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Transcript of Bush's speech

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Cal

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Office of the Press Secretary
October 6, 2005

President Discusses War on Terror at National Endowment for Democracy
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
Washington, D.C.
10:07 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. (Applause.) Thank you all. Please be seated. (Applause.) Thank you for the warm welcome. I'm honored once again to be with the supporters of the National Endowment for Democracy. Since the day President Ronald Reagan set out the vision for this Endowment, the world has seen the swiftest advance of democratic institutions in history. And Americans are proud to have played our role in this great story.

Our nation stood guard on tense borders; we spoke for the rights of dissidents and the hopes of exile; we aided the rise of new democracies on the ruins of tyranny. And all the cost and sacrifice of that struggle has been worth it, because, from Latin America to Europe to Asia, we've gained the peace that freedom brings.

In this new century, freedom is once again assaulted by enemies determined to roll back generations of democratic progress. Once again, we're responding to a global campaign of fear with a global campaign of freedom. And once again, we will see freedom's victory. (Applause.)

Vin, I want to thank you for inviting me back. And thank you for the short introduction. (Laughter.) I appreciate Carl Gershman. I want to welcome former Congressman Dick Gephardt, who is a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy. It's good to see you, Dick. And I appreciate Chris Cox, who is the Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and a board member for the National Endowment of Democracy, for being here, as well. I want to thank all the other board members.

I appreciate the Secretary of State, Condi Rice, who has joined us -- alongside her, Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld. Thank you all for being here. I'm proud, as well, that the newly sworn-in Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the first Marine ever to hold that position, is with us today -- General Peter Pace. (Applause.) I thank the members of the Diplomatic Corps who are here, as well.

Recently our country observed the fourth anniversary of a great evil, and looked back on a great turning point in our history. We still remember a proud city covered in smoke and ashes, a fire across the Potomac, and passengers who spent their final moments on Earth fighting the enemy. We still remember the men who rejoiced in every death, and Americans in uniform rising to duty. And we remember the calling that came to us on that day, and continues to this hour: We will confront this mortal danger to all humanity. We will not tire, or rest, until the war on terror is won. (Applause.)

The images and experience of September the 11th are unique for Americans. Yet the evil of that morning has reappeared on other days, in other places -- in Mombasa, and Casablanca, and Riyadh, and Jakarta, and Istanbul, and Madrid, and Beslan, and Taba, and Netanya, and Baghdad, and elsewhere. In the past few months, we've seen a new terror offensive with attacks on London, and Sharm el-Sheikh, and a deadly bombing in Bali once again. All these separate images of destruction and suffering that we see on the news can seem like random and isolated acts of madness; innocent men and women and children have died simply because they boarded the wrong train, or worked in the wrong building, or checked into the wrong hotel. Yet while the killers choose their victims indiscriminately, their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil, but not insane.

Some call this evil Islamic radicalism; others, militant Jihadism; still others, Islamo-fascism. Whatever it's called, this ideology is very different from the religion of Islam. This form of radicalism exploits Islam to serve a violent, political vision: the establishment, by terrorism and subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom. These extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against Christians and Jews and Hindus -- and also against Muslims from other traditions, who they regard as heretics.

Many militants are part of global, borderless terrorist organizations like al Qaeda, which spreads propaganda, and provides financing and technical assistance to local extremists, and conducts dramatic and brutal operations like September the 11th. Other militants are found in regional groups, often associated with al Qaeda -- paramilitary insurgencies and separatist movements in places like Somalia, and the Philippines, and Pakistan, and Chechnya, and Kashmir, and Algeria. Still others spring up in local cells, inspired by Islamic radicalism, but not centrally directed. Islamic radicalism is more like a loose network with many branches than an army under a single command. Yet these operatives, fighting on scattered battlefields, share a similar ideology and vision for our world.

We know the vision of the radicals because they've openly stated it -- in videos, and audiotapes, and letters, and declarations, and websites. First, these extremists want to end American and Western influence in the broader Middle East, because we stand for democracy and peace, and stand in the way of their ambitions. Al Qaeda's leader, Osama bin Laden, has called on Muslims to dedicate, quote, their "resources, sons and money to driving the infidels out of their lands." Their tactic to meet this goal has been consistent for a quarter-century: They hit us, and expect us to run. They want us to repeat the sad history of Beirut in 1983, and Mogadishu in 1993 -- only this time on a larger scale, with greater consequences.

Second, the militant network wants to use the vacuum created by an American retreat to gain control of a country, a base from which to launch attacks and conduct their war against non-radical Muslim governments. Over the past few decades, radicals have specifically targeted Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, and Jordan for potential takeover. They achieved their goal, for a time, in Afghanistan. Now they've set their sights on Iraq. Bin Laden has stated: "The whole world is watching this war and the two adversaries. It's either victory and glory, or misery and humiliation." The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity. And we must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war on terror.

Third, the militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region, and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia. With greater economic and military and political power, the terrorists would be able to advance their stated agenda: to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate Europe, to assault the American people, and to blackmail our government into isolation.

Some might be tempted to dismiss these goals as fanatical or extreme. Well, they are fanatical and extreme -- and they should not be dismissed. Our enemy is utterly committed. As Zarqawi has vowed, "We will either achieve victory over the human race or we will pass to the eternal life." And the civilized world knows very well that other fanatics in history, from Hitler to Stalin to Pol Pot, consumed whole nations in war and genocide before leaving the stage of history. Evil men, obsessed with ambition and unburdened by conscience, must be taken very seriously -- and we must stop them before their crimes can multiply.

Defeating the militant network is difficult, because it thrives, like a parasite, on the suffering and frustration of others. The radicals exploit local conflicts to build a culture of victimization, in which someone else is always to blame and violence is always the solution. They exploit resentful and disillusioned young men and women, recruiting them through radical mosques as the pawns of terror. And they exploit modern technology to multiply their destructive power. Instead of attending faraway training camps, recruits can now access online training libraries to learn how to build a roadside bomb, or fire a rocket-propelled grenade -- and this further spreads the threat of violence, even within peaceful democratic societies.

