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  #1  
Old 10-23-2005, 05:56 PM
Lynwood Slim Lynwood Slim is offline
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Which leading Democrats also thought Saddam had WMD programs?

This is really a just a question, but it will predictably turn into a debate, so I thought I would put it here to begin with.

I am one of those who believes that the Bush Admin. did not lie, that is, purposely tell what it knew to another to persuade of this untruth, with the added moral dimension -- to bring harm upon the one being persuaded.

I believe the Bush administration honestly believed that Saddam had chemical weapons, and had nuclear and biological programs. The adminstration may have been mistaken, but I don't believe they lied or purposively misled.

Does anyone know of a good source that lists what leading Democrats said and did during the final buildup toward war ? Didn't most agree with Bush? Didn't leading Democrats sit on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, with their own access to intelligence estimates? If they thought Bush was spinning it wrong, did they publicize this?

I am looking for facts and sources, in my debate with others.

thanks.
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:24 PM
XT XT is offline
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Off the top of my head I can think of a few Dems who believed the data. I'll let others go into that if they want. I'll just post this from Factcheck.org that talks to some of what you are asking.

-XT
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  #3  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:42 PM
Squink Squink is offline
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Quote:
leading Democrats sit on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, with their own access to intelligence estimates...
Pre- or post cooking?
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:43 PM
jshore jshore is offline
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I suggest that you look in this thread where we explained exactly what aspects the Bush Administration lied about. Everyone has their favorite whopper. For some, it is the aluminum tubes for centrifuges, for some it is the attempts to buy uranium from Niger, for some it is the supposed significant connections between Iraq and al Qaeda.

For me, the biggest was the Administration pretending that they were really concerned with the scenario that WMDs could end up in the hands of terrorists, and then doing hardly anything during the invasion to prevent that from becoming vastly more likely. (Thus exposing themselves as either complete liars or completely and utterly incompetent to a degree that is beyond my ability to fathom.) A close second is failing to admit what the inspectors were rapidly discovering...which is that the U.S. intelligence concerning suspected WMD sites was complete and utter garbage.
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  #5  
Old 10-23-2005, 06:56 PM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Look on Senate and House web sites to see who voted for H. J. RES. 114, October 10, 2002.
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2005, 07:12 PM
jshore jshore is offline
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John: I am not sure exactly what that proves. That was a vote on a resolution whose purpose President Bush claimed was to help him keep the peace (by getting the inspectors into Iraq so we could find out what weapons Saddam did have, etc.). It was never meant to be a blank check for war...although some of us were smart enough to know on the basis of Bush's previous lies that he had no intention of pulling up short of war.
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2005, 07:22 PM
jshore jshore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynwood Slim
Didn't leading Democrats sit on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, with their own access to intelligence estimates? If they thought Bush was spinning it wrong, did they publicize this?
By the way, I am pretty sure that even those on the intelligence committees don't have access to everything the President has access to. For example, I don't believe that they were privy to the full story about what those in the government believed in regards to the aluminum tubes. But, feel free to correct me if you can show otherwise.

Quote:
I believe the Bush administration honestly believed that Saddam had chemical weapons, and had nuclear and biological programs.
If they believed that Saddam had nuclear programs then they believed this in what I believe to be direct contradiction to what the IAEA had determined. I think it is probable that they believed that they would find something in the chemical or biological category that they could hold up to show the world in ex post facto justification for the invasion. However, as I noted, any belief that they thought these weapons constituted a real threat runs headlong into the fact that they apparently didn't seem to think it any sort of priority to prevent such weapons from ending up in the hands of any Tom, Dick, or Harry who would be likely be willing to sell them to terrorists are bargain-basement prices. (You may recall that the Administration was already doing a good job of lowering the bar during and after the invasion so that all of a sudden these dramatic scenarios of huge stockpiles and such that had been talked about pre-war were replaced by the idea that any biological or chemical agent found anywhere would constitute a "smoking gun".)
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  #8  
Old 10-23-2005, 07:34 PM
XT XT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshore
By the way, I am pretty sure that even those on the intelligence committees don't have access to everything the President has access to. For example, I don't believe that they were privy to the full story about what those in the government believed in regards to the aluminum tubes. But, feel free to correct me if you can show otherwise.
Actually, lets do that the other way since you made the statement. I've seen this argued back and forth in myriad Iraq threads but never seen anything definitive on it. So, do you have a cite that the folks on the intelligence committees/subcommittees don't have access to the same info as the president? My understanding of the government is that the president is required to share ALL information with at least representitives of the Senate/Congress.

