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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

To dine or not to dine with the Prez

It could be argued that Nick Saban took a pass on having dinner with President George Bush Sunday evening with the idea that he'd much rather see the President in February.

At the White House after a Super Bowl victory.

It could also be argued that if the leader of the free world, the most powerful man on Earth and the democratically elected leader of your country invites you to dinner, by goodness, you move practice and go. You change the schedule and make an appearance. You simply show up.

Being a little politically naive, I want to believe the first one. Being a little a little skeptical because of my reporter's background, I'm tempted to believe the latter.

So here is your chance. What do you, the voting public of the blogosphere, think Saban should have done? What would you do if the President invites you to dinner on, say, your wedding aniversary or your mother's birthday?

Remember this a sports blog, so don't come with any cheap partisan shots on W.

93 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wayne is paying Saban to win football games. End of story.

2:02 AM  
Anonymous nottsfin said...

C'mon, just one cheap partisan shot on W. Pleeeeease?

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's your job as a reporter to report. If Nick had accepted the invite, the entire sports media of South Florida would be ripping Nick for not being devoted to the team. His efforts are concentrated to te team. His schedule is set. Leave him alone. HE did the right thing.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Andyman said...

I think if the President invites me to dinner and I'm close enough, I find a way to attend. That said, gotta love his commitment.

10:00 AM  
Blogger passionfish said...

all day on 790 the callers couldn't bring politics into their comments-that's crazy. it's clearly a political issue because he didn't go-and how do you turn down the prez? with me it's not partisan, just personal and i would not have gone either. i think coach stuck to some undisclosed to us principals both political and due to his commitment to the team. i really really like our coach!

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Kurt said...

Its called leading by example. The needs of the team come before the needs of the one. Its an attitude shared by champions throughtout time. I'm sure as hell looking forward to this year like no other since the departure of #13.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Saban did the right thing in sticking to his commitment to the team ... have to agree with Kurt on the leading by example notion. He is sending a clear message here: his head is totally immersed in football right now ... nothing is more important, not even W.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous seamus said...

Saban and Bush are similar in many ways -- very focused but willing to delegate to people they trust. Neither likes people talking to the press.

They're also very different. Bush likes vacations, likes lots of breaks during the day, like to charm (or sometimes disgust) people with his casual informality. Saban likes to work, hates distractions. And that's why he didn't go.

6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

g. bush is a criminal and nick did a fine job of rebuffing the punk.

go miami.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

You guys crack me up. Bush is a criminal? I didn't realize Hezbollah dorks read my blog.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's right, Armando. Maybe down there folks don't see it that way but in the Northeast, on the west coast and the *rest of the world*, GW is considered just that - a criminal. NOBODY wants anything to do with Bush right now (not even members of his party) and Saban would be doing him a favor by dining with him, not the other way around.

Who knows how much Bush and all he stands for had to do with Saban's decision though? From what we know of him, it's more likely, he a) saw this as a opportunity to make a huge statement to his team and b) truly felt he couldn't pull himself away. For that, you gotta tip your hat to him.

12:38 AM  
Anonymous nottsfin said...

Yeah, everybody knows Hezbollah dudes are Jets fans.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Jeff Granger said...

I'm sure NFL coaches turn down invitations all the time during the season and turn them down for the exact same reason. The only ones making this political are the media. I'm a Democrat, but if the President, regardless of party, invites me to dinner then I'm going to go, but my job situation isn't the same as Nick's. I respect him for his dedication.

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Bubba Kartoffel said...

Armando specifically asks that no one make political comments and you folks suffering with Bush Derangement Syndrome are helpless to comply. Typical.

I think Saban is COMPLETELY focused on football and is a bit of a control freak in that he couldn't bear to miss a practice. His quote elsewhere about avoiding a fight with the wife over his decision by coming home late displays, I think, a familial leaning toward the conservative spectrum.

Its still a free republic and, Thank God, we are free to turn down an invitation from our leader without dire consequence.

I'll bet you Saban makes up for it later in some fashion, like sending our country's, twice duly elected, courageous, leader a jersey or an invite to go golfing or something.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait a second -- Bush can inject politics into sports by inviting Marino, Shula, for a photo-op down in South Florida, but WE can't criticize Bush because doing so would inject politics into sports? Are you kidding me? More political correctness in the sports section? This was a blatant political ploy by Bush that backfired.

And yes, Armando, it is a "crime" for one to lead his country to invade another country without provocation, just as it was a crime when Saddam Hussein did it in 1991. Bush is a criminal by standards of international law. (See generally, Just War theory). You don't need to be a member of Hezbollah to understand that - you just need to get out and read beyond the entertainment section.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

armando thank you for not acting like that punk cote and taking pot shots. i am also happy that the 9-11 conspiracy theorist idiots haven't infiltrated this yet, anyways nick saban had a prior commitment. it was called work. Now granted i understand that our jobs and his job are a little bit different but the fact remains he had work to do, simple as that case closed.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Another Anonymous (or are they all the same?) sufferer of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Why don't YOU read something other than the liberal claptrap that leads you to believe W is a criminal.

This country was never 'provoked' by Serbia and yet the rapist, liar, Clinton sent our troops there. As a matter of fact, he sent troops to more places without provocation than any president in history.

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nick was right to turn him down. It's a matter of responsibility to his team and the kind of commitment and dedication that is going to put this team over the top.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary's complaining about "Bush Deranement Syndrome" but then he's still all worked up about Bill Clinton. Get a grip, man. How serious must your own Derangement Syndrome be, about a guy who had {gasp} oral sex in the White House. At least he didn't lie us into a wa and then mismanage the occupation. He didn't illegally spy on the entire country. He didn't order the torture of thousands. He didn't declare that he can hold US citizens indefinitely without trial. He didn't announce that he has the right to ignore the law whenever he damn well feels like it (remember your mantra from eight years ago--"The president is not above the law"--you Republicans should think about that now).

