Think Progress Responds, Sort Of

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.”

The response, in a nutshell, is that they never claimed WP is a chemical weapon. Instead, they state it is ‘technically not a chemical weapon,’ which, I guess, is true- in the sense that I am ‘technically’ not 42 feet tall, I am ‘technically’ not the Master of the Universe, and I am ‘technically’ not the best damned Elvis impersonator in the world.

They did, however, state the following:

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

In fact, even in this post, they continue to be disingenuous:

The purpose of exposing that the Pentagon cable described White Phosphorous as a “chemical weapon” is not to dispute its technical classification.

Hogwash. Not only did they inaccurately distort the intelligence report they used as ‘proof,’ but the purpose of ‘exposing’ the cable was to mislead people into believing that the Pentagon itself thinks WP is a chemical weapon (they do not), and that there is some validity to the charges that we are using chemical weapons on civilians and enemy combatants (there is not). Now I know they won’t take my word for it, but perhaps they could look at their own trackbacks. Here is how their readers interpreted their post:

Just because they don’t classify it as a chemical weapon, doesn’t mean that it’s not a chemical weapon.

“Willy Pete” is usually used as an illumination device, but it is a chemical, and when it’s used as a weapon, as in Fallujah, that makes it a “chemical weapon”.

But as we know, up is down, war is peace, and 2+2=46. – Lt. Bighorn

******

It must be really sad to think that just because you say things like, “We don’t torture” or “We didn’t use chemical weapons” that people are going to believe it.

These people are sorry excuse for Americans. – Kiki

Or how about some of the bloggers who linked to your post to help get out the story:

My Blahg: IS WHITE PHOSPHORUS A CHEMICAL WEAPON?

The Pentagon says so.

******

The Liberal Avenger– We (rightly) accuse Iraq of using chemical weapons against the Iraqi people – including White Phosphorus. We cite Iraq’s use of chemical weapons as one of the reasons for going to war there, in fact we pull Iraq’s chemical weapons use out of our asses everytime somebody questions the war.

We use the chemical weapon White Phosphorus against Iraqis in Fallujah. Then we deny we used White Phosphorus. Then we concede that we used White Phosphorus, but not as a weapon. Then we concede that we used White Phosphorus as a weapon, but it isn’t a “chemical weapon.”

But when Saddam used it against Iraqis we called it a chemical weapon.

And wingnut war cheerleaders think we liberals are unhinged…

Think Progress today states: “ThinkProgress never claimed that White Phosphorus is properly categorized as a chemical weapon.”

Their readers say otherwise.

Much more here from TCY.

From a Major in the USAF who works with HUMINT (posted by Noah Shactman to preserve his anonymity):

“I have to chuckle at the ‘chemical WP’ story from the ‘Think Progress’ website,” one military reader tells Defense Tech…

Can they truthfully say that “Pentagon Document Described White Phosphorus As ‘Chemical Weapon'”. Sure they can….technically. That is what the words say. However this is not not some Pentagon policy paper, or tactics manual, or even primer on WMD making that claim. It is a HUMINT field report, from a Kurdish source. And we all know several things by now about this type of reporting.

First, HUMINT reporting can be shaky on several levels, for many reasons. One of the main problem with HUMINT…having a truthful source.

Second, it is a field report. A straight regurgitation of what the source told the reporter. No analysis has been put against this info whatsoever, it is simply an info report. Chances are, the guy who did up the report had no idea what White Phosphorus really is, so the info sounded like it would make a good report on Saddam’s treachery. Also, I would bet, that when the report actually reached an analyst who knew a thing or two about Chemical Weapons, it was probably tossed in the burn bag as ludicrous.

Lastly, we have to remember the source was the Kurdish opposition. As we well know now, the Kurds were willing to provides lots of “intelligence” to us, much on it not up to snuff. They did this for many reasons, including money, and to influence us to act against Saddam. Once again, a problem with HUMINT is that sometimes there are motives behind a source, not just the information.

Thus I find it a little ironic that a movement from a certain end of the political spectrum that has chided the President for going to war based on bad intelligence (and worse), is now trying to pillory the Administration and DoD based on the same type of “bad intel” from the same suspect source pool.

Bottom line is that this is not a definitive “Pentagon Document”, but rather one piece of suggestive information provided to the DoD. Thus this is not an example of how the Pentagon considers “white phosphorus rounds as chemical weapons” as ‘Think Progress’ would like to have us believe. It is hardly a smoking gun, say in the way if they found a hypothetical document penned by a Pentagon lawyer warning that WP could be considered CW. That would be something with direct influence on policy, this report is not. I don’t think that ‘Think Progress’ is being underhanded in their analysis, just plain wrong. I just don’t think they know what kind of report they are referencing, or how to read it.

Additionally, the officer emailed me this follow-up:

I have some experience reading and working with such reports, which is why I found the whole issue so laughable. And given what I have read on your sites, I take back the thought that they were no being underhanded. But I still do think that all of their hysteria is being driven by the simple fact that they don’t know what the hell they are reading. Those of us in the biz know that all “IIR”s are to be read with a salt shaker nearby, and never smartly used as a sole source for analytic conclusion. It doesn’t even take into consideration the possibility of something being lost in the translation between Kuridsh source and American. Not to mention that this could be 3rd or 4th hand information. Nowhere does it say that the source’s brother actually witnessed the activity. It is entirely possible that what we have is a version of the ‘Telephone Game’ with a couple of different languages….

I want to find a HUMINT report in which a source refers to his sighting of lights in the sky. That way I can claim that there is a US Govt document confirming the existence of UFOs!

**If you decide to use any of this info, please do not use my identifying information.**

176 replies
  1. 1

    Think Progress is right. They never claimed that WP is legally categorized as a chemical weapon. And neither did their readers. All this memo from the Pentagon was intended to show was that it’s not outrageous for people to think of WP as a chemical weapon when it’s used as a weapon and not just for illumination purposes.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    neil says:

    Threadjack! While I can’t speculate about ThinkProgress’s motives and intentions, I can certainly see why one might want to showcase that Pentagon report even if not trying to argue that WP is properly classified as a chemical weapon. But I certainly can’t say whether they’re secretly trying to trick people into believing that. I can think of a lot of better things, myself, to do with that document, and I suspect they can too.

    Meanwhile, what I want to know is why ThinkProgress is smearing the troops by alleging that they used chemical-like weapons on civilians, but Rumsfeld wasn’t smearing the troops by blaming the torture he ordered on ‘a few bad apples’. Lynndie England got sent to the brig; so far, we’ve only heard stories about allegedly harmed morale from TP’s mean words about Willy Pete.

    This administration abuses and scapegoats our troops, and has already proven that it is willing to let them take the blame for its cruel and illegal policies. I simply can’t take your charges against Kos seriously since you have not shown internal consistency about them.

  4. 4
    ATS says:

    I think this issue has been covered enough. Why ask people with no experience with White Phosphorous to debate whether it is inhumane or not— which is at the core of the issue.

    The point has been made: people who loath Bush will hype it; people who love Bush will dismiss it.

    This is expecially fruitless when we haven’t even defined WMD properly. Or at least we have defined it so loosely that it is devoid of meaning.

  5. 5
    John Cole says:

    LOL- That was quite a threadjack, Neil. I would state that the Rumsfeld few bad apples is targeted at the few bad apples, not the troops in general. Rumsfeld would state ‘no one is smearing the troops, I am just calling Granger et. al. what they are- a few bad apples.’

    Here, no one has been specifically targetted, just a blanket smearing in general.

    BTW- I think the behavior was a bad policy combined with unscrupulous and untrained soldiers.

    Robert- And what is the purpose of all this other than to let people run around accusing our troops of using chemical weapons?

  6. 6
    ppGaz says:

    “I… never … had … sexual relations with that woman, Miss Phosphorous.”

  7. 7
    Bana says:

    Hogwash. Not only did they inaccurately distort the intelligence report they used as ‘proof,’ but the purpose of ‘exposing’ the cable was to show that the Pentagon itself thinks WP is a chemical weapon, and that there is some validity to the charges that we are using chemical weapons on civilians and enemy combatants.

    First off, you can’t inaccurately distort intelligence. Any distortion is inherently inaccurate.

    Secondly, let’s get something straight: TP thinks WP is a CW if it is used in certain ways. The Pentagon describes WP as a CW if it is used in certain ways. There is no disagreement there – to reiterate: they are actually in agreement.

    The problem is when people agree that it is ok for the USA to use munitions of any sort as CW’s. Whether for planners or pundits, accepting the use of a munition as a CW is wrong; doubly so in a war based on the fear of CW use against the homeland and our troops.

    Lastly, whether their readers say something matters not. Your last point, that the readers of TP “say otherwise”, discounts the fact that TP did not write what you accused them of. If you have an issue with TP, ok; but it turns out that you should have directed your initial criticism against the readers rather than the site itself, as you admit you were wrong about what you wrote: “The response, in a nutshell, is that they never claimed WP is a chemical weapon. Instead, they state it is ‘technically not a chemical weapon,’ which, I guess, is true”.

    If you’re wrong, just admit it and move on, rather than trying to accuse independent readers who aren’t affiliated with TP.

  8. 8
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Let’s take a quick break from the current minor distraction to bring you the following news:

    Wall Street Journal: Abramoff Probe Broader Than Thought

    Looks like a whole bevy of greedy GOPs are going down.

    http://news.yahoo.com/fc/us/us_congress

    Back to the funnies …

  9. 9
    neil says:

    I don’t agree. Rumsfeld is smearing the troops in a much more concrete way: he is naming names and accusing soldiers of committing crimes. People are in jail for implementing his policies. He is abusing official secrecy to allow them to take the blame for him.

    ThinkProgress, on the other hand, is alleging that atrocities took place, performed by unknown soldiers, ordered by unknown officers. An implicit claim that war crimes were committed is contained here, but it does not seem to be their focus — they are after answers and they want to know whether the atrocities are still being committed.

    Here’s what I want to know: what if this turns out the same way, and Rumsfeld sends a few soldiers to trial for indiscriminate use of white phosphorous? Will that be OK?

    Alternately, what if we knew nothing about the use of torture by US soldiers, but then ThinkProgress broke a story with reports that unnamed troops were torturing unnamed detainees? Would this be an blanket smear against our troops ?

  10. 10
    docG says:

    We get it already! A weapon that can use its chemicals to burn the flesh off of people clear to the bone is not a chemical weapon. The military is designed to break things and kill people, as my friend Sarge states. It is a necessary, even noble task, when protecting the United States from destruction. The troops are risking everything and deserve nothing but support. The question to be debated is not so much HOW the military operates in Iraq, but WHY they are operating in Iraq, and to what end. Military action is but an extension of politics. Conflating questioning the political wisdom of invading Iraq with a lack of patriotism or attacking the troops is disingenuous at best. Just as bad as false accusations of using chemical weapons.

  11. 11
    ppGaz says:

    The troops are risking everything and deserve nothing but support.

    If only you weren’t being sarcastic. Because they are, and do, you see.

  12. 12
    BumperStickerist says:

    I did initial translation, transcription, and first line analysis back in the day –

    if ThinkProgress thinks this highly of a raw intel transcription done by (presumably) a low-level translator/analyst (as I was), they’ll wants to file another FOIA request.

    If they bother to look they’ll find that the US military issues classified reports on various hostile governments’s air defense reactions to an unidentified object resembling a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

    Those reactions typically range from radar installations coming on line, SAM batteries being put on alert, scrambling fighter assets … and the like.

    Really. I read ’em and I wrote two that I can recall.

    So, per the ThinkProgress standard, the Pentagon acknowledges the exist of flying reindeer as well.

    Now that flying reindeer info did not make into any official briefings and the task of writing them didn’t compromise mission capability. No fighters were scrambled on our side, no troops put on alert. But those reports are sent from station to station and they’re fun to read Christmas eve, and probably, they’re archived somewhere in the Pentagon.

    Because, if I learned nothing else during my time in the military, midshifts on December 24th suck.

    .

  13. 13
    Mithi says:

    It’s wrong for truthprogress to cherrypick dubious intelligence to justify their claims. So it’s also wrong for a government to cherrypick dubious intelligence to justify an invasion?

  14. 14

    White phosphorus was invented by Al Gore.

  15. 15
    BumperStickerist says:

    So it’s also wrong for a government to cherrypick dubious intelligence to justify an invasion?

    I don’t think the government did that at all.

    I do think, however, that the notion on the left that George Bush should have performed a public a Ben Franklin style justification — ‘On the plus side … on the minus side – see the plus side has more checks – let’s invade’ — is a stretch.

    Also, the left tends to get caught up in phrase ‘the run-up to the war’ as if the decision were instantaneous.

    The ‘run-up’ took over a year and was preventable at any of several points prior to the invasion with, at first, Saddam complying with UN regulations and lastly, Saddam leaving Iraq.

    It’s not like Bush went ape-shit crazy.

    .

  16. 16
    gounion says:

    You can ONLY go to what thinkprogress wrote. What commenters say doesn’t matter AT ALL, and you can’t use that as part of the argument.

    I could say in this comment that “George Bush is a child molester” and then someone else could say “John Cole denies that he feels George Bush is a child molester, but his readers say otherwise”.

    Please retract your sill argument. It detracts from your otherwise good commentary from the other side.

