Silent Running points out a genuine atrocity at Abu Gharib.
Apparently several Arab nations, following an Arab League meeting, announced that they would not be sending troops to Iraq.
ARAB countries would refrain from sending troops to Iraq as long as US-led coalition forces occupied the country, Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa said in Tunis today.
"Sending Arab forces to Iraq is tied to certain conditions - first of all the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq," he said.
Gen Mussa was speaking at a joint press conference with Tunisian Foreign Minister Habib Ben Yahia following an Arab summit.
"This subject was not debated at the Arab summit," he said.
Two questions. The first is, "Did we ask them to send troops?" The second is, "If we did, why wasn't the person who thought of this bone-head idea get fired?"
Sending troops from all the local tyrants into Iraq would be a nightmare.
Martin Devon wants the President to make a decision:
Bush needs to stop worrying about being re-elected and just focus on what the right thing to do is. We need to root out the bad guys (like in Falouja) and kill them. We need to transition the governement to Iraqis, but we must take the heat and defeat the SOB's that would return Iraq to despotism. If Bush breaks the back of the problem then even if Kerry gets elected we will win in Iraq eventually. But if Bush goes wishy-washy to tr[y] to finesse the election we could lose in Iraq and then the whole rationale for the Bush campaign evaporates.
I want Bush to be re-elected, but I want to win in Iraq much, much more. We msu win in Iraq. We must. The thing is, doing the right thing is W's best chance of being re-elected. Bush needs to have faith. He ought to be pretty good at that.
Earlier in his post, Devon says that hopefully, if Bush secures a win in Iraq, he'll also be rewarded with a win at the polls. That is by no means certain, I'm afraid. But Martin is right, if Bush keeps chasing both, he's likely to get neither. I've got to agree with him that it's more important for Bush to win in Iraq then at the polls.
Frank Gaffney paints a very disturbing image of American failures in the Iraqi occupation. He concludes that all this is the explanation for the recent behavior towards Chalabi:
Ahmed Chalabi has been a prominent critic of such patently self-defeating measures. With access to vast quantities of Saddam-era documents shedding light on the corruption at the U.N. and in various Western capitals associated with the notorious Oil-for-Food program, he has been in a position not only to complain about the folly of turning Iraq over to the tender mercies of the so-called "international community," but possibly to obstruct that step. Rather than risk such a development, the Bush administration has apparently decided to go beyond cutting off Chalabi from past U.S. financial and political support and to attempt to destroy him.
If he's right, this is disturbing indeed. However his case would be more compelling if he addressed the stated reason for targeting Chalabi: that he is accused of spying for Iran.
We also have to deal with the fact that Chalabi himself seems pretty happy about the whole affair:
Iraqi Governing Council member Ahmed Chalabi on Friday said he was proud to have become the target of a US-backed police raid because it showed his commitment to Iraq's independence.
"What the Americans have done earned me a medal from the Iraqi people," he said in an interview with Dubai-based television Al-Arabiya.
"It invalidated everything that had been said about me being with the Americans, it showed that I was with the Iraqi people all along."
He said US hostility towards him was sparked by his "calls for Iraq's independence and sovereignty ... and my defense of Iraq's interests."
Of course, Chalabi's instant announcement that the raid will make him a hero with the Iraqi people is likely to trigger a bunch of claims that the whole thing is just a conspiracy to make Chalabi more popular with the Iraqi people. On the other hand, if you believe Al Jazeera, Chalabi's claims are bunk.
So what is really going on? I have no idea. If Gaffney is right, then we have seriously problems. (Serious meaning catastrophic.) At present though, I'm not convinced.
Update: Bill Quick has a good point on this.
Update the second: Michael Rubin (link via Powerline) portrays a bleaker picture still. According to Rubin this is the culmination of Paul Bremer's ego raging out of control. If so, we have got to get this guy out of there and pronto.
Update the third: Apparently I'm not the only one expecting the conspiracy theory approach.
Over on Junkyard Blog they've got an extensive post detailing the Boston Globe's refusal to admit they helped spread a hoax. Yes, the Globe published pictures that they claimed depicted American soldiers raping Iraqi women. And as Preston makes abundantly clear they did this even though they knew, or had reason to know, that these pictures were really just hard core porn.
I think this exchange still fails to answer the big question: why is the US, which (apart from Israel) is the principal victim of war by terror and has chosen to fight it in defence of everything the free world believes in, treated as an 'evil empire' because it has done so? And why is it blamed for 'unilateralism' when Europe on the one hand and the UN on the other made it crystal clear that they were not prepared so to fight? What in the circumstances was the US supposed to do -- sit on its hands and wait for the crop sprayers in jihadi colours to deliver clouds of nerve gas to Washington or Manhattan? Is multilateral suicide really preferable to unilateral defence?
Sure, the Americans' bombast and arrogance have meant they have made mistakes in Iraq which have brought the defence of the free world to the edge of disaster -- and we may yet topple right over. But without the US, there would have been no defence. And it is a dangerous blindness to brush that vital fact aside. (Emphasis in original.)
Indeed. While it is true that we have not been completely without help, it seems certain that without the US in the lead, no action of consequence would have been taken against the Islamicists.
I disagree with Philips on one point. I don't think it was our bombast and arrogance that caused our mistakes in Iraq. I'm not saying that we're not arrogant and bombasitic; we often are. (And most of the time it's actually rather well founded.) Our mistakes in Iraq were largely caused by the inability of some elements in our government to adapt to the new situation and the inability, or unwillingness, of our President to over rule those segments. In short, our mistakes were largely a result of lack of foresight and lack of will.
Mark Steyn points out that that a crucial factor in dealing with the Arab world is the appearance of being the strongest. He worries that as of late, the Bush administration is appearing weaker and weaker.
I share this fear. I want to believe that what I'm seeing is a temporary hitch in Bush's full steam ahead approach. After all, we've had plenty of these before and he's always come out of them OK. But I've got this horrible rumbling in my gut that's telling me it's different this time.
While it's true that what happened at Abu Ghairib was horrible, it really shouldn't have been able to get this much traction. But the Bush administration has backed off and gon on the defensive. Now, matters are worse.
Additionally, we're now seeing rumblings that we might pull out immediately if the new Iraqi government asked us to. While I don't agree with Spoons that this is evidence that Bush isn't all that interested in the future of Iraq, I do agree that we're seeing a way of thinking that is deeply troubling.
