Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Third Airplane

Paul Volcker says what many guessed. The sanctions put in place by the International Community to cage Saddam were circumvented by anyone who had a mind to. The caged beast was ordering for home delivery from a list of providers all too eager to serve him.

More than 2,200 companies, including major concerns like DaimlerChrysler, Siemens and Volvo, made illicit payments totalling $US1.8 billion ... to Saddam Hussein's government during the UN oil-for food program, a report says.

... this was far less than the nearly $US11 billion Saddam made in smuggled oil sales ... The report blamed UN officials for a lack of oversight and said Security Council members took little action when UN oil experts passed on their concerns. In addition, the BNP-Paribas bank, which held the escrow account for the program, did not disclose evidence of corruption in its possession, the report said. Preferential treatment was given to companies in France, Russia and China, all permanent members of the Security Council, who were more favourable to lifting the 1990 sanctions compared to the United States, Britain and Japan. Among those named in the report as receiving oil vouchers ... were British lawmaker George Galloway, former French UN Ambassador Jean-Bernard Merimee, former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua and Russian ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

Even the Australian Wheat Board, hardly a household name throughout the world, paid "$US221.7 million to a Jordan-based collection agent for the Iraqi government under the program, the report said."

Commentary

The fundamental argument against international military action is the supposition that effective alternatives exist to contain rogue states and tyrants. But what if it does not? The Volcker Report essentially describes the history of the decade-long diplomatic battle to proscribe the movements of Saddam Hussein following the Gulf War. It is an account of the unmitigated defeat of the "international community" at the hands of Saddam; not only a defeat but a rout and a surrender. And although the surrender had already taken place, the world was told categorically by the capitulators themselves that they were fighting and winning the good fight against the forces of lawlessness. The problem with September 11 was not that it happened, but that it happened where it could not be ignored; this fact was the virtual third aircraft that crashed into Manhattan that day, striking somewhere in the vicinity of Turtle Bay.

Update

While on this subject, readers may wish to visit this New York Times link, The Many Streams That Fed the River of Graft to Hussein, a heading that has a certain B-Movie quality about it, like 'The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao' or the 'Many Faces of Hercules'. That atmosphere suits the Times' description of how Oil For Food money flowed into the pockets of the so-called advocates for international peace. Some snippets:

Claude Kaspereit, a businessman and son of a French member of Parliament, flew French men and women opposed to penalties on Baghdad and expressed solidarity with Mr. Hussein, and afterwards received allocations ... Mr. Aziz was also the contact point for Father Benjamin, an antiwar activist who founded the Benjamin Committee for Iraq in 1999. ... The priest received what he called a donation of $140,000, and the committee said his Vatican bank account showed a $90,000 deposit the same day. ... Mr. Aziz also worked with George Galloway, a British member of Parliament, who was accused of receiving more than 18 million barrels of oil in his name or the name of a Jordanian associate, Fawaz Abdullah Zureikat. 

And those are just the small fry. Also punting down the 'many streams' were respectable statesmen like Vladimir  Zhirinovsky of Russia, and Charles Pasqua, a former French interior minister. Some very large corporations, among them DaimlerChrysler and Volvo paid sums of money for contracts with the former regime in Iraq. Who could have known?

96 Comments:

Blogger Rick Ballard said...

Wretchard,

This is the report that should be trumpeted and the reason that I find the Senate action of trumpeting Galloway's indiscretions so shallow. Even in this story Galloway does not deserve equal billing with Merrime and Pasqua.

I also find it laughable that Volcker seems to be trying to set up a "they all do it" explanation by tossing out the fact that 2,200 companies were involved. Paribas handled all the money and Total/Fina handled much of the oil.

Let's hope that the actual report focuses more tightly on the 20% of the firms that had to have paid 80% of the bribes.

10/27/2005 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

So the postmodernist replacement for the Emperor, designed in fact to replace all current and future Emperors, is revealed to have been wearing no clothes!

Plus ca change, etc., etc.

10/27/2005 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Ed onWestSlope said...

So are those within the Turtle Bay ediface ... the Walking Dead?

Not much coming out which should be a surprise. And to think back 30-40 years ago and believe the John Birchers were completely nuts. At least not on the 'Get Out of the U.N. mantra.

As I grow older, I understand much more of the Libertarian within my Father.

10/27/2005 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

In the Wall Street Journal of Sept. 27, 2002, Peggy Noonan sounded a few conservative notes of caution in launching the Iraq War and asked: "What has stopped Saddam from using the weapons he has, and has had for some time?"
Evidently he didn't have the weapons that so many assumed he did, so the question for Wretchard in regards to the UN sanctions is the logical evolution of Noonan's: If sanctions were "not only a defat but a rout and a surrender" then stopped Saddam from developing his WMD capacity? Why was his nuclear program apparently shelved in 1994? Certainly he desired such capacities, and used them in the past. If not sanctions, then what other disincentives were there?

10/27/2005 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger enscout said...

Wretchard said: "It is an account of the unmitigated defeat of the "international community" at the hands of Saddam; not only a defeat but a rout and a surrender. And although the surrender had already taken place, the world was told categorically by the capitulators themselves that they were fighting and winning the good fight against the forces of lawlessness."

I completely disagree. In order for there to be a defeat or surrender, there must be a struggle between two. In this case there was not. Only greed, corruption and lawlessness in spades. Neither "side" was ever in oppsoition to the other as was supposed by naive US.

This demonstrates the reasons for never entrusting power to an international group of diplomats to dictate to soveregn states. They cannot, it seems, be held to accountability.

10/27/2005 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

In the Wall Street Journal of Sept. 27, 2002, Peggy Noonan sounded a few conservative notes of caution in launching the Iraq War and asked: "What has stopped Saddam from using the weapons he has, and has had for some time?"

Evidently he didn't have the weapons that so many assumed he did, so the question for Wretchard in regards to the UN sanctions is the logical evolution of Noonan's: If sanctions were "not only a defeat but a rout and a surrender" then what stopped Saddam from developing his WMD capacity? Why was his nuclear program apparently shelved in 1994? Certainly he desired such capacities, and used them in the past.

If not sanctions, then what other disincentives were there?

10/27/2005 04:19:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Enscout,
Certainly not when the diplomats have such an obvious conflict of interest. Which is, of course, the problem with anyone hoping for anything real from the U.N., other than as a forum for airing grievances. It's very makeup will forever keep it from having any effectiveness at all.

10/27/2005 04:20:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

The only disincentive to Saddam Hussein developing nuclear weapons was that they could be bought off the shelf by those with the money OFF was providing that money.

10/27/2005 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

Peter UK, could you please clarify this statement, I can't quite disentangle it:

"The only disincentive to Saddam Hussein developing nuclear weapons was that they could be bought off the shelf by those with the money OFF was providing that money."

Saddam increased his kleptocratic wealth through OFF, no doubt, so why didn't he renew WMD acquistion and development?

10/27/2005 04:37:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

ak.
Read it again this time with the brain engaged.

