Iraq: Oh Lordy

I’m sure this is going to spawn into some very large, disgusting, and rather obtuse flame war, but here’s an interesting article from The New York Times (you know, that liberal commie rag on the east coast?):

Wolfowitz: Iraq Weapons Not a Priority

Filed at 3:12 a.m. ET

OVER THE ATLANTIC OCEAN (AP) – Finding the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that President Bush cited as his main justification for going to war is now a secondary issue, says Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz.

In an interview Monday night aboard an Air Force jet en route to Washington following a five-day tour of Iraq, Wolfowitz said the task of settling the weapons question is in the hands of U.S. intelligence agencies.

I'm not concerned about weapons of mass destruction,'' Wolfowitz told a group of reporters traveling with him. I’m concerned about getting Iraq on its feet. I didn’t come (to Iraq) on a search for weapons of mass destruction.‘’

He also asserted that Iraqis themselves have little concern about the weapons issue.

``If you could get in a relaxed conversation with Iraqis on that subject they’d say why on earth are you Americans fussing so much about this historical issue when we have real problems here, when Baathists are killing us and Baathists are threatening us and we don’t have electricity and we don’t have jobs. Those are the real issues.

``I’m not saying that getting to the bottom of this WMD issue isn’t important. It is important. But it is not of immediate consequence.‘’

The CIA has put David Kay, a former United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq, in charge of the search for illegal weapons.

Wolfowitz said Kay told him during a meeting Sunday that U.S. officials were having difficulty getting Iraqi prisoners to tell what they know about Saddam Hussein’s chemical, biological or nuclear programs.

The Iraqi government claimed prior to the war that it had destroyed all the weapons of mass destruction it once held, and U.N. inspectors were unable to find evidence of any.

I pushed him (Kay) a bit on why aren't these people talking. Why don't you, in effect, plea bargain with them,'' Wolfowitz said. He said there is no concept of plea bargaining in this place. If you confessed you just got executed faster or tortured less.‘’

Administration officials had hoped, and in some cases expected, to find evidence of chemical or biological weapons on the battlefield in the aftermath of the war, but so far nothing has turned up. Pentagon officials have said they believe the key is getting lower-level Iraqi officials to help.

The people that we're holding still feel they have much more to fear from their old buddies -- still buddies -- than anything we do to them,'' he said. So he (Kay) says it’s going to be a painstaking process.‘’

Oh. So the reason we went to war, and got thousands of people killed isn’t really the reason we went to war? So we sold the American people a bunch of false pretenses just so they’d allow us to go in and kick the shit out of a bunch of Iraqis?

I just don’t get it anymore.

And then I see stuff like this, and I start to lose hope in the whole situation, and I actually get depressed:

“Most soldiers would empty their bank accounts just for a plane ticket home.”
-Anonymous Army soldier in a letter to Congress, Christian Science Monitor, July 7, 2003

“Make no mistake, the level of morale for most soldiers that I’ve seen has hit rock bottom.”
-Unidentified officer from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division in Iraq, Christian Science Monitor, July 7, 2003

“The way we have been treated and the continuous lies told to our families back home has devastated us all.”
-Unidentified soldier in a letter to Congress, Christian Science Monitor, July 7, 2003

“U.S. officials need to get our [expletive] out of here…I say that seriously. We have no business being here. We will not change the culture they have in Iraq, in Baghdad. Baghdad is so corrupted. All we are here is potential people to be killed and sitting ducks.”
-43-year-old reservist from Pittsburgh, who arrived in Iraq with the 307th Military Police Company on May 24, Washington Post, July 1, 2003

“What are we getting into here? The war is supposed to be over, but every day we hear of another soldier getting killed. Is it worth it? Saddam isn’t in power anymore. The locals want us to leave. Why are we still here?”
-Sergeant from the U.S. Army’s 4th Infantry Division, The American Cause (founded by Patrick Buchanan), June 30, 2003

“This duty is absolutely ridiculous… We are combat troops. We are trained in combat. We are not trained in peacekeeping. We should all be home by now. It’s like we won the Super Bowl, but we have to keep on playing.”
-Sgt. 1st Class Richard Edwards, Los Angeles Times, June 29, 2003

