Chilcot Drops

A.Y._Jackson_-_A_Copse,_Evening,_1918

This is something I hope Adam will take up in earnest, but we should probably have a thread for the Chilcot report on Tony Blair and the British rush to war in Iraq.  Here’s a link to the Guardian’s coverage.

In brief, and in my reading of the press reports only, it looks like Sir John Chilcot has produced a devastating body of work that effectively condemns both Blair and Bush — and by extension the many more who enabled them in their catastrophic rush to war.

That’s obviously going to hurt, and we’ve already got a taste of the derp to come in David Frum’s claptrap, discussed below.  We’ll see a lot more ass-covering, excuse-bandying, and outright bullshit from all the usual suspects over the next few days.

But what struck me most in the immediate reaction to Chilcot’s report was one snippet from the few minutes of Tony Blair’s press conference that I managed to catch.

There, he admitted the failure to plan for what to do after an initial military victory (you think?) — but he said he stood by his decision to go to war and would make the same decision now, given the intelligence at the time.  He admitted that the intelligence was faulty, but noted that leaders have to decide based on what they know at any given time, which is certainly true.

The problem with that pivot to “bad intelligence” is that it is bullshit.

Those in a position to know understood at the edge of war that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction as generally understood.  I give you a speech that should be much better known than it is, Robin Cook’s personal address to the House of Commons to explain his resignation from Tony Blair’s government:

 

Here’s a text version.

Our leaders knew that the stated reason for war in Iraq was false.  They did it anyway.  There’s plenty of blame to go round — and while it’s not clear how much individual members of Congress or Parliament knew, compared to the heads of government and the cabinets in both the US and the UK, some of that responsibilty certainly accrues to those legislators who went along to get along.

But the central villains of this piece are the leaders who made the choice to cajole and coerce their colleagues and their countries into war.

One last thought:  the upcoming election is between someone who’s learned from the Iraq disaster, and someone who just yesterday hearts him some murderous Saddam.

Image:  A. Y. Jackson, A Copse, Evening 1918, 1918

310 replies
  1. 1

    I posted about this on Facebook today. Crickets.

    Not much we didn’t already know or surmise, though, at least not from my admittedly cursory reading. I too am waiting on Adam’s thoughts.

  2. 2
    Frans says:

    Robin Crook is a hero.

  3. 3
    misterpuff says:

    We are living in the age of the Fall of the Elites.

    This could be castastrophic, but if The People keep their heads we can get through this.

    However, that may be too much to ask for.

    Too many can not exist without the handholding of Big Daddy

  4. 4
    goblue72 says:

    Its all Jeremy Corbyn’s fault. if only he had protested the Iraq War more effectively, Tony Blair never would have been able to get the UK involved in Iraq.

    Labour needs to get someone more responsible in charge. Preferably a Blairite.

  5. 5
    scav says:

    Tony Blair is really a shitweasel of the highest order. Chilcot exposes how Blair kept ministers and generals in the dark and Tony Blair’s statement on Chilcot – what he said and what he meant. His behavior plus GW’s immediate flight to the ranch to hide behind wounded vets and not read things is a stark reminder of the caliber of their leadership and souls.

  6. 6
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Oh, how I love the Group of Seven. A. Y. Jackson is one of my favorites, and this painting is a stunning example of his work. Thank you, Tom.

  7. 7
    jl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I’m interested in what Adam has to say as well.

    And, I’ll repeat my complaint about the press’ treatment of Trump’s statements on Iraq war, and anything related to the Iraq war.
    Trump, as usual, is lying about stuff. He didn’t oppose the war in Iraq until after it happened, and evidence started coming in that the glorious quick military victory would not lead the way to the promised glorious quick consequences of military victory. We need a Chilcot report on Trump’s lies about his position on the Iraq war in 2002 and early 2003.

    Donald Trump and the Iraq War
    http://www.factcheck.org/2016/.....-iraq-war/

    I’m not a big fan of pontificating fact chekers, but if you follow the links, it seems all the fact checkers are in complete agreement, which does say something about Trump’s ability to spout bald-faced lies and get away with it in the reporting.

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    I’m always somewhat boggled by people who claim they were mislead by the WMD ‘intelligence’. I watched Colin Powell’s presentation and knew it was a lie– and so did others, including Maureen Dowd. She gets (and deserves) scorn here, but she did that one thing right. It’s hard to believe that any journalist or anyone with experience around DC was fooled. People who knew better went along, although they shouldn’t have– and, I’ll bet, knew they shouldn’t have.

    And then… there were people like Andrew Sullivan.

  9. 9
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @scav:

    Did you hear his speech, or whatever that was, earlier today? BBC was airing it live, but then NPR interrupted to air the President’s Afghanistan statement live, so the Blair comments were kind of disjointed.

    Edit for clarity: My NPR station airs BBC’s “The World” a couple of times each day, and I often have it on as background noise.

  10. 10
    Mary G says:

    Shouldn’t somebody try to get Mr. Crook back into British politics? He has more sense in his little finger than Boris/Gove/Corbyn and their crews do.

  11. 11
    Eric U. says:

    this is one instance where reading the left blogosphere* really would have paid off for the world at large. It really wasn’t hard to see that it was all horseshit. Sad!

    *always wondered if Obama does this.

    @Mary G: Mr. Crook passed away in 2005

  12. 12
    srv says:

    So Bush was right, we’re better off without Saddam, or Trump is right and we’re worse off?

    Or we can just take the easy way out and debate how many neoliberals can dance on the head of a pin. Plenty of courtesy bombs to go around.

    Funny how nobody asks the Iraqis.

  13. 13
    Trollhattan says:

    The painting is horrifying. “War to end all wars” eh?

  14. 14
    Calouste says:

    @Mary G: Robin Cook died a few years back.

  15. 15
    Omnishambles says:

    @Mary G: He died a few years after that speech. He had a heart attack while out hill walking.

    He, and his ethical foreign policy is sorely missed.

  16. 16
    raven says:

    @Trollhattan: The anniversary was last week:

    The first day on the Somme was also the worst day in the history of the British army, which suffered 57,470 casualties, mainly on the front between the Albert–Bapaume road and Gommecourt, where the attack was defeated and few British troops reached the German front line

  17. 17
    scav says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: No, for the good of my blood pressure and neighborhood noise ordinances, I’ve learned not to listen to either of those exemplars of [vocabulary fail, probably to the benefit of all] live. Especially as I caught myself screaming in the middle of the night during the actual events, even after the broadcasts were long over (live in an apartment).

  18. 18
    Trollhattan says:

    @raven:
    Would like to travel to Belgium some day and visit the battlefields and cemeteries. I know lots about WWII and vanishingly little about WWI. IIUC they’ll be unearthing shells for another century at least.

  19. 19
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Nag, nag, nag…

    I recommend starting with the pdf at this link:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new.....t-one.html

    Britain’s Liaison Officer (LNO) at CENTCOM was calling back to his commanders and to Blair explaining that the planning was a mess.

  20. 20
    Brent says:

    The real issue for me has always been that EVEN IF what they were saying about Hussein was true, and it obviously wasn’t, it was still not a reasonable case for war. Hussein was obviously no threat to us. He was no threat to our allies and owning a bunch of old chemical munitions did not make him anything close to a threat to anyone EXCEPT maybe Iran for whose welfare we couldn’t possibly have cared less.

    The underlying argument was complete crap even before we ginned up a bunch of non-existent evidence to support it. This was always intensely obvious to me and I felt like I was losing my mind as it was happening as a bunch of supposedly reasonable people acquiesced to the unbelievably dumbass premise of the whole argument that the Administration was making. It was maddening.

  21. 21
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    These maggots should all be hauled to Den Haag, tried and convicted, then put in cells to rot.

    Forever.

  22. 22
    eclare says:

    @Eric U.: All of the information was there for all of the world to see and read, if they had bothered to read beyond page one of the paper where it was “tubes! mushroom clouds!” to the back page where the article about how the DOE didn’t think the tubes were for nukes was or like you said, the liberal blogosphere. I am so exhausted of being so mad about this for so long. I’m sure I’m not alone. And hey, I was fortunate and didn’t serve.

  23. 23
    VOR says:

    There was a post-conflict plan created by the Neocons – turn the country of Iraq over to Ahmed Chalabi, he recognizes Israel, and the entire Middle East breaks out into puppies and unicorns so our troops are home by Christmas. They simply couldn’t discuss that plan with the UK because even Blair wouldn’t have signed off on it. The plan fell apart upon first contact with reality, but I still believe that was the Neocon’s plan.

  24. 24
    raven says:

    @Trollhattan: A painter friend of mine just got back from his second trip. There are no paintings from there on this page but I know he’s working on it.

  25. 25
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Adam L Silverman: No pressure! NO PRESSURE!!

  26. 26
    Mary G says:

    @Eric U.: Oh, I’m sorry. I regret to say that I was not aware of him, even though I was against the Iraq was before it started, unlike Trump. That speech was brilliant.

    I had quit my corporate job, but I didn’t want to file for permanent disability, so I went to the local community college intending to become a web designer.

    It was immediately apparent that I wasn’t cut out for that and somehow I fell into being the editor of the campus newspaper. There was a revolt against my we-should-not-go-back-to-Iraq column from the Young Republican sector of the staff, who felt that our president could not be wrong. I explained what Watergate was and printed it despite losing the newsroom vote against me. (I did add a disclaimer about the views represented are the author’s only.)

    Years later I ran into the worst of the kiddies, who had written a fake letter to the editor calling me an old bitch. He was furious that I was thrilled to get it at the time, but he said “you told us so” and that he was volunteering on the Obama campaign. Not sad!

  27. 27
    gratuitous says:

    “But the central villains of this piece are the leaders who made the choice to cajole and coerce their colleagues and their countries into war.”

    Don’t forget the denigration of dissent, the active condemnation of anyone who stood athwart the march to war hollering, “STOP!” The nicest thing we got called was naive or dupe, but by far we got called every nasty name in the book, even by eventheliberal Andrew Sullivan, who likened the anti-war faction to a Fifth Column, traitors in our midst, who were just biding their time for the momente juste to sell out the United States and usher in the age of the last imam.