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHO WOULD WANT TO EAT WITH A MAN WHO IS PLUNDERING OUR COUNTRY AND EATS WITH HIS MOUTH OPEN TO BOOT.
William....

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"twice duly elected"

HAHAHAHA! LOL. Good one, pally.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the principles this country was founded on is that no one is greater than anyone else, including the President. You get 10 years max and go back to private life. No one mentions that Shula had an invite and a prior commitment and didn't go either.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Various Anons:

Juanita Broderick, the woman Clinton raped, was not in the White House. Clinton demonstrably lied to the nation, while your assertion about Bush lying is false. You imagine it because your partisan ideology allows no straying from the path or independent thought. Lies repeated often enough to the unaware are thought of as truth in your Orwellian world.

I have plenty of disagreement with George Bush in matters of government spending, the illegal alien situation and his seeming inability to clearly state his administration's stance on many issues, but to brand him a liar with zero evidence and delusionally imagine he has not been elected TWICE is telling.

Your fantasies about spying on the entire country, torturing thousands, etc. are all easily refuted if you but look outside your spoon-fed ideology.

I nowhere claim to be a Republican, and in fact, am not. I can assure you I am not a Democrat, a party that has lost its' way and whose leaders are interested solely in power and will do ANYTHING to defeat a president who has the fortitude to fight the right war at the right time in the best interests of this great country.

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think he did it just to use this as a point in a rough part of the season. I think he know before they asked, and I think they know before they asked that he was saying NO. I say he planned the entire thing. SET UP!!

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...ok, I'll answer the question, Armando. On my wedding anniversary, I would excuse myself and dine with the president- of course, I know my wife would understand and agree- she wouldn't want to miss that opportunity either.

I'm guessing that sentiment applies to 99.9% of the population, but that's where an NFL head coach is different. They are a rare breed, with a dedication and work ethic that goes far beyond us mortals. In some ways I envy it, in other ways I loathe it. In any case, if you want a champion, having a guy like that steering the ship is what you want.

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget why Nick didn't want to go. Doesn't the President have some more important things to be doing right now than socializing with sports stars?

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, it seems he's met Bush before, after LSU (co-) won the NCAA title. He's also met Clinton before, and actually gave up his office to the Presidential detail so Clinton could catch a nap on the couch (the office they gave the President didn't have a couch). So maybe the thrill of meeting the President is gone.

I say who cares? It's a good example (Jason Taylor also turned it down), and maybe, just maybe, he doesn't like the guy that much anyway. I would have turned down the dinner, even though I have a great deal of respect for the office of the President, because I believe the current occupant does not.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it's right for you to pose a scenario and then set the conditions for the answer. The person who happens to be the president most definitely factors into any decision I would make about it. I am not deferential to the office of the president if the person holding that office has stated publicly on more than one occasion that "a dictatorship would be much easier." The simple fact is that Saban probably believes practice is more important than any presidency. Now if he were being asked specifically to attend the White House or for a counseling session on how to run something efficiently, he probably should for the good of the country. Hobnobbing for the sake of Bush's PR folks hardly qualifies on the radar for canceling practice.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he looks like Alfred E Newman, Talks like Alfred E Newman, and thinks like Alfred E Newman, then I would also refuse!

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pretty well known in the media workroom that Armando's a typical Cuban wingnut. It's no surprise he's pimping for W.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary - Bill & Ted just called - they want their speech from the finale of "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" back.

Before you go spouting off again, PLEASE, for the love of God, don't embarrass yourself anymore than you already have, and do your homework. Curious? C'mere, sit on my knee, and let me tell you a little story.

I posted earlier about the illegality of the Iraq invasion. Now, people like me, who make arguments for a living, usually rely upon credible sources to support their arguments. This is so we can avoid the playground-type bombast of which you seem so fond. And one of my sources is this thing called the UN Charter. Now I know this may be hard for you to accept, Hillary, but we are signatory to this Charter, and we have agreed to be bound by its provisions as a member-state.

And guess what? Under Article 2, Number 4 of the UN Charter, "All Members shall refrain . . . from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state . . . ." This is referred to by professionals as the "Prohibition of Aggression." Moreover, there is an absolute prohibition against the use of force other than in self-defense, absent a positive determination by the security council under Article 42.

Now I don't want to insult your intelligence. No, I can tell that you are woman of most discriminating tastes, and can read these provisos, as well as the conditional one contained in Resolution 1441 (the condition for which was not met), for yourself.

But don't let your Mary Kay run -- cheer up -- you actually did get something close to right. Clinton's participation in NATO's 1999 bombing of Serbia is arguably a crime. And as wrong as that was -- and it WAS wrong -- it pales in comparison to the actions taken by this administration, and does not excuse or justify what Bush has done. Did you get that last part Hillary?

For tomorrow's class, we'll talk about why torture is wrong and ineffective.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coach did the right thing, stop turning this into a political or super human thing --it was just the right thing. I say is the White House fault for poor planning on the President's schedule. Obviously Coach Saban is going to do his job before going to some ceremonial dinner with G.W.B --that's just the kind of guy he is. I was impress with his commitment and with his dedication, but I don't think it's such a big deal (and I'm a politician).

Let's just hope that when we win the Super Bowl, G.W. still wants to see Nick Saban go up to the White House.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's a football coach...admittedly "apolitical"

Libs love to attach more to it than that. And lets see...you're a member of the media...couldn't guess your side of the fence.

