Temujin v Richa33: Did America Fabricate Iraq WMD or ?

Richa333

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FIRST - Introduction
Temujin & I are having a little debate, which has bearing on Military History by the following mechanism:
--Most wars are the product of political developments. Gulf War II is 100% the product of American/Iraqi politics.
--The American, UK & allies' moral/political reason for Gulf War II was, primarily (but not entirely) that Iraq posed an immediate threat to peace in general & America in specific.
--The primary (but not only) reason put forth for "Iraq is an immediate threat" was WMD, as in Colin Powell's show-and-tell before the UN.

SECOND - Appeal to Reason
--We can all agree that MOST LIKELY, there are currently no WMD in Iraq. (This supposition requires a leap of faith, since Iraq has demonstrated, in the past, a VERY succesful ability to hide entire weapons systems in its desert, and has also shown a VERY succesful ability to move entire weapons systems to other countries.)
--While Temujin & myself obviously have already pre-judged our decisions, it would be a positive step for the study of Military History if all poster could somehow restrict themselves to facts that can be verified by sources (preferably on the internet) & rational logic arguments that can be picked apart.

THIRD - Other posts to these forums
This thread is an example of "What we know AFTER the invasion." However this post does NOT illuminate "What did America know BEFORE the invasion."

This thread demonstrates that Senator Kerry, who as a member of Senate Intelligence read the same reports as Bush, has at various times thought that WMD were in Iraq. Kerry certainly thought so when he voted to authorize the invasion of Iraq. :) However Kerry should not be regarded as a reliable source, :p so let's move on.

This thread demonstrates Iraq's ability to hide entire weapons systems in its vast deserts. (Iraq is roughly the size of California - BIG.)

This excellent post by Kraut, no friend of mine :) details how Colin Powell's presentation was wrong, based on information revealed AFTER post-invasion inspections turned up no WMD. Please note that the article cited by the post, has NO information regards deliberate fabrications made by America; rather, it details MISTAKES.

This thread demonstrates that Russia was 1 of the governments BESIDES the US that ALSO thought Iraq had WMD.

FOURTH - The List
Here's my "list" which I've become completely bored with, however it needes to be repeated (bleah):
The following ALL thought that Iraq had WMD, before America/UK/etc invasion of same:

--Senators John Kerry, John Edwards, & about 60 other Senators (serve in America's upper chamber, which has sole power to declare war & also sole power to remove impeached Presidents etc.).
--Over 330 of United States Represenatives (serve in America's lower chamber, which has sole power to initiate funding for military actions & also sole power to impeach Presidents etc.).
--The government of the United Kingdom.
--The government of Russia (see above link-to-post). NOTE: Russia has its own network of spies in the Middle East, quite probably more extensive than the US', based on multiple civilian & military contracts of Russian firms. For example, Russian contractors worked on various components of Iraq's weapons systems including its armor & AAA.
--The governments of Spain, Italy, Poland, Austria, etc.
FIFTH - Difference between "lie" & "wrong"
I would like to point out, that there is HUGE difference between "Lie" & "Wrong." Kerry claimed that he would win the American Presidency. Did he lie? No, he was wrong.

Temujin, welcome & let the debates begin! :cheeky:
 

ER_Chaser

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Kerry claimed that he "WOULD" win the presidency --- he was wrong, he did not lie.

But if Kerry claimed that he "WON" the presidency, --- he was not "wrong", he would have been lying.
 

Temujin

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Ok, challenge accepted, nice setup post Rich!

Now, to start i will just post to state that i am going to argue according to my knowledge, and the arguments that Rich and I originally came to blows over. I will also try to provide the best resources (net) to construct my argument. There are going to be resources that i will post that are 'unproven' as in they are currently contestable accounts that are not paradigms. This should not be a problem because like in a court of law unproven evidence on its own is useless, but use a collection of unproven and proven evidence and tie them to other factors, identify patterns etc they can be legitimately used to prove a thesis.

My thesis will be that the Bush administration used evidence that they new were 'flimsy' and incorrect and formed an argument with this knowledge that was used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Thus, they knowingly lied, told halftruths, spread misinformation, to influence the minds and opinions of the American and international public. I will not claim that the Bush administration manufactured all of the evidence, but that they used to fabricate legitimacy to attack Iraq.

