Mainstreaming B***S*** and Smearing Their Own Country

Congratulations Kos and ThinkProgress!

You have successfully peddled the phone conversation between two Kurdish brothers to uncritical media outlets, and they are running with it, pretending that this unedited raw intelligence report is actually Pentagon policy:

Sigfrido Ranucci, who made the documentary for the RAI television channel aired two weeks ago, said that a US intelligence assessment had characterised WP after the first Gulf War as a “chemical weapon”.

The assessment was published in a declassified report on the American Department of Defence website. The file was headed: “Possible use of phosphorous chemical weapons by Iraq in Kurdish areas along the Iraqi-Turkish-Iranian borders.”

In late February 1991, an intelligence source reported, during the Iraqi crackdown on the Kurdish uprising that followed the coalition victory against Iraq, “Iraqi forces loyal to President Saddam may have possibly used white phosphorous chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels and the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. The WP chemical was delivered by artillery rounds and helicopter gunships.”

According to the intelligence report, the “reports of possible WP chemical weapon attacks spread quickly among the populace in Erbil and Dohuk. As a result, hundreds of thousands of Kurds fled from these two areas” across the border into Turkey.

“When Saddam used WP it was a chemical weapon,” said Mr Ranucci, “but when the Americans use it, it’s a conventional weapon. The injuries it inflicts, however, are just as terrible however you describe it.”

This is exactly the verbiage used by Think Progress:

In other words, the Pentagon does refer to white phosphorus rounds as chemical weapons — at least if they’re used by our enemies.

Kos, noting his triumph in helping to spread smears from crank websites and anti-war activists into the mainstream media, states:

Apologists of the use of WP continue to hide under the legalistic argument that white phosphorus isn’t classified as a chemical weapon under any treaty signed by the United States, as if our moral standing in the world hinges on legal parsings. In the court of world opinion, if it quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, and burns off the skin of babies like a duck while leaving their clothes intact, well then…

As the United States tries to justify its invasion and occupation of Iraq with moralistic arguments, it would help if we didn’t use the same techniques and tactics Saddam used.

That goes with the use of WP, which the Pentagon labelled a “chemical weapon” when it was politically expedient to do so, as well as the use of torture.

I am sick and tired of defending Kos. His behavior in this affair has been inexcusable, and it is clear he will do or say anything to attack this administration.

Maybe Hunter, another front-pager at Daily Kos, will have the nerve to come back here to this site and state the following again:

Yes, yet another thing Saddam’s regime was known for, and now we’re stuck having to defend when we do it.

We didn’t do what you are charging, WP isn’t a chemical weapon, we didn’t use it indiscriminately against civilians, yet we have to defend against these accusations because lowlifes keep peddling them and giving them legitimacy.

I am so sick of these people pulling this crap. And don’t be confused- this is ALL about bringing down Bush. Whatever the cost. I am so angry I can barely type right now.

And to think what upset all you delicate lefties in my last post was me stating that “Goebbels got nothing on the modern left.” Well, I give you the Big Lie:

The phrase Big Lie refers to a propaganda technique which originated with Adolf Hitler’s 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf. In that book Hitler wrote that people came to believe that Germany lost World War I in the field due to a propaganda technique used by Jews who were influential in the German press. This technique, he believed, consisted of telling a lie so “colossal” that no one would believe anyone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”. The first documented use of the phrase “big lie” is in the corresponding passage: “in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility”.¹

Later, Joseph Goebbels put forth a slightly different theory which has come to be more commonly associated with the phrase big lie. In this theory, the English are attributed with using a propaganda technique where in they had the mendacity to “lie big” and “stick to it”.

Note how Kos, Think Progress, and the Italian documentary crew are sticking to the lies, even as they are refuted, over and over again. Not only are they sticking to it, they add to it, as they have with this latest ‘intel shows the Pentagon classifies WP as a chemical weapon.’

I am livid.

*** Update ***

Amy Goodman from ‘Democracy Now!,’ just brought up the phosphorus in Fallujah bit on Hardball (they have been pimping the Pentagon angle as well). They are intentionally mainstreaming this bullshit.

And read this.

*** Update ***

I hope all you ‘patriots’ are proud:

The U.S. claimed in the run up to Iraq war that the main reason for the invasion is protecting America and the world against the imminent threat of the Weapons of Mass Destruction owned by the former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, if they U.S. is that aware of the grieve danger of those weapons, why is it using them in Iraq then?

Saddam’s alleged WMD were never found, but the very same murderous weapons have been used by the occupation forces that came to protect the Iraqi nation.

It’s been revealed last week, on this website as well as on other reputable news agencies that the U.S. occupying Army used white phosphorus against in the Iraqi city of Fallujah during its large scale offensive in 2004.

And here is George Monbiot, asking more pressing questions that could have been written by our patriotic friends at DKos and think Progress:

So the question has now widened: Is there any crime the coalition forces have not committed in Iraq?

They only make these grotesque allegations because they support the troops.

Jim Geraghty:

Ranucci is proving this paraphrase of William F. Buckley’s old comment: “saying there is moral equivalence between Western governments and terrorists is like saying that someone who pushes an old lady out of the way of an oncoming bus and someone who pushes an old lady in front of an oncoming bus are both people who push old ladies around.”






252 replies
  1. 1
    OCSteve says:

    And don’t be confused- this is ALL about bringing down Bush.

    You are 100% correct. I think I’ve said the same thing in each of these WP threads. They don’t care how much they hurt the troops or the country as long as they can regain power.

    It’s a disgrace. And Kos as a former artty man? What is it called again when you promote something you know to be false?

    Search Google News right now for “white phosphorus” – 643 articles (up from 611 yesterday I think). Countries all over the world. Then these same lefties turn around and decry how America’s reputation has fallen and nobody likes us any more. Well – mission accomplished.

  2. 2
    Kimmitt says:

    I am so angry I can barely type right now.

    I genuinely believe you, but I can’t help but notice the difference between your outrage at this and your lack of outrage at purple heart band-aids being passed out during the RNC convention. I feel like you’re holding us to a much higher standard, and since you’re not one of us, it feels unreasonable.

    Then these same lefties turn around and decry how America’s reputation has fallen and nobody likes us any more. Well – mission accomplished.

    Yeah, yeah, stab in the back, yawn. Why don’t you SOBs stop torturing people in Soviet gulags and get back to us.

  3. 3
    MI says:

    I guess we’re all beginning to sound like broken records regarding this issue but I’ll say this again, whether WP is a chemical weapon, a “chemical weapon” or not a chemical weapon-period, is really inconsequential, imo, to the larger point. The larger point being that we used this shit as a weapon with civilians around in a war where winning hearts and minds is just as important, or arguably more important, to winning the war than killing x number of bad guys.

    I’m genuinely disturbed this happened. (and yes, I’m even more disturbed civilians were used as shields for the purpose of using their dead bodies as propaganda) and it has nothing to do with wanting to bring Bush down. Of course I can’t speak for Kos or anyone else, only they know their true motivations, but I think there’s legitimate cause for outrage regardless of ones feelings about this admin.

  4. 4
    John Cole says:

    I genuinely believe you, but I can’t help but notice the difference between your outrage at this and your lack of outrage at purple heart band-aids being passed out during the RNC convention. I feel like you’re holding us to a much higher standard, and since you’re not one of us, it feels unreasonable.

    I did attack the GOP for that vile band-aid stunt. There is no inconsistency on my part, and I am not holding you to a higher standard.

    BTW- I find it amusing that you take great offense at the band-aid bit, but seem to have no problem with Kos and company smearing the troops with this bullshit, which IS FAR MORE SERIOUS.

  5. 5
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Declassified Pentagon report that identifies WP as a chemical weapon. Of course, this was when Saddam Hussein was using the stuff, not God’s President.

    http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/de.....0_91r.html

  6. 6
    ppGaz says:

    Relax. The story doesn’t have legs yet, and only wonks are paying attention. If the comment material we’ve seen here lately is any indication, the people who are flogging this issue have abandoned all reason.

    There’s nobody who would rather “bring down Bush” than I would, but this baloney WP thing is hardly necessary in order to accomplish that. All that is necessary is to stand back and let Bush and his cronies self destruct.

    But that aside, my impression is that the more agitated you (a general and metaphoric “you”) get over it, the more attention it gets. A little like Fox suing Al Franken and insuring that he’d become a millionaire.

    Will Marcos “do anything” to smear the administration? Well, I wouldn’t go that far, although one can hardly blame him. If ends really do justify means, as this administration seems to believe, then it could be justifiable. Bush is a danger to this country and to the free world, and I mean that in all seriousness.

    However, the bottom line is, the WP thing is mostly bullshit. But all we’ll do here is give slide and the others more opportunity to trumpet that bullshit.

  7. 7
    Doctor Gonzo says:

    Yes, WP is not a chemical weapon. Aside from all of that, though the question needs to be asked: why are we still using it?

    The insurgency in Iraq, like all insurgencies, is not military. It is political. And you don’t defeate insurgencies by blasting the bejeezus out of the enemy with everything you’ve got. You defeat insurgencies by changing the political reality.

    So this is as much public perception as military, and regardless of whether WP is being used properly or not, the public perception is horrible, just like the public perception of torture. There has to be a way for our guys to reach our military objectives without going out of our way to give the other side propaganda victories. Face it: stories about WP, even if our soldiers followed every regulation out there, are a propaganda victory against the U.S. Blaming Kos for this doesn’t change the reality.

    Why do people fail to learn the lessons of insurgencies time and again?

  8. 8
    John Cole says:

    I guess we’re all beginning to sound like broken records regarding this issue but I’ll say this again, whether WP is a chemical weapon, a “chemical weapon” or not a chemical weapon-period, is really inconsequential, imo, to the larger point. The larger point being that we used this shit as a weapon with civilians around in a war where winning hearts and minds is just as important, or arguably more important, to winning the war than killing x number of bad guys.

    We did not just indiscriminately use WP, we used it selectively and carefully, and has been show 100 times before by people with knowledge of military tactics, WP is actually safer for civilians in some of these circumstances than other rounds/munitions. Stop being so damned credulous.

  9. 9
    MI says:

    To be fair, as sickening as the purple heart band-aids stunt was, it’s hardly spouting headlines exclaiming that our troops unleashed chemical weapons on civilians.

  10. 10
    Kimmitt says:

    And why aren’t you upset with the media, which could have killed the meme with a basic fact check? Have we all just decided that reporters are nothing other than stenographers? Unfounded rumors, misdirections on complicated topics, and innuendo are now the rules of the game. Heck, you yourself have defended the President’s right to mislead while not actually telling any lies; what’s the difference? Your side has won several elections using the new rules, and now they’re being used by ours. It’s absolutely foul and reprehensible, but so is consistently losing to foul and reprehensible tactics. Rather than shaking one’s fist at a tree, I would posit that noticing the forest might be a good idea.

  11. 11
    John Cole says:

    Paddy O’Shea, you half-wit. That is unedited raw intelligence that is a transcription oftwo kurdish brothers who referred to it as WP. it is not proof of anything, other than that two brothers mistakenly referred to it as WP. The Pentagon never classified it as a chemical weapon.

    If the two brothers had stated that Saddam was using chain saw wielding grizzly bears as chemical weapons, would you then state that the ‘Pentagon policy is to classify chain-saw wielding Grizzly Bears as chemical weapons?”

    Enough with the stupid, already.

  12. 12
    John S. says:

    I find it amusing that you take great offense at the band-aid bit, but seem to have no problem with Kos and company smearing the troops with this bullshit, which IS FAR MORE SERIOUS.

    And I am equally amused that you take great offense to this WP business, but seem to have no problem pretending that the Bush administration didn’t conflate the link between Saddam and 9/11, which I think is FAR MORE SERIOUS.

    I guess we all get outraged over different things.

  13. 13
    jg says:

    They don’t care how much they hurt the troops or the country as long as they can regain power.

    They are not hurting the troops. You are saying that to shame them into shutting up. They aren’t buying it. They won’t shut up.

    Rubber hammer issue of the month right here.

  14. 14
    John Cole says:

    Kimmitt- Are you posting from the planet bizarro- clearly I am livid at the media for this, and I am even angrier at Kos and company for deliberately PLANTING shit like this in the media.

  15. 15
    John Cole says:

    JG- You are an idiot. Accusing the troops of war crimes and hypocrisy is hurting the troops.

  16. 16
    Steve S says:

    How exactly is Kos smearing our troops again?

    It seems to me you are the one making that claim.

  17. 17
    jg says:

    They’re not planting anything. They’re talking about it which so far is still legal in this country.

  18. 18
    ppGaz says:

    And I am equally amused that you take great offense to this WP business, but seem to have no problem pretending that the Bush administration didn’t conflate the link between Saddam and 9/11, which I think is FAR MORE SERIOUS.

    Two different contexts, though. One is infinitely serious on a policy-world affairs scale.

    But if you are now or once were wearing a uniform, the other thing is a slap in the face. We all want to get rid of Bush, but it is not necessary to slap people in the face who are serving the country. It’s no better than calling Democrats “cowards”, it’s the same kind of crap.

  19. 19
    jg says:

    Its not hurting the troops you old lady.

  20. 20
    Kimmitt says:

    but seem to have no problem with Kos and company smearing the troops with this bullshit, which IS FAR MORE SERIOUS.

    Fair enough; you’re seeing my biases here. I know that soldiers pretty much do what they’re ordered to do, and I have until now unconsciously assumed that most folks know the same. That is, I think that it’s US policy that’s being smeared, rather than the implementors of that policy.

    I’m beyond being outraged anymore. I’m just tired. I’m not outraged by Bush’s outright lie, “We don’t torture.” I’m not outraged by Cheney’s relentless assault on democratic modes of conduct. I’m not outraged by this Administration’s coverup of its vile outing of a CIA agent for petty political revenge. I’m not even outraged by the fact that we torture people for the purposes of extracting false information which we then use to justify wars. I just want it all to go away. I’m so tired of shame.

  21. 21
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    You know John, I have never made any kind of derogatory personal comments about you in the past, but since you have decided that such a thing is good enough for your precious self to engage in, allow me be blunt:

    You could catch George W. Bush with his 4 inch pecker all the way up your groaning mother’s ass and you would still find a way to invent apologies for him.

    Thanks for the apportunity!

  22. 22
    ppGaz says:

    Its not hurting the troops you old lady.

    I don’t agree, I think it is.

    And it’s gratuitous and unnecessary to boot.

  23. 23
    Another Jeff says:

    Kimmitt- Are you posting from the planet bizarro-

    You really still need to ask that question of the guy who admitted that his first reaction to Hurricane Katrina was “good, it hit red states, they deserved it”?

  24. 24
    MI says:

    We did not just indiscriminately use WP, we used it selectively and carefully, and has been show 100 times before by people with knowledge of military tactics, WP is actually safer for civilians in some of these circumstances than other rounds/munitions. Stop being so damned credulous.

    I understand we didn’t use it indiscriminately, but I’m not sure how carefully you can use it in a situation like Fallujah was, where it was difficult to distinguish the enemy from the civilians, just because to their proximity, which was the whole problem, right? But like I said the other day, I don’t know shit about this stuff from a technical standpoint, so I’m happy to defer to the experts.

    At any rate, why can’t we all just agree that 1) saying our troops used chem weapons on civilians means you’re no longer taken seriously, and 2) we shouldn’t have used WP as a weapon given the circumstances.

  25. 25
    Doctor Gonzo says:

    ppGaz, I can certainly understand that troops would not appreciate being called war criminals or analogs to Saddam Hussein when they were just doing what they were told to do, but is this story actually hurting troops more than the administration is itself by asking the troops and those who command them to do the impossible?

  26. 26
    Kimmitt says:

    You really still need to ask that question of the guy who admitted that his first reaction to Hurricane Katrina was “good, it hit red states, they deserved it”?

    Cite, please.

  27. 27
    John S. says:

    ppGaz-

    1. I understand that this is a slap in the face to the military, and I disagree with the angle taken on this that John is railing against.

    2. As you mentioned, they are different contexts, and I happen to find one far more serious than the other, but as I said everyone gets outraged over different things.

    3. I do not think that ‘we all want to get rid of Bush’. I wish that it were so, but I do not think it is.

    4. I think people should focus on bringing Bush down for things HE actually did, rather than take this sideways tactic (which as I said in my first point, I disagree with).

  28. 28
    jg says:

    Any hurting of the troops is incidental. The point is to find out what if anything happened. Maybe nothing happened but this bullshit about how we can’t even investigate because it might hurt the troops is just bullshit. Its a way of deflecting the issue. They keep finding ways to prevent a discussion of whats going on over there. Before it was you can’t attack a president at wartime, that didn’t work too well so now its troops that are under attack. They use ex military types like our host who is normally reasonable but goes bitch cakes anytime the right tells him people are trying to hurt our troops. Its crap. JC can call me an idiot all day but I see he’s the idiot who can’t tell when he’s doing what he yells at others for doing.

