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Subject: Assad?s fall could solve Iraqi weapons mystery
CJH    1/22/2012 9:47:00 PM

Assad?s fall could solve Iraqi weapons mystery

"Western and Israeli intelligence suspect that Bashar Assad?s regime in Syria also owns weaponized nerve agents. Spy satellites tracked a large number of truck convoys moving from Iraq to Syria in the weeks before the 2003 invasion, raising suspicions that some carried weapons of mass destruction. The invading Americans never found stocks of such weapons in Iraq, despite two years of searching by the Iraq Survey Group. The result spurred the political left to attack President Bush with slogans such as ?Bush lied, troops died,? but nonpartisan national security figures said there was evidence that material may have been moved to Syria. There was just no way to get inside the Iranian-supported dictatorship to take a look. Zuhdi Jasser, a Syrian-American physician who co-founded the group Save Syria Now, is working to bring an elected secular government to Damascus. He said the Assad regime, which has used brutal repression to remain in power, can fall within a year if the popular uprising comes to the capital."

 
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Plutarch       3/19/2012 12:35:41 AM


 

You can post as many Washington Times articles you want, (which is mostly conjecture and unsubstantiated rumor) it won't change the facts on the ground. UNSCOM and UNMOVIC reports are also primary sources, you can view them all at iraqwatch dot com. That is a baseline for understanding the Iraq WMD issue. In the past most posters here, including yourself, were not aware of how effective the inspections regime really was, which is why I posted those items as well as the ISG report.

 

 

Finally, if you take off your partisan lens and actually read the context of what I wrote you would realize that I am not a Democrat, I have never voted for Clinton, and actually voted for Bush. So posting videos of Clinton or Gore and their comments about WMD (I presume they are talking about WMD you are so predictable I didn't bother clicking on the videos) doesn't have any affect on me. There is a difference between Clinton's approach and Bush's though, one went to war on the faulty premise while the other merely threatened Saddam on the same faulty premise. I'll let you figure out who did what, and what it cost the country.

 

This forum has terrible software and all the interesting posters left a long time ago. Still this Iraq war propaganda needs a healthy dose of heterodoxy. If you are interested in a real debate, CJH (though I doubt it given what I've read in your posts over the years ) instead of dispensing propaganda I'm game. Otherwise when you get the urge to post some rumors on the Iraq war re-read these posts, and maybe temper your impulses a little.
This crappy software deleted half my post. If the CIA was going to skew the ISG they would have skewed it in favor of WMD being found, moved, or that programs would re-start after Iraqi sanctions were lifted, in order to put the CIA in a more favorable light since the 2002 NIE was wrong.
 
The difference between the 2002 NIE and 2004 ISG is total access to Iraqi personnel and documents. In the intervening nine years since the invasion the US has gone through several election cycles yet no evidence of proscribed programs or a transfer of said programs to Syria has been uncovered.
 
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smitty237    Aborted Response   3/28/2012 7:27:09 PM
Sorry I haven't responded sooner, but last week I was on vacation and had no access to the internet.  I typed up a well thought out and irrefutable response today, but StrategyPage's crappy software ate it and I don't feel like starting over and typing it all over again.  Whenever I try to type it in Word and then cut and paste it comes out looking terrible.  Very frustrating. 
 
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WarNerd       3/31/2012 3:55:20 AM
Sorry I haven't responded sooner, but last week I was on vacation and had no access to the internet.  I typed up a well thought out and irrefutable response today, but StrategyPage's crappy software ate it and I don't feel like starting over and typing it all over again.  Whenever I try to type it in Word and then cut and paste it comes out looking terrible.  Very frustrating. 
Switch to HTML mode, copy into Word, then paste back and check in Normal mode.  Then back to HTML mode and copy it back to Word (the SP software often makes changes in the code) for more corrections and repeat.  When you copy and paste in HTML mode all the Word formating gets stripped off.
 
Takes a bit to get use to the command set, but it is much less frustrating than using the SP editor in the long run.  The   (some kind of hard space) is a particular pain.
 
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CJH       4/1/2012 11:14:13 AM

nbsp - non-breaking space

Non-breaking space ...
 
