This is fun. I snagged this snippet from Norman Podhoretz' piece "Who Is Lying About Iraq?" from the Opinion Journal.
But the consensus on which Mr. Bush relied was not born in his own administration. In fact, it was first fully formed in the Clinton administration. Here is Bill Clinton himself, speaking in 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.
Here is his Secretary of State Madeline Albright, also speaking in 1998:
Iraq is a long way from [the USA], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risk 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.
Here is Sandy Berger, Clinton's National Security Adviser, who chimed in at the same time with this flat-out assertion about Saddam:
He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.
Finally, Mr. Clinton's secretary of defense, William Cohen, was so sure Saddam had stockpiles of WMD that he remained "absolutely convinced" of it even after our failure to find them in the wake of the invasion in March 2003.
Nor did leading Democrats in Congress entertain any doubts on this score. A few months after Mr. Clinton and his people made the statements I have just quoted, a group of Democratic senators, including such liberals as Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, and John Kerry, urged the President "to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons-of-mass-destruction programs."
Nancy Pelosi, the future leader of the Democrats in the House, and then a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added her voice to the chorus:
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. This Democratic drumbeat continued and even intensified when Mr. Bush succeeded Mr. Clinton in 2001, and it featured many who would later pretend to have been deceived by the Bush White House. In a letter to the new president, a group of senators led by Bob Graham declared:
There is no doubt that . . . Saddam Hussein has invigorated 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.
Sen. Carl Levin also reaffirmed for Mr. Bush's benefit what he had told Mr. Clinton some years earlier:
Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations, and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed, speaking in October 2002:
In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical- and biological-weapons stock, his missile-delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaeda members.
Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed as well:
There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. . . . We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.
Even more striking were the sentiments of Bush's opponents in his two campaigns for the presidency. Thus Al Gore in September 2002:
We know that [Saddam] has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.
And here is Mr. Gore again, in that same year:
Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter, and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.
Now to John Kerry, also speaking in 2002:
I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force--if necessary--to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security. Perhaps most startling of all, given the rhetoric that they would later employ against Mr. Bush after the invasion of Iraq, are statements made by Sens. Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, also in 2002: Kennedy: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Byrd: "The last U.N. weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical- and biological-warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons."
I know, I know...Bush lied. The thing is, Bush seems to be repeating the same "lies" that all of his Democrat friends were telling, many, long before he did.
Upon exiting a customer's home this morning, I switched WILK on only to hear a couple of callers lambasting Sue Henry for being a Bush supporter. These people usually insinuate that only a brain dead slug would still be supporting Bush at this late stage of the jihad, you know, because he "lied" and all. Let's see if I got this right. I'm a dullard because you parrot whatever Teddy, Nancy, and crazy Howard have to say? Michael Moore and George Soros spew so much bilge they are the personification of a sewer outflow, so I'm a simpleton not worthy of a vote? And Harry Reid? Are you people serious? He's got about as much gravitas as a D.C. call girl. I wouldn't trust the future of my marble collection to that babbling old fool.
Anyways, some guy called Sue and wanted to know what the 35% know that the rest of us don't. The 35% being a reference to Dubya's approval ratings of late, and the "us" being the folks that seem to have devoted their lives to repeating that which gets repeated often enough. You know, the bitter Bush-bashers. Remember, in their minds, I'm a dummy. Fine. I'll tell ya what I know.
I know you can't negotiate with cold-blooded killers.
I know you can't snuff out terrorism by appeasing the terrorists.
I know out-of-control religious zealots cannot be reasoned with. (See Pat Robertson)
I know you can't defeat the terrorists by indicting them, as Bill Clinton sought to.
I know the "Paper Tiger" charge rings true when a terrorist attack on a U.S. warship goes completely unanswered.
I know the "Paper Tiger" charge rang true when the air sorties over Kosovo were flown from above 30,000 feet so as to appease a casualty-averse commander-in-chief who was driven by his polling numbers.
I know the "Paper Tiger" charge rang true when that same wishy-washy commander-in-chief ran screaming from Somalia after 18 Army Rangers, Marines and SOAR operatives turned up as KIAs despite inflicting over 1,000 enemy casulaties in a pitched 18-hour urban battle.
I know when loonies are conspiring to unleash chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons right here in the good ole U.S. of A., a business as usual approach to defending this country from those real threats won't get it done. I am still waiting to hear from some local about how the Patriot Act has infringed upon his rights. Fact is, I never will.
I know our socialist European "allies" who wouldn't participate in the Iraq campaign are so broke, a prolonged military exercise would probably break their entitlement-laden economies.
