Does Mike Ware owe us an apology?

By Mark Kilmer Posted in Comments (46) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

Who was that heckling John McCain in Baghdad last weekend? Was that CNN's Michael Ware?

The French wire AFP doesn't say:

McCain and three fellow Republican senators told slightly incredulous journalists about their "deeply moving" downtown walkabout, sipping tea and chewing the fat with welcoming Iraqis.

[ . . . ]
"I studied warfare. I'm a student of history. If you control the capital city of a nation you have a significant advantage," countered McCain as one reporter giggled at the back. . . .

Yet journalists openly scoffed afterwards at what they considered a public awareness exercise secured on the streets by massive US security. [my emphasis]

Read More...

Raw Story reported:

CNN's Ware… appears to be sitting just in front of the camera in the full-room shots of the press conference.

In front of the camera is in back of the room. The back of the room is where the AFP reported the giggling reporter was seated. If we can believe the French, though, 't wasn't only Ware who was "incredulous" and "scoff[ing] afterwards." Much of the press corps there in the Green Zone, it seems, have become third-rate activists, childishly mocking that which doesn't fit their model.

I do not know if Matt Drudge owes Mike Ware an apology, though I know he owes several to the troops and to the American people. If he laughed or scoffed, he lied to us and to his employer.

The media are not a watchdog in any sense of the word. They can't even hit the fire hydrant.

[HT, Confederate Yankee.]

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Does Mike Ware owe us an apology? 46 Comments (0 topical, 46 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

This was a complete farce. If I was there, I would have had a hard time not laughing at delusion flowing from McCain's mouth.

Does he think we are stupid?

And that is exactly the point, pal. You aren't.

It is a serious tragedy that none of the Democratic appropriation for the war is going to the rescue of the proper use of the subjunctive from the assault of the vernacular.

---
Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute.
But set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

Apparently you're too young to remember the tragic defeat of the Bob the Angry Flower Guide to the Correct Use of Apostrophes, You Illiterate Morons appropriation bill of 1978.

That would have to be authorized under the Endangered Species Act.

...and it's covered by an NEA grant.

As I noted on the other thread, if the AFP report is correct, it can't have been Michael Ware, because the vido shows him sitting at the front of the audience, and the report says the giggling came from the back.

And McCain is history. Making a fool of himself with this transparent shaving of the truth, together his fundraising failures and the story emerging today that his office approached Kerry to talk about the VP slot, and not vice versa has got to mean the end of his campaign.

and AFP. My standard for news may not be as high as Dan Rather's but I doubt that a reporter laughing at a press conference is news, even if the speaker is a Republican. Likewise reporters scoffing, that's news? Incredulity should be saved for NY Times editorials, or as a result of some self examination on the part of the ostensibly incredulous. In short, the gratuitous inclusion of such drivel is aimed at the instant discrediting of McCains comments and depends on the heavy handed use of offstage clowns.

The people who give us the news become the news while making barnyard noises from the cheap seats.

I haven't held much sympathy for John McCain, if any, but if this is reporting then send the reporters back to kindergarten where they can giggle all day while they try and figure out the alphabet. And drool.

"a man's admiration for absolute government is proportinate to the contempt he feels for those around him". Tocqueville

that you're still flogging this dead horse.

You are quite correct when you say that Matt Drudge does owe Mike Ware an apology, as well as the American people and the troops in the field.

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

This press conference in Baghdad was live on C Span Radio on Sunday; I heard it, or much of it and I had the following impressions:

Although all attention is focused on Michael Ware, all the questions I heard were hostile and confrontational, challenging Sen McCain's assertions about improved security in Baghdad.

Alas I did not hear the grating Strine accent of the hideous Ware, but several questions badgered McCain in the manner we have grown accustomed to -- admit you were wrong (or lying or delusional) to say you can walk any street in Baghdad (McCain didn't say that) etc. If it were not so serious it would be funny-- McCain, the media darling, now getting a taste of the treatment Bush has received from the 4th estate for 5 years now.

It was a strange press conference -- McCain had obviously conceived it as a photo op that would burnish his campaign -- instead it was an ambush by the 'press" in baghdad -- clearly all more or less political/activist antiwar shills. As to whether Ware was heckling McCain, I can't say -- the broadcast simply cut out and ended abruptly.