    There was no discussion, no debate. The decision to go to war had been made (who knows when, credible arguments can be made for as early as December 2000), and to war the United States was going to go. All the pro-war forces were brought to bear, and the dismissive attitude of most of the popular media (anti-war demonstrations with millions of marchers were waved away as focus groups by the Very Serious People) made sure responsible opposing viewpoints weren’t given an airing.

    The professionals who were grievously, expensively, and ruinously wrong suffered no consequences, no loss of prestige, and many actually profited from their appalling wrongness. There has been no such thing as someone being too much in favor of war. The Chilcot report will be a wonder for about half a news cycle, and then it will disappear forever from our national media consciousness. By September, you will hear more about Blackberry-like devices than you will about the Chilcot report.

  28. 28

    @Miss Bianca: Yeah, you don’t want him ending up like those Spanish clowns from last night.

  29. 29
    gratuitous says:

    @VOR: As that great philosopher Mike Tyson once observed: Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.

  30. 30
    Miss Bianca says:

    I remember hearing part of Robin Cook’s speech at the time, but going back and reading the whole thing is just brutal.

    This part was painful:

    We cannot base our military strategy on the basis that Saddam is weak and at the same time justify pre-emptive action on the claim that he is a seri ous threat. Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of that term – namely, a credible device capable of being delivered against strategic city targets. It probably does still have biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions. But it has had them since the 1980s when the US sold Saddam the anthrax agents and the then British government built his chemical and munitions factories.

    Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years and which we helped to create? And why is it necessary to resort to war this week while Saddam’s ambition to complete his weapons programme is frustrated by the presence of UN inspectors?

    I have heard it said that Iraq has had not months but 12 years in which to disarm, and our patience is exhausted. Yet it is over 30 years since resolution 242 called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.

    We do not express the same impatience with the persis tent refusal of Israel to comply. What has come to trouble me most over past weeks is the suspicion that if the hanging chads in Florida had gone the other way and Al Gore had been elected, we would not now be about to commit British troops to action in Iraq.

    Nasty clear-headed way he had of expressing himself, that one.

  31. 31
    eclare says:

    Oh yes, I distinctly remember being told by the White House to “watch what I say”. I will forever hold Colin Powell beneath contempt because he knew the UN speech was bullshit and gave it anyway. I still think he was the one person who could have come out against the war, but no, following orders. How everyone fell in line was scary.

  32. 32
    Mike in NC says:

    @VOR: You are correct. Operation Iraqi Freedom would decapitate Saddam and his top minions, but otherwise leave the country working just dandy. The populace would greet expat Chalabi with open arms, and the invading armies with flowers and sweets. Haliburton would then have unlimited access to the oil fields and all of the troops would be home within 90 days. So said the plan signed off on by Cheney and Rummy.

  33. 33
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Major Major Major Major: DO NOT MENTION THE CLOWNS FROM LAST NIGHT.

  34. 34
    heckblazer says:

    @Mike in NC: And Rumsfeld was so dead set against there being an occupation he sabotaged any attempt to even plan for one.

  35. 35
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mike in NC: The problem with the plan is that when you decided to use military force to do things like that, the plan does not survive contact with reality, because war is a very, very messy thing.

    The deserting coward and the Dark Lord would know that if they ever participated in their generation’s war. Of course, being cowardly shit, they did not.

  36. 36
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Tony Blair, thy name is Lapdog. Forevermore, as the Raven said.

    Not our Raven, the other Raven.

  37. 37
    patroclus says:

    It’s a devastating report. I’ve read a lot of the Guardian’s coverage and it really destroys Blair, who turned himself into Bush’s poodle 8 months before the war even started, especially with that “I’m with you, whatever” memo. I’m just as appalled as I was back then, perhaps even more so. That said, this is 2016 and the war started in 2003 and was being ginned up in 2002, almost precisely 14 years ago. Realistically, since the DSM came out in 2005, we’ve known all of this for about 11 years – it was the reason I joined the GOS to find out more about it. The U.K., after Brexit, is currently undergoing a real constitutional crisis, with a 30-year low of the pound, a crash in the equity markets, the widespread enforced halt to redemptions in U.K. investment funds, an imminent recession of unknown length and a 2-notch decline in their credit rating. As welcome as this report is, it should have come a decade ago (or rather, it should have been known in 2002 and the U.K. should not have given respectability or support to Bush’s bald-faced WMD lies) and the U.K. should now be focused on their current situation. To me, it’s kind of like publishing Guilty Men 14 years after Munich (i.e., in 1952), in the midst of a different kind of crisis. Bliar certainly deserves criticism, as does (even more so) Bush – it was a terrible decision, with no plan (kind of like Brexit) that has led to ISIL blowback and more and this report certainly will add to its historical shame. The report is thorough, comprehensive and well-documented, but it’s a little late.

  38. 38
    Nunca El Jefe says:

    I thought that this was significant and don’t understand why it’s not getting more attention, especially in light of the Chilcot report: http://www.businessinsider.com.....&IR=T. That war was some nasty business all around.

  39. 39
    elm says:

    @eclare: Powell has always been studious in following right-wing ideology. One of his earliest political tasks was whitewashing the My Lai massacre.

  40. 40
    Waldo says:

    @MattF: Agreed. Invading Iraq never made any sense. While the CIA was scrounging for evidence connecting Saddam to potential WMD programs, Kim in N. Korea was happily bragging about nukes that could reach California. But somehow Saddam was the imminent threat. Few in our illustrious news media bothered to question that glaring inconsistency.

  41. 41
    Miss Bianca says:

    @patroclus: that’s kind of my feeling about it, I’m afraid – not “too little, too late” – the report is certainly lengthy enough – but sort of a “Now? Really? Tell it to take a number and wait in line” – behind all the *current* problems the UK is facing. Besides, I have a suspicion that Corbyn is going to start yapping for Blair to stand trial or something, and use that as the excuse to keep his flaccid impersonation of Labour Leadership alive and squirming…and somehow, I just don’t see that working out really well, for Labour or for the country.

  42. 42
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    In looking back at 2003 let’s not forget heroes like David Brooks, who still inexplicably holds a place of high esteem among totebaggers, not to mention a lucrative and highly influential gig, whose fans include depressingly enough, the White House:

    But suppose we are confronted with a problem of courage? Perhaps the French and the Germans are simply not brave enough to confront Saddam. . . . Or suppose we are confronted with a problem of character? Perhaps the French and the Germans understand the risk Saddam poses to the world order. Perhaps they know that they are in danger as much as anybody. They simply would rather see American men and women–rather than French and German men and women–dying to preserve their safety.

  43. 43
    Aleta says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Oh, how I love the Group of Seven.

    Yeah! Thank you Tom, from me also.

  44. 44
    SFAW says:

    Our leaders knew that the stated reason for war in Iraq was false.

    Which reason was that? I think I was up to 27 different reasons by the time Iraq was invaded.

    Of course, the proper answer to my question is (EVERYBODY say it!) “All of them, Katie.”

    And, as I said earlier today: I heard some of Blair’s lying piece-of-shit excuse “explanation” this AM. He was still trying to pretend there was a link between Saddam and 9/11. Lying motherfucker.

  45. 45
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Waldo: Well, come on now…you don’t expect us to invade a country we *know* has live nukes, right? What do you think we are, nuts or something? No, see…we can’t invade unless we know they *don’t* have WMDs, because what if did and they actually *used* them on us? Think, man!

  46. 46
    JPL says:

    @eclare: Even though he was a good soldier, Bush replaced him with Condi.

  47. 47
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @MattF:

    The “Intelligence”.

    Best satirist alive.

  48. 48
    Immanentize says:

    @Calouste: At the hands of Russian ex-KGB backed by the nuclear power industry no doubt!!

    I hate when good people die who know things that are true. Like Cook. Or Paul Wellstone (with whom I worked) Actually, I hate when bad people die who know things that are true like William J. Casey. Or Kenneth Lay.

    I am not a conspiracy freak!

  49. 49
    SFAW says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Perhaps the French and the Germans are simply not brave enough to confront Saddam

    Yes, they were a-skeered of the third-most-powerful army, in the Middle East, of countries that start with the letter “I”

    That’s like saying they would be scared of doing battle with Monaco, or maybe Andorra. (OK, I guess that’s an exaggeration.)

  50. 50
    Peale says:

    @MattF: And even were it true, there was no reason at that time to rush to war. None. Even if Saddam had so much sarin gas that he could wipe out 1/2 of Asia and had a stockpile of nuclear so large that if you stacked the rods end to end they’d reach Pluto.

  51. 51
    Immanentize says:

    @Miss Bianca: My dream president would say:

    “We hereby will act as the guarantor of ‘no first nuclear strike’ of any kind — whether tactical or genocidal. We do not care where or by whom. First strikes will be met by equal and opposite strikes by the United States.”

    ETA Call it the Immanantize the Eschaton doctrine.

    I know, I know, Not.Ga.Ha.Pen

  52. 52
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    O/T, but AG Lynch has officially closed the investigation into Hillaryemailgate.

    Not that that’ll make any difference to the Rethugs.

  53. 53

    @SiubhanDuinne: Well, Tarmacghazi means that anything she says can’t be trusted.

    Special prosecutor!!1

  54. 54
    SFAW says:

    @JPL:

    Bush replaced him with Condi.

    It was nothing against Powell, it was because she had done such a bang-up job getting the various intelligence agencies to work together, pre-9/11.

    Not that the National Security Adviser would have anything to do with that, of course. Well, except for the point that it’s ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THE JOB. Katie Couric once described Condi as “scary smart.” I agree with the words, but probably not in the way that Katie meant them.

  55. 55
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @SFAW: The line I heard a lot at the time was that France had “contracts” with Iraq and was thus cynically, self-servingly, and basically corruptly “protecting its business interests” by refusing to join Bush in this mission that obviously was just and sane and needed doing.

    As opposed to saying that they, like most of the world, thought Bush and Cheney’s plan to invade Iraq based on lies and not even good ones was going to create nothing but global chaos (hey look, ISIS) and with no gain whatsoever except whatever warped satisfaction Bush, Cheney and Co got out of it.