  17. 17
    earl says:

    Why didn’t you respond to their correction of your claim that it was a transcript of a phone call? And there’s no evidence of hogwash in your posting of their words. Someone at the Pentagon did refer to WP as a chemical weapon. And pointing it out is not to try to change its classification, it’s to point out the obvious two-facedness of the governments position. What is so hard to understand about that?

  18. 18
    Steve S says:

    As I recall, John, it is perfectly reasonable and acceptable to base your defense on technicalities.

    After all. Bush didn’t technically lie. he just didn’t tell us the truth.

  19. 19
    John Cole says:

    Someone at the Pentagon did refer to WP as a chemical weapon

    No. Someone at the Pentagon or somewhere, wherevr the report was written, simply used the Kurd’s description of what was going on and wrote it down.

    it’s to point out the obvious two-facedness of the governments position.

    The government, and more specifically, the Penatgon and the military,, have been prett consistent regarding what WP is and is not.

    GOUNION- I used TP’s words. Those are the quotes in the text. where they say things like:

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

  20. 20
    gounion says:

    Part of your post and argument is what commenters and other bloggers say. Thinkprogress has no control over that. Use TP’s words all you want, and build a cogent argument from that.

    I’m following what you’re saying with interest – it’s one of the few conservative blogs I read, because you tend to look with a fair eye. But I think you’re off-base in that part of your reasoning.

  21. 21
    John Cole says:

    My reasoning is that they are carelessly and willfully distorting what WP is, calling it a Chemical weapon, to lead people to believe that we used ‘chemical weapons’ on insrugents and civilians.

    As proof, I quote their words, and then how the vast majority of their readers and interpret those words.

    WP is not a chemical weapon. Is it a brutal weapon- sure. But no more so than HE rounds, a 50 cal bullet, a gutshot from an M-16, a heat round, a Blu thermobaric round, a sabot round, DPICM, FASCAM, being knifed, stepping on a land mine, etc.

    And there is no evidence that we usedWP carelessly or indiscriminately. WP is a legal, conventional weapon, and any attempts to portray it otherwise is dishonest.

  22. 22
    Christy says:

    Your response to Think Progress is pathetic at best.

    If they REALLY wanted to smear our troops they would uphold the lies that took our soldiers into battle and then take away all their medical benefits.

    I have yet to see a democrat do that but republicans seem to think its quiant, like Geneva Convention quaint. They have cut soldiers benefits AT EVERY TURN.

    Instead of trying to explain how Think Progress said something they never said.. Perhaps you should spend more time dealing with what they ACTUALLY DID SAY. Oh thats right then you would actually have to ask how did all those bodies get melted?

    Two kurd brothers.. Yall honestly do just make stuff up when you do not like what your hearing huh?

    SAVE A SOLDIER. IMPEACH A PRESIDENT.

  23. 23
    John Cole says:

    Two kurd brothers.. Yall honestly do just make stuff up when you do not like what your hearing huh?

    From Think Progress:

    But the distinction is a minor one, and arguably political in nature. A formerly classified 1995 Pentagon intelligence document titled “Possible Use of Phosphorous Chemical” describes the use of white phosphorus by Saddam Hussein on Kurdish fighters:

    The document they link in that blurb is here:

    /*********** THIS IS A COMBINED MESSAGE ************/
    BODY PASS: (U) DIA FOR ITF/JIC/OICC/; DA FOR DAMI-FII-E

    COUNTRY: (U) IRAQ (IZ); TURKEY (TU); IRAN (IR).

    SUBJ: IIR 2 243 1050 91/POSSIBLE USE OF PHOSPHOROUS CHEMICAL
    WEAPONS BY IRAQ IN KURDISH AREAS ALONG THE IRAQI-TURKISH-IRANIAN
    BORDERS; AND CURRENT SITUATION OF KURDISH RESISTANCE AND REFUGEES
    (U)

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

    ———————————————————————
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
    ———————————————————————

    DOI: (U) 910300.

    REQS: (U) T-8C2-2650-01-90.

    SOURCE: [ (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4) ][ (b)(7)(D) ]

    SUMMARY: IRAQ HAS POSSIBLY EMPLOYED PHOSPHOROUS
    CHEMICAL
    WEAPONS AGAINST THE KURDISH POPULATION IN AREAS ALONG THE
    IRAQI-TURKISH-IRANIAN BORDERS. KURDISH RESISTANCE IS LOSING ITS
    STRUGGLE AGAINST SADDAM HUSSEIN’S FORCES. KURDISH REBELS AND
    REFUGEES’ PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS AND PERCEPTIONS ARE PROVIDED.

    TEXT: 1. 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 —
    A. IRAQ’S POSSIBLE EMPLOYMENT OF PHOSPHOROUS CHEMICAL
    WEAPONS — IN LATE FEBRUARY 1991, FOLLOWING THE COALITION FORCES’
    OVERWHELMING VICTORY OVER IRAQ, KURDISH REBELS STEPPED UP THEIR
    STRUGGLE AGAINST IRAQI FORCES IN NORTHERN IRAQ. DURING THE BRUTAL
    CRACKDOWN THAT FOLLOWED THE KURDISH UPRISING, IRAQI FORCES LOYAL
    TO
    PRESIDENT SADDAM ((HUSSEIN)) MAY HAVE POSSIBLY USED WHITE
    PHOSPHOROUS (WP) CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST KURDISH REBELS AND THE
    POPULACE IN ERBIL (GEOCOORD:3412N/04401E) (VICINITY OF IRANIAN
    BORDER) AND DOHUK (GEOCOORD:3652N/04301E) (VICINITY OF IRAQI
    BORDER) PROVINCES, IRAQ. THE WP CHEMICAL WAS DELIVERED BY
    ARTILLERY ROUNDS AND HELICOPTER GUNSHIPS (NO FURTHER INFORMATION
    AT
    THIS TIME). APPARENTLY, THIS TIME IRAQ DID NOT USE NERVE GAS AS
    THEY DID IN 1988, IN HALABJA (GEOCOORD:3511N/04559E), IRAQ,
    BECAUSE
    THEY WERE AFRAID OF POSSIBLE RETALIATION FROM THE UNITED STATES
    (U.S.) LED COALITION.

    Yeah. I am just making stuff up. This was not a piece detailing Pentagon policy. It was raw intelligence describing the observatiopns of Kurds, in this case, two Kurdish brothers on the phone. That is what source and subsource mean.

    Get a grip.

  24. 24
    Christy says:

    Ohhhh and by the way….

    Since you seem to know ALL ABOUT what it is our soldiers want..

    Then you MUST have the location of Osama bin Laden … RIGHT?

  25. 25
    John Cole says:

    Ohhhh and by the way….

    Since you seem to know ALL ABOUT what it is our soldiers want..

    Then you MUST have the location of Osama bin Laden … RIGHT?

    The infantile left in all their glory.

  26. 26
    thedos says:

    Face it John Cole, you got served!

  27. 27
    Christy says:

    The title of that report is EXACTLY what TP said it was…

    The PENTAGON refferring to SADDAM using chemical white phospherous.

    It IS NOT a chem weapon…???

    Then do tell us all about how it actually ignites and burns…. I am so sure you can explain it WITHOUT the chemical reaction stuff.. i mean all that SCIENCE may just get in the way of your logic.

  28. 28
    earl says:

    How could you possibly know what they were thinking when they wrote the report? They were just writing what the Kurds said? That’s ridiculous. If the guys had said, “The Iraqis have dropped Great God From The Sky Metal Kaboom!Things on the Kurds,” do you think they might have changed that to “bombs” in thee report? And look at the title oof the report gain, as TP pointed out.

    Consistent?!! They didn’t use it. They did use it, but only to light up theaters. They did use it as a weapon…

    This is consistency?

  29. 29
    Christy says:

    Infantile…???

    No infantile is publicly calling out someone with a halfbaked knee jerk whhaa fest that simply does not hold up.

  30. 30
    Christy says:

    Notice how when you bring up bin laden the best you busheviks can do is start calling names…??

    If TP is ‘anti troops’ then WHAT IS the man who actually went out of his way to MAKE SURE bin laden got away at EVERY turn…??

    Who is your daddy…??

    Saudis

  31. 31
    earl says:

    John, you posted the exact words.

    SUBJ: IIR 2 243 1050 91/POSSIBLE USE OF PHOSPHOROUS CHEMICAL
    WEAPONS
    BY IRAQ IN KURDISH AREAS ALONG THE IRAQI-TURKISH-IRANIAN…

    Where do you think the person writing this learned his terminology? The report is for superiors. superiors need reports written in Pentagonese. Why is it so easy for you to turn that guy into an idiot? He’s on our side, remember. and he’s even very likely one of those things we call “troops”.

    Why do hate the troops John?

  32. 32
    Christy says:

    I bet yall think georgie is SO DAMN CUTE everytime he plays tounge tangle with saudis.

    Isnt him holding hands with the house of saud as he strolls just so damn sweet…???

    Awwwww..

    The war president that kisses his enemy oh so deeply. on the mouth. Often.

  33. 33
    John Cole says:

    Wow. I mean, just wow.

    I long for the day when I thought Joe Albanese was thick.

  34. 34
    Buddy says:

    Christy:

    So since you are against half-baked knee jerk whaa fests, you are going to shut up now?

    Oh ye of ??? and CAPS and other infantile, half-baked behavior.

    JC is acting ‘infantile’?

    Bahah.

    That’s pretty amusing. No really. Gave me a chuckle anyway.

    Someone representing raw intel as a pentagon statement obviously doesn’t have the amount of understanding needed to even begin discussing the topic at hand.

    As one retired soldier put it the other day,

    “Again, you are ignorant of the tactical situation on the ground. You are ignorant of doctrine. You are ignorant of fire control procedures. You are ignorant about the ordnance. “

    In short you are uninformed “about every single thing it would take to illuminate a rational discussion of the use of WP or other weapons in Fallujah.”

    Have a nice day.

  35. 35
    Christy says:

    Wait Wait Wait.. Let me guess your explaination for bush tounging saudis and firing/slandering REAL PATRIOTS….

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!!!!

    Geee, if georgie gets any closer they will be announcing the king is pregnant with twins.

  36. 36
    Christy says:

    Oh Buddy you have named yourself after the presidents dog yet I am ignorant…??

    I never once let bin laden get away. I never once made torture legal. I never once took medical benefits from our troops. I have never once had ATLEAST 9 BILLION DOLLARS go missing on my watch.

    No that would be your ignorant leader who DID ALL OF THOSE THINGS.

    And JC was calling me infantile even as he posted the exact thing showing how halfbaked and kneejerk his whole argument is.

    Will I shut up now…?? Gee thats you busheviks answer to everything that you have no answers for. Just shut up. Whaa just shut up you infanmtile ignorant meanie or Ill go stick my tounge in a SAUDI!!!

    Go for it.

  37. 37
    gounion says:

    Fair enough, John, though I think your point is weak at best. The pentagon at first denied using the weapon, then admitted it after their own bragging of using it turned up in a publication.

    And you have to go to someone else to have it called a chemical weapon. The first TP post says “But the distinction is a minor one, and arguably political in nature.” I think that’s fair. If the weapon were used on our soldiers in this manner first, say by Saddam, that’s exactly what the administration would have said.

    Attack TP for what they say, not what someone else says they said. I always try to go to the primary source, not what the secondary source says the primary source said. I that part of your post was sloppy debate at best.

  38. 38
    Buddy says:

    No really, christy, nevermind, keep going.

    It’s really a great show. Incredibly ironic too.

  39. 39

    John Cole, are you saying that all of the “Left” is infantile, or that there is a separate entity, a subset of the “Left,” if you will, that is infantile?

    If so, would the desire to bomb al-Jazeera and its employees a third time be adult behavior?

    It’s your blog, but haven’t you been flogging the dead horse long enough? Can’t we move on to Treasongate, Gamblingboatgate, or some other scandal?

  40. 40
    Buddy says:

    gounion

    I may be wrong, but I believe it was State Department that went off on the ‘only used as cover’ argument. There were quite a few Pentagon/related statements out there that made it clear WP was used as a ‘chase em out of the hole’ sort of thing.

  41. 41
    Christy says:

    Yes I see to you it IS a ‘great show’… you know WHY I know it is all a show to you..???

    Because if you spent HALF of the time it takes trying to save georgie to find bin laden,,, He would have already been found by now.

    I know it is a ‘show’ to you because you have yet to disprove or dispell a damn thing. Your too eager to give reviews of my ‘performance’ yet I see no real arguments being disputed by you.

    You call TP anti troop because they are trying to report the facts of the story. I say it is you who are anti troop for allowing your leader to become saudis lap dogs and break every international and domestic law we all lived by.

    EVERY TIME bush lips a saudi HE PROVES that his supporters are just as ready to excuse TREASON as he is.

  42. 42
    gounion says:

    Buddy,

    You may be right. So it’s the state department that lied, right?

    You can’t trust anything coming out of this administration, can you?

  43. 43
    Christy says:

    gounion

    That is the name of the blame game.

    EVERYONE is lying EXCEPT georgie.

  44. 44
    BushWacked says:

    Save your time Christy. At this point they realize they have lost the battle and have nothing substantial to bring to the table. Now, they have returned to an alternate reality where 1+1 can equal 33, apples are oranges, up is down, and Bush’s intellect is superior to Albert Einstein.

  45. 45
    Buddy says:

    No, it just proves DoS has no business making statements about military matters.

  46. 46
    Christy says:

    Buddy Says:

    No, it just proves DoS has no business making statements about military matters.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Yeah, they shouldnt have a damn thing to say about MILITARY MATTERS..