The bottom line is, McCain-- whatever you think of him -- is making the case that the security situation in Bghdad is improving due to the surge, and that Americans are not receiving an accurate picture of this via the media. It's an important message, and the media is desperate to shut him up.

...is that he made two statements that were obviously not true. First, he claimed that Gen. Petraeus drives around in an un-armred Humvee. This was easily shown to be not true. Second, he claimed that there were areas in Baghdad where Americans can walk safely. I've never been to Iraq, but apparently this is not true either.

So McCain ruined his own message by insisting on two easily disproved statements that have little to do with whether the overall surge is working.

it's true. Taking a walk a few minutes from the Green Zone surrounded by more that a hundred soldiers and covered from the sky by five helicopters is not a sign that things are getting better. Security may be getting better, but McCain's little stunt is hardly credible evidence of improvement.

Note: The role of the American press should be confrontational and adversarial toward every elected and appointed official. Nothing should be accepted at face value, and if a reporter is in possession of information (either from reliable sources or first-hand experience) that makes the reporter doubt the official's version, then the reporter should act accordingly. Don't forget some members of the press have spent years, not hours, in Iraq. And they don't have a presidential campaign dependent on the situation there. Perhaps, you should be a little more skeptical of McCain.

...or even close. It's easy to mouth some sort of platitude about how the press needs to take an aggressively watchdog role, but it only works when it is applied both ways. At this point, not even most conservative political blogs are as adversarial towards congressional Democrats as, say, Newsweek and CNN are towards basically ANYONE they disagree with, GWB in particular.

"I could explain, but that would be very long, very convoluted, and make you look very stupid. Nobody wants that... except maybe me."

claim honor for the bias press. If they were 75%/25% I'd take it all day long.

instead it was an ambush by the 'press" in baghdad -- clearly all more or less political/activist antiwar shills

Would you be willing to concede that it's likely the press corps, many of them in Iraq for months at a time, might conceivably have a more accurate sense of the security situation in that country than a politician who comes over for days at a time and ventures out only into areas pre-swept by our troops, at our cost, for what amounts to nothing more than a photo op?

It's an important message, and the media is desperate to shut him up.

And what if that message, as relayed by the man himself, is transparently false? Is it still important? Do the press have a responsibility to question it? Or should they blindly accept his proclamations and report them as is?

I know for a fact I hit reply in this instance. Obviously my preceding comment should be nested under septembergurl's.

"Would you be willing to concede that it's likely the press corps, many of them in Iraq for months at a time, might conceivably have a more accurate sense of the security situation in that country than a politician who comes over for days at a time and ventures out only into areas pre-swept by our troops, at our cost, for what amounts to nothing more than a photo op?"

I was very not-impressed by the questions directed at Sen McCain on this occasion. Example: A woman, whose affiliation I did not catch, ranted in a hysterical fashion (I mean screaming and wailing) quoting The Charge of the Light Brigade by Tennyson and screaming 'Someone had blundered! The Iraq war was a blunder! Now we're going to blunder into war with Iraq?? Can you stop this?"

McCain: (disgusted) I can't comment on that.

I'm sure you think this is brilliant, responsible journalism, but I think it's pacifist, defeatist, antiwar activism, pure and simple. That charactierized all the questions I heard. And incidentally, it was I who pointed out that McCain had obviously (and mistakenly) conceived of this event as a photo op for his campaign.

"And what if that message, as relayed by the man himself, is transparently false? Is it still important? Do the press have a responsibility to question it? Or should they blindly accept his proclamations and report them as is?"

"Transparently false?" Dear me. McCain has overstated some aspects, perhaps, but overall, his assessment of improvements in the security of Baghdad is rather well supported by a wide swath of opinion and reportage.

The press has a responsibility to report the truth -- something they have failed to do and continue to fail to do in Baghdad.

McCain has overstated some aspects, perhaps, but overall, his assessment of improvements in the security of Baghdad is rather well supported by a wide swath of opinion and reportage.

McCain's assessment, as it is relevant to this conversation, is precisely his comment that some neighborhoods of Baghdad are safe for "you and I" to walk about in unarmed and unarmored. That's not overstatement, at least as far as he has been able to substantiate it, it's flat out false. The press being confrontational on that specific statement is hardly surprising, nor is it irresponsible. On the contrary, it's their implicit role in the situation to question his assessment in light of their own personal experience. If we don't expect the media to be confrontational, what exactly is their purpose?