    Shit may or may not be going on over there and I certainly don’t trust the administration to tell me the truth about it. Why should I? I should just give up and trust them or hope for the best even though I don’t trust them but my speech might make the troop sfeel bad? Are you fucking serious? Whats the other option besides waitng until its an issue even old soldier boys can get upset about?

  29. 29
    jg says:

    2) we shouldn’t have used WP as a weapon given the circumstances.

    But the problem is the military reflex won’t allow us to talk about that. We’re hurting the troops by even considering the issue. I wasn’t in the army so I have no right to even read this discussion I guess. My interest is tantamount to treason.

  30. 30
    Lines says:

    The military didn’t help themselves by lying about it, then only coming out with cursory answers later. The Pentagon and other military leaders should have been shooting this down from the beginning, yet they have remained silent and evasive on the issue. Thats definately not helping, as the press smells blood and swarms the area.

    I’m not trying to shift or make blame, I just feel the whole thing has grown out of proportion because of all the party’s actions.

  31. 31
    John Cole says:

    Any hurting of the troops is incidental. The point is to find out what if anything happened. Maybe nothing happened but this bullshit about how we can’t even investigate because it might hurt the troops is just bullshit.

    You aren’t investigating. You are making baseless allegations. The presumption that WP ‘shouldn’t be used” hinges on the de facto belief that WP was used inapproppriately.

    Quit fucking playing games.

  32. 32
    Todd DiLaMuca says:

    Please leave the chainsaw-weilding grizzly bears out of this. If Kos knew we were using CSWGB’s, our lives would be over.

  33. 33
    KC says:

    I’m with John on this one, definitely.

  34. 34
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    John’s concern has precious little to do with the troops. His real concern is with protecting the reputation of the corrupt and incompetent CIC who has used them so badly.

    This whole wretched topic stinks of hypocrisy.

  35. 35
    Crank says:

    Kos may not be Goebbels, but he sure is the equal of Tokyo Rose and Lord Haw-Haw. Yes, I question his patriotism.

    If by chance we woke up tomorrow and found that the war was over and the US won thoroughly and utterly, guys like Kevin Drum and Matt Yglesias and Fred Kaplan and some of the other administration critics would be happy. They might be a bit grudging in their praise for Bush, as we would be for Clinton under the same circumstances, but they’d be happy America won the war.

    Kos, I now feel certain, would not. He would regard it as a defeat. That’s the difference.

  36. 36

    “In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

  37. 37
    Doctor Gonzo says:

    The presumption that WP ‘shouldn’t be used” hinges on the de facto belief that WP was used inapproppriately.

    I disagree with that. My basis for arguing that WP shouldn’t be used is that it probably has far greater political costs than military benefits, even if it is used in a militarily appropriately way. Again, the insurgency isn’t primarily a military issue, but a political one.

    What makes me angry is that soldiers are caught in the middle in all of this. When a soldier in the field is fired upon, it’s his job to fire back, not ask questions. The people above him or her who are supposed to be figuring out the questions of how to beat a political insurgency, however, have completely dropped the ball. Either they see this as a purely military effort, or they don’t see it at all. It’s not the soldiers’ jobs to come up with a policy that defeats the insurgency.

    Bush and his team went into this following the three step plan of the Underpants Gnomes, and nothing I have seen so far makes me think that they are going to change it one bit (since changing would admit defeat):

    Step one: Invade and occupy Iraq.
    Step two: ????
    Step three: Democracy flourishes in the Mideast.

    The fault lies with them, not the soldiers who are implementing a policy that has no purpose.

  38. 38
    jg says:

    You aren’t investigating. You are making baseless allegations. The presumption that WP ‘shouldn’t be used” hinges on the de facto belief that WP was used inapproppriately.

    You fucking tool. How are we supposed to find out if you keep calling us troop haters for asking? Baseless allegations is how it starts. Then you investigate. You don’t want the investigation, you declare baseless allegations and that people are hurting troops hoping to end it.

    People, even idiots, know the troops are reacting to situations, no one is upset at them. Its the policy makers. The people who say we are in a war of hearts and minds. They are the ones who are under attack. Why use WP in an area like Fallujah with such potential for collateral damage? Collateral damage is what we need to avoid in a war of hearts and minds.

    Do you not see how this issue is being avoided by the adminstration? You think its out of love for the troops or to hide a potential fuckup? Maybe both maybe neither. You yelling at me won’t stop me from being curious and even if it turns out to be nothing and you suffer an aneurism I still think Kos should keep at it.

  39. 39
    MI says:

    But the problem is the military reflex won’t allow us to talk about that. We’re hurting the troops by even considering the issue. I wasn’t in the army so I have no right to even read this discussion I guess. My interest is tantamount to treason.

    Yeah, but people aren’t coming out and saying, you know, “let’s have an honest and open inquiry into what happen regarding WP and Fallujah”. If that were the case, I would agree. But instead it’s, “HEY LOOK AT THE BURNT CORPSES OF CHILDREN WE CAUSED BY USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS ON CIVILIANS JUST LIKE SADDAM.”

    I think that’s a huge part of what’s pissing people off and making them suspicious about just how genuinely concerned people are about getting to the bottom of what did or didn’t happen.

  40. 40

    US Constitution
    Article. III., Section. 3.

    Clause 1: Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

    http://www.house.gov/Constitut.....ution.html

  41. 41
    jg says:

    “HEY LOOK AT THE BURNT CORPSES OF CHILDREN WE CAUSED BY USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS ON CIVILIANS JUST LIKE SADDAM.”

    You’re right, they’re but lets have the discussion and prove them wrong instead of shouting them down and calling them traitors. Maybe they are traitors, lets find out insteead of assuming it.

  42. 42
    BumperStickerist says:

    For more information on what goes into artillery fire selection, targetting, and the Laws of War – consult your friendly professional trade publication, Field Artillery, written by a JAG officer well before Iraq – heck, he even wrote this before 9/11.

    Page 42 – Law of War/Artillery

    Or, hell, just keep thinking that US soldiers in Iraq go around blasting away with WP like drunk West Virginians blast away at road signs – that’s what Kos&Ko. would have you believe.

  43. 43
    Tongueboy says:

    You really still need to ask that question of the guy who admitted that his first reaction to Hurricane Katrina was “good, it hit red states, they deserved it”?

    Cite, please.

    I’d like to see some more citations:

    I’m not outraged by Bush’s outright lie, “We don’t torture.”

    Please cite policy from any branch of armed services, Pentagon or any other effing government agency, for that matter, that both defines and permits torture.

    I’m not outraged by Cheney’s relentless assault on democratic modes of conduct.

    Please define “democratic modes of conduct” and cite an example of Cheney’s “relentless assault” on such.

    I’m not outraged by this Administration’s coverup of its vile outing of a CIA agent for petty political revenge.

    Please cite source confirming this astounding accusation.
    A criminal conviction would serve as evidence. Hell, I’d even take a simple indictment.

    I’m not even outraged by the fact that we torture people for the purposes of extracting false information which we then use to justify wars.

    Cite source.

    I just want it all to go away. I’m so tired of shame.

    I’m playing my nano-violin.

  44. 44
    jg says:

    Or, hell, just keep thinking that US soldiers in Iraq go around blasting away with WP like drunk West Virginians blast away at road signs – that’s what Kos&Ko. would have you believe.

    I don’t read Kos but even from JC’s selective quoting I don’t get that impression. Is that what Kos wants me to believe or are people approaching this with somewhat preconceived notions?

    I’m hungry and will now unass myself from JC’s AO for the time being.

  45. 45
    JPS says:

    Digressing a bit–oh, about a half hour, maybe a little more–I’m reminded of the wonderful Prehistory of the Far Side, and Larson’s caption to a particularly twisted cartoon:

    “No, you really did not just see this. Turn the page.”

  46. 46
    Lines says:

    Since John deleted my previous over the top, I’ll attempt to rephrase my contemptual rant:

    Crank, many people feel that George Bush is the one harming America. That is their version of patriotism. Removal of his Administration is first and foremost. Getting our troops out of a situation they never should have been in is a close second. They view that as the more patriotic stance.

    So before you so casually throw around the accusation that KOS loves him some terrorists and hates America, you might want to just think that his form of patriotism is way different than yours, and while he may believe you to be the scum of the earth, he doesn’t feel the need to question your patriotism.

    I, on the other hand, find your argument to be twisted and corrupt. Your little black and white world doesn’t exist, so maybe you should try joining reality.

  47. 47
    Steve says:

    I think people who put our troops in harm’s way for domestic political purposes are positively despicable. John Cole and I agree on that, with the difference being I prefer to focus on the Bush Administration, and he prefers to focus on some left-wing bloggers. I stand by my belief that the former has done far more harm to the troops and the country than the latter.

  48. 48
    Paul L. says:

    I do not know what the big surprise is about.
    Falsely accusing the troops of war crimes “Kerrying” is a time-honored way for lefties to show their dissent .
    i.e. the Winter Soldier Investigation.

  49. 49
    neil says:

    I am so angry I can barely type right now.

    Yeah, now this is the kind of hard-headed analysis I read the blogs for! You’ve certainly made a powerful case. And it really does lend weight to your Nazi analogy.

    So for those of us keeping score at home, Kos is Goebbels for telling the big lie that the U.S. is killing people with chemical weapons when in reality they are actually only normal weapons which, by nature of their chemical properties, kill people! When will Kos stop taking advantage of the American people’s low capacity for nuance in his endless quest for power?

    All right, I’m not going anywhere with this. But it baffles me, more than angering me, that you can seriously entertain an analogy like this. It’s not exactly a “Big Lie” — it’s a tiny detail about a minor aspect of a single battle in a huge war.

    If you want to talk about a Big Lie, one so big that people believe it because it’s just too big to fabricate, one that is convincing because the perpetrators “stick to” the claim, one, perhaps, that is told in the service of pushing a democracy towards a war of aggression…

    Oh, never mind, now that would just be ridiculous.

  50. 50
    Steve S says:

    I don’t read Kos but even from JC’s selective quoting I don’t get that impression. Is that what Kos wants me to believe or are people approaching this with somewhat preconceived notions?

    Preconceived notions, clearly.

    John Cole is creating a strawman argument. The problem is, at every turn in this debate, he’s been caught off guard. He started off claiming WP was used for a particularly purpose, without really even having any valid knowledge of that.

    Since then, he’s been trying to prove Kos wrong at every turn, desperately looking for something to smear him back with.

    As much as I don’t like the way Kos has made this argument, I don’t see that Cole is contributing anything positive. They’re cut from the same cloth, both making hyperbolic illogical arguments.

  51. 51
    Steve S says:

    So for those of us keeping score at home, Kos is Goebbels for telling the big lie that the U.S. is killing people with chemical weapons when in reality they are actually only normal weapons which, by nature of their chemical properties, kill people! When will Kos stop taking advantage of the American people’s low capacity for nuance in his endless quest for power?

    Very well articulated.

  52. 52
    neil says:

    Oh, I forgot. The other thing, the ironic icing on the whole sordid cake, is that the intelligence Kos and TP are pointing to, which does (despite John’s frothing) have a veneer of credibility due to coming from the Pentagon, _is in fact a prime example_ of the Iraq war agitators telling the Big Lie in an attempt to provoke the US into war against Iraq.

    That’s what we should really be talking about here, John. Compared to the people who wrote this document, which did, in fact, start the lie that WP is a chemical weapon, Kos has no influence. It is plain as day that this bad intelligence is exactly of a kind with the bad intelligence that took us to war. It is plain as day that the lies contained in the document are the same ones that the Bush administration wanted to hear, and did their best to promulgate. This, in short, is a rare uncut example of A Lie That Took Us To War.

    And John, naturally, doesn’t give a shit about that.

  53. 53
    John Cole says:

    Impressively dumb,even for you, Neil.

    Kos is lying about the Pentagon classifying WP as a chemical weapon.

    That lie is necessary to reinforce the false assertion that WP is a chemical weapon.

    That lie is needed to reinforce the lie that we used chemical weapons indiscriminately on civlians and insurgents, making our troops war criminals and in violation of international law.

    That lie is needed to reinforce the bullshit charges in the Italian documentary.

    All of this is for nothing more than to attack this administration and a war Kos does not like, all of which is to aid his desire to return Democrats back to power in 2006 and 2008.

  54. 54
    Mike S says:

    And to think what upset all you delicate lefties in my last post was me stating that “Goebbels got nothing on the modern left.” Well, I give you the Big Lie:

    I understand why you are upset about all of this John but that line is rediculous coming from a Republican. The party with Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly, FOX, Newsmax, The Washington Times, The Swift Liars and a whole host of other liars makes Goebbels and Pravda combined look like George friggin Washington.

    Equating two blogs with Goebbels while ignoring the massive GOP message machine is disingenuous at best.

  55. 55
    skip says:

    “If by chance we woke up tomorrow and found that the war was over and the US won thoroughly and utterly,”

    That, like Intelligent Design, is a hypothesis I fear we shall never be given the opportunity to test.

  56. 56
    jsh26 says:

    Not quite the response you expected over here, huh John?

    Let’s not hear any more ironic mention of a Big Lie on the same day Murray Waas has yet another scoop on the Cheney administration’s historic and ongoing duplicity surrounding Saddam’s involvement in 9/11.

    Please.

  57. 57
    rilkefan says:

    Note that Kos is getting skeptical responses on that thread. He’s an emotional, reactive guy, and he makes mistakes. I wish I could get him and John and some reasonable moderator into a room to hash this out – I suspect an accord could be reached.

    Incidentally, I don’t think anyone ever answered my question about the army manual and driving the enemy from its defensive position using WP, or how one decides what’s a good weapon and what’s not.

  58. 58
    Tongueboy says:

    I genuinely believe you, but I can’t help but notice the difference between your outrage at this and your lack of outrage at purple heart band-aids being passed out during the RNC convention. I feel like you’re holding us to a much higher standard, and since you’re not one of us, it feels unreasonable.

    Let’s take this at face value rather than a desperate attempt to change the subject. And let’s ignore the fact that our host DID express such outrage. Let’s even stipulate that this conduct is embarrassing, juvenile or even, yes, outrageous.

    It appears this stunt was pulled to denigrate the opposing party’s presidential candidate in hopes of boosting morale among the party ranks attending the RNC. The intended target audience already shared the stunt-pullers’ views about the opposing party’s candidate so this turned out to be joke-amongst-friends that slipped outside the circle of friends.

    I think we should be asking the same questions about this Willie Pete stunt that I’ve already answered above about the RNC stunt:

    1. Why was this stunt pulled by TalkAmerica and why is KOS providing valuable support?

    2. Who is the intended target audience?

    3. What is the intended result?

    I think honest answers from KOS and TalkAmerica would be extremely revealing, but are probably not forthcoming.

  59. 59
    OCSteve says:

    They are not hurting the troops. You are saying that to shame them into shutting up. They aren’t buying it. They won’t shut up.

    Of course it hurts the troops. All this crap is bad for moral. At this point they are being painted as sadistic torturers who indiscriminately use chemical weapons on civilian populations.

    At some point it will also physically endanger them when some squad leader second guesses himself on using a particular (perfectly legal) weapon for fear it will show up on page one of the NYT.

  60. 60
    neil says:

    I don’t care what Kos says. That’s not interesting to me.

    Here are other points of discussion which are not interesting: I accept, uncritically, your assertion that white phosphorous is not a chemical weapon. I don’t believe it’s much worse to be killed by a chemical weapon than an incendiary one. I think that if you’re slaughtering innocent civilians, the method of slaughtering them is unimportant. I don’t think that deliberately targeting combatants with white phosphorous is worse than some of our other, ‘acceptable’ way of killing them.

    Now that we’ve gotten all of that stuff out of the way, we can talk about what is interesting instead. And what’s interesting to me, as long as we’ve got you admitting that it’s a patent untruth that white phosphorous is a chemical weapon, is this Pentagon document. Not because it makes it true, but because it’s a consensus agreement of Pentagon intelligence on Iraq WMDs that is transparently untrue, a malicious lie, a manipulative smear, what have you.

    How about that?

  61. 61
    Lines says:

    At some point it will also physically endanger them when some squad leader second guesses himself on using a particular (perfectly legal) weapon for fear it will show up on page one of the NYT.

    Oh no! They might question the moral usage of a weapon before deploying it in areas where civilians are located?

    The horror! The horror!

    Bad argument, Stevie. Try again, maybe next time you won’t look like a village idiot.

  62. 62
    Paul L. says:

    Mike S Says:
    And to think what upset all you delicate lefties in my last post was me stating that “Goebbels got nothing on the modern left.” Well, I give you the Big Lie:

    I understand why you are upset about all of this John but that line is rediculous coming from a Republican. The party with Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly, FOX, Newsmax, The Washington Times, The Swift Liars and a whole host of other liars makes Goebbels and Pravda combined look like George friggin Washington.

    Equating two blogs with Goebbels while ignoring the massive GOP message machine is disingenuous at best.

