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    we were all wrong..., 2005-10-21 15:40:25 | Main | justice is never having to say you're sorry..., 2005-10-22 12:28:53

    they were wrong and still appear to be:

    Is it just me or is the one consistent quality of "liberal hawks" that they can't get basic facts straight, and this is what leads them to so much folly?

    update: On the same topic I'm watching a rerun of Scott Ritter and Sey Hersh on BookTV from a week ago. Ritter argues the objective of the US being regime change, and disarmament was merely a pretext for the maintenance of sanctions in order for the overarching goal. He's wrong in the broad sense that we weren't interested in regime change if it might result in the wrong kind of regime, e.g. one we didn't have some control over: the refusal to support rebelling Iraqis in 1991; allowing Saddam to continue using his gunships to cut down the rebellion in 1991; the winking at the breaches of sanctions by the regime while maintaining an iron fist over control of basic imports; the promise to invade Iraq even if Saddam stepped down; etc.

    And Hersh again repeats his complaint that we have absolutely no idea how many sorties are being flown or how much tonnage of ordinance we're dropping on Iraq, beyond that the numbers are larger than zero.

    update update: Transcript of Ritter and Hersch.

:: posted by buermann @ 2005-10-22 12:10:56 CST | link

      Splendid job trying to untangle the contortionist from his misery over at TPMcafe, buermann. Cole's thinking the U.S. is entitled, qualified and capable, or could ever be perceived as a legitimate overseer of Iraq's future is bosh.

      Liberal hawks "get it." Like the Bushies, they twist the facts to serve their purposes.

    posted by Diane @ 2005-10-24 13:17:04 | link

      In defense of Cole he is offering policy advice in a political reality of his own imagination, self-consciously, I think. As such, I do not understand why he abandoned his previous positions regarding the UN as a more legitemate post-occupation manager than his present endorsement of the US Air Force as post-occupation manager. It might make some small difference.

      Given the political realities, which in many ways are very similar to Vietnam, congress has very limited ability to control the executive's war making powers, let alone their implimentation of policy, except through the budget. People who imagine some sophisticated policy of conflict mitigation alongside US troop withdrawal, like both Cole and Ritter, haven't explained how an anti-war movement might get Congress to take over the Executive's control of the armed forces in order to implement those policies, since no movement of any kind will have any direct influence over Bush's Iraq policy but will have to operate through the powers of their legislature. Impeachment, perhaps, but congressional restriction of funding for the war sounds an awful lot more realistic than impeaching a sitting GOP president with a GOP congress.

    posted by buermann @ 2005-10-24 15:36:17 | link

      The UN is no solution either. It was never set-up to intervene in armed conflicts and has neither the means nor the power to facilitate just solutions to conflicts. When it's not stymied it's hog tied by the powerfull gov'ts that fill its purse. It is never effective.

      Starve the war machine. Excellent suggestion. Unfortunately for Iraqis and all other citisens they decide to bomb into liberation and IMF servitude, the politicians in Congress will continue to feed it untill they're all dead or wish we were.

      Weren't Bush's war powers based upon the imminent threat? Why do they still stand? Because Congress is hiding behind George's bloody skirt?

      "After days of solemn debate, both the House and Senate passed and sent to the White House a resolution authorizing the president to use military force, if necessary, to compel Iraq to get rid of its biological and chemical weapons and disband its nuclear weapons program."

    posted by Diane @ 2005-10-24 16:35:42 | link

      What can a boy do other than nod and agree? :)

      The UN is no solution because there is none that can be imposed without an accord between the factions in Iraq. No such accord will be reached with the US "staying the course", but veering from that if an accord were reached I would suggest that the UN does have some marginal utility in maintaining it, if not in reaching it, and in Iraq the UNSC power interests do somewhat cancel eachother out, compared to the debacle in Haiti, or various other examples that conflict with certain UNSC interests and fail to attract others'. I see it as better than leaving the US soley in charge, and leaving Iraq alone does not leave it independent: this government is not the only predatory power in the world.

      Bush's war powers are based upon the century old agreement by consecutive congresses that there is no limit on Executive war powers. I'm unaware of any significant contest to it as such in the courts. If you want to join Ritter and advocate restoring the Consitution in this regard I am of course nothing but all ears and an open, screaming mouth, but I'm not nearly clever enough to imagine a campaign that puts the matter on the public map for reconsideration.

    posted by buermann @ 2005-10-25 02:12:20 | link

      Rep. McGovern must read your blog :)

      "U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) this week will introduce legislation to prohibit the use of taxpayer funds to deploy United States Armed Forces to Iraq. The bill will allow funds to be used for the safe and orderly withdrawal of our troops; for transitional security provided by other countries including international organizations like NATO and the United Nations; and for continued support for Iraqi security forces and international forces in Iraq as well as funding for reconstruction efforts."

      NATO and the UN are U.S. tools and not the sharpest in the shed. Why are these pronouncements made nary a courtesy call to Iraqis fer crissakes. Is the people free or isn't they?

    posted by Diane @ 2005-10-25 18:27:09 | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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