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Too bad. An indictment was Baud! 2016!’s final hope.

  57. 57
    Waldo says:

    @Miss Bianca: Yeah, I think Iran had a similar ah-ha moment regarding nukes around that time.

  58. 58
    SFAW says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Special prosecutor!!1

    To investigate Lynch, I assume you mean.

    Paul Ryan was overheard asking “What about that Torquemada guy? What’s he doing these days? Is he still around? Can we get him to investigate?”

  59. 59
    AnotherBruce says:

    @srv: Your’e forgetting some of Trump’s other buddies, such as Putin and Kim Jong Un. Trump was also good with the action in Tiananmen Square. My question is, how many dictators can dance in a pinhead?

  60. 60

    @SFAW: Somebody relevant (or maybe it was just RedState, so hard to tell these days) was calling for an independent somethingorother to investigate Hillary now that the entire rest of the apparatus has failed to find any dirt.

  61. 61
    SFAW says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    and the Germans are simply not brave

    Actually, they still felt guilty about bombing Pearl Harbor.

  62. 62
    ET says:

    The enablers of today and those that can’t admit what a cock-up Iraq was are spitting into the wind.

    History’s judgment will likely not be kind about all the decision, actions, inaction, and lies. They are just talking to make themselves feel better and because doing so means they don’t have to be honestly reflective. It is sooooo frustrating now for those that disagreed and/or came to see the truth. I don’t think anyone should stop pushing back against that line of talk lest it become the modern equivalent of the Civil War’s “lost cause” mythology.

  63. 63
    SFAW says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Least surprising bit of information today.

  64. 64
    Eric U. says:

    @eclare: I recall that all the information that contradicted the Bush Crime Family narrative was printed on page 21.

    So yeah, they could have missed it

  65. 65
    Trollhattan says:

    @gratuitous:
    Those 2x4s weren’t going to wield themselves.

  66. 66
    Trollhattan says:

    @SFAW:
    I would go with “smartly scary.” Her Stanford and Hoover Institute checks never bounce, so it appears to have worked out splendidly for her. Do you have any idea how nice the Palo Alto weather is?

  67. 67
    rikyrah says:

    Because, it’s nothing but bullshyt.

    Josh MarshallVerified account
    ‏@joshtpm
    Our team is looking at Trump funding statement & so far its so opaque& contradictory its difficult to separate incompetence from horseshit.

  68. 68
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @Trollhattan:
    There is an interesting series on WWI on youtube, “The Great War”. It follows the was week by week so they just did the battle of the Somme this week. Obviously you would have to go a long way to catch up as it has been a weekly 10 minutes since 2014. Add to that the host has some annoying habits but I have learned a great deal, if you really wan to learn about the war you can skip through, certainly would recommend the early ones as they lay out how the war came to be & the players & tactics.

  69. 69
    Emma says:

    @MattF: Do not mention that man in my presence. And no, I don’t care how much good he’s done on….. blah blah blah. Mr. Sullivan’s “fifth column” crap will never be forgotten or forgiven.

  70. 70
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Baud:

    Cheer up! Hillary hasn’t announced her VP pick yet. Still a chance for Baud2016!!!

  71. 71
    Trollhattan says:

    @Schlemazel Khan:
    Thanks, dutifully jotted down.

  72. 72
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @Eric U.:
    I was reading a lot of European newspaper sites at the time & it was obvious to the rest of the world the case for war was all bullshit. The aluminum tubes were not the right size or material for enrichment, this was widely reported in Europe. The inspectors that Bush had to order out of the country before the invasion were reporting great cooperation. Of course there was the yellow cake lie also. Anyone who took a few minutes to look could have known these things. It was why we had no allies other than Britain and a few bribed countries. The US media shares a large part of the blame.

  73. 73
    Trollhattan says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    “Smithers, release the Baud!”

  74. 74
    rikyrah says:

    hmmmph

    Eric Trump reportedly called up The Washington Post on Wednesday to profanely rant at the reporter spearheading coverage of the charitable contributions made (or not made) by his father, Donald Trump.

    But the younger Trump didn’t offer any evidence of those donations.

    “I’m just saying, Jesus Christ, why is this guy trying to f—ing kill us?” Trump allegedly told the Post’s David A. Fahrenthold.

    Fahrenthold had meticulously tried to find corroboration for Donald Trump’s claims of generous charitable giving, contacting 200 charities associated with the businessman. The reporter found only one charity that received a donation, in the amount of less than $10,000.

  75. 75
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: You think Baud rates a serious look from Hillary?

  76. 76
    Baud says:

    Wonkette (which is better than the media these days)

    Also on Wednesday, there was a bit of a GOTCHA! going around the left-wing internet, about how it turns out that, out of all the 110 emails FBI Director Comey stated contained classified information, TWO WHOLE EMAILS were actually marked as classified, and out of those two emails, TWO WHOLE EMAILS were actually marked incorrectly. It’s not that huge of a revelation, but it’s worth noting that this means exactly zero emails correctly marked as classified went across Hillary’s sexxxy email server.

  77. 77
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rikyrah: No, we’re not trying to fucking kill you. YOU are trying to fucking kill you through your own actions, Qusay, you hoofwanking bunglecunt.

  78. 78
    Baud says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:
    @Trollhattan:
    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    I wouldn’t be replaced by a Republican governor. Advantage Baud!

  79. 79
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Baud: I was only going shamelessly for the word play. (Which no one seems to have gotten). Of course you rate! You kidding me? Fuggedaboutit.

  80. 80
    eclare says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Going to have to remember that phrase!

  81. 81
    Mandalay says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Tony Blair, thy name is Lapdog.

    That’s letting the murderous fucker off way too lightly. I’ll go with Beelzebub.

  82. 82
    Trollhattan says:

    @Baud:
    Vetting…
    By Hillary: full background check and would you mind keeping tabs on Bill?
    By Trump: Do you drive a ‘Vette?

  83. 83
    smith says:

    @Baud: But can you pass the vetting? What about that server in your basement?

  84. 84
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Mandalay: I agree, but history is going to have Lapdog tattooed on his entry forevermore. That and Poodle. Sort of like this.

  85. 85
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:
    ? She is offering to be baud’s VP?

  86. 86
    Baud says:

    @smith:

    What about that server in your basement?

    I call him Garçon. I don’t know if he has a real name. Happy to lend him out for state dinners.

  87. 87
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @smith: The server in the basement is needed to bring drinks for the Gimp.

  88. 88

    @VOR:
    I think the real plan was to get Saddam and that was it. Basically, they got a bunch of different factions on board for the war part, but they disagreed on the goals for what to do after: democracy promotion, installing a puppet who would give American oil companies the rights, getting the hell back out ASAP, etc. So they cobbled together a post-war plan that was supposed to keep everyone happy but which had no relationship to reality.

  89. 89
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Sheesh.

  90. 90
    Baud says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: These days, Baud measures snark per second.

  91. 91
    Elizabelle says:

    @Mary G: Cool story. Glad the kid wised up. You had a part in that.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @eclare: It’s in constant use over at yr Wonkette, should it ever slip your mind!

  93. 93
    Median says:

    @Schlemazel Khan: Imagine doing ten minutes a week on the war in Afghanistan. Future history buffs have it tough.

  94. 94
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @smith:

    the vetting

    Gave me the image of the worst horror movie ever, in which John Cole tries to bring one or more pets in for some procedure and chaos, including maiming, ensues

  95. 95
    smith says:

    @Roger Moore: Booman has a similar opinion: We had painted ourselves into a corner with the sanctions and no-fly policy, which necessitated keeping troops in Saudi Arabia, a major source of contention feeding Osama Bin Laden’s power. It looked to TPTB that regime change in Iraq was a quick way out of our bind (and then there was all that lovely oil…)

  96. 96
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore: Toppling Saddam in the first place had no basis in reality, as they longed for a secular Sunni strong man to take charge during the endless occupation and surge cycles.

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: The Revenge of Steve, featuring Lily, Rosie, and in his first major supporting role, Thurston.

  98. 98
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @rikyrah:

    I love Farenthold’s updating of his handwritten list of charities that he’s contacted, and their answers. Very “Spotlight”.

  99. 99
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Baud: His real name is Jarvis.

  100. 100
    JPL says:

    Wow.. Trump mentioned that no one talks about their grandchildren for more than a minute. He then spent more than a minute talking about golf.

  101. 101
    Baud says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Meh. Like I care.

  102. 102
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JPL: My parents can go on for hours about my niece and nephew.

  103. 103
    raven says:

    @JPL: And he’s gonna knock somebody on their ass. Her learned that in military school.

  104. 104
    JPL says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I didn’t think it was a winning message, but I’m not a campaign manager. He’s now talking about people who will speak at the convention. Bobby Knight will be throwing chairs.

  105. 105

    @Omnes Omnibus: my parents talk about their grandchildren way more than they talk about me.

  106. 106
    rikyrah says:

    Jenna Johnson ✔ @wpjenna
    At a rally in Ohio, Donald Trump is listing off the Jewish people he knows: Dan’s wife, Jared, Ivanka, his grandkids…
    5:56 PM – 6 Jul 2016

  107. 107
    Mandalay says:

    @rikyrah: Eric Trump explaining why the Trump campaign will not be providing any evidence of Donald’s charitable donations: “My father likes to keep some anonymity. It’s who he is. It’s who he is as a person”.

    So at least Eric has a dry sense of humor.

  108. 108
    Baud says:

    @JPL: Is he speechifying somewhere?

  109. 109
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL: Will the chairs all have pretend Obama sitting in them?

  110. 110
    hovercraft says:

    @srv:
    That is part of the problem, the answer would depend on which Iraqi’s you asked, the shia who are the majority and were being oppressed by Sadam, the sunni who were in a privileged position despite being a minority, the kurds who after being gassed were living in a no fly zone and semi-autonomous area. The problem with stupid black or white questions like yours is that it doesn’t weigh all the pros and cons and the consequences of action and inaction. The bullshit with us or against us is that it sounds great to macho assholes who are not the ones that have to live with the consequences. Bush and Blair can blithely say they made the right decision, the 600,000 to a million Iraqi’s who died probably would have a different opinion. Sadam was a murderous despot, but revolutions or coups should originate within nations not be precipitated by outsiders to install friendly governments. I know that a lot of the worlds population would have liked to see regime change here back in the oughts, if there were a country capable of affecting such a change we would have been extremely offended if they did. Most Iraqi’s are not grateful for the ‘freedom and democracy’ we gave them, it brought with it too much death and destruction that goes on till this day.