    Let play my favorite game with the lefties and try this in reverse
    The Big Lie Technique
    I understand why you are upset about all of this but that line is ridiculous coming from a Democrat. The party with Air America, Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Moveon.org Liars and a whole host of other liars makes Goebbels and Pravda combined look like George friggin Washington.

  63. 63
    neil says:

    At some point it will also physically endanger them when some squad leader second guesses himself on using a particular (perfectly legal) weapon for fear it will show up on page one of the NYT.

    Don’t be such a worry wart. That didn’t stop people from torturing prisoners, remember?

  64. 64
    Leftism 2005 in a nutshell says:

    FREE SADDAM AND MUMIA!!!

  65. 65
    Pb says:

    John Cole,

    “The Big Lie” is that “Goebbels got nothing on the modern left”. Fortunately, it’s a pretty blatant and obvious lie too. Feel free to continue being livid about entirely true statements like “Yes, yet another thing Saddam’s regime was known for, and now we’re stuck having to defend when we do it.” I’m going to stick to being livid about the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians that have unnecessarily died due to incompetence, mismanagement, and deception — and not from “the modern left”, either.

  66. 66
    Mike S says:

    I understand why you are upset about all of this but that line is ridiculous coming from a Democrat. The party with Air America, Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Moveon.org Liars and a whole host of other liars makes Goebbels and Pravda combined look like George friggin Washington.

    Ah yes, the “librul media” meme. The fact that they were absent in the investigation department during the run up to the war, savaged Gore with lie after lie and gave the swift liars $40m in free airtime doesn’t compute for the fools who have swallowed the GOP message machines lies for years. Nope, Big Pharma calls them “librul” so it must be so.

    Don’t make me laugh.

  67. 67
    TexasMike says:

    How about these Big Lies:

    Saddam and Al-Qaeda were working together.

    Saddam has recently sought large quantities of uranium from Niger

    Congress saw the same intelligence as the WH

    I think the Repubs are a little ahead of the lefties on this front.

  68. 68
    TallDave says:

    This is hilarious on two fronts.

    Not only do they argue WP is a chemical weapon when the US uses it, they also presumably argue WP is not a chemical weapon in Saddam’s hands, since he had massive stockpiles of it, which would have justified the war on the WMD basis.

    Mike S,

    Pew poll find them overwhelmingly liberal by their own description. Also see Rathergate.

  69. 69
    neil says:

    Oh, come on, TexasMike. Don’t you know anything about Goebbels and Nazi propaganda? It was just like Kos — all designed to get Germany out of its unnecessary war of aggression and to shine a light on the atrocities ordered by the highest levels of the German army’s leadership.

    Just like it.

  70. 70
    Mr Furious says:

    Kos, I now feel certain, would not. He would regard it as a defeat. That’s the difference.

    Crank, I am a frequent contributor at your site, and I respect your opinion (second thoughts on that, now), but this is just complete horseshit. You are a fucking lawyer, you should know better. How’s this? “OBJECTION! Speculation!”

    You don’t know anything of the sort, and if you actually spent time reading Kos instead of stalking him for the latest thing to overreact to, you’d know that isn’t true.

    Is Kos over the top on this one? Yeah, probably. But perhaps he is just as livid and unable to think and type clearly as Cole. Perhaps the fact that troops are even in this position infuriates him beyond control. In fact, I doubt there is any “perhaps” about it.

  71. 71
    TallDave says:

    Heh, I wonder what Kos would have said if Bush had justified the invasion based on the fact Saddam had WP.

  72. 72
    neil says:

    On the slightly more interesting point of whether the media is liberally biased, I point to this Pew poll (I think TallDave was clumsily attempting to invoke it) about what opinion leaders think of Bush’s presidency.

    There are a lot of good figures in this survey, but I will highlight just this one.

    So far, what are the BEST things about the Bush administration’s handling of foreign policy?

    Answers were voluntary, not chosen from a list. The ‘News Media’ opinion leaders were most likely to say Iraq — twice as likely as the ‘Military’ opinion leaders. The ‘News Media’ opinion leaders were also the least likely, except for the ‘Academic’ opinion leaders, to say ‘Nothing’.

  73. 73
    Pb says:

    TexasMike,

    “We do not torture” except when we do

    “America and the world are safer” with the Middle East destabilized and al-Qaeda in Iraq

    “it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began” except when we do it

    “Some Democrats and anti-war critics are now claiming we manipulated the intelligence and misled the American people about why we went to war” because, you know, we did.

    The stakes in the global war on terror are too high, and the national interest is too important, for politicians to throw out false charges” against me.

    “These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America’s will” because, you know, dissent is treason, but smearing John Kerry is a spectator sport.

    etc., etc. Wake me up when they say something true, honest, important, and non-hypocritical. Zzzz…

  74. 74
    TallDave says:

    Wrong, Neil, the Pew poll I’m invoking found they are 5 times as likely to describe themselves as liberal than conservative.

    The American people are more likely to describe themselves as conservative, by about 1.5:1.

  75. 75
    don surber says:

    Reading debates about the Iraq war make me better appreciate the Great War where thousands were slaughtered toadvance the line one yard at a time

  76. 76
    Dean's World says:

    John Cole is Angry

    And with good reason.Congratulations Kos and ThinkProgress!

    You have successfully peddled the phone conversation between two Kurdish brothers to uncritical media outlets…

  77. 77
    John S. says:

    Reading debates about the Iraq war make me better appreciate the Great War where thousands were slaughtered to advance the line one yard at a time

    So sayeth the man that thought Bush attacking Democrats on Veterans Day was his ‘Gettysburg Address’.

    Comment, meet grain of salt…

  78. 78
    OCSteve says:

    Oh no! They might question the moral usage of a weapon before deploying it in areas where civilians are located?

    I’m repeating myself anyway so I may as well just c/p from another thread.

    ————
    The meme being pushed is that American troops ruthlessly rained WP down on the heads of all these civilians. The big problem with this is that for the most part, the civilians just were not there.

    “The Red Crescent estimates that only 150 to 175 families remained in Fallujah after the US-led offensive started on November 8”
    “Most of Fallujah’s 300,000 inhabitants fled the city before the assault.”

    Source

    No less authority than The Red Crescent estimates 175 families on the high end in the entire city. How many in a family? Just to head off the argument over how many I’ll say they were all extended families and call it 10. So 1,750 out of a city of 300,000. 0.58% as a high estimate. And certainly they were not all innocent civilians.

    You figure they were out roaming the streets with a battle raging? They were hiding under the bed if they were smart. The only ones likely to be ought and about were the bad guys. From the same ABC article:

    “A single Red Crescent team delivered food and water to five families in a battered northern Fallujah neighbourhood after US marines patrolling the area found them hiding in their homes.”

    Were civilians unfortunately killed? Definitely. Is that a tragedy? Of course. Did the military try to get them out of there before the battle? Yes. It has also been thrown about here that boys/men of fighting age were forced to stay in the city – that is simply false:

    US troops sealed all roads to Falluja and urged women, children and non-fighting age men to flee, but said they would arrest any man under 45 trying to enter or leave the city.

    They were not locked in the city prior to an all out assault. Of course they would be arrested until it was sorted out. You figure maybe your typical “insurgent” is a man under 45? But they were NOT forced to stay in the city.
    ————

    Now let me add to that…

    Think about what any other military (including ours) would have done years ago – they would have simply razed the damn town with the resulting death of practically every civilian.

    Instead, they made every attempt to clear out the civilians. Then went through the hell of urban combat to clear out the bad guys. I and others have made the case that the use of WP in all likelihood reduced civilian casualties. The insurgents could have been wiped out along with the town using stand-off weapons and air support without endangering a single American life. Americans died exactly because they chose to shield civilians as much as possible.

    For this they are being vilified and used as a political punching bag. That is what gets (some) people so upset.

  79. 79
    TexasMike says:

    This whole administration has left this country so FUBAR that I’m not surprised people will say anything to make them look bad and try to bring them down.

    Treason = Questioning the admin and asking for a timetable
    Patriotism = Outing a CIA agent

    Bush didn’t have a problem asking for a timetable when the war was Clinton’s in 1999.

    Torture is excused as a fraternity prank and we have an argument over the semantics of chemical weapon use and whether we “support the troops.”

    Last week I paid $2.50 for a gallon of diesel while Exxon showed record profits.
    New Orleans is still a ghost town

    Light Rant over

    Down is up, up is down.
    That is the last time I follow that damn rabbit down that hole.

  80. 80
    ppGaz says:

    It’s not exactly a “Big Lie”—it’s a tiny detail about a minor aspect of a single battle in a huge war.

    Can’t argue with that. This reinforces my point. You don’t need a ginned-up “chemical weapons” outrage based on hype and little-understood realities of warfare, to prove that the huge war is a big problem and the people behind it are numbskulls. So that being the case, why gin up a story that gratuitously sticks a finger in the eye of the one group of people most at risk and least deserving of a finger in the eye … namely, the troops?

    It’s a bad bargain, and one that those on the left should walk away from immediately. It’s a mistake and it is not helping the cause you guys think you are arguing for.

  81. 81
    TexasMikey says:

    I hate my life, so I want to lie, cheat and steal in order to inflict misery on my betters. I follow the slave-morality of the Left and want to put you in chains. I hate my nation and will do anything to destroy it, though I will pretend to be “patriotic” to smear the concept of patriotism. I am a slave and I want you to be one too.

  82. 82
    neil says:

    So what? I didn’t realize journalists were supposed to be elected.

  83. 83
    Paul L. says:

    Mike S Says:

    I understand why you are upset about all of this but that line is ridiculous coming from a Democrat. The party with Air America, Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, CBS, NBC, CNN, ABC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Moveon.org Liars and a whole host of other liars makes Goebbels and Pravda combined look like George friggin Washington.

    Ah yes, the “librul media” meme. The fact that they were absent in the investigation department during the run up to the war, savaged Gore with lie after lie and gave the swift liars $40m in free airtime doesn’t compute for the fools who have swallowed the GOP message machines lies for years. Nope, Big Pharma calls them “librul” so it must be so.

    Don’t make me laugh.

    “absent in the investigation department during the run up to the war”

    The mainstream media was screaming “We need the UN approval for the war” and “Saddam is safely contained”
    They also have been yelling quagmire in Iraq since the first week of the war.

    savaged Gore with lie after lie?

    Cite the lies, I remember them being supportive of Gore.
    Did they use forged documents to smear Gore?

    “gave the swift liars $40m in free airtime”

    How much airtime did they give Cindy Sheehan/Code Pink?
    As I remember most of the Swift Boat coverage was to “refute ” them.

  84. 84
    ppGaz says:

    The American people are more likely to describe themselves as conservative, by about 1.5:1.

    Rather meaningless, when you see the foolishness, interfering-government, pseudo-religious, big-spending crap that passes for “conservative” nowadays.

    Pretty much any asshole who can string three words together now can call himself a “conservative” and get away with it, because real conservatives have either gone to sleep, or else made a very bad deal with Satan to let these barbarian fools run off with their party.

    Which are you, Dave? A real conservative who sold out, or one of the newfangled lunatics?

  85. 85
    Steve says:

    Haha, the argument that “if WP is a chemical weapon, the invasion would have been justified” is hilarious. Maybe TD really is the dumbest guy on the Internet.

  86. 86
    ppGaz says:

    Maybe TD really is the dumbest guy on the Internet.

    No, that would be Darrell. TallDave is just a writer for Darrell. He doesn’t really believe that stuff.

    Do you, Dave?

  87. 87
    Dexter says:

    How does Kos get away with these lies? Why is that every word Dick Cheney has ever said about Iraq had been combed over for alleged lies by the media while the likes of Kos and Think Progress have carte blance to spread lies and slander?

  88. 88
    Sojourner says:

    Good G-d. The US doesn’t torture (except it does), the US doesn’t make people disappear (except it does), the US does not hold people indefinitely without cause (except it does), the US does not run gulag-like establishments (except it does).

    And you’re upset that this Kos story willl hurt the troops??? I mean, does anyone seriously believe in this day and age that the US would never stoop to doing these unethical things if it weren’t for the Bush administration’s track record?

    The complete trashing of the US’s ethical reputation by the Bushies should be the source of your outrage because that is what made it more likely that people will believe this crap.

  89. 89
    ppGaz says:

    How does Kos get away with these lies?

    How does DougJ get away with being the worst case of multiple personality disorder in the history of psychiatric medicine?

    DougJ, the man who is always beside himself. Sort of.

  90. 90
    Dexter says:

    The complete trashing of the US’s ethical reputation by the Bushies should be the source of your outrage

    Ah, but the world wouldn’t know about these so-called atrocities if the likes of Daily Kos weren’t talking about. In this case, the story is bogus, but even the stories that are nominally true — Abu Ghraib — help to spread hatred and it is irresponsible of the left to pimp them in a way that dirties our reputation abroad.

  91. 91
    Dave Ruddell says:

    JPS wrote:

    “No, you really did not just see this. Turn the page.”

    Best Far Side ever! Too bad they weren’t able to run it.

  92. 92
    Cyrus says:

    TallDave Says:

    Wrong, Neil, the Pew poll I’m invoking found they are 5 times as likely to describe themselves as liberal than conservative.

    The American people are more likely to describe themselves as conservative, by about 1.5:1.

    You’re correct, Dave: a poll of the personal political alignments of every individual employed in news media found that they self-identified as liberal more often than they did as conservative. (Though from what I remember of the poll, it was nowhere near five times as many, as you claim.) But you assume that there’s no difference between the opinions of individual reporters and the overall weight of stories they write. And look at what the poll doesn’t study. It counts Charles Krauthammer with the same weight as the editor of the weekly paper in a town of 6,000. It counts an editor with the same weight as one of his reporters. So do you think that poll means anything at all?

    The New York Times is a good example. I’m sure 70 percent, hell, I’ll grant you 90 percent of the people working for it would self-identify as left of center. (And again, there’s a ton of qualifiers in there that you choose to ignore.) But when they repeated the White House’s assertions about Iraq uncritically in the runup to the war, when they were a big part of hyping it – Judy Miller, for example – how dumb would you have to be to call them part of The Liberal Media? The only thing they’re part of is the lazy media. Bitching and moaning about liberal bias in the media and using CNN, NBC and the New York Times as your examples of it says more about the biases you want than the biases that exist.

  93. 93
    ppGaz says:

    Bitching and moaning about liberal bias in the media and using CNN, NBC and the New York Times as your examples of it says more about the biases you want than the biases that exist.

    Dave has not had a new idea since 1974.

    He’s Rip Van TallDave.

  94. 94
    Pb says:

    Dexter,

    Ah, but the world wouldn’t know about these so-called atrocities if the likes of Daily Kos weren’t talking about.

    Perhaps you weren’t aware of the fact that other countries have their own reporters too? Their own news organizations? Or in your mind, is kos now also the Italian that produced the documentary in question here…

    Just because you’re ignorant, doesn’t mean the rest of the world is. In fact, it would probably do you some good to learn what they are saying, so you could one day hope to have a dialogue with them instead of ignoring them.

    Then again, maybe you attempting to have a dialogue with them wouldn’t do us any good after all.

  95. 95
    Lines says:

    Just so Paul L. doesn’t feel about about his statements not being answered:

    Sheehan isn’t pimping a political party. She also happened after the election and burned out before the next election.

    The media was not screaming for UN approval, they were usually poking fun at Democrats and liberals for requesting UN Approval. You know, that approval that Bush said he wouldn’t go to war without? But the media wasn’t screaming for inspections and UN approval, usually because they were too busy running Judy Miller fellata-thons of the Chalabi intel.

    #1 Gore Lie told by right wing press: Gore claims he created the internet.
    #2 Gore Lie told by the right wing press: Gore claims “Love Story” is about his marriage.

    You have the Swift Boat Liars timeline screwed up. Sheehan came after. Your mind is really all over the place, isn’t it? Kind of like a ferrett on crack.

  96. 96
    Mr Furious says:

    Just want to compliment you for today’s thread, ppGaz. Nice work.

  97. 97
    Paul L. says:

    Sheehan isn’t pimping a political party. She also happened after the election and burned out before the next election.

    B.S. Sheehan is anti-Bush. Just as the Swiftvets are anti-Kerry.

    #1 Gore Lie told by right wing press: Gore claims he created the internet.

    http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS.....index.html
    During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country’s economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.

    You have the Swift Boat Liars timeline screwed up. Sheehan came after. Your mind is really all over the place, isn’t it? Kind of like a ferrett on crack.

    So you are saying the Mainstream Media should have continued to ignore the Swiftvets showing they are biased and on Kerry’s side.
    The Swiftboats timeline is seared — seared — in me
    In March 1986, Kerry said, during a speech on the Senate floor, that, “I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting on a gunboat in Cambodia. I remember what it was like to be shot at by the Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States telling the American people that I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia. I have that memory which is seared — seared — in me….

