Quote quiz

Who said the following?

"[I]t is something that we know-for instance, Saddam Hussein has used weapons of mass destruction against his own people, and there is some evidence of their efforts to try to secure these kinds of weapons and even test them." (CBS's Face The Nation, 9/23/01)

This same person criticized the Clinton administration for being too easy on Saddam Hussein:

"[I] think we ought to put the heat on Saddam Hussein. I've said that for a number of years, Bill. I criticized the Clinton administration for backing off of the inspections, when Ambassador Butler was giving us strong evidence that we needed to continue. I think we need to put the pressure on, no matter what the evidence is about September 11 ..." (Fox News's The O'Reilly Factor, 12/11/01)

"I am way ahead of the commander in chief, and I'm probably way ahead of my colleagues and certainly of much of the country. But I believe this. I believe that he has used these weapons before. He has invaded another country. He views himself as a modern-day Nebuchadnezzar. He wants to continue to play the uniting critical role in that part of the world. And I think we have to stand up to that." (ABC's This Week, 2/22/98)

He also expressed certainty that Saddam Hussein could and indeed would rebuild his stocks of WMD:

"[H]e can rebuild both chemical and biological. And every indication is, because of his deception and duplicity in the past, he will seek to do that. So we will not eliminate the problem for ourselves or for the rest of the world with a bombing attack." (ABC's This Week, 2/22/98)


...he voted against the first Gulf War

Unfortunately, it IS an echo chamber. If you are tired, you may wish to consider taking a nap.

As for the "echo chamber", I have not visited LISnews since my previous journal entry on August 1. Last night I got to sit down again and read, and I read only the journals of Daniel, Walt, and Blake (;-). I still haven't caught up on nbruce, mdoneil, GregS, tomeboy, or any other of your likely echo chamber suspects. So I don't think your "echo chamber" comment is altogether fair with respect to me. I can guess what kinds of things the above-named folks have written, but I was making no effort to echo them and in fact I have no knowledge of what they have actually written. Since I'll be out of town this weekend, I may not get a chance to catch up on their journals until Monday.

This review of a 1991 book is interesting. It notes that the tilt toward Iraq began under Carter (which seems to have been neglected by the echo chamber), though it clearly censures the Reagan Administration far more strongly.

Frankly, I think Carter & Brzezinski were right to tilt U.S. policy toward Iraq after the Iranian revolution. To what extent the stronger tilt under the Reagan and Bush administrations was warranted, I'm not sure.

This is probably oversimplifying, but I think you can choose one of the following types of foreign policy:

  1. one driven entirely by human rights considerations;
  2. one driven entirely by pragmatic considerations; or
  3. one driven by some compromise between human rights and pragmatic considerations.

The Carter/Brzezinski tilt toward Iraq was clearly of the third type. In this case, pragmatic considerations dominated the policy, though not in all other aspects of the Carter admin. If you choose the first type of foreign policy, you can basically stay at home and wait to be attacked.

Since Wed. I provided links to Cheney's Dayton speech, to FRBR, to NRO's Kerry Spot, to an article about Gov't misuse of language, and to a quote about 50 anti-Bush books. I think that's a nice variety. Then I had my own ramblings on water closets, women who blog and my trip to Buffalo. Maybe an echo in there somewhere. So what do we call Mr. Face's--chamber of mirrors?

Blake writes, among other questions:"Show me he's not a moron.""Show me his economic policies will help me in 15 years"MORONWhile the picture of the President as moron is popular on the Left, I think the characterization is objectively unfair. I don't see how anyone could make both governor and president and be clinicly mentally retarded, which is what moron implies. If nothing else, he would have to have the wit to decide on Karl Rove for a campaign manager, who did well by him.Additionally, George Bush did obtain a degree from Harvard. Unless someone can produce OBJECTIVE evidence that he was given a free pass through school, we should assume that the President is intelligent enough to get a college degree.Finally, the man did make it through flight training in the National Guard. He logged flight hours, which proved the lessons took.So, in a plea to all LISNewzters, can we drop the "Bush is a moron" tag? It didn't work for Ann Richards or Al Gore and it won't work for you.Economy:No one can reliably predict the economy next year, much less 15 years from now. Just look at the Congressional Budget Offices "surplus projections" for most of the 1990s. If we can't predict a simple number like budget overdraws, no one can say policy X will give you result Y in 15 years.In my OPINION, I don't think presidents or congresses make any meaningful changes to the economy. I suppose they could stop it cold by printing unlimited money, but otherwise they can't control it. And why we would want them to? Isn't ending gov't control of the economy one of the reasons we fought the Cold War?Both Bush and Kerry would be well served by simply being silent on jobs issues. It's not a meaningful fight, in my opinion. I know it's something voters care about, but we need to be adults and face the fact no one can wave a magic wand and give everyone meaningful work at a living wage.Other than those two questions, I thought everything you asked was fair. Perhaps pro-Bush people could start addressing those questions instead of attacking you personaly.