10/27/2005 04:49:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

Peter UK:

Now, now, be polite. As you can see there is a subject redundancy in your use of "the money" and "that money," that muddles your point. (And let's not forget you doubling of "was". Relax and admit it, it is a sloppy sentence.)

If you are referring to the dominate Western powers that both possess nuclear weapons and were funding Hussein through OFF, then there are obvious questions that arise:

1) Western nuclear capacity didn't stop Hussein from developing his previous WMD program.

2) The argument for the present war was that Hussein's WMD could be given to non-state actors (terrorists) in an attempt to avoid culpability. If that was ever his intent, then traditional strategic deterrents would not dissuade him, no?

What do you think, Mr. UK? If sanctions were more than a "defeat" then what stopped Hussein from developing WMD capacity over the past ten years that sanctions were in place.

10/27/2005 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

ak,
This is an object lesson in clarity?

"Evidently he didn't have the weapons that so many assumed he did, so the question for Wretchard in regards to the UN sanctions is the logical evolution of Noonan's: If sanctions were "not only a defeat but a rout and a surrender" then what stopped Saddam from developing his WMD capacity? Why was his nuclear program apparently shelved in 1994? Certainly he desired such capacities, and used them in the past."
Perlease.

10/27/2005 05:09:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

Peter UK:

"This is an object lesson in clarity?"

No, not a lesson but a Socratic method, that seeks to question the underlying point of Wretchard's critique. If sanction were such a failure, then why did Hussein neither develop nor acquire "off the shelf" WMD?

Regards,
AK

10/27/2005 05:16:00 PM  
Blogger ledger said...

Saddam was a master at bribery. The report revealed how easily Saddam bought-off these "principled" members of the UN. Just imagine how easy it would be for Saddam to buy-off some not so ethical members of the MSM. I would not be surprise to find out that certain members of the MSM are enjoying some of the $1 billion that Saddam looted from the Iraqi central bank. Beware of "news" from the MSM.

10/27/2005 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Strabo the Lesser said...

As a neoconservative, I can only say that while I am saddened (not surprised) by the UN malfeasance. I sincerely hope that someday we can have a global institution which is not a global embarrassment.

On the plus side, the total failure of the United Nations makes it possible to create a new framework which will address the systemic ills of the UN system. The village must be destroyed so we can save it.

10/27/2005 05:32:00 PM  
Blogger reliapundit said...

you mean fifth airplane.

10/27/2005 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Sanctions were not the only element,there were also weapons inspectors,overflights to ensure no fly zones.There was massive bribery and corruption to France and Russia to press for the lifting of sanctions,that was what Galloway's campaign was about.
Why would a nuclear capability have to be based in Iraq when Dr Kahn was producing weapons in Pakistan,North Korea was developing missiles,why not wait until the attention of the world was elsewhere? It takes time to build up a nuclear capability,why not out source it?
The salient point is that Saddam Hussein would have had the means,a fact that nobody knew.
Also Socrates would have thought to put a comma after money.

10/27/2005 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger JL said...

AK

The sanctions were designed to force Saddam to adhere to the UN resolutions, which placed upon him a positive responsibility to demonstrate the he did not possess and was not developing WMDs. He refused to live up to that responsibility, going so far as to throw the inspectors out of the country. Even after allowing them back in he refused to provide them with the information they requested. This resulted in every intelligence service in the world's conclusion that he had WMD's, and the US and UK's conclusion that the only way to know for certain that Saddam did not have WMD's was to invade and toss him out. So, as sanctions go, these were a pretty big failure.

10/27/2005 05:39:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

Peter UK said...
"Sanctions were not the only element,there were also weapons inspectors,overflights to ensure no fly zones."

Noted. I would infer then, that sanctions, as a constitutive element in preventing Hussein's WMD re-armament, were not a complete "defeat . . . rout . . . surrender."

OFF, which was instituted to alleviate the resultant Iraqi food shortages also fulfilled its central mandate. The attendant corruption, while completely deserving of much criticism, investigation and prosecution, did not result in Hussein's re-armament. If not for OFF, what other method could have been used to both deliver food and maintain sanctions? A pity OFF was not more carefully monitored.

Peter UK:
"Why would a nuclear capability have to be based in Iraq when Dr Kahn was producing weapons in Pakistan,North Korea was developing missiles,why not wait until the attention of the world was elsewhere? "

I believe that A.Q. Khan was selling technological kits abroad and not whole weapons or weapon's systems. Those kits required material that Hussein lacked(fissible) and a technological base he no longer had (workable centrifuges -- not just a few rusty parts that had spent a decade buried in Dr. Obeidi's rose garden).

Second, North Korea did accept money from Hussein for a MRBM system -- and promptly reneged on delivery! Honor among tyrants, eh? What was Saddam going to do? Complain to the WTO?

"Also Socrates would have thought to put a comma after money."

Both a wily thinker and a careful grammarian? Dangerous combination that.

10/27/2005 05:55:00 PM  
Blogger sfrcook said...

ak,

I'm holding a leaky umbrella on a sunny day. Does the fact that I remain dry mean that the umbrella must not be leaky and is therefore the reason I am not soaked?

What kept the skies sunny, so to speak , was a fear of significant US military action that open acknowledgement of the umbrella's uselessness would have provoked. All the while, so many holes were being insidiously punched in the umbrella, that the bribed argued the sunny skies in fact meant that it would never rain again and we could dispense with the umbrella.

10/27/2005 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

Jl said:
"This resulted in every intelligence service in the world's conclusion that he had WMD's, and the US and UK's conclusion that the only way to know for certain that Saddam did not have WMD's was to invade and toss him out. So, as sanctions go, these were a pretty big failure. "

I don't believe that the rationale for invading Iraq was to "know for certain". The invasion was premised and promoted on a much higher degree of certainty and conviction that Hussein possessed WMD. Certainly no high level administration officials hedged their bets, saying that this war would be an exploratory expedition in search of the truth.

Jl:
"The sanctions were designed to force Saddam to adhere to the UN resolutions, which placed upon him a positive responsibility to demonstrate the he did not possess and was not developing WMDs. He refused to live up to that responsibility, going so far as to throw the inspectors out of the country."

You are correct in the black letter sense of the resolutions. But to adopt such an argument is to logically follow a black letter solution, that is an UN mandated one. The Sec. Council did not deliver such an executive order to the US/UK.

My argument, stemming from Peggy Noonan's in the Wall Street Journal of 02, is somewhat different. It is a strategic and realpolitik one that asks: did the sanctions play a key role in depriving Hussein of WMD? Peter UK seems to be saying, and I concur, that the sanction did.

What then, according to realpolitik, was there value?