  98. 98
    RC635 says:

    Let me start out by saying that I have no clue if WP is or isn’t a chemical weapon, and for the moment don’t care. That this story has any legs is quite telling. Let’s say that back when Clinton ordered US forces into Kosovo this story had hit the airwaves. Anyone that didn’t utterly hate Clinton such as Limbaugh, Hannity, Delay, and Coulter would have immediately and categorically rejected this story as having any merit. Had this story broke in Iraq in ’91 it would have been rejected just the same. It would have been simply implausible to anyone in the US, and the world that such things would have been done by the US.

    Now after Abu Ghraib, the possibility of Soviet era prisons being used, possible CIA rendition flights, “we don’t torture” but don’t you go regulating it, we need a CIA exemption on that torture thing, we had recieved no information about potential terrorist attacks prior to 9/11, it was a “historical document”, the last throes of the insurgency, although the insurgency may last another 12 years, the “Patriot” Act, holding a US citizen in Gitmo for 3 years and not charging them with anything, Tom Ridge admitting they raised the terror alert level for political reasons, finding out British forces were dressing up like Iraqi’s and shooting up intersections, Anthrax attacks only to drop the investigations when it was discovered that the Anthrax was from an American military base, leaking the name of a covert CIA agent for partisan political payback, OBL wanted dead or alive, I’m really not concerned with OBL, we know where OBL is but out of concern for a sovreign nation we won’t do anything, an administration that has been rewriting the reasons for this war for 2 1/2 years now is getting all worked up with faux anger and indignation that others are “attempting to rewrite the pre-war run up,” and now finding out that the Administration knew 10 days after 9/11 that Iraq had nothing to do with OBL and Al Qaeda yet the two were always cleverly linked in the pre-war run up. And I could go on.

    Maybe those are the real problems with this story. Our image, our stature in the court of world opinion, the degree of faith and trust that Americans and people the world over have for this President and his Administration, the ability of our elected leaders to command respect and trust, has been diminished to the point that the US in now no longer that standard bearer for truth, justice, and freedom. And that is precisely why this story means anything. It would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago that the US would torture or stoop to the level of using “unconventional weapons.” Now, not so much. And not just with “lefties” out to “get W at whatever the cost.” When the President speaks of freedom, accountability, and justice the world laughs. Bush is deservedly seen as a liar, hypocrite and a fool. That is the problem. And the world would not be astonished if such atrocities had taken place. There is the story. When the world laughs at the US in regards to Intelligent Design it’s not lost on them that the President champions such foolishness.

    I am not defending Kos or Think Progress. They are adults and can defend themselves. Nor do I put much crediblity so far in these reports. While I’ve seen nothing to indicate that WP was used illegaly and intentionally to kill people (anything that I would put much credibility in.) I have also not seen anything to indicate that Kos or Think Progress has singled out the armed forces and accussed them of war crimes. Nor is it fair to say that Kos or Think Progress has put US forces in danger. And to suggest such is dishonest, and disingenous. Remember, neither Kos or Think Progress sent them to war without body armor, armored up vehicles, and without the militarily recommended troop levels. They didn’t refuse to secure weapons depots, nor did they try and make wounded soldiers pay for their meals at Walter Reed, they haven’t been sending collection notices trying to collect combat pay, they haven’t refused to pay re-enlistment bonuses after they were promised, etc.

    But that’s just my opinion and I could be wrong.

  99. 99
    Steve says:

    It still amazes me that people actually believe you have to be a partisan Democrat to be anti-Bush.

  100. 100
    Lines says:

    Gore created the initiatives that created the internet. Without those inititives, it is very likely that the internet wouldn’t have happened as it did. But he never actually claimed to create the internet itself.

    The Swiftboats wern’t an answer to Sheehan. Trying to claim they are is really twisted.

    And I see you still subscribe to the Swift Boat Vets Newsletter where they continually obsess about Kerry. Thats good, it keeps you from realizing you have been suckered by this administration, over and over and over again.

    Sheehan also happened AFTER the election, how can you compare her to the Swift Boat Liars for Bush?

  101. 101
    ppGaz says:

    I have also not seen anything to indicate that Kos or Think Progress has singled out the armed forces and accussed them of war crimes.

    Well, I can’t speak for TP, but DKos has flirted with doing just that. See the relentless “carmelized kids” stuff from a couple weeks ago.

    I’ve been a Kos fan for a long time, and given them a lot of leeway. But on this story, they’ve gone over the top an done a disservice to the military and to the liberal cause at the same time …. that’s quite an accomplishment.

  102. 102
    Krista says:

    Why is that every word Dick Cheney has ever said about Iraq had been combed over for alleged lies by the media while the likes of Kos and Think Progress have carte blance to spread lies and slander?

    Ooo! Ooo! I know this one! I think, just maybe, it’s because Cheney was elected, and is therefore supposed to be publicly accountable for his words and deeds. Whereas, Kos and Think Progress are private, paid for by advertising, and are therefore only accountable to the laws of the land, and to whoever signs their paycheques.

    I could, of course, be wrong.

  103. 103
    Steve says:

    Krista, I think you got DougJed.

  104. 104
    Krista says:

    Steve – actually, if I play along by responding to DougJ’s bait, knowing that he’s DougJ’ing me, and if he thinks I’m in earnest, does that mean that I’m DougJ’ing him?

  105. 105
    Dexter says:

    We call them “paychecks” on this side of the 49th parallel, Krista.

  106. 106
    Dexter says:

    Krista, we don’t go to Canadian blogs and make fun of Prime Minister Poutine, or whatever his name is. Why do you come here to take potshots at our Commander-in-Chief?

    Why don’t you take your toonies, your grade 13, your Tim Horton donuts, and your Celine Dion CDs and hoof it on over to some left-wing Canuck blog. It’s bad enough listening to all the American america-haters on this blog, now I’ve got to hear all the same kind of anti-Bush, leftwing claptrap from our neighbors to the north.

  107. 107
    ppGaz says:

    Thanks, Dequester.

  108. 108
    Krista says:

    Dexter – you say paycheck, I say paycheque, you say President Bush, I say underqualified John Wayne-wannabe.

    Chacun a son gout.

  109. 109
    Krista says:

    Krista, we don’t go to Canadian blogs and make fun of Prime Minister Poutine, or whatever his name is.

    You’re more than welcome to, but Prime Minster Poutine is long gone. You must have missed the traditional Canadian ceremony where ousted Prime Ministers are set adrift on an ice floe, with nothing but a tuque and a double-double to keep warm. It’s a huge party, eh?

  110. 110
    circlethewagons says:

    Dexter, what are ‘toonies’?

  111. 111
    RC635 says:

    Again, Kos and Think Progress haven’t underfunded the VA, refused to exempt the military from the atrocious bankruptcy bill, haven’t attempted to gain legal cover for torture, which according to the military and the CIA makes it more likely that captured soldiers will be tortured either now or in the future, they haven’t instituted stop loss policies which ensure that soldiers can’t leave after the service is up if they choose, refused to increase the size of the military so that soldiers are not doing 2, 3 or 4 tours, or instituting policies that a wide range of experts agree is breaking the back of the Army. Nor did Kos or Think Progress draw a diagram in the sand on TV showing where they soldiers they were with were, and where they planned on going. Of course, that was on Fox News, so it was actually patriotic.

  112. 112
    Pb says:

    Yeah, Krista, how dare you engage in the free speech and expression that is the hallmark of America in the world on an American blog on the internet. How dare you criticize the most powerful man in the free world–how will he defend himself? What were you thinking!

    Then again, maybe [Dexter] attempting to have a dialogue with [the rest of the world] wouldn’t do us any good after all.

    Seems I was right about Dexter on this front.

  113. 113
    Steve says:

    Good save, Krista. By the way, Tim Horton’s is awesome.

  114. 114
    ppGaz says:

    Nor did Kos or Think Progress

    I never find the Not As Bad As Satan defense to be convincing.

    In the case of DKos, here you have the most successful political blog in the world, arguably supporting the winning side in a huge struggle for the hearts and minds of the country (thanks mostly to the clumsiness of the other side) …. glomming on to this bullshit story and whipping it like a mule for all it’s worth without regard to the damage it can do, just to get another inch of leverage against opponents who can’t walk and chew gum without screwing up.

    It’s a mystery to me why they’ve chosen to take this path. They’re going to damage their own credibilty in the process. It’s a frigging Jane Fonda moment if I ever say one. And for what?

  115. 115

    Lines Says:

    Gore created the initiatives that created the internet. Without those inititives, it is very likely that the internet wouldn’t have happened as it did. But he never actually claimed to create the internet itself.

    Lines, I hate to break it to you, but once again, a Bush beat a Gore.

    Al Gore wasn’t even a twinkle in his daddy’s eye when Vannevar Bush conceptualized the Internet in a 1945 article in the Atlantic titled “As we may think.”

    Then followed DARPA, and Xanadu, and many, many other things. Gore helped with pushing for the high speed networks, but that was almost 40 years later.

  116. 116
    RC635 says:

    It’s a frigging Jane Fonda moment if I ever say one. And for what?

    How did Jean Schmidt get involved in this discussion?

  117. 117
    Jasper says:

    “Strictly speaking, since white phosphorus’s primary effects are not actually due to its toxicity, but its spontaneous ignition in the presence of oxygen, many believe it has more in common with incendiary weapons instead. [4]”

    A peek into the argument about White Phosphorus. Of course when you are on fire, and the chemicals are eating through your flesh at the same time, it’s kind of hard to decide. Incendiary or Chemical? It’s a toughie.

    From the page: “WP(White Phosphorus) isn’t a chemical weapon” Then he goes on to complain about people complaining about it, and the news media writing about it, and the bloggers discussing it. It’s all VERY annoying to him. Not as annoying as seeing your family burned alive by White Phosphorus, but I get the idea it’s close. I wish I could frog march a lot of these pundits into a critical thinking class. The big argument I’m hearing is dickering over the Pentagon not classifing it as chemical weapon, or maybe they did, or we found these documents, or no, or so on. Do you need a memo from the government before you make up your own mind about it? It’s not like there’s any doubt we DID use it, and what it can do to a person, so what does that mean?

    If it walk like a duck, talks like a duck, and makes your skin melt off, I would call it a chemical weapon. Asshole quibbling. This guy argues so hard, it’s like he wants to say it’s a good thing, like you should be able to buy it at a grocery store. What a asshole. The rest of his blog was more bitching and whining. “Why are you talking about that! That’s annoying!(paraphrased)” What a fucking dick. Argh.

    Which brings me to my original thought. There’s a lot of arguing about torture. On both sides. The arguments I’ve heard range from “Torture doesn’t get you correct information, people will say anything” to “We have to do it to protect ourselves.” It’s all very cold, calculating. What’s the most expedient thing we can do to protect America? I haven’t heard a single one of these pundits say that it’s just not right. It’s sick. It’s not the moral thing to do. It’s evil shit. Once again, the writing is on the wall. All the arguing is about the irrevelant details, and the talking points of tomorrow. I’m an ethical athiest, and I’m more moral than the Christian Right. Irony upon irony.

    Poor thinking skills lead to a Godwin almost immediately. Yeah, it’s a “big lie”. Keep telling yourself that. It’s a “Jane Fonda” moment. Even though there is no similarity and it makes no sense.

    ParanoiaAgent

  118. 118
    Jasper says:

    Oh, and ONCE AGAIN, here is the pentagon papers listing it as a chemical weapon, since it makes such a big difference
    http://www.gulflink.osd.mil/de.....0_91r.html

    When you’re livid about shit like this, you know you’re sad fuck.

  119. 119
    Sojourner says:

    Ah, but the world wouldn’t know about these so-called atrocities if the likes of Daily Kos weren’t talking about. In this case, the story is bogus, but even the stories that are nominally true—Abu Ghraib—help to spread hatred and it is irresponsible of the left to pimp them in a way that dirties our reputation abroad.

    Ah, I get it. It’s all a question of not getting caught. So that’s the Repub definition of morality.

    Interesting.

  120. 120
    rkrider says:

    Funny, I thought you’d be outraged about the Iraqi government condemning terrorism and acts of violence against everybody except our troops:

    “Though resistance is a legitimate right for all people, terrorism does not represent resistance. Therefore, we condemn terrorism and acts of violence, killing and kidnapping targeting Iraqi citizens and humanitarian, civil, government institutions, national resources and houses of worships,” the document said.

    I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I think that’s a little more harmful to our troops than an argument over some WP.

  121. 121
    John Cole says:

    Jasper, since this is totally kicking your ass, here is the relevant portion of the ‘pentagon papers listing it as a chemical weapon’:

    . DURING APRIL 1991, THE SOURCE TELEPHONED
    BROTHER (SUBSOURCE) [ (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4) ][ (b)(7)(D) ]

    . DURING THIS PHONE CONVERSATION,
    THE SOURCE WAS ABLE TO OBTAIN THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION ON THE
    PRESENT SITUATION IN KURDISH AREAS ALONG THE IRAQI-TURKISH-IRANIAN
    BORDERS —

    in other words, this is simply a transcription of a description of a phone call between two KURDS. It is simply typed up and passed on, as it is, as the document states, unedited unevaluated intelligence:

    WARNING: (U) THIS IS AN INFORMATION REPORT, NOT FINALLY EVALUATED
    INTELLIGENCE. REPORT CLASSIFIED

    It is not, as you assert, the Pentagon calling WP a ‘chemical weapon.’

    Now back to the Democratic Underground with you.

  122. 122
    sean says:

    so the pentagon is lying when they call white phosphorous “chenical weapons”. glad we cleared that up:

    PRESIDENT SADDAM ((HUSSEIN)) MAY HAVE POSSIBLY USED WHITE
    PHOSPHOROUS (WP) CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST KURDISH REBELS

  123. 123
    John Cole says:

    so the pentagon is lying when they call white phosphorous “chenical weapons”.

    Are you people really this stupid? Or is this an act?

  124. 124
    ppGaz says:

    PRESIDENT SADDAM ((HUSSEIN)) MAY HAVE POSSIBLY USED WHITE
    PHOSPHOROUS (WP) CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST KURDISH REBELS

    So, the Pentagon, like DKos, is not above a little loose wordplay to help gin up some character assassination against a foe.

    Another version of the “It’s okay because the other guy does it” defense.

  125. 125
    sean says:

    i understand that the report is a transcript of a phone call, John. and i also understand that it may never have happened. but why would the Pentagon call white phosphorous a chemical weapon in their own report if it isn’t one??

  126. 126
    ppGaz says:

    but why would the Pentagon call white phosphorous a chemical weapon in their own report if it isn’t one

    Gee, we’re shocked — shocked! — to find out that the government might be in the propaganda business!

    Who knew?

  127. 127
    sean says:

    i’m with you on that, ppG. i just want John to explain it

  128. 128
    Nicholas says:

    Perhaps the person who wrote that report was an idiot?

    I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest that the person responsible for monitoring this telephone conversation was an expert on artillery shells. Why would you expect they were?

    For all we know, their job was to write down what they heard and do no analysis whatsoever. The analysis would come later by someone who knew about the subject.

    For god’s sake, it doesn’t matter how many times you HOPE and WISH that WP is a chemical weapon, that doesn’t make it so! It just isn’t, and experts agree!

    Anything which says otherwise is just plain wrong.

    Sheesh.

  129. 129
    ppGaz says:

    i just want John to explain it

    What’s to explain? Hussein was a foe, and the language was tailored to impeach his character.

    What’s the excuse now, using the same trick to impeach the character of our own military?

    Sorry, I don’t buy the “we’re no better than Saddam” argument. No wonder people question the patriotism of the opponents of the war. If we talk like that, we deserve it.

  130. 130
    Retief says:

    Here are a few things I hope we can all agree on:

    WP is classified as an incindiary, not a banned chemical weapon by the US and others.

    It’s use as an incindiary for setting things (including enemy troops) on fire and producing smoke for marking positions is perfectly legitimate according to our current doctrine.

    It was used in artiliery shell form by our troops in Falluja.

    Somebody in the field who sent in the memo to the Pentagon thought Saddam’s use of it would be another good atrocity to use against him.

    Kos is wrong when he sugggests that WP is considered a chemical weapon by the pentagon or anybody else. He knows better.

    Kos is not wrong when he suggests that burning civilians up with it is bad, although this is no worse than burning such civilians up with high explosives.
    ———————

    That said, I’m not sure what information John’s conviction that we didn’t use WP “indiscriminately” in Falluja is based on. There were 30,000 to 50,000 people left in Falluja when we attacked. Were they all anti US fighters? If, as a military age male, your choice was attempt to leave and get sent to abu graib, or stay and keep your head down, which would you have done before hand? I know some civilian casualties will happen even with the best of discrimination but the guy in the Italian video says that they were supposed to kill anything tht moved in Falluja. And we hav pictures of some dead civilians. We also have contemporary descriptions of mixing WP & HE as a fairly standard tactic to winkle out and kill hiding enemies. Why is John so sure that we didn’t do that in Falluja and kill a bunch of people hiding in their houses? Just to be clear here, the WP isn’t a problem if that happened; treating the city of Falluja as a free fire zone is.

