© Josh Sager – November 2015
On Friday night, terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State committed a large, coordinated, attack in Paris that left over a hundred dead. In the time since the attack, there have been a great number of discrepancies in what is being reported about the attack, but here is we know now.
Map Credit to Reuters
At approximately 9:20 on Friday night, two suicide bombers struck just outside of the Stade de France (national stadium of France) while a soccer game was being played inside. The French President, Francois Hollande, was inside the stadium at the time and it is reported that one of the bombers tried to gain entry to the stadium but had gained the attention of security. This could indicate that the plan was to blow up a bomb within the stadium, then a second explosive at the primary exit while people were fleeing the first blast (consistent with double-tap attacks employed by terrorists in the past), but this is just speculation at this point.
About 10 minutes after the first two bombings, a third bomb was detonated at the stadium.
While the Stade de France was under attack, a second team of terrorists struck several restaurants and bars in Paris’s 10th District with automatic weapons. They opened fire with assault rifles on anybody they could see, killing dozens (39 confirmed dead and many more wounded).
At approximately 9:40, three more terrorists armed with automatic weapons attacked the Bataclan Theater, which was hosting a metal concert that night. After firing into the crowd, the terrorists gathered some of the hostages on the stage and recited their grievances with the west. At approximately 12:20 on Saturday morning, French police breached the theater and got into a gunfight with the terrorists, who activate suicide vests and blow themselves up rather than be captured. This was an absolute massacre, and 89 people are confirmed dead from the attack, while dozens are hospitalized and may die in the coming days.
While the hostage crisis was happening at the Bataclan Theater, there were two more suicide bombings; one outside of the Stade de France and one outside of a local restaurant in the 11th District. There is only one confirmed casualty from these bombings but numerous people were injured.
By the end of this set of terrorist attacks, 129 Parisians were murdered and over 350 were wounded, around 80 of whom are in critical condition and who will either die or survive with severe disabilities (ex. amputations). These attacks represent the worst act of mass violence in France since WWII and the international outrage has been extreme.
While a Syrian passport was found next to one of the terrorists, Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the EU, has told the Telegraph that all of the identified terrorists appear to be EU citizens rather foreign terrorists who have infiltrated the nation. Honestly, at his point, I feel no desire to focus any more on the lives of these terrorists, or even to name them specifically, as that gives them a level of infamy that they do not deserve.
In the last two days, there have been over 160 raids on suspected Jihadists living in the EU and 23 people have been taken into custody. Additionally, France has started bombing Syria and is calling for the creation of an international coalition to destroy ISIS.
Learning from the Mistakes in the War on Terror
When the USA was attacked by Al Qaida and Bush used it as an excuse to start bombing the entire Middle East, France objected, and for good reason. In order to avoid making the same mistakes France must take its own advice and not repeat our mistakes. If they do not learn from history, the consequences could be dire (ex. our mistakes in Iraq created ISIS in the first place).
First and foremost, we cannot take the advice of lunatics like Ted Cruz, who released a statement that the proper response to this attack was to ramp up bombing in the Middle East and disregard concerns over civilian casualties. In fact, he went as far as to say that:
“It [ISIS] will not be deterred by targeted airstrikes with zero tolerance for civilian casualties, when the terrorists have such utter disregard for innocent life. We must make it crystal clear that affiliation with ISIS and related terrorist groups brings with it the undying enmity of America—that it is, in effect, signing your own death warrant.”
Basically, this means that ISIS has so little concern for human life that it justifies the west being even less concerned for human life and bombing without any care for collateral. This is the absolute worst thing that you could do in this situation, as it eliminates our moral high ground against the terrorists and will only create more support for extremism.
While targeted bombing (ex. against a ISIS troop convoy outside of civilian areas) is certainly a valid tactic, a massive bombing campaign that kills innocents around ISIS targets will cause the Syrian and Iraqi people to align behind the people who they see as their only hope of repelling the western invaders. This is a certain way to strengthen ISIS and would be playing directly into their hands.
Second, we must not blame the Syrian refugees who are fleeing the violence of ISIS or stop letting them settle in new homes across the world. These people are just as much victims of ISIS as the French citizens who were killed and putting the blame for the actions of ISIS on these people is simply wrong. The west must not close the doors for these refugees and should continue all resettlement efforts.
While many people have thrown up the bogeyman of ISIS terrorists masquerading as Syrian refugees, the scary fact is that ISIS has grown strong due to foreign fighters. Exact figures are very hard to pin down on this, but hundreds of EU residents have been confirmed to have traveled to Syria in order to fight for ISIS. These are EU citizens with western passports, cultural knowledge, and contacts.
Put simply stopping the flow of refugees out of a fear that ISIS will tag along is a non-issue, as they are already here (the west). They are radicalizing dispossessed western populations in western mosques and have no need to sneak in with the refugees. This is confirmed by the early reports of who committed these attacks and it appears that none of them were at all associated with refugee resettlement efforts.
Third, we must not let fear over these terrorists make us forget our values. Free speech, personal privacy, and the rule of law are all values that should not be infringed based upon fear. While the EU nations and the USA have varying levels of these freedoms, we must not let any of these nations backslide and start reducing its civil protections (ex. domestic spying, prior restraint of speech, criminalizing dissent, restricting religious liberty, committing torture etc.). The terrorists may be able to kill people in the west, but we shouldn’t let them force us to compromise our values and make us even a little bit more like them.
Finally, we must not fall into the trap of nationalism and bigotry in the face of an external threat who is “other.” Right wing nationalists (ex. the National Front in France or the Tea Party in the USA) and xenophobes will use these attacks to stir up hatred for Arabs, immigrants in general, Jews (because, of course, there are always imbeciles who think that the Jews are behind everything) and basically everybody who doesn’t fit their perception of “western.” They will paint a picture of “white people vs everybody else” and try to bootstrap oppressive policies into the justified public outrage over these attacks. This is likely to take many common forms, including calls to expel or detain random Muslims, limits on the freedom of minorities to practice their religion (ex. banning new mosques), or racist vigilantism targeting minority groups.
That said, we cannot lose track of the simple fact that these terrorists are religious extremists and are part of a larger Islamist movement. Ignoring the theological backing (the Quran directly demands terrorism in several verses, including 3:151, which reads “”We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve because they ascribe unto Allah partners [other gods], for which no warrant hath been revealed.”) for this terrorism out of a fear of criticizing Islamic teachings is simply wrong and counterproductive. A literalist interpretation of Islam is a serious threat, particularly in the EU, where large populations of Muslims suffer from chronic unemployment, few job prospects and little hope for the future—three things that make them very vulnerable to radicalizers. The government must work with moderate Muslims to combat this radicalization and try to increase the amount of cultural assimilation that occurs in these communities through more outreach. If the west can create inroads into these communities and improve their economic situation, it can reduce their vulnerability to radicalism and make it more possible for them to police themselves against Jihadi influences.
Recalling our response to 9-11 it does seem appropriate to seek a more pragmatic response to this psychopathic horror. These murderous provocations are designed to erode plural societies, add fuel and gain converts to a depraved view of human life. I hope we can summon a compassionate response for the unprecedented numbers of desperate refugees.
This was inevitable. After 2001, the U.S. tightened security and began to aggressively pursue terrorists while the French criticized every move we made. The U.S. opened up Guantanamo Bay. Maybe the French will reopen Devil’s Island.
Good analysis Josh. Let us hope that the adults prevail. The way to cripple ISIS is by destroying their main source of income. Oil sales. SOMEBODY is buying their oil. It is not any government, it is private individuals and businesses. And reselling it for a profit on the black market. Those who are buying the oil should be considered supporters of terrorism. Bomb the oil fields. Destroy the oil trucks . Starve their resource base first.
The western powers have the capability to strike at specific targets without making the error of a massive boots on the ground invasion. That would play right into the hands of ISIS.
If the fundamentalist Muslims are trying to use Sura 3:151 as a justification for killing, they are picking and choosing from their own book. The sura in question was actually not a call to terror. It was a response to attacks from those who were attacking and slaughtering Muslims in Mecca. It was a call for self-defense.
Of course, fundamentalists of all stripes (Muslim, Jew, Christian) pick and choose from their “holy scripture: to justify violence in the name of their god. That is nothing new.
For example. Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, was very explicit that innocent people NOT be killed in war. “Do not kill women, children , the old, the infirm.” Of course, the Islamic fundamentalists ignore that order.
The French SUPPORTED our attacks on al-qaeda in Afghanistan, the culprits responsible for 9/11. They even sent soldiers to assist. We should return the favor, not by sending troops but by offering any other aid needed.
To set the record straight France did threaten to veto a Security Council resolution giving the US the legal right to invade Iraq (which has nothing to do with 9/11). Because of that the US never received the legal authority to invade. As a result , not only was the invasion of Iraq a massive political and economic blunder, it was illegal under international law.
Whoa. “Bomb the oil fields.” “Destroy the oil trucks.” That’s a little conservative for you isn’t it? The U.S. didn’t need anyone else’s authority to invade Iraq and depose a brutal dictator who had used weapons of mass destruction on his own people.
Joe Citizen. Opposing tyranny is as liberal as it gets. (see the founding fathers for details) You are confusing the LEGAL intelligent use of force (a long liberal tradition) with the ILLEGAL and indiscriminate use of force. See the GW Bush administration for details.
The invasion and occupation of Iraq was illegal under international law. There was no UN authorization for use of force.