10/27/2005 06:15:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Why would Saddam Hussein need centrifuges,they don't need factories making AK ammunition in Africa.
If the money is available, anything can all be bought,but it takes time and it takes stealth.Saddam bought a nuclear capability the first time round,but made the mistake of boasting about it,with disasterous results,for him.
There are a multitude of high spec tool shops around the world that can make anything you have the plans for.There are those that can move goods around,for a price.what you don't do,is let the different suppliers know of your dealings with the others,both for security and to stop the price going up.
The question you should ask yourself is why wouldn't Saddam Hussein seek nuclear weapons? He wanted them before Gulf War I,as a murdering gangster with a position to maintain,had he had a change of heart?
Since the man did not care about his people,the only restraints would be the risk to his life and position.Sanctions threatened neither.
The general tenor of the anti-sanctions lobby was that sanctions were hurting the Iraqi people and were inhumane.It is also a fact that much of what was purchased was substandard,overpriced,or not even required.A standard scam,as long as money changed hands,contracts were exchanged, something moved from a to b that satisfied the letter of OFF.
What the percentage of OFF was stolen in overcharging,or goods being diverted will probably take years to discover.
One thing is certain Saddam Hussein and others made fortunes out of the misfortune of the Iraqi people.

10/27/2005 06:29:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

"What then, according to realpolitik, was there value?"

Elucidate

10/27/2005 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Before this farce goes any further,I most categorically do not believe sanctions detered Saddam Hussein from planning to aquire WMD.
Sanctions were the feel good factor for the liberal left,OFF was christmas for the Regime and their business associates and the whole thing corrupted the UN and harmed the Iraqi people.

10/27/2005 06:57:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

Mark Steyn in the Western Standard Magazine on 14 Feb 05, wrote an article about Canada and Iraq. It seems that Paul Desmarais, owner of Power Corp; past owner of Canada Steamship Lines he passed on our current Prime Minister, Paul Martin; supporter of Trudeau and Maurice Strong and Jean Chretien... well
good ol' Paul has a son (married to Jean Chretien's daughter) who is now the biggest shareholder at Total Elf Fina (which itself must be a piece of the large ham called Canada's National Energy Policy, back in the 1980s); and and and the bank that handled all the money from the UN Oil for Fraud, The BMP Paribas, is indeed controlled by one of M Desmarias's holding companies.


Makes me proud to be a Canadian... if I liked sleaze, greed and hypocrisy!!! What do you want to bet that none of this is mentioned in our Canadian "media".

10/27/2005 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger heather said...

Think about it: the USA's largest trading partner, with whom it shares its longest undefended border... is in actual fact run by a cabal of thugs, who made common cause with USA's enemy.

I wonder when the USA will notice?

10/27/2005 07:04:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

Peter UK, do you see any contradiction in the following:
"Peter UK said...
Before this farce goes any further,I most categorically do not believe sanctions detered Saddam Hussein from planning to aquire WMD."

And:

"Peter UK said...
Sanctions were not the only element,there were also weapons inspectors,overflights to ensure no fly zones."

Now, in the second quote (which came first), I thought you we were discussing elements that deterred Hussein from acquiring WMD.

It looks like we're back to square one. And before you call this a liberal argument, know that it is also a conservative realist argument, which, of course is damn well fed up with were neoconservative "democratic globalism" has gotten us. The time of illusionist is over. Perhaps it is the "UK" part of your moniker which makes you unfamiliar with Peggy Noonan (Reaganite speech writer) and Brent Snowcroft (Bush 41 National Security Advisor)?

As we are back on square one, let me ask again: Given his evident desire and past use, what deterred Saddam from acquiring WMD?

10/27/2005 07:09:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Heather, we've noticed.

If and when we get the Mexicans beat into submission to stop the inflowing tide and stationary on their side of the border, that loud creaking rumbling sound you hear will be our laser-like attention and resentment swiveling in a northerly direction.

Ask the French what happens economically when Americans get annoyed with an entire country. Not to mention emotionally when the most powerful group of people on the planet spend each and every day deriding you, all you stand for, and everything you've ever (not) done.

Trust me. It'll be fun.

10/27/2005 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Prison.

A tight noose.

THE END!

10/27/2005 07:24:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Not sanctions.I have to tell you I don't give a monkeys about these people you have produced as a deus ex machina.
Instead of you asking the questions do tell me what you believe what deterred Saddam from acquiring WMD?
Go on give yourself a treat I can see you are gagging to tell.
Then we can get down to the full pantomime business,Oh no it didn't...Oh yes it did.
As soon as the cat comes in I'm off to bed.

10/27/2005 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

AK,

Your first post stated: “If sanctions were "not only a defeat but a rout and a surrender" then stopped Saddam from developing his WMD capacity? Why was his nuclear program apparently shelved in 1994?”

Here is the United Nations official documentation regarding UNSCOM…

After your date of compliance:

8 Aug 1995: Iraq withdraws its third biological Full, Final and Complete Disclosure and admits a far more extensive biological warfare programme than previously admitted, including weaponization. Iraq also admits having achieved greater progress in its efforts to indigenously produce long-range missiles than had previously been declared. Iraq provides UNSCOM and the IAEA with large amounts of documentation, hidden on a chicken farm ostensibly by Hussein Kamel, related to its prohibited weapons programmes which subsequently leads to further disclosures by Iraq concerning the production of the nerve agent VX and Iraq's development of a nuclear weapon.

Sep 1997: Iraq provides fifth Full, Final and Complete Disclosure for its prohibited biological weapons programme. An international panel of experts is convened in New York to discuss Iraq’s declaration. The panel unanimously finds Iraq’s declaration to be incomplete, inadequate and technically flawed.

Oct 1997: UNSCOM completes the destruction of additional, large quantities of chemical weapons related equipment and precursors chemicals. Iraq had previously denied that part of the equipment had been used for CW production. Only in May 1997, on the basis of UNSCOM's investigations, did Iraq admit that some of the equipment had indeed been used in the production of VX.

8 Apr 1998: The report of the biological weapons TEM is transmitted to the Council (S/1998/308). As with the other TEMs, the experts unanimously conclude that Iraq’s declaration on its biological weapons programme is incomplete and inadequate.

9 Sep 1998: Security Council resolution 1194 (1998) unanimously condemns Iraq’s decision to suspend cooperation with UNSCOM, terming Iraq’s actions a totally unacceptable contravention of Iraq’s obligations; demands Iraq rescind its decision and decides not to conduct the 60-day sanctions reviews until Iraq does so and the Commission reports to the Council that it is satisfied that it has been able to exercise its full range of activities, including inspections.

31 Oct 1998: Iraq announces that it will cease all forms of interaction with UNSCOM and its Chairman and to halt all UNSCOM’s activities inside Iraq, including monitoring. The Security Council, in a statement to the press, unanimously condemn Iraq’s decision to cease all cooperation with UNSCOM.

4 Nov 1998: The Executive Chairman informs the Council (S/1998/1032) that, as a result of Iraq’s actions, the Commission is not in a position to provide the Council with any level of assurance of Iraq’s compliance with its obligations not to retain and not to reestablish proscribed activities.