  131. 131
    rkrider says:

    Protocol III of the UN’s 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons expressly forbids the use of white phosphorus against civilian targets or military targets in civilian areas. The United States has not signed up to that protocol, although Britain has.

    But America is a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, which it ratified in 1997, and that agreement forbids the use of any substance to kill or harm either soldiers or civilians if it is being used mostly for its toxicity.

    Although the Pentagon spokesman described it as an “incendiary weapon”, white phosphorus has clear chemical effects on its human targets – melting away the skin of its victims and burning quickly into the tissue, especially on exposed parts of the body like the face and hands.

    A US Army handbook published in 1999 states clearly that the use of white phosphorus burster bombs against enemy personnel is “against the law of land warfare” and the US State Department clearly denied last year that any such weapons were being deployed in Iraq.

    But an article in an internal US Army magazine provided incontrovertible evidence that such bombs were used against human targets in Fallujah and the Pentagon appears to have changed its mind on the precise legal status of the substance.

    Kind of like the, what the meaning of “is” is argument.

  132. 132
    Pb says:

    I see nothing wrong with holding the DIA or the Pentagon to their own statements, to the extent that these are their own characterizations:

    “WHITE PHOSPHOROUS (WP) CHEMICAL WEAPONS”

    “AIR ATTACKS ON REBEL CITIES HAVE BEEN CONDUCTED
    USING HELICOPTERS EQUIPPED WITH APPARATUS (CONTAINERS WITH SPRAY
    NOZZLES ATTACHED) CAPABLE OF DELIVERING CHEMICAL WEAPONS.
    CHEMICALS
    THAT HAVE BEEN USED INCLUDE KHARDAL (MUSTARD), DIBAZ (COMPOSITE OF
    HCL AND H2SO4), NAPALM, WHITE PHOSPHORUS, AN U/I CHEMICAL CALLED
    “JARMUTHA”, AND ANOTHER U/I CHEMICAL, THE SYMPTOMS FOR WHICH
    RESEMBLE THOSE OF BLOOD AGENTS.”

    “It is against the law of land warfare to employ WP against personnel targets.”

    etc., etc. In any case, it has never been as clear-cut as either side has claimed, so what we’re left with is potentially “smearing the troops” through expressing suspicion, a desire for investigation, and dissent (ye olde treason charge) vs. examining and investigating “civilian casualties” and whether anyone was “intentionally targeted” — potential war crimes.

    That is to say, you’d rather turn a blind eye towards the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians than have the circumstances surrounding their deaths be investigated. Because, you know, you don’t need an investigation to reach a conclusion–you reached one long ago, and to question your conclusion is vile, unpatriotic treason. Yeah, gotcha.

  133. 133
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    What’s to explain? Hussein was a foe, and the language was tailored to impeach his character.

    What’s the excuse now, using the same trick to impeach the character of our own military?

    Live by the sword, die by the sword. I’d appreciate it if the Pentagon issued a clarification on this front, or an admission that this sort of doublespeak is their official policy. Was white phosphorus a chemical weapon when Saddam used it? Is it one when we use it? etc.

  134. 134
    Terry says:

    John, a mutual acquaintance suggested that I visit this comment thread. I guess the old saw still applies about lying down with dogs leads to the accumulation of fleas. I believe I had suggested some months ago that your “experiment” with a different approach to topic selection/views was likely to lead to the birth of some kind of sewer similar to that found at DU or Kos. Well, as a number of the comments in this thread illustrate, you may well have attracted many of the pond scum regulars from those sites…but I’m hard pressed to understand why you wish to be associated with such deranged wombats.

  135. 135
    aop says:

    With the staggering amount of documented fraud, deception and incompetence this administration is guity of, the WP story really seems like the wrong fight for democrats to be picking. Finding one more (dubious) example of hypocrisy or somesuch to hang around Bushco’s neck is not worth the amount of “they hate the troops” ammo this gives the right. Because, all protestations to the contrary, Rumsfeld or whoever is not signing off on this shit–these decisions are being made by young servicemen in the heat of battle.

  136. 136
    RC635 says:

    rkrider Says:
    don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I think that’s a little more harmful to our troops than an argument over some WP

    To paraphrase: are you that stupid?

    I’m outraged than an incompetent administration lied to start a war and then after the military did their part they monkey f-ed the rest. US forces are dying every day to create an islamic theocracy. Iraq was not a breeding ground for terrorists before, Saddam had given up his efforts to produce WMD’s. Two weeks prior to the invastion he captiluated to to US demands. US forces could peacefully occupy parts of Iraq, their would be democratic elections within two years. Basically Saddam gave us everything we could possibly want except that he would stay in office with nominal power until the elections. Apparently that wasn’t acceptable so we invaded. Nearly 2,100 US soldiers are dead because the President wanted it his way. Thanks a lot asshole. Before you say that we couldn’t trust Saddam to follow his word, remember he said he would disarm, and guess what he did. How many WMD’s did we find?

    And yes I’m outraged that Iraq would not condemn attacks on US forces. Which reinforces what Rep. Murtha said. We are the problem. They do not want us in their land. We promised to leave if asked. We have been asked to leave, so are we? Gin me up some serious anger that your boy lied when he said we would leave if asked!

  137. 137
    John S. says:

    Gin me up some serious anger that your boy lied when he said we would leave if asked!

    You’re barking up the wrong tree, pal. John is too busy railing against irrelevant blowhards like dKOs, Think Progress and the ‘lefty’ commenters on his blog to direct any anger towards actual policy makers.

  138. 138
    Steve S says:

    Frankly, I think Cole ought to really just drop this.

    His continued faux outrage and idiotic hyperbole is just encouraging the hyperbolic point to be made by those he opposes.

    Sure, it’s funny to watch from the sidelines, but I just don’t see how this debate is helpful.

  139. 139
    RC635 says:

    You’re barking up the wrong tree, pal. John is too busy railing against irrelevant blowhards like dKOs, Think Progress and the ‘lefty’ commenters on his blog to direct any anger towards actual policy makers.

    Way to refute my point. Doesn’t your thought make you and John irrelevant as well? Why do you hate yourself, John, America, and Freedom? And why would he waste time with irrelevant blowhards when he should be going after the actual policy makers as you say?

  140. 140
    Dave Ruddell says:

    Why don’t you take your toonies, your grade 13, your Tim Horton donuts, and your Celine Dion CDs and hoof it on over to some left-wing Canuck blog.

    Hey, we got rid of Grade 13 a few years ago! And Tim Horton’s donuts are great.

    As for Celine, we have her safely contained in a facility in Las Vegas. Let’s hope that it can hold her…

  141. 141
    ppGaz says:

    John is too busy railing against irrelevant blowhards like dKOs, Think Progress and the ‘lefty’ commenter

    Lefty commenters and bloggers can have a tin ear every bit as intractable as the ones on the right. If they were smart, they’d see that here and drop a losing and destructive argument.

  142. 142
    Nicholas says:

    “white phosphorus has clear chemical effects on its human targets – melting away the skin of its victims and burning quickly into the tissue, especially on exposed parts of the body like the face and hands”

    That’s a lot of crap. If it melts one’s skin, it’s because of the heat, not the chemical properties. I take exception to other parts of the post containing this quote, but this part is especially repugnant in its lies.

  143. 143
    jg says:

    Gore never said he invented the internet, he said he lead the charge to open it up to commercial and public use.

    WP is not a chemical weapon but it is probably a bad idea to use it when you could hit civilians and you believe you are in a war of hearts and minds.

    I do not know what the big surprise is about.
    Falsely accusing the troops of war crimes “Kerrying” is a time-honored way for lefties to show their dissent .
    i.e. the Winter Soldier Investigation.

    I guess its all perspective. I read the Winter Soldiers stuff and see a group of veterans trying to end a stupid war that is causing soldiers and marines to do ungodly things. We would someone read it as veterans hating america and wanting to cause damage to fellow soldiers and marines?

    Someone, either Tim or John made a new ‘rule’, calling someone evil is lazy. You’re just trying to avoid understanding what someone is up to by labeling them. I say the same is true of calling someone a troop hater or saying they are out to harm the troops. You’re being lazy and dismissive. You’re finding a way to avoid talking about an uncomfortable subject.

  144. 144
    jg says:

    That’s a lot of crap. If it melts one’s skin, it’s because of the heat, not the chemical properties. I take exception to other parts of the post containing this quote, but this part is especially repugnant in its lies.

    Would any of those chemical properties be ……. heat?

  145. 145
    Pb says:

    Steve S,

    Sure, it’s funny to watch from the sidelines, but I just don’t see how this debate is helpful.

    Welcome to Balloon Juice.

  146. 146
    Pb says:

    jg,

    You beat me to it; bravo.

    Nicholas, welcome to the wonderful world of highly exothermic chemical reactions.

  147. 147
    Nicholas says:

    “A US Army handbook published in 1999 states clearly that the use of white phosphorus burster bombs against enemy personnel is “against the law of land warfare””

    Guess what? I can’t find anything in the Law of Land Warfare which says incendiaries are banned, in fact I can find passages which state explicitly that they are not banned. Here’s a link to the LoLW:

    http://www.combatindex.com/law.....rfare.html

    The only relevant pieces I can find are:

    The use of weapons which employ fire, such as tracer ammunition, flamethrowers, napalm and other incendiary agents, against targets requiring their use is not violative of international law. They should not, however, be employed in such a way as to cause unnecessary suffering to individuals.

    The use in war of smoke and incendiary materials is not prohibited or restricted by the Geneva Protocol of 1925.

    So, can someone please provide a link to this US Army handbook and explain why it is at odds with the published Law of Land Warfare documents? (I checked other copies, they are the same as the one I posted a link to).

    I don’t see anything illegal or immoral about using this weapon, as long as they are used carefully (i.e. to avoid causing unnecessary suffering or unnecessarily large numbers of civilian casualties). No more so than any other weapon which is considered kosher, like HE shells, for example. They can cause terrible injuries, like loss of limbs and disembowelment. Why is there no outcry about them?

  148. 148
    ppGaz says:

    welcome to the wonderful world of highly exothermic chemical reactions.

    Surprise: War is not Paintball.

  149. 149
    Dave Ruddell says:

    Actualy, it’s not how exothermic they are (thermodynamics) but how rapidly they occur (kinetics). An exothermic chemical reaction that proceeds extremely rapidly and evolves a large volume of gas is called an explosion. So, HE rounds are chemical weapons!

  150. 150
    Nicholas says:

    Right, well, let’s give a little chemistry/physics lesson then.

    When you pull the trigger of a gun, the firing pin hits the primer charge in the cartridge. The primer ignites the powder in the bullet. This unleashes the – you guessed it – chemical energy stored in the powder in the form of heat.

    Heat is a form of kinetic energy.

    That heat causes the gas to expand, propelling the bullet out of the barrel of the gun. In other words, the kinetic energy caused by the chemical reaction of the powder is transferred to the bullet. This chemical energy is then delivered to the person the weapon was aimed at, creating a hole through their body and possible killing them.

    So, are guns chemical weapons then? They kill through heat generated by a chemical reaction…

    Thanks for playing…

  151. 151
    John S. says:

    Way to refute my point. Doesn’t your thought make you and John irrelevant as well? Why do you hate yourself, John, America, and Freedom? And why would he waste time with irrelevant blowhards when he should be going after the actual policy makers as you say?

    HUH?

    I think you missed the point entirely.

  152. 152
    Pb says:

    Surprise: War is not Paintball.

    ppGaz, master of the non-sequitur. I’m sure you thought you were making a very clever point. Maybe you can tell me what it was sometime–I don’t see the relevance here.

    In other news, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

  153. 153
    John S. says:

    Lefty commenters and bloggers can have a tin ear every bit as intractable as the ones on the right. If they were smart, they’d see that here and drop a losing and destructive argument.

    I agree. I’ve never had anything to contribute to this ‘debate’ because I think it is the wrong tree to be barking up.

    I think the Murray Waas piece and the contents of the September 21st PDB are far more newsworthy and illuminative of the failures of this administration than anything having to do with WP.

  154. 154

    Why is this such a big deal? We’ve got reports that Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera. I’d like to see more on that to figure out if our President is that far out of touch with reality. Hopefully, it was just be the story of two Kurdish brothers.

    WP is a tweener, at least in terms of how the rest of the world views its use. As an illuminator or smoke-maker, it’s okay. As a weapon, it’s not okay. So if we’re arguing about its use in the arena of what the Pentagon thinks, it really doesn’t mean all that much. If the arena is world opinion, well, the U.S. lost that debate a long time ago. When you occupy another nation on the basis of lies and then set up so that you can steal their conquered’s natural resources, you tend to get bad press.

    The use of WP is such a tiny thing is the totality of our occupation of Iraq. It’s curious why this makes John Cole so upset.

    Thank god Sean Hannity has asked for a timetable for our withdrawal out of this mess. I think I see a light.

  155. 155
    Pb says:

    Nicholas,

    Don’t skip ahead; that comes later when we talk about the difference between a propellant used to launch an inert substance at a target, and a non-inert substance that instead chemically reacts with said target.

    Or, to put it another way, and if I follow your bizarre reasoning correctly, it would still only make a difference if I were actually in the gun.

  156. 156
    ppGaz says:

    I’m sure you thought you were making a very clever point

    I always let my adversaries make the clever points. I just try to make the right ones.

    What is the point of trying to call WP a chemical weapon, or not, or arguing over it at all? It’s ordnance. This is a war. Some people need to grow up.

  157. 157
    ppGaz says:

    I think the Murray Waas piece and the contents of the September 21st PDB are far more newsworthy and illuminative of the failures of this administration than anything having to do with WP.

    Exactly. A few on the left have apparently just graduated from the Dick Cheney School of Public Policy Debate. Well, his methods suck when he uses them, and they suck when our side uses them.

    And more to your point, we don’t NEED that kind of bullshit to make our case.

  158. 158
    Nicholas says:

    By the way, heat is not a chemical property, it is a physical property. All chemicals can take part in exothermic reactions which transfer some of their chemical energy into heat, but until they do so, that energy is stored in the chemical bonds. A nuclear reaction generates plenty of heat, but it’s not a chemical reaction. Would you argue that an atomic bomb is a chemical weapon? (Yes, some atomic bombs rely on chemistry, but only to produce the materials required for the nuclear reaction).

    Also, “Chemical Weapons” is a misnomer, which seems to be the cause of much of the confusion. All weapons are made of chemicals. A club is made of chemicals, and it’s a weapon. What we mean when we say “Chemical Weapons” is really “Toxic Weapons”.

    Now, all weapons are also toxic (including lead bullets). But the question is whether the toxicity is what makes it a useful weapon, or some other attribute. Lead bullets have been known to kill people from lead poisoning occasionally. But that’s not why we use them. On the other hand, beating someone over the head with a cannister of Sarin gas may prove fatal but that’s not why we developed Sarin. What determines the classification of a weapon is its primary mode of injuriousness.

    If you want to know whether WP is a chemical weapon, ask the folks who enforce the Chemical Weapon Convention. They say it isn’t. Who would know better?

    It’s an arbitrary classification, after all, but at least I did my homework and looked this stuff up before opening my mouth.

  159. 159
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    What is the point of trying to call WP a chemical weapon, or not, or arguing over it at all? It’s ordnance. This is a war. Some people need to grow up.

    I concur, as you could likely deduce from a reading of my comments. However, I wasn’t about to let Nicholas defame the good name of the element phosphorus and its well-known chemical properties–the Right-wing war on science has gone too far!

    Besides, I believe I already covered the real outrage here — the tens of thousands of civilian casualties sustained over the course of the entire operation.

  160. 160
    John Cole says:

    Exactly. A few on the left have apparently just graduated from the Dick Cheney School of Public Policy Debate. Well, his methods suck when he uses them, and they suck when our side uses them.

    You channeling Bob Somerby, aka the Daily Howler?

  161. 161
    Nicholas says:

    Pb, you just don’t get it do you? I’ll put it in bold, italics and underline in case it helps. By the way, did you pass chemistry?

    If burning particles of White Phosphorus hit somebody, they do not cause injury by reacting with the person. They have already reacted with the oxygen in the air, to form Phosphorus Oxides, which are extremely hot due to the exothermic nature of the reaction. It is the heat of the particles which causes the burns.

    If a regular HE bomb were to explode in a similar proximity to the WP shell which would cause these injuries, not only would that person probably be killed instantly by the overpressure, and probably hit with large several pieces of bomb fragments travelling at several time the speed of sound, which would likely dismember them, if they survived that the heat of the gaseous products of the high explosives would flash-fry them like a won ton. That heat would be carried both by the shrapnel fragments, as well as the gas produced from the chemical reaction in the bomb (much like the oxides produced from the chemical reaction in a WP shell).