  111. 111
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mandalay: Millions and millions that he cannot account for. Sad.

  112. 112
    JPL says:

    @Baud: speechifying is not the right word.

  113. 113
    Baud says:

    @JPL: I assume MSNBTrump is covering it live.

  114. 114
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @Median:
    UGH, hopefully the meteor will get here before they have to try that

  115. 115
    JPL says:

    children, golf, media complaining about Scotland visit, great course, brexit, I called brexit, they broke away cuz of Obama, back of the line, I called it.. immigration, they don’t want em..

    that was two minutes of listening to Trump

  116. 116
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Trollhattan:

    “Smithers, release the Baud!”

    The Baud. Hmmm, the Baud. Is that anything like The Kraken?

  117. 117
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I think one of them has more tentacles.

  118. 118
    JPL says:

    Is anyone else watching? He’s back on Scotland. The media has really got under his skin.

  119. 119
    Gvg says:

    Sigh. Wrong time, new crisis is right but I still don’t understand how so many ordinary people missed it. I knew it was bullshit because the sports fan board I hung out on then had a couple of respected sports fans who were posting the proof it was made up. Odd way to find out. They weren’t specially connected or trained either and some were normally rabid republican’s. I had not previously paid much attention to politics.
    My parents, the educated news watchers say that no contrary info was presented to the public but the evidence I saw was mostly in the same papers and broadcast stations that presented all the bad info. It just wasn’t front page. That’s right, Washington Post, NYT’s all the others did publish the truth about yellowcake and Chalabi and Plame and the non connection of Saddam to AlQueda etc. it was there, just not as popular.
    I was also mad because we screwed up Afghanistan because of Iraq. I wasn’t sure Afghanistan could go well but given their deliberate sheltering of the attackers I felt that had to happen.
    Bush was also lying about the cost ahead of time. I felt that he knew people would not be so supportive if they had any idea of real costs. The support was supposedly so high but those administration lies told me it would all go away if people knew the real costs ahead of time.
    Then once some soldiers had been killed I found their families could not accept that it was based on lies and their brother died for no purpose. That seemed to cause them to lose any skepticism and they acted like we were personally spitting on their dead, rather than Bush. A lot of people became war supporters because of the dead instead of seeing the lies. Well I guess I can see that but I hadn’t seen it before and it took me by surprise.
    I don’t think most here learned from it either which is bad.

  120. 120
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    I posted a link to an Scotland Herald story about the attempts to unseat Corbyn were his party’s Blair supporters trying to prevent Corbyn from being in a position he could call for a trial for Blair on his war crimes. They failed so it will be interesting to see how this comes out.
    I was disappointed nobody commented on the story at the time. Maybe it was premature

  121. 121
    JPL says:

    This is wild.

  122. 122
    JPL says:

    He never touched a club while in Scotland..

  123. 123
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: T’is true that the Kraken has more tentacles, but they are short like a famous vulgarian’s.

  124. 124
    Mandalay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Well the Post did find one donation made by the Trumps: Eric Trump’s charity paid Donald Trump $87,665 for use of a golf course.

    This is what is known as a trickle-up charitable donation.

  125. 125
    Baud says:

    @JPL: No, I can’t stand listening to Trump. Clinton deserves our eternal gratitude for agreeing to stand on a debate stage with him (assuming he doesn’t back out of it).

  126. 126
    MattF says:

    @JPL: There’s lots of ooohs and aaaahs on Twitter about this. Der Trump is apparently making a public demonstration of his unfitness for public office.

  127. 127
    🌷 Martin says:

    @rikyrah: Has he gotten to ‘the people who count my money‘ yet?

  128. 128
    JPL says:

    @Baud: If he doesn’t back out, the debate will be about the bad media, taking my words and using them against me. This was the craziest performance yet. His son is now speaking, so I signed off.
    He’s really good at that circular form of speaking, which causes one to re-access their mental health.

  129. 129
    hovercraft says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:
    In large part the inability to hold the Bush administration accountable is that the would be critics were all with him on the drive to war, and like the Bush administration they did not learn any lessons. They also hide behind faulty intelligence, yet there were many people out there who were calling bullshit. These are the same Washington foreign policy gurus who are highly critical of Obama for not starting more wars. These wise men allow the Bushies to go out in public and bleep about Bush keeping us safe. They lament Obama’s lack of certainty and decisiveness as if being decisive and wrong is a virtue. They will all go down in history as failures. There were very few heroes in DC or in Whitehall.

  130. 130
    D58826 says:

    @Brent: Funny how no one has been accused of carelessness in handing out classified information to Judy Miller.

  131. 131
    🌷 Martin says:

    @MattF: So basically it’s just Wednesday?

  132. 132
    JPL says:

    I’m not sure he is the nominee.

  133. 133
    Baud says:

    @JPL: LGF said he is now defending the use of the star of david.

  134. 134
    Baud says:

    @D58826: That wasn’t careless. It was done with great care.

  135. 135
    BBA says:

    @MattF: Unfit though he may be, he’s one October Surprise away from the nuclear codes.

    God damn America.

  136. 136
    JPL says:

    @Baud: That was early on. He spoke about Hillary’s green dress also. I just put it back on.. Something about selling air conditioners through a very strong border..

    oh he’s gonna tax carrier for moving to mexico

  137. 137
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Our raven is too busy saying “Fuck LBJ!”

  138. 138
    Mary G says:

    Daniel Larison at the American Conservative makes a point:

    The leader of Blair’s party, Jeremy Corbyn, apologized on behalf of the party for its past support for the war (which Corbyn opposed at the time). That is the first such public expression of regret from the leader of any major Western party that backed the invasion thirteen years ago, and it is a shame that it has taken this long for a major party leader to say so. There is no chance that a leading figure from either of our major parties would apologize for their role in supporting the war, not least because hawkish members in both parties are allergic to admitting that the U.S. has ever done something wrong. Obviously a belated apology doesn’t undo any of the enormous harm that the war has done, but it does mean admitting failure and accepting responsibility for a horrendous policy, and that is more than we have managed here in the U.S.

    Why can’t American politicians stop spinning occasionally and just tell the truth? I am so sick of Republicans complaining about the Clinton/Obama policy of this and that. There were eight years in between those two administrations. And no, they are not talking about Hillary now; they mean Bill in the 1990s.

    In 30 years GWB will disappear from the history books in Texas.

  139. 139
    Trollhattan says:

    @JPL:
    Not even “Little Donald?”

  140. 140
    JPL says:

    Now he’s on to how much he raised and nevertrump dying..

  141. 141
  142. 142
    MattF says:

    @BBA: That’s the conventional wisdom, but I’m not so sure. ‘Crazy uncle’ is not what most people want to hear in dangerous times.

  143. 143
    JPL says:

    @srv: They have him on tape, supporting the war..

  144. 144

    @Mary G:

    [Corbyn’s] is the first such public expression of regret from the leader of any major Western party that backed the invasion thirteen years ago

    Ummmm

    My greatest regret was voting to give President Bush authority in Iraq.
    –H. Clinton

  145. 145
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: When they say “leader,” they don’t mean girls.

  146. 146
    Mandalay says:

    @Mary G:

    Why can’t American politicians stop spinning occasionally and just tell the truth?

    Because almost all of them associated with the Iraq War have blood on their hands.

    And bear in mind that while Corbyn (who despises Blair with the heat of a thousand suns) has expressed regret on behalf of his party, Blair remains unrepentant, and refuses to apologize for anything.

  147. 147
    chopper says:

    apparently, drumpf lost his shit after seeing a mosquito by the podium.

  148. 148
    Baud says:

    @chopper: The first time a mosquito has done something positive in the history of civilization.

  149. 149
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @raven: Nah. Hey, Ravens! Whatcha think about LBJ?

  150. 150
    raven says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer: Aw, ju know. . .

  151. 151
    Mandalay says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    My greatest regret was voting to give President Bush authority in Iraq.

    Nope, that doesn’t cut it. That is a classic example of a non-apology, trying shift the focus and blame to Bush.

    It’s a politician’s apology. It’s not genuine.

  152. 152
    MattF says:

    @chopper: Hmm. I’ve read that Der Trump has a cleanliness issue. Mosquitos are unclean.

  153. 153
    Elizabelle says:

    @chopper: Was it a Zika ‘squito?

  154. 154

    @Mandalay: That doesn’t count as a ‘public expression of regret’? Whatever.

  155. 155
    Scott Alloway says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Just posted it too. Will see.

  156. 156
    Emma says:

    OK, I just visited LGF, where they are tweeting this speech. Holy cow! Is this for real?!

  157. 157
    Van Buren says:

    I remember being told that none but the loony left would be against that Grand Adventure. I guess we just weren’t paying enough attention to Trump at the time, because I’m told he also was opposed.

  158. 158
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    Trump naming Jewish people he knows, thinks his team should have left the star of David up. To paraphrase a tweet: any reporter who wants to post a story that Trump has pivoted, just stop.

  159. 159

    @Scott Alloway: I just got a comment, my first response!

    It was somebody telling me I was just trying to distract from Hillary’s emails.

  160. 160
    MattF says:

    @Mandalay: Well… it’s close, although no cigar. “I did ‘X'”, “‘X’ was wrong” is two out of the three requirements for an apology.

  161. 161
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Well, didn’t you?

  162. 162
    MattF says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: ‘Never apologize’ precludes pivoting.

  163. 163
    BBA says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Technically, Clinton isn’t “the leader of the party” quite yet. Certainly not in the parliamentary sense.

  164. 164
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mandalay:

    It’s not genuine.

    Proof?