In this world where we must write more and more to feed the public...can't it just be a non story? Why must it be a political statement?

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Anon 1:48 PM:

You may put your faith in the thoroughly discredited UN to make everything in the world peachy. I do not. If I lived in Sudan, Rawanda, Nigeria, etc. I would be even less so inclined.

The UN is impotentat best and truly dangerous otherwise. That not withstanding, how many resolutions may be ignored by a sovereign state before the threats of punishment for non-compliance are turned into reality?

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441 is a resolution by the UN Security Council, passed unanimously on November 8, 2002, offering Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations" that had been set out in several previous resolutions (Resolution 660, Resolution 661, Resolution 678, Resolution 686, Resolution 687, Resolution 688, Resolution 707, Resolution 715, Resolution 986, and Resolution 1284).- resolutions spanning more than a decade.

Wow, that UN is really serious and to be heeded!

I prefer the United States remain free to solve its problems without a permission slip from the likes of Annan (Chairman of the Iraqi Oil for Food scam), Chirac, Putin et.al.

I don't feel embarrased in the least, but you should. Someone who makes a living arguing should be more convincing. I am a mere layperson who seems to have a better grasp of world events than you.

I already know what torture is and isn't. If you'd like a refresher:

http://www.instapunk.com/archives/InstaPunkArchiveV2.php3?a=122

Now, find something else condecsending to say.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That punk is not worth missing a practice and definitively not an intimate anniversary dinner.Let's move on.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Hey folks, Bush is the president of the United States and, agree or not, he should be respected. You may not like the man in the office, but you respect the office.

The rantings of you frustrated Bush haters is why I requested we keep this stream to how it pertains to Nick Saban and the Dolphins and not into a discussion about President Bush.

As for the media person who says I'm a known Bush "wingnut," ... Thanks for reading my blog. Pretty good, eh?

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary - dude - you're just making it worse.

First, as to the efficacy of the UN, take a stroll through Kosovo today and look at the good the UN can do. I have. Anyone with a clue will tell you that the US soldiers serving there (along w/ other UN forces) are the only thing keeping the 5% Serb population from extinction. Spend some time in Sierra Leone -- I did, at the tail end of its civil war, in 2001. Again, the UN presence, while it arguably could have done more, certainly prevented the continued rape and mutilation of large swaths of the civilian population. Others who have more experience than me will tell you that the UN has failed in the past, but it has also done a world of good. Save your junior-high isolationist obloquy for people who don't know any better.

Next, before you start trotting out UN Resolutions that you haven't read, and parsing sections of UN charters off of the White House web site, read all of 1441, and history behind it, and the conditions that were set before the use of force was authorized. And then, please, read a book about how UN Security Resolutions are put into effect. When you do this, you will discover (1) 1441 was not authorized by the Security Council (my recall is that 3 members explicitly stated it was not an authorization to go to war), and (2) the US invaded, nonetheless, notwithstanding that it was not in response to an act of aggression. Ergo, not authorized by the UN. And no matter how hard you huff and puff, Hillary, we, the United States, agreed to be bound by that charter. That's what civilized nations do - abide by their treaties.

I don't like being condescending, Hillary, but your posts beg for it: you apparently have very little understanding of the world and the way it works. Do yourself a favor, and read books with small type and footnotes. I trust that if you did so with an open mind, your cowboy mentality would abate. And please, before you offer any more of this "permission slip" tough-guy talk from the comfort of your air-conditioned basement, grow a pair and volunteer in some part of the world without a 7-11 perched on every corner. I think it would do you and your anger some good.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Armando when you use the sentence "you frustrated bush haters" that makes you what?
You telling me that you would eat with the gig.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Anon 1:48 PM
And since you’ve got me hot and the mascara is really running: Would you rather quibble about dotting I’s or hew to the broad strokes:

UN Charter also states:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. “

This is indicative of the spirit embodied in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, is it not? I suppose it might be too late to ask the 300,000 Iraqi citizens dredged from mass graves after the toppling of Saddam.

“Article 2, … sets out the basic principle of equality and non discrimination as regards the enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, forbids "distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status".

Article 3, the first cornerstone of the Declaration, proclaims the right to life, liberty and security of person -a right essential to the enjoyment of all other rights. This article introduces articles 4 to 21, in which other civil and political rights are set out, including: freedom from slavery and servitude; freedom from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law; the right to an effective judicial remedy; freedom from arbitrary arrest, detention or exile; the right to a fair trial and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal; the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty; freedom from arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home or correspondence; freedom of movement and residence; the right of asylum; the right to a nationality; the right to marry and to found a family; the right to own property; freedom of thought, conscience and religion; freedom of opinion and expression; the right to peaceful assembly and association; and the right to take part in the government of one's country and to equal access to public service in one's country.”

All these things ignored in Iraq under Saddam, but you would call Bush a criminal for deposing him; because the security council, some members benefiting from Saddam’s Oil for Food payments and contracts (France, Russia) refused neither to hold him accountable to the numerous resolutions nor for his gross violations of human rights.

There is something very twisted and just plain wrong in your condemnation of our President as a criminal, a good and decent human being I’d be proud to dine with.

I am an immigrant to this fine nation and have served in the U.S. Navy, to answer your non sequitur and further condescension.

I don't have a basement. I am not angry, just dismayed by those who align themselves willingly with the worst elements in our world.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Armando Salguero said...

Eat with the gig? What does that mean? You mean eat with the President?

Yes, I would be there. He's the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, so you respect the office and go if you can. We're not talking about eating with the Prince of Zamunda -- that's Eddie Murphy in case you guys didn't see the movie.