I don't know the answer to this myself btw so thats why I'm asking for a cite.

-XT
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  #9  
Old 10-23-2005, 08:01 PM
Hamlet Hamlet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynwood Slim
The adminstration may have been mistaken, but I don't believe they lied or purposively misled.
Whew! I'm sure the 2,000 dead American soldiers, their families, and the untold numbers of dead Iraqs, not to mention the maimed, injured, and tortured, and the victims of terrorism yet to come feel MUCH better now. "I'm not a liar, I'm fucking incompetent!" is a helluva rallying cry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynwood Slim
If they thought Bush was spinning it wrong, did they publicize this?
I seem to remember a great deal of discussion regarding the validity of the intelligence that the Bush administration relied on, and their ignoring of intelligence counter to their desired goal of invading Iraq. I also remember a great deal of people who, while they may have supported the idea of war, wanted to give the UN inspectors, and the international community, more time to determine the validity of the information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynwood Slim
I am looking for facts and sources, in my debate with others.
A small place to start
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2005, 08:14 PM
jshore jshore is offline
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xtisme: I don't know exactly what the facts are on who gets what but I seem to recall someone high in the Kerry campaign saying that the Senators do not have access to the same degree as the President...and I don't seem to recall that point being seriously disputed. The closest I could find is a description of Senator Graham of Florida making a similar point here:

Quote:
Then Graham said Bush had more intelligence about Iraq than Kerry or any senator and that Bush had "cherry-picked" the intelligence on Iraq. Graham even worked in the information that Bush received intelligence about bin Laden's plans to attack the US that the Senate Intelligence Committee (on which Graham and Kerry sit) didn't. Graham then added that had the senators had access to the same intelligence as Bush, 9/11 might have been averted.
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  #11  
Old 10-23-2005, 08:16 PM
Revtim Revtim is offline
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I have no cite, but I seem to recall many tu quoque defenses of Bush that consisted of Clinton quotes that indicated he also thought Iraq had WMDs.
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  #12  
Old 10-23-2005, 09:15 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revtim
I have no cite, but I seem to recall many tu quoque defenses of Bush that consisted of Clinton quotes that indicated he also thought Iraq had WMDs.
I was under the impression that the Clinton administration's conclusion was more along the lines of "yeah, he's probably got quite a few stashed away somewhere. I'd be surprised as hell if he didn't."

Bush came out and said "I've got definite evidence that shows he has them."
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  #13  
Old 10-23-2005, 09:35 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Wow, a straw man right in the subject line.

The issue isn't "Bush believed Saddam had WMDs" - the issue is "Bush stated he had evidence that Saddam had WMDs".

You'll probably find a lot of people, many Democrats, who believed in Saddam's weapon programs. But I doubt you'll find anyone outside of the Bush administration and its informants who will claim they had actual evidence of the production and existence of WMDs.

Rational people realize there's a difference between opinions and evidence or beliefs and facts.
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  #14  
Old 10-23-2005, 10:43 PM
David Simmons David Simmons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshore
xtisme: I don't know exactly what the facts are on who gets what but I seem to recall someone high in the Kerry campaign saying that the Senators do not have access to the same degree as the President...and I don't seem to recall that point being seriously disputed. The closest I could find is a description of Senator Graham of Florida making a similar point here:
The congress doesn't necessarily have the same access to all intelligence data that the President has. However, when members of the intelligence community are called into top secret session with selected members of the congressional intelligence committee they are bound by law to tell the whole truth when questioned. And congress can be quite severe with those who equivocate, hedge and hem and haw in such circumstances.
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  #15  
Old 10-23-2005, 10:47 PM
andros andros is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo
The issue isn't "Bush believed Saddam had WMDs" - the issue is "Bush stated he had evidence that Saddam had WMDs".
Just thought that needed to be repeated.
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  #16  
Old 10-23-2005, 11:15 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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Quote:
And congress can be quite severe with those who equivocate, hedge and hem and haw in such circumstances.
Provided the sources are not affiliated with the majority party, of course.
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  #17  
Old 10-24-2005, 12:06 AM
David Simmons David Simmons is offline
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Originally Posted by tomndebb
Provided the sources are not affiliated with the majority party, of course.
The Congress really dropped the ball, especially the minority party. Minority party members of committees have the same power to ask questions and demand answers as do majority members. And if the chairman interferes they have the power to go public with a report of that interferance. I believe that the Democrats were cowardly in that they were afraid of being called "pro-terrorist" and simply went along. It will be some time before I'll trust them again. I don't see how then can expect to govern if they won't stand up and demand that going to war be justified from A to Z and back again. I've got to admit that really doesn't leave me with anybody I trust to govern. The Republicans have wholeheartedly backed an incompetent and Democrats are a bunch of ditherers.

