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Thread: Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war

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    Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war

    Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war - Yahoo! News

    "I would give anything to be able to go back and to know precisely what we were going to find when we were there. But that isn't the way that these things work," Rice said "And I still believe that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein is going to turn out to be a great strategic achievement."

    With the support of Congress, President George W. Bush ordered the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. It was a decision largely justified on grounds later proved false that Saddam was building weapons of mass destruction.

    Rice made the Sunday morning talk show rounds for perhaps the last time as secretary of state. The forum, which she used many times in the past eight years to promote administration policies, provided her an opportunity to reflect on her legacy.

    Rice said she was "still really appalled at the inability of the international community to deal with tyrants."

    "We're seeing it in Burma," Rice said of the country in Southeast Asia now called Myanmar. "We are now seeing it, I think, in a very, very sad way in Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe should have gone a long time ago. And we can't seem to mobilize the international will to do it."
    Psychotic kid kills neighbor's dog because he didn't like it barking and then when he was in front of his parents he said that in the future the neighbor will find that it was a great strategic move because with the economy the way it's going he won't have to worry about buying dog food.
    I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. - MLK

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    Re: Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war

    What I find interesting is that often Republicans in favor of removing Saddam and are against Tyrants still love Reagan, who's adminstration saw numerous overthrows of legitimate democracies and the installation of fascist dictators. Doesn't seem to make much sense.
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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    Re: Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war

    Even though her points are propagandist and a little contrived, she does bring up a good point about international lack of willingness to depose dictators. However, she herself would admit (probably in private) that in order for dictators to be removed, there has to be some sort of strategic advantange. As I recall, many have been crying out for the removal of Ahmed Haroun who is more than likely responsible for the genocidal acts in Darfur, yet none of the powerful governments seem to be listening. Why is this? Because there is nothing in Darfur that warrants the powers getting their hands dirty.

    So, once again, we see a talking head of an American administration creating a humanitarian straw man and then accusing the world of doing nothing, yet the administration used that same straw man to generate support for a war that was based on a false premise.

    If a woman like Rice, who is well educated and is fully aware of foreign policy and the American administration's own dealings, is asking why the world doesn't care, then you can instantly see that it's not because she doesn't actually know the answer. This type of approach is sadly predictable.

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    Re: Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war

    Writing about the new book by John Diamond, "The CIA and the Culture of Failure: U.S. Intelligence From the End of the Cold War to the Invasion of Iraq" (Stanford University Press) the SFGate says this about how the CIA contributed to the Iraq invasion rationale:

    By the time President Bush invaded Iraq in 2003, the CIA, eager to redeem itself, predicted a swift victory and gave little thought to the possibility of an insurgency, much less a civil war. Under George Tenet's direction, the CIA stitched a patchwork of threadbare intelligence into a rationale for doing something unprecedented in American history: going to war without provocation to pre-empt a hypothetical attack. To call Iraq an intelligence failure is misleading. From the Bush administration's point of view, the CIA did exactly what it was supposed to do: The White House early on resolved to remove Hussein by force; what it needed, and what the agency delivered, was a sales pitch.

    Diamond's 'The CIA and the Culture of Failure'
    It seems clear that the only piece missing from the rationale to make all of these separate facts come together to make ANY sense at all is Israel.

    Israel.

    As I have said before, my theory is that the pressing reason for us to have invaded was that Israel was feeling understandably nervous at Saddam's various threatening actions and his speeches alluding to having WMD's.

    They were going to take action against Iraq but their doing so without any reason beyond sketchy intelligence reports and the suspicion of WMD's surely would have prompted an Islamic response along the lines of, "The Zionists have attacked our brother Saddam (who has seen the light recently as shown by his support of martyr families in Palestine, his addition to the Iraqi flag of the phrase, "Allahu Akbar" and the construction of a beautiful palace in an Islamic motif) and we must respond en masse."

    A response by mujahideen defending Iraq would have taken place inside of Israel as well as outside. With a Muslim population between 15 - 18% the numbers of Holy warriors who might have been mobilized by Israel's defensive preventive strike on Iraq could not be predicted but the estimate could reasonably have been expected to be sobering in numbers and effect. It could have lead to great instability in the region and around the world. The ramifications of an unprovoked Israeli attack on Iraq would have been potentially more serious to world peace than was our invasion of Iraq.

    We had the Cease Fire Resolutions as a legal justification and we believed the WMD's existed and that Saddam had hidden them just as he had successfully hidden the existence of a nuclear weapons production plant during the 1991 War. He hid that plant so well that even though it was only 9 - 18 months away from going on line we had no clue it existed. We dropped bombs on everything we though was of danger or threat and the bombs hit targets all around this plant. But it escaped all damage.