  165. 165
    Quinerly says:

    @chopper:
    I just caught that. I feel so sorry for MSNBC’s Katy Turr who has to cover him everyday. She was trying to make a list of his topics that he was jumping around to…somehow the mosquito got compared to Clinton in his rant. Trump is truly more unhinged today and yesterday. He obviously has notes in his hand but just can’t help himself. Refuses to follow any sort of script. He’s insane and he’s breaking….fast.

  166. 166
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @MattF:

    S.E. Cupp Verified account
    ‏@secupp

    If Trump is trying to impress and reassure skeptical veep candidates, this totally unhinged speech is sure to do it.

  167. 167
    Mandalay says:

    @Major Major Major Major: You were responding to Mary G’s post which asked “Why can’t American politicians stop spinning occasionally and just tell the truth?”. Clinton’s statement was a classic example of spinning rather than telling the truth.

    Of course if she actually told the truth about her vote on Iraq she’d be dead meat politically, but that’s another story.

  168. 168

    @Mandalay: I was quoting her link to Larison and responding to that.

  169. 169

    This likely underlies the Parliamentary Labour Party’s (American translation: House Labor Delegation) pressure to resign on Corbyn last week. Corbyn opposed British participation in the Iraq war; many, perhaps all, of the Labour MP’s who would like Corbyn gone voted for the war.

    New Labour, I think, is toast. There is even talk of impeachment proceedings against Blair. It is going to be hard, however, for Labour to oppose Brexit in such disarray. It is looking more and more likely that the disgusting Theresa May will become the Conservative leader. She has already promised to start the formal process of British withdrawal from the European Union.

  170. 170
    redshirt says:

    I was a Reagan Youth but started voting Dem with Clinton in 1992 and have voted Dem ever since. However, I wasn’t inherently hostile to Republicans at the time, even with all the BS in Congress in the 90’s. I didn’t really even pay attention to the fiasco of the 2000 election. 9/11 had me rooting for our (seemingly smart) invasion of Afghanistan.
    And then Iraq happened. It seemed so blatantly obvious to me that W’s case was based on lies, that it was all lies, they were using the blank check of 9/11 to invade. That’s it. But as has been listed in this thread, the media sold it, all the Repubs went along, and most Dems followed as well for fear of looking weak or unpatriotic in a very hostile and angry political climate.

    Since then, I’m rabidly anti-Republican. The party has evolved into completely the BS artists and scammers that sold the Iraq war. They get worse every year. They’re a threat to the safety of the US and the world.

  171. 171
    Emma says:

    @Mandalay:

    Of course if she actually told the truth about her vote on Iraq she’d be dead meat politically, but that’s another story.

    The vast majority of the sane voting public will take a look at the choices on offer and vote for Hillary without a second thought.

  172. 172
    Quinerly says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:
    He’s breaking from any bit of reality that he had left. Totally unhinged today and yesterday. This rally in Ohio has to be seen to be believed. Some families would try to commit their father after some of this shit I have seen and heard yesterday and today. It’s more unorganized and erratic than anything a few weeks ago.

  173. 173
    JPL says:

    @Quinerly: I listened and imo, he is breaking. A few times, I have been with friends who were experiencing difficulties, and he is showing the same type of circular language. Newt wants to be his VP because he thinks, if Trump wins, Trump will resign.
    I probably won’t watch him again, because it’s just not healthy.

  174. 174
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    @Quinerly: What has been creepy is how willing the press is to get behind Trump if he’ll just follow the script and take Comey’s lead and attack Hillary on the email. I mean wtf? They’ve been saying all day in all mediums that if Trump will just attack Clinton the way they want him to attack her they’ll give him the good press he demands.

  175. 175
    Quinerly says:

    @Emma:
    It’s unbelievable to watch. I’m speechless. He needs an intervention. He is a sick, sick, sick man

  176. 176

    @Emma: Democrats, even ones who should know better, have a tendency to assume noble intentions on the part of Republicans. The simplest answer is that she thought they were telling the truth, and also that she thought the AUMF was the stick half of a carrot/stick approach to tough-talkin’ diplomacy. You know, what she said, with words, out loud.

  177. 177
    Mandalay says:

    @MattF:

    it’s close, although no cigar

    Indeed. Close, but a crucial component is missing…

  178. 178
    Emma says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I will admit that I felt like she did at first. In spite of knowing the players I didn’t believe they would be so goddamned treasonous as to lie about it all. Well, she and I learned.

  179. 179
    Baud says:

    Various news today about Cruz preparing for 2020.

  180. 180
    Emma says:

    @Quinerly: Jesus Christ. And if this goes on, he’ll be close enough to state secrets to put a wrench into the works by mouthing off. The diplomatic/military/spook community must be defecating bricks.

  181. 181
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Quinerly:

    Yeah. Hillary and Obama got under his thin skin, big time. He’s been exposed and his bubble has popped.

  182. 182
    JPL says:

    @Quinerly: Do they lock him up until the convention? At least crooked Hillary used a good picture of him with a club.

  183. 183
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Baud:

    Various news today about Cruz preparing for 2020.

    Are the End Times coming?

  184. 184
    Baud says:

    @Felonius Monk: Not soon enough.

  185. 185
    Quinerly says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:
    That seems to have hit a nerve with him and prompted a good portion of the rant. I didn’t count the actual minutes spent on his rant on Chuck Todd but it seems like it was longer than his actual rants about HRC. He seems more angry with Todd for Todd telling him how she should use Comey’s statements than at HRC. Chris Hayes says he has been watching these rallies for 13 months and this one tonight is truly off the rails. No control.

  186. 186
    Baud says:

    @Quinerly:

    his rant on Chuck Todd

    Noooooo! I don’t want the moral conflict that entails.

  187. 187
    Quinerly says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:
    His venom mostly was directed to Chuck “with the sleepy eyes” Todd. Pure hate. Kinda funny. Very scary, though.

  188. 188
    Shana says:

    @Major Major Major Major: All grandparents talk about their grandkids more than their kids. It’s one of the rules.

  189. 189
    Baud says:

    @Quinerly: Chris is now talking about a delegate coup at the convention.

  190. 190
    Felonius Monk says:

    Chuck Todd’s Twitter feed is hilarious. He is hated equally by Dems and Rethugs.

  191. 191
  192. 192
    redshirt says:

    @Felonius Monk: Don’t say that! It will make him think he’s doing the right thing.

  193. 193
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Baud:

    Chris is now talking about a delegate coup at the convention.

    Really doubt this will happen, but if it does, a lot of delegates will likely be going home in body bags.

  194. 194
    gogol's wife says:

    This is all just too much like the Dead Zone for me. I can’t take it!

  195. 195
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @srv: Um, no Mr. False Dichotomy. Bush was not right, because invasion was wrong (morally, legally and in terms of utility); Trump is not right because emulating Saddam when it comes to respecting human rights while fighting terrorism is also morally, legally, and instrumentally wrong. No need for convoluted metaphysics. Lots of leaders are bad, but that doesn’t mean the USA should start wars to depose them. And, all the more so, when the USA has no real plan in terms of what to put in place of the bad regime. Is that too hard for you to understand, dumbshit?

    As for asking the Iraqis, I think polling showed pretty much agreement with the above. Most Iraqis did not like Saddam, especially when it came to his respect for human rights. But most Iraqis did not, surprise, surprise, like their country being invaded and occupied by the USA, either.

    One real question is whether the invasion was justified. Answer: it wasn’t. Another real question is whether Saddam’s approach to fighting terrorism was the right one. Answer: it wasn’t . What isn’t a real question? Whether “we” are “better” or “worse” off without Saddam. That, instead, is a bullshit, childish, word game, that has no connection to the real questions. Do you really not get this? Are you that stupid? Or are you just in bad faith? I would guess the latter.

  196. 196
    Felonius Monk says:

    @redshirt:

    It will make him think he’s doing the right thing

    This is the only verifiable instance in which “both sides do it”.

  197. 197
    Quinerly says:

    @Emma:
    I’m a 10 year lurker on BJ. Only have been posting recently. My point is I’m only new here, not new to politics. Have worked on campaigns, am a 30 year practicing atty, and have worked in DC. These last two days are unbelievable. And I have been following closely this shitshow for 14 months.

  198. 198
    gogol's wife says:

    @Quinerly:

    I’ve been enjoying your comments. Don’t delurk!

  199. 199

    @philadelphialawyer: he’s a troll. Amusing, sometimes, but still a troll.

  200. 200
    Quinerly says:

    @Felonius Monk:
    I’m halfway expecting Trump to put out a hit on Chuck.

  201. 201
    hovercraft says:

    @Quinerly:
    This is the most unhinged speech I’ve seen, his verbal diarrhea is on par with LaPalins word salad, I’m not sure which is more coherent.

  202. 202
    gogol's wife says:

    I’m at the point where I have to watch Hot Fuzz once a day to cheer myself up.

    But then I always start giggling to myself at dinner for no apparent reason, and my husband says, “Hot Fuzz flashback?”

  203. 203
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Quinerly:

    I’m a 10 year lurker on BJ.

    For a moment, I thought you said you were a 10 year old lurker. Thank dog I don’t need to modify my language.

  204. 204
    MattF says:

    @gogol’s wife: You mean “Don’t undelurk.” Misnegation!

  205. 205
    Baud says:

    @Quinerly: I’m happy to hear my campaign brought a lot of new people to Balloon Juice.

  206. 206
    Quinerly says:

    @Baud:
    And the chick who was talking about the delegate who wants to “unbind” and was threatened.

  207. 207
    gogol's wife says:

    @MattF:

    Ooh, you’re right!

  208. 208

    @MattF: I read that as ‘miscegenation’.

  209. 209
    gogol's wife says:

    @Quinerly:

    I mean don’t undelurk!

  210. 210
    Quinerly says:

    @Baud:
    Not new to BJ. I go back to the Bush administration and pre Rosie and Lily days. Just never commented much. RIP Tunch. What an awful day that was.

  211. 211
    raven says:

    @Quinerly: You are not new, you are a new poster. You and JPL were freakin out during the Comey presentation, no?

  212. 212
    Quinerly says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    Gottcha!