The State Department's way of thinking appears to be in ascendancy in the administration. If this keeps up, a lot of people are going to die that didn't have to and our chances to remake Iraq will grow much smaller.
Kristin Hoppe wants to know:
How come every city or place we attack is a holy city or holy ground or the third most revered mosque?
No Kristin, it's not just you. I've noticed the same thing.
I was hoping I was reading this story wrong some how. Apparently not:
Sounds like a slam-dunk, doesn't it? The Republcans thought so; the 213 Republicans present all voted "Yes." But the issue wasn't so clear to the Democrats: 49 voted "No," including three out of four Minnesota Democrats, Reps. Sabo, McCollum and Oberstar.
Since the Democrats presumably weren't voting in favor of abusing prisoners, it appears that the liberals in the House--including the three Minnesotans named above--can't bear to vote for a resolution commending the troops who risk their lives, day after day, so that Democrats and their families can live in safety. Has there ever been such a party?
Thanks to Hindrocket for pointing this out.
"Osama's" been mouthing off again:
(CNN) -- A new audiotape message purportedly from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and posted on an Islamic Web site Thursday offers 22 pounds of gold to anyone who kills Coalition Provisional Authority head Paul Bremer or top U.S. military officers.
A reward of gold is also offered for anyone who kills U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan or Annan's envoy to Iraq, Ladkhar Brahimi.
The message denounces U.N. efforts, led by Brahimi, to organize the transfer of power from the provisional authority to an interim Iraqi government June 30, calling the United Nations "a Zionists' tool."
Two points here. The first is that this pretty much enforces the point that to al Qaeda, we're all just infidels. The second is that the mind that call the UN of all things a "Zionists' tool" is pretty clearly detached from reality.
Donald Sensing says the calls for Rumsfeld's head is one the most crass and inane things he's ever seen.
But the calls for his head are both idiotic and deceptive. Idiotic because to hold the SecDef personally responsible for the actions of a handful of junior and mid-level enlisted soldiers, and even the command incompetence of a single brigadier general make me question the mental competence of those who say he should resign, be fired (Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, et. al.) or impeached (Charlie Rangel, who never runs out of stupid ideas, announced from the House floor today that he is preparing articles of impeachment).
I think Donald is right here. The worst thing I've even heard Rumsfeld accused of is failing to report these incidents to the President. Every indication I've seen is that most of the problems I've at Abu Ghraib boil down to a complete and total loss of control by the command staff.1 Rumsfeld appears to have been dealing with this even before this story hit the big time.
1 I don't mean to suggest that those who committed these despicable acts would have been upstanding citizens if the command staff had been firmly in control. What I am saying is that if control had been maintained, these types of things could not possibly have continued as long as they apparently did.
There are growing doubts about the pictures the The Daily Mirror published which they claimed were evidence of abuse of prisoners by British troops.
Amazingly, people at the Mirror don't seem to understand the seriousness of their charges:
Mirror sources said the prisoner abuse issue was such a fast-moving story that the focus would soon move away from the photographs, purportedly supplied by two members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment.
Bruce George, the Commons Defence Committee chairman, said: "The issue is of immense national and international interest. I don't know if the pictures were genuine or not. If they are genuine, there is great cause for concern.
These people have no clue, do they? This is an enormous issue and the expectation that it will just blow over appears to be totally unrealistic.
Jonah Goldberg has a great article on the need to see things through in Iraq:
If we mess up Iraq, on the other hand, it will be a disaster of biblical proportions. Iraq will go into a bloody civil war, the region will destabilize, al Qaeda will grow, oil prices might skyrocket, democracy in the region will founder for a generation, millions more Muslims will embrace terrorism, and even millions more will emigrate to America and Europe to escape the poverty and chaos our failure will encourage. Cats will sleep with dogs. And, perhaps most dangerous, American resolve will lose credibility around the world, which will exact a terrible price in as-yet-unknown hotspots.
Read the whole thing.
La Shawn Barber seems to be equating the systematic torture, humiliation, and degredation of Iraq prisoners with the actions of Lt. Col West.
I agree with Barber that West is a hero. But West's actions were taken in order to elicit specific information from a prisoner that he already knew to be a collaborator about an attack he'd already received warning of. That is to say, West had a specific reason to intimidate the prisoner.
I have yet to even hear a claim that any of the soldiers implicated in the current fiasco had any such reason to commit their acts. The closest any of them have come is claiming that certain intelligence officers were pleased with how fastly prisoners under their care broke.
That's hardly the same thing. Barring evidence that a prisoner has specific information of a specific threat, the use of torture simply isn't justified. Further, from the pictures I've seen at least some of these acts seem to have been committed just for kicks.
There simply is no comparison.
Update: You'll notice that LaShawn has responded in the comments section. She says that she was not equating Col. West's actions with the events we're hearing about in Iraqi prisons. She says she was only saying that the latter reminded her of the former. Frankly, I don't understand how that happens unless she thinks there are some similarities, but that's my problem, not hers. I'm glad to find out that I misunderstood her.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military has investigated the deaths of 25 prisoners held by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and determined that two prisoners were murdered by Americans, one an Army soldier and the other a CIA contractor, Army officials said on Tuesday.
An Army official said that a soldier was convicted in the U.S. military justice system of killing a prisoner by hitting him with a rock, and was reduced in rank to private and thrown out of the service but did not serve any jail time.(Emphasis added.)
Let me get this straight: An American soldier is convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner and serves NO JAIL TIME?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I suppose it's possible that there were extenuating circumstances that make this a reasonable sentence, but if so the Pentagon really needs to let the world know what they were.
It is vital that Americans and Iraqis believe that our military justice system will punish American servicemen who commit violence against Iraqis. This is not reassuring.
Update: Spoons is a bit more ... firm ... than I was.
Joe Carter reminds us that at least part of the violence in Iraq is due to the fact that Saddam released the entire criminal population of Iraq just before the invasion. How much of the violence occurring there is from ordinary criminal activity from these convicts and how much of it is due to actual insurgency is hard to tell. All the more so because, as Joe notes, no one in the media or in government appears to have addressed this issue. At least not publicly.
Michael Ledeen explains who the terrorists and Baathists think we are and what we're doing that feeds those perceptions.
... if the French have a genetic disposition that drives them into the arms of tyrants and villains. And yes, I know that's an unworthy thought. It's just that sometimes they make it so hard:
PARIS — A French lawyer, known for defending terrorists and a Nazi leader, said Saturday he will defend Saddam Hussein (search).