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Plutarch    Smitty Response   4/9/2012 11:57:07 PM


I understand your frustration with this software, I can certainly sympathize. Still, it is a pity you gave up so easily, I would have loved to have read your "irrefutable" response and responded in kind. We are nine years now since the fall of Baghdad and the evidence is fairly compelling that Saddam had no hidden proscribed weapons/programs after 1991.
 
Anyway this message board is  basically dead, no posts in a week on the US board, even the spammers have gotten bored. I have no problem leaving CJH alone to his silly musings and posts, he is too far gone as a partisan to even attempt to reason with.  Smitty however, I held out some hope that you and I could engage in some constructive dialogue on this issue, but I may have overestimated you.
 
I hope you  had a good vacation, and just remember Occam's Razor whenever you wonder about what happened to Saddam's WMDs. It was far easier and more likely that Saddam ordered the weapons destroyed in 1991 rather than play a game of chicken with the UN.
 
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smitty237    Plutarch   4/11/2012 2:23:16 PM









I understand your frustration with this software, I can certainly sympathize. Still, it is a pity you gave up so easily, I would have loved to have read your "irrefutable" response and responded in kind. We are nine years now since the fall of Baghdad and the evidence is fairly compelling that Saddam had no hidden proscribed weapons/programs after 1991.

 

Anyway this message board is  basically dead, no posts in a week on the US board, even the spammers have gotten bored. I have no problem leaving CJH alone to his silly musings and posts, he is too far gone as a partisan to even attempt to reason with.  Smitty however, I held out some hope that you and I could engage in some constructive dialogue on this issue, but I may have overestimated you.

 

I hope you  had a good vacation, and just remember Occam's Razor whenever you wonder about what happened to Saddam's WMDs. It was far easier and more likely that Saddam ordered the weapons destroyed in 1991 rather than play a game of chicken with the UN.



 
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smitty237    For the love of Pete....   4/11/2012 5:57:31 PM
I tried to type a quick response by using the "quote" option, but as you can see it quoted the post without adding my comments.  The long and short of it is that the bugs in the software make meaningful debate even more time consuming and troublesome than they need to be.  I would like to type a response, but I don't want to waste my time writing a post that will get eaten by the software or look like crap if it does post.
 
Plutarch, as far as my "well thought out and irrefutable post" comment goes, that was a tongue in cheek comment.  I do not shy away from debate or discussion, but too many times those debates devolve into versions of "your an idiot" (misspelling intended), or "you don't know what you're talking about"---both of which stifle debate.  While you don't rise to the level of casting direct insults, there are shades of the latter in your posts.  Nonetheless, I will put together a response within the next few days.
 
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Plutarch    Smitty   4/12/2012 6:19:39 AM

Sarcasm is difficult to detect on the Internet. If "irrefutable" was meant to be tongue-in-check then you probably should have used quotes or a smily icon. I am not a mind reader. :)

As for WMD I am not trying to say you don't know what you are talking about, however the onus is on you to prove the WMD claim since you brought it up to begin with, at least on this thread. I am not talking about the 500 or so pre-1991 155mm warheads that were found in Iraq. The WMD shoud be something that was hidden willfully by the regime post-1991. All the evidence gathered so far (much of it available on the Internet) suggests Saddam's regime gave up WMD capabilities in 1991 (That doesn't mean though that chemical shells would never be found in Iraq).

If you have more than current conjecture on WMD: (e.g. civilian trucks at the only open land border Iraq had post-1991, unsourced rumors from an ex-Iraqi general, etc.) then by all means share it. However, if you are going to repeat the same arguments then we won't get anywhere. Also, I am not going to entertain hypotheticals: (e.g. Anthrax hidden in jars and walked across the border, mobile weapons labs, etc.) without compelling evidence.

Basically, in order to avoid wasting your and my time, you would need evidence that refutes the UNMOVIC, and ISG final reports, since they are primary sources. Those are the terms of the debate; if you want to continue I am willing, as long as time allows. 

 
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CJH    Plutarch   4/15/2012 4:27:38 PM
Finally, if you take off your partisan lens and actually read the context of what I wrote you would realize that I am not a Democrat, I have never voted for Clinton, and actually voted for Bush..