This is significantly different from the UN Resolution 1368 which DID authorize use of force in Afghanistan after 9/11. Which made the war in Afghanistan LEGAL.
By the same token Resolution 687 authorized use of force to remove Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1990. Again, a LEGAL military action.
The GW Bush administration publicly stated it would get authorization by the Security Council to attack Iraq. That would have been LEGAL. The Bush administration was not able to get a UN Security Council resolution to attack Iraq, it broke international law and invaded anyway. Those are the facts. Try to twist them as you may.
We see two long term results. One,the utter destruction of the Iraq economy, infrastructure and political system leading to millions of innocent deaths and millions of refugees. Two, the complete destabilization of the Middle East leading to the rise of ISIS, many of whose members are former Baathists and really have no true religious inclination. But are able to recruit the ignorant by referring to specific, out of context Quranic verse. (Sound familiar?..see the GOP candidates for details)
So. We see what happens when rogue administrations like the GW Bush crowd ignore international law .
Since we are linking to Wiki articles…try this one on for size.
The US started, hosts and pretty much runs the United Nations. We can do what ever we have to do.
The French refusal to support Iraq was what I was referring to in the article. There were reasonable justifications for attacking Afghanistan and you are correct that they were part of that coalition.
Bombing the oil fields is actually a very risky idea. Those economies run on oil, and a western attack on the main source of income for entire communities is likely to increase radicalization just as fast as bombing people (ex. imagine the outrage during the Detroit heyday if somebody bombed the car factories). Additionally, eliminating some revenue streams for ISIS doesn’t address their international reach and may force them to focus outward rather than on defending infrastructure.
Personally, I support far more special operations aimed at capturing key ISIS targets so that they can be interrogated (not tortured). If we can find where they keep their money, either in banking institutions or in stockpiles, we can freeze or destroy it without causing long-term infrastructure damage that might alienate the population.
Also, I would begin utilizing more creative forms of disruption, like equipping drones with non-nuclear EMP systems (ex. CHAMP) and having them neutralize major propaganda outlets, weapon depots, headquarters, and communication hubs. These EMPs would disrupt electronic devices, ranging in complexity from phones, computers, and missile guidance chips, to garage door openers and certain car ignition systems. This would maim their military (the purpose of these devices during the Cold War) and make it much easier for anti-ISIS forces to sweep the area.
Since 9/11, the USA and allies havent changed the way they reacted. once the GWB folks finally got what they wanted, they took the chance to make their move. since then, what policies or behaviors of the USgov, have returned to pre-9/11? people still have to take their shoes off at airports, the “Patriot Act” with its new name, has been extended, m ost likely indefinately, etc.
Josh. I beg to differ regarding the oil fields. I really doubt that right now the civilian populations controlled by ISIS are benefiting very much, if at all, from any oil revenues. Going after their chief source of revenue will have a crippling ripple effect.
Take Iraq, as an example. The UN had severe economic sanctions on Iraq from 1990 onward. While Saddam was able to evade SOME of those sanctions, he was crippled militarily. He could not modernize his military. When the US invaded Iraq did not even have modern anti-aircraft systems. US planes were able to drop bombs unimpeded. Nor did they have night vision capabilities. US tanks destroyed the entire Iraq tank force at night. It was similar to the German “blitzkreig” with heavy armor versus the Poles on horses in 1939. No contest.
Without the funds to maintain the military ISIS will be severely weakened as a force that can reach out, much less hold off the Kurds and other enemies. They may even have trouble keeping control within their own territory.
I agree that civilian casualties and hardships must be considered. We should never simply “bomb them back to the Dark Ages” as some on the far right like to say. But selective bombing is exactly what they are doing now. Hitting targets and trying to minimize civilian casualties. Just keep it up.
I do not think it is realist to capture selective ISIS targets. They are embedded and it would be costly (in terms of human life) to try to capture them. And I doubt that they would be taken alive. (Look what happened to the man responsible for 9/11). And when one dies the next radical is in line to take his place.
I read recently that “Anonymous” is going to attack ISIS through cyber warfare. If effective that could have a real impact on their communications systems.
Bottom line. This is no time for American “boots on the ground” until and unless all other avenues have been investigated and tried.
I am going to take a quick and rare turn to the left here. Have you considered the environmental impact of bombing oil fields?
No doubt destroying the oil fields would have a negative environmental impact. All war has a negative environmental impact. I hate the idea of war. And it should only be considered in the most extreme circumstances. I think ISIS meets the criteria for extreme circumstances. It may be possible to destroy the transportation systems leading from the oil sources rather than the oil fields themselves. If you can’t deliver it, you can’t sell it.
By the way, being concerned about the environment is not a “liberal” or “leftist” concern. Conservatives used to be about “conserving”. Remember that it was under Nixon that the EPA was formed to try to control the unregulated toxic dumping that was typical at the time.
Oh yeah Nixon. The Republican that ended the Vietnam War.
Actually, Nixon committed treason (in a legal sense under the Constitution) by illegally contacting the Communist Vietnamese before the election and convincing them to stop negotiating so that the war wouldn’t end before election day. I’m actually writing an article that touches on this, as well as the similar treason committed by Reagan during the Carter election and the crimes of the Bush Family–long story short, every Republican president in the last 50 years has been a traitor, war criminal, domestic felon, or some combination of the above.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Nixon was a mixed bag, to be sure. He was a practical politician. He claimed he had a “secret plan” to end the war in Vietnam, but never revealed it. (It remains a secret to this day !). Then he escalated the war into Cambodia, destabilizing the rest of Southeast Asia . Sound familiar?
He opened up trade with “communist “China when it was still communist. He tried to control runaway inflation with wage and price controls. He continued the space program and supported it vigorously. He created the EPA to rein in the excesses of deregulated capitalism.
He was paranoid and sought to punish his political enemies. He especially hated the war protesters. His cover up of Watergate was the nail in his coffin.
In the end, his southern strategy of moving the racists from the Democratic party to the GOP is the basis for GOP political power today. Tricky Dick lives on.
You do realize that it was Kennedy who escalated the role of the U.S. in Vietnam and then Johnson who perpetuated it don’t you? If either one of them had opened up negotiations with China, you would have considered them to be great peace makers and pioneers. It’s funny how the Democratic party is older, having been started by southern slave owners, but the Republicans are referred to as the “Grand Old Party”.
To be historically accurate it was JFK who increased the role of the US to 5,000 advisers (?). He did this early in 1962. By the time of his assassination in November of 1963 he had not increased it from that amount. In fact, in the Cronkite interview in the summer of 1963 JFK is very EXPLICIT that the US would provide S Vietnam with materials and a limited number of advisers, but would NOT fight the war. JFK was no dummy. He knew that unless the government of the south was supported by the people no outside force could impose it’s will.
It was LBJ , using the controversial “Gulf of Tonkin” incident, who took the advice of the war hawks and increased the US involvement first to 24,000 then eventually 90,000 and eventually by 1969 ( when Nixon took over ) US troop strength was over 500,000. It was LBJ who escalated the war, not JFK.
Nixon, after expanding the war into Cambodia (further destabilizing the government and opening the way for Pol Pot) , eventually decreased US troop strength as the S Vietnamese took over more of the fighting. By 1972 his pledge of “peace with honor” was almost fulfilled. (Although his secret plan was never revealed, evidently it was a plan of pretending victory was achievable while being defeated).
Probably the best, definitive study of the war in all aspects (political, military and economic ) is Stanley Karnow’s “Vietnam:A History” published in 1983.
Regarding opening negotiations with China. Had JFK or LBJ attempted to do so they would have been branded traitors and communists by the GOP. The Cold War was still hot and anti-communism was at its peak. Only a GOPer could risk that contact without being vilified. After all, the entire debacle of Vietnam was based on the belief in the “Domino Theory” which was based on an obsessive fear of “communism” . Which proved proved to be wrong
The Bush decision to attack Iraq was made right after 9/11. It had nothing to do with terrorism but 9/11 was used as an excuse to attack Iraq. From an interview by Amy Goodman with General Wesley Clark (former commander of NATO) in March 2007:
“…GEN. WESLEY CLARK: Well, in a way. But, you know, history doesn’t repeat itself exactly twice. What I did warn about when I testified in front of Congress in 2002, I said if you want to worry about a state, it shouldn’t be Iraq, it should be Iran. But this government, our administration, wanted to worry about Iraq, not Iran.
I knew why, because I had been through the Pentagon right after 9/11. About ten days after 9/11, I went through the Pentagon and I saw Secretary Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz. I went downstairs just to say hello to some of the people on the Joint Staff who used to work for me, and one of the generals called me in. He said, “Sir, you’ve got to come in and talk to me a second.” I said, “Well, you’re too busy.” He said, “No, no.” He says, “We’ve made the decision we’re going to war with Iraq.” This was on or about the 20th of September. I said, “We’re going to war with Iraq? Why?” He said, “I don’t know.” He said, “I guess they don’t know what else to do.” So I said, “Well, did they find some information connecting Saddam to al-Qaeda?” He said, “No, no.” He says, “There’s nothing new that way. They just made the decision to go to war with Iraq.” He said, “I guess it’s like we don’t know what to do about terrorists, but we’ve got a good military and we can take down governments.” And he said, “I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem has to look like a nail.”