Feel free to comment on any issue you wish.

To be continued....
 

laszlo.nemedi

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Some questions:
Did Bush do everything to confirm the the WMD of Iraq (as a war is very expensive regarding lifes)?
Was WMD in Iraq a direct threat to USA which implies quick attack without other alternatives (was any intercontinental ballistic missile of Iraq or other direct threat)?


And a remark:
I like the style in this thread (and I hope it will remain).
You don't have to be friend, you don't have to accept the other side's argument if you don't want to, but to argue with facts or deductions is great and looks professional. And you don't have to answer every posts, unanswered post does not mean accepted, so no need to answer without facts...
 

piero1971

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apolitical note:

Isn't the role and function of a commander in chief in any country, to be absolutely certain of the facts and data before acting, even more so when having to resort to, what in International Law is the biggest thing that can be done: War.?

As a CEO of a company, if I have to take a decision and I claim some facts that are wrong, knowingly or not, I may go to jail for misrepresentation of reality to shareholders or at least get the boot. And no lives are at stake in my business... so an important fact in this debate to kep in mind is that we are talking about lifves of 10000 or so US/Coalition soldiers who have been forever changed/destroyed/ended (plus countless post-traumatic stress disorders) and about 50'000 to 100'000 killed Iraqis (whos life was of course better before...by definition :D) and millions whose life has changed (for the better? for the worse? for the worse before it gets better?).

This is important for the US can only hope to win its war, and the West only prevail against radical Islam if it shines with moral superiority, and until these questions are not resolved, I can tell you 90% of the world things the US is bunch of evil, ingonrant, dangerous cowboys - and so the US and the West can't win.
 

Temujin

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piero1971 said:
apolitical note:

Isn't the role and function of a commander in chief in any country, to be absolutely certain of the facts and data before acting, even more so when having to resort to, what in International Law is the biggest thing that can be done: War.?

As a CEO of a company, if I have to take a decision and I claim some facts that are wrong, knowingly or not, I may go to jail for misrepresentation of reality to shareholders or at least get the boot. And no lives are at stake in my business... so an important fact in this debate to kep in mind is that we are talking about lifves of 10000 or so US/Coalition soldiers who have been forever changed/destroyed/ended (plus countless post-traumatic stress disorders) and about 50'000 to 100'000 killed Iraqis (whos life was of course better before...by definition :D) and millions whose life has changed (for the better? for the worse? for the worse before it gets better?).

This is important for the US can only hope to win its war, and the West only prevail against radical Islam if it shines with moral superiority, and until these questions are not resolved, I can tell you 90% of the world things the US is bunch of evil, ingonrant, dangerous cowboys - and so the US and the West can't win.
Many just don't give a damn, they are Americans.

Ps if you have a problem with that statement i have been told that by some people in these forums, in those words, the truth is out there im not gonna look for the quotes tho.
 
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tsar

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Temujin said:
Many just don't give a damn, they are Americans.

Ps if you have a problem with that statement i have been told that by some people in these forums, in those words, the truth is out there im not gonna look for the quotes tho.
Yes, and you can always be counted on to find the most denigrating, harmful quotes possible when referring to the U.S.
 

Temujin

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tsar said:
Yes, and you can always be counted on to find the most denigrating, harmful quotes possible when referring to the U.S.

As i said not my words. If it such a denigrating concept why don't you take the matter up with your countrymen that say it?

It is a fact that is part of a cultural problem with all leading powers, empires etc. Would you like me to wrap my comments in candy floss and soda pop next time?

"90% of the world things the US is bunch of evil, ingonrant, dangerous cowboys"

The relevance of my statement was regarding this statement, i was pointing out that, going by the words of others, this is not surprising.

Now where is the relevence in your statement?
 

purdyrc

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Rich,

Paul's theory is not a new one. Bob Woodward mentions it in "Plan of Attack". His conclusion was that many of the cabinet members knew the WMD arguement was sketchy as early as late 2002. By the eve of the war, the felt even more so by the lack of Iraqi movement around suspected WMD dumps in preparation for our attack.

I'm not saying Bush and Rummy lied, but I think they mislead all of us.