Color me surprised.
Jacques Verges (search) told France-Inter radio he had received a letter from Saddam's family requesting him to defend the former Iraqi leader in court. U.S. officials have said they will bring Saddam to trial for alleged crimes against Iraqi people. But the location of any trial and its format and date have not yet been decided.
Would someone tell me why there are any members of Saddam's family still free? And I'm sure the Marsh Arabs could think of a location and format for the trial.
The letter from Saddam's family read: "In my capacity as nephew of President Saddam Hussein, I commission you officially by this letter to assure the defense of my uncle," Verges said. He did not name the person who sent the letter.
Who talks like that? Since when is nephew a "capacity"?
Saddam is being held by U.S. forces at an undisclosed location.
Yeah, that's to prevent an unscheduled determination of the place and format of his trial.
Verges has defended Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal (search), whose real name is Ilich Ramirez. He gained international notoriety during the Cold War for staging a string of deadly bombings, assassinations and hostage seizures.
The French lawyer also defended Klaus Barbie (search), a Nazi Gestapo chief in France in World War II, who was convicted of crimes against humanity in Lyon, France.
Yeah, he really knows how to pick 'em, don't he?
Lee Edwards is upset. Why?
Sometimes it's frustrating to be a friend of the United States. Consider the case of South Korea.
On the one hand, the mainstream media highlight North Korea's claim that the United States is to blame for the failure of the six-nation talks on ending North Korea's nuclear program. The reason, according to Pyongyang: Washington insists on a comprehensive dismantling, not merely a freezing, of all of the North's nuclear activities.
Could it be that Washington's hard-line has something to do with the ranking of Kim Jong Il of North Korea as the world's "worst" dictator, based on the findings of Freedom House, Amnesty International, and other human-rights organizations? North Korea is the only nation to earn Freedom House's worst-possible score on political rights and civil liberties for 31 straight years.
On the other hand, most of the media have either ignored or buried deep the announcement (as did the New York Times) that South Korea is sending another 3,000 troops — combat personnel, as well as military engineers and medics — into Iraq. There are already 400 South Korean military medics and engineers in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah. That makes South Korea's military contingent the third-largest in Iraq, after the United States and Great Britain.
Sometimes it can be annoying to be South Korea's friend. Like when their politicians use campaign rhetoric that makes it sound like all their problems with the North are our fault or when students there hold massive rallies calling for us to remove the 37,000 troops guarding the DMZ. (The reactions to that were predictable on both side. Rumsfeld started hinting that if they didn't want our boys, we'd just bring them home. Then people were protesting that.)
The fact of the matter is, however, that despite the occassional bump in the road, when push comes to shove, the people of South Korea are generally willing to meet the challenge. According to Edwards, there are 15 volunteers for every available slot in the Iraqi contingent. Think about that. 45,000 volunteers for only 3,000 slots. And we're not talking about volunteering to go to Disney World here. Iraq is still a dangerous place and these soldiers are ready and willing.
That kind of devotion deserves our thanks and gratitude. But how are we to thank them if we're not told? The modern press has become a major embarrasment. In fact, in some areas, they're almost a liability. 1
I want to take this opportunity to thank the soldiers of South Korea for what they're doing, and will do, in Iraq. You should do the same and try to let others know as well. While I'm thinking about it, I'd like to thank our own military as well as those of Britain, Australia, and Poland. There are other countries who've sent smaller contingents, and I want to thank them as well.
1 I say that because on some topics the press seems incapable, often because of ideological blinders, of even seeing the real stories. Yet, because we do have a press, we often mistakenly believe we're being informed of the important issues. Consequently, we don't know that we don't know, so we don't do anything about it.
BAGHDAD, Iraq — A special Iraqi police unit arrested a senior Baath Party (search) leader on the U.S. military's most-wanted list during a raid Sunday on his home in a Baghdad suburb.
The capture of Mohammed Zimam Abdul Razaq (search) leaves only 10 top figures still at large from the list of 55 issued after the Saddam Hussein (search) regime fell. Abdul Razaq was No. 41, and the four of spades in the military's "deck of cards" of top fugitives.
Deputy Interior Minister Ahmed Kadhum Ibrahim touted the arrest as evidence that the still-rebuilding Iraqi police force "can be depended upon in the fight against terrorism" -- looking to give his troops a boost a day after police in the turbulent city of Fallujah were overwhelmed by dozens of gunmen in one of the best organized guerrilla attacks yet.
The recent frontal assaults against Iraqi police have marked a major change in enemy tactics. That kind of thing can easily lead to a pessimistic view of what's going on there. It's important to remember that the Iraqi police are making progress.
Robert Tagorda makes a very interesting point:
I'm surprised that nobody has really discussed the policy implications of the Zarqawi proposal. For instance, in desperately asking senior Al Qaeda leaders to help wage a "sectarian war" in Iraq, the writer contends that, in the words of the New York Times, "the American efforts to set up Iraqi security services have succeeded in depriving the insurgents of allies, particularly in a country where kinship networks are extensive":"The problem is you end up having an army and police connected by lineage, blood and appearance," the document says. "When the Americans withdraw, and they have already started doing that, they get replaced by these agents who are intimately linked to the people of this region."
Does this observation vindicate the administration? When the Coalition Provisional Authority instituted an "ambitious" police-training plan to transfer authority to the Iraqi Governing Council, some analysts thought it was too hasty (I certainly had my reservations). But, if the establishment of Iraqi law enforcement has helped reduced the number of potential insurgent recruits, then perhaps it was worthwhile.
As I understand it, the enemies concern is that as the presence of Iraqi police and soldiers increases, local forces will become less willing to engage in guerilla style warfare. This reluctance is seen to come from a fear of injuring or killing relatives or clansmen. As Tagorda points out, if this is an accrurate observation, then the early turn over of duties to Iraqis would appear to be an excellent strategy.
Here's something that bothers me though: Why is it that the first time we hear this analysis of how effective our strategy is, it's coming from the enemy? I've not heard this angle from any of the analysts in the media and if the American intelligence community had thought of this angle the administration didn't let anyone know about it. The fact that, as Tagorda mentions, people most people still aren't talking about it leads me to believe that this angle has been overlloked.
This is disturbing because it makes me wonder what other sociological conditions our analysts have overlooked. I also wonder how dangerous such failures might be.
