Fifty years on we know the trigger for war with Vietnam was a fiction. Will it be another 50 before we know the truth about Iraq? ~ DD Guttenplan, writing for The Guardian in a 8/2/2014 piece titled "When Presidents Lie To Make A War".
Many "love letters" from a blogger named Willis Hart concerning yours truly on his idiotic Libertarian blog as of late. And by "love letters" I mean lies targeted at someone this blogger dislikes intensely.
But the disliking is mutual. Specifically due to the lies this dude spins, such as the following...
|Willis Hart: wd is one of those people who claims to be against war, war crimes, and empire but who constantly spins for then when its his fellow's doing (the asshole even spun for LBJ and Vietnam which was quite possibly the most moronic war of them all). (7/30/2014 AT 9:40pm).|
I never said a damn thing in support of the Vietnam war, you liar. And, yes, it was one of the most moronic wars of them all. Until preznit bush came along, that is. As for my "spinning" about LBJ, all I said was that "whether or not LBJ lied is, in my opinion, a tad more nebulous that the question of whether or not George W. bush lied in order to pressure Congress into allowing him to invade Iraq".
Initially I do not believe LBJ lied about what happened at the Gulf of Tonkin, although I do believe he latched onto the initial reports of what happened and used that to justify the actions he (and Robert McNamara) wanted to take. And, then when he found out the initial reports were inaccurate? Then he did keep that info under wraps. So, yes, he did lie. Later.
That would be a little different than what bush did, which was to lie right away, even though he knew the truth from the get go concerning WMD that Iraq did not have. And THAT was the point I was trying to make to the Hartster. That the lies of bush were worse for this reason. That is even *if* Iraq having WMD was a good justification for invasion (which they did not, but assuming they did). I say no.
But Willis rewrites the discussion that took place on his as me "spinning" for LBJ and him holding firm to his principals (the a-hole says he's "intellectually honest" while I'm the MOST "intellectually dishonest" person he's ever encountered).
|Willis Hart: And, yes, just like a lot of the conservatives did with Bush and Iraq. (7/30/2014 AT 9:41pm).|
What is ironic about this comment is that Willis is one of those conservatives. In regards to the lying about WMD, Willis spun and Willis spun HARD.
|Willis Hart: I recognize now that Sadam pretty much had to go. I just wish that President Bush hadn't de-Baathified the country and disbanded the military in that those 2 things really strengthened the Iranian bastards. (6/28/2013 AT 8:39pm).|
Notice that he basically agrees that Iraq needed to be invaded and Saddam removed, but only starts disagreeing when it comes to the "de-baathification" and disbanding the military (things that happened AFTER we invaded). Previously he said he was against the war, but would absolutely not call bush a war criminal and insisted (wrongly) that bush never lied.
|Willis Hart: you gave me no evidence that Bush KNEW that there weren't weapons of mass destruction and then lied to the American public... No testimony. No paper trail. Zero. (7/10/2012 AT 7:00pm).|
But there MOST CERTAINLY IS a paper trail. And the George W bush most certainly lied.
First, the lie...
|In remarks preceding the invasion by one day (6/21/2003), the former president said, "our cause is just, the security of the nations we serve and the peace of the world. And our mission is clear, to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people". (Wikipedia page: Iraq and weapons of mass destruction, footnote #93).|
And now the proof/paper trail that proves bush was lying...
|The invasion of Iraq was ordered by ex-preznit bush on 3/20/2003 AFTER the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, told the Security Council (on 3/7/2003) via written report that the "UN inspections in Iraq worked".|
Mr. ElBaradei's team conducted 247 inspections at 147 sites and found "no evidence of resumed nuclear activities... nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any related sites". The IAEA report went on to say that "Iraq had not imported uranium since 1990... no longer had a centrifuge program, [and that] Iraq's nuclear capabilities had been effectively dismantled by 1997". (Excerpt from a 5/23/2013 SWTD post titled "Intellectual Honesty Concerning ex-President bush's WMD Lies").
The IAEA told bush via written report (PAPER TRAIL) that there was no WMD. Yet Willis defended the ex-preznit on this matter. While sticking his fingers in his ears and humming (figuratively) so he was didn't have to hear about any proof of bush lying. At one point he even said he was convinced that "Saddam had to go". Spinning? In my opinion... absolutely.
But now (apparently) the hypocrite has changed his mind? The following excerpt from a Willis post seems to suggest he has. In this instance he blogs about the Zimmermann Telegram.
|Willis Hart: ...the fact that the American people bought this shit (a la the Maine, a la the Gulf of Tonkin, a la WMD, etc.)... (7/26/2014 AT 4:00pm).|
Here Willis argues that the Zimmermann Telegram (a 1917 diplomatic proposal from Germany for Mexico to join the Central Powers, in the event of the United States entering World War I on the side of the Entente Powers) was used by president Woodrow Wilson as a rationale for US involvement in WWI. Willis says this is a lie comparable to The Maine, the Gulf of Tonkin and... wait for it... the LIE by bush concerning WMD that Iraq did not have!
