WMDs were a bureaucratic reason for war

  • #1
Dissident Dan
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WMDs were a "bureaucratic reason" for war

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=2840293
Iraqi Weapons Only One Reason for War-Wolfowitz
Wed May 28, 2003 05:20 PM ET
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The U.S. decision to stress the threat posed by Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction above all others was taken for "bureaucratic" reasons to justify the war, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was quoted as saying in remarks released on Wednesday.
Wolfowitz, seen as one of the most hawkish figures in the Bush administration's policy on Iraq, said President Saddam Hussein's alleged cache of chemical, biological and possibly nuclear weapons was merely one of several reasons behind the decision to go to war.

"For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
In other words, the 'truth' this administration tells is based on focus groups, huh? Whatever the PR guys say will work best?
 
  • #3
Mr. Robin Parsons
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Maybe we should re-acromyn them to "Weapons of Death and Destruction" so they could be W-Dad's...(Dubya-Dad)...snicker, snicker...
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Zero
In other words, the 'truth' this administration tells is based on focus groups, huh? Whatever the PR guys say will work best?
No, that's Clinton you're thinking of. Damn near every decision he made was based on an opinion poll. Clinton followed the US opinion. Bush is leading it.
 
  • #5
kat
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The U.S. decision to stress the threat posed by Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction above all others was taken for "bureaucratic" reasons to justify the war

Maybe I'm having problems translating as American English is my first language, but I don't see the statement above as being the exact equivelant of what the quote below is stating.


"For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on,"

It also seems to fall short of what the actual full transcript is showing:

"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on, which was weapons of mass destruction, as the core reason."

and after his phone call continued:

"There have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually, I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one, which is the connection between the first two."

I'm really sick of media distortion, isn't there enough garbage to report without distorting statements?
 
  • #6
That's odd, kat, because of his 'three overriding concerns', two of them turned out to be distorted, misleading reasons to go to war.
 
  • #7
Dissident Dan
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Well, what does it mean when he says "everyone could agree on"? Does he mean that they all believed that it was a legitimate reason, or that they all agreed that it could be received by others as a legitimate reason?

What I get from this article is that people all had their own reasons for wanting the war, and they just decided upon WMDs as the public front. These people did not come out and say why they each wanted the war. It is a good example of why to be wary of people's, especially governmental people's, intentions.
 
  • #8
russ_watters
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Originally posted by kat
Maybe I'm having problems translating as American English is my first language, but I don't see the statement above as being the exact equivelant of what the quote below is stating...

It also seems to fall short of what the actual full transcript is showing...

I'm really sick of media distortion, isn't there enough garbage to report without distorting statements?
Nice catch, Kat. I hadn't read the whole thing.

It really is pathetic.
 
  • #9
It's just the tired old Nazi / Machiavelli idea: frighten the population into hating your prospective enemy. One way to do that is by lying about his weapons. This kind of thing just winds up wasting a lot of time, and is much easier than building a Jeffersonian democracy.

_____________
"Accept the vote of a free election." Mikhail Gorbechav 1989
 
  • #10
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=16063 [Broken]

"...the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) formally concluded that, "There is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons" in September 2002, just as Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld was telling Congress that the Baghdad "regime has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, sarin, cyclosarin and mustard gas."

There is also growing doubt about the evidence that Bush himself touted this weekend as proof – two truck trailers described by officials as mobile weapons-productions labs. According to a CIA report noted in the 'Slate' Internet magazine, key equipment for growing, sterilizing and drying bacteria was not present in either trailer

Retired intelligence officials from both the CIA and the DIA are also coming out with ever-stronger statements accusing the intelligence community of twisting and exaggerating the evidence to justify war.


Food for thought, if nothing else...
 
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  • #11
russ_watters
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Quick question: If no WMD or evidence of WMD production is ever found, does that mean the war was NOT justified?

Followup: If yes, what do we do about it/what are the implications of it?
 
  • #12
FZ+
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Quick question: If no WMD or evidence of WMD production is ever found, does that mean the war was NOT justified?
It depends on the justification for war that was used. In most people's minds, with the justification based on WMDs, it would no longer be justified. Legally, it would no longer be justified - the invasion is classifiable as a war crime.