Cliff May posted this at the Corner:
Here’s what I think Russert and others misunderstand: In exchange for the ceasefire of 1991, Saddam had agreed to disarm and to do so in a verifiable manner. He never complied with that obligation. He had agreed to stop butchering his people. He never complied with that obligation either. As of 1998, the Iraq Liberation Act was the official bipartisan policy of the US government. If Iraq’s liberation could have been achieved through diplomacy or sanctions or assisting Iraqi dissidents that would have been dandy. But how many years does it require to see that those means would not be adequate to achieve our policy ends?
Saddam was told again and again that it was his job to prove to us that he no longer had the intention or the capability to do harm. Saddam refused to do that.
Either Saddam or the US had to back down.
May is absolutely right here. In fact, I believe that President Bush didn't need a new war resolution in the fall of 2002. I believed that not because I thought it was covered under the ongoing 2001 resolution authorizing force against terrorist threats (although I believe this to be true), but because we were already at war with Iraq.
Congress authorized the use of force (and no matter what anyone says, this is a war resolution) which allowed us to go to war after Saddam invaded Kuwait.1 While practically, we won the war, legally that war never ended. We signed a cease-fire, not an armistice. As May points out, Saddam violated the cease fire agreement by refusing to prove that he'd disarmed. He violated it by slaughtering his own people.
But he also violated the cease fire by not ceasing to fire. For over a decade Saddam's forces regularly fired on US and British forces enforcing the no-fly zone. Periodically, when they really hacked us off, we'd fire back. During all that time we were at war, the same war Congress had already approved.
But in one of the most incomprehensible decisions in the history of war, three consecutive administrations decided to, most of the time, pretend we weren't at war. For the last year of GHWB's tenure, all of Clinton's presidency, and the first two years Dubya was in office, we acted like we weren't at war with Iraq. We engaged in this willful ignorance even during times that they were shooting at us and we were shooting at them.
But in wake of 9/11 we simply couldn't allow this farce to continue. There were lots of reasons for invading Iraq, many of which the administration advanced, but the most compelling for me was that we were already at war.
However, as far as I know the administration did not make this argument once while preparing the nation for last year's invasion. If they trotted it out now it would seem very disingenous.
May's right that most people miss this point, but it's not like the administration can gripe about that now.
1Thanks to Stephen McCaskill for pointing out the typo here where I inadvertently said Saddam invaded Iraq.
... I think Prince Charles spends most of his time way off base. However, you've got to give credit where credit is due.
BASRA, Iraq - Wearing desert camouflage and boots, Prince Charles made a surprise morale-boosting visit to British troops in Iraq (news - web sites) on Sunday, the first member of the royal family to visit the country since the ouster of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).
At a former Saddam palace in the city of Basra, the prince mingled with about 200 soldiers, shaking hands, sipping tea and praising them for their role in keeping security in southern Iraq.
"What you're doing, many of you, training Iraqis to become almost as good a bunch of soldiers as you are, is ... of enormous importance because this part of the world doesn't have much chance unless their armed force can learn a lot from your experience ... not only in the military but in the hearts and minds," the prince said, according to the British news agency, Press Association.
Prince Charles not only spent time with the troops, but he made sure they knew that he appreciated the importance of their work. This was the right thing to do and the prince deserves to be praised for it.
At least that's how I read the conclusion of his latest column:
The Left is remarkably nonchalant about these new terrors. When nuclear weapons were an elite club of five relatively sane world powers, the Left was convinced the planet was about to go ka-boom any minute, and the handful of us who survived would be walking in a nuclear winter wonderland. Now anyone with a few thousand bucks and an unlisted number in Islamabad in his Rolodex can get a nuke, and the Left couldn't care less.
The Right should know better. If he wants, Mr Howard can have some sport with Mr Blair. But, if he aids the perception that Blair took Britain to war under false pretences, the Tories will do the country a grave disservice. One day Mr Howard might be prime minister and, chances are, in the murky world that lies ahead, he'll have to commit British forces on far less hard evidence than existed vis à vis Saddam. Conservatives shouldn't assist the Western world's self-loathing fringe in imposing a burden of proof that can never be met. The alternative to pre-emption is defeat. If you want a real "underlying issue", that's it.
The Left, both here and in the UK, continue to frustrate me with their decision to treat 9/11 and the resulting war (or, depending on your point of view, wars) as some minor inconvenience that we really should be over by now. However, as a conservative, I'm far more frustrated by those conservatives, both here and, to a much greater extent, in the UK, who insist on using the invasion of Iraq to score cheap political points.
History is replete with countries who were destroyed by their enemies while their leaders were too busy either a) arguing about whether there was really a threat or b) simply ignoring the problem. I'd really rather not be added to the list.
... why so many Democrats insisted that the Republicans were only interested in the war as a political prop?
Some top Clinton administration officials wanted to end the Kosovo war abruptly in the summer of 1999, at almost any cost, because the presidential campaign of then-Vice President Al Gore was about to begin, former NATO commander Gen. Wesley K. Clark says in his official papers.
"There were those in the White House who said, 'Hey, look, you gotta finish the bombing before the Fourth of July weekend. That's the start of the next presidential campaign season, so stop it. It doesn't matter what you do, just turn it off. You don't have to win this thing, let it lie,' " Clark said in a January 2000 interview with NATO's official historian, four months before leaving the post of supreme allied commander Europe.
Clinton's national security advisor responds:
Asked about Clark's account, Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, the national security adviser to President Bill Clinton at the time, called Clark a friend but said any implication that the White House was prepared to hurry the end of the war for political reasons was "categorically and completely false."
"The White House was totally committed to victory in Kosovo, no matter how long it took or what it took," he said.
Whatever it took? Bryan Preston thinks Berger is playing fast and loose, either with the facts or with his verbage.
False, and demonstrably so. In saying "no matter...what it took," Berger says that the United States would have done more than bomb from 30,000 feet to win the war. But going into the war, President Clinton himself took ground troops off the table. He refused to insert Apache gunships. And does anyone seriously think that the US, given its nuclear arsenal, would really have done anything, "no matter...what it took" to win that regional war that had no bearing on US national security? If it had gone badly enough, would Clinton have nuked Slobodan Milosevic's Serbian troops?
I suppose Clark could be lying, but I don't see any motivation for it. Actually, let me be perfectly clear: As far as I'm concerned Wesley Clark is a wholly self-absorbed person. I have no doubt whatsoever that he would lie if he thought it was in his best interest. I just don't see what he stands to gain from lying about this.