Meanwhile, what does all the UN talk have to do with sports? They sending peace keepers to get run over by the Dolphins offensive line?

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to Hillary.
Don't worry Hillary your man is catching up on Saddam,did you ever count how many Iraqis civilians have died since the illegal invasion of the
"texan butcher"

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Yeah, and they were all killed by George Bush personally, except, of course, for the few dispatched humanely by head-whacking terrorists.

Watch the beheading of Nick Berg or notice that the "insurgents" are doing all the killing now and talk to me about who is slaughtering whom and for what reasons.

Wake up, Anon; and grow some yourself and at least hide behind a pseudonym.

May I suggest "The Patriot" or "Saddam's Apologist?"

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

first I'm not the same anon,second if that invasion had not happened all those people will still breathing,killing directly or indirectly is basicly the same.Also let's talk about the innocents sent to die by then "the Texan butcher" when he was a governor.
Sorry your man has A HISTORY.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Anon 4:57 PM

Are you living in the same world we are?

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Anon 4:57

Oh, you mean condemned killers? Yeah, those 'innocents' were sent to the great beyond according to the state laws of Texas, in place before Bush became governor.

He followed the law (in this case.)

5:10 PM  
Blogger Chuck Gregory said...

If I were invited to dinner with this president, I would be excited at the opportunity to turn him down. If I attended, I'd probably throw up--that's my usual inclination when I see him on tv. For the right president--a reasonably honest one that was actually elected--I'd drop all other commitments and make the time.

I hope that Saban will find a way to snub the guy again if he gets the opportunity.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry AS,

i thought this was a dolphins blog.

see you next time,


md

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary
how many of the condemned killers will be let go nowaday with DNA testing?
But I forgot that you do not care about that,you could share the same butcher shop with your man.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Anon whomever:

Is there an echo in here? If the state of TEXAS has executed an innocent person and that is proved by DNA testing, then I am sure the legislature will revisit the laws governing execution. They may do it if anyone who has been executed in the U.S. is discovered to have been falsely executed. I'm sure some will come to light.

To blame it on Bush is disingenuous at best. What was he supposed to do? Pardon every cold-blooded killer? The people of TX through their legislature WANT killers to be executed. Bush was THEIR governor following the law.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Bubba Kartoffel said...

Wow, what have you guys done to Hillary?

I practically had to pry the keyboard from her hands. She must have been checking up on where I visited this morning and decided to wade into this football blog. She doesn’t know anything about football, so I apologize if she said anything off topic. She’s neglected the housework and it looks like I’m making dinner since she‘s gone off to take a nap. So please don’t hold it against me. Hey, did you hear that Marino and Bush are really good friends?

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hillary
Your man is ready to break the law anytime he needs it.
The Terry Schiavo case in Florida is a great exemple that him and his brother
tried to change the law to fit their will.
So do a little bit of soul searching and you will see the light.
And I'm done.Have a good night.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First I think you mean wedding anniversary not weeding. Because if it is weeding then go see the President.
Secondly, Nick has his priorities straight. What if it was dinner with some other famous person. No one says you have to go.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Bubba Kartoffel said...

Uh, I see things have quieted down here. I have had an opportunity to survey the damage Hillary visited upon her attackers and think she did O.K. I'm kinda proud of her, and she followed Armando's plea not to take a cheap shot at W!

Anyway, if you will indulge me one last comment and then we're both done with this post.

To anyone who is interested, I offer this article (38 pages) at Commentary Magazine which, I believe, accurately states a pretty sober case for the war in Iraq and doesn't stoop to name-calling.

http://www.commentarymagazine.com/Archive/digitalarchive.aspx?panes=1&aid=11802019_1

For some of you Anons - What you do is highlight the above by moving your mouse over it with the left button depressed. Then while it is still highlighted, press Ctrl and the letter c at the same time. Then go up to where it starts http: in your web browser and highlight that whole area, Then push CTRL and the letter v at the same time. You should see the link to Commentary as above. Then press "Go." Wait while a pdf file loads and then read. Hope you learn something. Pardon the condescension.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Bubba said...

The link got cut off; sorry.

Just go to commentarymagazine.com and search for:

World War IV:
How It Started, What It Means,
and Why We Have to Win

by
Norman Podhoretz

8:44 PM  
Blogger finfancan said...

hey armando, didnt i see you on tv beating up an old lady that was trying to vote six years ago?
seriously folks saban does not seem the political type. he has that focus and single minded approach that is typical of all great coaches.no need for conspiracy theories. as for the un spokesman who so eloquently put hillary in her place its really nice for the rest of the world to know that not all americans have been outFOXed.

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the love of god this is a dolphins blog if you want to sound off on your political views please do it elsewhere, oh and the idiot who said all the good the UN has done in kosovo has really walked around there because i have. The only thing they've done to that country is turn it from a 3rd world country to begin with to a 4th world country and i don't even think they have a definition for a place that bad yet. The only good thing about it is the night clubs UN give me a frigging break. Nick saban is right on the money by declining the invite. It would've interfered with his job that he was hired and is being paid to do. I don't care if it was the president, an alien ambassador from mars, or dan marino if you gotta practice scheduled you go to work.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous miamimike13 said...

I am depressed now. I didn't suspect that my beloved dolphins had so many left-wing, cowardly, give in the the enemy, conspiracy theory, Michael Moore loving,Bush hating liberal fans. They must be Jets fans in drag.

I am sure Saban didn't want to leave his team, this a hectic time of year.

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey MiamiMike13:
How many tours have you pulled in Iraq? I'm guessing zero. That not only makes YOU a coward, it also makes you a complete hypocrite. Don't talk the talk if you won't walk the walk.
If you want to be a man go to www.goarmy.com and sign up. God bless and go Fins.

1:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary,

Just wanted to let you know I admire your tenacity. You can lead a horse to water, but... I've given up on the misery crowd- it seems once they're fully indoctrinated, de-programming is very difficult.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary,

I think you are very well informed and I agree with your posts.
Keep up the good work.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Armando

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” Teddy Roosevelt

So , by suggesting one has some sort of duty to accept an invite from someone who is in the office that they don't respect, you're being servile and morally treasonable. I guess history isn't your bag?

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry Hilary, but you got taken to the woodshed in that exchange. Your response to the UN guy doesn't respond to his point that Bush's actions were illegal, under the terms of the UN charter. You only say that the UN has other provisions that weren't being protected with Hussein in power. But his point was that the US actions violated the Charter - and you had no response to that. So UN 7 Hillary 0. And one more thing for Hilary - being critical of the president does not, in my book, mean that you are aligning yourself with the enemy. If you are an immigrant, maybe you're afraid to speak out, but that's the most patriotic thing you can do, IMO.

The other thing I noticed about this whole exchange is that the anti-Bush crowd seemed to come to the table with some specific point they wantted to make. But the pro-Bush people didn't really have any response to those points, and didn't really have anything good to say about Bush - they are simply against Clinton, Michael Moore, and the UN.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Thomas said...

I think he did the right thing, by not accepting the invitation. He was very respectful in his answer to the White House, and he also gave up a tremendous privilage to go to practice. As a player you are motivated and know your coach practices what he preaches. However, if it were me on my wedding anniversary I would go and bring my wife with me. HUGE browny points to dine with the President, especially if the one in office happens to be one you like.

5:13 PM  
Blogger DC said...

I agree with one of the earlier posters: its a political ploy that backfired. I'm sure that if Saban was at all enthusiastic about meeting the prez' then something could have been worked out to accomodate both men's schedules. It's a little over-the-top to suggest that even a quick photo-op would somehow disrupt training camp.

On the flipside, I'm sure a Bush visit to the lockeroom would have been welcomed as an appropriate environment for his typical towel-snapping fratboy antics.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary, it's the "UN guy", back from a break. I'll keep this brief, bcz i know that there aren't a lot of people reading this anymore, and i'll try to keep the condescension out of it. It seems that you believe in what you're saying, and that you mean well. But here's where you err.

1. Your recitation of part of the UN charter was correct, but it completely misses the point. The issue Armando raised was whether Bush is a criminal. I explained that he is bcz there was no act of aggression, and the UN Security council didn't authorize the invasion. (In fact - i checked - the US itself said that another resolution would be needed before we went to war. None was pursued.) Your argument goes to a separate point about the legitimacy of the UN. Again, most people will concede that it has made its mistakes (e.g., Rwanda, Sudan), but it has undoubtedly done a world of good [and to the guy who was allegedly in Kosovo - dude, you truly don't know what you're talking about. Take a trek west of Pristina into Pec' and you will see ethnic hatred at its apogee. One Kosovar official told me that if the UN left, the next day the remainder of the Serbs would disappear, and that the only thing keeping that from happening was the UN presence]. To suggest we should abandon the UN is just so naive... But anyhoo, Hillary, if you want to argue the UN is ineffective, that is one argument. But to suggest that this justifies, or decriminalizes, the US invasion and occupation of another country does not follow from it.

2. Now Bubba makes a separate point, and cites to an article published by Podohertz, the self-proclaimed "founder of the neo-conservative movement." They're the geniuses who brought us the Iraq war and promised roses and dancing in the streets. Expecting him to admit that the Iraq invasion is a mistake is like asking Lenin to renounce communism. not very likely. But let's put that aside and get to the merits. The piece - which i read - is frankly a pretty frail piece of scholarship: it does not present any hypotheses that can be tested in an objective manner. (it's like arguing that Pink Floyd's "the Wall" is the best album of all time. Fun, but in the end, there's no way of proving you right or wrong). Worse, as an advocacy piece, it is also pretty tepid bcz (1) it's filled with flowery, aspirational rhetoric, and (2) the argument for success in Iraq is predicated upon a 100 year, holistic theory of warfare that, while entertaining, is bubbly gibberish. Serious academics don't write like this, Bubba. It also does what a lot of defective arguments do -- it parses facts that suit its theory, while ignoring analagous precedent (e.g., Great Britain's invasion of Iraq in the early 20th Century). And, of course, by speaking from such a broad overview, it is blind to the reality of the situation we have there on the ground - with about 30-100,000 iraqi civilians dead. I was disappointed that it was not more concrete. Bubba, this is all shorthand -- if you are interested in a more serious critique, we can figure out a way for me to e-mail you directly.

3. And finally, for Miami Mike and a couple others who indulge this "weak liberal" fantasy: guys, that may make you feel better about not getting up from your lazy-boys and doing something in this world, but really, that nonsense went out when John Wayne died. FYI, if it matters, I've served in two official wars as an Army officer, and after that have been through several LiCs without escort. And nothing irks me, or my brothers and sisters who are still in (and who, btw, DESPISE Bush for putting them in this unwinnable position), more than macho talk from the Krispy-Kreme set. Because you are too fat, lazy or scared to say something when your government is screwing people over doesn't mean the rest of us have to be.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

I don’t want to tell you your business since you are obviously well informed. However I see an inconsistency with worrying about the illegality of the invasion. You point to the idea that only the UN can justify an invasion, through a vote of the Security Council. However, what if two of those countries are on the take? We now know, through the oil for food scandal, that both France and Russia (both of which have veto power) were making secret post-sanction deals with Saddam. These are two of the countries that would have voted “no”. The third is communist China, whose oppressive government killed an unknown number of people in Tiananmen Square. I really can’t admit to being too concerned about breaking the “law” when taking a bribe and murder are crimes the other countries are guilty of (remember that France and Russia were pushing the removal of the sanctions).
I have a problem with your invoking the theory of the Just War. To invoke the Just War theory implies a series of conditions can be met, namely: having just cause, being declared by a proper authority, possessing right intention, having a reasonable chance of success, and the end being proportional to the means used.