Followup: If yes, what do we do about it/what are the implications of it?
The ones who deceived knowingly can be accused of treason and it undermines all future such acts.
Further, the moral high ground cannot be maintained as it would be known that the Saddam regime acted faithfully to international law while the US acted as an agressor state.
 
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  • #13
I always thought the WMD 'argument' for war was bunk; while it surprises me that there don't seem to be any, I never thought they were a threat. So I still think it's justified, for the same reasons as before -- getting rid of a brutal and aggressive dictator, asserting US willingness to use force and hence geopolitical credibility, and hopefully taking a step forward in the Middle East.

If there turns out to have been deception about WMDs -- which is IMHO fairly certain; there was simply so little effort made to secure the suspected sites (many went unsecured for days and were looted before inspection teams arrived) -- then Bush and his administration should be run out of town on a rail, figuratively speaking. There would need to be an uproar a la Watergate; taking the country into a war on the wings of a deliberate deception is not the kind of thing we want to let slide and have future administration feel O.K. about.
 
  • #14
russ_watters
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IMO, the four justifications for the war were all equally valid reasons for going to war. I'm surprised that the WMD haven't been found, but while the WMD issue was served up for the ignorant masses, the rest of the population (the republicans) understood that the other three issues were just as valid.
 
  • #15
So, Russ, you are saying you don't mind if a President lies to the people, so long as he is a Republican, and he is supporting Republican goals.
 
  • #16
To me, it DOES matter if the reasons stated for the war were lies...but for us 'ignorant' folks, truth is more important than supporting Republican economic imperialism.
 
  • #17
We already know that evidence of Iraqi nuclear fuel purchases was faked, probably by the CIA. The pentagon pressures the CIA to produce intelligence that serves their purpose, but the CIA is in the business of describing REALITY.
 
  • #18
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Zero
So, Russ, you are saying you don't mind if a President lies to the people, so long as he is a Republican, and he is supporting Republican goals.
Sigh. Zero I know its been a few months since I explained this all to you and you misunderstood/misconstrued it, but I won't explain it again. You know the FOUR reasons for going to war and you know my opinion of them.

Quite frankly, most of the country doesn't have the attention span to deal with four simultaneous arguements on one issue. The Republicans understand, a handful of democrats understand but don't listen, and the rest just plain don't understand the issues.
 
  • #19
Dissident Dan
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I do not like your partisan, over-simplifying comments, Russ. To call those who are not Republicans ignorant is ludicrous.

I don't give the general population a lot of credit, but, apparently, I give them a lot more credit than you do. I think that they can handle four reasons (you can count them on one hand). Even if they couldn't, that does not excuse or justify the lying and forgery that the administration has done.

Also, they gave at least 3 fictitious reasons--attempting to acquire nuclear materials, buildup of chemical/bio weapons, and a link to al queda--that's a difference of one reason. So the argument, based on number of reasons, fails..unless you think that there is a dividing difference between 3 and 4. Oh, and then they tacked on freeing the Iraqi people, bringing it up to 4. I assume that the fourth is one of your 4 reasons.

Now, if you get into the specifics of the content of each reasons, I'm not sure of how well the goal of getting troups out of Saudi Arabia would go over with the public. Of course, the goal of that goal (easing tensions in the Middle East) is pretty invalidated by the lying, because of the Arab resentment that this war has caused. If the administration had been forthcoming about that goal in the first place, maybe there would be less resentment.
 
  • #20
Quite frankly, most of the country doesn't have the attention span to deal with four simultaneous arguements on one issue. The Republicans understand, a handful of democrats understand but don't listen, and the rest just plain don't understand the issues.
This is not an acceptable defense. Believe me, while I understand and mourn the astounding lack of comprehension the public has of geopolitics, this does not justify massive campaigns of deceit by any President or administration.

You could make the same argument about almost any political issues -- health care, economics, tax cuts, etc; the job of the government and people who advocate some policy is to argue for it, not to lie about it because "people are too stupid/misguided to understand it anyways." What makes a democracy work is a willingness to publicly debate the issues and yield to the final democratic decision; when you start lying because you think your opponents are irrational... it's going to descend into a free-for-all.

If you feel it was okay for Bush to deceive on this... just imagine what you would think if it was Clinton cooking intelligence to achieve some liberal policy goal, justifying it 'cause he knew the American people were too dumb to understand what was best for them. Blair is being skewered in Britain over the lack of WMDs, even by those who supported the war; the same thing should be happening here -- not some partisan closing of ranks, and arguments to the effect of "it's OK if we lie, because we know we're right anyways..."
 