Life's a bitch and then you die.

It's always darkest before the dawn.

Any other hackneyed saws to help me out?

Of course as jshore said in this post, the resolution authorising GW to act was presented as a means to pressure Sadaam into coming clean. Or what GW claimed would be coming clean about those awful weapons he had. It's tragic that GW didn't mean it and that the Democrats though he was honest.
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  #18  
Old 10-24-2005, 12:50 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshore
John: I am not sure exactly what that proves. That was a vote on a resolution whose purpose President Bush claimed was to help him keep the peace (by getting the inspectors into Iraq so we could find out what weapons Saddam did have, etc.). It was never meant to be a blank check for war...although some of us were smart enough to know on the basis of Bush's previous lies that he had no intention of pulling up short of war.
I didn't say it was a blank check for war. The title of this thread is "which leading Democrats thought Saddam had WMD". Presumably, those who voted for the resolution thought he did.
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  #19  
Old 10-24-2005, 12:57 AM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
I didn't say it was a blank check for war. The title of this thread is "which leading Democrats thought Saddam had WMD". Presumably, those who voted for the resolution thought he did.
The issue is not which Democrats (or Republicans or Administration members) thought Saddam had WMDs a year before the war. The issue is what was the evidence at the time of the invasion. That the significant UN inspection effort turned up nothing, which made Bush not hold until the evidence was clear but rather invade on schedule, shows he was either lying or was aggressively making sure he didn't see the truth. Though the kind of president who didn't know anyone was suffering in Louisiana until aides made a DVD is beyond belief.
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  #20  
Old 10-24-2005, 01:02 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
The issue is not which Democrats (or Republicans or Administration members) thought Saddam had WMDs a year before the war.
How do you figure that? Read the thread title.

The OP further states:

Quote:
Does anyone know of a good source that lists what leading Democrats said and did during the final buildup toward war ?
I think Oct '02 counts as the "final buildup towards the war".
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  #21  
Old 10-24-2005, 01:15 AM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
How do you figure that? Read the thread title.
Just saying this is totally immaterial. I've heard the "Democrats believed it too" argument over and over, and it is total bullshit.



Quote:

I think Oct '02 counts as the "final buildup towards the war".
Hardly. The inspections were not very far along. The threat of force to encourage Saddam to allow the inspections was perfectly appropriate, IMO, and Bush actually did a good job in setting the stage to allow them to go forward. Reacting to the lack of results with an invasion was not. What do you suppose the vote would have been if one of the items of the motion was that the failure to find WMDs was cause for an invasion?
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  #22  
Old 10-24-2005, 01:53 AM
Zoe Zoe is offline
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Quote:
Voyager: I've heard the "Democrats believed it too" argument over and over, and it is total bullshit.
Voyager, you and I recall the situation differently. I am a Democrat and a good many of us, if not the majority, believed that Saddam probably did have WMD -- especially biological weapons.

Our fears were more easily manipulated during that time period. Colin Powell went before the U.N. and showed us where weapons were being stored. This was a man we trusted. We had no way of knowing then that he had his doubts.

Many of us were against the war in spite of believing that there really were WMD.

YMMV
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  #23  
Old 10-24-2005, 02:50 AM
rjung rjung is offline
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A difference should be drawn between "Saddam had WMDs" (which means any quantity greater than zero is acceptable) and "Saddam had enough WMDs to pose a significant threat to the United States." It is possible to believe in the former but not the latter; yet the latter was what was touted by the Bush Administration in the rush for war.
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  #24  
Old 10-24-2005, 03:20 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Quote:
How do you figure that? Read the thread title.
The issue is that the OP is attempted to imply that the Democrats who believed the WMDs existed were just as wrong as the President was and that it's therefore unfair to condemn the President without condemning the Democrats as well.

Bus as I said before this is a straw man argument. Congress did not have the opportunity to directly review and evaluate the evidence of Iraqi weapon production. It has to rely on second hand reports from other sources. The President on the other hand has direct access to American intelligence reports - he had the ability to directly confirm or rebut the belief that Iraq was manufacturing WMDs. He said he had done this and told Congress this. The Congressmen, Democrat and Republican, who believed Saddam had WMDs did so because George Bush said it was true. Their decision was based on their trust of the President not on any direct knowlege of the situation.

