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TomF
11-18-2004, 11:36 AM
Tell you what.

These letters have surfaced today linking Zarqawi's organization with Bin Laden's. While we haven't had anybody independently verify their authenticity yet, I expect they're real.

What we haven't yet seen, is "smoking gun" evidence of links between Saddam's regime - particularly in the time when the 9/11 attacks were being planned or carried out - and Bin Laden. If such evidence is found and authenticated, it would be a very big deal, validating some of the rationales used to justify the current war - and linking the campaign in Afghanistan with that of Iraq.

If such verifiable "smoking gun" evidence surfaces (i.e. same sort of burden of proof as the notorious CBS documents about Bush's service record), I'll say my Mea Culpas right here. Apologise to the Right Wingers, etc.

If such evidence doesn't surface in some mutually agreeable time period, anybody from other viewpoints willing to say they'll eat some crow?

This is not intended as bait ... let's call it mutual accountability.

Whaddaya say, shall we give this offer about a 3 month timespan? Either thee or me eats crow on Valentine's day? Or how long would be an appropriate test period?

Tom.

MJC
11-18-2004, 11:48 AM
Why eat crow if documents are found almost two years after the start of 'shock and awe'?

No WMD's. Lot's of bluster and BS.

No post-war creditable links pre-war between Saddam and OBL/Al Qaeda. There's more creditable evidence linking the Bush family to the Bin Ladens.

This is pure and simple, an "I'm better than my daddy, they tried to kill my daddy, they got oil." war.

[ 11-18-2004, 11:51 AM: Message edited by: MJC ]

jwaldin
11-18-2004, 12:06 PM
There should not be any time limit for discovering the truth of anything. By that logic should irrifutable facts suface after three months and one day you can say "oops too late".
Let's wait and see what surfaces.
The connections between Iraq and OBL are becoming known. al Zarqawi and OBL go back for years. That is a proven fact. Do some research. Check out all the info on Goggle. It's endless.
At this point anyone who insists on claiming there was no connection belong in the same group who are still claiming the earth is flat. IT JUST ISN'T SO!
I still believe there are WMDs buried throughout Iraq. Over time they will be found when the general population isn't shi* scared to talk to the US military.

alteran
11-18-2004, 12:20 PM
This is pure and simple, an "I'm better than my daddy, they tried to kill my daddy, they got oil." war.

Yep, thats it. You are soooooo perceptive, you should have been an advisor to Kerry. He would have won for sure.

TomF
11-18-2004, 12:52 PM
Should I take that then as a collective "No"?

Granted, the war's on.

Granted, we can't agree on what to make of the ongoing lack of Iraqi WMDs ... maybe they're hidden, maybe they never existed. Whatever.

Granted, Bush was fairly elected - he's the US president for 4 more years.

And granted, any crow-eating etc. here can't possibly shift world events a fig.

It's just that a fair number of us have been, uhm, liberal, with our political opinions, without necessarily needing to risk or venture anything personal for the privilege within this on-line community.

If the insurgents are careless enough to leave around letters between Bin Laden and Al Zarkawi and to tack up incriminating documents on their hideout walls, maybe they've also left around similar notes implicating Saddam. FWIW, coalition forces have already had some serious time to look for this stuff, but I won't count that as a head start.

I'll sweeten the pot. If by Valentine's day we see substantiated proofs of links between Saddam and Bin Laden showing that Al Quaeda received support from Iraq in the period leading up to 9/11, I'll eat crow AND donate $50 to the non-political charity of your choice...

... if folks from the other side of the floor will do the same. The offer closes by 9:00 a.m. EST tomorrow.

Oh, and yes, of course I'll eat crow if this kind of evidence shows up sometime after Feb 14. I'd do that anyway - don't want it to seem like my honesty has a "best-before" date. But as of February 15, my $50 goes where I might want to put it ... charity, groceries, my kid's soccer registration, etc.

T.