    So, is an HE bomb a chemical weapon too?

    Seriously, if you don’t know much about chemistry, maybe you should find out about this stuff from experts. I’m not an expert, but I’ve listened to what experts have to say.

  162. 162
    Pb says:

    By the way, heat is not a chemical property, it is a physical property.

    Indeed. But is that heat a by-product of a chemical reaction, and is that reaction taking place concurrently on or with someone’s flesh, not to mention any secondary toxic by-products resulting from said reaction, etc., etc.

    A nuclear reaction generates plenty of heat, but it’s not a chemical reaction. Would you argue that an atomic bomb is a chemical weapon?

    No, it’s a nuclear weapon. Hence, NBC, WMD, and so forth.

    Also, “Chemical Weapons” is a misnomer

    No doubt, the legalities of it seem to be horribly complicated. Reminds me of “organic food” — duh, food is organic. :)

    All weapons are made of chemicals. A club is made of chemicals, and it’s a weapon.

    A club is often made of wood. Anyhow, I don’t see how this relates at all–do clubs spontaneously chemically react with oxygen and produce toxic gasses? No?

    If you want to know whether WP is a chemical weapon, ask the folks who enforce the Chemical Weapon Convention. They say it isn’t.

    My understanding is that it probably isn’t, but that this is still a somewhat open question depending on the countries involved, the usage of said weapons, and blah blah blah blah blah. However, that wasn’t what we were arguing. 10 yard penalty to compensate for shifting goal posts.

  163. 163
    Pb says:

    Nicholas, I do get it, actually. And you are right about one thing–you are definitely no expert. So I would thank you to keep a civil tongue, or shut the fuck up.

  164. 164
    Nicholas says:

    Indeed. But is that heat a by-product of a chemical reaction, and is that reaction taking place concurrently on or with someone’s flesh, not to mention any secondary toxic by-products resulting from said reaction, etc., etc.

    And as I explained, a flying bullet is a by-product of a chemical reaction.

    So, if a nuclear weapon burns someone to death, it’s a nuclear weapon. But if a conventional weapon burns someone to death, it’s a chemical weapon? Great logic…

    I give up, you’re obviously not interested in facts, or morals, or anything other than smearing people you hate. So why should I bother?

  165. 165
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    You were right after all. I definitely underestimated Nicholas’ pedantic, tiresome, arrogant, and unrelenting nature on the most pointless of topics. I will cease feeding the troll forthwith, and let him go back to his visions of a fantasy world involving spontaneously exploding clubs and deathly toxic bullets.

  166. 166

    John Cole, any outrage left today for the shredding of the Constitution in the Padilla case? What’s the Pentagon’s position on shredding he Constitution?

  167. 167
    Pb says:

    Nicholas, is is now quite clear that you don’t know a damn thing about me, or apparently anything else. Don’t “bother”.

  168. 168
    Kimmitt says:

    Cole’s outrage, whatever issues I may have with it, isn’t faux.

    Neither, sadly, is my exhaustion. Yeah, Kos is pretty much just lying. He’s using the same lies which have been used by our shared political opponents. That’s still no excuse. This seems to be the way one wins in politics these days. It’s a game I feel a lot less like playing than I used to.

  169. 169
    Birkel says:

    I called ppGaz an honest Lefty once before.

    And even ppGaz questioned my judgment on that call.

    But I’m here to do it again.

  170. 170
    ppGaz says:

    But I’m here to do it again.

    I get nervous when you agree with me.

    I can imagine how you guys must feel :-0

  171. 171
    Birkel says:

    Maybe you can’t.

    Tee hee hee.

  172. 172
    Steve S says:

    Cole’s outrage, whatever issues I may have with it, isn’t faux.

    It’s hyperbolic. He’s overstating his outrage to try to get a rise out of people. I call that Faux. You want to call it lies, we can do that too.

    Yeah, Kos is pretty much just lying.

    No. Kos is also being hyperbolic. His point is not to attack the troops(despite John’s pretty much idiotic insistence that is so), it’s to highlight the crap that goes on during war.

    He’s using the same lies which have been used by our shared political opponents. That’s still no excuse. This seems to be the way one wins in politics these days. It’s a game I feel a lot less like playing than I used to.

    Which is why both Kos and John are displaying this faux hyperbolic outrage.

    It’s the way the game is played, and I agree with you… I really don’t see the point.

    But it’s wrong to let John off the hook for playing the same bullshit as Kos.

  173. 173
    ppGaz says:

    He’s overstating his outrage to try to get a rise out of people

    I think you are wrong. More than a few on the left are making this mistake now …. and it’s a big one.

  174. 174
    er says:

    Of all the things to be serious about, you have to get serious about “smearing the troops”.

    Indeed, you even refer to the left “having nothing over Goebbels” because they are persuing this issue.

    My “John Cole” esteem meter bleeds down every time you go off like this. Have some turkey and chill out. There are bigger fish to fry.

  175. 175
    John Cole says:

    Yeah- I am, just faking my outrage over people blatantly lying about WP being a chemical weapon, blatantly lying about having ‘proof’ that the pentagon considers WP a chemical weapon, blatantly lying that our troops used a chemical weapon on the enemy and civilians, and blatantly lying about indiscriminately carpet-bombing Fallujah, all for their own perceived domestic gain.

    Why on earth would I really be upset and angry about that?

  176. 176
    MattD says:

    I find it interesting that I, like most of the commenters here, know very little about the subject of munitions (though unlike most of the commenters here, I do not post at length regarding things about which I know so little), but given that there exists a question as to whether WP constitutes a chemical weapon and a follow-up question as to whether said weapon was used indiscriminantly against civilians by our troops, I would start from the premise that American soldiers would never do such a thing, and let the evidence try to convince me otherwise. Many of the folks here (who are equally ignorant on this topic) seem to have decided that because the veracity of such charges would do maximum damage to the Administration, they would prefer to start with the premise that our troops are war ciminals, and let the evidence try to convince them otherwise. I believe that this is related to the point that Crank was trying to make about Kos and his ilk (though I would never presume to speak for the Baseball Crank), and yes, that does call their patriotism into question. And taking Kos to task over this is relevant, because unlike most bloggers, he and his blog have the ear people in our government, some of whom are leaders of the Democratic party.

  177. 177

    Speaking of the Big Lie, I suggest everyone read Christopher Simpson’s book on propaganda, “The Science Of Coercion.”

    Whatever Kos says, it is so very, very, very insignificant to the lies coming out of the administration and there must have been a half dozen whoppers in the last week or so that should justify more outrage. You have to be real big to tell a real big lie.

    I still don’t understand the outrage by Cole over Kos and WP and whether or not it’s considered a chemical weapon. What matters whether or not WP was called a chemical weapon by the Pentagon when Saddam used it against the Kurds if VP George H.W. et al were funding Hussein through phony agricultural loans? World opinion about America is not going to get any better as long as U.S. troops are in Iraq.

    Me, I’m outraged that the Winky character was totally written out of the latest Harry Potter movie.

  178. 178
    joplong says:

    The question is why now? Months ago during the falujah campaign reports indicated chemical weapons were being used against the insurgents. Why is it important now and not then?
    All information is spoon fed. And all of us are babies. What will they feed us next? The real question is why?

  179. 179
    Jill says:

    Why care about Kos’s lying or not, when we have bigger lies and more damage to our troops being done by our own President.

  180. 180
    Birkel says:

    Bob in Pacifica,

    Isn’t Dobby’s absence a bigger deal?

  181. 181
    BumperStickerist says:

    What matters whether or not WP was called a chemical weapon by the Pentagon

    I think John’s outraged is also fueled in part by his status as an Army vet taking umbrage – umbrage I say! – with another Army vet who really ought to 1) know better about field artillery and fire missions and 2) have the common-sense God gave small animals.

    As a Defense Language Institute-Foreign Language Center grad, I get irate everytime some wet-lipped Leftie thinks that the ‘Gay Army Arab Language Translator Trainees Booted Out of Monterey for Being Gay’ means anything in terms of national security. Not because I agree with the military’s policy, but because I know the job.

    as for the “well, WP was called a chemical weapon by the Pentagon” angle – guys, give it some thought –

    John’s been saying all along that what you’re reading is a raw intelligence transcript of an intercepted conversation – not finished intel product.

    The person that wrote the document you’re reading probably made $8-10K/year if they were enlisted. A bit more, not that much, if they were GS employees or officers.

    Speaking as a person who translated, transcribed, and analyzed communications once upon a time, give *that particular Pentagon person* a break.

    You don’t have a fucking copy of Law of War and the Geneva conventions at your station while you’re translating and if the guy said ‘white phosphorus chemical weapon’ you write that down.

    It gets cleaned up and clarified later. As John’s been saying – that conversation would end up in a report as something like this: “As reported by Kurdish civillians in the area, Saddam used White Phosphorus ordnance against civilian targets to mimic a chemical weapon attack.”

    As for the Mister Wizard “Intro to Chemistry/Physics” discussions going on up above. Sorry guys, Mister Wizard enlisted, it’s Captain Wizard now and he says Willy Pete is not a chemical weapon.

    …..

  182. 182
    Pb says:

    joplong,

    The question is why now?

    Because an Italian documentary recently raised this issue in detail, people saw it, and it spread through the media.

  183. 183
    Pb says:

    BumperStickerist,

    This isn’t the only declassified DIA intelligence product to contain such claims, but yes, of course I’d be interested to see how far up the chain the information went, and what the finished intelligence said about it, if anything.

    As for the “Mister Wizard” discussion, the physical and chemical properties of white phosphorus are somewhat orthogonal to whether or not it’s classified as a ‘chemical weapon’. At least, I thought it was. Cheers.

  184. 184
    Sine.Qua.Non says:

    :: Response: We’ll Be Watching You ::

    Response to: Mainstreaming B***S*** and Smearing Their Own Country

    John Cole of Balloon Juice is pissed off about the white phosphorus story circulating, that indicates the U.S., in an classified online government document indicates White Phosphorus is a Chemical Weapon when it was possibly used by Saddam in 1991 against the Kurds: ….[more]

  185. 185
    Steve S says:

    I think you are wrong. More than a few on the left are making this mistake now …. and it’s a big one.

    Sorry, No. I understand what you’re saying, but I know hyperbole when I hear it. What John needs is his mother to sit down and say “John, do you really think that’s what they are saying?” Then after he’s thought about it a while, maybe he can come back with a rational point to make. But this name calling, these strawmen… they aren’t helpful.

    It’s this same bullshit, these same accusations that led us into Iraq in the first place. I don’t care where they come from, I’m calling ’em out.

    People here think I’m some sort of liberal, but I’m not. I just don’t like hearing bullshit, and lately there has been a hell of a lot of bullshit coming from Republicans, and that bullshit has been far more damaging to our nation than anything coming from the left.

  186. 186
    ppGaz says:

    But this name calling, these strawmen

    I’m a-feared you got this one ass-backward. It’s Kos that needs the talking-to.

  187. 187
    Kimmitt says:

    You really still need to ask that question of the guy who admitted that his first reaction to Hurricane Katrina was “good, it hit red states, they deserved it”?

    Cite or retraction, please.

  188. 188
    JD says:

    Perhaps I can be of some assistance here…

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=5447#comment-66551

    Kimmitt Says:

    Where does this come from?

    “Dubya and his diety conspired to transform mere disaster into an unprecedented mega-catastrophe.”

    Profound bitterness at having an extremist vision imposed on sensible people. It’s sad and wrong, and the person who posted it should have listened to his or her better nature and let it go, but I understand it. For a few fleeting seconds, I fricking felt it. “They’re a red state, they voted for this President, now they’re getting what they deserve.” Then I came to my senses, but I suppose that illustrates how deeply our President has squandered the goodwill of much of the American people.

    September 2nd, 2005 at 4:41 am”

  189. 189
    Jeff G says:

    Kimmitt, dude. That’s just gotta leave a cock welt across your forehead.

    Maybe ask for a few more so that it’s at least shaped like a turkey. Because nobody wants to go home to Thanksgiving dinner and have Grandma say, “Did you get slapped with a cock, Kimmitt?”

  190. 190
    tommy higbee says:

    John Cole, I feel your outrage.

    But I’m hardly surprised by the new lies. Scanning the comments on this page, I read time after time after time about how “this administration lied us into a war”

    The “Bush lied” meme pretty much started with Joseph Wilson and his attack on the “16 words” of the State of the Union address. Joseph Wilson, who lied about who selected him to go to Nigeria (claiming his wife had nothing to do with it), lied about what he found there (claiming he proved the allegations were false, when he actually found overtures had been made by Saddam to buy uranium), claimed Cheney was aware of his report when he knew no such thing, and, strangely enough, even said that he knew the claims of Saddam trying to buy uranium were false because he recognized the documents were forgeries, when the only forgeries on the subject did not come to light for months after Wilson’s trip. Not to mention that the forged documents were never the sole source for the accusation to begin with.

    And this is the one who accused Bush and Cheney of lying.

    But it doesn’t matter how often you point out that no one has found evidence that Bush manipulated intelligence or lied about it. The claim that Bush lied is an article of faith beyond reasonable discussion.

    Well, you can cling to the claim all you want, but there is still no evidence. Virtually every bit of lying on the subject of Iraq has been from the “Bush lied” crowd. Ironic.

    And continuing. We’re still being told that Saddam and Al Quaeda had no connection at all, when connections are well known. What seems to be the actual case is that there was never a formal relationship. That didn’t prevent ad hoc informal collaboration.

    The “Bush lied” crowd still claims that Saddam never had any WMD. Yet we know that he used chemical weapons on the Kurds. So the idea that he never had them is obviously wrong. The better question is, what happened to them.

    And this question is as much a problem for the “Bush lied” crowd as for the Bush administration itself. While the Bush administration is stuck trying to explain why we haven’t found major stockpiles of chemical weapons like we expected, the “Bush lied” crowd can’t plausibly claim WMD’s didn’t exist when Saddam actually used them. They also have to explain why the WMD’s were not found.

    Worse. To maintain that Bush lied, they have to maintain that the WMD’s were gone while we were having the famed (16 month) “rush to war”. If Bush was lying the whole time, then the WMD’s were already gone. But if Bush was telling the truth, the WMD’s just had to be gone by the time the troops finally arrived 16 months later. So the “Bush lied” crowd needs to explain away the WMD’s 16 months earlier than the Bush defenders do.

    The whole “Bush lied” theme is a cheap shot, and those peddling it should be ashamed. But they aren’t, because they’ve convinced themselves it must be true.

    But while that may be good enough for them, there are plenty of people who recognize it for the vapidity it is.

  191. 191
    CaseyL says:

    Look, Kos hates Bush with the passion of a thousand fiery suns, and he hates the war about that much, and that means he has some easily pushed buttons.
    WP isn’t the first issue he’s gone bugfuck over. I don’t think he’s playing at righteous fury for effect; I think he’s sincerely outraged. That doesn’t mean I agree with him on this issue; only that I don’t think he’s faking it.

    And dKos isn’t a major lefty blogsite because all lefties agree with him. It’s a major lefty blogsite – actually, a major blogsite, period – because it is, for all intents and purposes, a town hall. Anyone can post a diary there, on any subject; anyone can comment. That’s why dKos gets so much traffic, and the traffic is why politicians post there. They know they’ll reach one hell of a lot of people, and get instant, unfiltered, feedback.

    dKos is an invaluable resource, and that has to do with what Kos thinks a blog should be, not with what Kos’ opinion on any given political issue may be.

  192. 192
    rilkefan says:

    People, learn to read in context, please. If I write, “X is sad and wrong. I thought X for a few seconds, but regained my santity. That Y could make me think that at all is an indication of the awfulness of Y”, then to attempt to discredit me as an X-thinker is shameful. Anyone who claims they don’t have brief awful thoughts is deluded or lying or in a Tibetan monastery floating above the floor.

  193. 193

    Links and Minifeatures 11 23 Wednesday

    Carnival of the Vanities is up at Don Surber’s. Recommended posts:

  194. 194
    JD says:

    rilkefan –

    Kimmitt asked for citation or retraction, and I provided the citation.

    You can attempt to place all the angels’ arses on the head of a pin as you like, but the citation is there for all to see. Whether Kimmitt remembered penning that comment or not is not my concern. However, had Kimmitt not made that statement, I would have busted “Another Jeff” for raking Kimmitt where it was not deserved. Kimmitt himself also could have self-searched and retracted himself, but opted to press the bet instead, and got nailed on it.

    Admittedly, it is not as elegant or dramatic to prove a negative, but that is the nature of the Google.

  195. 195
    rilkefan says:

    JD, my comment above wasn’t directed at you.

  196. 196
    Me says:

    I find it absolutely astounding that leftists will convince themselves of as many ridiculous things as they do.

    After Gulf War I, 12 years of consensus–like it or not guys–that Hussein had WMDs, and now they want to pretend that Bush just made it up out of thin air.