Would the Clinton/Gore team abort a war for wholly political reasons? I don't know. Would they have considered? I have no doubt.
The Tories have been piling on Tony Blair:
Prime Minister Tony Blair should resign because he failed to ask "basic questions" on claims made in his Iraq dossier, Michael Howard has said.
The Tory leader seized on Mr Blair's admission he did not know the claim Iraq could use weapons within 45 minutes referred to battlefield arms.
A good number of Tories supported the war, but since then they've been trying to use it as an excuse to leverage Blair out of office. Unilke their Labour counterparts though, they aren't even doing they think the was was wrong. For them, it's just shameless politicking.
CNN has posted David Kay's opening statement to the Senate Armed Services Committee. There are some things in here that I want to point out.
First off, Kay states in very definite terms, "Let me begin by saying, we were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here. " Let's be clear here. He did not say that lies were told. He did say that mistakes were made.
Since Senator Kennedy has been droning on and on about how the Bush administration invented the threat for political reasons, I think it's necessary to point out this passage:
Sen. [Edward] Kennedy knows very directly. Senator Kennedy and I talked on several occasions prior to the war that my view was that the best evidence that I had seen was that Iraq indeed had weapons of mass destruction.
I don't know for what reason, but Kay singles Kennedy out and makes sure that every one knows that Kennedy had the best information available before we went to war and that information was that Saddam appeared to have WMDs. Not that I expect this to shut up the old blowhard, but maybe someone somewhere will hear what Kay said here and decide he's just grandstanding.
It wasn't just us either:
I would also point out that many governments that chose not to support this war -- certainly, the French president, [Jacques] Chirac, as I recall in April of last year, referred to Iraq's possession of WMD.
The Germans certainly -- the intelligence service believed that there were WMD.
It turns out that we were all wrong, probably in my judgment, and that is most disturbing.
I know this point has been made before, but the Germans and the French both believed Saddam had WMDs. They never questioned this assessment. They just insisted it didn't matter.
This next part is very telling I believe:
We're also in a period in which we've had intelligence surprises in the proliferation area that go the other way. The case of Iran, a nuclear program that the Iranians admit was 18 years on, that we underestimated. And, in fact, we didn't discover it. It was discovered by a group of Iranian dissidents outside the country who pointed the international community at the location. (Emphasis mine.)
The Libyan program recently discovered was far more extensive than was assessed prior to that.
Look, these are dangerous times and it's vitally important that we be able to accurately determine which countries are the greatest threats to us. We appear to have an ongoing problem of our intelligence services telling us that countries don't have weapons they actually have and that they do have weapons they don't have. (Which isn't to say I don't believe we should have gone into Iraq. I'm just saying that if we'd had accurate information we might have evaluated the threats various nations posed in a different order.)
Coming up next is one of the most important things Kay has said:
In my judgment, based on the work that has been done to this point of the Iraq Survey Group, and in fact, that I reported to you in October, Iraq was in clear violation of the terms of [U.N.] Resolution 1441.
Resolution 1441 required that Iraq report all of its activities -- one last chance to come clean about what it had.
We have discovered hundreds of cases, based on both documents, physical evidence and the testimony of Iraqis, of activities that were prohibited under the initial U.N. Resolution 687 and that should have been reported under 1441, with Iraqi testimony that not only did they not tell the U.N. about this, they were instructed not to do it and they hid material.
Here's the thing that people need to keep in mind. The ceasefire at the end of Gulf I required Iraq to eliminate its entire WMD capacity and to prove that it had done so. Resolution 687 basically ratified that agreement. Let's be perfectly clear here: We agreed not to finish the invasion of Iraq and let Saddam stay in power; he agreed that in return he would prove to us that he'd gotten rid of all his WMDs and the programs and facilities required to make more.
Under that agreement, we had every right to invade Iraq the first time he lied to us. (To say nothing of the first time his people shot at our aircraft, but that's another post entirely.) Saddam spent the next decade lying to us at every turn. Finally the UN issued 1441 which basically said, "This is your last warning. Provide full disclosure of all your WMD activities or else." Despite all the hemming and hawing everyone knew exactly what "or else" meant. It was made perfectly clear to Saddam that if he lied again, all bets were off and we were going to come in and finish the job ourselves.
Saddam's people issued a report. British and American intelligence agencies compiled a laundry list of items in that report that they knew or believed to be lies. As a result, it was determined that Saddam was in violation of 1441 and American, British, Australian, and Polish troops invaded Iraq.
Now that it's all been said and done we find that a lot of the intelligence was wrong. However, despite the fact that he was unable to find a lot of the material that every one was sure was there, the retiring head of the Iraq Survey Group says that it's obvious that Iraq was in violation of 1441 and that Iraqis on the ground say they were ordered to violate the resolution.
What Kay has found (and not found) in Iraq is evidence of serious problems in our intelligence agencies. What he hasn't found is evidence that the WMD issue was puffed up out of proportion to justify a rush to war.
On the issue of intelligence failures Kay is very adamant that we need to find out why these failures have happened. He doesn't offer any theories of his own, but he does refute one:
And let me take one of the explanations most commonly given: Analysts were pressured to reach conclusions that would fit the political agenda of one or another administration. I deeply think that is a wrong explanation.
As leader of the effort of the Iraqi Survey Group, I spent most of my days not out in the field leading inspections. It's typically what you do at that level. I was trying to motivate, direct, find strategies.
In the course of doing that, I had innumerable analysts who came to me in apology that the world that we were finding was not the world that they had thought existed and that they had estimated. Reality on the ground differed in advance.
And never -- not in a single case -- was the explanation, "I was pressured to do this." The explanation was very often, "The limited data we had led one to reasonably conclude this. I now see that there's another explanation for it."
And each case was different, but the conversations were sufficiently in depth and our relationship was sufficiently frank that I'm convinced that, at least to the analysts I dealt with, I did not come across a single one that felt it had been, in the military term, "inappropriate command influence" that led them to take that position.
It is very important that we find out what happened and those people that keep insisting the Adminstration pressured the intelligence agencies to get the analysis they wanted are probably just getting in the way of that investigation.
Evidence has been found in Iraq indicating that Saddam bribed officials in France and elsewhere to oppose the war. Who were these others?