16 Dec 1998: The Special Commission withdraws its staff from Iraq.

When you talk about ‘Containing Iraq’ and ‘Keeping Saddam in a Box’ (not your quotes – but your concept) I would recommend that you review the official United Nations webpage chronology regarding the topic on which you place so much confidence. Try using the find feature to look for such phases as: ‘denies access’, ‘Final and Complete Disclosure’, and ‘nuclear’. In it’s 7 ½ years of existence we had five ‘Final and Complete Disclosures’ of biological weapons, three ‘Final and Complete Disclosures’ of chemical weapons, and three ‘Final and Complete Disclosures’ of illegal missile development. All those ‘Final and Complete Disclosures’ were deemed false. We found a rather robust – if temporarily hidden and dormant – nuclear program. And finally, with the Oil-For-Food revelations noted in Wretchard’s post we have both a bypass of the Saddam in a Box strategy and an aggressive bribing of security council members to drop those sanctions on which your concept rests. Look back in the large newspapers even as late as early 2003 to review the positions of France, Russia, and Germany regarding the sanctions that both apparently (not really) kept Saddam contained and starved the children of Iraq.

I, personally, was not confident in those measures then, and I would be very distrustful of a Saddam popped out of the box now…

10/27/2005 07:41:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

AK,although its become a "fact" among certain elements in our country (you know,the usual suspects) that Saddam didn't possess WMD's;no one has disproved the theory that they were removed into Syria or the Bekaa valley in Lebanon prior to the war.

10/27/2005 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

Boghie said...
AK . . . .
Here is the United Nations official documentation regarding UNSCOM…"

Boghie, thank you for providing this for it is an excellenct buttress for my argument. What we have in this account is the steady destruction of Hussein's WMD arsenal under the UN. And when he stalled, lied, blocked they kept at until more programs and stockpiles were discovered and destroyed.

To what extent? Apparently (so far (un)discovered) to the destruction of his WMD stocks and programs. Now, if at the end of this account, a postscript stated that the "Iraqi Survey Group found multiple stockpiles of VX gas, tons of aerosolized anthrax, and a nuclear program with centrifuge cascades that were only days from producing a nuclear device." then one could certainly conclude that sanctions were a complete and abject failure.

Boghie said:
"Look back in the large newspapers even as late as early 2003 to review the positions of France, Russia, and Germany regarding the sanctions that both apparently (not really) kept Saddam contained and starved the children of Iraq."

If Saddam was not contained, could you please tell me where his WMD are or what country he had invaded since Kuwait? What weapons programs had he started up? Again, I pose the question to you or Peter UK or Jl: If sanctions can not account for Saddam's lack of WMD, then what can?

10/27/2005 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger AK said...

trangbang68 said...
"AK,although its become a "fact" among certain elements in our country (you know,the usual suspects) that Saddam didn't possess WMD's;no one has disproved the theory that they were removed into Syria or the Bekaa valley in Lebanon prior to the war. "

Hmmm, no one has proved such a scenario either. Keep in mind that Saddam loathed the Assad family (competing branches of Baathi pan-Arabism) and that Hezbollah resides in the Bekaa valley. Hezbollah, which is a strong ally, client even, of Saddam's hated Iran.

As Bill Kristol has noted in the Weekly Standard, if Saddam DID have WMD that we have not been able to discover, then that is an even more devastating blow to the war effort and a dramatic undercutting of its rationale. We invaded to secure and destroy such weapons, not scatter them around the Mid-East. Imagine WMD floating around in the present chaos of Iraq!

10/27/2005 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger infinitekirts said...

The United Nations has become like an autistic adolescent at a candy store selling candy shaped like mathematical symbols: a fidgety flurry of compulsive twitchings, grabbings and droppings beneath a grandly misfiring neurological meta-propensity. What to do when you want him to leave? Fat chance you'll get his attention for a moment. At most you'd get a blankly inquisitive stare as some deep nether-part of his mind basks in some abstract imagined skull projection that so enamors his dumbfounded slackened jaw. So impossible it is to garner his notice for more than the most fleeting second of his sluggishly iterative outward mind, that it makes you wonder if the tard did not exist, if it would be necessary to invent him?

10/27/2005 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

AK,

If the sanctions were weakened (Oil For Food) or removed as France, Germany, Russia, and China were proposing than Saddam would have quickly broken out of the containment.

The UN chronology I linked to ended in 1999 with the UN having NO confidence in Saddam's repeated 'Final and Complete Disclosures'. There were no UN personnel in Iraq till December 2003. That would be 5 years. In March 2003 President Hussein once again filed a false 'Final and Complete Disclosure'. Two weeks later the UN found seventy odd long range missiles. They made a big deal of squishing them.

Please remind yourself that it was Iraq's duty to bring these weapons forward - it was not the UNs duty to search for the weaponry over the span of a decade.

Were you as confident then as you are now?

How long does it take to reconstitute technology when you have already built the items in question?

Would you have been in favor of an unsanctioned Iraq using its oil wealth under the guidance of Saddam?

10/27/2005 09:11:00 PM  
Blogger Bat One said...

Your “Commentary” is by far the most insightful and succinct description of the situation in which we find ourselves of any yet written. The question, however, is not whether or not there exists an effective alternative to military action. That question was long ago made moot.

The question is whether, and to what ultimate extent, it all matters. It is one thing to fight for our very survival in so widespread and convoluted a conflict. It is quite another to do so while constantly fending off the incessant yammering and rhetorical arm-tugging of those who would sanctimoniously impress upon us not to be “so beastly,” in the words of author John le Carre, to those who are sworn to destroy us.

It would seem that those who would deny the legitimacy and the urgency of our actions are every bit as determined as are those who would kill us all, and themselves, in the process. The idea that the UN, or the “international community” affords any sort of defense or protection to any of us is a monstrous fraud, the price of which will be the violent end of western civilization.

10/27/2005 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

Australian PM defends wheat board against Saddam kickback claims:

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has backed the country's monopoly wheat exporter after a UN report found it ignored warning signs that its funds were providing kickbacks for former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

"My dealings with the people in the AWB in the past have always been such that I've found them a very straight up and down group of people and I can't imagine for a moment that they would have knowingly been involved in anything improper."
An 18-month investigation by former US central bank chief Paul Volker named AWB as one of more than 2,200 firms that provided kickbacks to the Iraqi government under the UN's oil-for-food program that ran from 1996 to 2003, allowing sanction-hit Iraq to export oil and import humanitarian goods.
AWB managing director Andrew Lindberg denied the company was involved in corruption and said it had been duped.

http://www.forextelevision.com/FT/AFX/ShowStory.jsp?seq=8008

10/28/2005 12:54:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

- makes me wonder what was really going on when the UN headquarters building in Iraq got blown up -

10/28/2005 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger AK said...

Boghie said...
AK,
"The UN chronology I linked to ended in 1999 with the UN having NO confidence in Saddam's repeated 'Final and Complete Disclosures'. There were no UN personnel in Iraq till December 2003. That would be 5 years."

That's right -- and the sanctions were not lifted during those five years, they contiued to restrict the import of material to Iraq. What did Saddam develop in the interim?

Boghie wrote:
"Please remind yourself that it was Iraq's duty to bring these weapons forward - it was not the UNs duty to search for the weaponry over the span of a decade."