The OP then went on to a semantic discussion on what a "lie" is. This is the same kind of thing President Clinton was reviled for when he attempted simular evasions. The facts are President Bush was wrong - even he has since stated that there were no WMDs in Iraq at the time he said there were. So the two options are that he was lying or he was incompetent. Admittedly, we don't yet know which of these is true.
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  #25  
Old 10-24-2005, 05:33 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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One supposes that most leading Democrats thought that Saddam had WMD. But this is irrelevant. The point is the Democrats weren't sending people off to die to find out. There's a difference between believing that Long John Silver buried his treasure under the Senate floor and actually digging for it.
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  #26  
Old 10-24-2005, 05:56 AM
David Simmons David Simmons is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem
One supposes that most leading Democrats thought that Saddam had WMD. But this is irrelevant. The point is the Democrats weren't sending people off to die to find out. There's a difference between believing that Long John Silver buried his treasure under the Senate floor and actually digging for it.
Or in selling shares to the public for an enterprise to fit out a ship to go dig for it.
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  #27  
Old 10-24-2005, 06:35 AM
scotandrsn scotandrsn is offline
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To answer the OP's question directly, for a refreshing change, on yesterday's "Meet the Press", Tim Russert asked Charles Schumer (D-NY) if he regretted voting in favor of the war. Shumer replied a straight "No", and even went so far as to link his continued confidence in his vote to the fight against terror. I also seem to recall that he believed in the existence of WMDs.
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  #28  
Old 10-24-2005, 06:47 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynwood Slim
I am one of those who believes that the Bush Admin. did not lie, that is, purposely tell what it knew to another to persuade of this untruth, with the added moral dimension -- to bring harm upon the one being persuaded.
Wow--this is a fairly restrictive definition of a lie. It's also a little garbled, so let me see if I understand it. For you, a lie must:
1) Consist of an untruth
2) Purposely told to someone else
3) With the intention of bringing harm to the person to whom the lie is told.

I agree with the first two criteria, but the third one is totally new to me. If I falsely say, "Yes, your Honor, I saw Mr. Smith stab the defendant!" I am trying to bring harm to Mr. Smith, not to the judge; as such, it doesn't meet your third criterion. Would you seriously argue that this isn't a lie?

Would you argue that the concept of a white lie is incoherent--that saying, "My, this cake is delicious!" is not a lie, since nobody is harmed by it?*

I think that the thread that Jshore linked to sets forth a strong argument that:
1) Bush told a falsehood
2) With the intention of deceiving the audience
3) And which ended up causing harm to people (albeit not necessarily to his audience).

And I think that easily satisfies any reasonable criteria for a lie.

Even if we go with your definition, the fact that his audience is now seeing their children be killed overseas and their national debt skyrocket to pay for the war probably satisfies your "harm" criterion. I just don't think that's a reasonable one.

Daniel

* Anxiously awaiting the pedants who will argue that the baker will end up harming other people by not hearing good criticism of his baking skills and foisting inedible cakes on future victims: please please please correct me on this point!
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  #29  
Old 10-24-2005, 07:40 AM
yojimbo yojimbo is offline
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Hell, some leading Republicans didn't think it until it suited the Admin.

Pre 9/11, Powell and Rice said that Iraq wasn't a risk. From everything I've read and watched over the last years I'm convinced that the only thing that changed was the politics of the situation and not the facts on the ground.

Quote:
Colin Powell
"He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours."
Quote:
Condoleezza Rice
Saddam does not control the northern part of the country," she said. "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."
http://www.informationclearinghouse....rticle6456.htm

A small video of them making the statements is included in the link.

The ex-British foreign secretary Robin Cook resigned over the Iraq war. He couldn't be part of a government that was pushing for the Iraq War. After all the information that he would have saw as part of his job he had this to say
Quote:
Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term - namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target.

It probably still has biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions, but it has had them since the 1980s when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents and the then British Government approved chemical and munitions factories.

Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years, and which we helped to create?

Why is it necessary to resort to war this week, while Saddam's ambition to complete his weapons programme is blocked by the presence of UN inspectors?
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  #30  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:03 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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The short answer to the question in the title is "pretty much all of them". Which was one of their problems in the 2004 elections.