The influence of Islamic radicalism is also magnified by helpers and enablers. They have been sheltered by authoritarian regimes, allies of convenience like Syria and Iran, that share the goal of hurting America and moderate Muslim governments, and use terrorist propaganda to blame their own failures on the West and America, and on the Jews. These radicals depend on front operations, such as corrupted charities, which direct money to terrorist activity. They're strengthened by those who aggressively fund the spread of radical, intolerant versions of Islam in unstable parts of the world. The militants are aided, as well, by elements of the Arab news media that incite hatred and anti-Semitism, that feed conspiracy theories and speak of a so-called American "war on Islam" -- with seldom a word about American action to protect Muslims in Afghanistan, and Bosnia, Somalia, Kosovo, Kuwait, and Iraq.

Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals. I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001 -- and al Qaeda attacked us anyway. The hatred of the radicals existed before Iraq was an issue, and it will exist after Iraq is no longer an excuse. The government of Russia did not support Operation Iraqi Freedom, and yet the militants killed more than 180 Russian schoolchildren in Beslan.

Over the years these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence -- the Israeli presence on the West Bank, or the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, or the defeat of the Taliban, or the Crusades of a thousand years ago. In fact, we're not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed and addressed. We're facing a radical ideology with inalterable objectives: to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world. No act of ours invited the rage of the killers -- and no concession, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder.

On the contrary: They target nations whose behavior they believe they can change through violence. Against such an enemy, there is only one effective response: We will never back down, never give in, and never accept anything less than complete victory. (Applause.)

The murderous ideology of the Islamic radicals is the great challenge of our new century. Yet, in many ways, this fight resembles the struggle against communism in the last century. Like the ideology of communism, Islamic radicalism is elitist, led by a self-appointed vanguard that presumes to speak for the Muslim masses. Bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims, quote, "what is good for them and what is not." And what this man who grew up in wealth and privilege considers good for poor Muslims is that they become killers and suicide bombers. He assures them that his -- that this is the road to paradise -- though he never offers to go along for the ride.

Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy teaches that innocent individuals can be sacrificed to serve a political vision. And this explains their cold-blooded contempt for human life. We've seen it in the murders of Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg, and Margaret Hassan, and many others. In a courtroom in the Netherlands, the killer of Theo Van Gogh turned to the victim's grieving mother and said, "I do not feel your pain -- because I believe you are an infidel." And in spite of this veneer of religious rhetoric, most of the victims claimed by the militants are fellow Muslims.

When 25 Iraqi children are killed in a bombing, or Iraqi teachers are executed at their school, or hospital workers are killed caring for the wounded, this is murder, pure and simple -- the total rejection of justice and honor and morality and religion. These militants are not just the enemies of America, or the enemies of Iraq, they are the enemies of Islam and the enemies of humanity. (Applause.) We have seen this kind of shameless cruelty before, in the heartless zealotry that led to the gulags, and the Cultural Revolution, and the killing fields.

Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy pursues totalitarian aims. Its leaders pretend to be an aggrieved party, representing the powerless against imperial enemies. In truth they have endless ambitions of imperial domination, and they wish to make everyone powerless except themselves. Under their rule, they have banned books, and desecrated historical monuments, and brutalized women. They seek to end dissent in every form, and to control every aspect of life, and to rule the soul, itself. While promising a future of justice and holiness, the terrorists are preparing for a future of oppression and misery.

Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy is dismissive of free peoples, claiming that men and women who live in liberty are weak and decadent. Zarqawi has said that Americans are, quote, "the most cowardly of God's creatures." But let's be clear: It is cowardice that seeks to kill children and the elderly with car bombs, and cuts the throat of a bound captive, and targets worshipers leaving a mosque. It is courage that liberated more than 50 million people. It is courage that keeps an untiring vigil against the enemies of a rising democracy. And it is courage in the cause of freedom that once again will destroy the enemies of freedom. (Applause.)

And Islamic radicalism, like the ideology of communism, contains inherent contradictions that doom it to failure. By fearing freedom -- by distrusting human creativity, and punishing change, and limiting the contributions of half the population -- this ideology undermines the very qualities that make human progress possible, and human societies successful. The only thing modern about the militants' vision is the weapons they want to use against us. The rest of their grim vision is defined by a warped image of the past -- a declaration of war on the idea of progress, itself. And whatever lies ahead in the war against this ideology, the outcome is not in doubt: Those who despise freedom and progress have condemned themselves to isolation, decline, and collapse. Because free peoples believe in the future, free peoples will own the future. (Applause.)

We didn't ask for this global struggle, but we're answering history's call with confidence, and a comprehensive strategy. Defeating a broad and adaptive network requires patience, constant pressure, and strong partners in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and beyond. Working with these partners, we're disrupting militant conspiracies, destroying their ability to make war, and working to give millions in a troubled region of the world a hopeful alternative to resentment and violence.

First, we're determined to prevent the attacks of terrorist networks before they occur. We're reorganizing our government to give this nation a broad and coordinated homeland defense. We're reforming our intelligence agencies for the incredibly difficult task of tracking enemy activity, based on information that often comes in small fragments from widely scattered sources, here and abroad. We're acting, along with the governments from many countries, to destroy the terrorist networks and incapacitate their leaders. Together, we've killed or captured nearly all of those directly responsible for the September the 11th attacks; as well as some of bin Laden's most senior deputies; al Qaeda managers and operatives in more than 24 countries; the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing, who was chief of al Qaeda operations in the Persian Gulf; the mastermind of the Jakarta and the first Bali bombings; a senior Zarqawi terrorist planner, who was planning attacks in Turkey; and many of al Qaeda's senior leaders in Saudi Arabia.

Overall, the United States and our partners have disrupted at least ten serious al Qaeda terrorist plots since September the 11th, including three al Qaeda plots to attack inside the United States. We've stopped at least five more al Qaeda efforts to case targets in the United States, or infiltrate operatives into our country. Because of this steady progress, the enemy is wounded -- but the enemy is still capable of global operations. Our commitment is clear: We will not relent until the organized international terror networks are exposed and broken, and their leaders held to account for their acts of murder.