So I came back to see him a few weeks later, and by that time we were bombing in Afghanistan. I said, “Are we still going to war with Iraq?” And he said, “Oh, it’s worse than that.” He reached over on his desk. He picked up a piece of paper. And he said, “I just got this down from upstairs” — meaning the Secretary of Defense’s office — “today.” And he said, “This is a memo that describes how we’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.” I said, “Is it classified?” He said, “Yes, sir.” I said, “Well, don’t show it to me.” And I saw him a year or so ago, and I said, “You remember that?” He said, “Sir, I didn’t show you that memo! I didn’t show it to you!””…
Here is a link that may interest you.
It’s not exactly consistent with your version.
Have you actually read about Wesley Clark? He was raised in Arkansas, entered West Point when JFK was president and served in Vietnam while Johnson was president. It should come as no surprise that he decided to become a Democrat. His time with NATO was during the Clinton administration and he knew probably knew Clinton personally. Not exactly a good thing. He wanted to become president and joined the race in 2003, but withdrew for reasons unknown. I’m sure he was probably jealous that Bush won since he had been a general and Bush had not. As for his alleged conversation with “one of the generals”, we have only his word as to what was discussed. I’m going to have to call bullshit.
Just because history doesn’t say what you want it to doesn’t mean that you have the power to rewrite it.
Look up the LBJ library tapes. We have basically this entire situation on tape because the Nixon proxies made their agreement on a tapped line and LBJ taped everything that went on in his office.
For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbEPI_9Ju0k
Is George Will conservative enough for you to believe: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-nixons-long-shadow/2014/08/06/fad8c00c-1ccb-11e4-ae54-0cfe1f974f8a_story.html
Joe. You are correct that I misstated the actual number of troops in Vietnam under JFK (!6-17,000 depending in the source). But that does not change the fact that JFK was refusing to increase our involvement (as he clearly states in the Cronkite interview of September, 1963). He says we will offer support and material but it is the Vietnamese who must win the war.
. Nor does it take into account the fact that JFK had already made the decision to being a WITHDRAWAL of troops by the end of 1963. (at least 1,000). While we will never know what JFK would have done, it is clear that by Oct 2, 1963 he was moving in the direction of withdrawal or at least NOT escalating the US involvement.. It was after his death that LBJ radically changed that direction. A very thorough discussion of both sides, with sources, of the issue can be found:
Regarding General Clark. You seems to suggest he is lying about this. Because heis a Democrat? I can’t quite figure out that line of thinking except to say that there is plenty of supporting evidence for his assertions.
His basic conclusions are confirmed by George Tenet, head of the CIA under Bush. He stated in his book that from day one Bush and Cheney wanted to attack Iraq.
The same claim is made by Bush Secretary of the Treasury O’Neil. He says from day one Iraq was a primary target of the Bush administration.
In addition, Reporter David Suskind reported that he was shown White House memos from early 2001(by WH employees) that indicated the Bush administration was planning an attack on Iraq .
The British investigation in their own government’s role in the Iraq invasion discovered that the PM knew that Bush intended to attack Iraq well before 9/11.
The British Sunday Herald in 2002 reported on the Baker report (April , 2001) to Cheney suggesting that to protect the oil resources of the Middle East military action against Iraq would be justified.
Using the FOIA, the notes (from Steven Cambone, DoD staffer responsible for taking notes) from a meeting with Rumsfeld and General Myers at 2:40 PM of SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, The notes state that Rumsfeld instructed Myers to find the…” best info fast…judge whether good enough to hit SH (Saddam Hussein) at the same time..not only UB-L (Usama bin Laden)….” Additional notes by Cambone stated…” Hard to get a good case” Remember. this meeting was HOURS after the attacks. Already they were trying to link 9/1 to Iraq.
The sources are multiple. Many who worked for Bush. Bottom line. 9/11 was cynically used an excuse to attack Iraq. Illegally.
History is clear. The facts are clear. The New American Century crowd was determined to use military force to impose US dominance over the oil in the Middle East. 9/11 was the excuse they needed. But, they were thinking in terms of 20th century politics and not 21st century reality. Which is why they failed.
You have to wonder what JFK might have done if the Gulf of Tonkin Incident occurred while he was alive. After all, it was a naval battle and JFK had been a naval officer in WW II. I don’t think we can say that the New American Century crowd has failed yet. It would seem that their plan is still unfolding. As for the truthfulness of Democrats,
Joe. You seem like an intelligent fellow. So I am surprised that you use one incident of one Democrat lying about his sex life as some kind of proof that “Democrats” lie. We both know I could find hundreds of examples from people who call themselves Republicans, Democrats, whatever But back to the discussion.
My understanding of the Gulf of Tonkin is that it was one of those “incidents” that was used an en excuse to expand the war. Probably once a week something happens in the world that the US government COULD use as an excuse to go to war. Remember the Israelis attacking a US ship (the Liberty) in the Mediterranean in 1967? And killing over 30 Americans and injuring over 170 more Americans? Or the bombing of our barracks in Lebanon, killing US marines, when Reagan was POTUS?
What really happened in the Gulf of Tonkin is covered in Karnow’s book. Probably did not happen the way it was presented to Congress. Since you have used the History.com as a previous source I will refer you to this one as well:
I would suggest that we now know that the claims made about WMDs in Iraq and Saddam’s “yellowcake” and “aluminum tubes” other “intelligence” fit in a similar category. Not completely false, but selectively chosen to give support for a predetermined decision to attack Iraq.
For example, the UN weapons inspectors were still on the ground inspecting possible weapons sites when the US told them to leave . The process of inspection was slow and time consuming. And Iraq was not fully cooperating, but the inspectors were able to visit any part of Iraq, without warning. And the inspectors agreed that progress was being made .In addition, the chief inspector , Hans Blix, has stated repeatedly that the US has never given the UN concrete evidence that Saddam had WMDs. Even to this day. But the US decided to ignore the legal process of inspections. The inspections were supposed to be ongoing and expanding, but the US told them (UN inspectors) that the US was going to attack and they should leave.
Keep in mind the the UN Security Council (the ONLY international organization that can legally authorize a preemptive military action) never authorized the attack on Iraq. That is why the first Gulf War under George Bush was legal. It was authorized by UN Resolution 678, which gave member nations the authority to use force on Saddam to remove him from Kuwait.
When GW Bush was attempting to get authorization, under the UN, for an attack on Iraq he was unable to do so. So, the resolution was withdrawn rather than have it fail. Hence , the attack on Iraq was illegal under international law.
Regarding the Project For the New American Century, the organization very influential in bringing about the attack on Iraq. It was dissolved in 2006. Their goal was to turn the Earth in the 21st century into one dominated by US military power. I think not.
The attack on USS Liberty occurred during the Six Day War. The Israelis mistook it for an Egyptian ship. An inquiry conducted by the US determined it to be nothing more than a mistake and Israel paid for the damage to the ship and also paid settlements to the wounded and families of the deceased.
The US created and controls the UN and we can do whatever we need to do wherever we need to do it. Are you saying that the world would be a better place if Saddam Hussein was still in control of Iraq? Do you have any theories about why after 30 years in prison serving a life sentence, Jonathan Pollard was suddenly released?
Just because an organization is dissolved officially doesn’t mean that it’s members have ceased all of their activities or have no more power or influence.
Joe. Yes, of course the Israeli attack was called a”mistake”. But if a nation other than Israel had made a similar “mistake” it would have been an excuse for war. That is my point.
As I stated, the Gulf of Tonkin was pretty much manufactured excuse to increase the US involvement in Vietnam. Did the US military hierarchy intentionally mislead LBJ because they wanted war? Or did LBJ simply use the non-incident because he was afraid of communist expansion? Who knows? Clearly the JFK personality was not that belligerent. Look how he stood up to the military , most specifically Curtis LeMay, who was demanding war over the Cuban Missile Crisis..and ended up solving it peacefully.
Your suggestion that the US “controls” the UN is inaccurate. The inability of Bush to get the UN resolution to attack Iraq demonstrates that. The Security Council has 15 members, 5 of whom are permanent and have VETO power. Those powers would be the USA, Russia, China, UK and France. ALL have to agree in order for a resolution to pass.
Which is why the resolution passed today , asking members to oppose ISIS, but just short of calling for direct military action, is LEGAL. The Security Council unanimously approved it.
Is the “world” a better place now that Saddam is not in power? On one hand a dictator has been killed and his family members killed as well. His political enemies in Iraq can sleep easier knowing he is gone. I think that is a good thing.
On the other hand, the entire economy of Iraq (which was one of the more developed ones in the Middle East) has been completely destroyed. Millions of middle class doctors, technicians and workers fled the war. People who had stable lives and could walk to the market every day to buy food and send their kids to school are now living in refugees camps living off handouts.
Hospitals have been destroyed. Clean water facilities destroyed. Schools bombed out. Children and adults trying to live their lives were blown apart by IEDs. Walking outside your door means the possibility that you may not return. The fundamentalist Shia and Sunni have been killing thousands, And trying daily to impose their religious doctrine on the other side. Forces that had been held in check by Saddam.
ISIS , composed of former Baathists and an assortment of fanatics has taken over parts of Iraq, Sending terrorist around the world. Something Saddam never did.Never had a terror attack on the US or Paris by an Iraqi sent by Saddam.
So, is the world a better place? Ask the people of Paris. Ask the father who saw his child blown up by an IED. Or the children who saw their parents die in the first air attacks by the US, which missed their targets and hit civilian homes. Ask the thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing ISIS.