It is pretty difficult to sell the position "it's not a lie when I say it, or Hilary says it, or Kerry says it, or Edwards says it. It's only a lie when Bush says it." And saying "it only counts when you take military action in Iraq based on it" is an even tougher sell, because it leads back into Clinton's major problems with the truth, and the unfortunate tendency of Democrats to buy it from Clinton and angrily reject it from Bush.

Which is why so many responses to this thread are attempts to change the subject.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #31  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:08 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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So in Shodanesque logic, we have this:

1- Clinton thought that Iraq had WMD. He did not invade. Nobody died.

2- Bush thought that Iraq had WMD. He invaded. 2,000 Americans and counting plus tens of thousands of Iraqis died.

3- Existence of (1) is justification for (2).
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  #32  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:13 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
It is pretty difficult to sell the position "it's not a lie when I say it, or Hilary says it, or Kerry says it, or Edwards says it. It's only a lie when Bush says it."
Who, exactly, is selling that position? I've laid out specific statements by Bush that I consider to be lies, with the reasoning behind them. None of them are "Bush said Iraq has WMDs, and they don't, ergo, lielielie!" If you think that Clinton et al told a lie, put up or shut up: give us the specific statements they made that were lies, along with your proof that their statements were falsehoods told wtih th eintent of deceiving the public.

Danile
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  #33  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:17 AM
yojimbo yojimbo is offline
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Sorry I should have given a link to Cook's resignation speech
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  #34  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:34 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobLibDem
So in Shodanesque logic, we have this:

1- Clinton thought that Iraq had WMD. He did not invade. Nobody died.
Nobody died when Clinton fired off missiles at Iraq? Wow, Clinton was even more militarily incompetent than I thought.

Actually, in Shodanesque logic, we have this:
  • Clinton stated publicly that Saddam had WMD.
  • He fired off missiles at Iraq, killing Iraqis.
  • However, Clinton was lying (as usual). He did not fire off the missiles because he gave a tinker's dam about WMD. He was trying to avoid impeachment.
  • It didn't work, he was impeached anyway. Therefore, there was no point in his continuing to kill Iraqis as a way of dealing with his political problems, so he stopped.
In other words, Clinton's motive in bombing Iraq was venal and dishonest in a way that Bush's is not. Clinton's actions were entirely self-serving, and not based on any real concern for nuclear proliferation or other WMD.

Bush's actions were based on a sincere belief in the threat posed by Iraq; Clinton's on a sincere belief that he could use the powers of his office to avoid the consequence of his actions.

We've gone over this before, and it never does any good. Too many Dopers reflexively support Democrats and reflexively oppose Republicans, no matter what the circumstances.

:shrugs:

If Clinton had invaded, y'all would be arguing just as hard in favor of the Iraq war as you are now opposing it. Purely a question of whose ox is being gored.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #35  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:37 AM
yojimbo yojimbo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
We've gone over this before, and it never does any good. Too many Dopers reflexively support Democrats and reflexively oppose Republicans, no matter what the circumstances.
The hypocrisy, it burns.

Quote:
If Clinton had invaded, y'all would be arguing just as hard in favour of the Iraq war as you are now opposing it. Purely a question of whose ox is being gored.
While there is no question that people like you exist on both sides I highly doubt the majority of people are. In fact I've seen a lot of supporters change their minds as more info has filtered out over the years.
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  #36  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:43 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
Actually, in Shodanesque logic, we have this:[list][*]Clinton stated publicly that Saddam had WMD.[*]He fired off missiles at Iraq, killing Iraqis. [*]However, Clinton was lying (as usual). He did not fire off the missiles because he gave a tinker's dam about WMD. He was trying to avoid impeachment.
And your proof of this is...?

I've harshly criticized Clinton for his missile attacks on Sudan, and I would love to see him brought up on criminal charges for them. However, I hold presidents to a higher standard in this regard than most folks do; by my standards, every president since Reagan (and probably before) would be serving life sentences.

Again, we've offered specific cases in which Bush lied, in the linked thread. You've not offered a specific case in which Clinton lied. The only double standard around here is yours, in which you require unattainable evidence to accuse Bush but are willing to convict Clinton on a hunch.

Once more, if you've got this evidence of a Clinton lie about military matters that is analogous to Bush's referenced lies, put up or shut up. Bloviating generalities are unhelpful.

Daniel
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  #37  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:44 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
However, Clinton was lying (as usual). He did not fire off the missiles because he gave a tinker's dam about WMD. He was trying to avoid impeachment.
Cite? From anybody actually involved in the decision, that is - except of course Clarke, who doesn't say what you wish he said?