    And Saddam KNEW he'd been able to fool us once so it was a reasonable guess to think we might be overlooking Saddam's WMD's in 2002 as he duped us again.

    And that ties in to the Bush malaprop. Fool me once, shame on you...we won't get fooled again.

    To be continued.

    OBL 11/24/02

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    Re: Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war

    Quote Originally Posted by bhkad View Post
    Writing about the new book by John Diamond, "The CIA and the Culture of Failure: U.S. Intelligence From the End of the Cold War to the Invasion of Iraq" (Stanford University Press) the SFGate says this about how the CIA contributed to the Iraq invasion rationale:



    It seems clear that the only piece missing from the rationale to make all of these separate facts come together to make ANY sense at all is Israel.

    Israel.

    As I have said before, my theory is that the pressing reason for us to have invaded was that Israel was feeling understandably nervous at Saddam's various threatening actions and his speeches alluding to having WMD's.

    They were going to take action against Iraq but their doing so without any reason beyond sketchy intelligence reports and the suspicion of WMD's surely would have prompted an Islamic response along the lines of, "The Zionists have attacked our brother Saddam (who has seen the light recently as shown by his support of martyr families in Palestine, his addition to the Iraqi flag of the phrase, "Allahu Akbar" and the construction of a beautiful palace in an Islamic motif) and we must respond en masse."

    A response by mujahideen defending Iraq would have taken place inside of Israel as well as outside. With a Muslim population between 15 - 18% the numbers of Holy warriors who might have been mobilized by Israel's defensive preventive strike on Iraq could not be predicted but the estimate could reasonably have been expected to be sobering in numbers and effect. It could have lead to great instability in the region and around the world. The ramifications of an unprovoked Israeli attack on Iraq would have been potentially more serious to world peace than was our invasion of Iraq.

    We had the Cease Fire Resolutions as a legal justification and we believed the WMD's existed and that Saddam had hidden them just as he had successfully hidden the existence of a nuclear weapons production plant during the 1991 War. He hid that plant so well that even though it was only 9 - 18 months away from going on line we had no clue it existed. We dropped bombs on everything we though was of danger or threat and the bombs hit targets all around this plant. But it escaped all damage.

    And Saddam KNEW he'd been able to fool us once so it was a reasonable guess to think we might be overlooking Saddam's WMD's in 2002 as he duped us again.

    And that ties in to the Bush malaprop. Fool me once, shame on you...we won't get fooled again.

    To be continued.
    Many people grow up with the mindset that it is acceptable to make any number of mistakes in life as long as you learn from them and those folks can identify with the adage, "don't make the same mistake twice."

    Bush's twisted saying gets laughs but I think it provides an insight into his way of viewing himself and his administration's performance. You may fool me once but I won't get fooled again. And I'd bet that personal characteristic of his, as much as any one quality of leadership, may have been what has kept us safe since 9/11/01. Being fooled again was NOT in George W. Bush's personal range of acceptable behavior.

    He knew that Saddam was up to something. We know the Israelis had to have been worried about what that something was. We know they do not take potential existential threats lightly. We can guess they might have told GWB that they were going to take pre-emptive action.

    They might have even outlined the 3 competing scenarios to show him the necessity of taking Saddam out.

    Doing nothing: Possible destruction of Israel followed by US retaliation to annihilate Iraq, followed by possible Holy War.

    Israeli action: Round the clock strikes on Iraq to seek and destroy targets which might pose a WMD or first strike threat to Israel as well as
    any other military targets. Followed by possible organized military responses from Iraq's allied Arab nations. And/or a call to arms of all Muslims to rise up against Israel (the SMALL Satan) and the USA (the GREAT Satan).

    US action: Possible diplomatic condemnation by a few nations. We would incur battlefield losses. But due to the nature of Saddam's rule we should be greeted as liberators. And we had a legal justification for going in and we had given Saddam a good warning. All that remained was the final warning and if that did not force Saddam to disarm or seek exhile we would use force to accomplish that result.

    What the Israelis and few pundits in the United States were able to recognize is that the search for the perpetrator of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, was just about as close to a mission impossible as there could be.

    Historically, armies go to Afghanistan only to lose and retreat in humiliation. Practically speaking, after a couple of years and billions of dollars it's quite possible we'd have nothing more to show for the lives and treasure spent there than the shadow of a ghost in those mountains.

    President Bush had to be looking at Afghanistan as the War We Couldn't Win but that at this crucial period of time when we needed to satisfy the American people that we were doing SOMETHING to combat terrorism past or terrorism future, that an effort to take out Saddam was long overdue and something that could reap big rewards down the line, and so it still may.

    Thus, in that way of looking at things one can see how the Bush Administration might have needed a way to add some emotional urgency to the situation to justify our taking action NOW in Iraq instead of Afghanistan and not waiting for more solid proof which might never come, to attack Saddam, or awaiting proof which might appear as a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv.