Second, we're determined to deny weapons of mass destruction to outlaw regimes, and to their terrorist allies who would use them without hesitation. The United States, working with Great Britain, Pakistan, and other nations, has exposed and disrupted a major black-market operation in nuclear technology led by A.Q. Khan. Libya has abandoned its chemical and nuclear weapons programs, as well as long-range ballistic missiles. And in the last year, America and our partners in the Proliferation Security Initiative have stopped more than a dozen shipments of suspected weapons technology, including equipment for Iran's ballistic missile program.

This progress has reduced the danger to free nations, but has not removed it. Evil men who want to use horrendous weapons against us are working in deadly earnest to gain them. And we're working urgently to keep weapons of mass destruction out of their hands.

Third, we're determined to deny radical groups the support and sanctuary of outlaw regimes. State sponsors like Syria and Iran have a long history of collaboration with terrorists, and they deserve no patience from the victims of terror. The United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them, because they're equally as guilty of murder. (Applause.) Any government that chooses to be an ally of terror has also chosen to be an enemy of civilization. And the civilized world must hold those regimes to account.

Fourth, we're determined to deny the militants control of any nation, which they would use as a home base and a launching pad for terror. For this reason, we're fighting beside our Afghan partners against remnants of the Taliban and their al Qaeda allies. For this reason, we're working with President Musharraf to oppose and isolate the militants in Pakistan. And for this reason, we're fighting the regime remnants and terrorists in Iraq. The terrorist goal is to overthrow a rising democracy, claim a strategic country as a haven for terror, destabilize the Middle East, and strike America and other free nations with ever-increasing violence. Our goal is to defeat the terrorists and their allies at the heart of their power -- and so we will defeat the enemy in Iraq.

Our coalition, along with our Iraqi allies, is moving forward with a comprehensive, specific military plan. Area by area, city by city, we're conducting offensive operations to clear out enemy forces, and leaving behind Iraqi units to prevent the enemy from returning. Within these areas, we're working for tangible improvements in the lives of Iraqi citizens. And we're aiding the rise of an elected government that unites the Iraqi people against extremism and violence. This work involves great risk for Iraqis, and for Americans and coalition forces. Wars are not won without sacrifice -- and this war will require more sacrifice, more time, and more resolve.

The terrorists are as brutal an enemy as we've ever faced. They're unconstrained by any notion of our common humanity, or by the rules of warfare. No one should underestimate the difficulties ahead, nor should they overlook the advantages we bring to this fight.

Some observers look at the job ahead and adopt a self-defeating pessimism. It is not justified. With every random bombing and with every funeral of a child, it becomes more clear that the extremists are not patriots, or resistance fighters -- they are murderers at war with the Iraqi people, themselves.

In contrast, the elected leaders of Iraq are proving to be strong and steadfast. By any standard or precedent of history, Iraq has made incredible political progress -- from tyranny, to liberation, to national elections, to the writing of a constitution, in the space of two-and-a-half years. With our help, the Iraqi military is gaining new capabilities and new confidence with every passing month. At the time of our Fallujah operations 11 months ago, there were only a few Iraqi army battalions in combat. Today there are more than 80 Iraqi army battalions fighting the insurgency alongside our forces. Progress isn't easy, but it is steady. And no fair-minded person should ignore, deny, or dismiss the achievements of the Iraqi people.

Some observers question the durability of democracy in Iraq. They underestimate the power and appeal of freedom. We've heard it suggested that Iraq's democracy must be on shaky ground because Iraqis are arguing with each other. But that's the essence of democracy: making your case, debating with those who you disagree -- who disagree, building consensus by persuasion, and answering to the will of the people. We've heard it said that the Shia, Sunnis and Kurds of Iraq are too divided to form a lasting democracy. In fact, democratic federalism is the best hope for unifying a diverse population, because a federal constitutional system respects the rights and religious traditions of all citizens, while giving all minorities, including the Sunnis, a stake and a voice in the future of their country. It is true that the seeds of freedom have only recently been planted in Iraq -- but democracy, when it grows, is not a fragile flower; it is a healthy, sturdy tree. (Applause.)

As Americans, we believe that people everywhere -- everywhere -- prefer freedom to slavery, and that liberty, once chosen, improves the lives of all. And so we're confident, as our coalition and the Iraqi people each do their part, Iraqi democracy will succeed.

Some observers also claim that America would be better off by cutting our losses and leaving Iraq now. This is a dangerous illusion, refuted with a simple question: Would the United States and other free nations be more safe, or less safe, with Zarqawi and bin Laden in control of Iraq, its people, and its resources? Having removed a dictator who hated free peoples, we will not stand by as a new set of killers, dedicated to the destruction of our own country, seizes control of Iraq by violence.

There's always a temptation, in the middle of a long struggle, to seek the quiet life, to escape the duties and problems of the world, and to hope the enemy grows weary of fanaticism and tired of murder. This would be a pleasant world, but it's not the world we live in. The enemy is never tired, never sated, never content with yesterday's brutality. This enemy considers every retreat of the civilized world as an invitation to greater violence. In Iraq, there is no peace without victory. We will keep our nerve and we will win that victory. (Applause.)

The fifth element of our strategy in the war on terror is to deny the militants future recruits by replacing hatred and resentment with democracy and hope across the broader Middle East. This is a difficult and long-term project, yet there's no alternative to it. Our future and the future of that region are linked. If the broader Middle East is left to grow in bitterness, if countries remain in misery, while radicals stir the resentments of millions, then that part of the world will be a source of endless conflict and mounting danger, and for our generation and the next. If the peoples of that region are permitted to choose their own destiny, and advance by their own energy and by their participation as free men and women, then the extremists will be marginalized, and the flow of violent radicalism to the rest of the world will slow, and eventually end. By standing for the hope and freedom of others, we make our own freedom more secure.