    You would rather leave that to a guy with 5 defferments and a desserter wouldnt you???

    Bush was missing 113 days.. Since you KNOW SO MUCH about the ‘military’ then you know 30 days or less is AWOL…

    113 days is DESSERTION…

    Gee maybe had they ever spent ONE DAY in battle THEY might have known how to hunt down an enemy and KILL HIM.

  47. 47
    Christy says:

    Well MAYBE 5 defferments COULD give you an edge on MILITARY MATTERS…

    I mean after all, when you spend so much time trying to avoid something you usually learn ALOT about the very thing you FEAR.

  48. 48
    Christy says:

    Bush’s intellect is superior to Albert Einstein.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    AHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

    Hahaha HEHEHE harharhar

    E=mc*

    is now

    EEE ghad

  49. 49
    Buddy says:

    Actually, you miss again Christy.

    I’d rather leave military matters to.. well, the military.

    And, no, DoS has nothing to say about military matters. That would be a pentagon jurisdiction.

    Keep going though. Every time you open your mouth you prove your lack of knowledge about everything you speak about.

  50. 50
    dano347 says:

    “There were quite a few Pentagon/related statements out there that made it clear WP was used as a ‘chase em out of the hole’ sort of thing.”

    Elucidate for us why a ‘chase em out of the hole’ sort of thing shouldn’t be considered use of chem weapons. And since you’ve said that, can we now blame John because it showed up in his comments section?

  51. 51
    gounion says:

    Sorry, Buddy, everytime I hear that, I set it to the Clinton standard. If it was the Clinton administration that did whatever, would the right feel the same?

    The answer: of oourse not. It would be another example of the Clinton inability to tell the truth.

    Try to be intellectually honest, eh? Trying to blame it on another department is still covering up lies.

  52. 52
    Buddy says:

    gounion:

    It would have been an intellectually dishonest ploy during the Clinton era, as much as it is now. Frankly DoS should shut up when it comes to military matters. When they don’t they embarrass themselves, it doesn’t matter who is president.

    dano347:

    ‘Shake em out of the hole’ use of WP is not use of chemical weapons because they aren’t (big fanfare) chemical weapons by definition.

    Its use as such in Fallujah is a psyop weapon, more than anything. Frankly its not real good for burning stuff (use thermite), it’s not good for illum (magnesium is much better), and it’s not terribly good for cover (smoke lifts too quickly). Other shells tend to put out more smoke, and there are a lot better cover weapons out there, many of them classified.

    It is good for marking a loc for HE bombardment though, which seems to be how it was used, as well as to rouse some ‘oh crap they are smoking this area, the marines are coming through here, we better run’ psychological panic, after which you blast em with HE shrapnel when they are out of cover.

  53. 53
    Christy says:

    Buddy Says:

    Actually, you miss again Christy.

    No actually I havn’t ‘missed’ at all.

    Leave the military matters to th… oh gee who leads that military again..? It seems you have forgotten what a ‘Commander and Chief is for.

    Still have not heard you say anything that dispells or disputes anything but do go ahead and keep telling people to shut up and they are ignorant. I mean it adds so much to an argument.

    And the next time you see georgie tounge a saudi in public… It will again prove that him and ALL of his supporters are more than happy with the mass murder of 3000 people on our soil one fine Sept day.

    Oh, … But so what you support licking saudis…

    SO WHAT???

    I mean, MY GAWD I am a infantile ignorant … whatever.

    WHY FIND BIN LADEN WHEN YOU CAN ATTACK YOUR OWN???

    The next time bush gets photographed tounging a saudi.. I will think of you Buddy, and how much it must THRILL YOU.

  54. 54

    Hey! It’s John “Intellectual Dishonesty” Cole!

    Remember Bill Clinton – the guy you all hated because he got blown by an intern? One of the funniest Clinton quotes out there is the infamous “depends on what the definition of is is.”

    You’re playing Clinton’s game – and you’re not very good at it.

    Perhaps now is a good time for some review:

    1. We used white phosphorus in Fallujah.
    2. We denied using white phosphorus in Fallujah.
    3. We admitted to using white phosphorus in Fallujah, but not as a weapon.
    4. We admitted to using white phosphorus in Fallujah as a weapon, but it isn’t a chemical weapon.

    OK – fair enough.

    The entire discussion now surrounds whether or not white phosphorus is a chemical weapon. That it is unconditionally NOT a chemical weapon is a poor and frankly embarrassing position for you to be arguing from.

    I’m certain that the people in Fallujah who died after exposure to white phosphorus from exploding WP artillery shells didn’t care what category the weapon technically fell into as they succumbed to its acid burn of their flesh.

    Just be thankful that we didn’t drop Sarin on them, right?

  55. 55
    Buddy says:

    Christy:

    If you don’t want to be told to sit down because you are uninformed, then I would suggest you make an attempt to learn some basic minutiae about the things you are presenting opinion on. Frankly when you make the sorts of statements you have been making, you will tend to get disregarded.

    Not to mention the whole odd fixation on ‘tounging saudis’ and making fun of people because of their given name.

  56. 56

    […] Hey! Look everybody! It’s John “Intellectual Dishonesty” Cole! […]

  57. 57
    PotVsKtl says:

    Christy, shut up. You’re an embarassment. At least Darrell et. al. behave as if they are capable of rational discourse. You’re just vomiting on your keyboard and calling it a paragraph.

  58. 58
    neil says:

    By the way, can I say how really very pleased I am to have all you hawks on the record saying that Pentagon intelligence data is meaningless because it’s totally unreliable? We’ve been trying to tell you this since before the war, but you guys just wouldn’t listen back then.

  59. 59
    Dave Ruddell says:

    Is it possible that Christy is actually a Mirror Universe version of DougJ (presumably with a beard)? Remember when DougJ first started posting, and he was the most extreme right-winger you could imagine, the it turned out he was just faking? Could this be the same phenomenon, but in reverse?

  60. 60
    dano347 says:

    ‘Shake em out of the hole’ use of WP is not use of chemical weapons because they aren’t (big fanfare) chemical weapons by definition.”

    So by this reasoning, if we deploy something that hasn’t been “defined” as a chem weapon yet because it is something devised on the battlefield, or in response to battlefield conditions (hypothetically speaking), we’re not using CM? It looks like hair-splitting to me.

  61. 61
    ppGaz says:

    Well, there’s the Christy approach, which I take as a positive sign .. namely, that any blithering idiot can figure out that the war is a clsuterfuck. Well, okay, maybe not ANY blithering idiot, since Darrell and TallDave remain unconvinced as of the last time they checked in.

    But anyway, for good, down to earth bitchslapping your opposition, you cannot beat this column:

    Kinsley Teaches Us How to Smack These Motherfuckers . Without resorting to gratuitous, stupid and destructive crap like the WP bullshit.

    Like I said, we have a strong case. We don’t need lies, and we don’t need to gratuitously smack the people serving the country, to make that case. We don’t have to act like Jane Fucking Fonda.

  62. 62
    John Cole says:

    Liberal Avenger:

    See if you can spot the difference between these statements:

    “US troops used illegal chemical weapons on civilians and enemy combatants in Fallujah.”

    -and-

    “US troops used a completely legal conventional round during combat operations in Fallujah.”

    You might see no difference, but I do.

    Furthermore, they never denied using WP.

  63. 63

    Wow. I mean, just wow. I long for the day when I thought Joe Albanese was thick.

    John,
    I gotta agree. Man.
    Some of you folks are really just ….. I just can’t think of an appropriate word to describe your condition.

  64. 64
    John Cole says:

    Adios Christy. I had enough.

  65. 65
    ppGaz says:

    John, are you sure you aren’t paying DougJ to invent Christy, so as to make those of us on the left look like crazy people?

    If you are, (a) no fair, and (b) you aren’t paying him enough, because he is succeeding beyond your wildest expectiations …..

  66. 66
    ppGaz says:

    Never mind.

  67. 67
    NotABushFan says:

    John,

    I’m afraid most people seem to be too poorly educated to understand your point.

    It’s noble of you to try so hard to set them straight but you’ve tried your hardest and it doesn’t seem to be working. Neither logic nor facts will not penetrate.

    I think we’re just going to reconcile ourselves that a certain segment of the population hates America and Americans and will do anything they can to smear them, regardless of whether it has any merit. It’s sad, but that’s the way it is.

    Thanks for all your effort, but maybe your time can be better spent elsewhere. Since so many people here seem to want to change the topic, maybe it’s time. (I’ll be interested to see, if you put a post up on one of their favorite topics, if they try to change the topic in the comments there too).

  68. 68

    WAR: Bravely Calling Retreat

    John Cole has the Think Progress crowd in headlong retreat on the white phosphorus nonsense….

  69. 69
    fugly says:

    So…how do you know US troops did not use white phosphorus against human targets in Fallujah? Were you there? Or do you merely assume it?

    What other assumptions have you made based on what you suspect or desire, rather than what you know?

    Nevermind. I’m sure the list is endless.

  70. 70
    ppGaz says:

    think we’re just going to reconcile ourselves that a certain segment of the population hates America and Americans

    You are the other side of the WP-War Criminal coin. When people in the middle wonder why some us get worked up enough to sign up for hysterical WP bullshit, they only need to look at comments like yours.

    Nobody around here hates America. But they can be excused for hating the kind of speech you put forth.

  71. 71

    WHY FIND BIN LADEN WHEN YOU CAN ATTACK YOUR OWN???

    Apparently Harry Reid was notified that bin Laden was killed during the earthquake in Pakistan…..unconfirmed to my knowledge or it would have been headlines world wide by now…

    Kind of interesting though…

    Cristy, also, you even make ME cringe, and I’m as far to the left philosophically as it gets. Be at least semi-rational for crying out loud.

    This WP issue is a end-run game to nowhere – move on to more important and substantiated issues. Believe me, there are more of them than I can count on both hands, more important and much more laudable goals to pursue.
    Frankly, I’m sick of this subject.

    A bullet is a chemical reaction for crying out loud when it is shot… you are playing a game of semantics, John included, which is a useless debate leading to nowhere. Gunpowder on the end of an arrow that is lit and then shot is also a chemical reaction. Chemical and Biological weapons surely have standards for designation as such and from what little I admittedly know, these weapons are meant for use to wipe out large populations, even entire cities or villages. (I’m sure some of the military folks in here can help me out with this.) I’ll tell you this, pacifist that I am, if someone was coming at me or mine and all I had in my hands was a bic lighter and a can of hairspray, I would use that “non-designated chemical weapon” to defend myself.

  72. 72
    ppGaz says:

    which is a useless debate leading to nowhere

    Actually, it’s quite useful to anyone who wants to take the time and care to be focussed on the issues that matter, and also to take care to recognize that a lot of the real harm done to this country by Jane Fonda was in discrediting the anti-war movement she thought she was promoting … the same mistake that DKos is making with the WP story. And for essentially the same reason.

    “Support the troops” is not just a yellow decal for your car. It’s a committment.

  73. 73

    Nobody around here hates America. But they can be excused for hating the kind of speech you put forth.

    ^5!

  74. 74

    Actually, it’s quite useful to anyone who wants to take the time and care to be focussed on the issues that matter, and also to take care to recognize that a lot of the real harm done to this country by Jane Fonda was in discrediting the anti-war movement she thought she was promoting … the same mistake that DKos is making with the WP story. And for essentially the same reason.

    “Support the troops” is not just a yellow decal for your car. It’s a committment.

    I know that – but, I still say this is an end-run to nowhere by dKOS, et al…..I’ve been reading these WP stories for months now on many blogs and chose to ignore them because I feel and felt the stories were just some theme to get people riled up. I have little doubt that people have died from this substance or that it has been literally used as a weapon against people…….but, in my mind, it’s no worse than my anology of hairspray and a bic lighter, but on a bit grander scale. I get your point. I’m just sickened by the conversation and what the entire topic has done to escalate this topic into a national issue. Sigh.

  75. 75
    Kris says:

    John Cole,

    As Think Progress asserted, “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.”

    Think Progress is correct. The comments of the source and subsource (the two Kurdish brothers) are included in the declassified report and one can view some of the SOURCE’s comments, but not all. The comments of only one of the Kurdish brothers, the SOURCE, is excerpted at the end of the report under “COMMENTS: 1. (SOURCE COMMENT) – IRAQ USED WP IN ERBIL AND DOHUK BECAUSE THEY WANTED THE KURDS TO PANIC AND FLEE FROM THE AREA. … 3. (SOURCE COMMENT) – MOST OF THE SMUGGLING OF REFUGEES ALONG THE IRAQI-TURKISH-IRANIAN BORDERS OCCURRED AT NIGHT.”

    If this report is a transcription of a discussion between two Kurdish Brothers, named in the report as SOURCE and SUBSOURCE, why is there under the COMMENTS section also included a “FIELD COMMENT.” It is shown in the report as follows: “4.(FIELD COMMENT) – ACCORDING TO THE TIMES’ WORLD
    ATLAS, THE TWO IRAQI PROVINCES ERBIL AND DOHUK ARE ALSO CALLED ARBIL AND DIHOK RESPECTIVELY.

    If your assertion is correct then would this not be a transcription of a conversation between the SOURCE, SUBSOURCE, and FIELD?

    Furthermore, the A., B., C., D., and E. sections under the TEXT of the report have nothing to do with the conversation between the Kurdish brothers. The A., B., C., D., and E. sections are OBVIOUSLY an elaboration of intelligence gathered.