Al-Mada's list cites a total of 46 individuals, companies and organizations inside and outside Iraq as receiving Saddam's oil bribes, including officials in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Sudan, China, Austria and France, as well as the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian Communist Party, India's Congress Party and the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Who knows how accurate these records are. I'm not willing to start making accusations yet, but this is certainly something to keep in mind.
I will note that some of these people didn't really need to be bribed. The PLO, for instance, has supported Saddam for years. With some of these groups the payments would seem to be more in the order of thank-yous than bribes.
Update: Crank at the Command Post pointed out something that I should have mentioned, but it slipped past me. (Possibley a case of expectations influencing reality.)
Oddly, the article is entitled Iraqi govt. papers: Saddam bribed Chirac, but the body of the article never mentions Jacques Chirac personally receiving any improper payments, and this article in the Independent (which appears to be the Times’ source) never points the finger directly at Chirac.
That's a good point. A lot of news stories have implied Chirac's complicity, but none of them actually mention any evidence against him.
As you may recall, last month an Iraqi claimed that US soldiers had thrown himself and his cousin into a river and that, as a result, his cousin drowned. This column by Wendell Stevenson examines the claims and has quotes from several of the parties involved. You probably ought to read it just so you can have a better idea of the facts. (Although there really aren't a lot of them.) Some of the stuff Stevenson reports would seem to contradict some of the more extreme parts of the story, but there's still a lot of unanswered questions.
I should warn you though that the column is extremely disjointed with lots of background information thrown scattered throughout the piece with very little ryhme or reason.
That's my answer to this question my Melanie Philipps:
To remind us all yet again -- the basis of going to war was that Saddam had defied UN instructions to dismantle all his WMD programmes and prove that he had done so. Here is Kay saying there is evidence he was continuing to try to make biological and nuclear weapons. So why are Robin Cook in the UK, Senator John Kerry in the US and Uncle Tom Anti-War Cobbley and all, screaming that Kay has now proved we were taken to war on a lie? Or is the new line that a little bit of ricin and rudimentary nukes don't count?
Well, in Kerry's case it's just shameless politicking, but why nitpick?
Over the weekend, Dean said this:
"You can say that it's great that Saddam is gone and I'm sure that a lot of Iraqis feel it is great that Saddam is gone," said the former Vermont governor, an unflinching critic of the war against Iraq (news - web sites). "But a lot of them gave their lives. And their living standard is a whole lot worse now than it was before."
Just the fact that they don't have to look over their shoulder before they say something critical of the government for fear that they will be executed and their family tortured pretty well puts the lie to that statement. But Howard wasn't done:
"Now I would never defend Saddam Hussein," Dean told the "Women for Dean" rally. "He's a horrible person. I'm delighted he's gone. Would there not have been a better way to get rid of him in cooperation with the United Nations (news - web sites)?"
The UN tried to get rid of Saddam for 12 years with no results. Further, the UN showed absolutely no indication that it was going to be any more useful in the future. Keep in mind that we were actually enforcing UN resolutions when we invaded Iraq. The same resolutions that the UN itself couldn't be bothered to act on.
Aakash Rault makes an argument against the war in Iraq that I frankly don't get. I thought about trying to pull a blockquote that would summarize his point, but since I'm not sure I understand the point, you're just going to need to follow the link and read it for yourself.
Are you back now?
Ok. As far as I can tell Aakash seems to be making three major points here.
1. Lots of liberals supported the war in Iraq for their own purposes that had nothing to do with conservative principles. (I don't think there's any denying this.) Therefore:
2. The war violates conservative principles, ergo:
3. The war must be wrong.
I'm aware that he linked to other posts where he made other arguments, but he seemed to think that this was a line of reasoning that stood on its own, so I'm taking it as it is. If you think this is an unfair summary of his argument you might as well stop reading now, although I'd appreciate a comment telling me where I missed the boat here.
Assuming that this is what he was saying, then my response is, "Huh?"
Let's just start with the first point. As I mentioned above, I think it is beyond question that many liberal hawks supported the war for reasons that any right thinking conservative would consider absurd. What I don't see is how this establishes that the war was anti-conservative. Just because a ton of liberals supported the war for "reasons" that I think are laughable doesn't mean that there aren't good and proper conservative justifications for the war.
But he doesn't stop there. He goes on to list a litany of liberals, in the most derisive language possible, who conservatives probably despise most of the time just to point out that all of them support the war. I fail to see what the point of that was unless it was to try to get conservative readers to feel icky about actually agreeing with these people about something.
This whole line of reasoning just feels like guilt by assocation. Not only is it not particularly compelling, it's also wrong-headed. Just because some one is naive, intellectually lazy, foolhardy doesn't automatically make them wrong. It might be enough to make be do a double take and make sure I'm not missing something, but it doesn't make them wrong. After all, every dog has his day.
But, just for a moment, let's assume he's right. Let's assume that the mere fact that a lot of liberals supported the war means that the war fails, under conservative principles, to have been a proper war to fight. So what?
Conservatism isn't an iron-clad law. It is a default-way of thinking about a given topic. Those who cling to it do so not because they think it's perfect, I hope, but because experience has shown them that the conservative approach offerst the best answer to problems more often than it fails to do so.
And that's all it does. It's not a solution to all our problems; it's just our preferred method of approaching the problem. It's entirely possible for the most Burkean among us to analyze a problem cooly, and rationally and come to the conclusion that you're absolutely certain is the best conservative answer to a problem and yet, at the same time, be equally convinced that said solution is absolutely bonkers. (I don't think the Iraq war falls into this category, but you're mileage may vary.)
If you find yourself in that situation you are under no obligation whatsoever to choose the conservative option even though you think it's insane. As I said, conservatism gives us the best answer more often than not, but that doesn't obligate you to take the "nots" along with the good.
Conservatism is a tool, not Holy Writ. It should be used as a default position, but it'snot the only position.
The phrase, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact, " has been used so much that it's become a cliche. Cliche or no, it's still true. I love the Constitution and believe it to be one of the most marvelous things ever produced by the mind of man, but if I discovered that 15 million people were going to die in the next 10 days unless I stationed a soldier in every fourth home I'd do it in a heartbeat, Third Amendment or no.
That's not to say that violating the Constitution is a thing to be done lightly, but if I had to choose between violating the Constitution and saving millions of lives, that's an easy call for me.
You may not understand the connection here, but let me explain that while I believe conservatism to be a great ideology (or lack of one, depending on your point of view), I don't hold it as dear as the Constitution. If I'd be willing to sacrifice the Constitution to save millions, I'm even more willing to forgo my conservatism if I believe it gets in the way of doing the right thing.