America is making this stand in practical ways. We're encouraging our friends in the Middle East, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to take the path of reform, to strengthen their own societies in the fight against terror by respecting the rights and choices of their own people. We're standing with dissidents and exiles against oppressive regimes, because we know that the dissidents of today will be the democratic leaders of tomorrow. We're making our case through public diplomacy, stating clearly and confidently our belief in self-determination, and the rule of law, and religious freedom, and equal rights for women, beliefs that are right and true in every land, and in every culture. (Applause.)

As we do our part to confront radicalism, we know that the most vital work will be done within the Islamic world, itself. And this work has begun. Many Muslim scholars have already publicly condemned terrorism, often citing Chapter 5, Verse 32 of the Koran, which states that killing an innocent human being is like killing all humanity, and saving the life of one person is like saving all of humanity. After the attacks in London on July the 7th, an imam in the United Arab Emirates declared, "Whoever does such a thing is not a Muslim, nor a religious person." The time has come for all responsible Islamic leaders to join in denouncing an ideology that exploits Islam for political ends, and defiles a noble faith.

Many people of the Muslim faith are proving their commitment at great personal risk. Everywhere we have engaged the fight against extremism, Muslim allies have stood up and joined the fight, becoming partners in a vital cause. Afghan troops are in combat against Taliban remnants. Iraqi soldiers are sacrificing to defeat al Qaeda in their own country. These brave citizens know the stakes -- the survival of their own liberty, the future of their own region, the justice and humanity of their own tradition -- and that United States of America is proud to stand beside them. (Applause.)

With the rise of a deadly enemy and the unfolding of a global ideological struggle, our time in history will be remembered for new challenges and unprecedented dangers. And yet the fight we have joined is also the current expression of an ancient struggle, between those who put their faith in dictators, and those who put their faith in the people. Throughout history, tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that murder is justified to serve their grand vision -- and they end up alienating decent people across the globe. Tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that regimented societies are strong and pure -- until those societies collapse in corruption and decay. Tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that free men and women are weak and decadent -- until the day that free men and women defeat them.

We don't know the course of our own struggle -- the course our own struggle will take -- or the sacrifices that might lie ahead. We do know, however, that the defense of freedom is worth our sacrifice. We do know the love of freedom is the mightiest force of history. And we do know the cause of freedom will once again prevail.

May God bless you. (Applause.)

END 10:47 A.M. EDT



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Return to this article at:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/10/20051006-3.html
 

Liberty Belle

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Thanks for posting this Cal. I watched the speech and we needed to be reminded that the war in Iraq is not what caused the fanatical Muslim world to hate us. They have hated and vowed death to the infidel (that's us!) for generations, simply because we offer freedom to the world and their nutty religion of bondage and brutality cannot flourish in a free society.

It's too bad idiots like disagreeable can't see passed their own warped ideology to see that we had no choice but to strike back at the hate-filled fanatics that only gained confidence that we had no backbone to retaliate against the terrible destruction they have been heaping on the whole world, not just the US and England. When, as a nation, we ignored the many terrorist attacks on us and other nations around the world by these nuts, it only encouraged them. Until they realize that we will not allow them to kill and maim our citizens without making them suffer greatly for their crimes, the world will be a very dangerous place for anyone from the free world.

Personally, I think it is high time we nuked Iran. They want nuclear weapons? Let’s give them one and send a message to crazies like North Korea at the same time.
 

Disagreeable

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It's too bad idiots like disagreeable can't see passed their own warped ideology to see that we had no choice but to strike back at the hate-filled fanatics that only gained confidence that we had no backbone to retaliate against the terrible destruction they have been heaping on the whole world, not just the US and England. When, as a nation, we ignored the many terrorist attacks on us and other nations around the world by these nuts, it only encouraged them. Until they realize that we will not allow them to kill and maim our citizens without making them suffer greatly for their crimes, the world will be a very dangerous place for anyone from the free world.

I hate to bust your bubble, but Iraq and Saddam had nothing to do with 9-11. George W. Bush, himself, has said so.

No one on this board, including me, has said we should not have attacked the Taliban in Afghanistan because they refused to serve up Osama Bin Laden after 9-11. Today newstory after newstory tells us the Taliban are making a comeback in Afghanistan. The Bush Bunch is trying to get NATO to take over that war so they can concentrate on Iraq. Afghanistan is where 9-11 was planned and launched , not Iraq, and we may lose our gains there because of the Bush wanted Saddam!
 

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For Cal: The president does live in his own little world, doesn't he. A world where one Iraqi unit now at level 1 is better than three Iraqi units at level 1. A world where Americans haven't realized that 9-11 has nothing to do with the war in Iraq. A world where Communism is still a serious threat to our freedom. A world where Iraqis neighbors support his war with more than words. (Not a single neighbor of Iraq has sent a single soldier to "free" Iraq. That show show much our "friends" in the region support this war.) A simplistic world where might makes right. Sorry, George and Cal, this speech, billed as a major speech, :roll: , is nothing new. It's more of the same spin as his last speech. But the fact that Bush felt like he needed to make this speech says a lot.
 

Liberty Belle

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Disagreeable,
Maybe you would like to go over some of the points addressed in this article and tell us again about how the president lives in "his own little world". Tell us again how Bush lied about WMDs to get us into a war with Iraq to enrich his oil buddies in Texas. Some of us would love to discuss any "facts" you might conjour up that would counter these:

Why We Went to War
From the October 20, 2003 issue: The case for the war in Iraq, with testimony from Bill Clinton.
by Robert Kagan & William Kristol
10/20/2003, Volume 009, Issue 06


"When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for. That is, at the end of the first Gulf War, we knew what he had. We knew what was destroyed in all the inspection processes and that was a lot. And then we bombed with the British for four days in 1998. We might have gotten it all; we might have gotten half of it; we might have gotten none of it. But we didn't know. So I thought it was prudent for the president to go to the U.N. and for the U.N. to say you got to let these inspectors in, and this time if you don't cooperate the penalty could be regime change, not just continued sanctions."
--Bill Clinton, July 22, 2003


FORMER PRESIDENT CLINTON is right about what he and the whole world knew about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction programs. And most of what everyone knew about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction had nothing to do with this or any other government's intelligence collection and analysis. Had there never been a Central Intelligence Agency--an idea we admit sounds more attractive all the time--the case for war against Iraq would have been rock solid. Almost everything we knew about Saddam's weapons programs and stockpiles, we knew because the Iraqis themselves admitted it.