    Bush reminds the nation that the people whining now made the same claims he made before he even took office, and this constitutes “an attack” (grow the hell up, PLEASE??).

    They take every possible opportunity to convince the world that America is guilty of one atrocity or another, and then act upset that *Bush* has harmed our reputation.

    They take every possible opportunity to undermine some activity or another in which our government is engaged in the fight against terror and take NO opportunity to show support for the mission, then act upset when their patriotism is rightfully questioned.

    When they can’t actually find an activity worthy of undermining, they make one up.

    They act upset that their patriotism is questioned when it isn’t.

    They complain that the people have a right to know everything, including highly classified information regarding secret detention centers in Europe and elsewhere, then act appalled that someone actually tried to set the record straight with a reporter concerning the impetus for Joe Wilsons Niger trip.

    Any lefties reading this, you should try to be more aware of how you sound to rational people. You may be winning the “soundbite” war after a few months of leveling unanswered charges in your crusade to see America lose an absolutely vital war, but you are seriously HISTORY if the American people ever actually engage and listen to some of the things you say.

  197. 197
    rilkefan says:

    “but you are seriously HISTORY if the American people ever actually engage and listen to some of the things you say.”

    Wait, isn’t the problem that the liberal media pushes our viewpoint too much?

    Wait, why am I responding to a person paddling away on the sea of confusion? Damn fever, screwing with my judgment. I hate winter.

  198. 198
    carot says:

    John, you are missing the point about chemical and biological weapons. Why do people think for example that poison gas is worse than shooting people? Because it looks bad, people associate it with convulsions and agony. Shooting someone looks relatively good, to the extent no one minds watching war movies of people shooting each other. One can also finish someone off more painlessly and humanely.

    But why don’t people watch war movies of people gassing each other or infecting each other with Anthrax? Because it repulses people. So we take this group of weapons that most people find repulsive and call them WMD’s. If you made movies where people killed each other with WP rather than normal bullets then hardly anyone would keep their lunch down at the cinema. In fact cinemas and movies would go bankrupt rather than people watching that, with some cult movies excepted.

    The Problem with WP is it is as repulsive as any other WMD, because the idea of burning the flesh off people’s bones to kill them seems as bad as gassing them. Also this revulsion comes from the use of poison gas in World War 1.

    So people lump WP as a chemical weapon because it is a repulsive way to kill someone and would be a horrific thing to survive.

    So people aren’t going to accept WP is somehow better burning the flesh off people’s bones than Saddam did with say Sarin destroying people’s lungs. If it is a repulsive looking death or people survive with horrific injuries then people are going to be against it.

    I find your argument amazing. The whole reason Bush made for invading Iraq to get rid of WMD’s was how repulsive a way to die it was for Iraqis, and how bad it would be if chemical weapons were used in the west. There was no rhetoric about terrorists and bombs or guns, but mushroom clouds, poison gas, anthrax, and other icky ways to die. WP is an equally repulsive way to die, or near enough for government work.

  199. 199
    KJB43 says:

    Kos: “and burns off the skin of babies like a duck while leaving their clothes intact, well then…”

    Kos claims to be former artillery and then says this?! Earth to moonbats, WP does not cause that kind of injury! If the stuff gets on you it will burn a hole on/in the body, if it lands on clothes it burns through that and then the skin and so on. If Kos is really ex-military he would know what kind of wounds WP causes since treatment of those injuries is (at least in the Army) part of “Common Task” training every soldier gets every year and often a couple of times a year.
    To John Cole, thanks for standing up for the troops in Iraq, of which I am one; thanks for standing up for the truth. If “balloon juice” is an experiment I think you may be better off ending it as judging from the moonbats who seem to dominate the comments section this place has become a satellite of DU.
    Thanks again and keep blogging!
    PS Thanks to Nicholas and Dexter and Terry aand OCSteve as well.

  200. 200
    Gray says:

    “I am sick and tired of defending Kos.”JC

    Huh? I seem to have missed something! When exactly did you defend Kos, please name the century.

    As for the rest of your WP column, almost all of your positions have been debunked now, but you chose to ignore that. Now if you would at least admit that the ‘chemical weapon!’ group has a serious argument when they point out that the Pentagon used this wording against Saddam, there would be grounds for a discussion. But you shut your eyes and ears and keep on spinning like some Trolls at Kos. Pathetic.

  201. 201
    John Cole says:

    Great. Love waking up to this idiocy on Thanksgiving Day.

    First, I have defended Kos a number of times, and linked to and helped him promote his causes a number of times when we agree. I am not going to dig up the link for you- you have as much access to my archives and the search feature as I do.

    Second, not one thing I have said has been ‘debunked.’ If anything, more people are starting to come around to the fact that those making the chemical weapons charges don;t know their ass from a hole in the ground.

    Third, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

  202. 202
    OCSteve says:

    ppGaz:

    I have gained enormous respect for you in this thread.

    Remind me of that in the future when we disagree :)

  203. 203

    Birkel, the whole subplot about the Berty Crouch household and the imperious curse, all that was wiped away when they wrote Winky out of the script. You know, there weren’t any damned ghosts in the latest Potter film either. No blast-ended skrewts either. The romantic longings of Harry regarding Cho Chang were extremely underplayed, but then Daniel Radcliffe has a narrow range of emotional expressions.

    I do wonder how Voldemort’s nose was so flattened. That was a curious special effect.

    The killing curse used by the death eaters, you know, was banned by the ministry of magic. It was one of the unforgiveable curses.

  204. 204
    OCSteve says:

    Retief :

    That said, I’m not sure what information John’s conviction that we didn’t use WP “indiscriminately” in Falluja is based on. There were 30,000 to 50,000 people left in Falluja when we attacked. Were they all anti US fighters?

    In the event someone visits this thread later I’m not going to leave “30,000 to 50,000 people left in Falluja when we attacked” unchallenged. As I have repeatedly noted – even The Red Crescent estimates 175 families (on the high end) in the entire city. If you assume they were all large extended families then call it 10 people per family. So 1,750 out of a city of 300,000. 0.58% as a high estimate.

    If, as a military age male, your choice was attempt to leave and get sent to abu graib, or stay and keep your head down, which would you have done before hand?

    Arrested/detained does not automatically mean abu graib. Males between 15 and 45 would seem to be a pretty good profile of you typical “insurgent”. Of course they were not going to just let them walk away. But if you have any evidence that they were all permanently locked up I would love to see it.

    And we hav pictures of some dead civilians.

    Exactly how do you know they were civilians? The enemy we are fighting does not wear a uniform and insignia. In all likelihood some were. But it is incorrect to assume a dead body in civilian clothes was in fact a civilian.

  205. 205
    Gray says:

    Happy thanksgiving, John!
    But don’t complain about the commenters, you started this thread. And I remember very well that you defended the DoD statement (WP only for illumination purposes), even when there was substantiated evidence to the contrary. Then the DoD had to admit that this had been false information, and you didn’t have the backbone to admit that even liberals can get something right. Compared with some of the others, I’m a moderate on this issue, but you seem to hold a quite extreme position.

    Defending the troops against unfair criticsm is a patriotic duty, but if there is evidence that regulations aren’t observed (WP mortar fire in a civilian area, direct WP fire against enemies), this should be investigated without ideological blinders. Digging in on those issues, simply ignoring or sneering at legitimate criticism, doesn’t help the troops, it fuels suspicions that easily can get out of hand.

  206. 206
    Gray says:

    “First, I have defended Kos a number of times, and linked to and helped him promote his causes a number of times when we agree. I am not going to dig up the link for you- you have as much access to my archives and the search feature as I do.”

    Make that no archive, just a search function, John. What is commonly called a blog archive comes normally in the form of links to clusters of ‘old’ postings, mostly grouped monthly. I can check what Kevin Drum said in the election 2004 just by clicking ’10/2004′, I can’t do that here, you don’t have that functionality. Good that you mentioned it, cause this isn’t the first time this annoys me. Looks like you want to hide your past convictions :)

    So it’s only the search option. I searched for ‘Kos’ and checked the first 2 pages, no defense on your part, but you were sometimes amused by Armando. I searched for ‘Kos defend’ and checked all, nothing. You may have defended Kos somewhere in the comments, this search engine won’t find that. You most certainly did not defend Kos in one of your articles. Seems like I have remembered this correctly…

  207. 207
    Pb says:

    KJB43

    Earth to moonbats, WP does not cause that kind of injury! If the stuff gets on you it will burn a hole on/in the body, if it lands on clothes it burns through that and then the skin and so on.

    Er, yeah, that’s *much* better.

    Not.

  208. 208
    John Cole says:

    Gray- I was wrong to believew the early State Department press release. Regardless, that still does not make WP a chemical weapon, it still does not make it illegal to use against personnel, and it still does not make any of these charges of using chemical weapons against civilians legit.

    Second, I said you have as much access to the archives as I do. I did not say there is some monthl archive feature.

    Since you seem to think I am not telling the truth, here is at least one situation where I remember defending Kos. Here is another on the same topic. Those defenses of Kos are not unique events. Here is another defense of the website.

    I can be as partisan and hacktacular as the next guy at times, but I do generally try to call them as I seem them. I have sided with Kos on a number of issues, including Schiavo, torture, the Gitmo/Koran flap and the silly attacks on the media, Rove’s attempots to portray all Democrats as traitors, and Drubin’s summertime Pol Pot remarks.

    At any rate, Kos and company are all washed up on this issue.

  209. 209
    ppGaz says:

    Remind me of that in the future when we disagree

    Back at ya …

  210. 210
    Kimmitt says:

    I would have busted “Another Jeff” for raking Kimmitt where it was not deserved.

    I don’t feel particularly raked; AJ posted about what my “first thought” was, and you found a reference to a fleeting and shameful thought that passed through my head days after the disaster. I can tell you with great confidence that my first thought was not particularly well-formed and centered around disbelief at the magnitude of the disaster.

    Then, of course, AJ broke out the grotesque false equivalency between a passing thought and denying aid to an injured person in front of me, but that’s pretty standard for folks like him.

  211. 211
    Jason says:

    Defending the troops against unfair criticsm is a patriotic duty, but if there is evidence that regulations aren’t observed (WP mortar fire in a civilian area, direct WP fire against enemies), this should be investigated without ideological blinders.

    Regulations should be enforced. But neither of the examples you cite are against any regulation.

    Second, there were no “civilian areas” in the city, as pretty much the whole city was infested with combatants.

    If the enemy occupies a residential area, you can still go after him. And if he occupies a mosque or a school, you can go after him there. What do you think this is? Softball? You don’t get to hang on to a base and get a guaranteed safe haven where nobody can tag you out.

    Further, thank God we do have WP rounds to fire at residential areas. They save us from having to use HE rounds as marking rounds.

    That saves civilian lives and limits collateral damage.

    Arguing that we shouldn’t use WP is like arguing that a surgeon shouldn’t use a scalpel because it’s sharp and somebody could get hurt.

    The alternative is cutting the patient open with a Husqvaarna chainsaw and a wooden spoon. But you guys are so ignorant, you don’t even know what the scalpel is used for, and you don’t know what the alternative tool is going to be. You are just railing against scalpels because…because…because…scalpels are BAD.

    Jason

    You guys are

  212. 212
    GTinMN says:

    I do wonder how Voldemort’s nose was so flattened. That was a curious special effect.

    He’s been described in the books as having a snake-like face, plus a snake figured prominently in the murder scene Harry saw in his dreams, although it took me awhile after seeing the movie to put that together, so who knows?

  213. 213
    Synova says:

    I think that the purple heart bandaids were really funny.

    The Dems elected Kerry in the primaries because they thought he’d appeal to the military sorts, stuck their fingers in their ears and started going “na na na na na” at full volume and saying stuff like “protests? what protests?” “thrown away medals? What medals?” “military records? what military records?” “na na na na na na.” Oh, and “HOW DARE YOU QUESTION THE PATRIOTISM OF A VET!”

    It was truely amazing to watch.

    I kept waiting for *someone* anyone at all, to say, “Well, I can see how the Winter Soldier thing would make some veterans upset and how that would still hurt, but that understandable human reaction shouldn’t keep our attention from these very important things… etc.”

    Never happened. Screams of how it was all lies… that happened. And any slight admission that throwing medals away in a protest should cause offence? Not a peep.

    But oh my golly were those bandaids ever offensive! HOLY COW. The gall of people! To insult a medal that someone got when that very person symbolically *threw those meaningless medals away* they meant so freaking much to him.

    And *then* he thought that it would *help* to explain that he’d thrown SOMEONE ELSES MEDALS AWAY.

    And people complain about bandaids.

    The mind boggles.

  214. 214
    Jon H says:

    “The Problem with WP is it is as repulsive as any other WMD, because the idea of burning the flesh off people’s bones to kill them seems as bad as gassing them. Also this revulsion comes from the use of poison gas in World War 1.”

    I expect it comes from that famous Vietnam photo of the burned kids running from the napalm strike.

    That’s the kind of thing that really makes you proud of the American soldier, ain’t it?

  215. 215
    John Cole says:

    It was the South Vietnamese air force that dropped that napalm.

  216. 216
    Gray says:

    “It was the South Vietnamese air force that dropped that napalm.”

    Now where did you dig this one out? Some times ago, there was a very emotional article in newsweek or somewhere, about a meeting between the US air force officer who dropped that bomb and the girl (grown up woman now) on the picture. The officer had a common american name and didn’t look a bit asiatic.
    You’ve got a better source, and not just Drudge or LGF?

  217. 217
    terry says:

    Pb – If I ever need a lesson plan in intellectual dishonesty, I hope I can feel free to use your little sub discussion with Nicholas above. He actually went to source documents (law of land warfare, etc) to shed some light on the argument and used actual knowledge of, you know, chemistry and such to argue his case effectively. You actually threw in the towel at one point by trying to switch the argument from the characteristics of WP to your “fact” that tens of thousands were killed by this weapon. Unfortunately, you couldn’t resist throwing in another chemical reference and Nicholas added a few more lashes and then disengaged; he did so because he realized that cogent argument was useless. Your last few comments were nothing more than ridiculing Nicholas personally; all you had left after losing the discussion so badly – a fact that was painfully obvious to me and anyone else reading this comments discussion. I can only conclude that you want to believe that WP is immoral, illegal, evil, etc. etc. and also that you want to believe that Americans constantly and joyfully use immoral, illegal, and evil tools to to immoral, illegal, and evil things. I am certain that this discussion has had no effect; you will continue to advance the canard that WP is a chemical weapon and that we are just as bad as Saddam, or perhaps worse, because of our use of WP in Fallujah. No amount of rational debate ala Nicholas will change the narrative, and if you succeed in getting enough of the credible MSM to repeat it enough, it will become part of the canon, along with Bush lied, no WMD’s, etc. It hasn’t won any elections yet, but its all you guys have…

  218. 218
    Kazinski says:

    I am outraged that Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter did not remove WP from the Pentagon’s arsenal and tactics manuals when they were President. Carter should have to return his Nobel Peace Prize, Clinton should have to return his too, when he gets it in a couple of years when the prize committee wants to make another ineffective statement against a Republican President.

    Simple fact is that the decision to use or not use WP is not something that comes up in policy meetings or has anything to do with what party is in power. WP is a standard part of the Pentagon’s arsenal and the choice of whether or not to use is a tactical one. So the Kossack sadsacks really are attacking the troops not the administration.

  219. 219
    John Cole says:

    Take your pick of sources.

    I would recommend this one, though.

    Just as a side note, I love how I have to ‘prove’ everything, but those challenging me feel no desire to prove anything. If you disagreed with me, shouldn’t you have to provide evidence that it was in fact Americans who dropped the napalm?

  220. 220
    rilkefan says:

    terry: “Pb – If I ever need a lesson plan in intellectual dishonesty”

    No, no, you’re doing fine as is. I’m sure you can get a diploma without delay from the Jeff Gannon School of Journalism if you submit your 4:39 comment and a small processing fee.

  221. 221
    Armando says:

    John amuses me often. Like me, he has a short fuse.

    John Amato tells me he is a good guy and that’s good enough for me.

    As for the Goebbels line well, I think even John knows in his heart that was way over the line.

    I know not a damn thing about this WP issue. But John knows kos is a patriot. He may be full of shit on this or any number of things. But John’s rhetoric here springs from anger, not belief.

    Or so I believe.

  222. 222
    John Cole says:

    Armando- That is what is driving me so batshit insane about Kos pushing this nonsense. As I have stated repeatedly, I defend Kos when I think he is right, but here, he is intentionally (really- his commenters and enough other places have shown him to be wrong- it has to be intentional) pushing these lies.

    WP is not a chemical weapon.
    The Pentagon and the military do not consider it to be a chemical weapon.
    Kos worked with MLRS and knows it is not a chemical weapon.
    The ‘intel’ he and Think Progress linked to proves nothing, and Kos knows it.
    There is no evidence whatsoever that WP was used indiscriminately, and there is evidence that our troops did everything they could to avoid civilian casualties.