As I said in my previous post, the purpose of the media is to search out and present the truth. This might entail being confrontational, or it might not.

It's funny, isn't it, how the media is always "confrontational" with McCain, for example, but not so confrontational with the members of the insurgency, the anti-Maliki types, AQI, etc. No, because that might require some actual courage. It doesn't take courage, or brains or knowledge, to scream at McCain in a press conference. It means precisely nothing.

Or actually, it means a lot, it means the MSM, the antiwar activists, the Defeatocrats, etc, have finally figured out that their attempts to secure a defeat that was not secured on the battlefield is endangered by the credibility of McCain and Petraeus, and so hit jobs are underway. That's all this is, a hit job on McCain. No journalism involved.

Since the $10,000 mark has been past and Jeff and Academic Elephant are traveling to Iraq, we have the perfect opportunity to show how Ware is wrong, how McCain is correct and how the surge had made Baghdad safer. They should travel from the Green Zone to Baghdad market with cameras and without security to talk to folks in the market and enjoy the produce and goods that Baghdad market has to offer now that it is free from the clutches of Saddam Hussein. This is the perfect opportunity to show how safe Baghdad has become and to prove the liberal naysayers wrong. It would make a great news story.

Not funny. Not even amusing. Just sick.

mv calicon /dev/pile

Drink Good Coffee. You can sleep when you're dead.

Ban me too please.

I toyed with the idea of posting something similar to this, and then I thought I would not want to encourage irresponsible behavior.

I have no doubt the Pentagon handlers would prohibit such a misadventure.

No matter how much you want something to be true, only in Never-Never land can your beliefs overcome reality.

It appears Michael Ware’s most egregious fault is in not believing in the occupation of Iraq.

Why is this considered here to be so antithetic to conservatism that those who have this opinion must be attacked in such an ad hominem way?

Think back to 2003 when only 140 American troops had died.

Four years later there are 3250 soldiers dead and almost as many troops still occupying Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead, and millions emigrated.

Would your 2003 self have imagined such a thing?

In what way is this not already an irredeemable failure with respect to the original expectation?

I imagine the consensus will be that the Iraqis were unworthy.

Or you would know that the administration has been saying all along this is something that America is in for the long-haul. Condoleeza Rice was talking in 2001 about the GWOT lasting more than 10 years.

It isn't just the administration, either. Even people who now claim that they were 'misled' into thinking it would be easy, or that it has only taken this long because of the administration's incompetence, went into this with their eyes open. The whole business of them choosing to close their eyes has happened since.

See the 2002 article by Chuck Hegel and Joe Biden predicting difficult times in Iraq for 10 years to come as part of their reasons for voting for the war for more details.

So, no, supporters of the war have not changed their position - except, of course, those who have become opponents. It is those people who are trying to edit the predictions they made in the past, not the administration.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

My 2003 self had a slightly different perspective than your 2003 self in that I thought we potentially faced 10,000 combat deaths. So my sense of "egregious failure" is perhaps not the same as yours. As for the Iraqis being unworthy, I'm afraid I don't follow. Of freedom? Do they deserve in your opinion--as appears to be the stance of the previous poster with whom you concur--to go back to the halcyon days of Saddam when Baghdad was a sort of Paris on the Euphrates--a welcoming urban paradise where western press roamed about at will?

"I'm kind of old-fashioned. I like to engage my brain before my mouth." Donald Rumsfeld

When has any American President got 100% in a popular vote?

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

to the left and a villain to the right but he's certainly not a journalist. A propagandist and a cheerleader for AQ and the Dems and his reporting so twisted he is the one in Never Never Land. I would rather see him living in Tehran.

Would that be 10,000 deaths spread over a four year insurgency or 10,000 deaths because of WMD?

Your 2003 self is truly comfortable with the last four years?

Low expectations are a well trodden path to success.

I applaud your reluctance to blame the Iraqis.

Four years is not a long time. How about the sixty we've had troops in Japan and Germany, not to mention Korea? Now that's a long time--a long enough time to really understand the mission and how it is going to play out in a historical sense.

Crystal ball gazing seems to be more your bag than mine--I wouldn't claim that I prognosticated the actual outcome of this war from the get go, but certainly I was concerned about WMD and I never thought this was going to be a "war" like the intervention in the Balkans--nor did I think it would, or should, be the equivalent of Gulf 1.