Here's a little history that seems to have been completely forgotten in the frenzy of the past few months. Shortly after the first Gulf War in 1991, U.N. inspectors discovered the existence of a surprisingly advanced Iraqi nuclear weapons program. In addition, by Iraq's own admission and U.N. inspection efforts, Saddam's regime possessed thousands of chemical weapons and tons of chemical weapon agents. Were it not for the 1995 defection of senior Iraqi officials, the U.N. would never have made the further discovery that Iraq had manufactured and equipped weapons with the deadly chemical nerve agent VX and had an extensive biological warfare program.

Here is what was known by 1998 based on Iraq's own admissions:
* That in the years immediately prior to the first Gulf War, Iraq produced at least 3.9 tons of VX, a deadly nerve gas, and acquired 805 tons of precursor ingredients for the production of more VX.
* That Iraq had produced or imported some 4,000 tons of ingredients to produce other types of poison gas.
* That Iraq had produced 8,500 liters of anthrax.
* That Iraq had produced 500 bombs fitted with parachutes for the purpose of delivering poison gas or germ payloads.
* That Iraq had produced 550 artillery shells filled with mustard gas.
* That Iraq had produced or imported 107,500 casings for chemical weapons.
* That Iraq had produced at least 157 aerial bombs filled with germ agents.
* That Iraq had produced 25 missile warheads containing germ agents (anthrax, aflatoxin, and botulinum).
Again, this list of weapons of mass destruction is not what the Iraqi government was suspected of producing. (That would be a longer list, including an Iraqi nuclear program that the German intelligence service had concluded in 2001 might produce a bomb within three years.) It was what the Iraqis admitted producing. And it is this list of weapons--not any CIA analysis under either the Clinton or Bush administrations--that has been at the heart of the Iraq crisis.

For in all the years after those admissions, the Iraqi government never explained, or even tried to explain, to anyone's satisfaction, including most recently, that of Hans Blix, what had become of the huge quantities of deadly weapons it had produced. The Iraqi government repeatedly insisted that most of the weapons had been "secretly" destroyed. When asked to produce credible evidence of the destruction--the location of destruction sites, fragments of destroyed weapons, some documentation of the destruction, anything at all--the Iraqis refused. After 1995, the U.N. weapons inspection process became a lengthy cat-and-mouse game, as inspectors tried to cajole Iraqis to divulge information about the fate of these admitted stockpiles of weapons. The inspectors fanned out across the country looking for weapons caches, stashes of documents, and people willing to talk. And sometimes, the inspectors uncovered evidence. Both American and French testers found traces of nerve gas on remnants of warheads, for instance. The Iraqis claimed the evidence had been planted.

After 1996, and partly as a consequence of the documents they had discovered and of Iraqi admissions, weapons inspectors must have started getting closer to uncovering what the Iraqis were hiding. For at about that time, inspectors' demands to visit certain facilities began to be systematically blocked by Saddam. There was the famous confrontation over the so-called "presidential palaces," actually vast complexes of buildings and warehouses, that Saddam simply declared off-limits to inspectors.

At the end of 1997, this limitation on the inspectors' freedom of movement precipitated an international crisis. The Clinton

administration demanded that the inspectors be given full access to the "palaces." The Iraqis refused. Instead, Saddam demanded the removal of all Americans from the U.N. inspection team and an end to all U-2 flights over Iraq, and even threatened to shoot the planes down. In case there was any doubt that his aim was to conceal weapons programs that the inspectors were getting close to discovering, Iraq at this time also began moving equipment that could be used to manufacture weapons out of the range of video cameras that had been installed by the U.N. inspection team.

The New York Times reported at the time that the U.N. weapons inspectors (not American intelligence) believed that Iraq possessed "the elements of a deadly germ warfare arsenal and perhaps poison gases, as well as the rudiments of a missile system" that could launch the warheads. But because of Saddam's action at the end of 1997, the Times reported, the U.N. inspection team could "no longer verify that Iraq is not making weapons of mass destruction" and specifically could not monitor "equipment that could grow seed stocks of biological agents in a matter of hours." Saddam's precipitating of this crisis was a bold move, aimed at splitting the U.N. Security Council and isolating the Clinton administration. And it worked. The Clinton administration tried but failed to get French and Russian support at the Security Council either for military action or for a tightening of sanctions to force Saddam to cease these activities and comply with his commitment to disarm. The French and Russian position by 1997 was that the "books" should be closed on Iraq's WMD programs, sanctions should be lifted, and relations with Saddam should be normalized. That remained the French position for the next five years.

It was in response to this crisis that we at this magazine began calling for Saddam Hussein's ouster by means of a ground invasion. And in a letter sent to President Clinton on January 26, 1998, we and a number of other former government officials urged military action against Saddam on the grounds that the situation had become untenable and perilous. As a result of recent events, we wrote, the United States could no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades U.N. inspections. Our ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq's chemical and biological weapons production. The lengthy period during which the inspectors will have been unable to enter many Iraqi facilities has made it even less likely that they will be able to uncover all of Saddam's secrets. As a result, in the not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons. Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire Middle East.

IN EARLY 1998, the Clinton administration, following this same logic, prepared for war against Iraq. On February 17, President Clinton spoke on the steps of the Pentagon to explain to the American people why war was necessary. The speech is worth excerpting at length, because it was then and remains today the fundamental case for the invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein from power.

President Clinton declared that the great threat confronting the United States and its allies was a lethal and "unholy axis" of international terrorists and outlaw states. "They will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them." There was, Clinton declared, "no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His regime threatens the safety of his people, the stability of his region and the security of all the rest of us." Before the Gulf War of 1991, Clinton noted, "Saddam had built up a terrible arsenal, and he had used it. Not once, but many times in a decade-long war with Iran, he used chemical weapons against combatants, against civilians, against a foreign adversary and even against his own people." At the end of the Gulf War, Saddam had promised to reveal all his programs and disarm within 15 days. But instead, he had spent "the better part of the past decade trying to cheat on this solemn commitment." As Clinton explained:
Iraq repeatedly made false declarations about the weapons that it had left in its possession after the Gulf War. When UNSCOM would then uncover evidence that gave the lie to those declarations, Iraq would simply amend the reports. For example, Iraq revised its nuclear declarations four times within just 14 months, and it has submitted six different biological warfare declarations, each of which has been rejected by UNSCOM.