  213. 213
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne:
    Bastard just has to hold it together for another couple of weeks

  214. 214
    JPL says:

    @Quinerly: Do you think he is breaking? We need a psychologist to weigh in.

    @raven: I’m still freaking out.. lol

  215. 215
    gogol's wife says:

    @Schlemazel Khan:

    You mean to make sure he gets the nomination?

    I’m sorry, I’d feel better if he were out.

  216. 216
    Miss Bianca says:

    @gogol’s wife: Neither should s/he underlurk, undielurk, nor undulate.

    Well, maybe undulate.

  217. 217
    Quinerly says:

    @raven:
    Yep. Comey was out of line in his presentation. It’s going to come back to bite him when he testifies before the House. Wait and see.

  218. 218
    Baud says:

    @Quinerly: I tend to agree.

  219. 219
    MomSense says:

    I was opposed to the war before it started and tried to organize against it but I think it was a done deal before W even took office.

    The usual people in my peace and justice circles were opposed, able to ask critical questions, and informed. I have to say that some of the conversations I had with war supporters, especially in person, were downright terrifying. Lots of blank expressions, constant head bobbing and use of the same phrases like “keep us safe”.
    People were afraid. We had been caught in a constant news cycle of fear and panic. Our brains do not function well when we are experiencing fear. We find it hard to concentrate. We act impulsively. It was like the whole country was stuck in a flight or fight response. Actually I think it was 63% of the country so maybe it was a rare example of reverse crazification.

    Our peace and justice group, a coalition of a number of groups, was caught up in the warrantless wiretapping mess. That still sort of hangs out there in my life and certainly makes me want to work like hell to make sure we don’t end up in a police state under Trump.
    And now I actually work with a number of veterans who served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s tough not to get angry (I do all the time) but the anger isn’t helpful when I’m needed to be a calming presence.

    I take some satisfaction that the Brits are at least trying to learn from what happened. I don’t see us attempting to do so anytime soon.

  220. 220
    raven says:

    @Quinerly: What are they going to do to him? He has a 10 year appointment.

  221. 221
    Quinerly says:

    @hovercraft:
    Palin

  222. 222
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Who are you kidding? You wouldn’t have modified your language anyway.

  223. 223

    @Quinerly: how would it come back to bite him? They’re all republicans after all.

  224. 224
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Mandalay: And what, exactly, is “the truth?” Hillary has explained a million times why she voted as she did. She has also said that she got it wrong. What is that you want, exactly?

    I find this constant blaming of Hillary for all the wars of the last 25 years to be ridiculous. Bill Clinton is responsible for US involvement in the Balkans. Bush is responsible for Iraq and Afghanistan. And Obama for Libya and Syria. The First Lady, a Senator, and the SofS, even if she is Mata Hari, and has the power to lead not only her husband, but an opposition party President and the President who beat her in the primaries, by their, er, ears, into war, is not, in the end, responsible for those wars. The Presidents at issue made those decisions, not Hillary. I think she has done more than quite enough to “apologize” for the Iraq War, which she did not start, or even want.

  225. 225
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @philadelphialawyer:
    Think he has more than amply demonstrated the latter.

  226. 226
    Mike J says:

    @Gin & Tonic: He would have just been more hep, daddy-o.

  227. 227
    J R in WV says:

    @srv:

    how many neoliberals can dance on the head of a pin?

    All of them, srv, if the pin’s name is tRump.

  228. 228
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Emma:

    Just peeked in over at LGF, haven’t even seen Drumpf yet but OMG, Newt sounds as though he’s either completely drunk/medicated or has had a stroke recently. Say what you will about him, and there’s certainly plenty to say, but he’s always been a clear, understandable speaker with precise articulation. But in his remarks tonight, the one or two minutes I heard, he is slurring his speech terribly and sounds as though his tongue weighs about 20 pounds. What the hell is going on with him?

  229. 229
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It’s a fair cop.

  230. 230
    hovercraft says:

    @JPL:
    You can’t lock him up, he would then have two weeks of pent up musings built up. Can you imagine the explosion of verbal diarrhea that would occur on national tv? It would be epic.

  231. 231
    Steeplejack says:

    @SFAW:

    That’s like saying they would be scared of doing battle with Monaco, or maybe Andorra.

    Those Andorrans will fuck your shit up, yo.

  232. 232
    gex says:

    @Baud: Now you get to demand a complete rewrite of the platform!

  233. 233
    Quinerly says:

    @raven:
    He made a lot of blanket statements that I don’t think his investigation can back up. A lot of opinion. Let’s look for any pieces or any interviews by Atty Abbe Lowell. He’s already beginning to weigh in. As it has been said in other threads, Comey cut his teeth as an underling in the Whitewater investigation. If he could have found anything on HRC with the emails he would have recommended charges (which honestly sounded like where he was going yesterday..) I think he wanted to damage her, basically give the Republicans 20 minutes of attack ads. I don’t think that he ever dreamed the House would want to call him to testify. Republicans are overplaying their hand…yet again.

  234. 234
    chopper says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Trump is rubbing off on him. or rubbing one off on him. you’re welcome for that image.

  235. 235
    hovercraft says:

    @Felonius Monk:
    Well that just proves how good he is at his job. Don’t ya know?

  236. 236
    JPL says:

    24/7 news is trying to pick out lines to show where Trump was coherent. Good luck

  237. 237
    smith says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I think Comey was doomed to spend an inordinate amount of time being grilled by the House regardless of whether he editorialized about Clinton or not. The Rs will not rest until they have something actionable on Clinton, so anything less than a referral for prosecution was not acceptable. I can’t imagine what it must be like for someone who’s spent 25 years in right wing bizarro world convinced to the depths of their soul that Hillary is a criminal and not ever be able to convince anyone with authority to prosecute her.

  238. 238
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @gogol’s wife:
    Yeah, I want the convention fight so he has to hang on till then.

    I feel his odds of getting elected are the worst of any of the 16 miserable assholes they had to choose from so, while his down side is – to borrow a phrase – YOOOOOGE his staying in till the end is best. That is unless they decide to go full metal civil war in Cleveland in which case a fall of bloodshed at GOP events would make me smile in my own twisted way as long as it was only Republicans & not innocents caught up in the violence.

  239. 239
    MattF says:

    @Quinerly: They can’t help it.

  240. 240
    Quinerly says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Too much opinion in his presser yesterday. Way out of line. Now he has been called to testify. He’ll need actual facts.

  241. 241
    MattF says:

    @Schlemazel Khan: Der Trump isn’t going to go quietly. Who would do the intervention?

  242. 242
    Quinerly says:

    @JPL:
    I used to scream at all the free press he was getting….every rally that was covered with baited breath. After these last two rallies, I think we need every rally covered from beginning end and shown in reruns three times a day. He’s breaking. People need to see it.

  243. 243
    Baud says:

    @Quinerly:

    Republicans are overplaying their hand…yet again.

    I got tired of reading liberal bloggers today lamenting how the GOP was blowing this opportunity.

  244. 244
    chopper says:

    @Mandalay:

    bush was the guy who invaded iraq so yeah, it ultimately was on him. I’m not sure exactly how clinton could have called her vote her greatest regret any differently than she did.

  245. 245
    MomSense says:

    @Schlemazel Khan:

    Pray for Cleveland and vote for Hillary. I’m thinking of turning it into a bumper sticker.

  246. 246
    Emma says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Jesus I didn’t even know about Newt! I couldn’t bring myself to watch, just read some of the comments there and here.
    One thing to be said for Hillary. God answered her prayers abut her enemies.

  247. 247
    Mike in NC says:

    @Steeplejack: And never mess with those blue-skinned Andorians, either.

  248. 248
    AnotherBruce says:

    @MomSense: It was a done deal when W took office. How did I know? Bush all but said he was going after Saddam in one of his debates with Gore. He was blaming the Clinton administration for not dealing with Hussein. I knew right then he was going to war. That’s why to this day I can’t believe how many fell for this. 911 changed the context and dynamics to where you could be accused of being unpatriotic if you didn’t support the war. But it was obvious that Bush’s pet war was more important to him than 911.

  249. 249
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @chopper:

    Ewwwww 😒

  250. 250
    The Lodger says:

    @the Conster, la Citoyenne: When you’ve lost Sippy Cupp, you’ve lost… I don’t know who, exactly.

  251. 251
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @MattF:
    Not unless he goes because he has a complete breakdown & is hospitalized. I don’t want that to happen yet. If he falls apart after July that would could be interesting because the GOP could replace him but the Drumpf fans would not be happy about it anyway but that would not be great either as the press would compare the new clown to Drumpf and pretend he is really pretty normal.

  252. 252
    Quinerly says:

    @Emma:
    Maybe now is the time to talk about Paul Manafort.

  253. 253

    @Quinerly:

    He’ll need actual facts.

    In this House?

  254. 254
    redshirt says:

    Has BJ been performing sluggishly for others the past few days?

  255. 255
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Lodger:

    When you’ve lost Sippy Cupp, you’ve lost… I don’t know who, exactly.

    Glasses-wearing, right-wing atheists.

  256. 256
    Emma says:

    @Quinerly: Oh yes, let’s. The weasely weasel.

  257. 257
    Baud says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The Dems get to ask questions too.

  258. 258
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Emma:

    Until that little bit tonight, I don’t believe I’ve heard Newt speak since he was a candidate in 2012. I’m really quite stunned at the contrast in four years’ time.

  259. 259
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Emma:

    One thing to be said for Hillary. God answered her prayers abut her enemies.

    True dat.

  260. 260
    Aleta says:

    Our system is rigged ! (Been having trouble posting anything more than one line.)

  261. 261

    @Baud: fair enough. Although if the Dems I’ve seen around the last day are any indication, there will be a lot of handwringing and “sure, Hillary is history’s greatest monster, BUT…”

    Maybe I’m wrong! Love to see him get grilled. Don’t know if office holders want to antagonize the FBI either tho.

  262. 262
    raven says:

    @Quinerly: How is that going to comeback to bite Comey?

  263. 263
    Quinerly says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    Dems get to ask questions too.

  264. 264
    MomSense says:

    @AnotherBruce:

    I remember that!