I am not reluctant to blame the Iraqis. I simply don't. Again, that's your bag. Not really my style.

"I'm kind of old-fashioned. I like to engage my brain before my mouth." Donald Rumsfeld

The sixty years in Japan, Germany and Korea owes more to the existence of the Soviet Union than an ongoing war with the Japanese, Germans and Koreans.

Some call it “Crystal ball gazing” others call it planning.

You seem very level headed. Perhaps you could interview Michael Ware when you are in Iraq. The Iraqi stringers also interest me.

Such a pity you're gone, because I wonder how you would respond to the suggestion that if the USSR was the enemy, we should have been fighting the USSR, not stationing troops in other theaters that would distract from the real threat? Might you say that you have to fight the enemy wherever it manifests itself?

I suppose I'll have to keep wondering.

As for interviewing Michael Ware, I think I'll interview Michael Yon instead. More informative.

"I'm kind of old-fashioned. I like to engage my brain before my mouth." Donald Rumsfeld

From this comment, it's obvious you skipped past qlangley's reply to you for a reason - you've heavily invested yourself in the story that no-one ever said this was going to be long and that it was going to be a tough campaign.But that's clearly not true.

Every member of the Administration that was asked on national television before the invasion made it clear that this was going to be a long campaign. Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld were predicting up to ten years.

Democrats who today claim that they were "misled", that prior to Bush taking the oath of office they never ever ever thought for a second that Saddam's Iraq posed a threat to the United States, allies and interests, that claim that Bush told them that it was going to take one week and three hours, give or take four minutes ... are on record predicting thousands more casualties and a ten year operation.

Go back and read the "analysis" pieces being published at the time predicting that the US was going to lose massive amounts of its soldiers (far more than 3000) in the streets of Baghdad due to the "urban war" that was sure to happen.

So it's not a matter of us war supporters having low expectations, diem42 ... it's just that we listened when the principals (the President, his Cabinet, the Generals, Congressional Leaders of both parties) talked. We absorbed what they had to say when they said and more than that we remember despite the best efforts of the Fourth Estate to reduce everything to a carrier landing and sound bites.

Note that it's not that we're saying there were no mistakes made. Of course, this is a war ... people like you who demand flawless executions are always going to be disappointed ... especially since you're availed of hindsight.

But to say that this was completely and totally unexpected, or that the "original expectation" was that of a one week/month/year war with no setbacks, miscalculations or just plain error, despite so many speeches by the President and his cabinet before and during the war that this was going to be exactly the way it turned out (long and hard) is quite frankly dishonest. Extremely dishonest.

So diem42 ... if indeed you do get banned, know it would not be for your plaintive wails, it would be for your mendacity.

George W. Bush: He's A Folder ... Not A Fighter.

Face it, the mere existence of the surge implies the situation we are now in was unexpected.

Iraq was an invasion, and is now an occupation.

Referring to the initial invasion as problematic is one thing, where are your quotes predicting a devastating insurgency and civil war?

The administration until recently would not even use these words.

There is *plenty* of evidence that no where near the current level of troop numbers nor casualties was expected four years after the invasion.

I appreciate you holding back your inner, angry child, and taking eight paragraphs before calling me liar. Was that really necessary or is personal abuse compulsory here?

After all, there may be somebody reading this someday who isn't you. We don't want to convince you; you want to see my friends dead in order to score political points on a blog. You are welcome to stay on the other side of this debate; but you are not welcome to stay here.

So get the Hell off of my website.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC.

"Face it, the mere existence of the surge implies the situation we are now in was unexpected."

What everyone is trying to tell you is that "expectations" were that this war was going to take a long time. Our leaders said exactly that.

It is impossible to plan for every contingency in a war.

I have absolutely no doubt that those who criticize our actions in Iraq today would be clamoring for George Bush's head if Saddam Hussein had been allowed to attack the west with WMD.

Face it, the mere existence of the surge implies the situation we are now in was unexpected.

War is not exactly a predictable undertaking, diem42, didn't you know? So, by definition, certain situations would be unexpected. Did I really need to spell this out for you? Do you actually believe that there is any war from antiquity to modern times in which unexpected situations did not arise?

Honestly?

The President said this would be long and hard and not only that, his cabinet and many other officials, including military officials projected that American troops could be in Iraq for ten years. How did it escape your comprehension that "long and hard" could mean exactly that, in terms of time and unfortunately, the lives of the nation's servicemen?