Not need to remind myself for I've never forgotten. If you are going to argue that it was the UNs duty then must you not also accept that the it was the UNs job to determine how to fulfill that duty?

Tell me Boghie, what did the Iraqi Survey Group really discover that UN weapon's teams had missed? Why did David Kay, the first head of the Group (before it was neutered) say "We were almost all wrong." ?

How long does it take to reconstitute technology when you have already built the items in question?

To our knowledge, Saddam had not built a nuclear device. Anthrax remains an open question, and one which the FBI has bungled atrociously.

"Would you have been in favor of an unsanctioned Iraq using its oil wealth under the guidance of Saddam?"

No. Are you arguing for sanctions here?

Once more: If sanctions failed, then what prevented Saddam from developing WMD?

10/28/2005 04:47:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Unfortunately, there is a fairly obvious approach that would address the basic issue Wretchard brings up.
If there are non-state actors who are willing to commit acts of a form of war as a way to further their aims, then the current U.N. philosophy would be to give them a seat at the table.
Al Queda would have a representative at the U.N., as would the IRA, Hesbolah, Haamas, the Paletinian Authority, the American Indian Tribes, the Japanese Red Army, the Bader-Meinhoff gang, the Nazis who supposedly fled to Antarctica in fleet of advanced U-boats, etc. The list would go on and on, and when done all of the major religions would have to be represented as well as probably each of the trade unions, the Mafia, and the National Rifle Association (the latter I would insist upon).
This would be utter chaos - but it would be in keeping with the U.N. approach and the philosophy of "Jaw Jaw is better than War War."

10/28/2005 05:55:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

ak
The lack of a "real" need. His neighboring countries, KSA, Jordon and Eygpt all believed that Iraq had the WMD, as per General Franks reporting.
As long as the Intel agencies and the Leaders of the world thought that Saddam had the capacity, he, for almost all intents and purposes, did. Perception having a great deal to do with reality.
As many Iraqis said, in the aftermath of the invasion, Saddam, himself, was a weapon of mass destruction.

10/28/2005 06:00:00 AM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

AK
"Once more: If sanctions failed, then what prevented Saddam from developing WMD?"

What you are implying in this rather lame post ho,ergo propter hoc,argument,is that sanctions prevented Saddam Hussein from developing WMD.

We know however,that sanctions leaked like a sieve,oil was smuggled through Turkey and Jordan,SH was getting kickbacks via OFF.France and Russia, first amongst many, were exporting all nature of illicit goods.Sanctions failed.
The knowledge base from WMD production was retained,research documents were literally taken home by scientists,one even had components buried in his garden.
But the logical reason is that there was a military presence,overflights,inspection teams etc,so like any good gangster who is under surveillance,Saddam would not keep his gun at home,but like any gangster knew where he could get it when he needed it.
However many countries were pressing for a lifting of sanctions,France and Russia to the fore,the Coalition could not have maintained overflights indefinitely,gradually the world would have lost interest and Saddam would have been carrying his gun again.
All sanctions did was harm the Iraqi people,they never impinged on the regime.

10/28/2005 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger al fin said...

Under sanctions, Saddam and his well compensated leftist friends in the west got richer, and the Iraqis got sicker and poorer.

Leftist journalists celebrate every IED, every coalition death, every car bombing of innocent Iraqis. How did the left grow so decadent and corrupt?

The answer is clear and simple. Visit the university. Sit in on classes ranging from philosophy to political science to history to studies of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation etc. Virtually every class is oriented around the "evil west" and the wisdom of cultural equivalence (except the west which is evil). The post modern left is vacuous, and in control of the academy, journalism, and europe.

10/28/2005 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Thank you, Mr. Gramsci.

10/28/2005 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Why spend money on weapons programs when everybody thinks you already have them? Deterrence is a fait accompli and money can be diverted to other things, like palaces.

10/28/2005 08:16:00 AM  
Blogger Red River said...

Phillip of Macedon, Alexander's father, conquered many towns with the one-donkey strategy.

He quipped, "I can take any town if I can get one donkey into it carrying a load of gold."

This report's implications in the international arena suggest that many, many people and organizations are apolitical with respect to the normal standards of individual rights and personal liberties.

Witness Yahoo and Cisco's commitments to help China crack down on individuals exercising liberties which are protected in the West, but denied in the East.

The actions of Yahoo/Cisco coupled with the Volcker report imply that many, many firms collude to support and enhance dictatorships around the world - AND that dictatorships manipulate politicians, press, and global firms to ensure they are not overthrown nor that their actions see the light of day.

Saddam was a bit player in the long term sweep of history. China is not a bit player - and for this reason - the amorality of many on the international stage sets a headwind that those who seek to be free must tack against.

10/28/2005 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Oh, jeez, why argue over what has been decided? Why not lament losing your middle-school girlfriend for all of the good it does. He had them, he didn't have them, he wanted them, he could have got them, he used them, he was 'contained,' containment obviously failed...yadda yadda yadda.

If the war was wrong, illegal, whatever, then it is obvious that we must make Iraq whole again, that we've done the Saddamites harm. If your point is that the war is wrong, you nod to the legitimacy of the Saddamites.

So give Iraq back to them, or shut up about it.

10/28/2005 09:38:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

Latest word is that fugative financer Mark Rich received money under the Oil for Food program.
And Rich contributed heavily to the Clinton Library - and was pardoned by Bill Clinton.
The spread of this conspiracy is breathtaking....

10/28/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

Verc, I think in this case you're confusing the peaceniks and one-worlders, with realists - which I believe AK is an example of. I don't think he'd say it was wrong or illegal to get rid of Hussein, but the wrong decision so far as US interests were concerned.

Correct me if I'm wrong, AK? Or do you buy into this internationalist, please everybody, crap?

10/28/2005 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Cutler said...

I don't think he'd say it was morally wrong or illegal...

10/28/2005 10:11:00 AM  
Blogger Papa Bear said...

enscout said This demonstrates the reasons for never entrusting power to an international group of diplomats to dictate to soveregn states. They cannot, it seems, be held to accountability.

This points to the larger problem of your not being able to trust a bureaucrat, particularly one coming from a culture with ingrained corruption, to exercise oversight over the behavior of any entity with the financial resources of a nation-state

The scandal is not so much that people were bribed, but how little it took to buy them compared to the money the briber had available if needed.

This also applies to the United States, in an era where legislators and bureaucrats with yearly salaries in the 6-digit range are given authority to handle and manage 10-digit to 12-digit amounts of money.

I forget who it was who said "When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things bought and sold will be legislators

10/28/2005 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Papa Bear,

P. J. O'Rourke.

10/28/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Daniel Nexon said...

There is a difference between circumventing sanctions to buy all sorts of sh&t, and circumventing sanctions to acquire WMD. All the hyperbole in the world about "third airplanes" doesn't change the underlying question of whether or not going to war was necessary to stop an imminent threat to US security. The answer remains that it wasn't, although there were a number of other grounds upon which the war may have been justifiable.

10/28/2005 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

If sanctions failed, then what prevented Saddam from developing WMD?