[ 11-18-2004, 01:08 PM: Message edited by: TomF ]

NormMessinger
11-18-2004, 01:14 PM
Still looking for validation, eh TOm?

TomF
11-18-2004, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by NormMessinger:
Still looking for validation, eh Tom?Oh, probably partly. I'm as conventionally dysfunctional as the next guy.

But also looking to see if other folks are willing to take a bit of a gamble on what they write. So far, seems like no.

t.

Scott Rosen
11-18-2004, 01:20 PM
Strange post, Tom.

What if there are no smoking guns, and no connections are ever found. But, in three years, Iraq well on its way to becoming a stable, peaceful democracy, is working with other nations to eliminate the Islamist threat, and the result has been to strengthen moderate governments in the region?

As Donn said, we're in it. It's time to focus our efforts on defining and achieving success, rather than worrying about eating crow.

TomF
11-18-2004, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by Scott Rosen:
Strange post, Tom.

What if there are no smoking guns, and no connections are ever found. But, in three years, Iraq well on its way to becoming a stable, peaceful democracy, is working with other nations to eliminate the Islamist threat, and the result has been to strengthen moderate governments in the region?
Then, truly, I'll be delighted for the Iraqis, and whoever else in the region benefits.

Yeah, I may be in too much of a lather on this, but it irks me to see the stated causes for the war sequentially wither away. Then from some quarters be simply reminded that Saddam was a truly bad man, that the terrorists are doing evil things, and told to rally 'round the troops.

Yes to all of that. Let's carry it further, and make sure we acknowledge where soldiers take additional personal risks in order to minimize civilian deaths, or help individual Iraqis. That stuff is very real too, and deserves to be told.

What gets me in a lather is seeing bright people who doubtless apply a brutal, clear logic when doing their tax returns appear unwilling to turn the same hard gaze on the rationales for going to war. Maybe it troubles me too much, but trouble me it does.

t.

George.
11-18-2004, 02:08 PM
Originally posted by Scott Rosen:


What if ... in three years, Iraq well on its way to becoming a stable, peaceful democracy, is working with other nations to eliminate the Islamist threat, and the result has been to strengthen moderate governments in the region?

What if in three years Iraq is an unstable dictatorship propped up by US troops, another few thousand American troops and few tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, the Islamist threat persists, and the region is as messy as ever? Then will you agree that this was all a mistake?

TomF
11-19-2004, 08:25 AM
bump.

Before it drops off the bottom of the board, thought I'd remind folks that there's less than an hour left to take me up on some way of injecting mutual accountability for what we say about the causes of the Iraq war. Remember, we're looking for hard facts linking Saddam's regime with Bin Laden prior to 9/11.

If conservative folks aren't happy with my proposal (and it surely has flaws) ... suggest one of your own. I'd prefer something where the facts are independently verified, and there's a time-frame that's meaningful for an on-line community (i.e. - who knows which of us will still be posting here in 3 years). But of course if you're proposing something new ... you get to make up the rules.

Here, North of the border, lefties are often accused of bobbing-and-weaving, adjusting facts to suit their political purposes. Political conservatives, on the other hand, have marketed themselves as champions of accountability for one's thoughts, words, and actions. "Say what you mean - mean what you say. And back it up with hard numbers."

Even as a lefty, I've got a lot of sympathy for that.

tick tock.

Tom.

Ian McColgin
11-19-2004, 08:58 AM
Interestingly asymmetrical notion of accountability.

Our mission in Iraq is killing civilians at a greater rate than Saddam did. Our claimed excuses for 'preemptive' aggression - the immanent threats of WMD and terrorism - have been shown a myth. Even the Bush team admits that they were 'wrong' and switched rationales to the notion that everyone was wrong so what the hay.

Accountability is a grave burden, which those dealing in death have declined to shoulder. Lowering the issue of accountability to a sort of wager demeans the dead.