Since when is anyone's party affiliation or voting history of any relevance here? What are you going to do, give us a link to your local board of elections site so we can verify your voting record?
 
My advice to you is to stay away from making unverifiable assertions about yourself, Too many have done that on this site in the past in apparent attempts to take advantage of the fact that no one can check up.
 
And I also advise you not to because it is a well worn ploy of liberal-left types to claim they are life-long Republicans or that they voted for Bush and then go on to repeat liberal Democrat talking points to the tee. I've seen too many like that on TV so-called town halls and I have personally known some like that.
 
All you will succeed in doing is to get a yawn from a lot of people by that.
 
And also pray tell what partisan am I? Certainly it can't be Republican. The only identification I can make is that I attach a higher importance to the security of the nation than the current president or many in Washington.
 
 
So posting videos of Clinton or Gore and their comments about WMD (I presume they are talking about WMD you are so predictable I didn't bother clicking on the videos) doesn't have any affect on me. There is a difference between Clinton's approach and Bush's though, one went to war on the faulty premise while the other merely threatened Saddam on the same faulty premise. I'll let you figure out who did what, and what it cost the country.

If you did not watch the videos then why bring them up at all?  They weren't for anyone in particular, but for anyone who wants to portray Al Gore as a prophet which is something I have already witnessed critics of Bush do on this site.
 
I'm glad though that you acknowledge there was a difference between Bush's Iraq approach and Clinton's. It probably stems from the fact that there was a different attitude towards national security on the part of the two administrations.
 
Bush's decision to invade Iraq was based on the 911 attack. The big consideration at hand was that taking the war to Al Qaeda's back yard (Iraq borders the Kingdom) allowed us to avoid having to create a fortress America at home.
 
Clinton's fecklessness on national security was responsible for the 911 attack. Clinton refused permission to assassinate Osama in Afghanistan considering Bin Ladin to be a law enforcement matter. And we know who was Attorney General.
 
So while it was Bush who successfully took down Saddam, Bush's having to do so was caused by Clinton's non-performance on national security.
 Therefore, in a way they share responsibility for the outcome in Iraq.
 
 And I think it completely reasonable to lay the burden of the cost you mention at the feet of Bill Clinton without whose fecklessness this cost would have been avoided. Had Bush preceded Clinton in the White House, there never would have been an invasion of Iraq in 2003.

 

 
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smitty237    My terms, Plutarch (pt. 1)   4/15/2012 9:14:52 PM
So let me get this straight, Plutarch. Not only do you get to set the terms of the debate, but you also get to dictate how I conduct what you perceive as my "position?" Hmmm, interesting. I suppose you "win" a lot of debates that way, but those terms hardly make for challenging debate. Anyway....... The original post on this thread was that the eventual (probable) collapse of the Assad regime in Syria could provide some conclusive evidence that Iraqi WMDs were moved to Syria during the build-up to war in 2003 (Sidenote: I am well aware the war was in 2003 and not 2005. My old National Guard unit went to Iraq in 2005, and for some reason that date was stuck in my head. Apparently I failed to correct it during editing). My response to that post was that for a lot of Bush critics the position that Iraq did NOT have WMDs after 1991 has become a matter of faith. Virtually nothing, including smoking gun evidence, could convince them otherwise. In light of your posts, I stand by that argument. In fact, if anything you have reinforced my position. What does it take to "prove" something to someone? Certainly you need evidence, but that is not the most important thing. What you need the most is the suspension of disbelief on the part of the other party. In other words, the person you are trying to convince has to be willing to accept your position based upon the evidence and concede that theirs is incorrect. For reasonable people with reasonable positions, this isn't all that hard. You simply need to present enough compelling evidence to persuade the other party that your position is more accurate than theirs. Where this becomes a problem is when the other person's believe system on a certain subject becomes a matter of faith. When that happens nothing you can say will persuade them to accept that their position is incorrect because their position becomes a part of their core belief system. To reject that belief means rejecting their own identity. Try convincing a devoutly religious person there is no God, or try convincing a homosexual that they weren't born that way.
 
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