    For anyone interested in what the classifications of “[ (b)(1) sec 1.3(a)(4) ][ (b)(7)(D) ]” in the report means, here is a short explanation. The Gulflink site has a short explanation for the purpose of the coding. The coding is an explanation as to why certain portions of the report were removed upon declassification. Part of the reason why John Cole is able to misrepresent the report is that it is in ascii with no formatting. The way that the ascii text appears might cause any nonexpert to believe that the order of the text is the order of its importance in the document.

    Because the conversation between the Kurdish brothers is reported first does not mean that it is the whole reason that the report was issued. Thorough analysis of the report might bring one to a more accurate conclusion, namely that the conversation between the brothers was added as one of many evidences listed in the report.

  76. 76
    LTJ says:

    The Bush Pentagon started all of this controversy by putting out their original LIE, saying WP was used only for battlefield illumination. However, an official Army periodical had already described in detail the so-called “shake-n-bake” tactics used by our forces in Falluja. These tactics involve killing opposing combatants (and any other humans who get in the way) by means of a toxic chemical effect on the lungs ==> thus a Chemical Weapon, by whatever name you like. And, like Napalm and Torture, it’s no longer used by most civilized countries.

  77. 77
    John Cole says:

    Kris-

    Furthermore, the A., B., C., D., and E. sections under the TEXT of the report have nothing to do with the conversation between the Kurdish brothers. The A., B., C., D., and E. sections are OBVIOUSLY an elaboration of intelligence gathered/

    I stand by what I have stated, and include the informed opinion of a senior officer in the military who works with this stuff. Further, if there is any distortion, it is by TP, who insist that this somehow suggests the Pentagon considers WP a chemical weapon. Unedited raw intelligence is just that, and not an ELABORATION of intelligence gathered. Nor is it indicative of a Pentagon position.

    LTJ- The periodical in question is this Field Artillery Magazine:

    “WP [i.e., white phosphorus rounds] proved to be an effective and versatile munition,” the article’s author wrote. “We used it for screening missions at two breeches and, later in the fight, as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes when we could not get effects on them with HE. We fired ‘shake and bake’ missions at the insurgents, using WP to flush them out and HE to take them out.”

    That is in no way using WP as a ‘chemical weapon.’

  78. 78
    ppGaz says:

    by means of a toxic chemical effect on the lungs

    AKA “smoke?”

  79. 79
    Sirkowski says:

    I’m sure the burned bodies care.

  80. 80
    MG says:

    John,

    This is my first time looking at your site, and I am dismayed the the irrational claims various parties make against you.

    As I understand this fracas, ThinkProgress stated things that are accurate, but in a manner that misleads their readers to believe something that is counterfactual.

    For example, if Michael Moore were to say, “I don’t own a single share of stock”, most of us would believe that he owns NO stock. In fact, he could own a million shares, and be accurate in his claims.

    If I were to state that John Murtha is a highly decorated veteran, and that one of the toughest jobs of any division commander in Vietnam was to lead troops in battle, THEN one could reasonably believe that I characterized Representative Murtha as a division commander in Vietnam. In reality, I have stated a fact, and an opinion, about TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE, but my listeners wouldn’t realize that.

    As WJ Clinton made clear to us, the gap between the what a speaker actually states and the inferences their audiences make can be as large as the Grand Canyon, but only the speaker will know that. It is the most cynical of calculated manipulations, and your shriller critics are either ignorant of such matters, or ardent practitioners of it.

    Congratulations, lefties — you master Goebbel’s propaganda techniques while engaging in “tu quoque” against your opponents, and then claiming to love “America”. Ki$$ off!

    — a disable Army vet.

  81. 81
    Kris says:

    John Cole,

    The reason why the classification of white phosphorus “WP” as a chemical weapon or not as a chemical weapon is important is because it was used against Iraqis by the US Army. This is documented in the following report issued by one of the Army’s official magazines entitled “Field Artillery.” The March-April 2005 magazine article can be found here.

    The magazine reported “[White Phosphorous] proved to be an effective and versatile munition… [and] as a potent psychological weapon against the insurgents in trench lines and spider holes.”

    The magazine went on to report “We fired “shake and bake” missions at the insurgents, using WP [White Phosphorous] to flush them out and HE [high explosives] to take them out.”

    In addition, Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman admitted to the BBC that “It [WP] was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants.” He went on to say that WP was not used against civilians. Earlier, the Pentagon only admitted to WP being used for illumination.

    John Cole, why would the Pentagon lie about the Army’s use of WP in Iraq?

    In another turn of events, the Army’s own rules of combat forbid the use of WP against even enemies. Published in 1999, the Battle Book of the US Army Command and General Staff College, reads, “It is against the law of land warfare to employ WP against personnel targets.” It can be found here: http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101.....5sect3.htm

    This is why Think Progress’s “TP’s” report is so important. TP asserted that the recently declassified report proves that the US Gov’t stated that white phosporus was a chemical weapon when it was used by Sadaam’s regime against the Kurdish population. This raises an important question that you are trying to avoid. Does the US Gov’t have a definition of chemical weapons when the US Gov’t uses them and another definition of chemical weapons when the US Gov’t’s enemies use them? The Pentagon contends that WP is not a chemical weapon when the US uses it against Iraqi insurgents, but WP was a chemical weapon when Sadaam used it against the Kurds. Do you see the illogical claims? The US Gov’t is proffering an ambiguous definition of the classification of WP. How can chemical weapon equal WP and chemical weapon not equal WP at the same time?

  82. 82
    Jason says:

    LTJ, get a clue.

    1.) The Pentagon never claimed that WP was only used for illumination purposes. That was the State Department and they were not competent to comment on the subject matter. Much like yourself.

    2.) Field Artillery magazine in no way referred to WP as “having a toxic effect on the lungs.”

    3.) White phosphorus is still used by almost every modern army in the world.

    Kris – You need to get whacked on the head with a cluebat, too. The unedited, unanalyzed, raw reports written by private snuffy the intel RTO in the field do not have the force of doctrine, and in no way represent the official position of the Pentagon, any more than the bumper sticker on a janitor’s car represents the official position of Microsoft.

  83. 83
    John Cole says:

    Kris- Thanks for linking to the SAME ARTILLERY MAGAZINE I linked to, and still not getting it.

    I give up. Believe what you want to believe.

  84. 84
    a guy called larry says:

    stated things that are accurate, but in a manner that misleads their readers to believe something that is counterfactual

    This is the essence of what’s wrong with the USA’s standing in this war, left and right, boiled down to one sentence.

  85. 85
    robert green says:

    Really, MG?

    i mean, you couldn’t come up with one bit of nonsense from say, ann coulter, to make your point? just happened to be Michael Moore?

    couldn’t find one republican whose war record has/had been misrepresented? just happened to come across john murtha?

    and it was WJ Clinton who made the inference thing clear? not,say, Ronald Reagan and his ever-evolving explanations of his remembrance of things past like Iran-Contra? Nixon didn’t make that sort of thing clear to you as well?

    And, having shown yourself to be the worst, most dishonest sort of polemicist, you then go right to the nazis? oh, and you define your oppositions love of their own country for them? how nice.

    and once again with the synedoche–you see, “lefties” as represented by what, the people you read on the comment board of this website? really, you are sure that they speak for all lefties? that they represent “the left”? could you do me a favor and give me your definition of “the left”?

    look, it’s boring to pick apart so much bullcrap, and frankly you may come to your anger and hatred and misanthropy the hard way, if you are in fact what you claim to be in the last line of your hate-spew. if so, i’m sorry that you have drawn the conclusions you have drawn.

    now, back to the thread. i think John has failed in his attempt to malign thinkprogress from a substantive and logical perspective. but i may be wrong about that–i’m inclined to believe that so it may color my view too much for objectivity. nonetheless, it is indicative of where we have come as a country these past five years that hair-splitting on chemical weapons abuse and torture is the debate of the day. this country is at a low ebb in its history–i hope that we have bottomed out.

  86. 86
    N. O'Brain says:

    Well, yeah, WP is a chemical weapon. But so is friggin’ gun powder.

    The lie is in the fact that TP (what a GREAT abbreviation) is trying to conflate WP with REAL chemical WMDs, like VX or sarin.

    Basically it’s a low, despicable trick, another cheap attempt to undermine America’s war effort.

  87. 87
    Kris says:

    Jason,

    I’m not sure whether the Pentagon said that WP is used for illumination, but they did say that it was used for obscuration and that they knew of no cases where WP was used against people.

    On November 8th, Lt. Col. Steve Boylan, the director of the Pentagon’s Combined Press Information Center in Baghdad, was interviewed by Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. He said: “I know of no cases where people were deliberately targeted by the use of white phosphorus. Again, I did not say white phosphorus was used for illumination. White phosphorus is used for obscuration, which white phosphorus produces a heavy thick smoke to shield us or them from view so that they cannot see what we are doing. It is used to destroy equipment, to destroy buildings. That is what white phosphorus shells are used for.” You can view the whole broadcast here: http://www.democracynow.org/ar.....17/1515223

    The BBC article states that the US State Department said that WP was for illumination purposes.

    Whether for illumination or obscuration, the Pentagon just recently admitted to using it against people. Jason, that is the major point!

  88. 88
    John Cole says:

    i think John has failed in his attempt to malign thinkprogress from a substantive and logical perspective. but i may be wrong about that—i’m inclined to believe that so it may color my view too much for objectivity. nonetheless, it is indicative of where we have come as a country these past five years that hair-splitting on chemical weapons abuse and torture is the debate of the day. this country is at a low ebb in its history—i hope that we have bottomed out.

    I refuse to cede that point to you. I am not engaging in hair-splitting at all. I assert there is a clear difference between the following statements:

    “United States soldiers and Marines used White Phosphorus, a conventional munition openly carried in the military inventory and used by nations around the world, in their battles and skirmishes in Fallujah.”

    and

    “United States soldiers and Marines used illegal chemical weapons on civilians and insurgents in Fallujah.”

    I am n ot hair splitting at all- our guys were completely within their rights to use WP the way they did. The hair-splitting that is taking place is being done by your side of this debate, in a disgusting attempt to pretend that WP is a chemical weapon, or ‘the same as’ a chemical weapon, or ‘just like’ a chemical weapon.

    Let’s be clear about this.

  89. 89
    BumperStickerist says:

    I realize everybody left reading this far down in a comment thread is whip-smart … may I ask a question of our leftie friends?

    Where in the US Pentagon briefing, in its words, does it say, specifically, that “White Phosphorus” is a chemical weapon?

    http://www.opcw.org – is the ‘Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons’ – if you search on *their site*, which you can get to from the US Gov site, btw – they have this listing regarding ‘Phophorus Chemical Weapons’

    Quote from OPCW re: “Phosphorus Chemical Weapons”
    Lethal organo-phosphorus compounds inhibiting cholinesterase

    Source: A FOA Briefing Book on Chemical Weapons

    Among lethal CW agents, the nerve agents have had an entirely dominant role since the Second World War. Nerve agents acquired their name because they affect the transmission of nerve impulses in the nervous system. All nerve agents belong chemically to the group of organo-phosphorus compounds. They are stable and easily dispersed, highly toxic and have rapid effects both when absorbed through the skin and via respiration. Nerve agents can be manufactured by means of fairly simple chemical techniques. The raw materials are inexpensive and generally readily available.

    It was not until the early 1930’s that German chemists observed that organo-phosphorus compounds could be poisonous. In 1934, Dr Gerhard Schrader, a chemist at IG Farben, was given the task of developing a pesticide. Two years later a phosphorus compound with extremely high toxicity was produced for the first time. According to contemporary regulations, discoveries with implications had to be reported to the concerned authorities, which was also done with Schrader’s discovery. This phosphorus compound, given the name tabun, was the first of the substances later referred to as nerve agents.

    emphasis added;

    Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, the fact that the Pentagon is *considering* a report of a large puffy white cloud described as ‘White Phosphorus’ by local kurdish as a “Phosphorus Chemical Weapon” could simply mean that the Pentagon didn’t rule out the possibility that Hussein had actually fired a Phosporus Chemical Weapon on the crowd, which he had done before.

    The report of ‘white phosphorus’ could have been erroneous. I’m guessing, just guessing mind you, that a UN Inspector like Scott Ridder was not on hand to test soil samples at the time. Just a hunch.

    Not to mention JC’s previous point that the US Military firing very specific ordance, for an extrememly specific reason, at particular individuals is different from airbursting a couple dozen rounds over the heads of school children and their parents to make them flee an area.

    Interestingly, if you go to the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons website and search for ‘White Phosphorus’ … you get zero hits.

    None.

    Nada.

    Lots of hits on phosphorus, though …

    … just none on ‘White Phosphorus’

  90. 90
    BumperStickerist says:

    yes,yes … Scott Ritter

    and the OPCW site does have a great deal of info on the history of chemical warfare.

  91. 91
    Jason says:

    the Pentagon just recently admitted to using it against people. Jason, that is the major point!

    It’s a pretty stupid point, because there’s nothing wrong with using WP against people, if they’re trying to kill you.

    It’s not illegal, it’s not immoral, it violates no treaty to which the US is signatory.

    I hope they used a lot of it. As long as they used enough HE to do the real killing.

    Once you come to the point where you’re willing to fire HE at a target, it is perfectly justifiable to use WP as well, if you as the observer believe that the WP round will be more effective or cause less collateral damage (or more, if you’re shooting at a fuel farm.)