  • #21
Originally posted by Dissident Dan
Oh, and then they tacked on freeing the Iraqi people, bringing it up to 4. I assume that the fourth is one of your 4 reasons.

yes, if by "free" you mean remove one dictator and replace him with our own appointed leadership, therefor keeping the iraqi people from electing their own leader democratically.
 
  • #22
Dissident Dan
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In case you haven't noticed, I opposed the Iraq war. I was just listing purported reasons. If we had actually decided to put a good amount of effort into rebuilding and keeping order in Iraq in the meantime, then it may have been a good reason (although not justifying in my opinion). But that's not what happened. But I digress.

Back on topic. The "bureaucratic reasons" statement basically admits deception. If we can accept deception on the basis of ignorant masses, then why even have a representative government at all? And damgo made a good point with turning it around the other way.
 
  • #23
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Dissident Dan
I do not like your partisan, over-simplifying comments, Russ. To call those who are not Republicans ignorant is ludicrous.
Heh. Touche'

Also, they gave at least 3 fictitious reasons--attempting to acquire nuclear materials, buildup of chemical/bio weapons, and a link to al queda--that's a difference of one reason.
You have the issues wrong. My point is proven.
This is not an acceptable defense. Believe me, while I understand and mourn the astounding lack of comprehension the public has of geopolitics, this does not justify massive campaigns of deceit by any President or administration.
Damgo, that's not a defense of a "massive campaign of deceit" because there WAS NO massive campaign of deceit.
You could make the same argument about almost any political issues -- health care, economics, tax cuts, etc; the job of the government and people who advocate some policy is to argue for it, not to lie about it because "people are too stupid/misguided to understand it anyways." What makes a democracy work is a willingness to publicly debate the issues and yield to the final democratic decision; when you start lying because you think your opponents are irrational... it's going to descend into a free-for-all.
Damgo, I KNOW you are not that naive. That *IS* how politics works. No, it SHOULDN'T work that way, but it DOES.
If you feel it was okay for Bush to deceive on this...
Again, I think you misunderstood. I do *NOT* feel that Bush even did decieve me.
Back on topic. The "bureaucratic reasons" statement basically admits deception.
No, it doesn't. As kat pointed out, the article completely missed the point of the quote. "Bureaucratic reasons" means he dumbed it down for the general population. That is NOT deception, that is simplification.
 
  • #24
Dissident Dan
237
2
Originally posted by russ_watters
You have the issues wrong. My point is proven.

Unless I've been wired into a Matrix this whole time, those were purported reasons that were given.

As kat pointed out, the article completely missed the point of the quote. "Bureaucratic reasons" means he dumbed it down for the general population. That is NOT deception, that is simplification.

If they did not reveal their real intentions, then that is deceit.
 
  • #25
kat
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Just a few points,

this is the continuation of wolfies statement:

There have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually, I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one, which is the connection between the first two."

On the WMD's although none have been found, as of yet, I have to question whether or not there was belief that WMD's were present by the administration. They've withdrawn the 200+ team of inspectors...this would suggest they no longer believe that there exist WMD's...but then they send a new team of almost 1500...? this would seem to suggest that there is still someone up there who believes they exist. On the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people...yes, this was a spoof..I mean aid workers aren't exactly tripping over mass graves on a daily basis are they? On the support for terrorism, this is no secret, checks to suicide bombers and an al queda camp in Iraq was/is public knowledge.

On the article, the first paragraph, the paragraph most people who are too busy to read the entire article scan and develop a basis of opinion on, was entirely misleading. Even then, if upon reading the entire news article with it's selected quotes of the vanity fair article...you still cannot know without reading the vanity fair article the full meaning/intent of his words within the framework of the interview itself...EVEN then, upon reading the vanity fair article..it appears, according the wolfie that without reading the actual transcript of the conversation you cannot get the full understanding of his statements WITHIN the context they were given because the Vanity Fair article is also selectively quoting him out of context.
 
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  • #26
Wolfie? Are you guys dating?


Oh, and in the context of his entire career, and the current philosophy of teh neocons, lying IS acceptable, anything is acceptable, to achieve the goals of the radicalized right-wing.
 