On the other hand, if sanctions worked, then there would have been no initial Gulf War. In the prior instance, to my knowledge, no attempt was made by any UN member state or individual to subvert the sanctions, and yet sanctions were still not sufficient to dissuade Saddam from continuing along the path he desired to follow, thus setting a precedent which became the pattern.

Or, to answer the question differently: If sanctions worked, what made Saddam think there was any utility in building or trying to acquire illegal missile systems?

10/28/2005 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

daniel nexon
Read the
Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq

No where does the Joint Resolution is it stated that there was an "imminent threat" from Iraq. Rather Iraq is described as a "continuing threat". Which of course, it was.

The case for taking down Saddam is made in the Joint Resolution. Mostly we acted to enforce UN Resolutions.

10/28/2005 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

Daniel Nexon,
The question is, and should always have been, was it reasonable to believe that Saddam had WMD, or was relatively close to getting them, and would said WMD (either by transfer to some terrorist group or from Saddam himslef) be a significant threat to the U.S., in a post-9/11 world. And I don't see how anyone can take an honest look at what was known at the time, and at Saddam's history, and honestly say that that was an unreasonable conclusion to reach.

10/28/2005 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The great weakness of the United States and the West.
David Warren is scorching with " Bush in London ".
Here's the warm-up uppercut:
Kraemer grasped that it takes more than superior man- and firepower to defeat an enemy that is ideologically driven; that geostrategic contests are determined as much by irrational and immaterial factors. He grasped that the great weakness of the United States and the West, after the defeat of Nazism, was identical with the great weakness of Germany that had allowed the rise of Hitler.
.In each case, it is the existence of an intellectual elite who think about abstractions instead of realities, and whose instinct to appease a mortal enemy is founded in a lazy, cowardly, and conceited moral relativism. Kraemer was father to the phrase, "provocative weakness" -- in two words, the reason why the West is under attack today from such terror networks as Al Qaeda

10/28/2005 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

WMD - of course he had them; they're small. He would've made a hell of a lot more money with his fiefdom pumping Saudi levels of oil, even if contracts with Russia were exhorbitant. And he could'vr had all the WMD he wanted if he just complied with his cease fire agreement. Thirdly Iran-Iraq War, Gulf War I and Bosnia all demonstrated the international community's willingness to a) prevent a destablization in oil distribution and b) a willingness to intervene on behalf of wrongly-invaded/flashpoint nations - so there was no credible strategic analysis of the "I lied to deter Iran" variety: that's crap. Any 4 year old would recognize no Iranian invasion would've gone unopposed, nor could have been successful.

He had the weapons. The UN crap gave all the old KGB folks plenty of time to move what needed to be moved to engineer a political victory despite a military defeat

and so on and on.

Why this has to be explained anymore is evidence of the probably Byzantine nature of our current power. A pity. Good think I like Chinese chicks.

10/28/2005 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Off Thread:
Seems to me the Blogosphere has failed to produce a much needed storm to force the TRUTH about
Wilson Plame into the general public's consciousness, ala Rathergate et al.

Sometimes the MSM Govt Bureaucracy Cabal still wins.
(at least for now)
I've been away a lot so may have missed it, but it seems the older right
(NRO, Weekly Standard, Limbaugh, etc)
have done a better job so far than the blogospere.

10/28/2005 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Mistakenly thought a reference to my source was included in my 12:50 PM post.
Hat tip to one of our posters here:
"We The Free"
"Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious" -- George Orwell

10/28/2005 01:05:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

Doug,
We also have a sizable number of people who can not believe that they have an enemy.
As I have said before we have raised a Dodo generation

10/28/2005 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

MSM Govt Bureaucracy Cabal MoneyQuote :
"Libby's indictment is a political embarrassment for the president, paving the way for a possible trial renewing the focus on the administration's faulty rationale for going to war against Iraq _ the erroneous assertion that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction."

10/28/2005 01:34:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Peter, you mean the Joos?

The Previous Jaw Dropper"I was stunned to learn the story of Haj Mohammad Amin al-Hussein, which I tell at great length in Preachers of Hate. Not only did he meet with Hitler in Berlin in 1941: he became the Arabic voice of Nazi Germany in all their broadcasts to the Arab world, exhorting Muslims to murder Jews and enact Hitler’s final solution. Not by coincidence, one of his greatest students is Yasser Arafat, who in moments of weakness claims (wrongly, I believe) that he is Haj Mohammad Amin’s nephew." -- see it here .
---
Muslim theology does not "acknowledge the Prophets" of others religions as the founders of Islam, rather it consider these particular Prophets as Muslims and therefore consider those other groups as non-capable of understanding that perception. For example Abraham is considered as a Muslim Prophet, and Jesus is considered as a Prophet not as a Messiah. So, it is not about accepting the beliefs of other communities through honoring their Prophets...

The Last Jaw Dropper"When my grandfather left Europe in 1937, the graffiti on the walls read,
'Jews go to Palestine'.
Today the graffiti reads,
'Jews out of Palestine'.
How soon Europe forgets." -- See this .
"We The Free"

10/28/2005 01:40:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Off topic:

Was it only a year ago that the Talking Tree and his crew were bemoaning the worst economy since Herbert Hoover? I expect their clinically depressed attitude toward Iraq will be similarly demolished as delusional by this time next year.

"Growth in the U.S. economy has exceeded 3 percent for 10 straight quarters, the longest string since the 13 three-month periods that ended in March 1986 and the best performance among nations in the Group of Seven industrialized nations, which includes the U.S., Japan, Germany, the U.K., France, Canada and Italy.

The U.S. economy grew 3.6 percent in the 12 months ended in September. By comparison, only the economies of Japan and Canada exceeded 2 percent growth during the 12 months ended in June, according to the latest available data."

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000087&sid=a2Bc42y4q1e8&refer=top_world_news#

10/28/2005 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Peter UK said...

No Doug

10/28/2005 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger blert said...

The sanctions regime has to stand the test: What did we get for what we paid.

The US and Britain maintained no-fly zones at staggering expense.

Iraqi trade collapsed towards Saddam & Co. Its private sector went on life support. The regime now had total commercial control. Saddam’s victims were enslaved more than ever.

The UN was revealed headline by headline to be a rubber chicken; its diplomats absorbed in their own kabuki-vaudeville routine. ( The endings are always tragic-farce. )



All of this because Colin Powell couldn’t endure the visuals from the ‘highway of death’ running north out of Kuwait. He shied away from the prosecution of victory at the apex of Desert Storm and set in train all that has followed.

Saddam’s entourage would have very likely assassinated him upon the approach of the Coalition in 1991. Bush I would have been well pleased to leave the country in the hands of the repressive Sunnis with a modicum of stipulations.

The need to pursue the Republican Guards to the outskirts of Baghdad would have been explained away as necessary to find the rest of his newly revealed atomic program. ( It was surrendering Iraqi troops and technicians who revealed that he even had such a program; and only at the very end of the campaign.)

Running away from necessity only results in the imperative pursuing you.