That is always the Pandora’s Box of war. One never knows where it will lead. Which is why wise leaders are very slow to pull the trigger. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. Not saying military action may not be necessary at times. But in retrospect I would say “No”, killing one bad man and his family by destabilizing an entire region was not worth the massive death and destruction it caused.
Please watch this video before you reply.
Do you know the significance of the number 10017? It is the Manhattan Zip Code where the United Nations building is located. The US does in fact own the building and provides the utilities and is the member that provides the most support. So yes, we most certainly do control the UN regardless of how some of the weaker countries choose to vote. If there is a family with two parents and three or even more children and the parents had planned on making meatloaf for dinner, but the kids want to go to Chuck E. Cheese, are the parents then forced to obey the children because they got out voted? No, they are not. Mom and dad said it’s meatloaf or nothing. Let’s say the home is a household where the mother is a homemaker and the father earns the living and mom also wants to go to out for pizza. The father is a permanent member that has VETO power. Again, meatloaf or nothing. The other 14 members of the UN can veto all day long. The US can still do whatever it wants which includes shutting off the electricity and water, expelling the other 14 members from OUR country and demolishing the UN building and replacing it with a Wal-Mart, a gun store or a even a Chuck E Cheese. Is France now acting illegally by attacking Raqqa in Syria? I guess we just have to wait for ISIS to conduct mass killings in the UK (an EXTREMELY likely target), China and Russia.
Aren’t you the same person who just six days ago wanted to “bomb the oil fields” and “destroy the oil trucks” at least selectively? Are you forgetting the original Gulf War? Remember Desert Shield and then Desert Storm? Who invaded Kuwait without provocation? How long did the UN negotiate and try sanctions before military action began? When it comes to the Middle East, I personally believe that they should just be left alone. I have been to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Other than visiting the pyramids, there is no need for Americans to ever want to go there. We shouldn’t even risk the lives of diplomats and their staff and waste money by having embassies there. Foreign ambassadors should be required to come here if they want to talk to us. As long as the oil production continues and the terrorists stay confined within the Middle East only killing their own people for whatever reason their particular interpretation of the Quran that day says they can, I am content as long as none of our people are in danger here or abroad. It would appear that you agree with that also. As long as the hospitals, clean water facilities and schools are standing, it doesn’t matter that the president is an evil tyrant who can hold anyone who disagrees with him “in check” right? Those middle class doctors and technicians should have not been allowed to flee and should have remained in their home country helping to fight the Shia and Sunni. It takes a special kind of naïve person to believe that Saddam Hussein never approved of and funded terrorism and had nothing to do with the September 11th attacks. At least we know for certain that he had nothing to do with the Paris attacks.
Joe You seem to misunderstand the difference between CONTROLLING an organization and IGNORING an organization. I will grant you that the US has IGNORED international law, but that does not mean the US “controls” the UN.
To use your Chuck E Cheese analogy. In the UN “family” the father is NOT the only one with a veto. The mother and each kids also has a veto. So, if Dad wants to go to Burger King anyone else in the family can say NO. That is how the Security Council operates. Can Dad sneak off and go on his own, against the law? YES. But he cannot FORCE others (with VETO power) to go along. He does not control the others or the overall decision making process.
I see you are not able to dispute the fact that the Bush administration was not able to get the UN Security Council to pass a resolution calling for an invasion of Iraq. That is a fact. It seems to me that if the US “controlled” the UN getting such a resolution would be easy. Couldn’t do it. As I explained in my post there are 5 UN members who have VETO power in the SC. If the vote is 14-1 and the “no” vote belongs to one of these nations the resolution fails.
Back to your discussion of the first Gulf War. Yes , I did say we should bomb the oil depots, trucks, etc. And the UN passed a resolution calling for military action against ISIS. So, that is LEGAL. No contradiction. And, as I already stated, the first Gulf War was also legal since Bush did ask for and obtain a UN resolution authorizing that action. Also. no contradiction.
And the military action against the Taliban in Afghanistan was LEGAL, once again, because the UN authorized military action. No contradiction.
However, the Iraq invasion was NOT legal. Never authorized. Illegal. It really is that simple.
Regarding the Bush administration claim of a Saddam-bin Laden link…that was discredited years ago by the 9/11 commission. The commission which had access to the classified information:
Reported in the Washington Post on June 17, 2004. Capitalization is mine.
“The Sept. 11 commission reported yesterday that it has found NO “COLLABORATIVE RELATIONSHIP” between Iraq and al Qaeda, challenging one of the Bush administration’s main justifications for the war in Iraq.
Along with the contention that Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials have often asserted that there were extensive ties between Hussein’s government and Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network; earlier this year, Cheney said evidence of a link was “overwhelming.”
But the report of the commission’s staff, based on its access to ALL RELEVANT CLASSIFIED INFORMATION , said that there had been contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda but NO COOPERATION. In yesterday’s hearing of the panel, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, a senior FBI official and a senior CIA analyst concurred with the finding.
The staff report said that bin Laden “explored possible cooperation with Iraq” while in Sudan through 1996, but that “IRAQ APPARENTLY NEVER RESPONDED” to a bin Laden request for help in 1994. The commission cited reports of contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda after bin Laden went to Afghanistan in 1996, adding, “but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.”
Regarding your statement that it is naive to think Saddam did not have anything to do with 9/11. I can only refer you to GW Bush who ADMITTED that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. But you are correct in understanding that the Bush administration did IMPLY a linkage as a way to get people on a war footing with Iraq. In fact. 70% of Americans thought there was a link, based on the Bush/Cheney/Rice talking points (Poll done in 2013) But, since there was not one iota of evidence linking Saddam and 9/11 even Bush had to eventually back down on that one.
I agree with you that I wish the Middle East had been left alone (except for going after al-qaeda). But that cat is out of the bag. ISIS now exists as a result of those aggressive polices. And, as usual, the American people are left with picking up the pieces of a failed interventionist policy.
I see you haven’t watched the two videos I posted yet.
You need to understand that there are different forms of control. The person who pays the bills believes they are in control of the electricity in a house and is entitled to choose what the family watches on T.V. while a different person may have possession of the T.V. remote and believes that they have control of the television. Yet another person may feel that they have the control of the T.V. because they know where the breaker panel is and which breaker will kill the power to the living room. Bush got what he wanted regardless of how the other members voted. Do you actually realize just how many different countries where part of the Multi-National Force – Iraq?
Did you see France anywhere on that list? It would appear that their abstaining from the coalition did not win them as many friends as they had assumed it would.
So, the 9/11 Commission had ALL the answers? Did Al Qaeda appoint a representative to address the commission and release all of their data and records to them? The commission released its final report on 07-22-04 and concluded that both President Clinton and Bush “were not well served” by the FBI and the CIA. However, a president can only make their decisions based on the information that they are provided. If the commission was as clairvoyant and omnipotent as you seem to believe they were, then why wasn’t Osama Bin Laden not located and exterminated until 05-02-11? Why did the commission not know that he was being harbored in Pakistan? The CIA certainly redeemed itself that day.
You need to focus on the facts and not let your negative feelings about George Bush corrupt your logic. He has been out of the white house for almost eight years know. Your Obama experiment failed. Just get over it and stop grasping at straws.
Joe. You seems to bounce around a lot and conveniently ignore the facts I posted. Not a “news” video but rather a carefully documented study. With all the resources available and even access to classified information. Quite a different test of accuracy.
Not sure what point your making about Bush since I agree with you that he did break international law and go to war anyway. I that we concur. The US and UK fought the war. The rest were token numbers . And without the massive support of Estonia (40 people) god only knows how it would have turned out.
Regarding France. I guess Bush didn’t “control” them. Or the Russians. Or the Chinese.
Yes, the French did decide that taking part in an illegal attack was not in the cards for them. So what? Are you criticizing them for respecting the LAW?
Regarding bin Laden. that is also well documented. The US had bin Laden trapped in Tora Bora and let him go. He SHOULD have been killed within a year after 9/11 except for the administrations incompetency. Then again, if they killed bin Laden the American people would not have supported the invasion of Iraq.
I like how you shift gears all the time. The strategy of someone who keeps losing to the facts so changes the topic. Yes?
The war was illegal. No amount of stretching the English language changes that FACT.
You STILL haven’t watched those videos have you? No matter.
Bush still got the war he thought was necessary, Saddam Hussein was deposed and executed, the French have learned the hard way that they shouldn’t have under estimated radical Islam and Bush will NEVER be arrested and tried as a war criminal no matter how much you think he should be. FACT! What is this REALLY about? Are you still mad about the 2000 election?
This was NEVER an argument. I had already won before it even began.
Joe. I did watch the “news” video. Did you? The reporter says she is basing it on “anonymous” sources in the US government (Bush administration). The video was done before the Commission. Later, when an actual in depth study was done, the 9/11 Commission demonstrated that this was false. You can choose to believe a short, undocumented news blurb or an in depth investigation looking at all the evidence. Did you read the summary of the 9/11 Commission? Up to you.
Not sure what the 2000 election has to do with all the facts I posted about the run up to the illegal invasion of Iraq. You seem to be avoiding discussing the evidence of that run up.
I understand you unwillingness to look at the evidence objectively. To do so would be to admit that the US government engaged in deception once again to lead the US into war.
When we fail to recognize the mistakes of the past we are doomed to repeat them.
It seems that you and I are watching different videos. I was referring to the two that I posted on 11-22-15. Try watching them sober and with the sound turned on this time.