In 1995 Hussein Kamal, Saddam's son-in-law and the chief organizer of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program, defected to Jordan. He revealed that Iraq was continuing to conceal weapons and missiles and the capacity to build many more. Then and only then did Iraq admit to developing numbers of weapons in significant quantities--and weapons stocks. Previously it had vehemently denied the very thing it just simply admitted once Saddam's son-in-law defected to Jordan and told the truth.
Now listen to this: What did it admit? It admitted, among other things, an offensive biological warfare capability, notably, 5,000 gallons of botulinum, which causes botulism; 2,000 gallons of anthrax; 25 biological-filled Scud warheads; and 157 aerial bombs. And I might say UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq has actually greatly understated its production. . . .

Next, throughout this entire process, Iraqi agents have undermined and undercut UNSCOM. They've harassed the inspectors, lied to them, disabled monitoring cameras, literally spirited evidence out of the back doors of suspect facilities as inspectors walked through the front door, and our people were there observing it and had the pictures to prove it. . . .

Over the past few months, as [the weapons inspectors] have come closer and closer to rooting out Iraq's remaining nuclear capacity, Saddam has undertaken yet another gambit to thwart their ambitions by imposing debilitating conditions on the inspectors and declaring key sites which have still not been inspected off limits, including, I might add, one palace in Baghdad more than 2,600 acres large. . . .

One of these presidential sites is about the size of Washington, D.C. . . .
It is obvious that there is an attempt here, based on the whole history of this operation since 1991, to protect whatever remains of his capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction, the missiles to deliver them, and the feed stocks necessary to produce them. The UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq still has stockpiles of chemical and biological munitions, a small force of Scud-type missiles, and the capacity to restart quickly its production program and build many, many more weapons. . . .

Now, let's imagine the future. What if he fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction.
And some day, some way, I guarantee you he'll use the arsenal. . . . In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now--a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers, or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed.

If we fail to respond today, Saddam, and all those who would follow in his footsteps, will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council, and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program.

The Clinton administration did not in fact respond. War was averted by a lame compromise worked out by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. But within a few months, Saddam was again obstructing U.N. inspectors, driving a deeper wedge into the U.N. Security Council and attempting to put a final end to the inspections process. He succeeded. At the end of 1998, the Clinton administration launched Operation Desert Fox, a four-day missile and bombing attack on Iraq that was aimed principally at known and suspected facilities for producing weapons of mass destruction and missiles. The effect of the bombings on Iraq's programs and stockpiles, however, was unknown, as Clinton acknowledges. But one effect of Operation Desert Fox was that Saddam expelled the U.N. inspectors altogether. Beginning in December 1998 and for the next four years, there were no U.N. inspectors in Iraq.

What did Saddam Hussein do during those four years of relative freedom? To this day, no one knows for sure. The only means of learning Iraqi activities during those years were intelligence, satellite photography, electronic eavesdropping, and human sources. The last of these was in short supply. And, as we now know, the ability to determine the extent of Saddam's programs only by so-called technical means was severely limited. American and foreign intelligence services pieced together what little information they could, but they were trying to illuminate a dark cave with a Bic lighter. Without a vast inspection team on the ground, operating unfettered and over a long period of time, it was clear that the great unanswered questions regarding Iraq--what happened to the old stockpiles of weapons and what new programs Saddam was working on--could never be answered.

The rest of the story, we assume, most people remember. The Bush administration's threat of war beginning last summer led France and Russia to reverse themselves and to start taking the Iraq weapons issue seriously again. In U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, the Security Council agreed on a new round of inspections, during which Saddam was to do finally what he had promised to do back in 1991 and ever since: make a clean breast of all his programs, answer all the unanswered questions about his admitted stockpiles of weapons, and fully disarm. Resolution 1441 demanded that, within 30 days, Iraq provide "a currently accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems designed for use on aircraft, including any holdings and precise locations of such weapons, components, sub-components, stocks of agents, and related material and equipment, the locations and work of its research, development and production facilities, as well as all other chemical, biological, and nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapon production or material."
Iraq did not comply with this demand within 30 days--or, for that matter, within 90. In his March 6, 2003, report to the U.N. Security Council, Hans Blix reported that the declared stocks of anthrax and VX remained unaccounted for. In the last chance given to Iraq by Resolution 1441, Iraq had failed to provide answers. As Blix reported again in May 2003, "little progress was made in the solution of outstanding issues....the long list of proscribed items unaccounted for and as such resulting in unresolved disarmament issues was not shortened either by the inspections or by Iraqi declarations and documentation."

We have retold this long story for one simple reason: This is why George W. Bush and Tony Blair and Jose Maria Aznar led their governments and a host of others to war to remove the Saddam Hussein regime in March 2003. It was not, in the first instance, to democratize the Middle East, although we have always believed and still believe that the building of a democratic Iraq, if the United States succeeds in doing so, will have a positive impact on the Arab world. It was not to increase the chances of an Arab-Israeli peace, although we still believe that the removal of a dangerous radical tyrant like Saddam Hussein may make that difficult task somewhat easier. It was not because we believed Saddam Hussein had ordered the September 11 attack, although we believe the links between Saddam and al Qaeda are becoming clearer every day (see Stephen F. Hayes's article on page 33 of this issue). Nor did the United States and its allies go to war because we believed that some quantity of "yellowcake" was making its way from Niger to Iraq, or that Saddam was minutes away from launching a nuclear weapon against Chicago. We never believed the threat from Saddam was "imminent" in that sense.
The reason for war, in the first instance, was always the strategic threat posed by Saddam because of his proven record of aggression and barbarity, his admitted possession of weapons of mass destruction, and the certain knowledge of his programs to build more. It was the threat he posed to his region, to our allies, and to core U.S. interests that justified going to war this past spring, just as it also would have justified a Clinton administration decision to go to war in 1998. It was why Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, William Cohen, and many other top officials had concluded in the late 1990s that Saddam Hussein was an intolerable menace to his neighbors, to American allies, and ultimately to the United States itself, and therefore had eventually to be removed. It was also why a large number of Democrats, including John Kerry and General Wesley Clark, expressed support for the war last year, before Howard Dean and his roaring left wing of the Democratic party made support for "Bush's war" untenable for Democratic candidates.