Also just to clarify, as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Kerry doesn't see "all the same" briefings as the President. Kerry didn't receive that privilege until he was confirmed as the Democratic candidate following the convention in Boston. Then he started to receive the same briefings. As a Senator chairing the committee, he would receive summary information only. And some of this information would be censored by executive privilige. It is important to remember that the FBI, CIA, NSA, and DIA all fall under the Executive Branch of government. Therefore, any intelligence collected can (and usually is) filtered by the executive. This isn't done just by the Bush administration, it's done by all administrations.

- Rick
 

The Doctor

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Temujin said:
As i said not my words. If it such a denigrating concept why don't you take the matter up with your countrymen that say it?
I think its more a matter of being plain spoken, rather than denigrating. I'll take that any day over flowery insults.
It is a fact that is part of a cultural problem with all leading powers, empires etc. Would you like me to wrap my comments in candy floss and soda pop next time?
I'd actually prefer beer and pretzels.
"90% of the world things the US is bunch of evil, ingonrant, dangerous cowboys"
This is actually a good thing! It would be nice to be liked...but more important to be feared.

The relevance of my statement was regarding this statement, i was pointing out that, going by the words of others, this is not surprising.

Now where is the relevence in your statement?
Australia and America, two nations separated by a common language. ;)
 

piero1971

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Temujin said:
Many just don't give a damn, they are Americans.

Ps if you have a problem with that statement i have been told that by some people in these forums, in those words, the truth is out there im not gonna look for the quotes tho.

I know. I know. and the underlying racism of American or western society for that matter (or any society, actually) is very racist/nationalistic.

a fun poll should be: "how many lives would you exchange for one of your country? a. 1 to 1 b.10 to 1 c.1000 to 1 d.total exterminatio to 1. I sadly think we all would choose anything but a. and if you think the contrary, change the question wuth one of your loved ones or relatives instead of same national...

as for beeing feared beeing nicer than beeing liked. Depends.
If it about ruling an empire, I agree (I dont' think American wants nor can be an empire btw). If it is about living together as in marriage or business partnership, you end up destroying the relationship.
 

Tiberius

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Temujin said:
Many just don't give a damn, they are Americans.
For someone who claims to dislike stereotyping you seem to be the master. So because SOME Americans have claimed to not give a damn, they did so BECAUSE they are Americans?

EDIT: just to make it a little more clear what you are doing let's make this parallel statement to which you have certainly objected:
(regarding 9/11):"Many just don't give a damn, they are Arabs/Palestinians/Islamic"
 
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Temujin

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Tiberius said:
For someone who claims to dislike stereotyping you seem to be the master. So because SOME Americans have claimed to not give a damn, they did so BECAUSE they are Americans?

EDIT: just to make it a little more clear what you are doing let's make this parallel statement to which you have certainly objected:
(regarding 9/11):"Many just don't give a damn, they are Arabs/Palestinians/Islamic"
Wheres the stereotype? Maybe you misinterpreted, i didn't mean those that don't give a damn are Americans. I meant those that don't give a damn, about the perception of america in the international community, usually claim they are America/American, as a defence of why they dont give a damn.

Anyway hopefully that clears it up, because if it was a stereotype i would have said "all' instead of 'many'.
 

The Doctor

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Temujin said:
Wheres the stereotype? Maybe you misinterpreted, i didn't mean those that don't give a damn are Americans. I meant those that don't give a damn, about the perception of america in the international community, usually claim they are America/American, as a defence of why they dont give a damn.

Anyway hopefully that clears it up, because if it was a stereotype i would have said "all' instead of 'many'.
Temujin-

When you believe you are right about something, particularly something you feel is essential to protect your family - Would you give a damn, what other people thought of you?

I don't think you were stereotyping and I don't personally take offense at what you said. I happen to be one of those Americans who really don't give a damn what the rest of the world thinks about how we choose to defend our national interest. It's not that I don't give a damn about the rest of the world - I just don't care about how other people perceive me when I am doing what I believe to be the right thing.
 

laszlo.nemedi

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Hmm, maybe I should edit my previous post.

Good start, but can we continue in professional manner. If you start something very negative on one's nation you cannot expect factual answer only harsh reaction.
 

Richa333

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Piero - I think Temujin is referring to me; I've posted to him several times that I don't agree with his broad statements like "All the world hates Bush." Regards your statement "90% of the world thins America is a bunch of evil, ignorant cowboys" -- well, I don't know if it's 90%. I would peg it at "more than half" myself.