“At night time you think about all the people you killed. It just never gets off your head, none of this stuff does. There’s no chance to forget it, we’re still here, we’ve been here so long. Most people leave after combat but we haven’t…Some soldiers don’t even f****** sleep at night. They sit up all f****** night long doing s*** to keep themselves busy - to keep their minds off this f****** stuff. It’s the only way they can handle it. It’s not so far from being crazy but it’s their way of coping. There’s one guy trying to build a little pool out the back, pointless stuff but it keeps him busy.”
-Cpl. Richardson, The Evening Standard, June 19, 2003

“For me, it’s like snap-shot photos. Like pictures of maggots on tongues, babies with their heads on the ground, men with their heads halfway off and their eyes wide open and mouths wide open. I see it every day, every single day. The smells and the torsos burning, the entire route up to Baghdad, from 20 March to 7 April, nothing but burned bodies.”
-Sgt. Meadows, The Evening Star, June 19, 2003

‘‘Little kids wave at us and their parents slap them in the back of the head and make them stop…It makes me feel like I wasted my time over here and they don’t appreciate what we did…’’
-Spc. Anthony Combs, Associated Press, June 17, 2003

I know these guys don’t speak for the entire army, but I think they’re finally starting to get it. Sure they kicked ass, but that means bollocks when everybody wants you out, and every 15th Iraqi wants to put a bullet between your eyes.

Gotta love these no-win situations.

If everybody wanted them out, they would be out. But if Bush were to chicken out and not try to help rebuild Iraq, not only does he leave it open for Saddam’s return, but he also risks attacks from the Democrats as well as his own party for not doing anything “to help the poor Iraqis.” Conversely, if he doesn’t leave, he gets attacked by Democrats for having gone in in the first place. And if he hadn’t gone in at all, and Al Qaeda landed nukes on our soil (Iraqi ones) and blasted them, then Bush gets attacked by his party and the Democrats for NOT having gone in.

There was no viable solution to the Iraqi problem, therefore the BEST solution (going in and staying) was the only solution that could logically be used. I don’t think you’d want to bet on thousands of americans dying by Iraqi WMDs, and I don’t think you’d want to risk retribution from Arab countries by going in, wrecking the place, and then leaving.

And now for something that’s fucking weird to try to avoid a flamewar:

Oh, great, now I’m going to check my penis for flies every time I get a stomach ache.

In other news, Iraq can rebuild itself just fine. They still have way more right now than most African countries. And they’d have even more if you wacky Americans didn’t insist on draining their preciousssss, precioussss oil.

I think the main concern should be finding out who are killing the American soldiers down there, that’s probably what’s killing our morale.

That and the fact that we still refuse to give our soldiers liveable salaries.

Anyway, as for Blivvy’s comment, the oil is what they have that makes them better off than any old African country. the Iraqi’s problem is that they currently lack a stable government, and that’s why we’re still there. If there was someone waiting in the wings to snap the reins of government complete with his own adoring fans in the populace, then we wouldn’t be there as long as we are planning. Basically, what the US seems to be stating is: We want to stabilize countries that are currently in chaos or are run by dictators (and are thus most likely to be helping terrorists). In that regard, it almost seems like our old WWI goal of “making the world safe for democracy”

That goal sucks. It means “Making the world like America, without prior written consent.”

A few things:

Trot, just because WMDs are no longer our main concern does not mean they never were or that they’re not important, which Wolfowitz himself stated. We went there to deal with this issue (Saddam used to have them, then refused to cooperate with weapons inspectors when they went looking, so who actually believes he didn’t have them right up until the end?), but now we have the creation of a stable government to keep us busy. We’ll sort out the WMD issue when we get the chance.


Dude, what do you know about most African countries? Because, let me tell you, they are not at all capable of anything like the rebuilding that Iraq requires, as indicated by the fact that they are hellholes.

Yeah, like America. Dedicated to the idea that people have the right to live their own lives more or less according to their choosing, or really just the right not to be killed for looking at their leader the wrong way. So like America, like Canada, like nearly all of Europe… what a terrible goal.

I’m not saying we should pull out, in fact, if we pulled out, I think we’d be making a huge mistake. We have to rebuild this stupid country once and for all, and we have to try and keep the peace there.

