Most Senators don't have the clearance to see everything Bush saw. Those with higher clearance still ended up looking at a lot of redacted reports, and didn't have access to the raw information behind those reports. They didn't see every memo or hear every conversation in the White House in which warnings were made about the quality and veracity of much of the "evidence" presented to Congress, nor to the public in general.
Can you support that somehow? Otherwise, it's just speculation.
One way of manipulating information is to control who you send to gather it, and what you tell those people you're looking for. Bush and the neocons made it quite clear that they were specifically looking for anything that could in anyway be tied to Iraq. They had an agenda to find some reason, any reason, to justify going into Iraq because they were breathlessly eager to find a pretext for implementing the PNAC dream of creating a democratic (and capitalist and business friendly!) Middle East, with Iraq as the starting point and centerpiece.
Well that may be true, I'll grant you. I don't think we know it's true...it's just a suspicion. However, even that would seem pretty understandable given the context of when that all happened. I don't think there was a secret "neocon" agenda that caused it though. I know you'll stick to that like glue.
but I think I can very confidently say that no Democratic President would have done anything more in Iraq that maintain the no-fly zones and attempts at inspections and perhaps, should some special situation have arisen, run the occasional bombing raid.
I fail to see where that confidence comes from. Actually, I think it comes from your unalterable belief that this was some kind of Necon Grand Scheme to Takeover the World. I look at it differently, in the context of the way threats were percieved after 9/11.
Then again, any non-neocon Republican we might have gotten would have been more restrained than Bush as well, and would have stuck with Bush's pre-2001 stump speech rhetoric against "nation building" and in favor of a cautious, restrained foreign policy.
Well you're certainly right in that Bush reversed course on nation building. That said, a lot happened to cause that reversal. But the first part of the statment is unsupportable and, I think, even unlikely to be accurate. Bush was quite restrained, especially in Afghanistan (I realize you're addressing Iraq). If he was really the Necon War Monger you make him out to be, he would have never bothered with inspections and the UN and all of that. He would have just said Saddam was a threat post 9/11 and he was pre-empting his ass. He also wouldn't have allowed the initial list of targets to be scaled back by 50% in the opening days of the war (just an example). So, saying that anyone but him or "the like" of him would have been somehow more moderate, is I think dubious and unsupportable. It's speculation.
The point remains that there was an enormous, and devastating, difference in consequences between voting for a Republican over a Democrat, and especially in voting for a particular Republican over a particular Democrat. Even if you prefer to imagine some right-wing dystopian fantasy that, having put Gore in the White House instead of Bush, we'd have been taxed into depression and economic collapse just before the some radical Islamic dictator conquered America, cackling with glee over how easily the weak Democratic defenses were overrun, you'd still have to admit that's a big difference in outcomes.
Oh, I agree there is a difference. I'm not saying they are one and the same. I'm saying that given what was going on at the time, another President might very well have invaded. Clinton bombed Iraq unilaterally....is it really that unreasonable to assume a Democratic President might
have reached the same conclusion Bush did?
As for Gore, well who knows. But, I do think he would have left tax policy the same, which in my opinion would have prolonged the recession.
I've already admitted that, at least for some Democrats, their support for Bush was essentially a craven political calculation. That doesn't obviate the point that I also made that having a Democrat in office in the Whitehouse would have very likely taken the whole Iraq invasion issue, and therefore any need or desire to play a vote on it for political gain, off the table.
Well, perhaps. But you're operating from the standpoint of a Ted Kennedy there...that the President concocted a war for political gain. Do you believe that?
Nor does the fact that some Democrats lost their spines mean that there wasn't propaganda going on. It was the power of that propaganda that made it hard to play against. It's hard to stand up for what you think is right when you know that you would have to explain a nuanced position to a country full of people hyped-up on fear with no patience for often important subtleties.
It's too bad that you think about the American people like that. What interesting is that now that "the people have spoken," all of a sudden their wise and powerful.
In any case, I also take issue with the term "propoganda." the admin made their case to the people and to Congress. Why is that "propoganda?" It certainly didn't go unquestioned...as you like to pretend...by the media.
I also think you're ignoring the past statements of Democratic politicians...statements that don't jive with their eventual positions on the war.
John Kerry said this on 10/9/2002
[quote]With respect to Saddam Hussein and the threat he presents, we must ask ourselves a simple question: Why? Why is Saddam Hussein pursuing weapons that most nations have agreed to limit or give up? Why is Saddam Hussein guilty of breaking his own cease-fire agreement with the international community? Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don't even try, and responsible nations that have them attempt to limit their potential for disaster? Why did Saddam Hussein threaten and provoke? Why does he develop missiles that exceed allowable limits? Why did Saddam Hussein lie and deceive the inspection teams previously? Why did Saddam Hussein not account for all of the weapons of mass destruction which UNSCOM identified? Why is he seeking to develop unmanned airborne vehicles for delivery of biological agents? [/quote
Uhh...yeah. He voted for the threat
of force. Now, let's look at some statements during a Democratic
administration, before the "propoganda" and pressure was brought to bear.
"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.
"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.
"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998
"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.
"There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.
I'll stop there. The full list can be found here. http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp
It's hard to explain that with the term "nuance", hmmm?
Go over speeches made by Bush and his allies back before the Iraq invasion. Note how often "9/11", "Saddam", "terrorists" and "Iraq" come up within seconds of each other whenever any of those terms were mentioned. There was a surface argument that "9/11 taught us we need to preempt trouble before trouble strikes", but that was merely verbal scaffolding for the deliberate and quite definitely intended effect of making people think that Iraq and Saddam were behind 9/11.
That's interpretive on your part, despite the fact that many libs agree with you. They said pretty clearly there was no evidence Saddam participated in 9/11. Speaking of 9/11, of course it was mentioned, because it was part of the "surface argument" as you put it.
69% thought it was likely that Saddam Hussein was personally involved in 9/11, 32% thinking it was very likely. That skewing of public opinion, despite the fact that it was impossible to pin down any definitive statement made by Bush clearly linking Saddam to 9/11 in a causal way, was almost completely the result of the propaganda technique that was used to link Saddam and 9/11.
I have always thought that claim of yours was really weak. First, I think the poll may be flawed. First, it's a huge issue to only survey 1,003 people on. What was the sample like? Who were these people? Secondly, read the questions. It says somewhat and very LIKELY
, not "do you believe Saddam was behind the 9/11 attacks?"--- yes or no. Wording and even the answers have a lot to do with it. Asked that question, I may have answered "somewhat likely" if I didn't follow the situation as much as I did. "Somewhat" and "Very" are subjective terms. In other words, people that didn't
follow what the President and his Admin were saying may have been more
....cough...LIKELY to answer in the affirmative (69%) column. Think about it.
Beyond the poll itself, it's highly dubious to suggest that because the public thinks something, the Admin "made" them think it. That's more speculation on your part.