1) Having a just cause: Saddam was in violation of the 1991 Persian Gulf cease fire by blocking the movement of weapons inspectors looking for WMD. In addition, his attempts to threaten American warplanes (painting them with SAM (surface to air missile radar) patrolling the no-fly zone was possible act of war. Plus bringing Democracy to a land ruled by a dictator surely counts as “just”.
2) Being declared by a proper authority: Well we covered that above. If the UN is corrupted (and it is) then the next best thing is our own best judgment.
3) Possessing right attention: Again, bringing Democracy and removing a dictator who has killed an estimated 300,000 and who we fear is in possession of WMD is a pretty good goal.
4) Chance of success: Think we did that pretty well. As for the aftermath, while it has not always gone well, the trend is toward success. Also remember the vast majority of the civilians who have died were murdered by terrorists with their car bombs. By the way, the 100,000 number is absurd. Name the reliable source of that number.
5) Proportional means: I think we did that one pretty well too.

Have a nice day.

10:29 PM  
Anonymous miamimike13 said...

I served 8 years in the Marines including the first Gulf War. Where/when did you serve? I have walked the walk so I have earned the right as a veteran to talk the talk.

Semper Fi and Go Fins!

12:03 AM  
Anonymous miamimike13 said...

An additional note to the former Army Lt. who stated that all of his Army pals dislike Bush for putting them in an unwinnable position. I guess that show the difference between a Marine and some soldiers. None of my Marine brothers who I talk to think we are losing, nor do the think we are in an unwinnable position or hate Bush. That is why we are always called to do the heavy lifting like in Fallujah. I respect your service anyway but I totally disagree with your liberal opinion and I strongly believe that you do not represent the majority of men and women serving today.

Semper Fi

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to Anon at 10:29 p.m.: Great points, excellent post! Let me see if i can respond in kind - but later, i have to run right now. your post deserves a better response than i can give in 5 minutes.

to Miami Mike: excellent that you have served, semper fi. me: Gulf I, before that Central America (during the Cold War). after that, on my own, the balkans, west africa (which made everything else look like child's play). i guess i'm surprised that someone of your experience would still buy into broad-brushed branding of "liberals." as someone else pointed out, so-called "liberals" are the ones who have historically fought for the underdog -- civil rights, women's rights, economic justice for the poor and middle class. that's not an easy fight, and is hardly "cowardly." on the other hand, how courageous is it to side with the rich and powerful?

and your Marine friends still in are no doubt resolute. mine are too, but maybe my point wasn't clear: we can win all the true local battles in Iraq, but still lose the war. that's how it is with asymetric warfare. if you check out the washington post from yesterday, you'll see that the US and British generals running the show believe it is getting worse over there, not better. and that Bush was so naive as to believe we could invade Iraq, occupy it, and convert it into a secular democracy, infuriates my buds -- including my marine buds -- who have seen enough IEDs and amputated veterans to know better. i would think that this would also bother a marine.

5:58 AM  
Anonymous miamimike13 said...

I see your points. My first post was a joking attempt to compare a specific group of liberals (far left wing conspiracy nuts) to jets fans. Of course, not all dems or libs are cowardly. I know many who have served with distinction. I however agree with the war, no matter how tragic war is, because sometimes it is necessary. I belive our country and way of life are under attack by a group that will as soon kill us all as look at us.These guys will not be negotiated with nor will they go away if ignored. I do support the President and think he is a good man doing a tough job, making tough decisions. Having said that, I will say I disagree with some of the poor planning, logistics and other issues involving the handling of the war. A number of things could have been done better and corrected sooner. I believe we will win this war and it will be sooner than later if we do fix the problems.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

This is a totally NON-POLITICAL issue. Only opportunists would make it so.

Bottom line here is that Nick Saban would go to great extremes to keep his film sessions and meetings from being disrupted. Remember last year when, on the eve of a hurricane, Saban almost bailed on his wife to go find a place to watch film before she threatened to call the police on him? If he'll bail on Terry, W has no chance whatsoever.

2:52 PM  
Blogger NYdolfan84 said...

This is a football blog...an escape from the depressing "real world" Thanks for raining on the parade!

Most people who enter a football blog to talk about their political stance are too far to the left or right to have an unbiased opinion. The truth is always somewhere in the middle! I'm sure CNN has a blog that would be more up your alley.

MORE REGGIE BUSH AND LESS GW BUSH PLEASSSSSSE!!!

3:44 PM  
Anonymous da troot said...

This is a football blog, but this thread has taken on a life of its own. One may choose to ignore it. I am going to after I relate this little tale:

Walker is strolling down main street and sees Sad Sam mugging poor Ms. Smith. Sad Sam is the town bully and has been getting away with purse snatchings and abuse of others for years because he has friends in high places.

Walker crosses the street and when Sad Sam takes a swing at him, beats the living daylights out of Sam. Ms. Smith is mighty grateful, and so are a lot of other townsfolk, since Sam and his family have been spoiling things for them a long time.

The sheriff, Sad Sam’s Grandfather, Anon, accuses Walker of being a criminal for jaywalking across a street. Everybody knows that is illegal!