  92. 92
    Buddy says:

    BumperStickerist:

    There are quite a few organo-phosphorus chem weapons out there, of which include such (real) chemical weapons as tabum, sarin, soman, VX – obviously dangerous in even minute amounts. Many insecticides such as malithiaon, dursban, and diazinon belong to this group; indeed most nerve agents are organophospates. Pretty much all of them, including the insecticides, are cholinesterase inhibitors.

    See here: http://www.emedicine.com/neuro/topic286.htm

    Nice catch, dude. I hadn’t thought of it up until you mentioned it.

  93. 93
    Kris says:

    BumperStickerist,

    The report that you read did not discuss White Phosphorus aka Phosphorus Tetramer (because of the four phosphorus atoms that make up its molecular structure) as a chemical weapon. It only listed several organo-phosphorus molecules as chemical weapons. WP has been employed by the military for obscuration and against enemy combatants, as stated by the Pentagon.

    The whole reason that everyone is talking about this is because an Italian state broadcaster, RAI TV, aired the documentary, Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre. It documented civilians also being targeted with WP by US Forces. The documentary charges U.S. warplanes illegally dropped white phosphorus incendiary bombs on civilian populations, burning the skin off Iraqi victims.

    You might call the intelligence that TP reported on a mistake, but that has yet to be proven. What has been proven, however, is that the WMD intelligence was a mistake!

    Jason,

    Is using WP against civilians in Iraq or “casualties of war” also justified?

    How can we claim to be fighting the war on terror when we exert terror on the civilians of Iraq? Civilians hit by WP in Iraq might be termed “casualties of war,” but in reality the relatives or friends of those who are the “casualties of war” might just become the aid to the terrorists.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    rs says:

    Meanwhile,in the part of the world that isn’t the US,use of WP is one more PR disaster-they appreciate the irony in the use of chemical weapons(their words,not mine)in a war to prevent the use of chemical weapons.Fortunately,they’re distracted by revelations of the president’s hard-on for Al-Jazeera.

  96. 96
    slide says:

    John Cole:

    Wow. I mean, just wow.

    I long for the day when I thought Joe Albanese was thick.

    ahhh… what a little fuck you are John. Not even commenting and I get insulted. Fortunate for you that my job no longer affords me the opportunity to embarass you with facts and logic quite as often as I had in the past. It was losing its pleasure anyway, not enough of a challenge. I could always count on you to say something exceedingly and profoundly dumb. I’ll let others have the delight of exposing the ignorance of the little professor from West Virgina.

  97. 97
    BumperStickerist says:

    The whole reason that everyone is talking about this is because an Italian state broadcaster, RAI TV, aired the documentary, Fallujah: The Hidden Massacre.

    Right.

    It documented civilians also being targeted with WP by US Forces. The documentary charges U.S. warplanes illegally dropped white phosphorus incendiary bombs on civilian populations, burning the skin off Iraqi victims.

    Right. The problem with that falls along what you see in ‘CSI’ If white phosphorus was used, why’d the skin burn and not the clothes? Why would the US bring in an airstrike when artillery troops had a developed protocol, ‘shake and bake’ to address the situation in Fallujah?

    You might call the intelligence that TP reported on a mistake, but that has yet to be proven.

    Actually, I’m calling TP’s reporting a mistake.

    They’re reading the words on the Pentagon report but don’t understand their meaning, they won’t listen to people with applicable experience in both artillery and intel, and, it seems the good folks at TP are hell-bent on mischaracterizing what bits of information they have come across.

    What has been proven, however, is that the WMD intelligence was a mistake!

    No. I’d say that the intel wasn’t proven a mistake.

    Two things are generally glossed over with Bush and Iraq.

    One point is that the ‘run-up’ to the war lasted over a year and involved the US making several trips to the United Nations. That hardly qualifies as Bush having a headlong dash to topple Saddam.

    What has not been determined is whether Saddam had stockpiles of WMD materials, precursor chemicals, et cetera and that he shipped out those items during that year (the reports do not declare that that did not happen, btw).

    To put this another way – if, during a police raid, the person flushes the drugs down the toilet, does that mean they didn’t have it? What if the police announce well in advance that they’re coming over?

    The Left (and peaceniks in general) exhibit a Defense Lawyers mentality regarding this issue: the drugs were flushed, there is no proof, my client should be set free. That’s fine and dandy for a courtroom setting. Which this isn’t.

    The second issue not taken into consideration with the war in Iraq are the costs of the pre-war inspections.

    There was a cost to UN inspections. If you recall, it took upwards of 100,000 US/British troops with materiel stationed in Kuwait to get Saddam to let a maximum of 100 UN inspectors in.

    Leaving aside what we know *now* about the United Nations Oil-for-Food corruption, how much credence does the left give the proposition that 100 people can adequately determine the status of a WMD program — given Saddam’s history regarding the matter? A defense lawyer might put a great deal of credence in the UN’s answer – I don’t.

    100 people can do alot – assert conclusively that Iraq does not pose a threat regarding WMD is not one.

    So, the costs of the war are actually pretty close to the costs of the inspections. The difference being that 2-3 years of UN inspections enabled by the presence of 100,000 troops in Kuwait would get you a dozen or so of UN reports and Saddam still in power.

    Regarding the intel and Bush’s ‘lying’. Personally, I think simple corruption and fear in Iraq account for the presence of dire intel on Iraq’s WMD programs (among all intel communities) and a lack of actual WMDs.

    Saddam was not a nice guy, let’s not forget. He gave a hellofalot of money to his generals and scientists to develop chemical, biological, along with developing a nuclear weapons. What, exactly, do you think those scientists and generals are going to report back? “Sorry, Saddam, it didn’t work?”

    I think there would have been a great deal of incentive for the recipients of Saddam’s money to lie their ass off to save their (and their family’s) ass.

    Think of it this way – if FDR were a murderous dictorial bastard who came to power as the result of a coup and decided to fund the Manhatten Project, what would be the result?

    If you went by the paper trail, the United States would have had the bomb by 1943, because all the scientists who said it couldn’t be done that quick would be dead.

    But if you went by the actual, physical presence of an atomic bomb, you’d have found nothing. That doesn’t mean the intel is bad.

    Barring the WMDs being sent off to Syria, and leaving aside a bunker full of WMDs sitting out in the desert somewhere, I imagine Saddam was as surprised as anybody that no WMDs had been found.

    .

  98. 98
    John Cole says:

    Slide- I apoogize. That was not meant to sound as snotty as it did (towards you, at least). My point was that I thought you were wild and crazy and out of it, until I saw these folks. You look like a damned centrist by compariosn.

    At any rate, I apologize for the insult.

  99. 99
    rachel says:

    To sum up this thread: a whole lotta people beating each other over the heads with selected facts and opinions rather than using the reason God gave them. Very tedious and sad.

  100. 100
    ppGaz says:

    One point is that the ‘run-up’ to the war lasted over a year and involved the US making several trips to the United Nations.

    Bush visits UN on Sept 12 2002.

    US launches Iraq war March 2003.

    That’s a six month period of time.

    The US does not “make trips” to the United Nations; an American delegation is on posted there, and is on duty whenever the body is in session.

    Please don’t pull stuff out of your ass. Nobody was talking about a war in Iraq in March 2002. Bush had included Iraq in his “Axis of evil” meme in January 2002, but nobody concluded that this meant an intent to go to war.

    Huge pressure was brought to bear on Congress to pass a “use of force” resolution in October, in order to leverage the effect of the upcoming election. Between the UN and the resolution, less than 30 days.

    After the holiday period, the talk was of the necessity to start the war before summer hot weather began. The “threat” was said to be too great to postpone action.

    Of course, that turned out to be wrong. That’s according to Dick Cheney last week, who said “”The flaws in the intelligence are plain enough in hindsight.”

    Yeah, no shit, Sherlock.

    Please don’t make up the history.

  101. 101
    Steve S says:

    So, seriously… Your new argument is that these leftists are liars for believing intelligence coming from the Pentagon?

    That’s seriously your position?

    I thought the left were all asshats for claiming the President did the same thing.

  102. 102
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Rachel: You know what’s really sad? We are actually having discussions (of a sort) over whether an American president and his administration authorized the use of torture on prisoners, used WMD against civilian populations, took us to war over a lie (or merely was too narcissistic and stupid to properly figure the intelligence), and in the process turned what was once the light and hope of the world into an international moral leper. All the while running up $1.05 trillion in new debt, which represents a doubling of everything we as a nation had borrowed before.

    But there is some good news for the future. Bush, as a conservative Republican, has pretty much verified everything we on the left had always believed about the right. And in the process has turned the followers of this now disgraced political persuasion into apologists for some of the worst atrocities ever committed by a post World War 2 Western nation.

  103. 103
    Slide says:

    Cole:

    My point was that I thought you were wild and crazy and out of it,

    You should have known me when I was young. I’ve mellowed quite a bit. Apology accepted. You’re still a dick though.

  104. 104
    Sirius1 says:

    “So, the costs of the war are actually pretty close to the costs of the inspections. The difference being that 2-3 years of UN inspections enabled by the presence of 100,000 troops in Kuwait would get you a dozen or so of UN reports and Saddam still in power.” -BumperStickerist

    You really don’t think the deaths of over 2100 brave US Servicemen factor into the cost of this war? Why don’t you run down to your local recruiting station and sign your cowardly ass up for a tour of duty?

  105. 105
  106. 106
    Slide says:

    I have not bothered to read all the comments in this thread because I think we are all talking past one another at this point. I can’t understand how those like John Cole do not see what I see, and I am sure he thinks the same of me. I have no desire to label our soldiers war criminals. They are doing what they have been trained and told to do and they are doing that both bravely and honorably. That being said it is still wrong, in my opinion, for our nation to use WP in a city where there are still likely civilians.

    Michael Strickings posting in the Moderate Voice says it much more eloquently than I could ever hope to:

    Again, fair enough. But is that where the story ends? For some, yes. The U.S. used it, but it’s not a chemical weapon, its use is not prohibited by treaty, and it may be a useful agent on the battlefield — where, let us not forget, our troops’ lives are at risk.

    But I come back to this: What message does the use of WP send to those whose hearts and minds the U.S. is trying to win over? After all, they’re not interested in whether or not WP is a chemical weapon by definition or whether or not the U.S. is a signatory to this or that convention or protocol or whatever. They’re not interested in the chemistry of WP or its deployment on the battlefield as a smoke-screening agent. Rather, they’re interested in how the U.S. conducts itself in a war of its own making as it attempts to spread freedom and democracy around the world, in speech if not always in deed.

    Perhaps the Pentagon — perhaps America’s civilian leadership — needs to do a better job explaining why it does what it does. If it was absolutely necessary to use WP on the battlefield in Fallujah, then make that case. If it wasn’t, then there’d better be a good reason why it was used.

    Let me be clear about something before I end: I do not believe that there is any sort of moral equivalency between America and her enemies. I have said that before and I say it again. Criticizing the U.S. for using WP or for torturing detainees is not to imply that the U.S. is at the moral level of the Islamofascists, as they’re now being called, or of, say, the Nazis.

    But America must be held to a higher standard. That is why torture must be repudiated and why the use of WP in Iraq must at least be questioned. I won’t say conclusively that it should or shouldn’t have been used, but the discussion must take place within the context of that higher standard.

    That’s what the world expects of America. And that’s what Americans should expect of themselves.

  107. 107
    Dave Ruddell says:

    Whoa, linking to a Monbiot article; that is brave. Monbiot claims that chemical weapons are:

    “any chemical which through its chemical action on life processes can cause death, temporary incapacitation or permanent harm”(5).

    The definition is from the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction. Okay, but WP doesn’t cause damage from chemical action, like say cholinesterase inhibitors do. Mr. Monbiot reasons thusly; WP reacts (chemically) with air to become hot, then causes horrible injuries, therefore it’s a chemical weapon. Of course, as many have argued here in the last week or so you could also argue thusly; a HE round filled with (say) RDX reacts chemically to generate large amounts of heat and large volumes of gas, which causes horrible injuries, therefore it’s a chemical weapon. One could make similar arguments for bullets.

    The only way you can consider WP to be a chemical weapon is to stretch the definition of ‘chemical weapon’ so that it becomes meaningless.

  108. 108

    That being said it is still wrong, in my opinion, for our nation to use WP in a city where there are still likely civilians.

    Why?

    We use forward observers to ensure that we know what is being shot at. Any indication that civilians would be put at risk would trigger a different decision than to use this weapon.

  109. 109
    Dave Ruddell says:

    That being said it is still wrong, in my opinion, for our nation to use WP in a city where there are still likely civilians.

    I suppose I might be able to get behind that statement if you replaced ‘WP’ with ‘artillery’. From what I have been able to understand from the conversations about the subject around these parts, WP is the type of round available that is least likely to cause civilian casualties. If you insist on just singling out WP, you are buying into the idea that there is something particularly horrific about WP, as compared with HE, or other munitions (which I can’t remember the name of. Not a military member)

    Of course, this would lead to a larger discussion of whether or not the use of weapons with large area effects in civilian areas is appropriate, but that becomes separate from the issue of WP.

  110. 110
    Mithi says:

    Some more hair-splitting, if I may: John Cole, what about the US Army Doctrine?

