Thursday, September 02, 2010
Margaret Carlson and the Big Lie
She starts off about Iraq and then switches to Afghanistan and the horrible ending of Pat Tillman's life there from friendly fire. The facts regarding his death were indeed kept from his family and the general public, at least for a while. Since we assume that the military command knew the real way Tillman died and did not reveal that truth, the first versions of how he died were almost certainly lies and not mere mistakes. (That they were "white" lies designed to let the family et al. think he met a more heroic end doesn't seem to matter much to Ms. Carlson). But then there is this bit of cognitive dissonance:
When you start a war with such a big lie, the others you’re tempted to tell seem smaller and get easier.Unless you're a Truther, or just really stupid (but I repeat myself), you can't think the war in Afghanistan was started with a big lie. Ms. Carlson must be referring to Iraq. She mentions in passing the "credible reports" that Bush wanted to invade Iraq before 9/11. The Bush administration was indeed sensitive to Iraq before 9/11. More on why below. But that mere fact that no stockpiles of chemical weapons were found following the March 2003 invasion does not mean that they were never there (chemical weapons were indeed used by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds repeatedly, and to a horrible effect). It is quite possible that existing stockpiles were transferred to Syria before the resumption of Gulf War I ground fighting. Even if we discount the credible reports of last minute movement of WMD, it simply was not a lie to say Saddam Hussein had them, unless one knew that Saddam Hussein did not have them. Only a few fringe Democrats very stupid (again I repeat myself) think that President Bush actually knew there were no WMD but said that there were. Ms. Carlson walks up to that line with her "contrary to reports from arms inspectors on the ground." The consensus (and nearly every bit of intelligence is a consensus) from every nation in the loop, including ours, was that Saddam Hussein had kept his WMD stockpile and was gaming the weapons inspectors. Even the lamest of Democrats in the throes of Bush Derangement Syndrome will admit, on proper cross examination, that Bush actually believed wrongly that Hussein had WMD. Not a lie at all; at worst a mistake.
But I submit that it was not a mistake to end properly Gulf War I and if one actually looks at the recent history of Iraq (which sadly Ms. Carlson doesn't) one can easily see why it was proper to invade Iraq in 2003. Saddam Hussein's support of terrorists (Baghdad as the terrorist retirement home and the $25,000 to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, etc.) and his use of WMD in Iraq's war against Iran and domestically, and, most importantly, his invasion of Kuwait which caused a grand coalition of nations to go to war against him, which war ended merely in a cease fire with conditions, none of which were met by Hussein--all these things singled out Iraq as a nation under a sadistic despot which had to be dealt with. (David Harsanyi asks in a recent thoughtful column why Saddam was deposed and not others? This is why, David. History.)
And history is why this paragraph by Ms. Carlson is so maddeningly inane.
The war was started by Hussein when he invaded Kuwait. President Bush properly ended it after many years, many mistakes and some tough fights won through our military's sacrifice and skill. President Bush just didn't decide to free Iraqis from the horrible, sadistic yoke of oppression out of the blue in 2002 and 2003. There were things going on there which needed to be addressed and these things needed to be addressed before 9/11 made them imperative. The result is that Iraq is now an Islamic Republic, if they can keep it. Worth it, in my book, but just barely.
Republicans were up in arms that Obama kissed off Bush’s role with a brief, nothing-burger mention -- “no one can doubt President Bush’s support for our troops or his love of country,” he said -- and didn’t give him credit for the surge of American troops in 2007. But there would have been no surge had there been no decision to go to war in the first place. You don’t get credit for improvements made necessary by catastrophes you create.
Saddam invaded, people died, we won. That's actual history's meme. Democrats lose credibility every time they ignore and distort actual history. Ms. Carlson has very little left, I fear.
Labels: Gulf War II
Do you remember the Big O's joke about the hunters and the moose shit pie?
Anyway you slice it, the invasion of Iraq was and is moose shit pie. The ultimate political results of the invasion were foreseeable to anyone even slightly familiar w/ the history of Iraq, a "country" drawn up on the map by the Brits and the French after WW I.
After about a trillion dollars, some billions of which disappeared, are we that much better off? Are we better off at all? Globally, are we worse off?
In short, was the result worth the cost? I think not.
There are a lot of really bad guys out there. Saddam Hussein was a really bad guy. But now, I see commercials on morning TV in which school children parodying the pledge of allegiance intoning that China owns our debt.
It was perfectly legal to invade Iraq and it is perfectly legal to bake and eat moose shit pie.
Some of us on the front asked, "Who wants to eat that?" More on the back end are asking the same question.
You, au contraire, are like the hunter in Big O's joke, as you pronounce, "But it's good moose shit pie!"
Without Gulf War I, there is no way in heck we're invading Iraq in '03--I just don't think there would have been the support, but because there was GWI, after 9/11 we had to finish that war properly. Thanks for the comment.