Although, I should note that Willis does not call the idea that Mexico might go to war with us a "lie", he calls the telegram a "rationale". Indeed, the telegram was published and the public was angered, but Wilson did not suggest Mexico was going to attack us. The fact is that (in 1917) "as a direct consequence of the Zimmermann telegram" we recognized the government of Venustiano Carranza (who came to power via a 1914 revolution) "in order to ensure Mexican Neutrality in WWI".
Is publishing a telegram and then using public outrage to get us involved in WWI a "lie"? Surely not a deception on the same level as the other (actual) lies Willis mentions. Although I don't know if the situation with the Maine qualifies either. Seems to me to be another case where confusion about what happened was used by some to get the American public to accept war.
Of the bunch I would say that bush's declaration that we were invading to "disarm" Saddam is the CLEAREST cut example of a president outright and bold-faced lying. And with the commentary I quote above, Willis is (ostensibly) acknowledging the fact that bush did lie. If so, then I say Willis owes me an apology. Or at least an acknowledgment that he's retracting his previous statements like the one I quoted above regarding there being "no evidence that Bush KNEW that there weren't weapons of mass destruction and then lied to the American public".
As well as other statements that are now at odds with his (apparent) new stance regarding bush lying about WMD. Statements like the following from 5/6/2012...
|Willis Hart: And I don't even really dislike the guy [George W. bush]. I just wish that he had listened more to Powell and less to fellows like Wolfowitz and Perle. And in terms of his motivation, I don't know, I'm not a mind-reader like wd. In Thomas Ricks's book, "Fiasco" (which wasn't exactly a flattering read for Mr. Bush), he states that the regime change advocates were actually LOSING the debate early on and that it wasn't until 9/11 that guys like Perle and Wolfowitz finally started getting some traction.|
If you were to force me to give an opinion on this, I would say that the decision to invade Iraq was probably more a function of group-think (I believe that this was Scott McClellan's assessment in his book, too) than it was the result of some sinister, diabolical cabal. I'm sure, though, that wd would disagree. (Link).
As well as this one from 8/1/2012...
|Willis Hart: There was at least SOME ambiguity regarding WMD. (Link).|
If Willis is retracting these earlier statements - then I think he needs to own up and show some intellectual honesty. Admit he was wrong instead of trying to paper over his past incorrectness by falsely painting himself as "consistent", which is something he PRIDES himself on... his SUPPOSED "consistency". I mean, back when I was making my case that bush lied (on Willis' blog - before he banned me) Willis responded by saying it was "almost as if he's got some sort of sick pathology about Bush".
I had a "sick pathology" in regards to the ex-preznit because I - well before Willis did - acknowledged the truth about bush's lying about WMD to scare the public into accepting an unnecessary war? F*ck you Willis. And f*ck you again for continuing to lie about my positions on these matters. I do not CLAIM to be "against war, war crimes, and empire" but "constantly spin" when "my fellow" is the guilty one. I'm against these things, PERIOD. No matter what party the president belongs to.
LBJ lied and kept us in, and escalated Vietnam, costing many American lives in a pointless war. bush lied about WMD and many innocent Iraqis were killed, many American soldiers were killed and maimed, and trillions of dollars were wasted (much of which went into the pockets of bush cronies. A fact I have YET to see Willis acknowledge!).
So, while it is good that Willis is now acknowledging the fact that bush lied about WMD - that he presents himself as "consistent" on this matter is utter BULLSHIT. And that he lies about my positions (to distract his readers from his inconsistencies on this topic?) is deplorable. And, so long as this lying about yours truly is celebrated on the blog of the lying Willis, I will NOT cease irritating him (downgraded from harassing him, I guess). So long as I notice Willis lying about me - and encouraging others to lie - the irritating will continue.
As for how long we might have to wait before it is know that bush lied us into Iraq? We knew the minute the falsehood about why he was invading Iraq escaped his lips. Although, for some of us, the getting to the point where the truth could be accepted took a little longer. And, it is, of course, not AT ALL widely accepted that bush intentionally deceived.
50 years before the truth concerning bush's WMD untruths are established fact? Perhaps. I suppose we have to wait for him to die first. Accepting uncomfortable truths seems to be easier if the truth to be accepted concerns someone who is no longer with us.
Video1: A clip from the documentary The Fog of War by Errol Morris. In this YouTube video Robert McNamara says "It was just confusion. And events afterward showed that our judgement that we had been attacked that day was wrong. It didn't happen". (3:33).
Video2: Official trailer from Errol Morris film The Unknown Known, a documentary focusing on Iraq war liar Donald Rumsfeld... bush's McNamara? (2:56).
See Also: Intellectual Honesty Concerning ex-Preznit bush's WMD Lies (SWTD #154) 6/23/2013.