Referring to the initial invasion as problematic is one thing, where are your quotes predicting a devastating insurgency and civil war?

The administration until recently would not even use these words.

"Insurgency": On the contrary, the Administration has referred to the insurgents time and again since 2003. Although they usually prefer to call them "terrorists" but then again, your mileage may vary.

"Civil War": Actually, the Administration continues to refuse to use this terms. But that's largely because Iraq is not yet engulfed in a civil war. I know that the Left (and some elements of the Right) have been using the terms "quagmire" and "civil war" since 2003 but that the Administration is refusing to indulge your wishful thinking is not indicative of them denying reality.

Civil war is not a relative term - it actually has a concrete definition and the fact is that it has not been met. Wait for the Sunnis en masse to declare a Sunni Republic of Iraq, the Shi'ites to declare their own state, the Iraqi parliament to disintegrate, for the sides decisively seize control of the resources and manpower of their areas of control and turn everything over to annihilating the other side. Go to Sierra Leone, Cote D'Ivoire, etc. and you'd actually know what a civil war looks like.

There is *plenty* of evidence that no where near the current level of troop numbers nor casualties was expected four years after the invasion.

I just provided you with an article from 03/2003 speculating that American forces would lose upwards of one third of its numbers in taking Baghdad. That's a heck of a lot more than 3250.

Your problem is that you have "expectations" and you're stamping your foot and throwing a tantrum because your "expectations" have not been met.

War is not like that.

I and others have repeatedly pointed out that the Administration consistently pointed out before, during and after the invasion that it was going to be long, tough and hard. Here's an article about the Generals on the ground rethinking troop levels in light of the situation on the ground from all the way back in 07/2003. That you "expected" what would amount to a quick, painless, casualty-free conflict that ended with a signing ceremony on the deck of a carrier despite everything the President, his Cabinet, Generals and many members of Congress explicitly said is neither here nor there.

I appreciate you holding back your inner, angry child, and taking eight paragraphs before calling me liar.

Actually, I'm neither happy, sad, angry or otherwise bothered by your contributions here. Just intrigued at how you can beat your chest in self-righteous outrage at how your "expectations", despite the explicit warnings of the principals in charge, were not met.

If I told you that my company's profits were going to come in low this quarter and somehow you decided to "expect" profits to be high, you can't come shrieking to me about your "expectations" not being met when profits do come in low.

Was that really necessary or is personal abuse compulsory here?

I had no intention of insulting you. I'm just calling it like I see it ... indeed, just like how you see Iraq to be in a "civil war" as a matter of fact.

George W. Bush: He's A Folder ... Not A Fighter.

over 160,000 have died on us highways...meaning what? if it's worth fighting for , some will die..fact...for a reality based community, they aren't based in reality...ironic,dont'cha think?

Kerry early on referred to the war as a police and intelligence matter. So after you get the intelligence [from the CIA ?] you send in the police. The stupidity of this does not require elaboration.

Second guessing without viable alternatives, or any alternatives, is the mark of the petty and those unable or unwilling to step forward in commitment.

For people who will only follow the polls and put the stamp of defeat on this phase of the war, and it is only a phase, both the media, their toys in Congress, and our liberal[?] visitors to Redstate speak most boldly, haughtily, and with self convinced wisdom. The last being the most egregious self deception, and while we're flailing at McCain, the most
interesting.

It doesn't require much in the way of intelligence, foresight, or understanding to babble about horizons, Okinawa, or retreat, to offer quitting as a policy and hope the other side quits also.

Too much to ask I know, but could our visitors who bring absolutely nothing to the table show a little less arrogance. Zero is not an alternative, a policy, or even a baseline. It is only a sign of vacuity.

But there's always Afghanistan as the bed sheet to cover yourselves with.

"a man's admiration for absolute government is proportinate to the contempt he feels for those around him". Tocqueville

CNN was complicit in making Saddam look like an angel who was voted in by 100 percent of the public and Ware has admitted to Hugh Hewitt that because of his meetings with insurgents that he has to be careful how to parse his stories, they are truly anti-american and worse then that they cowards.

Peace through superior fire power:)

exemplified by Mike Ware, who I add follows in the great Australian journalistic tradition of Wilfred Burchett and the immortal Peter Arnett, now reduced to selling shoelaces on street corners. And some of us think that McCain was foolish !
The standards evidenced by our liberal[?] visitors are nothing if not flexible.