Temujin - The reason that I didn't react to Piero the same way as I reacted to you is: in general his posts don't slam America or Americans. He does in general raise thoughtful issues, so I respect that. You & I started off on a different footing; hopefully we're getting somewhere else with this thread, for instance.

But that was ALL off-topic!

Here's the question that interests me most, first posted by Lazlo then repeated by various:

--Shouldn't Bush have insisted on 100% knowledge prior to war, for at least moral certaintaty?

I must be honest with all of you. Prior to 9/11 my answer would have been a resounding "YES." However after 9/11 I, along with apparently 51% of voting Americans, "woke up" to America's inner warlike nature which (fortunately? unfortunately?) is never far from America's surface, even when we're donating more than any other country in the world. So, post- 9/11, my answer is a resounding "NO."

Basically just read Doc's post above; he says it better than I could. I do understand that most of the world would prefer that America 'return to sanity' or whatever. However I would like to add this: the entire Clinton Administration (1992-2000) did EXACTLY operate as the question suggests -- Clinton & his people took NO action without 100% proof.

This resulted in the Khobar Towers, the Cole, the African Embassy bombings, and at least 3 credible missed chances to kill or arrest Bin Ladin.

So why would I want to return to a failed policy (100% knowledge) knowing that the same policy failed for Clinton? No. You take the moral high ground, & I'll stick with results.

(Along with 51% of American voters!)

GREAT QUESTION. Really gets at the heart of the thread.
 

The Doctor

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Just doing my job as a simplistic country bumpkin Red Stater. Black & White, us & them, with us & agin' us... ;)
 

Cheetah772

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Hello,

Was there any war that was fought with 100% knowledge of what opposing sides would do to each other? Somehow I doubt this, so the last thing I wanted was for America to establish a bad percedent for all to follow.

I wouldn't wish destruction and mayhem on France that she had to show absolute proof (100%) that a neighboring African country would produce WMDs or display its political ambitions not matching that of France's before it was too late.

I want to remind all of people here that wars are not used in legal contexts even though a lot people like to justify wars for whatever reasons. Truthfully, waging a war is a purely political tool, not a legal tool. Politically, Americans felt they were threatened by Iraq's ambitious WMD production efforts even though sanctions and inspections were in place. Everybody knows that containment policy can't last forever, especially if it's done in Middle East. Americans understood that, and that's why they chose to accept an invasion of Iraq politically and militarily. Moreover, that's why Americans did not feel politically obliged to provide absolute 100% proof that Iraq was threatening America's strategic interests.

Dan
 

purdyrc

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Richa333 said:
Here's the question that interests me most, first posted by Lazlo then repeated by various:

--Shouldn't Bush have insisted on 100% knowledge prior to war, for at least moral certaintaty?

I must be honest with all of you. Prior to 9/11 my answer would have been a resounding "YES." However after 9/11 I, along with apparently 51% of voting Americans, "woke up" to America's inner warlike nature which (fortunately? unfortunately?) is never far from America's surface, even when we're donating more than any other country in the world. So, post- 9/11, my answer is a resounding "NO."
Rich, I agree that the bar has definitely been lowered. But this brings up another sticky point. Exactly how much "proof" is now required in the post-9/11 world?

I supported Bush in 2000 and I can pinpoint the exact moment I started to turn away from him. It was in March 2003 when he went into Iraq and we didn't find any WMD. I felt I was sold a bill of goods by my President and that most people's support (including Congress) was based on his pre-war assertions.

I would even go so far as to say, officially, that I would be supporting him now (not on domestic issues but at least on the war) if we had found any evidence at all. We found none (actually we found two old artillery shells filled with nerve gas rotting in the corner of some warehouse, but I don't really count these as posing an "imminent" threat to the security of America).

It is this lack of any single shred of evidence to back up any of our sketchy claims made prior to the war that has soured many Americans and the rest of the world. We may not "give a damn" about the feelings of the rest of the world, but we should care about the feelings of 48-49% of America.

So anyway, how much proof is required now? How accurate do we need to be in our estimates? Or has the burden of proof been completely lifted and we are now free to attack any nation at will?

- Rick
 
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