I beg your pardon. The allegations are that the U.S. sold to Iraq the chemicals Hussein used to gas the Kurds. I haven't heard of any efforts to refute that charge, but I haven't studied the issue.

"unquestioning repetition of official sources."

The difference Blake is that we aren't afraid to state what we believe, you know, those 'core values' you question so much. Those have nothing to do with 'official sources', political ones anyway.

I agree with just about all that Daniel.Here are those questions with a few answers:"Show me he's not trying to legislate from the bible."
    What do you make your decisions based on? The world didn't start yesterday. Your decision making should be based on some philosophy."Show me he thinks things through and makes good decisions based on good information and not some gut feeling he has."
      I would but you keep ignoring the past 20 years of violence in or caused by the Middle East. If you don't accept the information staring you in the face thats not my problem."Show me he's less in the pocket of those who give him money than Kerry."Thats as cynical and useless as the 'Bush is moron' arguement."Show me he can change his mind."
    If I agree with what he is doing why in God's name do I want him to change his mind?"Show me his economic policies will help me in 15 years."
    Daniel argued that best. Bottom line its not in his job description"Show me he's going to appoint a moderate to the seats that will probably open up on the SCOTUS sooon."
        Moderate = liberal, be honest, and no thats not going to happen

"I wonder how comfortable the Dean-and-leftwards wing of the anti-Bush coalition will remain comfortable with Kerry."Hi Chuck, looks like you started a good conversation going here!To answer your quote above, it's only fair to point that SOME of the anti-Bush, or at least anti-war sentiment comes from the Right. Granted, a minority of the Right, but opposition to the President's policies crosses traditional lines.Having said that, and considering my own position to be somewhat more left than right, I can tell you that NO, I am not comfortably with Kerry. However I only have one expectation for him -- that he not launch any additional so-called "preventive wars." I don't think it likely he will, I believe our President may. So, this time I'll vote for Kerry. No guarantee I'll vote for him in 2008.

Interestingly enough, the Iranians (the targets of much of Iraq's chemical weapon use) have accused, not the U.S. (that Great Satan) of supplying Iraq with chemical weapons, but the USSR:

Official Iranian commentaries, too, have pointed to the USSR as a supplier of the Iraqi weapons. These sources have also accused Brazil, France and, most conspicuously, Britain of supplying the weapons. No basis for any of these Iranian accusations has been disclosed. France, alongside Czechoslovakia and both Germanies, is reportedly also rumoured, among "foreign military and diplomatic sources" in Baghdad, to have supplied Iraq with chemical precursors needed for an indigenous production effort. Unofficial published sources have cited Egypt as a possible supplier of actual chemical weapons. In the mid-1960s, when Iraq was alleged to be using chemical weapons against insurgent Kurdish forces, Swiss and German sources of supply were reported in the Western press. [Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute]

While this isn't a decisive argument, I would think that, given the U.S.'s special place in Iranian mythology, that Iran would be strongly motivated to accuse the U.S. if they felt they had any grounds at all.

I'd be interested to see the documentation supporting your claim, Michael. It would be relevent, I think, to know who sold what, and how much of what, and when. It may well be that U.S. companies sold some chemical weapons or precursors to Iraq. But to point out only U.S. sales, and not sales from companies or governments in other nations, is to argue from only one side of the equation.

Though I do understand what you're going for here it just doesn't work for me.

So tell me, just what is it I am going for? I admit that it's partly my fault for not stating it explicitly, but I assure you, getting you or anyone else to change your vote was not what I was after. I suppose that, by not stating my points, I invited you to make that assumption.

I realize I am getting rather tiresome on this subject, but one of my main aims in this entry was to show again how everybody "knew" that pre-Saddam Iraq possessed WMD and posed a real, serious threat to the U.S. and its interests (see also here and here, as well Third Superpower's postings here and here).

I tend to agree that too much is made of Kerry's flip-flopping, though not all flip-flops are created equal.

My second point was to elicit some response to Kerry's bellicose rhetoric toward Iraq (and I call it "bellicose" in a good sense) from the Dean/Nader wing (and from those to the left of them). Given these statements from Kerry, his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention, and his acknowledgement that that he would have voted to approve the use of force against Iraq even if he knew there were no WMDs, I wonder how comfortable the Dean-and-leftwards wing of the anti-Bush coalition will remain comfortable with Kerry. I have little doubt that they will vote for him in November, but I'm thinking ahead a little bit.

The arguments against Kerry are so far less compelling than those against Bush they are just laughable.

How compelling we find arguments for a candidate depends a great deal on the standards by which we judge the world, and on the goals we have for this nation (I'm trying to avoid that overused word "values"). I have no desire to get you to vote against your conscience, even if I think your conscience may sometimes guide you wrongly (I'm certain mine steers me wrong at times--I just haven't figured out how to tell always when that is :-).