    And so on. Yet Kos continues to make these BS allegations, to make charges that we used WP indiscriminately and massacred civilians, that we are war criminals and on par with Saddam.

    What else am I to believe than a guy who should know better is simply pushing this lie for domestic political gain. If you can come up with another answer, let me know, because I would love to give him the benefit of the doubt. Right now, I have no other way to understand how a guy who fired rockets for several years can sit by and push this nonsense:

    The boom kicked dust around the pit as they ran through the drill again and again, sending a mixture of burning white phosphorus and high explosives they call “shake ‘n’ bake” into a cluster of buildings where insurgents have been spotted all week.

    They say they have never seen what they’ve hit, nor did they talk about it as they dusted off their breakfast and continued their hilarious routine of personal insults and name-calling.

    So who you gonna believe? The US Department of Defense or the US Army and the US Marine Corps? Decisions, decisions . . .

    Kos knows full well that artillery crews have no ida what they are seeing- they are thousands of meters away. But the spotters and grunts on the ground calling the strikes sure as hell see what they are firing at.

    Yet Kos promotes the StevenD diary to the front page, and continues to willfully disseminate the RAI agitprop, to the detriment of the country, the mission, and the troops.

    So again, Armando- you tell me. Why?

    If all he means to really say is that WP is awful, well, sure, it is. But no worse than an HE round or DPICM or FASCAM, and certainly not illegal or a chemical weapon

    If all he means to say is that civilian casualties should be avoided, well, sure.

    But what he is saying is that we intentionally used chemical weapons with no regard for civilians (and if you believe the RAI crew he is credulously supporting), we intentionally used it on civilians.

    So again, Armando. The ball is in your court. Because where I am sitting, it sure looks like nothing more than a Goebbels “Big Lie” to me, and it really pisses me off considering all the guff I take from the right for defending Kos. not to mention the damage it does to the troops and to the country, as well as to morale.

  223. 223
    Kimmitt says:

    Because where I am sitting, it sure looks like nothing more than a Goebbels “Big Lie” to me

    A “Big Lie” is, “Saddam was behind 9/11.” Or, “The Jews are responsible for Germany’s troubles.” It is not, “White Phosphorous is a chemical weapon.” It seems unwise to devalue the term.

  224. 224
    John Cole says:

    The Big Lie, Kimmitt, is that we are war criminals on par with Saddam. The rest is the supporting ‘evidence.’

  225. 225
    Gray says:

    “Just as a side note, I love how I have to ‘prove’ everything, but those challenging me feel no desire to prove anything.”

    Sry John, you were right on this one. And gratz, you ruined my day, I really did like that minister story :(

    And OK, I was just too lazy to google after 3 big glasses of cubra libre. I have to try this box of wine soon, maybe this doesn’t make you feel so drowsy…

  226. 226
    Armando says:

    John:

    I’ll ask him.

  227. 227
    Ram says:

    Here are some questions from a right-wing republican:

    1) President Clinton did/did not bomb Albanian refugees?
    2) President Clinton did/did not bomb an aspirin factory in Sudan?
    3) President Clinton did/did not bomb the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia?

    Careful now… A convoy of refugees on flatbed trailers pulled by farm tractors did get bombed. Lots of innocent civilians died. After the fact investigations by news outlets found no rude precursor chemicals in the rubble of that Sudanese pharmacological plant. And if you think that hatred of the United States began AFTER the current president was elected then ask any PRC national about their embassy in Belgrade.

    In my opinion the right answer in all three cases is “did not”.

    In the first case it’s true that the bomber pilots’ rules of engagement were influenced by political considerations. It’s true that keeping our planes ‘high and safe’ made target identification difficult. Under our system our Commander in Chief gets to make those calls. We can question those calls in hindsight but when a president takes us to war those sorts of tragic mistakes must be expected as well as regretted. Its a package deal. Grown-ups know that.

    The second case is more clear cut. If a President of the United States is told that a precursor to nerve gas, a chemical not found in nature, was found in a soil sample outside a pharmacological factory in some petty dictatorship known to harbor terrorists then that person damn well BETTER bomb that factory! Then after the fact when he learns the intel was rubbish he should see some careers ended. (I’m not sure any did…) But Bill was not responsible for bombing an ‘aspirin factory.’

    The third case is the most obvious. No U.S. President would sign off on an unprovoked act of war against a major country like China. No rational politician would sign up for worlds of pain and no benefit. I hold that Bill Clinton in many ways was and still is a swine, but I’m also sure that he and everyone around him at the time understood that bombing neutral embassies was a really, really bad idea. A mistake. War is like that.

    Pax,
    Ram

    “No plan survives contact with the enemy”
    – Field Marshall Helmuth Von Moltke

  228. 228
    Ram says:

    Alrighty – now then….

    Is White Phosphorus a chemical weapon? It is both a ‘chemical’ and a ‘weapon’ (as is gunpowder) and that’s enough for some folks. According to the professionals WP is not in the same category as nerve gas & blister agent. That’s good enough for me.

    Is White Phosphorus a WMD? Weapons of Mass Destruction tend to cause Mass Destruction. A WMD in the form of a hand grenade would be literally self-defeating, right? White Phosphorus hand grenades were common in World War II. Again the folks who use the stuff professionally put WP in a different category than nuclear weapons. Fine by me.

    Did the U.S. military (read: “the Bush Administration” if you like) intentionally use WP on civilians in Fallujah? I doubt it. If some don’t, fine. Clearly that would be a case of ‘The Secret that is Too Big to Keep’. In my opinion intentionally firing anything at civilians would be a good deal worse than the events at Abu Greb prison. Because our military doesn’t condone war crimes we will all get a chance to read about the trials. What? No trials? The VRWC is hushing it all up? Then please explain how the Abu Greb story got out.

    Did our military use WP in Fallujah? Sure thing. So what? White Phosphorus has been in use by the US military for a very long time. We used thousands of tons of the stuff to good effect back in W.W.II. Was Roosevelt a war criminal? (for WP, I mean…) Not in my book.

    Did civilians die in Fallujah? It was a big battle, I’m sure some did. Civilians die in war – especially a war in which one side uses them as camouflage. (a war crime by the Geneva Conventions, if you care)

    Now how about the effects of WP?

    The thick white smoke from WP will kill if one can’t get away from it. Of course that goes for any thick smoke. Even thick smoke not caused by a republican administration will kill a fellow if he can’t get away from it. I understand that if one were close enough to a WP round to die from burning metal then he was close enough to die from fast moving metal had the round been high explosive. Is one death much worse than the other? I doubt it.

    Is the use of White Phosphorus by the U.S. military a public relations blunder? Perhaps if the folks who want to see the United States (read: ‘this administration’ if you like) lose the war in Iraq (or maybe: ‘admit defeat’) succeed in making it one.

    Got a problem with that last sentence? – feel free to provide an interesting counter example: “I support & defend the war in Iraq but WP is evil.” Currently the idea “WP in Fallujah was evil” simply follows from “Bush is evil”, “This war is evil,” and/or “All war is evil”. Neither interesting nor serious.

    Pax,
    Ram

    “I would rather lose the presidency and win the war than the reverse.”
    Republican candidate Thomas Dewey declining to make Pearl Harbor a campaign issue in 1944.

  229. 229
    Bithead says:

    At some point, Juan, reality forces us to take a side, to take a stand. Good to see you join the real world, however breifly.

  230. 230
    John Cole says:

    Umm. I am John Cole.

  231. 231
    MisterPundit says:

    The puppets defending Kos will never get it. The circle of leftist lies has muddled their minds to a point where Kos’ fantasy has become their reality. “Useful idiots” is too good a phrase for these boneheads.

  232. 232
    Randolph Fritz says:

    You have an unexpected ally here: “Long-time readers know that I am from a military family, and I want to be very careful about charges made against US troops, especially of behaving in ways they knew to have been illegal.”–Juan Cole

    Extended discussion of the issue:
    http://www.juancole.com/2005/1.....orous.html

  233. 233
    Walter E. Wallis says:

    I fired WP at an enemy early August 1950. Do I surrender myself for a war crime trial?

  234. 234
    Bithead says:

    Yeah, Typo, John, Sorry.
    (Damn auto check routine, anyway….)

  235. 235
    Tacitus says:

    But John knows kos is a patriot.

    The evidence for this thins by the day. John is correct: his pushing the bogus WP “story” is a wholesale breaking of faith with the soldiers he purports to care about. In a just world, he would have to answer for it in time.

    In this world, of course, his fellow travelers will never call him to account.

  236. 236
    Kimmitt says:

    The Big Lie, Kimmitt, is that we are war criminals on par with Saddam.

    Not to change the subject, but we operate a network of illegal torture facilities scattered around the world! The US would have to be a very different place to be on par with Saddam, who is, after all, responsible for an attempted genocide, but we shouldn’t be playing the same game. Kos is lying. Our Administration kidnaps, tortures, and kills people without oversight. Am I supposed to join in the chorus of Administration hack supporters and attack Kos, am I supposed to reserve judgement, or what? WP isn’t a chemical weapon, and torture is unofficial US policy. I care about one of these things more than the other.

    I believe your frustration, because I know you’re basically an honest guy. But when the usual right-wing suspects show up in high dudgeon, the taste of bile fills my mouth. Am I wrong to feel like demanding the truth from my allies is a luxury these days? Certainly, folks like the commenter above are relentless apologists for lies which conveniently advance their agendas. Why should I seek to accomodate them?

  237. 237
    Sine.Qua.Non says:

    In this world, of course, his fellow travelers will never call him to account.

    You obviously haven’t read all the responses to the KOS posts on this subject or you might know what you are talking about.

    (John: Why the hell are you still talking about this? The whole thing is BS and from what I can tell, an untenable accusation alltogether. War sucks…people die when bullets are shot, fire and explosions occur….which is why people don’t like it, however it happens.)

  238. 238

    […] 2. Balloon Juice claims that the declassified Pentagon document is “a transcription of two Kurdish brothers speaking to each other on the phone.” The Pentagon document is not a transcription of a phone conversation, it a summary of intelligence. The subject line of the cable is “POSSIBLE USE OF PHOSPHOROUS CHEMICAL WEAPONS BY IRAQ.” This a description by the author of the Pentagon cable, not Kurdish brothers. […]

  239. 239
    Jason says:

    I fired WP at an enemy early August 1950. Do I surrender myself for a war crime trial?

    Walter,

    If you fired WP at an enemy in Korea in 1950, I think you’re probably off the hook. If you fired WP at an enemy outside a prominent bar in Secaucus, NJ, I think you’d better get a lawyer.

  240. 240

    […] Think Progress responds, sort of, to the posts I have made taking them to task (here, here, and here) in a piece called ‘The Truth About ThinkProgress’ White Phosphorus Coverage.” […]

  241. 241

    What is white phosphorus?

    (Note: This post originally appeared at The Reaction — see here. Needless to say, the use of WP by U.S. for…

  242. 242
    lrC says:

    It is entirely possible that WP could be referred to as a “chemical weapon” in official documents. There’s no shortage of people who misuse terms which have well-defined meanings, particularly in the realm of military jargon. Generally we don’t change the meanings of doctrinal and legal terms the first or even any particular subsequent time that an under-educated, forgetful, or excitable person misuses or misspeaks them.

  243. 243

    […] Traitor Kos and The Big Lie Congratulations Kos and ThinkProgress! […]

  244. 244
    richard mcenroe says:

    Why was the MSM “absent from investigation” during the run-up to the war?

    Because they had uncritically accepted and parroted all the WMD intelligence being put out since the 90’s and were unable or unwilling to get unstuck from that tar baby until WMD’s became a Republican selling point.

    Any other hard questions?

  245. 245

    […] I am glad to see that the front-pagers of the Daily Kos appear to have joined Think Progress in their headlong retreat from the charges that our soldiers used ‘chemical weapons’ against innocent civilians and insurgents. The charge was first leveled, of course, by an RAI film crew, and picked up by the usual suspects- George Monbiot, the foreign press, and credulous lefties across the United States. […]

  246. 246
    Pablo says:

    Kos was supposedly an artilleryman in the Army. He should be completely familiar with WP and its uses, and should therefore know that it makes a pretty crappy weapon, and therefore is not used as one.

    He’s a worm, period.

  247. 247
    Eric says:

    With all this ‘smoke’ being blown about the use/employment of WP/PWP munitions (or for that matter HC ot HPA), has anyone looked into the doctronaly correct usage of above noted munitions types?

    Not to mention the fact of what type of artiliery fire mission was called that delivered the munition to the target?

    Was the fire mission ‘adjust fire’ or ‘Immediate suppression’.

    These are the questions I would like to see addressed.

    Your milage may vary.

  248. 248
    Retief says:

    OC Steve, again for posterity.

    This is one of the many contemporary stories that use the “US and Iraqi Oficials” estimate that 70% to 90% of Fallujah’s population (estimated to be between 250,000 and 300,000) had evacuated before the battle. The story also has a nice picture of a 9 year old girl who, per the caption, was injured in Fallujah when her house was collapsed by shelling. I’ll do the math for you. 10% of 250,000 is 25,000. That’s the lowest estimate from the US or Iraqi sources for the number of people in Fallujah when we attacked. 30% of 300,000 is 90,000. That is the highest such estimate. If you want to believe they were all anti-US fighters you are welcome to that delusion, although how you will square that belief with your earlier contention that 1750 was a good number I don’t know.

    As for precision versus indiscriminate, Estimates for the number of houses in Fallujah range from 39,000 to 50,000 estimates for the nubmer destroyed range from 9,000 to 36,000. Certainly more than half suffered major damage. Wikipedia has the cites for all these numbers. As for the at least 25,000 people there the greatest evidence that they were civilians is the behavior of the US forces. Per the pentagon, as many as 1,200 insurgents have been killed in the battle, and that the coalition is holding about 1,000 insurgent prisoners. The other 22,800 to 87,800 we didn’t care about.

  249. 249

    […] Even if Think Progress, DKos, and a couple of Kurdish brothers on the phone think otherwise. […]

  250. 250

    “The “Bush lied” crowd still claims that Saddam never had any WMD.”

    Who has ever claimed this? The only claim I have ever seen is that Hussein did not have them at the time we were planning to invade.

    Where did they go? Duh, they were destroyed after Gulf War I.

    Here is exactly how Bush lied: He said he *knew* Hussein had WMDs. The truth was that he *suspected* that. To say you know what you only suspect is a lie.

  251. 251
    to hell with fascists says:

    Regardless of splitting hairs about WP’s technical status, the real question is why did the Pentagon lie about it in the first place? They first claimed they didn’t use it. Then months later they said they used it but not in a way that could endanger civilians [and only said THAT when an article in the Army Times was published that had artillerymen who were in Fallujah mentioning using WP, so by that time they couldn’t continue denying its use]. Now they’re saying that they didn’t INTEND to harm civilians with it but some probably got killed in the process. Of course anybody with at least five brain cells knows you can’t take the U.S. military’s word for anything without corroboration by other [read: CREDIBLE] sources, but come on now. Don’t you think after the Pat Tillman fairy tale and the Jessica Lynch made-for-TV drama that the Pentagon would realize lying about this would just be digging themselves in deeper??

  252. 252
    BIRDZILLA says:

    The mainstream media are just your avrage liars and birdcage linners the New York Times is like the horns of a steer a point here a point there and a lot of bull in between

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Even if Think Progress, DKos, and a couple of Kurdish brothers on the phone think otherwise. […]

  2. […] I am glad to see that the front-pagers of the Daily Kos appear to have joined Think Progress in their headlong retreat from the charges that our soldiers used ‘chemical weapons’ against innocent civilians and insurgents. The charge was first leveled, of course, by an RAI film crew, and picked up by the usual suspects- George Monbiot, the foreign press, and credulous lefties across the United States. […]

  3. […] Traitor Kos and The Big Lie Congratulations Kos and ThinkProgress! […]

  4. What is white phosphorus?

    (Note: This post originally appeared at The Reaction — see here. Needless to say, the use of WP by U.S. for…

  5. […] Think Progress responds, sort of, to the posts I have made taking them to task (here, here, and here) in a piece called ‘The Truth About ThinkProgress’ White Phosphorus Coverage.” […]

  6. […] 2. Balloon Juice claims that the declassified Pentagon document is “a transcription of two Kurdish brothers speaking to each other on the phone.” The Pentagon document is not a transcription of a phone conversation, it a summary of intelligence. The subject line of the cable is “POSSIBLE USE OF PHOSPHOROUS CHEMICAL WEAPONS BY IRAQ.” This a description by the author of the Pentagon cable, not Kurdish brothers. […]

  7. Links and Minifeatures 11 23 Wednesday

    Carnival of the Vanities is up at Don Surber’s. Recommended posts:

  8. Dean's World says:

    John Cole is Angry

    And with good reason.Congratulations Kos and ThinkProgress!

    You have successfully peddled the phone conversation between two Kurdish brothers to uncritical media outlets…

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