Quote:
Bush's actions were based on a sincere belief in the threat posed by Iraq
Cite for that too, while you're at it.

Quote:
If Clinton had invaded, y'all would be arguing just as hard in favor of the Iraq war as you are now opposing it.
Bullshit, and insulting bullshit at that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
Regards,
And so is that.
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  #38  
Old 10-24-2005, 08:47 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness
I've harshly criticized Clinton for his missile attacks on Sudan
I want to add that I harshly criticized him for his early missile-killings of eight Iraq civilians, in revenge for rumors about an assassination attempt against Bush the Elder. These, I believe, ought to qualify him for a murder trial. Don't be telling me that I would have supported a Clinton invasion: not all of us are unthinking partisans, Shodan.

Daniel
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  #39  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:06 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Originally Posted by Voyager
Just saying this is totally immaterial. I've heard the "Democrats believed it too" argument over and over, and it is total bullshit.
Immaterial to what? The OP is not asking how many Democrats wanted to go to war with Iraq, he asked how many thought Saddam had WMDs. Some of you guys just can't distinguish the difference. Hell, I thought Saddam had WMDs, and I didn't want to go to war.

Here's one for you. How many Democrats who voted for that resolution have come out and said they wish they hadn't? During the camapaign, if fact, Kerry said he'd do it over again even knowing what he knew now.
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  #40  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:17 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace
Immaterial to what? The OP is not asking how many Democrats wanted to go to war with Iraq, he asked how many thought Saddam had WMDs. Some of you guys just can't distinguish the difference. Hell, I thought Saddam had WMDs, and I didn't want to go to war.

Here's one for you. How many Democrats who voted for that resolution have come out and said they wish they hadn't? During the camapaign, if fact, Kerry said he'd do it over again even knowing what he knew now.
You're right that folks aren't really discussing the question he asked. That question was answered pretty thoroughly in posts 5 and 9, and I'm not seeing that anyone disagrees with those answers. However, this is Great Debates, and it's legitimate to debate whether the OP is asking the most relevant question here. I believe that he is not.

And I agree that many Democrats are afraid to admit they made a mistake. They don't want to look weak or gullible, and so they won't give mea culpas*. This is disgraceful. Obviously, some of them do believe that the war was the right thing; but I have trouble believing that they're all taking a principled stand.

Daniel

* Correct my Latin and I'll smack you.
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  #41  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:20 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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To that last, before you get answers, are you clear about what the resolution approved? Hell, if I'd been a Senator, I'd have voted for it myself, and I still would. In hindsight, I'd have put forth a lot more effort to make sure Bush followed it instead of starting a war, though.
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  #42  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:44 AM
jshore jshore is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness
That question was answered pretty thoroughly in posts 5 and 9, and I'm not seeing that anyone disagrees with those answers.
Well, technically-speaking, I don't think that #5 (the vote on the resolution) directly addresses who thought Saddam had WMD programs. I would say it more addresses who thought he might have such programs and that it was important enough to try to determine the extent to which this was true by getting inspectors in there. (And, yes, in some cases, I think it reflected some Democrats who probably didn't think it was so vitally important to get inspectors in there but still voted that way for political cover...not wanting to look "soft" at a time still pretty shortly after 9/11. There is no doubt that politically the resolution was a brilliant move by the Administration that put many Democrats in a no-win position.)

Quote:
And I agree that many Democrats are afraid to admit they made a mistake. They don't want to look weak or gullible, and so they won't give mea culpas*. This is disgraceful. Obviously, some of them do believe that the war was the right thing; but I have trouble believing that they're all taking a principled stand.
I agree to a point. But, I also think that some Democrat Senators like Kerry, Schumer, and Clinton are arguing that they felt it was the right decision to vote for the resolution to get the inspectors in there, etc. but it was the wrong decision for Bush to rush to war, particularly after the inspections were exposing the fact that what the U.S. intelligence thought we knew was complete and utter crap. (Clinton has also explained how she thought it is generally right in principle to give the President this sort of freedom of action when he believes that he requires it.)

I think this is a logically-defensible position even if my own opinion is that they should have never voted for the resolution in the first place (at least in part because it should have been clear to anyone by October 2002 that this Administration was taking lies and deception to new heights and that there was no evidence that Bush's stated motivations were his real ones and that he would really try to avoid going to war).