I say it’s a no-win situation because: if we don’t go in, Saddam is still in power, and if we do go in, we’re there for years and years (and in the hole billions upon billions).

My point is: it was a pretty stupid war to begin with, and now it’s getting a whole lot stupider.

At least we’re in agreement on that point. As for the soldiers complaints, how many of them truly disapprove of being there? There’s no poll, only letters and quotes from people against being there. SURELY there are quotes from people who are for it. They merely are not heard as much for two reasons: 1. they don’t need to since they’re already there and have nothing to complain about (few people ever right letters saying “Hey I like this.” to the media and their senators. It’s almost universally “I don’t want this, I don’t want that. I want this thing that you DON’T have.” 2. The media wants to portray our intervention in as poor a light as possible, so the few pro-Iraq letters that would come in would likely be ignored by the media.

Pip, for the last time, the media in this country are not on the left.


Fox isn’t on the left. That’s all you can honestly say. Though they’ve all become more like propaganda rags of late, media bias is still, for the most part (save Fox) on the left.

Actually, all that this means is that the military is not concerned with finding the weapons. The U.S. certainly still is. This makes perfect sense when you consider the fact that the U.S. military would have no chance of finding these weapons; the only way that they’ll be found is if an Iraqi gives U.S. intelligence a location. Try, for a minute, to remember how large Iraq is and how small these weapons would be, especially if they are biological or chemical. They probably aren’t marked with a neon sign.

If I told you that I had hidden a U-haul van full of anthrax (or whatever) somewhere in California, would you be able to find it? More importantly, do you think that even the U.S. military would be able to find a single van with the information “somewhere in California?”

Ok, fine, but the way this war was being sold at the beginning was: we have to find the weapons of mass destruction before we are all devoured alive in the fiery maw of Allah.

The way they made it sound, there should be soldiers tripping over ICBM’s filled with doomsday gas (with a note attached reading: To Al Qaeda! Love, Uncle Saddam).

If the situation were different, if they were actually on the trail of some large stockpiles of chemical, biological, and (according to the British LOLOLOL) nuclear weapons, they’d ballyho the WMD thing to no end.

Now, since they have no leads, and maybe no weapons to speak of, well, getting the regime out of power was all we really wanted to do anyway. Not that we’re going to get rid of other oppressive regimes around the world…oh heavens no…just that this one was easy and ripe for the picking, sort of like Grenada, only bigger.

Unless of course they actually find weapons of mass destruction, at which point Fox News will break into Brit Hume’s Cockgobbling Hour of Cumguzzling Fun to announce: WE TOLD YOU SO.

Fox isn’t on the left, they’re just jerks.

i never said Fox was on the left. Just that every other news/media conglomerate leans that way.

While Fox itself may not be balanced, it at least provides a balance and a viewpoint that is different from CNN/NBC/CBS/ABC

Yeah, but they’re jerks about it. They also never double-check anything.

All news coverage sucks, as they’re all owned by large multinationals, and hire anchors who have the collective brains of a bucket of chum.

KBV, I disagree with you on a lot of things, but ordinarily you’re pretty reasonable. Don’t end this now by becoming ridiculous. The fact that Rush Limbaugh (a commentator, not a newsman) and the Fox News Channel (which, as far as I can tell, almost always presents both sides of every issue) exist does not in any way counterbalance a pervasive bias in the news media.

No complaints here. If I were president, even China would be sitting at the other end of an ultimatum… which, among dozens of other reasons, is why I’m not president.

I overreacted, sir, and thank you for pointing it out. But Fox is not the only media voice on the right, nor is there anywhere near the horriffic imbalance implied by “the media wants to portray X as X.” The media do not have a unified voice by any means.

This is true, however, individual companies and corporations (indeed, I consider more than 50% of the total, also reaching to a majority of the households of America) are left-leaning. This does not mean that there are not massive right-leaning offerings, but there is a greater number of more leftish offerings (in my opinion, indeed, these offereings being the ones that average people without access to Fox News (or not knowing what it is) or without listening to the radio listen to.

However, I feel that this really is a relatively minor and moot point in the long-term meaning of this thread.