I also know they couldn't wage war on one of their Oil for Food scandal partners in crime.
I know the terrorists are a politically savvy bunch and fully realize that the only way to send the U.S. military packing is by chipping away at the support for the war here at home. In this respect, the Democrats are playing right into their murderous hands.
I also know that freedom does not come to us free of charge.
I know that stating to the world "You're either with us, or you're against us" was sure to get those of you lacking gonads spitting on yourselves while repeating what some anti-Bush pundits, or anti-Bush partisans had to say.
And I know that a lack of resolve will get many of us killed now that Jihad has been declared.
And there's some other stuff that has been bothering me whereas the credibility of the Bush-haters are concerned.
Why would anyone sign a treaty, in this case the Kyoto treaty, that would put American businesses at a clear competitive disadvantage? And why would any local take time out from whining about the lack of good jobs in this area to call Sue Henry and complain about Bush turning his back on the Kyoto treaty? I guess this is what happens when no matter how hard one tries, their head just won't slide out of their anus.
Dick Cheney never said Iraq was an imminent threat. Actually, he described Iraq as a "serious and mounting threat," as did most of the Democrats that have misquoted him on purpose for over two years now.
Again, Bush "lied" about Iraq having WMD, despite every politician of note having said exactly the same thing during the previous decade???
The rationale for the war in Iraq did not change from WMD to getting rid of Saddam to establishing a democracy as the war progressed. No, Bush's biggest concern was that Saddam would distribute the WMD to the terrorists. The same WMD that all of the world's leading intelligence agencies said he had. And if you remember correctly, Bush issued Saddam a 48-hour notice to vacate the premises. Before the invasion and the subsuquent hunt for WMD, Bush plainly stated that to avert a war, Saddam had to go. He preferred to huff 'n puff, so Shock & Awe quickly followed.
Sorry, kiddies, but the call for Saddam to abdicate his throne came before the Tomahawk batteries were given a pre-launch once over. And once the shooting started, the hunt for both the WMD and Saddam were waged simultaneouly. The rationale never changed.
And establishing a democracy was not some sort of spin designed to divert attention from the failure to unearth those WMD. Rather, it was the logical next step. Invade the country. Secure the WMD. Capture Saddam. And then set in place a working government and not another brutal dictatorship. It was the logical next step, and it sure beats leaving a power vaccum in our wake.
In review, we invade, we hunt for the WMD and the murderous dictator, then we put a functioning government in place. Is that too tough to follow? No? Give that hopeless partisan a gold star!!!
Rather than siccing the Congressional Bureau of Investigation on any more of Cheney's aides, I'd be fixin' to figure out where Saddam's WMD actually ended up being moved to during the run-up to the war. Where did that Sarin gas, that Nerve gas and the ricin go to anyway? He didn't use all of it on the Kurds and the Iranians. Um, scratch that. We don't really want to know. All that matters now is regaining the House, the Senate and the White House. Right?
I keep hearing ninnies repeating this claim that Saddam had no ties to al Queda. While that may be true to some extent, he had very clear ties to just about every other terrorist group on the watch list. You know how to do a Google search. The question is, do you want to?
And what's up with this ridiculous notion that the hunt for Osama was all but abandoned at some point? Sez who? You? Michael Moore? Kevin Lynn? Soupy Sales? Bozo the Clown posing as a Senator from Massachusetts? Can Kurt from Scranton, or Kevin from La-La Land say with absolute certainty that no special ops guys are currently roaming some Pakistani tribal region by cover of darkness?
After the Mother of all bombs (MOABS) were dropped on Tora Bora, Bush said something to the effect that he wasn't all that worried about Osama anymore. The thing is, whether we get him or not will have no bearing on this global jihad short of inspiring even more murderers if we happen to produce his head impaled on the end of a stick. He formed al Queda, he financed al Queda and he trained the al Queda members. And after having succceeded in killing 3,000 Americans on 9/11, his job was all but done. The world-wide jihad was on and he was it's inspiration. At that point, whether he continued to breathe or not no longer mattered.
I still maintain that he met his maker on Tora Bora. And if that's the case, there are a number of good reasons to keep his demise a well-guarded secret. Ask the president of Pakistan about what a sudden revolution--a violent backlash against Osama's passing at the hands of the U.S. Air Force--might mean in a country with a sympathetic security apparatus and numerous nukes at it's disposal.
MOAB, privately known in military circles as "the mother of all bombs," has been under development since late last year. The bomb carries 18,000 pounds of tritonal explosives, which have an indefinite shelf life. It replaces the Vietnam-era "Daisy Cutter," a 15,000-pound bomb with 12,600 pounds of the less-powerful GSX explosives.