We are there and at this point the only way we can redeem ourselves is to do the job right. It's looking like at least four years before we even give that a try.

TomF
11-19-2004, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by Ian McColgin:
Interestingly asymmetrical notion of accountability.

(snip)
Accountability is a grave burden, which those dealing in death have declined to shoulder. Lowering the issue of accountability to a sort of wager demeans the dead.

We are there and at this point the only way we can redeem ourselves is to do the job right. Ian, of course, the only way forwards now is through. I've agreed in other threads when folks have said variations on that.

But it is notable that not a ONE on this board who stands to the Right seems willing to engage with whether the war's origins can be justified using ANY the arguments that the administration used before they actually set foot on Iraqi soil.

Perhaps my challenge was asymmetrical - rather like "show me the money," I suppose. That's why I suggested in my last post that folks from other viewpoints draw up their own suggestion to inject some accountability. It does bear remembering, though, that in terms of actual US/British policy about Iraq, so far the asymmetry has all gone the other way.

My apologies if people feel that I've demeaned the dead; that was entirely unintended.

But for anyone who wants to draw conclusions, the deafening silence from the usual suspects when asked to engage in even a discussion about accountability on this topic ... and on terms ultimately they could create themselves...

Aw sh*t. Let's let folks draw their own conclusions on that score.

But accusations that Lefties are opportunistic, ideologically driven, fact-ignoring loonies ... they don't cut much ice now.

Tom.

Ian McColgin
11-19-2004, 10:00 AM
Tom, It's as if I'd been standing on my head when I read your piece. I was sketching a reply while reading other replys on other threads and simply forgot your actual point, got it all confused with those who thought the discovered letters show that Saddam had something tangible to do with the September 11 attack, and generally screwed that pooch.

For both of us, the point remains how to get the world past this dark episode.

TomF
11-19-2004, 10:15 AM
Yup. And how to do that with honesty.

jwaldin
11-19-2004, 10:39 AM
Tom, the reason you won't get a lot of interest in this thread is obvious to me. At this point it really would not matter if a football stadium full of WMDS were found. The standard LIB response would be "What does it prove, those 'so-called WMDS were made years ago and who can say where they really came from because I have read on a web site that they are actually made from sugar because there's clearly a symbol of a sugar cube on the barrel in the photo and who's to say Rummy didn't have all those WMDS made in the secret WMD facilty that I read about on a wwb site and an 'unnamed Whitehouse offical' said he visited the facility buried deep beneath the Whitehouse and even if they actually are real WMDS Sadam didn't use them on us so he cann't be that bad".
Does any of this LIB crap sound vaugely familiar? It should because all these responses and more have been made by LIBS.
So what's the point? No amount of proof would ever satisfy the LIBS.

Ian McColgin
11-19-2004, 10:47 AM
Interesting how the right claims that the left would not change it's mind were WMD found yet the non-Administration right will not admit what the Bush Administration has publicly acknowledged - there were not WMD to be found.

I find it strange that President Bush is more in tune with that reality than his followers. He has the moral courage to just charge on as if it did not matter. Lacking that courage, the followers cling to the faith that there are WMD out there, somewhere, and no doubt Agent Molder will find them.

TomF
11-19-2004, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by jwaldin:
Tom, the reason you won't get a lot of interest in this thread is obvious to me.

(snip)
So what's the point? No amount of proof would ever satisfy the LIBS.Don't tar me with that brush.

I've acknowledged where I've been mistaken in a number of different threads. Use the search function and see for yourself. I've seen a similar ethic from some folks here from a variety of political leanings, and respect them for it.

If evidence does emerge showing links between Bin Laden and Saddam prior to 9/11, rest assured that I'll own up to my mistake. If such evidence never emerges ... by now I fully expect that SOME of the Righties 'round here will never publicly entertain the thought that they might have been wrong.

As to why? I'll leave that up to them. But their credibility stock is currently dropping.

t.