Thanks for posting the link to the BBC news article about Bin Laden. Did you actually read it yourself or did you stop after only reading the title? The U.S. did not “let him go” as you would like to believe. There actually was an attack, but Bin Laden was able to escape due simply to poor decisions made by those in command. I couldn’t help but notice how you typed “He SHOULD have been killed after 9/11”. Maybe it might cause you pain to read this article.
I like the way that it was you that first “shifted gears” and tried to change the topic on the 17th when YOU first mentioned Richard Nixon and now you claim that it is I that initially did this.
So. Let’s try this again.
Saddam Hussein HAD possessed weapons of mass destruction. We know this because he HAD used them before on HIS OWN people. He was not cooperative with UN inspectors and therefore, it could not be determined if he still had any left hidden somewhere in 2001 or after. Hussein had suffered a great military defeat 1991 which would have definitely caused him to have VERY negative feelings toward the US. It is true that he could not modernize his military. However, he still had wealth with which to fund terrorism which was the only way in which he could have attacked the US. It is true that Bin Laden and Hussein did not like each other very much. However, they both hated the US. “My enemy’s enemy is my friend.” It is entirely possible that both Bin Laden and Hussein cooperated. Do you think that Bin Laden would have wanted to share the fame with Hussein? Do you think that Hussein would want the UN to think that he was involved? Do you think that they would have taken photographs of any meetings, signed contracts or kept audio recordings? All that the 9/11 Commission determined was that there was no concrete proof such as photographs, documents or recordings linking Hussein to 9/11. It did not PROVE that there never was any such connection as you would imply. Bush could only have made his decisions (which were approved by Congress) based on the information that he had been provided. Liberal’s often forget that the POTUS is not a dictator or a monarch.
Bush did proceed with the invasion of Iraq against the wishes of the UN. Did the UN vote to banish the US from the organization or arrest Bush? Was this ever even discussed except by protestors? Who exactly do you think would arrest Bush for his “illegal” act? It looks like he got away with it. Now I ask, doesn’t this sound like CONTROL to you? Years from now, the protestors will be senile or dead and Bush will have his own museum and presidential library (just like Nixon) and the children of the future will be taught that he was a two term president who stood up to terrorists and never backed down. He may even end up having his own holiday. He was born on July 6th. Maybe in the future, that will be combined with Independence Day and turn into a three day celebration. I hope you get to see that before you die. Happy Thanksgiving.
It would seem that you and I are watching different videos. I was referring to the two that I posted on 11-22-15. Try watching them with the sound turned on.
Thank you for posting the link to the BBC article on Bin Laden. Did you actually read it yourself or did you stop after only reading the title? The US did not “let him go” as you would want to believe. There was an attack with the intention of either killing or capturing him. However, he escaped only by luck due to errors made by those in command. You emphasized how Bin Laden “SHOULD” have been killed. It might cause you pain to read this article.
I like how it was you that shifted gears and attempted to change the topic on the 17th when you started talking about Richard Nixon and now you are trying to say that it was I that did that.
So, let’s try this again.
Saddam Hussein DID possess weapons of mass destruction. We know this for a FACT because he HAD used them before on HIS OWN citizens. Hussein had not cooperated with UN inspectors, so there was no way to determine with 100% certainty that he had destroyed all of those weapons prior to 2003. I’m guessing that they were secretly smuggled into Syria. We may see them surface again REAL soon. Hussein had suffered a humiliating defeat in 1991 which would have caused him to have a negative attitude towards the US. Hussein could not modernize his military, but he did still have wealth with which he could have funded terrorism which would have been the only way that he could have taken revenge on the US. It is true that Bin Laden and Hussein did not like each other. However, they both hated the US. My enemy’s enemy is my friend. It is entirely possible that they collaborated. Do you think that they would have taken photographs of their meetings? Do you think they would have signed a contract? Do you think they would have made audio recordings? Do you think that Bin Laden would have wanted to share the fame with Hussein? Do you think that Hussein would want the world knowing that he was involved? The 9/11 Commission has been given too much credit. All that the commission did was examine the information from the US and our allies and determined that there was no concrete proof in their possession such as photographs or documents that linked Bin Laden to Hussein. It never PROVED that there had not been a connection. Bush made his decision based on the information that he was provided at the time. Liberals like to forget that the POTUS is not a dictator or a monarch and the decision to go to war is approved by Congress.
Operation Iraqi Freedom still proceeded without UN approval. Did the UN try to banish the US from the organization? Did the UN officially try to arrest Bush for his “illegal” act? Just who is that enforces the UN’s law? It looks like Bush got away with it and will never be brought to trial. Now I ask you this, doesn’t that sound like CONTROL to you? Children in the future will visit the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and Library and will be taught that Bush was a TWO TERM president who rallied our country in the wake of 9/11 and stood up to terrorism. His birthday is July 6th. Maybe someday his birthday will be a national holiday and will be combined with Independence Day. Imagine, 72 hours of non stop parades and fireworks. I only hope you live to see it LOL!
It would seem that you and I are watching different videos. I was referring to the two that I posted on the 22nd. Are you sure you had the sound turned on?
Thanks for posting the link to the BBC article about Bin Laden. Did you actually read it or did you stop after having only read the title? The US did not “let him go” as you would want to believe. An attack was launched with the intention of capturing or killing Bin Laden. However, it was only by luck that he was able to escape due to poor decisions made by those in command. You seem to agree that Bin Laden “SHOULD have been killed”. It may cause you pain to read this article.
I like how it was you that shifted gears and changed the topic on the 17th when you started talking about Nixon and now you are accusing me of the same thing.
So. let’s try this again.
Saddam Hussein DID possess weapons of mass destruction. We know this for a FACT because he HAD used them before on HIS OWN people. Hussein had not cooperated with UN inspectors and therefore, it could not be determined with 100% certainty that he did not still have them up until 2003. My guess is that they were secretly smuggled into Syria and we may see them surface again REAL soon. Hussein had suffered a humiliating defeat in 1991 and had a very negative attitude towards the US. He could not modernize his military, but he did still have wealth with which he could have funded terrorism which would have been his only way to get revenge against the US. It is true that Bin Laden and Hussein did not like each other. However, they both hated the US even more. My enemy’s enemy is my friend. It is entirely possible that they collaborated. Do you think that they would have taken photographs of their meetings or made audio recordings? Do you think they would have signed a contract? Do you think that Bin Laden would have wanted to share the fame? Do you think that Hussein would have wanted the world to know that he was involved? Democrats give the 9/11 Commission far too much credit. All that the commission did was to examine the records of the US and our allies and determined that there was no concrete proof such as photos or documents that proved that Hussein was involved. It did not PROVE that there was never a connection. Liberals like to forget that the POTUS is not a dictator or a monarch. The decision to go to war must be approved by Congress.
Operation Iraqi Freedom proceeded without UN approval. Have you heard of the UN attempting to banish the US from the organization? Have you heard of the UN planning to arrest Bush for his “illegal” act? Just who do you think enforces the law of the UN? It looks like Bush got away with it and will never face trial. Now I ask you, doesn’t this sound like CONTROL? In the future, children will visit the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and Library and will learn that Bush was a TWO TERM president that united our country in the wake of 9/11 and stood up to terrorism. Bush’s birthday is July 6th. Maybe someday, that date will be declared a national holiday and will be combined with Independence Day. Imagine, 72 hours of parades and fireworks. I just hope you live to see it. Happy Thanksgiving.
It would seem that you and I are watching different videos. I am referring to the two that I posted on the 22nd. Are you sure you had the sound turned on?
Thank you for posting the link to the BBC article on Bin Laden. Did you actually read it or did you just stop after only reading the title? The U.S. did not just “let him go” as you would want to believe. There was an attack launched with the intent of capturing or killing Bin Laden. However, he just got lucky and was able to escape due to errors made by those in command. You appear to believe that Bin Laden “SHOULD have been killed”. It might cause you pain to read this article.
Joe. Yes. I did read the entire article. The US and Afghan forces had bin Laden trapped at Tora Bora. They asked the Bush government for troops to seal off the border so he could not escape. Request DENIED. He was let go.
Perhaps you missed this part:
“…Berntsen asked for 800 US Rangers to be placed between Bin Laden and the border, or to enter the mountains from the Pakistani side. His request was denied.
“Once you have to ask Washington for assistance, then all sorts of political calculations enter in and… unfortunately that’s what occurred,” Berntsen told the BBC….”
Could not be clearer. Bin Laden was let go.
Regarding the video. As I said I watched it, It consists of a reporter simply saying stuff she obtained form the Bush administration. A lot of “sources say”. No real evidence of anything.
For example, the video says that bin Laden tried to get asylum in Iraq…. “bin Laden reaches out”…And Iraq did not reply (Which means Saddam REFUSED asylum to him) . It says al-qaeda made “contacts” with Iraq but supplies NO EVIDENCE that Iraq ever helped or aided bin Laden in any way. (bin Laden also made contacts with the US, that does not imply cooperation) Watch it carefully. It is a lot of innuendo with not one piece of solid evidence. Not one person says Saddam helped al-qaeda. In fact, without saying so, it PROVES the opposite. Saddam REFUSED to help al-qaeda.
Which brings me to the actual 9/11 Commission report that you dismissed. A report put together with witnesses, classified information, statements from military, etc. And the official report was clear: There was NO collaboration between Saddam and al Qaeda. So, you can choose to believe a video with no evidence based on anonymous “intelligence sources” or a well-documented, sourced investigation.