  265. 265
    Quinerly says:

    @raven:
    I thought I answered that above. I’m on my smarty pants phone and not on a keyboard so hard to post. Comey gave a lot of opinions in his presser yesterday. He needs facts. I don’t think he has them. Let’s see what happens.

  266. 266
    JPL says:

    Just in case, you think we are exaggerating about his speech, a mosquito interrupted his rambling and this is what he said..

    the democrats, oh there’s a mosquito i don’t want mosquitos around me i don’t like those mosquitos i never did okay speaking of mosquitoes hello hillary how are you doing

    that was one of his most coherent statements, btw

  267. 267
    liberal says:

    Hillary learned from the Iraq disaster…LOL. Guess you’ve never heard of Libya.

  268. 268
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @liberal: yeah, remember when we sent 250,000 ground troops to Libya and spent five years trying to set up a government?

  269. 269
    Chris says:

    @J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford:

    What has been creepy is how willing the press is to get behind Trump if he’ll just follow the script and take Comey’s lead and attack Hillary on the email. I mean wtf? They’ve been saying all day in all mediums that if Trump will just attack Clinton the way they want him to attack her they’ll give him the good press he demands.

    The mainstream media loves to deliver the Reasonable Republican line (to Fox & company’s right wing base line). Most of the time, Republican candidates are willing to humor the Village enough that they can pull it off. It’s just that Trump is making it impossible for them to do that. So, I guess, a lot of them are just taking it on themselves to continue putting out the line that they wish the GOP were using all by themselves.

    Basically, it’s the Village’s business to sell the fantasy that “Oh, Republican voters are good people. They’re just deeply concerned about Hillary Clinton’s emails, Barack Obama’s spending, and Bill Clinton’s infidelity. Those things hurt their frugal, honest, hardworking, Middle American values. It’s not like they’re racists, or sexists, or conspiracy theorists.” Except that Republicans, now including their presidential candidate, are now basically screaming “OH YES WE FUCKING ARE! ALL OF THESE THINGS!” at the top of their voices.

  270. 270
    Miss Bianca says:

    @philadelphialawyer: heh. righteous rant.

  271. 271
    Schlemazel Khan says:

    @redshirt:
    Not that I have noticed

  272. 272
    Miss Bianca says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Maybe they’ve drugged him?

  273. 273
    Mandalay says:

    @chopper:

    I’m not sure exactly how clinton could have called her vote her greatest regret any differently than she did.

    Easy peasy: by making no reference to Bush, and accepting total responsibility for her decision.

  274. 274
    grandpa john says:

    @Mandalay: Were you born with this amazing telepathic skill or did you acquire it later in life??

  275. 275
    Mandalay says:

    @philadelphialawyer:

    I find this constant blaming of Hillary for all the wars of the last 25 years to be ridiculous.

    Of course it’s ridiculous, because it’s a straw man that you built all by yourself.

  276. 276
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Mandalay:

    So much for “the truth.” The truth was that the Bush Administration lied about the reasons for the war. That’s kinda the point of the OP, only it deals with Blair’s government’s doing the same thing. Hillary was not “totally responsible,” as she was lied to. I see no reason why she should leave out the most important part of her actual decision making, merely to appease your high and mighty sense of what she must do.

    She said she got it wrong. Get over it. It wasn’t “her decision” that really mattered anyway.

    Also, she voted to authorize force IF there was evidence of WMD. There wasn’t, but force was used anyway. Again, someone named Bush had something to do with that. Tough noogies if you don’t like her mentioning him.

  277. 277
    Emma says:

    @grandpa john: It was the result of his achievement of perfection. Ever since reaching apotheosis he’s never had to apologize for anything.

  278. 278
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @Mandalay: You’re blaming her for Iraq. Others like you do the same for the other wars I mentioned.

  279. 279
    Smiling Mortician says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    hoofwanking bunglecunt

    I’m really late to this thread. But I am stealing this and using it with wild abandon. It is glorious, particularly as applied to Qusay (or Uday, whatever) Trump.

  280. 280
    Quinerly says:

    @JPL:
    Thanks for posting the entire quote. I thought that’s what I heard but just wasn’t fully comprehending all the shit he was spewing. I zoned out for a split second. Think my brain cells went in “protection mode” if there is such a thing.

  281. 281
    SFAW says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Those Andorrans will fuck your shit up, yo.

    Sshhh! I was hoping no one knew about the Andorran Special Forces, contract killers to the world. What’ll it take for you to bleib stumm?

  282. 282
    gex says:

    @Quinerly: Buffer overflow. You couldn’t process it as fast as he was filling it up with gibberish.

  283. 283
    SFAW says:

    @Mike in NC:

    And never mess with those blue-skinned Andorians, either.

    Especially the ones that aren’t really Andorians, but have had cosmetic surgery to appear that way. You can tell an Andorian by looking at their legs, to see if they have a pair o’ knees.

  284. 284
    SFAW says:

    @Baud:

    The Dems get to ask questions too.

    Good one! Glad to see you’ve kept your sense of humor.

  285. 285
    patroclus says:

    Hillary is one of the very few politicians that were actually held accountable for supporting the authorization of the Iraq war. I am personally confident that, had it not been for that vote, she would have been the Democratic nominee in 2008 and was very likely to be the President. She’s already paid a steep political cost for that authorization vote – I think she learned her lesson. History will continue to blame her for it, but history still blames Churchill for the Dardanelles, but it credits him for his leadership in WWII. She’s apologized/regretted that vote publicly many times – I hope that, when she becomes President, she will apply those lessons to her new job. Corbyn was beaten by Hillary by 8 solid years.

  286. 286
    grandpa john says:

    @Emma: Lurking here mostly for many years but occasionly posting I find certain posters who bring out need to remind all of us of the wisdom that can be found in quotations from minds from the past

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. Bertrand Russell
    Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quo.....21392.html

  287. 287
    grandpa john says:

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. Bertrand Russell

  288. 288
    philadelphialawyer says:

    @patroclus:

    All true, but its the Hillary rules. Every one, from comment thread participants on the internet to the head of the FBI, feels free to act like schoolmasters and dole out demerits and punishments to school girl Hillary.

    Unless and until Hillary does a Cercei Lannister walk down Pennsylvania Avenue she can never atone for her sins.

  289. 289
    Brachiator says:

    @MattF:

    I’m always somewhat boggled by people who claim they were mislead by the WMD ‘intelligence’. I watched Colin Powell’s presentation and knew it was a lie

    You knew it was a lie based on what actual evidence?

    In any event, the problem was that apparently Powell himself did not know it was a lie.

  290. 290
    chopper says:

    @Mandalay:

    but it wasn’t a direct vote for war. it literally was a bill to give bush authority if inspections didn’t work.

    either way it’s meaningless as to her showing regret. she clearly did even if you think her statement wasn’t good enough.

  291. 291
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Quinerly:

    I’m a 10 year lurker on BJ. Only have been posting recently. My point is I’m only new here, not new to politics. Have worked on campaigns, am a 30 year practicing atty, and have worked in DC. These last two days are unbelievable. And I have been following closely this shitshow for 14 months.

    Good thing I haven’t been posting lately or we would be over our attorney quota!

  292. 292
    Carl W says:

    @Quinerly:

    He’s breaking. People need to see it.

    Evidently the Hillary campaign agrees with you. Check out this audacious tweet:
    Hillary Clinton ✔ @HillaryClinton
    Newly discovered footage that could destroy Donald Trump’s campaign if everyone saw it: http://hrc.io/29o1O1I
    4:40 PM – 6 Jul 2016

    Where the link is to the livestream of Trump’s rally.

    ETA: Got the link from an LGF commenter.

  293. 293
    Quinerly says:

    @Carl W:
    Something is just different yesterday and today with him. He drug his son Eric up on the stage..saying “I love him, I love him..I love my children.” The son looked like a deer caught in the headlights.

  294. 294
    patroclus says:

    @philadelphialawyer: Cersei used a body double. Hillz is not really a spring chicken – she looks fine with clothes on, but I really don’t want to see an atonement walk by her, thank you very much. Now, if she could get the actress that plays Dany or Natalie Dormer to sub for her, I’m all in! Or a trial by combat would be cool too!

    Besides, I already punished her for that Iraq vote by voting for Obama against her in ’08. Once she’s President, I’m sure she’ll do something that I don’t like and I might hold her accountable again.

  295. 295
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JPL: srv never lets fact get in the way of pushing his fascist ideological agenda.

  296. 296
  297. 297
    J R in WV says:

    Any one got a link to a transcript, or a video of Trump’s presentation today?

    I’ve only seen little bits of it, the mosquito thing, etc, and I would like to see 10 minutes or so to know for myself how freaky he’s getting

    OT: Mrs J and I watched live NASA coverage of the launch of the Soyuz carrying 3 astronauts to the ISS from Baikonur launch center, those Russian rockets remind me of the Saturn V that launched the moon shots so long ago. Huge, but with live video of the interior of the space capsule. Amazing!

  298. 298
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @philadelphialawyer:
    @AnotherBruce:

    Anyone who bothered to look at the PNAC site before the election should have known that ginning up some need for intervention in Iraq was a major goal for the NeoCons. War would have come, one way or another. They promised it. They delivered.

  299. 299
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @MomSense: I’m ashamed to say that I figured Bush had to have more information that he wasn’t able to share with the public. But then I saw Powell’s presentation at the UN and the ancient pictures and the wild leaps from flimsy evidence to worst-case conclusions and thought – “That’s it? That’s the best you’ve got?!”

    I had misgivings when it finally happened (there had been all kinds of rumors for months before the actual invasion – people hearing about people being deployed, etc.). I figured we couldn’t keep spending $1B a month blowing up his radars and AA missiles while getting hammered in the press about the sanctions killing all of Iraq’s children. Something seemingly had to give. I didn’t think the war would be “free” or “pay for itself” but I figured the people doing the planning probably knew what they were doing…

    Of course, they didn’t.

    I think Rumsfeld and the rest were talking up how big and scary the air campaign was to try to get Saddam and his kids to run away so that there wouldn’t actually have to be an invasion. Remember Bush’s ultimatum:

    The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours. In recent days, some governments in the Middle East have been doing their part. They have delivered public and private messages urging the dictator to leave Iraq so that disarmament can proceed peacefully.