    “(4) Burster Type White phosphorus (WP M110A2) rounds burn with intense heat and emit dense white smoke. They may be used as the initial rounds in the smokescreen to rapidly create smoke or against material targets, such as Class V sites or logistic sites. It is against the law of land warfare to employ WP against personnel targets.”

    source

  111. 111

    Congratulations, lefties—you master Goebbel’s propaganda techniques while engaging in “tu quoque” against your opponents, and then claiming to love “America”. Ki$$ off!
    —a disable Army vet.

    Be very careful……I’m left of everyone here and I agree with John. So kiss off yourself.

  112. 112

    You know what’s really sad? We are actually having discussions (of a sort) over whether an American president and his administration authorized the use of torture on prisoners, used WMD against civilian populations, took us to war over a lie (or merely was too narcissistic and stupid to properly figure the intelligence), and in the process turned what was once the light and hope of the world into an international moral leper. All the while running up $1.05 trillion in new debt, which represents a doubling of everything we as a nation had borrowed before. But there is some good news for the future. Bush, as a conservative Republican, has pretty much verified everything we on the left had always believed about the right. And in the process has turned the followers of this now disgraced political persuasion into apologists for some of the worst atrocities ever committed by a post World War 2 Western nation.

    Paddy -That is one hell of a summation… just beautiful, actually…

  113. 113
    ppGaz says:

    turned what was once the light and hope of the world into an international moral leper.

    Why aren’t we hearing more of the good things about moral leprosy?

  114. 114
    Jason says:

    Is using WP against civilians in Iraq or “casualties of war” also justified?

    First of all, get off your usage of the word “civilians.” It’s obsolete. The correct terms are “combatant” or “noncombatant.” Not every civilian is a noncombatant. And not every noncombatant is a civilian.

    Second of all, the use of WP against combatants is justified for the same reason the use of HE and DPICM against them is justified. That reasoning does not change when the enemy chooses to hide in areas with a large number of noncombatants. The law of land warfare does not concede an advantage to those who violate it by hiding among noncombatants. All structures occupied by the enemy are legitimate for targeting by all forms of ordnance.

    The only caveat comes from a military judicial concept dating back to the middle ages called jus in bello. One of the principles of jus in bello is proportionality. By that I mean that the military force used must be proportional to the threat. You can’t use a daisy cutter to take out a sniper holed up in a schoolyard if there are children next door.

    But you can sure as shit take him out with mortar fire, if the tactical situation dictates.

    The bottom line: If the enemy is fighting from a mosque, you can kill him there. You can destroy the mosque in an airstrike if you feel you must.

    If the enemy occupies and fights from a schoolyard, you can kill him there. If the enemy hides behind a woman and her child and points a gun at you, you can kill him then, too. Most guys would hesitate, but they would be entirely justified in a combat situation to take their chances with a well-aimed shot.

    The mooj don’t get a “get out of jail free” card everytime they hide among civilians. Indeed, they should be targeted for death even more severely when they do so.

    How can we claim to be fighting the war on terror when we exert terror on the civilians of Iraq? Civilians hit by WP in Iraq might be termed “casualties of war,” but in reality the relatives or friends of those who are the “casualties of war” might just become the aid to the terrorists.

    Pure conjecture. It’s better to kill the terrorists where they are. In November of 2004, they were in Fallujah.

    We closed with and destroyed the enemy in house-to-house, close-quarters combat in Fallujah. If you think “winning hearts and minds” was a primary consideration then, you’re too naive for words.

    The best way to win hearts and minds is to be the baddest motherfuckers in country, and demonstrate to the Iraqi people that we win our battles.

    The worst way to win hearts and minds is to cede ground or time to the enemy.

  115. 115
    rilkefan says:

    “some of the worst atrocities ever committed by a post World War 2 Western nation.”

    This I think is wildly inaccurate. Ok, so we crucified a guy, and we ran mock executions, and we beat a dozen or dozens of people to death, we used a water torture on some number of people. Compared to what the French did in Algeria, that’s a pat on the cheek. The Dutch actions in Indonesia and elsewhere? The whole end-of-European-colonialism-in-Africa mess? The Bikini Islands testing?

  116. 116
    rilkefan says:

    “Second of all, the use of WP against combatants is justified”

    So here’s a main point I don’t understand about John‘s position – the army manual seems to prohibit direct use of WP against combatants, and there seems to be testimony it was in fact used against personnel. If the WP-is-ok camp would say, “Yep, it was a mistake to use WP there (assuming the testimony holds up), and we should do a better job of following procedures, but such is life, and if evidence of intentional use against civilians turns up I’ll be livid, and the title of that report may indicate a particular guy in an office in the Pentagon thinks WP is a CW but it doesn’t matter what one low-level functionary thinks or wrote, what matters is the official classification, and yes the way the admin handled this story was bumbling and their track record of honesty is poor but there’s no hard evidence to make the WP-is-evil case as things stand” – then I would probably sign on.

  117. 117
    Beej says:

    Who in the world is this Christy person and what is she smoking?

  118. 118
    WOG says:

    Cole is not only an idiot, but one who is endangering the lives of our troops.
    There’s nothing worse than a bully, unless of course that bully is also extremely ignorant.

  119. 119

    Mithi: You quote one source, that is a student produced “Battle Book” albeit from the CGSC, nevertheless has that admonition been repeated, before or since, in any other army manual.

    Further an ST manual (this one is ST 100-3) is not “doctrinal.” It is a student aide and should rely on actual doctrinal publications for its content, gathered into one place for the assistance of the students.

    Finally, even if neither of the foregoing were true, this entry refers to one (of many) 155mm artillery rounds The M 110A2). It is not discussing WP in general, only this one round.

  120. 120
    MG says:

    >i mean, you couldn’t come up with one bit of nonsense >from say, ann coulter, to make your point?

    I have heard she is a polemecist, but I have read nothing of hers. I presume, from your statement that she likely is just as misleadingly selective as lotsa other folks, including Michael Moore.

    >couldn’t find one republican whose war record has/had >been misrepresented? just happened to come across john >murtha?

    I don’t recall besmirching Mr. Murtha’s war record. I simply illustrated (effectively, it seems) one of the many misleading ways of speaking accurately.

    BUT, since you asked about a Republican, I would start with President Bush. It is quite clear that:

    1) he served honorably on active duty for over two years; 2) learned to fly a somewhat risky high performance interceptor jet;
    3) Joined a unit at the time that unit was sending pilots to Vietnam;
    4) Volunteered to fly combat missions in said unit, but had insufficient flight hours;
    5) Once he had sufficient flight hours, his jet was no longer used in Vietnam, so (through no fault of his own) didn’t fly in Vietnam;

    We all recall how much slime got thrown at the National Guard during the 2004 election campaign, don’t we?

    > and it was WJ Clinton who made the inference thing clear?

    He made the inference thing quite clear with his tortured explanation about “is”.

    > not,say, Ronald Reagan and his ever-evolving
    > explanations of his remembrance of things past like Iran-> Contra? Nixon didn’t make that sort of thing clear to
    > you as well?

    Well, I was a bit young when Nixon resigned, and was in late adolescence during Reagan’s presidency, but I suppose that all politicians, at all levels, engage in this sort of misdirection. I pointed out Clinton because he was so damn good at it, that even someone as pollyanish as I used to be came to understand that I really did need to acutely follow verifiable facts and actions, and not words, to understand history.

    >And, having shown yourself to be the worst, most
    >dishonest sort of polemicist, you then go right to the >nazis? oh, and you define your oppositions love of their >own country for them? how nice.

    Really? The worst, the most dishonest? How does one measure such things? How do YOU evaluate such things? Since you dislike my referencing Goebbels, why not acknowledge that the very tactics that I am decrying are the very tactics that propagandists of all eras use? Why not acknowledge that if one uses such tactics, such a person is rending the very fabric of liberal (vs. Democrat, not leftist, not Republican, not rightist) politics?

    > and once again with the synedoche—you see, “lefties” as >`represented by what, the people you read on the comment > board of this website? really, you are sure that they
    > speak for all lefties? that they represent “the left”?
    > could you do me a favor and give me your definition
    > of “the left”?

    I think “the left”, like so many historically useful words, has become an almost meaningless term. So here are a couple proposals. It is not all inclusive. Batteries not included, your mileage may vary, and if the shoe fits….

    1. The various offspring of Marx (Karl, not Groucho, Harpo, Chico, or Zeppo).
    2. The folks who call themselves “transnational progressives”, and, witting or not, their fellow travelers.
    3. The “why do they hate us?” crowd, and their fellow travelers.
    4. The “US is the font of all evil in the world” crowd, and their fellow travelers.

    I do NOT regard “liberal” and “left” as synonymous. “Liberal” suggests that individual liberty is of highest priority, while “left” suggests that the state is of highest priority. I should state that while Christopher Hitchens describes himself as a leftist, his writings suggest he is a liberal. But hey, I am no political science major, so my descriptions may not fit the canonical definitions.

    > look, it’s boring to pick apart so much bullcrap, and
    > frankly you may come to your anger and hatred and
    > misanthropy the hard way, if you are in fact what you
    > claim to be in the last line of your hate-spew. if so,
    > i’m sorry that you have drawn the conclusions you have
    > drawn.

    If is so boring, then why bother? If it is so evidently bullcrap, why bother? Are you REALLY the arbiter of what my feelings are? “Misanthropy” seems a rather odd word to describe someone whose liberal politics are based in its traditional meaning. “Hate-spew” is also one of those nice question-begs that logicians tell us is fallacious.
    However, this particular paragraph is an exemplar of the type of “argument” that I find so destructive of a liberal polity.

    > now, back to the thread. i think John has failed in his
    > attempt to malign thinkprogress from a substantive and
    > logical perspective. but i may be wrong about that—i’m
    > inclined to believe that so it may color my view too
    > much for objectivity. nonetheless, it is indicative of
    > where we have come as a country these past five years
    > that hair-splitting on chemical weapons abuse and
    > torture is the debate of the day. this country is at a
    > low ebb in its history—i hope that we have bottomed out.

    “Hair-splitting”?!? Excuse me, but getting to agreed upon, specific definitions is essential to law. If one wishes to discuss international law, that is. If one only wants to preach to a choir, or establish one’s bona fides as a member of the “club”, one can refer to important legal principles as so much “hair-splitting”. It rather reminds me of the wedding scene in “The Holy Grail” —

    “Let’s not go around talking about who killed who. This is supposed to be a happy occasion!”

  121. 121
    Outraged says:

    So what the hell are we doing in Iraq, anyhow? Why are we attacking and occupying a country that did nothing to us? WMDs? Where are they? Depose a dictator? We did that and we’re still there.. and that’s not a legitimate reason to attack another country… as we all know.
    Bullets, white phosphorus? It doesn’t mean anything.. We should not… never should have been…in Iraq. We killed thousands of innocents and we are continuing to do so for George’s war..
    Time to admit that we have met the enemy and he is us.. Thank you Pogo.

  122. 122
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Proof positive that “MG” stands for Mighty Gullible:

    Bush: “Joined a unit at the time that unit was sending pilots to Vietnam.”

    I would like MG to cite here any proof whatsoever of his claim that the Texas Guard Champagne Division ever sent a single pilot to Vietnam during the time George W. Bush was sheltered within its privileged confines from active duty overseas service.

    Just one cite. Just one.

    Please MG, your status as a sentient being is at stake here.

  123. 123

    Especially since nothing substantive to be said regarding the topic at hand? MG obliged by introducing a separate topic and now you wish to seize on it, Paddy?

  124. 124
    Slide says:

    Dave Ruddell says:

    From what I have been able to understand from the conversations about the subject around these parts, WP is the type of round available that is least likely to cause civilian casualties. . . If you insist on just singling out WP, you are buying into the idea that there is something particularly horrific about WP, as compared with HE, or other munitions

    Who is buying into this idea? Some left wing liberal anti-war moonbat? Kos? Cindy Sheehan? No, the Army General Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth Kansas says this:

    “(4) Burster Type White phosphorus (WP M110A2) rounds burn with intense heat and emit dense white smoke. They may be used as the initial rounds in the smokescreen to rapidly create smoke or against material targets, such as Class V sites or logistic sites. It is against the law of land warfare to employ WP against personnel targets.”

    the fucking ARMY says WP is different from conventional munitions, the fuckin ARMY. Jesus you guys are dense..

  125. 125
    TARZO NAKACIARA says:

    ….AND THAT IS NOT FROM KURDISH SOURCES…

    http://www.vnh.org/ MedAspChemBioWar/ chapters/ chapter_2.htm#

    http://irregulartimes.com/ index.php/ archives/ 2005/ 11/ 22/ aberdeen-phosphorus-chemical-weapon/

  126. 126
    Jason says:

    Slide,

    Before you accuse the military pros around here of being dense, you should get a clue about what you’re talking about.

    The ST manual you cite is not a doctrinal pub. (here’s a clue: Leavenworth doesn’t write ARTY doctrine. The school of artillery is at Fort Sill.)

    Second of all, like many student-produced sources (as RTO points out), it’s wrong. It’s citing the military equivalent of an old wive’s tale. Most of us who’ve been in the military have heard them before. E.g., it’s illegal to use .50 cal. machine guns against personnel.

    That’s been handed down from drill sergeant to drill sergeant over the years and it’s still wrong, and I still hear it.

    There is nothing in international law that prohibits the use of WP against combatant personnel.

    Bottom line: if you want to claim it’s against international law, then you must cite the appropriate doctrine and authority. That is, a treaty to which the U.S. is signatory.