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
Immaterial to what? The OP is not asking how many Democrats wanted to go to war with Iraq, he asked how many thought Saddam had WMDs. Some of you guys just can't distinguish the difference. Hell, I thought Saddam had WMDs, and I didn't want to go to war.
John, the point is that the next line that people like the OP invariably come up with (and that the OP in fact did in his first post) is "The adminstration may have been mistaken, but I don't believe they lied or purposively misled." And, our point is that this is not a correct conclusion for the wide variety of reasons that we have discussed both in this thread and in the other thread that I linked to.

So, in answer to your question, I would say it is basically immaterial to the rest of what the OP said in his post.
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  #43  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:53 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness
Once more, if you've got this evidence of a Clinton lie about military matters that is analogous to Bush's referenced lies, put up or shut up. Bloviating generalities are unhelpful.
You want a cite that Clinton said that Saddam had WMD?

I've done that in other threads. Here is it again for you to disregard. Here's where we trigger a whole slew of "that doesn't count! BUSHLIEDBUSHLIEDBUSHLIEDBUSHLIED" in increasingly shrill voices.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yojimbo
In fact I've seen a lot of supporters change their minds as more info has filtered out over the years.
And I have never seen a convinced Bush-hater change his mind about anything. Go figure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvsL1ves
Quote:
If Clinton had invaded, y'all would be arguing just as hard in favor of the Iraq war as you are now opposing it.
Bullshit, and insulting bullshit at that.
Nope, it is entirely true, especially in your case. And you are by no means alone on the SDMB.

Look, you need to understand something. You know all that crap y'all pitch about lockstep, mindless drones supporting the President, and "drink the Kool-aid", and getting your thinking entirely from blogs? That's you folks, except from the other side of the aisle. A good big chunk of you people are the very definition of knee-jerk liberal.

Obviously ElvisL1ves is one of the worst examples, but it is a darn close race for second place.

It's a faith issue, like creationism. And like creationists, you get a whole bunch of selective perception and double standards, and always in the direction of confirming what you assumed in the first place.

It's just that I've learned over the years when to tell which subjects trigger the group think. That's when all the hard-boiled skeptics start taking cites from the National fucking Enquirer as gospel, and seriously discussing how Bush is planning to cancel the elections and rule as a dictator, and invading Canada and assassinating people who leak stuff, and all that kind of thing. I mean, come on.

Some of the discussion hereabouts is informed and enlightening. The rest - isn't. And the volume of the argument has no effect on the credibility of the poster.

It's a shame so many of you are lockstep liberals, but you are. That's just how it is. It ain't under my control, so it ain't my fault. You don't like it?

Not my problem. I paid my $7.98, and I get some of my money's worth by giggiling condescendingly at the some of the bullshit laid on so lavishly by a good number of the Usual Suspects. Deal with it.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #44  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:01 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
You want a cite that Clinton said that Saddam had WMD?

I've done that in other threads. Here is it again for you to disregard. Here's where we trigger a whole slew of "that doesn't count! BUSHLIEDBUSHLIEDBUSHLIEDBUSHLIED" in increasingly shrill voices.
No, here's where we trigger more rolled eyes. I didn't ask for a cite that Clinton said that Saddam had WMD, and you know that. I asked for a cite that he lied. I put forth my own standards above: he had to tell a falsehood in an intent to deceive the audience. Linking to a speech does not prove that he lied.

If you want to offer proof, you need to show:
1) A falsehood; and
2) An intent to deceive the audience.

If you believe the speech you linked to contains both a falsehood and an intent to deceive, offer specifics: the specific falsehood, and the evidence of an intent to deceive.

I've got no particular interest in defending Clinton against charges of lying: I think he probably lied about his reasons for bombing the factory in Sudan, although I don't know enough about the case to argue that persuasively. But if you want to claim he lied, you need to make the case, not throw out a single link and then accuse everyone else of talking like a girl.

Daniel
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  #45  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:05 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Originally Posted by jshore
Well, technically-speaking, I don't think that #5 (the vote on the resolution) directly addresses who thought Saddam had WMD programs. I would say it more addresses who thought he might have such programs and that it was important enough to try to determine the extent to which this was true by getting inspectors in there.
Nope. From the resolution (my emphasis):

Quote:
Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations...
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  #46  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:06 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan
I get some of my money's worth by giggiling condescendingly
If I may add, any idiot can giggle condescendingly, and often the loudest gigglers are the biggest idiots. One of the most condescending critters I know is my pet cat, and she's dumb as a box of rocks. Don't think your condescension is remotely relevant to the force of your argument.