Eagle eyed liberals failed to note that McCain didn't state or assert, he boasted, much like Bush never smiling, only smirking, or not walking, only swaggering. Clever liberals I'm sure pick up on these loaded terms,----sometimes.

Ever alert and with oversized brains working at a feverish pitch I'm certain they noticed McCains comment, it's not over and we have a very, very long road ahead of us, how deceitful of him, and in front of our unimpeachable reporters yet. But why weigh the comments in full when you're on a tear and why give credit when it's due when there are icons like Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, and Healthcare Hillary to justly receive the accolades.

I could add more but I'll leave it at this, if McCain slanted the status of Baghdad and if you detest slanting now is the time to step forward, display your integrity [ snicker] and denounce the palpable slanting from the other side, the side that craves defeat, the side that tells you what you want to hear and rejects even the possibility of improvement, the side fixated on the purely negative.

Go to it.

"a man's admiration for absolute government is proportinate to the contempt he feels for those around him". Tocqueville

Many of the journalists present DO live there after all. They're in a position to know if a neighborhood or marketplace is or is not safe.

Changing rhetoric of war

* Feb. 7, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."

* March 4, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a breakfast with reporters: "What you'd like to do is have it be a short, short conflict. . . . Iraq is much weaker than they were back in the '90s," when its forces were routed from Kuwait.

* March 11, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars: "The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator."

* March 16, Vice President Cheney, on NBC's Meet the Press: "I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . (in) weeks rather than months." He predicted that regular Iraqi soldiers would not "put up such a struggle" and that even "significant elements of the Republican Guard . . . are likely to step aside."

The war begins

* March 20, President Bush, in an Oval Office speech to the nation: "A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict."

* March 21, Rumsfeld, at a Pentagon news briefing: "The confusion of Iraqi officials is growing. Their ability to see what is happening on the battlefield, to communicate with their forces and to control their country is slipping away. . . . The regime is starting to lose control of their country."

* March 27, Bush, at a news conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, when asked how long the war would take: "However long it takes. That's the answer to your question and that's what you've got to know. It isn't a matter of timetable, it's a matter of victory."

* March 30, Myers, on Meet the Press: "Nobody should have any illusions that this is going to be a quick and easy victory. This is going to be a tough war, a tough slog yet, and no responsible official I know has ever said anything different once this war has started."

* March 30, Rumsfeld, on Fox News Sunday, when asked whether Iraqis would "celebrate in the streets" when victory is won: "We'll see."

For instance, in your first set of quotes everyone is talking about the campaign to overthrow Saddam.

There is nothing in the second set of quotes that is a change from the first series.

This is a pretty dishonest post.

"A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition." -- Rudyard Kipling

If so maybe they can save some for Hillary Clinton and the rest of that sad crowd, to prove they're non-partisan though. After all, they are objective.

"a man's admiration for absolute government is proportinate to the contempt he feels for those around him". Tocqueville

"One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief. My father had all this political capital built up when he drove the Iraqis out of Kuwait and he wasted it. If I have a chance to invade... if I had that much capital, I’m not going to waste it. I’m going to get everything passed that I want to get passed and I’m going to have a successful presidency.” George W. Bush, 1999

"In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed." George W. Bush, May 2003

"We have found the weapons of mass destruction." George W. Bush, May 2003

"The notion that we ought to now go to Baghdad and somehow take control of the country strikes me as an extremely serious one in terms of what we'd have to do once we got there. You'd probably have to put some new government in place. It's not clear what kind of government that would be, how long you'd have to stay. For the U.S. to get involved militarily in determining the outcome of the struggle over who's going to govern in Iraq strikes me as a classic definition of a quagmire." Dick Cheney, 1991

"C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

"The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

"The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change." Downing Street Memo, July 2002

Quote 1: Good.

Quote 2: Demonstrably true.

Quote 3: Demonstrably true - though I will concede Saddam's development programme was nowhere near as advanced as he had been pretending.

Quote 4: A good judgement by Dick Cheney, based on the facts in 1991.

Quote 5: You get that the Attorney General in question is the British AG, right? That he is talking about British law? You probably also know that his later view was that the conditions for Britain to legally act were met between July 2002 and March 2003. IE, the situation did change.

Quentin Langley
Editor of http://www.quentinlangley.net

International Editor of

 
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