10/28/2005 03:10:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Nice post, Blert.

Half the people in this country are clamoring the repeat that exact mistake, at even this late date.

We have three years, at least, it should be enough to firmly establish the benefits of an active defense.

10/28/2005 03:32:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Blert:
You sound like one of the small Cabal that was running everything.
(Duly elected and appointed officials like Cheney and Rummy)
SHAME!
Don't you know that Colin and his Dept are eternally blessed and empowered?
Thanks, Larry.

.Lawrence B. Wilkerson

10/28/2005 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"It takes firm leadership to preside over the bureaucracy. But it also takes a willingness to listen to dissenting opinions.
It requires leaders who can analyze, synthesize, ponder and decide.

The administration's performance during its first four years would have been even worse without Powell's damage control. At least once a week, it seemed, Powell trooped over to the Oval Office and cleaned all the dog poop off the carpet. He held a youthful, inexperienced president's hand. He told him everything would be all right because he, the secretary of State, would fix it.
And he did — everything from a serious crisis with China when a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft was struck by a Chinese F-8 fighter jet in April 2001, to the secretary's constant reassurances to European leaders following the bitter breach in relations over the Iraq war.
It wasn't enough, of course, but it helped.
"

10/28/2005 03:44:00 PM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Cutler, the train has left the station. Arguing over going to war with, or in, Iraq, is well, at least 2+ years too late, if not a full 14+. Sorry, the realists, internationalists, leftists, and all lost that argument a long time ago. From eco-catastrophes to WMD use to a trisection of Iraq and on, they have been wrong across the board, except in the most reaching cases of retro-prophecy, like Nostrodamus' 'scholars' reading couplets to decipher JFK's assasination.

And what is the realist, internationalist, leftist, whatever, solution to Iran, to N. Korea, to China and on? The neocons at least have the outlandish, the rest have a malingering impotence bordering on the pathetic.

10/28/2005 05:37:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Daniel Nexon wrote that Iraq was definitely not an imminent threat to America.If by imminent threat we mean a conventional threat ,that's true,but as an illegitimate state it still spawned assymetrical warfare.
Did Mohammed Atta meet with Iraqi agents in Prague?Maybe.Was Ramzi Yousef an Iraqi agent?He entered America using a passport taken from a slain Kuwaiti during the occupation.One of his co-conspirators in WTC attack#1 fled for refuge to Iraq.
I believe the whole blasted region presented and presents an imminent threat to the West.Like Peter in UK said,some dopes in the west don't get the severity of the threat we face.Iraq is a chance to try to remold it and crush some vipers in the process.

10/28/2005 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I really like this analysis by Roger Simon of the whole issue of WMD and how it's a red herring so let's just quit yammering about whether or not there were:

As the for the run-up to the war, in looking back I think it was a big game of charades that everybody understood. Despite what was said, the obvious US motivation was geo-political. We wanted the despot Saddam out of the Middle East and replaced by a democracy. The French and the Russians - never particularly interested in democracy in the first place - desperately wanted to keep their cash cow in office.

Everybody knew this, so the dreaded WMDs had to be emphasized in front of the UN. Never mind that whether Saddam had nuclear and other such weapons now or later was essentially irrelevant as long as he was in power and able to use them, never mind the supposedly missing weapons could be hidden at this moment in Syria, Lebanon or Iran (or even Iraq of course), never mind that there actually is a fledgling democracy in Iraq seemingly applauded by a vast majority of Iraqis, the weapons have been pronounced non-existent and the war a mistake.

Of course the real mistake was this emphasis on WMDs instead of a more honest declaration of the what the war was really about - democracy. On that score it hasn't fared that badly, all things considered. But still the focus must be kept on missing WMDs. The story behind the story is the forged Niger documents, which are currently under FBI investigation. Who knows where that will lead or how it will be spun?

http://www.rogerlsimon.com/mt-archives/2005/10/at_the_valerie.php

10/28/2005 07:15:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Superhawk - it's a form of Conservative.

Superhawks first and foremost protect and preserve America, in the world-loving belief that we represent the best chance for freedom for everybody.

Geek note: I can't find anything relevant on Google to 'superhawk' except motorcycles. I know it's not my imagination - when you look up a Conservative concept on Google these days, most of the Top Hits are Liberal disses of the Conservative Idea you are trying to look up.

10/28/2005 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
Probably just a momentary corruption of the "database."

One moment can lead to another.

Friend in college had the original (for US) SuperHawk 305cc.
Why I did not kill myself on that thing, no one knows.

10/28/2005 07:47:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Doug - it's more than a momentary corruption.

Google: "superhawk, Conservative"

Tell me if you get what you are searching for.

You get the opposite. See - now, that's not fair, that's a blatant offense against the fair flow and access of truth.

10/28/2005 08:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sure is a great business model though.
Hope someone comes up with a better "Desktop Search" and I'll take it immediately -
their bias keeps getting worse.

...new Desktop Search is much more invasive also, probably will auto update mine as soon as it gets out of beta.

10/28/2005 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Seriously, check it out.

It's a World Class Pity that Google is this compromised!

Google Search: superhawk, Conservative

10/28/2005 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

That is all probably true Verc. On the other hand, even though I sympathize with the frustration of fighting the same academic arguments over and over again, I still hesitate to lump all the opposition in one group, conflating their arguments. Because the same people are going to show up in the future, and their motivations are important. A realist, whose interests are in line with mine but disagrees with my methods, is someone I can work with. Now if they don't agree with my objectives, that's usually a different manner entirely.

10/28/2005 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Cutler said...

ugh "matter entirely..."

10/28/2005 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
I posted a neat clip of Bush kidding reporters about breakfast in Texas.
Classic Bush Humor,
But like you, I just tried
"Bush breakfast texas reporters"
and got a bunch of negative garbage.
WHAT SEARCH SITE DO YOU SUGGEST?
(I hate all the kid's stuff at Yahoo)
Will clik your hawk, wish me luck.

10/28/2005 09:55:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Tony,
I've said it before, but the "search this site" is now useless compared to perfect before.
...
Thus instead of contacting ex-dem somewhere else, I will make another off topic post. Sorry all.
---
Ex-Democrat,
If you're out there, check out this post on the Libby Indictment.
Sure you'd have something to contribute to the discussion.
Truepeers, Irons, Ballard and others contribute.

10/28/2005 10:33:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Wretchard,
I just tried "Search This Blog"
at another site and it worked just like it used to here.
---
Any Idea why it might not be working here?
...hasn't for months,
for me at least.

10/28/2005 10:40:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

A caller today on Limbaugh mentioned that the pardoned Marc Rich profited on OFF.
His speculation:
...and promptly funneled some more money to Hillary.

10/28/2005 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"The report also sharply criticizes BNP-Paribas, a Paris-based bank that managed billions of dollars in funds for the U.N. program, saying it had divided its ``loyalties'' by representing many of Iraq's major traders. The bank often disguised the role of its clients, including Marc Rich & Co. Investment, by using shell companies to trade with Iraq, according to the report.