Not quite sure what the Bill Clinton link was supposed to prove. The article says quite clearly that bin Laden had left the area. So any air strikes would have just killed civilians. Are you criticizing Clinton for not killing civilians?
From the article you linked:
“…Clinton’s recorded statements from 2001 referred to a proposed strike in December 1998, after intelligence indicated that Bin Laden was staying at the governor’s residence in Kandahar. That proposed attack was addressed in the 9/11 Commission Report, released in 2004.
According to the report, the missed chance made some lower-level officials angry, but later intelligence appeared to show that bin Laden had left his quarters.
“The principals’ wariness about ordering a strike appears to have been vindicated: Bin Laden left his room unexpectedly, and if a strike had been ordered he would not have been hit,” the commission wrote….”
The evidence is pretty clear. It has been investigated. No Saddam-bin Laden 9/11 link. No harboring of al-qaeda.
It still hasn’t gotten through to you yet. Fine, let’s try again.
Saddam Hussein DID possess weapons of mass destruction. We know this for a FACT because he HAD used them before on HIS OWN people. Hussein had not cooperated with UN inspectors, so it could not be confirmed with 100% certainty that he didn’t still have them up until 2003. It’s entirely possible that they were secretly smuggled into Syria and may surface again REAL soon. Hussein had suffered a humiliating defeat in 1991 and had a very negative attitude towards the US. He could not modernize his military, but he did still possess wealth with which he could have funded terrorism which was the only way that he could have taken revenge against the US. It is true that Bin Laden and Hussein did not like each other very much. However, they both liked the US even less. My enemy’s enemy is my friend. Do you really think that they would have taken photographs of any meetings? Do you think that they would have recorded any phone calls? Do you think that they would have signed a contract? Do you think that Bin Laden would have shared the fame with Hussein? Do you think that Hussein would have risked having the world find out that he was involved? Liberals give the 9/11 Commission far too much credit. All that the commission did was review the records and information that was in the possession of the US and our allies. They couldn’t actually interview Bin Laden now could they? All that the Commission determined was that there was no concrete evidence such as photographs, audio or documentation which linked Bin Laden and Hussein. The commission was never able to actually PROVE anything. Bush could only make his decisions based on the information provided to him. You people like to forget that the POTUS is not a dictator or a monarch. The decision to go to war must be approved by Congress.
Let me see if I understand you. You honestly believe that the “lower level officials” came to Bill Clinton and told him that they had found Bin Laden and wanted Clinton to order an attack knowing that a large number of civilians would get killed and expected him to order them to proceed? Bullshit. There may have been the possibility of some civilian casualties, but Clinton did not save hundreds of innocent civilians as he would have you believe.
Operation Iraqi Freedom still proceeded even without UN approval. Did the UN vote to banish the US from the organization? Was there a warrant issued for Bush’s arrest? Just who do you think enforces the UN’s law? It sure looks like Bush got away with it and will never face a trial. Now I ask, doesn’t that sound like CONTROL to you? Years from now, children will visit the George W. Bush Presidential Museum and Library and will be told that Bush was a TWO TERM president that rallied the US in the wake of 9/11 and stood up to terrorists. His birthday is July 6th. Maybe someday it will be declared a national holiday and will be combined with Independence Day. Imagine, 72 hours of parades and fireworks. I only hope you live to see it.
Joe. Your entire first paragraph is your opinion. No evidence. He “could” have had WMDs. Yet, NONE of any significance were ever found. Yet, Cheney and Bush claimed he had “stockpiles’ of them? STOCKPILES! He “could” have smuggled them into Syria? I suppose. But there is no evidence that he did. My favorite. They “could” have had “secret” meetings. So, let’s consider this.
Here we have a vile dictator who is going to be attacked. So, instead of USING his WMDs on his attackers he smuggles out to another country. He leaves himself totally defenseless. Yep. That makes sense.
Regarding the 9/11 commission. You state: There was no concrete evidence that linked Saddam and bin Laden. You are correct. So, in your opinion simply thinking something MAY have happened is more accurate than an investigation demonstrating no evidence that it occurred. I have to admit, using the lack of evidence to support a position is beyond my ability to contradict. Kind of like psychics.
Regarding your Clinton comments. The article YOU linked says that. Not me. The article stated that the Clinton administration wanted to minimize civilian casualties and wanted to be certain of the target, (They wanted EVIDENCE that bin Laden was there before just bombing someone). As it turned out they were correct in not attacking as bin Laden was not in area at the time. I don’t see how you can fault Clinton for that.
Regarding your third paragraph. The UN does not have the authority to “banish” the US . Especially since the US holds VETO power in the SC.The US would have to vote yes to banish itself. The Secretary General of the UN was very explicit in 2004 in saying that the Iraq invasion was illegal under the UN charter:
“…He then added unequivocally: “I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and from the charter point of view it was illegal.”….”
The resolutions of the UN are enforced by member nations of the UN. I thought everyone knew that. The attack and invasion of Iraq was an act of war, not in any way supported by the UN.
I also hope I live to see the day when Bush is regarded as a great hero by the American people. And people parade in the streets cheering his name. It would mean I would be living for a long, long time. I would be a second Methuselah.
I like how when you can’t think of anything to refute what I say you act as though you have misinterpreted my statements. I also like how it was you on the 17th that shifted gears and changed the topic when you brought Nixon into this conversation and then tried to accuse me of shifting gears and changing the topic on the 23rd. I also find your Methuselah reference interesting. I thought you placed your faith in science.
Joe. Not sure what you mean. I have posted evidence , (the 9/11 Commission Report) that refutes all your opinions about WMDs, the Saddam-bin Laden link, etc. You have posted a couple of short opinion videos that have been debunked by the 9/11 Commission.And you have posted opinions, which is fine. I just happen to think my opinions have a sounder basis in facts.
I did bring in the FACT that Nixon (a conservative) started the EPA. But that was in direct response to your implied statement that being concerned about the environment was “leftist”. I pointed out to you that a conservative (Nixon) has environmental concerns.
As I said, if you have any well-documented study that contradicts the findings of the 9/11 Commission I would be happy to consider it. Until then we have to proceed with the best available evidence, the 9/11 Commission.
The “Methuselah” reference meant that I expect that it would take hundreds of years for the people to consider Bush a heroic POTUS. (I believe it will never happen, of course). Methuselah was not meant to be taken literally, it was a literary device used to imply a very long time. It in no way means that I accept the strict Biblical interpretation of a very long lifetime for this real or imaginary person.
Of course, as a 21st century American I have “faith” in science”. Our lives are an every day testimony to the validity and reliability of the scientific method. Our transportation, medical, agricultural and communication systems are only possible by applying the concepts developed by scientists and technologists dealing with the real, physical world. I am not sure why you imply that is a bad thing?
Of course you say that you aren’t sure. That only proves my point. The 9/11 Commission NEVER PROVED that there was no connection between Bin Laden or Hussein, only that there was no KNOWN proof at that time that there was. But what’s done is done. Iraq was liberated, Bush was reelected, Hussein was executed and Bin Laden was eliminated (the only thing that your savior Obama has done right). There is NOTHING that you can say or do that will change those facts. Soon, Operation Syria Freedom (or whatever they decide to call it) will commence. I’m sure that you have your poster board and magic markers ready. Don’t forget to stockpile your Chinese made American flags, lighter fluid and matches.
It’s interesting how you people seem to pride yourselves on being atheist, yet you have created your own pseudo religion and replaced God with Bill Clinton.
Joe. Funny post. I am glad you finally admit that there was no connection between bin Laden and Saddam. About time.
You are correct. What’s done is done. Iraq was “liberated”. And look at it now. A violent mess. A breeding ground for radical Islam. ISIS is the direct result of the forces let loose by the destabilization of Iraq.
We all hated Saddam. And he was evil. That is not even the issue. The issue was how to contain him and his power.
Both Bush 1 and Bill Clinton authorized weekly bombings of all Iraqi anti-aircraft positions. Iraq had no air defenses. They had been destroyed. None. Which is why the “blitzkreig” or “shock and awe” was effective.
Both Bush 1 and Clinton enforced no-fly zones over Iraq so the Iraqis could not even fly over parts of their own country.
Both Bush 1 and Clinton imposed and extended economic sanctions which were devastating to Saddam’s ability to build any kind of military force. He was weak. The “war ” demonstrated that fully. His tanks were outdated. No night vision capability. No air force. Limited anti-aircraft weaponry. I really don’t consider the invasion of Iraq a”high point” in our military history.
He was in a box. It was a matter of time. Now look at Iraq. Under Saddam your child could go to school, you could run a business, go to a hospital, your daughter and wife could wear modern clothes and go out in public. Without worrying about being blown up by a religious nut case. Ask the people of Iraq if they feel “liberated”. They are even WORSE off today than under Saddam. They cannot walk outside of their homes without fear of a bomb going off. Some “liberation”. And I doubt that the 100,000 Iraqi casualties think they are liberated either.
So, why did Bush and Cheney decide to attack? OIL?. Maybe? Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz both stated that the reconstruction of Iraq would pay for itself with oil revenue. Bush originally asked for $21,000,000,000 for Iraq AND Afghanistan combined. War on the cheap. As of today the war has already cost over $1,000,000,000,000 and counting. Those are US TAX dollars , not Iraqi oil revenues, by the way.
