Monthly Archives: December 2004

Eight Questions (Plus One)

In an attempt to foster "brutally honest conversation" among hawks, Kevin Drum has 8 questions for Iraq war supporters (and in reality, it is more than eight. I suspect many hawks will dismiss these questions as "rhetorical", but I don’t think they are. Any takers? I would also appreciate links if you know of blogs who take on Kevin’s questions.

1. Considering how Iraq has gone so far, do you still think that American military power is a good way to promote tolerance and democracy in the Middle East? Has your position on this changed in any way over the past two years?

2. Shortly after 9/11, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson said publicly that they thought the attacks were well-deserved retribution from God in response to moral decay — as personified by gays, feminists, the ACLU, and NOW. Do you worry that Falwell and Robertson are identified by many as the face of the Republican party? Do you think President Bush has sufficiently distanced himself from them and their followers?

3. Is democracy promotion really one of your core concerns? Just how far are you willing to go to demonstrate your credibility on this subject? Note: President Bush’s policy toward either Pakistan or Saudi Arabia would be excellent case studies to bring this question to life.

4. On a related note, which do you think is more important to the Bush administration in the short term: preservation of a stable oil supply from the Middle East or spreading freedom and liberty throughout the region? Would you be interested in seeing the records of Dick Cheney’s 2001 energy task force to verify this? Please be extra honest with this question.

5. A substantial part of the Christian right opposes any compromise with Palestinians because they believe that Jewish domination of the region west of the Jordan River is a precondition for the Second Coming. Is this a reasonable belief? Or do you think these people qualify as loons who should be purged from the Republican party?

6. Yes or no: do you think we should invade Iran if it becomes clear — despite our best efforts — that they are continuing to build nuclear weapons? If this requires a military draft, would you be in favor?

7. If President Bush decides to substantially draw down our troop presence in Iraq after the January 30 elections, will you support that decision? Please answer this question prior to January 30.

8. Would you agree that people who accept Laurie Mylroie’s crackpot theories about Saddam Hussein’s involvement in 9/11 might be taking the threat of terrorism a little too seriously? What do you think should be done with them?

And I have one of my own:

9. If we are fighting a war against terrorism, do you think the United States should have direct involvement against ETA (the Basque terrorists in Spain)? Why or why not?

White House Distances Itself From Realities of War

I can only imagine what it must be like to receive a letter from the government stating that your son/daughter has been killed in combat.

But . . . it’s a necessary aspect of war.

Still . . . is it too much to ask of the President that he NOT sign these letter with a green felt-tip marker? Is it too much to ask that Rumsfeld personally sign these letters instead of using an automated machine?

A retired colonel weighs in.

So WHY Did We Invade Iraq in Response to 9/11?

"Because Iraq had WMDs and posed a serious threat."

We now know they didn’t.

"Because Iraq had significant operational ties to Al Qaeda."

We now know they didn’t.

"Because a democratic Iraq will spread democracy in the region in order to combat Islamofascism."

Oh, okay. That makes sense, I guess.

Wait a second. No so fast, sparky:

WASHINGTON, Dec. 4 – When Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and other senior American officials arrive at a summit meeting in Morocco next week that is intended to promote democracy across the Arab world, they have no plans to introduce any political initiatives to encourage democratic change.

President Bush started speaking in 2002 about the need to bring democracy to the Arab nations. Since then, however, the popular view of the United States in the region has grown so dark, even hateful, that American officials are approaching the meeting with caution and with a package of financial and social initiatives that have only a scant relationship to the original goal of political change.

(Read more here [subscription required]).

Our international policies are seriously laughable. Just one step above "If you clap real hard Wendy, you too can fly." Is there anyone in government interested in reality? I mean . . . "Mission accomplished"? What WAS the mission? What was accomplished? Where is the peace dividend? What did these people die for, and what did it have to do with THIS:

"The president is authorized to use the armed forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to (1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, and (2) enforce all relevant United Nation Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."