Daniel
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  #47  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:16 AM
jshore jshore is offline
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Originally Posted by Shodan
I've done that in other threads. Here is it again for you to disregard.
It is worth noting that nearly all if not all the ways in which Clinton listed in that speech that Saddam was not complying with the inspection process, he was basically complying in the new inspection regime in the months leading up to the war.

On the other hand, given what we now know regarding the truth of Saddam's claims that the inspectors were being used to spy on him back in 1998, I do not see how Clinton's actions were defensible.

So, yes, I condemn Clinton for taking those actions. However, the scale of those actions did not result in the massive loss of Iraqi lives, the large casualties for American soldiers, the broad inflaming of anti-American sentiment, and the huge quagmire that we currently find ourselve in as a result of Bush's war. Therefore, while I think this action was unjustified and condemnable, it is simply not on the same scale as what Bush has done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan
In other words, Clinton's motive in bombing Iraq was venal and dishonest in a way that Bush's is not. Clinton's actions were entirely self-serving, and not based on any real concern for nuclear proliferation or other WMD.
I am quite impressed, Shodan, at your ability to discern both the vileness of Clinton's intentions and the pure nobility of Bush's actions (despite the mounds of evidence that we have presented to the contrary...I guess you fall into the category who just think Bush must have just been grossly incompetent in not doing much of anything to prevent any WMD that might have existed from falling into the hands of terrorists).

But, of course, we are all to understand that this is not due to any partisanship on dear Shodan's part. It is merely his superior mind-reading skills at work.
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  #48  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:22 AM
jshore jshore is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace
Nope. From the resolution (my emphasis):
John: I hope you are aware that in deciding to vote for a particular piece of legislation, one sometimes has to choose to vote for it in spite of the fact that one doesn't completely agree with every word of it...particularly if you agree that what it is trying to accomplish (getting the inspectors into Iraq by having a credible threat of the use of force) is a reasonable goal.

Again, I don't agree with the vote in favor of that resolution, but I could understand how someone who truly felt it important to get inspectors in there would vote for it even if they didn't feel they knew that Iraq was in breach as strongly as the wording says...because they suspected this might be (or was even likely to be) true and thought it important that the inspections proceed so that we could find out with more assuredness if this were true or not.
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  #49  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:26 AM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness
No, here's where we trigger more rolled eyes. I didn't ask for a cite that Clinton said that Saddam had WMD, and you know that.
Oh, I know what you were asking for. You wanted another opportunity to say, in essence, "that doesn't count".

The problem being, as ever, if you were as committed a rightie as you are a leftie, you could do the same for anything Bush ever said. Because he and Clinton said the same things. And, since Clinton did not really care about Iraqi WMD, he did nothing that would have pushed Saddam to dispose of his WMD, or show that he had done so already. Like an invasion. So in that sense, Clinton got away with it.

I don't know, maybe you (LHoD) are committed enough a pacifist that you would condemn the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq just as much if they had happened under President Clinton (or Gore) as if they happened under Bush. Or that you would have condemned Bush just as harshly if he had merely tossed a few missiles at Saddam and then changed the subject, as happened for Clinton. But the rest of the Usual Suspects? Not hardly. And they have the advantage of being able to say that "President Gore would have done everything perfectly, and all the land would be sweetness and light and puppies playing under a blue sky". An unprovable assertion, obviously, just as is my assertion that they would have fallen into lockstep unison behind a President Gore, even if everything else had happened exactly the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftHandofDorkness
If I may add, any idiot can giggle condescendingly, and often the loudest gigglers are the biggest idiots.
Shodan giggles condesendingly

Your cat giggles? Keep him off the SDMB.

Regards,
Shodan
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  #50  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:35 AM
John Mace John Mace is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jshore
John: I hope you are aware that in deciding to vote for a particular piece of legislation, one sometimes has to choose to vote for it in spite of the fact that one doesn't completely agree with every word of it...particularly if you agree that what it is trying to accomplish (getting the inspectors into Iraq by having a credible threat of the use of force) is a reasonable goal.
Yes, I'm aware of that. I hope you are also aware that Senators routinely vote "no" on resolutions that don't fully oppose, knowing that it's going to pass anyway but not wanting to be on record as supporting the exact wording. Sometimes they say things like 'I voted for the resolution before I voted against it" to clarifty that position. Lacking any clarification from any particular Senator, I think it is safe to assume they agreed with that part of the resolution. If you have statement from any Senators saying they didn't agree with that part, then I'd be happy to take those Senators off the list.
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