    He has thus far refused.

    All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing.

    For their own safety, all foreign nationals, including journalists and inspectors, should leave Iraq immediately.

    Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them: If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you.

    As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.

    He was delusional. He thought he could BS Saddam and the Iraqis. He thought he held a royal flush while Iraq held nothing. He had no plan for the day after, and never intended to have a plan. His attitude was, “They’ll do what I want, then Ahmed will go in and it’ll be his problem while US oil companies and Haliburton get the oil flowing. Gas will drop to $0.50 a gallon and I’ll be the next Lincoln!!!”

    Scott Ritter was right. He tried to warn us, but too many people bought into the “he’s just a lefty pacifist” stories about him. Too many people remembered GHWB and Norman kicking Saddam out of Kuwait and thought Iraq would be just as quick and easy. It was (and remains) a disaster..

    :-(

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  300. 300
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @MomSense: I’m ashamed to say that I figured Bush had to have more information that he wasn’t able to share with the public. But then I saw Powell’s presentation at the UN and the ancient pictures and the wild leaps from flimsy evidence to worst-case conclusions and thought – “That’s it? That’s the best you’ve got?!”

    I had misgivings when it finally happened (there had been all kinds of rumors for months before the actual invasion – people hearing about people being deployed, etc.). I figured we couldn’t keep spending $1B a month blowing up his radars and AA missiles while getting hammered in the press about the sanctions killing all of Iraq’s children. Something seemingly had to give. I didn’t think the war would be “free” or “pay for itself” but I figured the people doing the planning probably knew what they were doing…

    Of course, they didn’t.

    I think Rumsfeld and the rest were talking up how big and scary the air campaign was to try to get Saddam and his kids to run away so that there wouldn’t actually have to be an invasion. Remember Bush’s ultimatum:

    The United Nations Security Council has not lived up to its responsibilities, so we will rise to ours. In recent days, some governments in the Middle East have been doing their part. They have delivered public and private messages urging the dictator to leave Iraq so that disarmament can proceed peacefully.

    He has thus far refused.

    All the decades of deceit and cruelty have now reached an end. Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict commenced at a time of our choosing.

    For their own safety, all foreign nationals, including journalists and inspectors, should leave Iraq immediately.

    Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them: If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you.

    As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.

    He was delusional. He thought he could BS Saddam and the Iraqis. He thought Saddam was an ant. Bush had no plan for the day after, and never intended to have a plan. His attitude was, “They’ll do what I want, then Ahmed will go in and it’ll be his problem while US oil companies and Haliburton get the oil flowing. Gas will drop to $0.50 a gallon and I’ll be the next Lincoln!!!”

    Scott Ritter was right. He tried to warn us, but too many people bought into the “he’s just a lefty pacifist” stories about him. Too many people remembered GHWB and Norman kicking Saddam out of Kuwait and thought Iraq would be just as quick and easy. It was (and remains) a disaster..

    :-(

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  301. 301
    J R in WV says:

    @Comrade Scrutinizer:

    Well, after Iraqi special agents were arrested in Kuwait attempting to kill Geo. H W Bush, George Walker Bush, having that Texas blood in him (ha!) had to have revenge.

    That’s what this whole miserable affair was about, that pissant wanting to show the world that no 3rd world tinpot dictator was going to get away with trying to kill his daddy!!

    So thousands of American and NATO troops and hundreds of thousands of local folks have died or been maimed for George Walker Bush’s nasty little ego. No international Geo-political “Great Game” BS involved at all, just a sick boy’s ego.

  302. 302
    Barb2 says:

    @philadelphialawyer:
    because sexism – even from the liberals. If I remember correctly the Senate and House were lied to repeatedly. At one point they were given a super secret briefing, which nudged a few more over the line.

    The lies were coming from all directions. Only the inspectors on the ground were telling the truth – I believed Scott Ridder. At the same time I watched new homes being built on Whitby Island Navy Air Base, plus the weapons depot was busy. It didn’t matter that the whole world have a candle light vigil. The preparations for war showed us that there would be a war.

    Bush said he wanted to be a war President.

    We the people never got to see the slick secrets and made up facts that the Congress critters were shown. They were brain washed or covert mind control was used on Congress. The bad guys know all the tricks about creating a climate of fear.

    Would we have been immune to the mind fucking games invented by psychopaths on used on congress critters? I wonder exactly what they were told and shown in the days before the long planned invasion of Iraq. I went to a sailing seminar on weather on the day of the invasion. The meteorologist giving the lecture has been up most of the night working on the for cast for the bombers. Those of us at this sailing seminar were very depressed – he was riding a war fever high.

    The Bush gang wanted that war so they did whatever it took. Hillary is a mere human – she fell for the con. She also learns from her errors. I don’t blame her. Also she only had her vote – she wasn’t part of the pathological liars banging the war drumb.

    What we have today in another war – the war to control the white house. She is the best candidate. Period. That’s why Obama is out campaigning for Hillary.

    It does not matter how she voted back in the Bush dark ages. What matters is the future. For right now, today she is the only person standing between us and chaos.

    It matters that Obama knows how bad Trump really is. My bet is that Obama has read a briefing book on Trump put together by the CIA. The CIA does this for all major player – so this wasn’t done uniquely for Trump. Most likely there is a CIA staff psychologists or psychiatrist who has done a mental health profile. Years ago I saw some psych profiles on world leaders done by consultants for the CIA.

    Profiles on world leaders are prepared for Presidents so they know something about the people they will be meeting. Like for meeting of world leaders.

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    Felixmoronia says:

    @J R in WV: I recall reading somewhere that assassination plot could very well have been a Kuwaiti false flag op.

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    Msb says:

    Damn, I wish Robin Cook hadn’t died. Great speech. And recognizing Corbyn behind him, obviously agreeing, increases my respect for Corbyn.

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    Barney says:

    I think the memos from Blair to Bush really expose him as working to engineer an invasion, from as early as October 2001.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/u.....en-8359795

    11th Oct 2001: Blair says he fears Bush’s talk of a ‘phase two’ in the war on terror – beyond Afghanistan – “seems to confirm Osama Bin Laden’s propaganda that this is West v Arab”.

    But Blair makes clear he is ready for action against Iraq further down the line.

    “No doubt we need to deal with Saddam,” Blair writes.

    “But if we hit Iraq now, we could lose the Arab world, Russia, probably half the EU… I am sure we can devise a strategy for Saddam deliverable at a later date.”

    3rd Dec 2001: “It would be excellent to get rid of Saddam,” Blair said.

    But he added “there needed to be a clever strategy for doing this… An extremely clever plan would be required.”

    4th Dec 2001: He says Iraq is a threat because “it has WMD capability” but admits links to 9/11 are “tenuous” and most countries will be “reluctant” to back an invasion.

    So Blair suggests “softening up” public opinion by drawing attention to Saddam’s breaches of UN resolutions and demanding a return of weapons inspectors.

    He calls for a “strategy for regime change that builds over time… until we get to a point where military action could be taken if necessary.”

    Blair’s idea is to secretly support “opposition groups” in Iraq and then “when the rebellion finally occurs, we back it militarily.”

    Blair adds: “We need to be clear that if an uprising occurs, we are willing to act militarily in support.”

    28th July 2002: Damningly, it begins with a simple message to Bush: “I will be with you, whatever.”

    And Blair then immediately compares the situation in Iraq with other recent military conflicts – making clear he is preparing for war.

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    Sunny Raines says:

    @Eric U.: he’d still do better then what they have today

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    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet: Sorry about the double-post. The first version just disappeared, I thought it had something to do with the small stiff paper patterns so I got rid of that, but the 2nd version disappeared as well.

    I’d donate yuugely and often if a way could be found to get rid of the FYWP word traps for “quasi-trusted” posters here. It’s very frustrating to try to post something here only to have it disappear for no known rhyme or reason…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Barney: I agree that Blair was being Bush’s poodle and was all too happy to agree with him that Saddam needed to be “taken out”.

    But…

    The seeds for this were planted in the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. It was a horrible “feel-good” piece of legislation that had overwhelming support:

    The House of Representatives passed the bill 360 – 38 on October 5, and the Senate passed it with unanimous consent two days later. President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act into law on October 31, 1998.

    It was official US policy from 1998 onward that Saddam had to go.

    Many of the people who voted for it probably thought that it was just a symbolic statement of support, not that it would be used to justify a US invasion. But words matter, and feel-good legislation put up by the GOP too often turns into a Pandora’s Box.

    We need legislators (and Presidents) who are willing to say no to things like that, and to explain why they’re dangerous. Getting over-ridden isn’t the worst thing in the world, and a President arguing forcefully against bad legislation can (at least sometimes) generate its own momentum to keep it from becoming law.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

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    DeyeMofo says:

    Regarding that “Last Thought,” though: I don’t see how someone who directly voted to enable the Iraq War and still outright refuses to apologize for it like Hillary Clinton can be said to have “learned from it.” I see no evidence of this wishful thinking.

    Donald Trump may be a showman exploiting Conservatism’s Long Descent Into Utter Madness, but occasionally, and even more so randomly, he says something absolutely true, like when, DURING A GOP DEBATE, he called George W. Bush a liar who led us into war under utterly false pretenses.

    If you’re a young voter (as in, this is maybe your first or second presidential election), and you’ve grown up entirely in the WAR ON TERROR era, you’re faced with the choice between a Democrat still lying about the Iraq War and a Republican outsider telling the truth about the Iraq War. That is so unbelievably through-the-looking-glass bonkers to me that it’s hard to reconcile, but it’s the hard truth; yet another devil’s bargain that my fellow partisan Democrats have regressed into in the name of “mainstream electability” (cough, 2004 all over again, cough).

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    Scapegoat says:

    @DeyeMofo: Well said.

    Trump, for better and for worse, is an equal opportunity offender. But he does occasionally stumble upon a remarkable nugget. He’s like a restaurant buffet with 99 revolting dishes, but 1 dish — that no other restaurant dare serve — that’s delectable.

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