Yes, Walker broke the law, he jaywalked. The mugger, whose uncle and second cousins control city hall have kept Sad Sam out of jail his entire misbegotten life, tells everyone he meets that Walker is a criminal... Sad Sam, in fact, kicks back part of the money he steals to Grandpa, Unc’ and the boys, so they bring charges against Walker for jaywalking.

Everyone in town chooses sides and things get nasty. Whose side are you on?

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two of every three eligible soldiers continue to re-enlist, putting the Army, which has endured most of the fighting in Iraq ahead of its annual goal.

The Army was 15% ahead of its re-enlistment goal of 34,668 for the first six months of fiscal year 2006, which ended March 31. More than 39,900 soldiers had re-enlisted, according to figures scheduled to be released today by the Army.


The Army has met or exceeded its goals for retention for the past five years, records show. It was 8% over its goal for 2005, and 7% ahead of its targets for 2004. The number of re-enlistments has exceeded the Army's goal by a larger margin each year since 2001.

Soldiers like the Army, "and the war is not causing people to leave," says Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty, an Army spokesman.

"It's not just pay," Hilferty says. "Our people want to be part of something greater than themselves, and they're willing to put up with a lot."

Charles Henning, a national defense analyst with the Congressional Research Service, says robust re-enlistment allows the Army to maintain its strength.

"Retention has been a very positive thing for the Army," Henning says. "That's an indicator of very high morale, high esprit de corps. It's a very solid indicator that soldiers are gratified, or they'd vote with their feet."

Sounds like UN guy hangs with the tiny minority of soldiers who dislike Bush. I live near the largest military installation in the world, play golf there a couple times a week, and have occasion to talk to many soldiers on a daily basis. I do not hear many opinions that suggest we leave Iraq without having stabalized it. Nor do I hear much criticism of the CiC.

My association with the soldiers is casual and they understand they do not have to guard their remarks.

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

to the anon with 10:59 post (the good one on Just War). Here goes my final post:

OK, I think you're making two separate points. The first being that (paraphrasing) the UN is corrupt, so why should the US be bound by UN Charter terms. The second being that the Iraq invasion qualified as a Just War.

As for the first: a point of clarification: the UN charter authorizes the use of force under two separate avenues: the first is by vote of the Sec. Council, the other, per article 51. The 1990 resolution (678) authorizing the use of force to oust Iraq from Kuwait was a security council resolution that was superseded by the cease-fire resolution, 687, and there has been no subsequent resolution authorizing force. Claims that a "material breach" of 687 (or other subsequent resolutions) somehow justifies the use of force is without any credible support, whatsoever. (US v. Nicaragua and a case called, i think, "Caroline" spell out why.) So when you hear talk about Resolution 1441 authorizing the use of force -- this is not a tenable position: indeed, 1441 explicitly provides that a "material breach" of the inspection program "will be reported to the Security Council for assessment in accordance with paragraph 11 and 12" of the resolution. Paragraphs 11 & 12 only require that the Sec. Council immediately convene to figure out what to do next. 1441 does not, in any way, shape or form, authorize the use of force. This is why, prior to the invasion, Bush's people admitted that they would need an additional resolution before the use of force was justified. Yet they did not get one.

So, to your point that, "what if Russia and France were on the take?" (I'll accept all your assessments as true, even though the truth is much less sanguine. First, there were serious questions about the effectiveness of the oil-for-food program, and the US -and Russia and France- share significant blame in all of this, but that's another blog) Even if true, however, that does not relieve the US from its obligations under the Charter. The US did not revoke the Charter nor did it withdraw from the UN, and in doing so agreed to be bound by its terms. Moreover, the Charter provides for a mechanism to protest such matters: The Security Council procedures (per Art. 30) permit members and non-members to raise any matters before the Security Council, without limitation. The US did not (to my knowledge) pursue this route.

But the Sec. Council does not handcuff the US: the US would also have authority to act, independent of the security council, through Article 51, were the conditions right: (1) if in response to an attack which is immediately threatened against its territory or citizens; (2) if an urgent necessity exists for defensive action against the attack; (3) if there is no "practicable alternative" to such force, and (4) the response is proportional to the threat. None of these conditions were met, even remotely: there was no immediate threat against the US or its citizens (speculation about mushroom clouds don't count; the US' best estimate at the time was that Iraq was a decade away from establishing any serious nuclear threat); the "practicable alternative" was working, and had been working, since Saddam had been emasculated and contained, and inspections were ongoing. (Containment has worked for decades against much greater threats -- e.g., USSR, N. Korea, and even Cuba). I could go on, but you can figure out how the other conditions were not met on your own.

So, in short, even accepting your allegation of corruption, (1) the US didn't pursue remedies it could have against such corruption, (2) the US agreed to be bound by the Charter's terms, and (3) the charter did not authorize, per Sec. Council Resolution or Art. 51, the use of force.

Okay, let's go to your second point, which raises some excellent questions about whether this could be described as a just war. This steps outside of the context of the UN Charter, to broader principles of justice.

A couple premises that most reasonable people accept: The first is the principle of universalism - aka, the golden rule, kant's categorical imperative. that is, you can't create one set of special rules for the US, and another set of rules for all other countries. What's good for goose is good for gander. So if the US invades under a set of conditions, then China would also be justified invading another country under those conditions.

I can tell that you've researched, at least a little, the conditions for a just war, so rather than go through a long-winded recitation of the history, i'll get right to criteria (and i admit that this is not a very sophisticated analysis; others smarter on this subject than me have given much more serious thought to the issue).