The echo chamber is strong in the journals lately.That's it? Though I do understand what you're going for here it just doesn't work for me. The arguments against Kerry are so far less compelling than those against Bush they are just laughable. This obsession with "flip-flopping" is pointless, people can, do and should change their minds as they learn and grow. My feeling is the "flip-flopping" issue only works with people who were voting Republican already, so it's probably lost on anyone who might have a chance of voting for your boy. Try learning what issues are important to those who are planning to vote for Kerry, and then find quotes that make it look like he's on the wrong side of those issues.e.g. a quick search turns up This, and many more sites that show Bush is a flip-flopper as well. If I am able to convince you that he's a flip-flopper as well you might change your vote.Who said the following?"Major combat operations in Iraq have ended."Over a year later, and almost a thousand of our soldiers later, it still seems like there are some "major comabt operations" going on in Iraq. For me that's a quote that matters. I feel that history will show the invaision of Iraq was a mistake, it wasn't in our best interest to do so, and we'll be paying for it later. From what I've seen Kerry wouldn't have done the same thing, but even if he would have done it what's really important is what he plans on doing in the future, do his plans seem to be better than what Bush is doing? ::shrug:: maybe is all I can come up with.Here's what you'd have to do to convince me to vote for Bush:Show me he's not a moron.Show me he's not trying to legislate from the bible.Show me he thinks things through and makes good decisions based on good information and not some gut feeling he has.Show me he's less in the pocket of those who give him money than Kerry.Show me he can change his mind.Show me his economic policies will help me in 15 years.Show me he's going to appoint a moderate to the seats that will probably open up on the SCOTUS sooon.I've not seen any evidence that leads me to believe that he's any good for me or the country, therefore I choose someone I think will do a better job, and put better people in positions that really effect my life.Win or lose life will still go on much the same for most of us.

Show me he's not a moron? Statements like that mean there is no way your going to vote for Bush because you have no real interest in being convinced.

The reason the flip-flopping arguement works is because at least if Bush is legislating from the Bible (nothing wrong with that either) he's actually working from a point of origin and not all over the map. People do not change their minds on core values.

And if you really think this election won't effect you then you haven't been paying attention to the world around you for the past 20 years or those events coming to a head on 9/11. A President's economic policies may not effect you 15 years from now but his foreign policies could save you or kill you.

...because at least if Bush is legislating from the Bible (nothing wrong with that either)...zowee! I've always thought I was just being funny when I said conservatives really thought that. Now I get it, now I understand the "core values" argument. ...his foreign policies could save you or kill you. OK, I'll agree with you and say that's another good reason to vote against Bush. The invasion was a poor long term "strategery" that "misunderestimates" our enemies.

The echo chamber is also selective; it forgot to echo the part where Hussein bought his chemical weapons from the U.S. They also failed to quote the high ranking Washington official who personally met with Hussein before he got too big for his britches.

also forgot to echo Cheney doing Business With Iran and Syria, while at the same time going after other countries for doing the same. And yes, Cheney is doing business still.

The invasion was like any war, what's that quote? "An plan of attack is only good until the first shot is fired"

Its one thing to underestimate your enemy but how badly is Kerry overestimating our friends?

So what's with this "echo chamber" chant? Latest "in" buzz word, like tired and wired at my favorite magazine? I've now seen it 3 times in 1 minute of reading LISNews, and I'm already tired of it.

Echo Chamber. They all thank you for your support.

"If you choose the first type of foreign policy [one driven entirely by human rights considerations] , you can basically stay at home and wait to be attacked."Hi Chuck,Since you're expressing an opinion rather than a claim of fact, I won't bug you for citations.However, I wonder what backs up your opinion. Has any nation in the history of the world tried a foreign policy "one driven entirely by human rights considerations"? I doubt it. If not, how do we know that being attacked would be the result?By contrast, in my opinion, much of our "pragmatism" has backfired on us. I think it's backfired because it was unrealistic beliefs dressed up as realism.Witness how well installing the Shah worked in Iran, backing Hussein when we knew he was a mass murderer, or how toppling Latin American governments have worked for us. Not to mention Carter and Reagan's great idea of allying with Wahhabist mujeehadeen against the Soviet-backed Afghan government.All of these failed because we did not understand the simply fact that people hate being oppressed by pro-American governments as much as they hated being oppressed by pro-Soviet governnments. Plus, we failed to understand the simply fact that meglomaniac killers like Hussein won't stay bought. In their minds, it is their own greatness, not American largess, that keeps them in power.By the way, I don't find your three classifications of foreign policy to be an oversimplification. Sounds like a fair enough classification scheme to me. I would submit that for the most part, US Foreign Policy would be either three (a mix) or two (all pragmatic, with cavets noted above).My problem is that all of our rhetoric insists that we are following the first type of foreign policy. This convinces no one abroad, who experience the effects of our policies, and confuses people at home. This confusion leads our people to accept bromides like "They hate our freedom!" No doubt some do, but it's not the whole story and dangerous to act on that sole assumption.

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