In the end the war makes no sense unless OIL is somehow part of the equations. If not control of the oil perhaps the elimination of Saddam as a threat to the Gulf of Hormuz. Nothing else makes sense.After all there were WORSE dictatorships and abuse of people in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Not to mention some of the vilest dictators that reside in Africa like Mugabe or Dos Santos or Mbasogo or many others. But they do live on oil fields or near an important waterway.
I have no problem killing Saddam. I just wonder why it could not have been done by Special Forces or even paid assassins from within Iraq. I do have a problem of destroying an economy and educational systems and an infrastructure to get ONE man. And ISIS is the direct consequence of the vacuum of power created by this mess.
I like your comment about those “Chinese made American flags”. You got that right. That is exactly where the Reagan and Bush tax cuts to corporations went. To create jobs in China and Vietnam and Indonesia. Instead of here at home. That was certainly a great idea, wasn’t it? Destroy the US union labor and send the tax dollars to Chines workers. Brilliant !
Regarding atheism and Bill Clinton. Can you point out to me when I suggested Bill Clinton was a “god” or even an exceptional human being? I don’t believe I did. But I also don’t consider him the devil. I don’t deal in “good” vs. “evil” ideas. I leave that to Christian, Jewish and Muslim folks. Without them what would the weapons manufacturers do?
There you go again. I never said that there was no connection between Hussein and Bin Laden or that there definitely was one. All I did was clarify for you that there MAY have been a connection and that the 9/11 Commission never proved anything other than the reports of a connection could not be confirmed. Make up your mind. Are you a Ba’ath Party supporter and fan of Saddam Hussein or are you glad he’s gone? You really aren’t playing with a full deck are you? I’m sorry that Al Gore didn’t get to be POTUS, but you and your friends really need to move on.
Joe. There MAY have been a connection between George Bush and Saddam Hussein. George Bush MAY have secretly sent weapons to Saddam. No one has ever proven that he did not. Can you deny that there MAY have been a link between the two? You can make ANY CHARGE you want by saying “may have been”. Worthless as evidence of what really happened.
Example: Saddam, when under attack, MAY have shipped all his WMDs to Syria. We have NO EVIDENCE of that, but it MAY be true. No facts to support it. Not ONE.
Sasquatch MAY have been one of Saddam;s closest allies. We have NO EVIDENCE of that, but it MAY be true.
That is the difference between your arguments and mine. I supply documented sources. Plenty of them. You supply “may haves” and ” could have beens” and short videos of brief newscasts that were based on self-serving Bush administration “anonymous ” sources and consider those to be valid.
I investigate the EVIDENCE as best we know it and see where it leads. You have already formed a conclusion and reject evidence that does not support your opinion. That is the difference between a “scientific” approach which seeks evidence to discover the truth and a “religious” approach which presupposes truth and ignores evidence to the contrary.
I have learned long ago that those who have their minds made up will not budge when the evidence points to the truth they do not want to accept. So be it.
And , of course, the last resort of a lost argument is to make personal attacks on a person’s patriotism. Oldest ploy in the book. I will not go there.
You? Patriotism? LOL!
I was done with you, but had some time and decided to watch the two videos that I posted on November 22nd again to see if there was anything in them that supported your position in any way. Sorry, but I still don’t see where you are getting your encouragement from. I am now sure that you didn’t watch them. The second video tells of how Hussein received support from the West including weapons of mass destruction to use against Iran. It also stated that Hussein had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks (as far as we know). I posted that video with the anticipation that you would immediately attempt to use those two points against me. I even gave you extra chances to discover this, but you never mentioned it. That pretty much proves that you didn’t watch it.
If you have some free time later, you might want to look a map of the Middle East. In case you were unaware, Syria and Iraq share a border and have always had diplomatic relations. Hussein did have weapons of mass destruction, all those Kurds did not kill themselves. So, where did all the WMD’s go? If Hussein would have destroyed them, there would have been evidence of that. HYPOTHETICALLY, he could have also given them to Jordan. Hussein knew that if they were found in Iraq that the UN would probably decided to remove him from power and he would no longer be in a position to finance terrorism toward the US. However, if he bowed down to the UN inspectors, his people might have seen him as weak.
In the future, you really need to examine your comments BEFORE you post them to see if you are giving your adversary any possible thing to use against you. If you would do that, you can avoid being humiliated and might actually win an argument instead of resorting to juvenile tactics and then accusing the other side of doing the same thing afterwards. You would also do well to learn the difference between an opinion and a hypothesis, something that is taught in public school. While you are at it, you should also learn the difference between reply and refute. Maybe if you would start doing that, more people would read your own blog. I have checked all of my posts since November 16th and the only things I stated that were opinions were on the 22nd when I stated that Americans should have no reason to visit the Middle East other than to visit the pyramids and museums of Egypt and on the 29th when I stated that you weren’t playing with a full deck. Although, that may be considered a hypothesis.
Let’s try a little test. I believe that since November 29th, you have been checking hourly to see if I have commented. I’ll bet that this has been a long and frustrating week for you. I believe that once this comment is entered, you will likely post a reply within two hours because you have nothing better to do. Let’s see how long you can wait. Can you wait 24 hours? If I decide to reply, I’ll wait until sometime after New Years Eve.
Joe. Regarding your Saddam video. It was already well known stuff so why respond? Everyone KNEW Saddam was given weapons to fight Iran by the GOP administrations, specifically Rumsfeld. That is old news. We also knew that Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. Bush finally admitted that. So, I am not sure why you think the video was some kind of “revelation”. It was a rehash of old information. But we also knew that any biological agents he was given by the US were long ago no longer useful because of their limited shelf life. This was all pre-1991 stuff. Nothing to do with 2003. 22 years had gone by.
Once again you have given no EVIDENCE that Saddam shipped his best weapons to other countries, as your second paragraph suggests. Your reasoning is interesting. HYPOTHETICALLY, IRAQ could have given weapons to…(fill in the blank). Do you read your own posts? Maybe Saddam gave the WMDs to the US. He could have. You can’t prove he didn’t. I also like your reasoning that if Iraq destroyed any WMDs, there would be evidence of that. You continue with HYPOTHETICALS..I will respond with evidence. In 2004 the CIA (The Iraq Survey Group) produced the definitive report and concluded that Saddam had NO WMDs post 1991. And he had no capacity for the production of nukes. This was the CIA report under the BUSH administration. You take the HYPOTHETICALS, I will continue to cite evidence and facts. And Saddam had been “bowing” to UN inspectors. It was the US that demanded the UN inspectors leave the country. It was not Saddam who threw out the UN inspectors, it was Bush.
Your third paragraph simply demonstrates your inability to use actual evidence in your statements. I have no desire to “win” an argument. I do have a desire, however, to make sure that the TRUTH is examined and falsehoods exposed. As I have said before, I rely on evidence and will continue to do so. Nothing is so devastating to HYPOTHETICALS than hard evidence. The fact that you are spending time on personal attacks rather than contradicting all the evidence I have supplied speaks for itself. I have no need to do so. I let the evidence stand on its merits. I have used data from extensive reports and commissions which have studied the issues. You have supplied “hypotheticals”.
I will gladly look at any evidence you have that Saddam moved his best defensive weapons from his possession and sent them to Jordan or Syria or the moon right before the US attacked. Evidence?
I will gladly look at any evidence you have that Saddam threw the UN inspectors out of the country in the lead up to the attack..Evidence?
I will gladly look at any evidence that the Iraqi oil will pay for the trillion dollar war (as stated by Cheney before the invasion began). Evidence?
I will gladly look at any evidence that states that Saddam offered bin Laden a safe haven. Evidence?
By “evidence” I mean reports, investigations , commissions, etc. from people who have actually studied the situation and had access to the classified documents. Not highly edited “videos” or “tv shows”. Real evidence.
I have no reason to insult you as I seek only to verify the TRUTH. Show me.
I think I’ve waited long enough. Here comes the post game wrap up.
On 11-17-15, I let you know that you were crossing into Conservative territory when you suggested that the oil fields be bombed and the trucks blown up. Then, I informed you that the US doesn’t need UN authorization to take whatever military action we need to take. Finally, I educated you about the 1988 Halabja Chemical Attack as it appeared that you were unaware of the incident and I even provided the link.
Me 1, you 0
I then reminded you that the destruction of oil fields has negative environmental consequences. This embarrassed you and you tried to change the subject to Richard Nixon and the EPA. I then informed you that Nixon was a Republican and that he ended the Vietnam War. I just assumed that you already knew this. However, since you apparently did not, here’s another link.
Me 2, you 0.
Then, you attempted to inject your conspiracy theory about Nixon having some plan to start a new war in Cambodia. I then informed you that it was Johnson and Kennedy before Nixon that were responsible for escalating US involvement in Vietnam. You then merely typed quotes from the Wesley Clark interview with Amy Goodman in which Clark claimed to have had a conversation with an alleged general that he never identified. I informed you that even though Clark did indeed say what he said to Johnson, this does not mean that he was being truthful about ever having had his alleged conversation with the general. You attempted to indicate that I believe that all Democrats are liars. I am sure that there must be a few that aren’t. I thought that I would use the opportunity to remind you of the disgraceful incident involving your deity, Bill Clinton and even posted a video.
Me 3, you 0.
By the way, it seems that the “New American Century crowd” plan to dominate the oil has worked judging by today’s oil prices.
