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Previous Entry Hillary vs. History Oct. 8th, 2007 @ 07:44 am Next Entry
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From:sierra_nevada
Date:October 9th, 2007 06:29 pm (UTC)
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Iraq was a state, not a nebulous terrorist group. It has borders, a capital, known military installations, etc.

We know how to deal with states that make war on the USA. We bomb them until there is no infrastructure left. If we get pissed off enough, we nuke them. It's easy to make war on a state, compared to fighting a guerilla force.

Iraq was not a threat to the USA. We've been dealing with much more real threats from nuclear-armed nations since 1949.

Iraq was potentially a threat to our ally Saudi Arabia, but that's why we have military bases there, and why we sell them (some) weapons: so they are protected and continue to sell oil to the rest of the world. Iraq also threatened Israel, but they are remarkably good at protecting themselves; they've been doing it quite successfully since 1948.

The invasion of Iraq is an immense waste of our time, money, and soldiers. It has put a severe strain on our regular military, caused the deployment of National Guard units outside the USA for the first time, ever, and significantly destabilized that region of the world. It is a massive blunder.

The Congress did not declare war on Iraq. They did, however, allow President Bush a little latitude in how he dealt with them - studied ambiguity (this is how we protect Taiwan: we don't say what we'll do if China tries to invade it. We might do nothing, or we might nuke Beijing. They get to guess). The Congress gave an inch, and Bush took a mile. He knew that once we went in, it would be "in for a penny, in for a pound" and we'd be unable to quickly or easily extricate ourselves.

The Congress is expected to know better. They are expected to find out things beyond what the media reports. This is why there is a Library of Congress. This is why they are privy to intelligence reports and analysis that we don't get to see. They are expected to question whatever the executive branch says.

Hillary Clinton is just as culpable in that dereliction of her duty as a US Senator as every other member of Congress at that time.
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From:markormarky
Date:October 10th, 2007 04:26 am (UTC)
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great stuff.

the only thing i would add, which might mitigate the senate's culpability a bit, is that it's been documented that the Vice President set up an inside group out of his office to specifically cherry-pick CIA Intel in order to falsely justify an invasion of Iraq. this is fact.

the cherry-picked Intel favoring an invasion was presented to the president and congress; it is assumed (not proven fact) that at some point Bush was aware the Intel was one-sided and incomplete, but went along with Cheney's desire to invade, anyway. (not once has Bush EVER gone against Cheney's desires, not once in 7 years.)

so the one-sided and prejudiced Intel was what sold the invasion to Congress. the CIA reportedly did not speak up about it -- that all of the Intel they'd gathered which proved why Iraq should NOT be invaded, along with the opposite, was not seeing the light of day thanks to the Vice-President's office -- because of legal issues such as duty, loyalty oaths, etc.

also, remember what happened to J. Wilson, when he dared to speak the truth about the false Intel being used to justify war.

your point that, a senator's job is to dig deeper, is well-taken. on the other hand, they did not at that early time believe ANY president would falsify Intel like that and take the country to war unfounded. gullible? shallow? yup. they got played.

a politician can't stand that. makes 'em look really weak and stupid. so the facts leading to war have never gotten further than some of the blogs. the info is all fully documented, but it doesn't matter. those from both parties seem to think the truth will make the country look even worse than it looks right now, a debatable argument. if i have this wrong, i welcome your correction. your comment here was really awesome.

TO CHRIS ----- :-) as for Hillary, i will vote for her too, probably.
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From:sierra_nevada
Date:October 10th, 2007 05:16 am (UTC)
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Oh, dear. Time for a history lesson:

President Lyndon Johnson, the credibility gap and the smoking gun thereof (which, among others, involved a certain current-day democratic presidential candidate (who I think is right about the issue he's currently pushing, but has the wrong solution)). Among other things, we were bombing a neutral country.

President Richard Nixon, and Watergate. For that one, lots of people actually went to jail, alas, not including the perpetrator-in-chief. I remember precisely where I was in August of 1974 when Nixon gave his resignation speech: at dinner at a boys' summer camp near Portola, CA.

President Ronald Reagan, and the Iran-Contra Affair. Congress legislated that the US was not to fund the Contras. President Reagan violated the law, and then had a very, very convenient attack of Alzheimer's when called to testify about it.

Old truism: how can you tell when a politician lies?

His lips move.

The modern Congress has absolutely no excuse for taking any statement of the executive at face value.
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From:markormarky
Date:October 10th, 2007 05:30 am (UTC)
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ha -
well, i can see your point, although it's a bit of a reach equating watergate and iran-contra with taking the nation to war to invade. but i do see your point.

u enjoy being more or less correct, far too much, however ;-P
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From:sierra_nevada
Date:October 10th, 2007 08:56 am (UTC)
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You have no idea.

Iran-Contra was in part about directly supporting a war effort against a legitimately elected government that Reagan didn't like, despite the explicit legislation to the contrary by the Congress, and the support wasn't just money. President Carter had reinstated the first step of the draft during his administration, and everyone was really worried that Reagan would actually use it to raise an army and fight wars in the jungles of central america. I was of draft age at that time, so you might imagine that I was paying attention ...

If you're feeling really paranoid, consider the very timely death of William Casey, just before he was going to testify about Iran-Contra.

As for Watergate, that was about the suppression of dissent and the consolidation of power in the Imperial Presidency. Oh and guess who was doing his thing in the executive branch at that time, under the tutelage of another familiar face? It's funny how the same old tactics used in that era have reappeared once again ...

Oh, one more thing: in your first comment, you phrased things as if Bush were being led around by the nose by Cheney, as if he were some country bumpkin. He may play a country bumpkin, but consider how neatly that image lets him off the hook if it all goes bad. I'd suggest that the reason it appears that Cheney is in charge is that Bush agrees with him (their goals are aligned), and he lets people believe that ...

You're only paranoid if they're not actually out to get ya.

Mostly, though, I'm just deeply cynical about politics, but in spite of that, I vote in every election.
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From:sierra_nevada
Date:October 10th, 2007 09:16 am (UTC)
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There's an even simpler way to state this:

1. The Congress is the legislative and policy-making body of our national government. They must have fact and truth if they are to have even a chance of getting it right.

2. This is why "lying to Congress" and "Contempt of Congress" are crimes!

3. Unfortunately, if the Congress will not prefer charges against those individuals who lie to them, why the hell are they surprised when people do?

That leaves a fourth point which is painful: the Congress is responsible to the people of the USA. If those elected poltroons aren't doing their jobs, We The People should turn them out of office.

But we don't.
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