As originally conceived, the MOAB was to be used against large formations of troops and equipment or hardened above-ground bunkers. The target set has also been expanded to include deeply buried targets.--CNN, 2003
Do you really think Osama survived "the mother of all bombs?" Nobody else did, but he did? Yeah, I heard that story about how the Afghan fighters at the scene allowed him to flee before the mountain was instantly rearranged, but that's a little too convienient for my tastes. Am I supposed to believe that our military told a bunch of fighters of questionable trustworthiness that a few MOABS were on their way and they in turn tipped Osama off? Sorry, but I'm not buying into that nonsensical ditty.
And then he have this civil war for Iraq theory being spewed week in and week out by Kevin Lynn. I seriously doubt that he reads Jane's Defence Weekly, or the Debka File. So, where is he getting all of this exclusive intel from? A long-retired general appearing on CNN? Howard Dean? Donald Duck? The guys at the sports bar?
Or, what's that jerks name? Oh, Wesley Clark. Yeah, he's a military expert. (?) He sought permission to start World War III after the Russians swooped into the middle of the Kosovo conflict un-announced, un-invited and secured an air base of some strategic importance. Yeah, ole Wesley wanted to go directly to guns with some highly-motivated and lethal Russian Spetsnaz special forces, but he's a Democrat, so all his past sins are immediately forgotten while he's attacking the other side of the aisle. Besides, only Republicans are given to bouts of starting wars. Right?
Special Forces of the MAIN INTELLIGENCE DEPARTMENT of the General Staff of the Russian (former Soviet) Army (or, in an abbreviated form, "Spetsnaz GRU") are intended for conducting secret combat operations at the rear of the enemy. Missions carried out by SPETSNAZ troops determine special character and basic lines of SPETSNAZ COMBAT training.
Kurdistan, Kurdistan: The Other Iraq, is flourishing, embraces Americans and democracy, and to date, no U.S. casualties have been recorded there. The south of Iraq is a relatively sedate region where few British casulaties have been recorded, and it's residents have flocked to the polls twice now. Then you've got the center of the country where the Baathists have been thrown out of power--out of Saddam's exclusive sphere of influence and dominance--and they seem to prefer suicide to self-rule. Screw 'em.
The long-suffering Shiites have embraced democracy, and in increasing numbers, so have the Sunnis. In fact, the Sunnis complained this week that on-going joint military actions are a ruse cooked up by the Shiites and are designed to suppress the Sunni vote next month. Does it sound like they're itching for a bloody civil war any time soon? Actually, they sound like a bunch of American democrats whining on cue about disenfranchisement. These Iraqis learn fast.
And despite the Iraqi constitution being all but ignored by our press, it promises an equal distribution of all oil revenues to all regions of the country. And from what I'm reading, the Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds are very, very pleased with that arrangement. In fact, this was one of the biggest sticking points early on as the oil-rich regions sought to claim the lion's share of those oil revenues. All involved seem intent upon getting on with the voting, seating their new government, taking on a greater share of their own security needs and getting those American troops that they enjoy a love/hate relationship with off of their soil already. Does this sound like a recipr for a civil war? Does it sound as if Bush was correct in staying the course no matter how ferocious the Democrats attacks became, and no matter how bad his polling numbers looked?
For the first time, an eventual end to our involvement in Iraq is a distinct possibility, albeit, still a ways off. The Iraqis have a better than average chance of pulling this democracy experiment off. And all we seem to hear are the Kevin Lynn's of the world--the geopolitical wannabes--who learned all that they know about warfare and related matters at the campus protest forty-some-odd years ago. Nah, he's a product of his long-since poisoned environment, and he has no faith in American ideals, especially not democracy and man's basic yearning to be free.
Civil war, Kev? It must really suck to be so completely wrong all of the time. Doesn't matter though. You rarely get called on any of it. And neither does General Wesley.
Who is lying about Iraq?
We'll know soon enough.
I can't wait.
I find it somewhat puzzling to learn that our local university professor emeritus gravitas unum cum laude, per se, you know, Biggus Teachus, would wade into the river quality debate without mentioning the proposed deflatable dam--Mr. Kanjo's Puddle of Poo. Putting this obvious non sequitur aside, I'm about as high on the pecking order as the next persona non grata, so I have an excuse for correctly pointing out the direct connection between the river's future health (or lack thereof) and any future Lake Kanjorski ad nauseum.