A few months ago I read somewhere words along the lines of, "We can argue about the shape of Western Civilization after we make sure that it's going to have a future." That's the issue for me. You should only be willing to sacrifice your most cherished beliefs if circumstances require that you do so or perish.
As it happens, I do not find any conflict between my conservative beliefs and the direction the war on terror has taken so far. (Although I do see a few things that worry me.) But if I did, I'd sacrifice my conservatism in a heart beat. I say that because I believe we are in a fight to save our civilzation, our way of life, and our actual lives. Against that kind of threat I'd sacrifice everything but my Christian faith.
Which brings me to a point that I just thought of. Since 9/11 strange bedfellows have become so much the norm that I've almost forgotten what "normal" looked like. You do see lots of liberals, conservatives, and even libertarians uniting together in their belief about what needs to be done to fight the terror masters. Likewise people from all those ideologies have united together to oppose those same actions.
I think what we have here is a difference, not of ideology, but of fact. C.S. Lewis always maintained that morality hasn't changed much over time or across culture. One society may emphasize one part of the common morality more than others, but in general morality doesn't change. I read in one book, (possibly The Abolition of Man but I'm to lazy to go look it up) where people would challenge him by saying, "What about burning witches? We don't burn witches now, but people once did." Lewis's response was, "But that's because we don't believe that there are such things as witches."
His point was that if you really believed that there were people who had sold their sold to the devil to gain supernatural powers which you used to torment innocent people and you further believed that the only way to purify that person's sould was to burn them alive, then burning them at the stake would make perfect since to most people in most of the societies that ever existed. The reason most societies don't burn witches is not because they find witch burning, per se, to be repulsive. We find the burning of witches to be repulsive because we don't believe they were witches. This is a difference, not of morality, but of fact.
In the post 9/11 world I think we also have a difference of fact. Everyone agrees that the terrorist pose a threat. What we don't agree on is what kind of threat they pose and how acceptable the risk is.
I think just about everyone would be willing to sacrifice their ideology if they believed that the failure to do so posed a substantial risk that millions would die, that there country might be taken over by barbaric butchers, or that their entire civilazation might collapse. (Although there are some post-modernists out there who wouldn't flinch at the last one.)
To put it another way, I think most everyone has a breaking point; everyone has their own personal Rubicon that they're willing to cross when they reach the point that the danger they face appears to be great enough that they're willing the abandon their ideology.
The reason why traditional allies are at each other's throats while traditional ideological enemies find themselves allied is not so much that they've changed their ideologies as that they have different breaking points. I think a lot of people believe the threat is so great that they're willing to do pretty much anything to counter it, even if they're ideology would normally tell them not to. (Which isn't to say that everyone who supported the war in Iraq or other arenas sees themselves as going against their ideology. Just that a rather large portion see the risk as so great that they'd support the war even if their ideology said no.)
Likewise, those who opposed the war do so because they either a) don't see the threat as that great, or b) don't see the connection. I'm not, at the moment, concerned with the latter group. Liberalism, conservatism, and (especially) libertarianism all have as part of them pretty good reasons to avoid war. So if you haven't reached your Rubicon, your default position is much more likely to be against the war.
The difference between the two groups isn't ideological so much as it is factual. Either you believe, as a matter of fact, that the risk is so great that it transcends ideology, or you don't. (Yes, under some circumstances your evaluation of the breaking point may, itself, be determined by your ideology.) If you don't, then it's likely that a certain degree of escalation would cause you to change your mind.
The whole reason I went on that whole fact/ideology tangent was just to help make the point that if you feel it's necessary to abandon your ideology on a given subject to do what you believe is the right thing, that's perfectly OK.
So, I ask again, even if the war was anti-conservative, "So what?" That doesn't necessarily make it wrong.
Yeah, I know this was long and rambling, but I had to get it off my chest. It's nearly 1 and I'm tired. If you find any grammatical or spelling mistakes you're just going to have to deal with them. I may or may not edit this tommorrow.
Deacon at Power Line makes a great point:
Kennedy, of course, fails to grasp the contradiction between his claim that Bush lied about the existence of WMD and his claim that the war was "driven by politics." If Bush was driven by politics, he would never have gone to war on the stated ground that Iraq had WMD unless he thought Iraq really had such weapons. Bush knew that we would win the war, and he knew that once we did he would become politically vulnerable if WMD were not found. Thus, if Bush did not think Iraq had WMD, the only reasonable moves politically were (1) to refrain from going to war or (2) to justify the war based on reasons other than WMD (or at least to offer additional major reasons prior to commencing the war).
Critics of the administration can argue (albeit without good evidence) that Bush lied about WMD in order to wage a war he thought, for ideological reasons, needed to be fought. Alternatively, they can argue (again without good evidence) that Bush waged war to advance his political fortunes and those of his party. But they can't argue both. To do so is not only dishonest; it is stupid.
Just so. If you fight a war using a false pretense in order to further your political goals, then the false reason has to be one you think you can absolutely prove. If Bush knew Iraq had no WMDs and he was convinced to fight the war for political reasons he would have used a different primary justification for the war.
The anti-Bush folks need to stick to one accusation at a time. These two don't work together.
... but we're doing just fine.
That's the message of Ken Joseph Jr., an Assyrian Christian who's now living in Iraq. He goes on to say that what Iraq needs is not immediate autonomy, but the rule of law. He wants the transition of power postponed until all the mechanisms of a free society are in place.
... not a lie.
Jonah Goldberg explains the difference:
First let me admit that I think the failure to find significant evidence of weapons of mass destruction easily constitutes one of the greatest intelligence blunders since Pearl Harbor. There's still a chance we'll find something. But if we do, it will probably be too little, too late to change this basic assessment.
Critics of the Bush Administration are probably cheering, "Finally! Goldberg's stopped drinking the White House's Kool-Aid!"
But hold on. To argue that this was a huge intelligence blunder is to largely let George Bush off the hook for the even-more-popular Bush critique: that he lied to the American people about Iraq.
For Bush to have lied, he had to have known that there were no WMDs, right? It's not a lie unless you know the truth. If you say something you think is true that later turns out to be false, we don't call that a "lie," we call that a "mistake."
You could look it up.
