised speech to the nation on Iraq did nothing to repair his public image. Bush’s approval rating on his handling of the situation in Iraq is even lower, something that appears to be preventing him from getting a broader benefit from the fact that Americans have grown a bit more favorable about his handling of the economy, and about economic conditions more generally.

    We expected a certain core of conservative extremists to never admit the obvious. The rest of the nation isn’t buying it any more.

  31. Baklava says:

    Bob is still stuck on a 4 year old decision that wasn’t made by one person but by a majority of the Congress by saying, “NC Cop, what the American people are overhwelmingly tired of is the unending misrepresentations made to justify this war.

    Bob. The key is that we went and removed the government and just like we did in Japan and Germany after WW2 we need to be responsible and not leave a humanitarian crisis. We ALL know that you disagreed with the decision to go to war. That opinion does NOT apply to today’s thinking that we should just remove our troops and have those who died die in vain. The troops have a perpsective too not just you and secondly for all of the things I disagree with Bush on I’m glad he is LEADING and not governing by opinion polls on this issue. For all of the heat he has taken he has shown himself to be a leader. You KNOW Bill Clinton would’ve pulled the troops right now because he would’ve been reading the polls instead of leading.

    Sorry to mention Clinton. Maybe I should remind you of Abraham Lincoln. The Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War was VERY unpopular but Abraham Lincoln did what he thought was right in spite of the opposition.

    THanks for letting us know once again Bob that you disagreed with the 4 year old decision. We’ll be happy to see you move to current events…. and an appreciation of leadership maybe. I sure as heck wished Bush would listen to us on Illegal Immigration. But alas he has principles that I disagree with.

  32. Kellie says:

    Very interesting debate! Bob, thanks for taking a stab at helping us to see the other side’s viewpoint. Ftr, I support the current Iraq war; I support the president in his miliatry endeavors and am sickly disappointed in his financial track record; my family is military and I have ZERO faith in what I read these days from many news outlets. I must read a variety of opinions (research is big thing if you want actual fact these days) before I can even form an opinion. Two great books that have helped me in developing my views: Raid on the Sun and The Pentagon’s New Map.

    In Raid on the Sun LINK the author describes the Israeli mission to bomb the nuclear reactor being built in Baghdad financed by the French. I say if Saddam can do it once he can do it again. Remember how the French so vehemently denied any WMD? Maybe they knew more?

    In the Pentagon’s new map the author describes how the military/government/pentagon need to look at threats in this new era.

    Perhaps after reading these and other similar literature those on the left will not think of us (those on the right) as uneducated warhawks who blindly follow men in to battle “knowing” our leaders have no winnable strategy, base the rationale on lies and concoct a war to . . . (I can’t even remember all of the reasons Bush is doing this to America. Is it for the oil $ or because of his Saudi ties or just that he is “not smart”.)

    p.s. sorry about the bn link. i couldn’t get it to link properly.