NOTHING THAT HAS or has not been discovered in Iraq since the end of the war changes this fundamental judgment. Those who always objected to the rationale for the war want to use the failure so far to discover large caches of weapons to re-litigate the question. Democrats fearful of their party's left wing are using it to jump off the positions they held last year. That's politics. But back in the real world, the fact that David Kay's inspections teams have not yet found out what happened to Saddam's admitted stockpiles is not surprising. U.N. weapons inspectors did not find those caches of weapons in 12 years; Kay and his team have had about four months. Yes, we wish Saddam had left his chemical munitions and biological weapons neatly stacked up in a warehouse somewhere marked on the outside with a big, yellow skull and crossbones. We wish he had published his scientists' nuclear designs in the daily paper. Or we wish we could find the "Dear Diary" entry where he explains exactly what happened to all the weapons he built. But he did not leave these helpful hints behind.

After Operation Iraqi Freedom, the U.S. military was led by an Iraqi to a part of the desert where, lo and behold, a number of MiG fighter jets had been buried under the sand. Note that the Americans did not discover the jets themselves. Discovering chemical and biological munitions will be somewhat harder. Kay recently reported to Congress that there are approximately 130 Ammunition Storage Points scattered across Iraq, a country the size of France. Many of the ammunition depots take up more than 50 square miles. Together they hold 600,000 tons of artillery shells, rockets, aviation bombs, and other ordinance. Under Saddam, U.N. inspectors learned, the Iraqi military stored chemical ordnance at the same ammunition depots where the conventional rounds were stored. Do you know how many of the 130 Iraqi ammunition depots have been searched since the end of the war? Ten. Only 120 to go.

Saddam Hussein had four years of unfettered activity in which to hide and reconfigure his weapons programs. Our intelligence on this, as we noted earlier, may have been lousy. David Kay's task has essentially been to reconstruct a story we don't know. In fact, he's learned quite a bit in a very short time. For instance, as Kay reported to Congress, his team has uncovered "dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the U.N. during the inspections that began in late 2002" (emphasis added). In addition, based on admissions by Iraqi scientists and government officials, Kay and his team have discovered:
* A clandestine network of laboratories and safehouses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service that contained equipment suitable for research in the production of chemical and biological weapons. This kind of equipment was explicitly mentioned in Hans Blix's requests for information, but was instead concealed from Blix throughout his investigations.
* A prison laboratory complex, which may have been used in human testing of biological weapons agents. Iraqi officials working to prepare for U.N. inspections in 2002 and 2003 were explicitly ordered not to acknowledge the existence of the prison complex.
* So-called "reference strains" of biological organisms, which can be used to produce biological weapons. The strains were found in a scientist's home.
* New research on agents applicable to biological weapons, including Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever, and continuing research on ricin and aflatoxin--all of which was, again, concealed from Hans Blix despite his specific request for any such information.
* Plans and advanced design work on new long-range missiles with ranges up to at least 1,000 kilometers--well beyond the 150-kilometer limit imposed on Iraq by the U.N. Security Council. These missiles would have allowed Saddam to threaten targets from Ankara to Cairo.
In addition to these banned activities, which were occurring right under the noses of the U.N. inspectors this past year, Kay and his team also discovered a massive effort to destroy evidence of weapons programs, an effort that began before the war and continued during it and even after the war. In the "looting" that followed the fall of Baghdad, computer hard drives were destroyed in government buildings--thus making the computers of no monetary value to actual looters. Kay also found documents burned or shredded. And people whom the Kay team tried to interview were in some cases threatened with retaliation by Saddam loyalists. Indeed, two of the scientists were subsequently shot. Others involved in the weapons programs have refused to talk for fear of eventual prosecution for war crimes.

Nevertheless, Kay has begun piecing together the story of what happened to Saddam's weapons and how he may have shifted direction in the years after 1998. It is possible that instead of building up large stockpiles of weapons, Saddam decided the safer thing would be to advance his covert programs for producing weapons but wait until the pressure was off to produce the weapons themselves. By the time inspectors returned to Iraq in 2002, Saddam was ready to be a little more forthcoming, because he had rejiggered his program to withstand somewhat greater scrutiny. Nevertheless, even then he could not let the inspectors see everything. Undoubtedly he hoped that if he could get through that last round, he would be home free, eventually without sanctions or further inspections.
There are no doubt some Americans who believe that this would have been an acceptable outcome. Or who believe that another six months of inspections would have uncovered all that Saddam was hiding. Or that a policy of "containment"--which included 200,000 troops on Iraq's borders as an inducement to permit inspections--could have been sustained indefinitely both at the U.N. Security Council and in Washington. We believe the overwhelming lesson of our history with Saddam is that none of these options would have succeeded. Had Saddam Hussein not been removed this year, it would have been only a matter of time before this president or some future president was compelled to take action against him, and in more dangerous circumstances.

There are people who will never accept this logic, who prefer to believe, or claim to believe, that the whole Iraq affair was, in the words of Ted Kennedy, a "fraud" "made up in Texas" for political gain, or who believe that it was the product of a vast conspiracy orchestrated by a tiny little band of "neoconservatives." Some of the people propagating this conspiratorial view of the Iraq war are now running for the Democratic nomination for president; one of them is even a former general who led the war against Slobodan Milosevic in 1999. We wish them the best of luck selling their conspiracy theories to the American people. But we trust Bill Clinton won't be stumping for them on this particular issue.
--Robert Kagan & William Kristol
 

Disagreeable

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And once again LB copies and pastes a long post that says nothing. If there were WMDs in Iraq, George W. Bush would have summoned the press and showed them to us. He hasn't. I said from the time I came on this board last year that if Saddam had WMDs he'd have used them when we attacked his country. You and some others came up with lame excuses. But we all know that I was right. Bush lied to the American people. His war is built on lies, half truths and mis-information.