He goes on to point out that every one else who believed Saddam still had WMDs is generally given a pass, but Republicans in power are almost universally assumed to have known the truth and lied about it. There is no rational basis for this position. It only makes sense if you approach the subject with the predisposition that Republicans are liars and Democrats are honest.
Slate is hosting a forum of liberal hawks asking them, basically, to tell us if they'd known before the war what they know now, would they still have supported the war? They're not anywhere done yet, but you should probably check it out.
Unsurprisingly, I don't agree with everything they say, but it's worth the read.
Glenn has another post about a member of the Clinton administration saying that President Bush's policy toward Iraq before 9/11 was just an extension of Clinton's policy. He goes on to say that Clinton's policy was basically an extension of the first President Bush's policy.
Glenn has had a lot of these posts lately, and with good reason. Bill Clinton is a shameless opportunist who routinely takes pot shots at the Bush administration. Despite that, he (and others from his administration) regularly defends much of Bush's Iraq policy. This is especially true when it comes to things like WMD intelligence and pre 9/11 invasion plans. There has to be a reason for this and I suspect that it's because he, knowing more than any of us could hope to about the subject, knows just how dangerous Saddam was, or at least how dangerous he had the potential to be.
When Bill Clinton and his associates actually defend any part of the Bush administrations policies it is big news, or at least it ought to be. For some reason though, these statements rarely get much press. Further, you'd think that BIll Clinton, the Great Leader TM actually defending Bush would give all the lefties chanting, "Bush Lied, People Died," cause to stop and actually think for a moment. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to phase them for a moment.
I guess this explains some of Russia's opposition to the invasion of Iraq.
WASHINGTON -- US officials have found evidence corroborating White House allegations that Russian companies sold Saddam Hussein high-tech military equipment that threatened US forces during the invasion of Iraq last March, a senior State Department official said yesterday.
The official said the United States has found proof that Russian companies exported night-vision goggles and radar-jamming equipment to Iraq, the official said. The evidence includes the equipment itself and proof that it was used during the war, according to the official. Such exports would violate the terms of United Nations sanctions against Iraq.
"We have corroborated some of that evidence," the official told a group of reporters.
While insisting that the matter is "now in the past," he said that the Bush administration "never received entirely satisfactory explanations" of its charges, and that the issue "is still a sensitive one in the relationship."
"It's an issue that, shall we say, did not do much for strengthening trust," the official added.
Yeah, not terribly surprising. I don't suppose wanting to keep the violation of sanctions out of the light had anything to do with Russia's stance before the war? Right?
It is a great tragedy that anyone in our military be forced to give their lives for us. That they do this willingly is one of the most remarkable things about them, and about our country. It is, as Lincoln said, "both fitting and proper," that we honor this sacrifice.
Via Donald Sensing I found a tribute page to PFC Sheldon Hawk Eagle who died in Iraq in November. Hawk Eagle was a descendant of Crazy Horse and he died protecting us. You owe him a moment of your time.
British Foreign Minister Jack Straw says that troops may remain in Iraq until 2007.
I believe the war was just and necessary, but I'd be remiss if I didn't remember all the men in women in the armed services who have risked, and will continue to risk, much to keep the rest of us safe. They deserve our thanks and our gratitude. And I don't just mean the US military. British, Australian, Polish, and, soon, South Korean troops will continue to put their lives at risk to protect the rest of us. (And that doesn't even take into account the non-combat troops from several other countries who, while not their to fight, are still putting themselves in harms way.)
Thanks to you all.
We spend so much time talking about defendant's rights in this country that we sometimes forget what the reason for them is. We provide impartial juries and free lawyers to defendants because we know that there is a possibility of mistaken identity. We know that evidence is often incomplete and eye witnesses often wrong. Because of that, no matter how good a job the cops may do, there is still a possibility that they got it wrong. There's even a possibility that they got the right person, but for some reason the defendant shouldn't be held responsible.
Because we know all this, we do all we can to install precautions against false convictions. However, in recent times it seems that people have forgotten that these protections are to protect the innocent, not the guilty. Because of that, as Jonah Goldberg notes, we often hear people say stupid things in unusual circumstances. Like trying Saddam.
So let's clear up a few things. First, Saddam "deserves" nothing. Yes, he should have a fair trial (and a fair execution). But that's because he's a prop. If we can squeeze some good out of this evil man by giving him a decent trial we should do it — because the Iraqi people deserve it, not because he does. I'm in favor of a big legal circus, if a big legal circus will help put that brutalized nation on the path to a decent life. However, if it were clear that loofahing him with a cheese grater would do even more to improve Iraqi life, than I'd be for that.
Because there are fine legal distinctions between the British and American systems, and because I am entirely ignorant of what those distinctions in fact are, let me make a fairly simple point that applies equally to both our societies. Due process and the legal protections therein are not and should not be conceived as protections for guilty people. Rather, they are necessary safeguards against falsely convicting the innocent. It is never "unfair" to the guilty if they are convicted without due process. The protections afforded the guilty are the necessary costs of making sure the innocent are protected.
But Saddam — duh — is guilty. We know this. Just as a rapist deserves punishment even if the cop who nabs him is crooked, Saddam would still be deserving of an ugly end even if this had been the imperialistic-war-for-oil its critics claim. And, the only reason to delay his just desserts with a long, drawn-out trial is if such a spectacle will help the Iraqis. Fairness to Saddam would require hot pokers, not free lawyers.
Let me point out that we have trials for three main reasons.
1. To establish whether or not a crime was committed.
2. If a crime was committed, to establish the identity of the criminal.
3. If the defendant is the criminal, to determine punishment.
Because of the unique nature of the crimes at issue, I can't imagine someone arguing that they didn't happen. Likewise, the scale and nature of the crimes makes the identity of the primary criminal beyond dispute.
The only purpose we generally associate with trials that is required for justice and fairness to Saddam is to determine punishment. The rest of this is, as Goldberg states, to help establish a fair judiciary for the Iraqi people, not Saddam.
South Korea has agreed to send 3,000 troops to Iraq in April.
SOUTH Korea’s cabinet yesterday approved a plan to send 3,000 troops to Iraq by April in a mission that would make it the biggest contributor to coalition forces after the United States and Britain.
The plan, which is deeply unpopular with the public, still needs approval from South Korea’s National Assembly.
The decision triggered protests in Seoul yesterday, where hundreds of activists tried to rush the parliament building with banners reading "No more blood for Bush!"
Blood for Bush? Don't they know that the slogan is, "No blood for oil"?