    In summary, I believe Bush saw a balance sheet which showed that our attacking Saddam or forcing him to leave was the best of several different courses of action. I believe that EVERYTHING he did was predicated on keeping America safe and preventing a larger, more destructive war and to help prevent our being militarily humiliated in Afghanistan.

    I believe the very real possibility of WMD's, without concrete proof one way or the other, was the lynchpin in all of the military actions taken.

    If Saddam had confessed and proven he had no WMD's he'd have been attacked by Iran or Saudi Arabia, but Israel would have felt no threat and we would not have had the need to act so quickly.

    But we would still be fruitlessly searching for 7 years for OBL in the mountains of Afghanistan with little to show for it.

    We'd be in our second humiliating Viet Nam. This one because we'd have spent billions of bucks and thousands of lives on a wild ghost chase.

    I don't care how symbolic catching bin Laden might be, there has to be some point when you ask yourself, 'how many good dollars and precious lives are you going to throw down a hole?'

    That question might be one the Obama administration will have to answer in the months to come.
    Last edited by bhkad; 12-08-08 at 09:09 AM.

    OBL 11/24/02

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    Re: Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war

    Quote Originally Posted by bhkad View Post
    As I have said before, my theory is that the pressing reason for us to have invaded was that Israel was feeling understandably nervous at Saddam's various threatening actions and his speeches alluding to having WMD's.
    Why would Israel be nervous? I don't recall Saddam making specific threats toward Israel. At least nothing that remotely resembles the degree and frequency that Iraq threatens Israel's existence.

    They were going to take action against Iraq but their doing so without any reason beyond sketchy intelligence reports and the suspicion of WMD's surely would have prompted an Islamic response
    Without any reason beyond wmd's? Bush was very clear what his reasons were (four to be precise) and the Congress was very clear what its reasons were (23 to be precise). I mean, come on...you ain't got the cred to revise history.

    along the lines of, "The Zionists have attacked our brother Saddam (who has seen the light recently as shown by his support of martyr families in Palestine, his addition to the Iraqi flag of the phrase, "Allahu Akbar" and the construction of a beautiful palace in an Islamic motif) and we must respond en masse."
    The only significance of Hussein adding the Islamic jihadist phrase is that it undermines the anti-war crowd's arguments that a secular Hussein was completely at odds with Islam-inspired OBL and AQ.

    We had the Cease Fire Resolutions as a legal justification
    Funny, how this legal justification for the war is completely ignored by the anti-war folks, eh?

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    Re: Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    What I find interesting is that often Republicans in favor of removing Saddam and are against Tyrants still love Reagan, who's adminstration saw numerous overthrows of legitimate democracies and the installation of fascist dictators. Doesn't seem to make much sense.
    Of course it doesn't make sense. Your caricatures of reality is the cause of your confusion, not the actions of Reagan and the beliefs your attribute (true or otherwise) to those who support Reagan.

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    Re: Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war

    Quote Originally Posted by JMak View Post
    Of course it doesn't make sense. Your caricatures of reality is the cause of your confusion, not the actions of Reagan and the beliefs your attribute (true or otherwise) to those who support Reagan.
    Hahhahaha. Are you saying that Reagan and his administration didn't do anything to overthrow legitimate regimes and install dictators? Methinks you need to hit the history books again.

    Reagan is a myth at this point. He was a disaster for economics. Much of the current debt is HIS fault. And he prolonged Volcker's war on Inflation causing more suffering then necessary. The man is a great example of why fiscal liberalism is a threat to our country.
    "If your opponent is of choleric temperament, seek to irritate him." - Sun Tzu

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    Re: Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    Hahhahaha. Are you saying that Reagan and his administration didn't do anything to overthrow legitimate regimes and install dictators? Methinks you need to hit the history books again.

    Reagan is a myth at this point. He was a disaster for economics. Much of the current debt is HIS fault. And he prolonged Volcker's war on Inflation causing more suffering then necessary. The man is a great example of why fiscal liberalism is a threat to our country.
    Your showstoppers are a dime a dozen, eh?

    Reagan is responsible for the nation's current debt? Bwahahahahahaaa!!!

    ~Ignore~

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    Re: Rice regrets bad Iraq intelligence; defends war

    Quote Originally Posted by bhkad View Post

    It seems clear that the only piece missing from the rationale to make all of these separate facts come together to make ANY sense at all is Israel.

    Israel.

    As I have said before, my theory is that the pressing reason for us to have invaded was that Israel was feeling understandably nervous at Saddam's various threatening actions and his speeches alluding to having WMD's.

    They were going to take action against Iraq ...
    What evidence is there that Israel was about to take action against Iraq?

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