We wish them the best of luck selling their conspiracy theories to the American people

There's no conspiracy theory to be sold. The Bush Bunch mislead us and the American people are starting to realize it. That's why Bush's popularity is down to 37%.
 

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Disagreeable: And once again LB copies and pastes a long post that says nothing. If there were WMDs in Iraq, George W. Bush would have summoned the press and showed them to us. He hasn't. I said from the time I came on this board last year that if Saddam had WMDs he'd have used them when we attacked his country. You and some others came up with lame excuses. But we all know that I was right. Bush lied to the American people. His war is built on lies, half truths and mis-information.
To what or to whom do you attribute your extensive knowledge of Iraq? Obviously none of the liberals I’ve quoted have the same vast repository of intelligence at their disposal that you do. Maybe you should share your sources with them and ya'll can roust that war-mongering Bush from office for good. Might even be able to impeach him, wouldn’t that be fun?

Ah, sweetie, you are just too much!!! :p :twisted: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

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Liberty Belle said:
Disagreeable: And once again LB copies and pastes a long post that says nothing. If there were WMDs in Iraq, George W. Bush would have summoned the press and showed them to us. He hasn't. I said from the time I came on this board last year that if Saddam had WMDs he'd have used them when we attacked his country. You and some others came up with lame excuses. But we all know that I was right. Bush lied to the American people. His war is built on lies, half truths and mis-information.
To what or to whom do you attribute your extensive knowledge of Iraq? Obviously none of the liberals I’ve quoted have the same vast repository of intelligence at their disposal that you do. Maybe you should share your sources with them and ya'll can roust that war-mongering Bush from office for good. Might even be able to impeach him, wouldn’t that be fun?

Ah, sweetie, you are just too much!!! :p :twisted: :lol: :lol: :lol:

What do I attribute my "extensive" knowledge of Iraq? I read, I think, I don't pay attention to the flaky emails that come into my mailbox. Unlike you I refuse to drink the KoolAid. I have shared many of my sources: government reports, newspaper articles, Congressional hearings. You, on the other hand, share your NewsMax articles and emails. I don't pretend we went into Iraq to rescue the Iraqi people. No, wait, that was the second excuse after we didn't find WMDs. Right. Now we're there because of the War on Terror. But there were no terrorists in Iraq until Bush destroyed their government. Oh, right, now we're helping the Iraqi nation become a free and democratic government by approving a constitution. But, wait, the Sunnis don't approve of the constitution. Our own military leaders in Iraq say that Constitution can cause more harm than good if it's approved in it's current format. And some Iraqis blame us for all the violence and death in their country. I wonder what gave them that idea?

One doesn't have to be a genius to see this is a mess. And an honest person would admit it.
 

Liberty Belle

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What do I attribute my "extensive" knowledge of Iraq? I read, I think, I don't pay attention to the flaky emails that come into my mailbox. Unlike you I refuse to drink the KoolAid. I have shared many of my sources: government reports, newspaper articles, Congressional hearings. You, on the other hand, share your NewsMax articles and emails.

My dear dis - would you mind refreshing my memory? I can’t remember posting any emails, flaky or otherwise, about Iraq. I have, however, posted several articles from very credible sources quoting politicians from YOUR side of the political spectrum that you either haven’t bothered to read, refuse to acknowledge or cannot comprehend.

You obviously discount stories posted by News Max. I double dog dare you to discredit any of their stories I have presented – go ahead, disprove even one tiny little fact from any of the news stories I’ve given you. I have noticed you have a penchant for posting CBS articles. Now THERE is a credible source if I’ve ever seen one!!! But I guess you’d rather trust RATHER than a news source that has never, at least to my knowledge, printed anything that they knew was not legitimate.

I’ve questioned your lack of reading comprehension before and with every post you reinforce my low opinion of both your reasoning skills and your intelligence. I have come to the conclusion, based on your multitude of ignoble and infantile postings, that you are a regular heavy abuser of much harder stuff than Kool Aid. Again, I strongly admonish you to lay off that stuff – look what it’s doing to you. Even Clinton didn’t inhale... or so he said.
 

Liberty Belle

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Attention disagreeable - I'm bringing this back to the top for you. If you can't answer, we'll know that you were blowing smoke again because you HAVE no answer.

disagreeable: What do I attribute my "extensive" knowledge of Iraq? I read, I think, I don't pay attention to the flaky emails that come into my mailbox. Unlike you I refuse to drink the KoolAid. I have shared many of my sources: government reports, newspaper articles, Congressional hearings. You, on the other hand, share your NewsMax articles and emails.
Liberty Belle: My dear dis - would you mind refreshing my memory? I can’t remember posting any emails, flaky or otherwise, about Iraq. I have, however, posted several articles from very credible sources quoting politicians from YOUR side of the political spectrum that you either haven’t bothered to read, refuse to acknowledge or cannot comprehend.

You obviously discount stories posted by News Max. I double dog dare you to discredit any of their stories I have presented – go ahead, disprove even one tiny little fact from any of the news stories I’ve given you. I have noticed you have a penchant for posting CBS articles. Now THERE is a credible source if I’ve ever seen one!!! But I guess you’d rather trust RATHER than a news source that has never, at least to my knowledge, printed anything that they knew was not legitimate.

I’ve questioned your lack of reading comprehension before and with every post you reinforce my low opinion of both your reasoning skills and your intelligence. I have come to the conclusion, based on your multitude of ignoble and infantile postings, that you are a regular heavy abuser of much harder stuff than Kool Aid. Again, I strongly admonish you to lay off that stuff – look what it’s doing to you. Even Clinton didn’t inhale... or so he said.
 

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