The company, founded by Marc Rich, the billionaire oil trader who was pardoned by President Bill Clinton in 2000, allegedly paid kickbacks. The company has denied paying such bribes.

The Volcker report also says anti-sanctions activists and U.N. bureaucrats, including the former humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Hans Von Sponeck, made money from the program."
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/13018989.htm

10/28/2005 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Cutler, I sympathsize completely, but on the other hand, realists would do much better to state their positions according to the world as it is today instead of how they'd have it 2 years ago or whenever. A current solution to Iraq is untenable without a democratic modality and so, the realists seem handicapped at the start.

Besides I can't think of a single war in which the initial causus belli was held until the end. More often than not, the realpolitic became infused with morality by the end (Revolutionary War- started over tax rights, became war of independance; War of 1812, started over impressment, became war for New Orleans, sovereignty in the West, and the Indian question; the Mexican War, over southern border of Texas, became war for manifest destiny; Civil War, over the Union, became war to end slavery, and quite onwards).

The whole discussion is almost moot if it wasn't so tragic; the critics could be 100% right, but still, they lost by overwhelming majorities of the public when the arguments were heard. Hey, game over, fellas, you forfeited. Now, shut up and worry about next season.

10/28/2005 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

verc
it is always tomorrow or yesterday, somewhere.

JFKerry is the first of the Major Players to announce that the Iraq War WAS an error, in his judgement, and that after the December Election, in Iraq, we should begin to withdraw.

He does not have to fortitude to declare that we have met our operational goals and should depart with banners flying in Victory, bet he is leaving that stance to be taken by Ms Hillary.

Funny, I posted that this would be the Dems play, back in April, I believe.

10/29/2005 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Victor D Hanson has written another short piece about the General State of Affairs, both in the US and abroad. He sums up the situation this way...

"... The odd thing is that so far the conventional advice to the president — keep the discussion on Iraq only to U.S. national security, not the upheaval of the existing corrupt order; reach out to the Democratic Senate; curb your idealistic rhetoric with Syria or Iran; ignore shrill enemies; nominate someone that the opposition will not seriously object to — has only emboldened critics here and abroad. It is time to go back on the offensive, both for the idealistic legacy of the Bush presidency and the immediate future of his ideas in the upcoming 2006 elections. The American people, both pro and con, are more than ready for a great debate to settle these issues one way or another. ..."
VDH Private Papers

Again, a wise man articulates my thoughts. Lucky for me.

10/29/2005 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Well, rat, for what it's worth, I also believe we should begin a phased withdrawal (contigent on the success of operations along the Euphrates, and of concrete milestones, not dates/other arbitrary measures) by December and next August at the latest. I only suggest that because Iraqi troops appear at least sufficient to keep order and smaller units of American forces appear more strongly suited to fight terrorism than larger ones.

Also the logical reductio of fighting a war through the media is to fight a war against the media when your side begins to lose, like at the Palestine hotel. So if we have a bare minimum of operators in Iraq, backed by air support from bases around the region, the US will bleed a hell of a lot less, which means the newspapers will lede a lot less, which means that the insurgents will be put in a very very hard spot without leverage to affect US public opinion.

On the other hand, JFnKerry, Blue Falcon-in-Chief, makes pretty much the opposite argument for withdrawal (winning is 'impossible' anyways; why, oh why, do the camel-buggering head-liberators hate us? It's because we're such big meanies in not dropping everything fast enough to give them their 7th century paradise... /rant off). Hey, if the revisionists want to fight the battles we already fought, they can A) pack sand and B) see A.

10/29/2005 07:15:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

I think that withdrawl comes with Victory. That will be achieved with the Elections. The Whereas's of the Authorization, fulfilled.
The level of internal violence in Iraq is an Iraqi matter, not one requiring major US activity.
The number of "outside" agitators in Iraq is very minimal, well under 10,000, closer I think to 5,000. They do not require a major US presence to combat, but are better dealt with by the Iraqis, themselves.
I hear no calls for a US military presence in India, although aQ struck New Dehli with three coordinated satchel charge attacks, earlier today.

10/29/2005 07:43:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

It could be an interesting political debate, as VDH says, both sides favor withdrawl, one while claiming Defeat while the other will be announcing "Mission Accomplished".
Whose Goal Posts will the US Public choose?
My bet is on the "Strong Horse"

BTW where oh where is Osama, today?

10/29/2005 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger gmat said...

Superhawks, such as Codevilla and Helprin, do NOT believe the american way is the best hope for the arab, and other, people of the world. They could care less what form of governance prevails outside the US, as long as the various regimes understand what is required of them (don't export islamist violence, and don't mess with the enrgy supply), and what the consequences are for not delivering the requirements (death of the regime).

As far as I'm concerned, the superhawks still present the most realistic, and cost-effective, solution to radical islamism. As Mubarek (who knows a thing or two about dealing with islamist nutballs) has said, The arabs, if properly motivated, are much better suited than anyone else for dealing with arab insurgents.

10/29/2005 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I will make another off topic post. Sorry all.


If you are honestly sorry, you won't do it again.

Why do I think you'll do it again?

10/29/2005 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Vercingetorix said...

Gmat, the Superhawks don't actually present much of a solution at all to the problems of stability and the defeat of Islamicists. Their empathsis on ignoring the exercise of civic order, on what form of state exists in the world is precisely blind to both the character and the countermeasure of radical Islam, at least. It is one part religion, one part philosophy and one part politics, and as such cannot be defeated purely by bullets from the Secret police.

It is precisely the weakness of autocracies that had Saddam Hussein, and the region at large going from secular tyrannies to Islamist ones within a generation. So the question is not an 'if' Islamists will transform the region and depose the autocrats, but when. Once the inevitability of the fall of the tyrants becomes established, however prolonged, parliamentarianism is the only system that possesses even a chance to fight the Islamist threat, because it is the only option. The tryannies are hollow, devoid of political support at any level and will transform themselves to whatever deformed civic character that they have inflicted upon the people in the bargain. The Superhawks are quite wrong to appreciate the fairness of a mask and dismiss the horror behind the masquerade.

10/29/2005 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

The timing of the New Delhi attacks is probably meant as a message to the Hindus. They're celebrating Deepavali, or Divali, "Festival of Lights" in two days.

The story behind that festival is fascinating. Would that more tyrants be as enlightened as Narakasura at the end...

And I have no doubt that with the attacks, the leftists will stop their bleating cries of "Why do they hate us?"

/sarcasm

10/29/2005 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Ralf said...

Interesting that the article would name DaimlerChrysler first, considering the sum in question


The report named Daimler Chrysler for having "knowingly made or caused to be made a kickback payment of approximately $7,134."

The report said the payment was known to at least one managerial-level person working for the company in Germany.

The company issued as statement saying it was aware of the report and "in light of ongoing investigations" had no comment.

Volcker cautioned that just because a company's individual contract was identified as the subject of an illicit payment "doesn't necessarily mean that company made, authorized or even knew about the illicit payment."

10/29/2005 11:43:00 AM  

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