  127. 127
    John Cole says:

    Cole is not only an idiot, but one who is endangering the lives of our troops.
    There’s nothing worse than a bully, unless of course that bully is also extremely ignorant.

    This is a new one, at least. Lay it on me WOG. How am I a bully and how am I endangering the troops?

  128. 128
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    RTO Trainer: You will need to be a bit more specific, guy. You mean to complain here that nothing more was said about WP and the so-called legality of its usage upon civilians, and is therefore inappropriate to this thread? Or is your beef about the underlying agenda of this seemingly endless politics-based diversion, apologetics for the atrocities brought about by the madness our morally degenerate president through hypocritically claiming concern for the reputation of our lower echelon military people?

    There is the narrow and the wide view here, Mr. Trainer. Which one are you taking?

  129. 129
    John Cole says:

    Tarzo- You might try reading what is at those links you posted here (and at TP).

    Quick hint- it does not back up your assertion that WP is a chemical weapon.

  130. 130
    John Cole says:

    You mean to complain here that nothing more was said about WP and the so-called legality of its usage upon civilians, and is therefore inappropriate to this thread?

    Paddy O’Shea, you half-wit (and with that statement, I recognize I am probably giving you credit for more wits than you deserve), it is illegal to use WP on civilians. That isn;t even a question that is being debated. It is illegal to intentionaly use WP on civilians, just as it is illegal to use the following weapons on civilians:

    nuclear bombs
    bullets
    artillery
    gas
    fire
    razor blades
    knives
    pointy sticks
    switches
    chains, whips, nipple clips
    rabid skunks
    feathers
    a very firm pillow
    kittens

    Got it? Quit pretending anyone is arguing that WP should be legal to target civilian populations.

    Or is your beef about the underlying agenda of this seemingly endless politics-based diversion, apologetics for the atrocities brought about by the madness our morally degenerate president through hypocritically claiming concern for the reputation of our lower echelon military people?

    No. The beef is with folks who have no idea what they are talking about (include yourself) accusing our troops of war crimes.

    And DougjJ- if you are Paddy O’Shea, I am going to be pissed.

  131. 131
    BumperStickerist says:

    You really don’t think the deaths of over 2100 brave US Servicemen factor into the cost of this war?

    They do. What makes you think that 100,000 troops stationed in Kuwait for a multi-year period would not have suffered any casualties from IED/Sniper/Suicide Bomber attacks?

    Why don’t you run down to your local recruiting station and sign your cowardly ass up for a tour of duty?

    Look, Slick, I checked my DD214 and I served.

    You?

    lso, beyond my being past the age requirement there’s not much call for former Korean Cryptologic linguists in Iraq.

    I also checked my Red Cross donation card – I’ve donated 9 pints since Mar03… you?

    ppGaz – thanks for the critique –
    however, my ass is not the source of the historical timeline.

    The ‘run-up to the war’ typically includes the diplomatic effort to avoid the need for war.

    So, you might want to consider Powell’s trip to the United Nations in Feb 02 to give a presentation as a way-point during the ‘run-up to the war’.

    .

  132. 132
    Slide says:

    Jason says:

    There is nothing in international law that prohibits the use of WP against combatant personnel.

    Bottom line: if you want to claim it’s against international law, then you must cite the appropriate doctrine and authority. That is, a treaty to which the U.S. is signatory.

    I don’t know how many times I have to say this but I never claimed it was against the law. I’ll say it again:

    WP is not against the law.
    WP is not against the law.
    WP is not against the law.
    WP is not against the law.
    WP is not against the law.
    WP is not against the law.

    Ok, now that we have that cleared up that doesn’t mean it is proper to use WP in an urban environment where many civilians are known to have remained in hiding. And as an American citizen I am going to keep saying that over and over and over and over again, no matter how much you or John Cole would like us all to shut up. The MILITARY does not get to do whatever they want in a Democracy. Sorry. My objections are not that WP is a chemical weapon by some convention. My objection is not that it is illegal by some treaty. My objection is not that it hasn’t been used before. My objection is not that I think we should be throwing flowers at the enema.

    My objection is that it is SELF DEFEATING. IT IS COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. IT MAKES MORE ENEMIES THAN IT KILLS. IT HURTS OUR MORAL STANDING. IT GIVES THE ENEMY A PROPAGANDA VICTORY. IT LOSES US FRIENDS. ITS NOT HOW YOU ARE GOING TO WIN A COUNTER INSURGENCY WAR. Jesus you guy are so incredibly dense that it hurts even trying to discuss these things with you.

  133. 133
    John Cole says:

    Paddy- If you have something to say that is more than an insult, say it.

  134. 134
    Slide says:

    and during this battle for Falluja what was our brave Commander in Chief doing? Well, apparently he was planning on bombing a news agency in Qatar, an ally of the United States. Wow, ladies and gentlemen I submit to you that we have a bona fide criminal moron occupying the white house. Not only does he want to kill innocent Arabs in a friendly country but he doesn’t seem to understand what the consequences of those actions would have been. Thank God Tony Blair wouldn’t go along with it.

    Oh, give me the days when the worst thing the President did was get a blow job now and then.

  135. 135
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    I did John. Why don’t you put my post back up and let others decide its validity?

    And while there is an insult or two in there, they are only in response to the garbage you dealt out. If you can’t take it, why do it yourself? The only time I’ve ever insulted you was to respond in kind.

    One other thing: The thing that always distinguished you from the Rick Morans of this world is that you allowed all opinions to be posted on your site.

    That is no longer the case.

  136. 136
    Slide says:

    wonder if John ever censored insulting comments from the right?

  137. 137
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Slide: The only way John can defend himself now is to delete posts that he cannot deal with in any other way.

    Obviously he has reached the end of his little silk rope.

  138. 138
    Slide says:

    Not that there is a moral equivalency but lets see…. Bush bombing al-Jezerra to silence them for reporting on what we were doing in Falluja and John deleting comments he can’t answer. hmmmmmm….. birds of a feather. . .

  139. 139
    John Cole says:

    Paddy- all you did was call me a pussy and make some reference to me being a drunkard, things I don’t want to deal with. You want to post something substantive, go for it.

    Slide- quit being silly.

  140. 140
    John Cole says:

    And the most egregious insult, Paddy, was you accusing me of being from Ohio. I am from West virginia. How dare you accuse me of being from the state that spawned the Cleveland Browns?

  141. 141
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    John: Perhaps you would like to go back to some of the posts you entered on other threads and reread your references to myself as a drunk?

    Didn’t your mommy ever tell you that if you can’t take it don’t dish it out?

    And as far as the pussy thing goes, put my post back up and I’ll take it back.

  142. 142
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Oh, and as I am sure you know, the post contained a lot more than what you’ve said here.

    Stop fibbing.

  143. 143
    John Cole says:

    Paddy-

    Please tell me you have never heard “Paddy O’Shea” jokes. Please. Then please tell me that is your real name.

    Because otherwise, claiming you hit the ‘whiskey’ a little early in the morning is more than just a play on your handle, and not actually calling you a drunk.

    Furthermore, there is nothing to put up. Once deleted, it belongs to the ages.

  144. 144
    ppGaz says:

    My objection is that it is SELF DEFEATING

    Well, if the left continues riding this WP mule, it is going to discover the real meaning of “self-defeating.”

    When are politicians and wannabees of all persuasions going to learn that you can’t treat your military like a pawn in a game? And, does the Left really want to create another Jane Fonda here?

    Seriously, if they keep it up, the term DKos is going to mean “asshole” the same way that “Fonda” does for Vietnam.

    Bunch of tin-eared dopes.

  145. 145
    Darrell says:

    Seriously, if they keep it up, the term DKos is going to mean “asshole” the same way that “Fonda” does for Vietnam

    Wasn’t DKOS well established as ‘asshole’ back when Zuniga said “Screw them” about the 4 Americans who were mutilated in Fallujah? seriously, what kind of black-hearted lowlife has that as his reaction?

  146. 146
    John Cole says:

    Darrell- I agree he was wrong to react that way, but Kos has a background with mercs that you and I do not- mainly, he grew up in a war zone rife with mercs.

    Take that for what it is worth.

  147. 147
    ppGaz says:

    what kind of black-hearted lowlife has that as his reaction

    Well, if you paid attention to the complete texts at the time, you’d know. His disdain was based on who they were and what they were doing there, and it was thoroughly explained. Whether you agree with it or not, up to you, but it had nothing to do with black hearts or lowlifes.

    If you are going to play in the world of grownup rhetoric, Darrell, you might want to broaden your horizons a little. Otherwise you might not know what you are talking about, and expose yourself as a fool.

    For the (imaginary) record, I don’t completely agree with Kos on the mercenaries, or whatever they were, but I do agree that trying to make them out to be heroic just because they strung up after being dead was a little disigenuous. It was basically a made-for-tv let’s-hate-the-ragheads bunch of bullshit. An angry mob strings up some corpses? And what? For this we should get really mad and throw another two thousand KIAs of our own and a few hundred billion dollars down the drain to boot? Americans really need to grow up. It’s a nasty world out there and we aren’t going to sanitize it John Wayne style.

    Again, these are subtle points, Darrell … nobody expects you to get them.

  148. 148
    W.B. Reeves says:

    That sound you hear is the hot air slowly leaking out of this faux issue. After all the gasbaggery, what we’re left with is John reduced to citing the comments on another site to try and support his attacks on that site. I had thought that John couldn’t be held accountable for the various nut-jobs and fanatics who occasionally post here. Guess I was wrong. So the next time John posts something that brings the Bush apologists out of the woodwork I suppose he won’t complain when people label him an apologist as well?

    This whole WP/Chem weapon/war crimes debate is pointless. If someone really wants to accuse the current US regime of war crimes they don’t have to gin up a single, debatable incident. All they need do is go back to the Nuremberg indictments. One of the charges was conspiracy to wage aggressive war. I don’t recall any exemption for “pre-emptive” wars.

    If the invasion/occupation of Iraq was a “war of choice” rather than one forced by necessity, an argument implicit in the debate over botched intelligence vs doctored intelligence, then it was by definition a war of aggression. If such is the case, every military action that the US has taken in Iraq qualifies as a war crime. The actions taken in good faith by the troops on the ground don’t come into it. The criminality, if any, is lodged squarely at the top of the chain of command which, in the US, is a position held by a civilian politician.

  149. 149

    Paddy, It’d be nice to establish that an attrocity has even been perpetrated.

  150. 150
    Darrell says:

    John, that article does not say his country was rife with mercs, it says that government soldiers killed his countrymen. no mention of mercs that I could see. Not that it would excuse his scum of the earth comments. What’s more, I think “mercs” is a rather inflammatory and dishonest characterization of them, as they were not performing combat operations (correct me if I’m mistaken on that point), but providing security for contractors’ supply lines. Calling them mercenaries I think mischaraterizes what they were doing in Iraq. If you have better information, I’d like to see it

  151. 151
    John Cole says:

    That sound you hear is the hot air slowly leaking out of this faux issue.

    I agree, Think Progress and Daily Kos both seem to be backing down from their vile accusations that our troops used chemical weapons on civilians and combatants.,

    I consider that a victory.

  152. 152

    Jason,

    I think I’ve found the source of the confusion regarding ST 100-3.

    There are two rounds for the 155mm howitzer designated M 110.

    The M 110 is a sulphur mustard munition. It’s use against personnel would absolutely be a violation of the laws and customs of land warfare.

    The M 110A2 is a smoke WP munition. It’s use is not restricted by the laws and customs of land warfare.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/.....s/m110.htm

  153. 153
    Darrell says:

    If such is the case, every military action that the US has taken in Iraq qualifies as a war crime.

    Reeves, I think you’re on to something. You and your fellow travelers need to organize protests across the country and scream at the top of your lungs how our soldiers are committing ‘war crimes’. You have an obligation to speak truth to power over this.. now get to it

  154. 154

    Slide,

    Therre is nothing that prohibits the use of WP or other munitions in urba areas where civilians are known to be so long as reasonable precautions to prevent civilians from becoming casualties are taken.

  155. 155

    My objection is that it is SELF DEFEATING. IT IS COUNTER PRODUCTIVE. IT MAKES MORE ENEMIES THAN IT KILLS. IT HURTS OUR MORAL STANDING. IT GIVES THE ENEMY A PROPAGANDA VICTORY. IT LOSES US FRIENDS. ITS NOT HOW YOU ARE GOING TO WIN A COUNTER INSURGENCY WAR. Jesus you guy are so incredibly dense that it hurts even trying to discuss these things with you.

    Why is this more likely to casue the results you list than shooting people with rifles, let alone the use of any artillery, or air dropped munitions, or even driving a tank down the street?

  156. 156
    Darrell says:

    Why is this more likely to casue the results you list than shooting people with rifles, let alone the use of any artillery, or air dropped munitions, or even driving a tank down the street?

    An excellent question. Slide?

    Oh, and regarding this post

    I don’t know how many times I have to say this but I never claimed it was against the law. I’ll say it again:

    WP is not against the law.
    WP is not against the law.
    WP is not against the law.
    WP is not against the law.
    WP is not against the law.
    WP is not against the law.