Posted on Sun, Nov. 13, 2005
Despite difficulties, our river must be cleaned
MOST of us were unhappy when we heard that the Susquehanna River had been classified as one of the most “endangered” rivers in America.
We all knew why: pollution.
Humans have always regarded streams and rivers as a God-given means of disposing of our wastes. Yet, many of us also have recognized the harm it was doing. Almost a century ago environmentalists persuaded adoption of a law requiring coal mines to restrain and neutralize the acid mine drainage before releasing it into the streams and rivers.
But then about 50 years ago in the Wyoming Valley we had the Knox mine disaster. The Susquehanna River bottom was breeched as a result of an error by a mining team. This permitted the river to flow into the Knox mine and not only flooded it but also other mine operations in the Valley. That was the end of deep mining in the Valley. About the only benefit was a marked reduction in the incidents of mine subsidence problems, which had been causing severe property damage at the surface. However, among the negatives the closing of the mines meant there was no one to divert and treat the acid mine drainage, and it has flowed freely every since into the Susquehanna.
But that’s only part of the problem.
Also about 50 years ago, the state ordered municipal governments along the rivers to develop sewage treatment plants as a means of protecting the river waters. In this area, thanks to the pivotal leadership of Dr. Hugo V. Mailey, of Wilkes University, communities throughout the valley from Nanticoke to Pittston came together to create the Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority.
It built a sewage treatment plant in Hanover Township and laid pipelines on both sides of the river along the Valley which then were connected with the municipal pipelines that had been discharging their sewage into the river.
Now there was a method of collection and treatment for the whole valley.
However, there was another problem. Most municipalities had one collection pipeline for both the sewage and the storm drains. In times of very heavy rainfall, the inflow from the storm drains mixed with the sewage created a volume much greater than the treatment plant could handle and the excess needed to be discharged untreated into the river.
In the ensuing years we have seen urban sprawl, the building of new homes and structures, driveways, paved roads, and shopping malls with acres of paved parking lots. A consequence is that the added run-off even with a modest rainfall tended to exceed the capacity of the treatment plant to handle the volume.
Nor was this problem confined to the Wyoming Valley. Scranton has the same problem and its treatment plant on the Lackawanna has its occasional overflows which, when the Lackawanna empties into the Susquehanna brings more sewage.
And then along the way there are some streams along which there are small communities not connected to the municipal sewers that send their discharged wastes into the streams and subsequently the river. Also studies have found upwards of a dozen individual pipelines emptying into the river and adding to the pollution.
The result, despite our well-meant efforts, is still a sore and dangerous amount of pollution of what is a prime environmental resource for much of Pennsylvania and into the Chesapeake Bay and beyond.
While the solution, a parallel collection system within the municipalities and mandated integration of all outside sources, is extraordinarily complex and expensive, the obligation to repair and strengthen this essential environmental resource is mandatory.
The necessary correction of this prime resource, the Susquehanna, will benefit not only us but everyone in the future.
Tom Bigler is a professor emeritus at Wilkes University. His column appears on Sundays.
So...if I'm reading him right, he's saying that we need to clean the river, while never even addressing the proposed deflatable dam poo-fest. Unlike myself, I'm guessin' he doesn't dare to piss off the good congressman from Shantyville.
I heard the good congressman on Barrie Singer's Saturday afternoon talk show this past weekend on WILK. And according to some heretofore unknown study he cited, the deflatable dam will draw anywhere from 2,000 to 6,000 visitors a week. Seriously now, does anyone have any faith in those estimates? Think about it. The dammed river would be barely wide enough to operate most motorized boats safely. Plus, it'll smell much like a sewage treatment plant does. 2,000 to 6,000 visitors a week?
As Kayak Dude previously said, rather than wasting money on some zircon-encrusted rubber dam with an unproven fish ladder, why not invest the millions in replacing some of those sewage outflows?
Whatever. No one who lives in the public's eye is going to challenge the good congressman on any of this sludge. He's the man and he wants a dam. Maybe some intrepid reporter should start examining why that might be. Who owns what and what might be the economic benefits of owning what? What we're talking about is creating some riverfront property during the warmer months. And we all know that waterfront properties soar in value over time.
So, one more time.
Why a dam on a polluted river?
After what my Jints pulled yesterday, I'm hoping that the rope burns on my neck will heal rather quickly.
I'm gonna go watch the Eagles and the Cowboys do battle. I'm thinkin' the Eagles win tonight only out of sheer desperation. And then next week they'll go right back to sucking donkey wangs.
I wonder if Terrell's winning tonight. I hear the latest XBox football games are not that easy to master. Bummer, freak.