Then, you attempted to say that the USS Liberty incident could have been used as an excuse for the US to attack Israel. I clarified for you that this incident occurred during an actual war between Israel and Egypt and was nothing more than a case of mistaken identity with tragic consequences for which Israel apologized and made reparations.
Me 4, you 0.
Then, you really went off the deep end and tried to make me believe that Saddam Hussein was not such a bad person and should have remained president of Iraq because their economy was stable and the citizens had what your definition of safety is. I decided to immediately provide you with the truth to correct your opinion in the best way possible. To SHOW you actual footage of the brutality that existed under Hussein’s regime with testimony FROM ACTUAL WITNESSES. Facts do not get any more real than that.
Me 5, you 0.
Fearing the emotional impact of watching those videos and having to admit you were wrong, you decided to ignore them. Then you focused on the 9/11 Commission and how you mistakenly believed that the findings proved that there had never been a link between Bin Laden and Hussein. I clarified for you that the findings only proved that the information that had been provided to George Bush had not been proven, but that a link between Bin Laden and Hussein was still possible and likely because it is now not possible to ever prove that there had been no link. I also provided you with a link showing the extent of the multinational force in Iraq. I desperation, you pick just one country (Estonia) and ridicule the number of personnel that their country sent. Then without reading it yourself, you post a link to a BBC article which had a title that lead you to believe that the US intentionally allowed Bin Laden to escape during the fighting at Tora Bora. Unlike you, I actually read the article and immediately brought to your attention that the article reports just the opposite and that Bin Laden barely escaped only by luck. I then provided a link for you to an article showing how Clinton failed to attack Bin Laden when he had the chance, a reality that you just can not accept. For the heck of it, I also threw in a link to the Iraq Resolution to remind you that Operation Iraqi Freedom had the approval of the US government.
Me 6, you 0.
What followed was just your mindless blathering where you ignored the proof that I had provided for you and attempted to make yourself believe that it was you and not I that had produced any facts. This was similar to a tantrum that a child would throw. I remained focused and steadfast and just allowed you to wear yourself out.
Me 7 you 0.
Finally, I challenged you to wait at least 24 hours to post a comment. You couldn’t even wait 7 hours.
Final score, Joe wins 7 to 0.
You may want to consider switching teams.
I forgot to give myself the extra point.
Final score, Joe wins 8 to 0.
Joe. OK . I’ll play.
The US (under GW Bush) asked the UN Security Council to authorize military action against Iraq. It was not granted. While the US or any nation CAN take military action without UN authorization, no nation can take LEGAL aggressive military action without UN Security Council approval. So, the US invasion of Iraq and bombing of hospitals, roads, schools and civilian and military targets was illegal under international law. That is a fact . And it is the position of the SECRETARY GENERAL of the UN.
Facts 1, Joe 0
Regarding the environmental destruction of the oil fields. That was brought up by Joe. I simply pointed out to Joe that wars always cause environmental damage . i thought everyone already knew that, but evidently not. And when Joe indicated that Nixon ended the war, I simply pointed out that before he “ended the war” (by withdrawing US troops) he actually EXPANDED the war into Cambodia, further destabilizing the region. But Joe DOES correctly point out that the president who expanded the war before pulling out was a Republican.
Facts 2, Joe (.2) for knowing Nixon was a Republican.
Did Nixon escalate the war into Cambodia? Well, since the escalation occurred in 1970 and Nixon was POTUS at the time it can be reasonably concluded that he expanded the war into Cambodia. It may not fit some revisionist history scenarios, but it is factual.
And Nixon authorized the most massive bombing campaign of since ww2 in a fruitless attempt to bring the North to agree to a final treaty. Another example of the escalation of hostilities by Nixon before the final US pullout. FOUR YEARS after Nixon announced his “secret plan ” to end the war he was still fully engaged in massive bombing campaigns. . A pretty good secret.
Joe gets (.3) for knowing that LBJ and JFK were in office before Nixon.
Facts 3, Joe (.5)
The “Project for the New American Century” principles had nothing to do with the price of oil. It was a statement of principles that expressed the idea that the US should militarily and economically seek to dominate the globe. By the end of 2006, after the massive failure of the Iraq occupation, the “Project for the New American Century” dissolved. A total failure. (Joe gets -1 for thinking it was about oil prices).
Regarding the attack on the USS Liberty by Israel.
“Some intelligence and military officials dispute Israel’s explanation.
Dean Rusk, U.S. Secretary of State at the time of the incident, wrote:
I was never satisfied with the Israeli explanation. Their sustained attack to disable and sink Liberty precluded an assault by accident or some trigger-happy local commander. Through diplomatic channels we refused to accept their explanations. I didn’t believe them then, and I don’t believe them to this day. The attack was outrageous.”
Of course, as I correctly stated, this attack by Israel COULD have been used as an excuse for war. Just as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident was used. And “Remember the Maine”. And invisible WMDs. My point remains valid: Any time a government WANTS to go to war they can find an excuse to do so.
Facts 4, Joe (-.5)
Straw man emerges again. Joe claims that I tried to convince him that “Saddam Hussein was not such a bad person”. And yet Joe offers no quotes from me saying Saddam was “not a bad person”. I never said he should remain as leader of Iraq. I did say, on November 28, that “I have no problem killing Saddam”. I also stated the facts that under Saddam people had hospitals, could run businesses, send kids to school and were not in daily fear of IEDs blowing up their children. All facts. Those statements are not contradictory. A nation can be ruled by a dictator yet be WORSE off when foreigners invade and destroy their hospitals, schools, businesses, roads, etc. IN the ensuing chaos 500,000 civilians have been killed or disappeared.
Facts 5, Joe (-.5)
Fact: As I already stated the 9/11 Commission found no cooperation between al-Qaeda and Saddam. No cooperation. None. Zilch. Nada. Zero connection.
Fact: Despite claims of an vast international coalition to attack Iraq, the US provided over 148,000 troops, UK provided 45,000, Australia 2,000 and no other country supplied more than 200. No other nation provided more than 200 troops. What a great “coalition”. So, three primarily English speaking nations provided almost all the troops. So, it was “international” in the narrowest sense of the word. (Joe gets .5 point for using the word “international”)
Fact: Regarding Tora Bora, the troops on the ground asked for help in cutting off bin Laden’s escape route. That help ws denied. For a well-documented in depth report on Tora Bora I suggest this link. While not a slick video with unsubstantiated opinions, it does document the situation and the US military response to requests for more troops.
Facts 6, 7 and 8. ,Joe 0.
Regarding insulting comments, I have no need to respond. As I said to Marie, I mean Joe, I am far too mature to go down the road of name calling and personal attacks. That does not preclude me pointing out your errors, however, as an educational service. I have long ago discovered that when people start throwing out personal insults it is because they have little or no evidence to support their positions. If you can locate any of my posts in which I call people names (other than public persons like politicians) I will be more than happy to apologize for that.
As I have said many times, I prefer facts and evidence.
If you had no need to respond, then why did you? My last post was on December 5th. You replied in less than 7 hours. Then, I waited almost one full month before I replied again on January 3rd. I thought you would have moved on and wouldn’t even be checking for my comments anymore. Nope, you hadn’t learned and commented in less than 24 hours. The facts and evidence are right in front of you. You just simply lack the ability to interpret them. You remind me of Saddam Hussein by the way you are repeatedly defeated, dust yourself off and convince yourself that you were victorious. By the way, the possibility that Hussein gave his weapons of mass destruction to Syria did not come from me.
Are you saying that you believe that Marie and I are the same person? Was that supposed to be an insult? I consider it more of a compliment. I hope she does too. I might accuse you of actually being Josh Sager. However, this is not likely. People actually read some of his work. Why do you even bother keeping The Old Liberal up and running anyway?
Joe. As I said in my last post I have no need to respond to insults. Which I never do. I don’t mind responding to inaccurate information, however. As I did. With evidence. And links. Systematically and thoroughly.Not opinion videos.
So, I read your last link to the article about George Sada. The problem with Mr Sada’s claims are many, but the most glaring is that no one else on Earth has come forth to provide any evidence that his claims are true. At a time when US and UN weapons inspectors were regularly and without warning combing Iraq looking for WMDs Mr Sada claims that 56 separate flights and/or truck loads of WMDs were sent to Syria. No one in the area corroborates that claim. No one. No pilots. No truck drivers. No military from Iraq or Syria. No American sources. No British sources. No one. That is a lot of big planes and big trucks leaving Iraq loaded with WMDs under the nose of the CIA, the UN, and other on the ground intelligence sources. Even Mr Bush has stated that the intelligence concerning WMDs was wrong.
So, what we have is one guy, writing a book (Saddam’s Secrets) making unsubstantiated claims. While any claim COULD be true, the lack of evidence to support a claim makes it very unlikely to be true.
On the other hand we have well-documented on the ground research reports, like the Bush Administration’s own Iraq Survey Group, which found no evidence. We are back to the same old “lack of evidence = evidence” problem. For example, you cannot disprove that Santa came down my chimney even though I have no evidence to demonstrate that.
Mr Sada would be more convincing if he was able to provide visual evidence. Or the names of the people he claims provided him with the story. Perhaps someday he will be bale to do so. I am not sure why he would not do so now. So, I have to say that while I find Mr Sada an interesting person he has provided absolutely no evidence except his word that some anonymous persons told him something. Not convincing.
Editing note in post of Jan 10. : “bale” should read “be able”.