    In your prior post, you cited this:

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

    You even highlighted the ‘against the law’ part. So you’re being dishonest as hell when you say you never claimed it was against the law, pretending you have no idea why anyone would accuse you of asserting such a thing

  157. 157
    just_passing_by says:

    Wow, just came in here through technorati – and read through all the comments. Nice read! *phew*

    IMHO Juan Cole’s arguments are not convincing. Censoring comments is a bad move, never done in blog etiquette – implies your position is weak. Also resorting one too many times to the defence that the miltary links and document excerpts posted as evidence – are inaccurate / “old wives tale” etc. Hmmm.

    Sorry I support TP on this one.

  158. 158
    W.B. Reeves says:

    Reeves, I think you’re on to something. You and your fellow travelers need to organize protests across the country and scream at the top of your lungs how our soldiers are committing ‘war crimes’. You have an obligation to speak truth to power over this.. now get to it

    As usual Darrell, you have trouble getting the point. It all hinges on whether or not the case for war was intentionally misrepresented. I have my own opinion about this but opinion is neither evidence nor proof.

    If the political cartel currently in power did in fact, “lie” the country into an aggressive war, the criminality lies with them, not the troops. The US military has no power to go to war independent of the political leadership. Neither do they have the power to dispute the decision once taken. The troops rely on the honesty and integrity of the civilian leadership to insure the legality of their operations. They aren’t culpable when such leadership betrays them.

    Of course, honesty and integrity may be concepts foreign to you. At least that’s what your posts seem to indicate.

  159. 159
    Ryan says:

    “It is a fool who stares at the finger of a pointing man.”

  160. 160
    Darrell says:

    If the political cartel currently in power did in fact, “lie” the country into an aggressive war, the criminality lies with them, not the troops.

    Ok then, your organized protests could include signage and loud screaming that “Criminal Bush LIED us into the Iraq war”. Don’t forget to mention Halliburton and use words as you did in your post such as Bush administration “cartel”. You would be speaking truth to power, man. Now all we need is for Jane Fonda, or at least Jeanine Garofalo, to pose with Al Queda and Baathists insurgents while holding an RPG launcher.. then join you in your noble protest marches

  161. 161
    ppGaz says:

    You and your fellow travelers

    Uh, Darrell, Joe McCarthy, the drunk, died of alcoholism a long time ago.

    You need to get some new material.

  162. 162
    W.B. Reeves says:

    Ok then, your organized protests could include signage and loud screaming that “Criminal Bush LIED us into the Iraq war”. Don’t forget to mention Halliburton and use words as you did in your post such as Bush administration “cartel”. You would be speaking truth to power, man. Now all we need is for Jane Fonda, or at least Jeanine Garofalo, to pose with Al Queda and Baathists insurgents while holding an RPG launcher.. then join you in your noble protest marches

    You’ll really don’t understand that responses like this make you look like a fool, do you? The “Bush lied” meme has been out there for some time now. That and the continuing parade of revelations de-bunking the original pretext for the war have led an ever increasing proportion of US citizens to conclude that they were sold a bill of goods. Again, this doesn’t constitute proof but it does place both the current regime and the GOP in an awkward position.

    Are you really so simplisticly partisan that you don’t understand why the ruling political gang is so hysterical over the suggestion that they lied? After all, accusing politicians of lying is a time honored tradition of US politics. They certainly are’nt concerned primarily with their political viability, since arguing that they were incompetent rather than malicious is unlikely to garner a vote of confidence.

    If, and it is a large “if”, it can be proven that the ruling clique intentionally deceived the country into a war of aggression, they would be subject to a good deal more than mere political repudiation. They could face legal sanction, not by some “frenchified” standard of International law but by the precedent US jurisprudence, solemnly asserted in the aftermath of WWII.

  163. 163
    MG says:

    http://www.volunteertv.com/Glo.....?S=2346701

    Dear Paddy O’Shea, please consider the above link in response to your challenge.

    Also, please consider the use of Google in the future, as it might help you appear to be more adult than you are.

    MG

    John, I don’t know how you put up with the adolescent, “neener neener” activities of the bulk of your posters. Good luck, and godspeed.

  164. 164
    Kris says:

    People who are against the war DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT believe that the fault lies with the troops.

    That is why WE ARE NOW questioning the Bush Administration on their motives. Why was exuberance within the Bush Administration stifled? In other words, why was dissent stifled and only the evidence that SEEMED (when truncated and underinvestigated) to support the Bush administration’s claims presented? These are pressing questions.

    In a JUST WAR, and there are a few that I think the US SHOULD BE having, the US will not have to go it alone with a trumped up “Coalition of the Willing.” Most US citizens will support a just war (ie. terrorists in Afghanistan).

    Of course, in every war, you will have some extreme segments of the population who have damning opinions of supporting genocide and/or never supporting war in hopes of world peace. But, seeing as how we live in reality, genocide should not be condoned and world peace should not ever be expected. I believe in JUST WARS. We fought in Afghanistan with the full intention of fighting the “War on Terror”. The war in Afghanistan was justifiable, although atrocities were still committed in Afghanistan, and atrocities are NEVER justifiable.

    The war in Iraq was NEVER fully justified. This is why all of these questions are being brought up. When the Bush Administration was scrambling to find WMDs, the top officials in government placed pressure on the Military subordinates working in Iraq.

    For example, Col. Janis Karpinski, who admitted to breaking the Geneva Conventions and who said that the blame goes all the way to the top told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, “…and he pointed out a memo that was posted on a column just outside of their small administrative office. And the memorandum was signed by the Secretary of Defense, and – … By Donald Rumsfeld. And said – it discussed interrogation techniques that were authorized. It was one page. It talked about stress positions, noise and light discipline, the use of music, disrupting sleep patterns, those kind of techniques. But there was a handwritten note out to the side. And this was a copy. It was a photocopy of the original, I would imagine. But it was unusual that an interrogation memorandum would be posted inside of a detention cell block, because interrogations were not conducted in the cell block.”

    Amy Goodman asks, “This was the command of Donald Rumsfeld himself?”

    Col. Janis Karpinski says, “Yes.”

    Amy Goodman asks, “Talking about the techniques?”

    Col. Janis Karpinski says, “The techniques that were allowed. And there was a note – handwritten note out to the side of where the list of tactics, interrogation tactics were. It said, “Make sure this happens.” And it seemed to be in the same handwriting as the signature. That’s what I could say about the memorandum.”

    Amy Goodman asks, “People understood it to be from Rumsfeld?”

    Col. Janis Karpinski says, “Yes, they certainly did.”

    To see her whole discussion, visit: http://www.democracynow.org/ar.....26/1423248

    Now, that US has OCCUPIED Iraq, we hear in the news that Iraqi suicide bombers are blowing up soldiers in Iraq and hotels in Jordan. There were no Iraqis on the planes that killed thousands in America on 9/11. 15 of the 19 were Saudi Arabians. The Bin Laden family among other Saudis were allowed to go on a plane out of the US, but were not questioned regarding the attacks or their association with terrorists. Because leaders of the US have led the military to not fight terrorism, but civilians, the leaders of the US have managed to INCREASE the numbers of terrorists. Now, IRAQ is a safe haven for terrorists.

    Bush’s administration have got to GO. Bush can stay. But those of his entourage who have compromised US National Security by being involved in the leaking of a CIA agent have got to go. Those responsible for the bungled response to Katrina, DHS, have got to go. Those responsible for not listening to the recommendations of military commanders have got to go. We need a new team of people in the white house who do not have baggage. We need people who have a plan to WIN the war in IRAQ. I’m not saying replace Bush with a Democrat becuase the Democrats don’t have a plan. Get someone in there who is able to look at the results and make conclusions that will save America and the world from these mishaps.

  165. 165

    […] Think Progress Responds, Sort Of […]

  166. 166
    EricH says:

    John:
    They’re not retreating; it’s an immediate redeployment.

    (With practicable considerations, of course)

  167. 167
    Sirius1 says:

    BumperStickerist Says: They do. What makes you think that 100,000 troops stationed in Kuwait for a multi-year period would not have suffered any casualties from IED/Sniper/Suicide Bomber attacks?

    Well, unlike your hypothetical argument about Kuwait, it’s a cold hard fact that our troops are dying in Iraq and over 2100 of them have now made the ultimate sacrifice. And anyone who’s served understands that just being in the military has certain risks. Unfortunately, soldiers do get killed in routine training exercises, but I can’t seem to find any information regarding your claim that they are being or were being or would be killed by IED/Sniper/Suicide Bomber attacks in Kuwait. I googled the words IED, Sniper, Suicide Bomber, and Kuwait, but nothing came back to verify your claim. I’ll stand corrected if you can point me in the right direction. Still, how can you make the claim that the costs are similar? Isn’t 2100+ American soldiers lifes worth more than just a cursory foot note in your argument or do you think that person’s life somehow less important just because the person was in the military?

    Look, Slick, I checked my DD214 and I served.

    You?

    Yep. I sure did. I put in 6 years back in the 70’s, but like you, I’m now too old to participate. I sincerly apologize for calling you a coward without knowing the facts of your situation. I was completely wrong to do so. If you’ve served, you’ve certainly earned the right to speak about it.

    I do have a son who’s currently on active duty in the military (USAF) who just this week received orders to go to Kuwait. I also have a step-son who just got out of the Navy and was in the Navy Seals program, not to mention a few friends with family members serving in Iraq right now. I proudly support my sons and the rest of the brave Americans who wear the uniform. But, it pisses me off to hear chickenhawks (like Cheney & Rumsfeld who claim to support our troops) make lame excuses as to why our troops were and are still being sent into combat without proper body armor or armored vehicles, or for them to blame the enlisted troops for what happened at Abu Ghraib or even the WP issue at hand. Is this what you call leadership? Not me. This is totally inexcusable and I’ll never forget what this administration did to our sons and daughters in uniform and neither should you.

    I’m also very glad to read in today’s news that next Wednesday the preznit will supposedly be giving a speech announcing the beginning of some sort of troop withdrawals. This whole war has been a clusterf*ck of the highest proportions and anyone who now thinks it was justified in light of the constantly changing and bogus claims the administration made to get us into it will have to share in the blame for the needless deaths of thousands of innocent Americans and Iraqis.

  168. 168

    If the political cartel currently in power did in fact, “lie” the country into an aggressive war, the criminality lies with them, not the troops.

    You’ve still got a problem with the premise.

    This is not and never has been an aggressive war. At the risk of being accused of being semantic again (as though there anything else one can be when discussing law), you should check the definitions of “aggressive war.”

  169. 169

    People who are against the war DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT believe that the fault lies with the troops.

    And yet we’re teh ones who take on the chin every time the rhetoric goes beyond civil and opinions begin masquerading as facts.

    It’s not just about placing blame, its also about the mindset that a Soldier has to attain in order to do his job.

    The second-guessing and the errodes that. The media coverage that never tells teh American people what they ar getting for their investment of blood and treasure errodes that.

    The debate has to stay civil and it has to stay based on facts. Sematic things like what the law says and comparissons to what was actually done are teh only things that matter in the end anyway unless you’re about changing the law–you think using WP is immoral, fine get your congressman to put up a bill banning it. Until then every headline that says that WP is a chemical weapon or asks if we’re using chemical weapons is a drain on morale and every troop feels it in the gut, whether that is where the blow was aimed or not.

  170. 170
    Jon H says:

    John writes: “I agree, Think Progress and Daily Kos both seem to be backing down from their vile accusations that our troops used chemical weapons on civilians and combatants.,”

    Yeah, I guess they’ll have to make due with the torture, rape, murder, and abuse.

    But gosh, no, they wouldn’t use chemical weapons.

  171. 171
    Jon H says:

    RTO Trainer writes: “The second-guessing and the errodes that. The media coverage that never tells teh American people what they ar getting for their investment of blood and treasure errodes that.”

    Well, guess what. We’re paying the bills, and it’s our responsibility to second guess and make sure we don’t have a bunch of latter-day SS troops and gestapo freaks out there on the battlefield, doing evil in our name.

    Sorry if it gets in the way of the troops psyching themselves up to “do their job”. I’m sure the SS was pretty psyched up too, and the citizenry didn’t want to harsh their buzz.

    If the Germans and Japanese in World War 2 had done that, things probably wouldn’t have gone to shit. That’s what happens when you let the military run unleashed.

  172. 172
    Jason says:

    Slide: RE: “WP is not against the law.
    WP is not against the law
    WP is not against the law
    WP is not against the law

    In your prior post, you cited this:

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

    You even highlighted the ‘against the law’ part. So you’re being dishonest as hell when you say you never claimed it was against the law, pretending you have no idea why anyone would accuse you of asserting such a thing

    Ouch.

    As Bill Clinton might say…better put some ice on that.

  173. 173
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Mighty Gullible: Knoxville Action News?

    Wow. One can only wonder why that astonishing revelation one didn’t make the world-wide wires.

    Musta been thet thar librul conspiracy, huh.

  174. 174

    Funny how no sooner does the left say “we don’t blame the troops” than they compare our soldiers and marines with “modern day SS and Gestapo freaks” running around the battlefield “doing evil in our name.”

    Yeah. We don’t hate the troops alright. We love the troops, as surely as OJ loved Nicole.

  175. 175
    p@ says:

    “Hot Air and Ill-Informed Banter” – balloon-juice.com

    yea… like i’m going to give anything you say credibility…

    lates,
    p@ – austin texas

  176. 176
    TARZO NAKACIARA says:

    perhaps you should watch this …..than talk…

    http://videolive.rai.it:8080/a.....ah_ING.wmv

    http://www.rainews24.rai.it/ ran24/ inchiesta/ video/ falluja_28112005_ing.asx

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