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  • #27
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Dissident Dan
Unless I've been wired into a Matrix this whole time, those were purported reasons that were given.
Sigh, ok.

1. WMD
2. Terrorism
3. Regime change
4. Regional stability (oil if you wish)

You were close, but you didn't quite have it.
If they did not reveal their real intentions, then that is deceit.
No, because anyone who had paid attention would have heard ALL FOUR reasons cited publicly on many occasions. I didn't make them up and I didn't hear them from the voices inside my head. Again, that quote said they FOCUSED on one reason - but they certainly listed the others. This is the most basic of all debate tactics: List all of your arguements, then focus on the one you believe is strongest to go into detail. And remember, "strongest" is not what is most morally justified or legally right, or whatever. "Strongest" is the one that will sway the most opinions. Big difference.

There is a short quote from yesterday from Hans Blix in today's USA Today. "[there are] long lists of items unaccounted for." Now this certainly doesn't prove they exist, but the inspectors were sent into prove they were destroyed. And Saddam actively prevented them from doing that. And Blix now wants to go back in. Clearly (to me anyway) he thinks Saddam was hiding something worth finding.

...to achieve the goals of the racialized right-wing.
Hmm. Republicans are all racists, eh? Nice, Zero. You've really gone over the edge.
 
  • #28
Originally posted by russ_watters


Hmm. Republicans are all racists, eh? Nice, Zero. You've really gone over the edge.

Typo...I mean radicalized...which I am now unsure is actually a word.
 
  • #29
Originally posted by russ_watters
And remember, "strongest" is not what is most morally justified or legally right, or whatever. "Strongest" is the one that will sway the most opinions. Big difference.

But, what if the details are lies and misdirection? What if the emphasis is put on a completely minor point?

Oh, and I'm glad, yet again, that you are so willing to throw away legality and morality to suit you.
 
  • #30
kat
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Originally posted by Zero
But, what if the details are lies and misdirection? What if the emphasis is put on a completely minor point?


You mean lies and misdirection...like the entire first paragraph of the article that this entire thread is based on? is that what you mean!?
 
  • #31
Originally posted by kat
You mean lies and misdirection...like the entire first paragraph of the article that this entire thread is based on? is that what you mean!?

No, I mean like the first two years of the Bush 'presidency'.



The U.S. decision to stress the threat posed by Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction above all others was taken for "bureaucratic" reasons to justify the war, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was quoted as saying in remarks released on Wednesday.
Wolfowitz, seen as one of the most hawkish figures in the Bush administration's policy on Iraq, said President Saddam Hussein's alleged cache of chemical, biological and possibly nuclear weapons was merely one of several reasons behind the decision to go to war.

"For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on," Wolfowitz was quoted as saying in Vanity Fair magazine's July issue.

QUOTE]

Show me the lie in that?
 
  • #32
kat
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Zero-
Are you trying to misdirect us by referring to more then the first paragraph?
 
  • #33
russ_watters
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Originally posted by Zero
Typo...I mean radicalized...which I am now unsure is actually a word.
Ahh. Ok, good. Because I'd never heard of "racialized" so I looked it up. It means "To perceive or experience in racial terms."

But, what if the details are lies and misdirection? What if the emphasis is put on a completely minor point?
If the details are lies then that's wrong. But I don't think the details WERE lies.
Oh, and I'm glad, yet again, that you are so willing to throw away legality and morality to suit you.
Hmm. No. I am quite possibly the most moral person you have ever met. And I really mean that. You thoroughly and consistently misread/misinterpret/mischaracterize my posts.

And kat - go get 'im,
 
  • #34
Originally posted by kat
Zero-
Are you trying to misdirect us by referring to more then the first paragraph?

What, did I post 3 paragraphs?
 
  • #35
Originally posted by russ_watters
Ahh. Ok, good. Because I'd never heard of "racialized" so I looked it up. It means "To perceive or experience in racial terms."

If the details are lies then that's wrong. But I don't think the details WERE lies. Hmm. No. I am quite possibly the most moral person you have ever met. And I really mean that. You thoroughly and consistently misread/misinterpret/mischaracterize my posts.

And kat - go get 'im,

Well, it seems like you simply funnel the lies that come from the RNC...not your fault, if the media does it, why shouldn't you? Sorry, if I channel my anger towards them at you...I'll try my best to curb it in the future.
 

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