1. Just Cause: Force may be used only to correct a great public evil. I think your argument for removing Hussein bcz of his human rights violations would have been much stronger in the 80s (when the US was feeding him chemical weapons), or in the early 90s for what he did to the Kurds. But Hussein was a relatively benign dictator from 92 onward: his human rights violations subsequently were far less than that those ongoing in Burma, Sudan, Zimbabwe, and most obnoxiously, the Congo (where, IMO, it would have been just for us and anyone to intervene, and where we shamefully did not). Hussein's HR violations in the late 90s to early 00s, however, did not rise to the level to justify his deposition, when viewed from an historical perspective (which is what we do when examining whether a just cause exists). Painting SAMs would also not justify a full invasion: this stuff happens all the time between hostile border nations (e.g., Honduras-Nicaragua, East Germany-West Germany) but does not amount to an act of aggression --the appropriate response is taking out their radar sites, and we do this all the time (as we did in Iraq). Finally, your contention that "[B]ringing Democracy to a land ruled by a dictator surely counts as “just”" is a nice sentiment, but under the principal of universalism, would invite an endless string of invasions by countries advocating their form of democracy onto others. It also begs the question, what counts as a democracy? The US is not a true democracy; it is a democratic republic; yet Palestine is a democracy, as is Syria; Russia under Putin is a democracy, but is run like a totalitarian dictatorship... you get the idea.

2. Legitimate Authority: this criterion really doesn't play as much into the Iraq invasion, if looking at it outside of the UN charter. If viewed within the UN charter, the discussion above would apply.

3. Right Intention: (you said "attention" but i assume you meant intention) Well, here's an issue that I'm sure you're familiar with. First we say we're invading bcz Hussein has WMD; then we say it's to remove a ruthless dictator; now we say that it's to establish a democracy in the middle east. Bush has shifted his story as each earlier justification gets exposed as untrue. See the downing street memo, Bush's suggestions to provoke an attack and create a justification to go to war. The elephant in the living room is that Bush desperately wanted to invade Iraq, using whatever justification he could find. (I'm less inclined to believe that it is a "daddy complex" thing than it is the profound naivete of a man who has had very little experience in the world, combined with a myopic VP who knew Bush would be easy to fool.) Whatever the case, the existing justification (democracy in the middle east) is no more just than that advocated by the zealots who believed that spreading communism throughout the world justified the Soviet invasions of the 20th century: although representation is a fundamental human right, the belief that one's ideology (e.g., democracy) is supreme is not a justification for imposing that ideology on another sovereign by force.

4. Proportionality: The destruction expected from the use of force must be outweighed by the good to be achieved. This is sorta vague, and tough to measure. But empirically speaking, the case gets weaker every day. We have obliterated parts of Iraq's infrastructure, and as a result of the invasion, approximately 100K civilians have died. (this is not to say that we have killed them, of crs, only that their deaths can be directly tied to the invasion and its aftermath). Iraq descends into sectarian violence that results in daily kidnappings, roadside bombings. The invasion serves as propaganda, fulfilling the dark fantasies of US-hating Arabs who are convinced this is a war against Islam. By contrast, the "good" we have achieved is setting up a fledgling democracy (which is impressive, no matter how ephemeral). But again, how much good is a democracy in the middle east? How much good is a theocratic democracy aligned with Iran? Experiences with other ME democracies (e.g. syria) teach that democracy is not the elixir that Bush imagines. Bush/Cheney's annual claims that the insurgency is in its "last throes" and that democracy is "on the march" reminds me of Wannstedt's annual January promise that NEXT YEAR Fiedler and the Fins will really turn the corner...

5. Finally, to be just, war must be the last resort -- Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted. We talked about this above. The single biggest argumentative fallacy committed by pro-war advocates is that they postulate a false set of alternatives: invade, or do nothing. This avoids the multitude of options that sat in between, principally, that of containment. This served us quite well in the 20th century against much greater threats: the soviets, N. Korea. And we know that containment worked against Hussein. And the other argument, which is that, "well, if we don't know that he possesses WMD, why risk not invading?" is equally as specious. First, that would not satisfy the criteria of a just war. Second, under the principle of universality, this would set a precedent for other countries to invade countries on the mere suspicion that someday, they might attack them. We might not mind this now, since we possess the most powerful military on earth, but wait 20 years when China's military reaps the benefit of its economic & technological maturation. I guarantee you that at that time, we will be singing the praises of military restraint, the UN, and international law.

OK, i'm finally done (i can hear you all cheering). I appreciate those of you who have listened to my (long-winded) discussions with an open mind.

and go 'fins.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous where's the fish? said...

Gosh, presidents are just regular people, not saints or spiritual guides. If you like the glamour, the status, or are looking for connections, then go dine with the guy. If you are already doing what you feel you should be, like Saban, and it interfers with it, then forget about it, and don't give it another thought. It's just another fancy dinner, that's all.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

The problem you have is that you are seeking to “follow the rules” when the arbitrators of those rules are on the take. To take a case before a judge when you know he and the defendant are working under the table is a waste of time and energy. The same is true of taking a case before the Security Council. You are asking it to essentially judge itself. The fact that the US did not choose to go this route doesn’t diminish this truth.
As to the threat falling under article 51: Part 1: First the US, MI5, Mossad, the KGB, and the UN itself all believed that Saddam was still in possession of WMD. Whether from before the 1991 Gulf War or created afterwards is irrelevant. He was required by 1441 to turn those over for destruction and had not done it (his prevention of the free movement of weapons inspectors and the fact that we are still finding WMD artillery shells in Iraq is proof of his duplicity – don’t tell me that someone just buried them in the countryside for the hell of it). His mere possession of them was a threat. The only time that he could be acted upon was at that moment (remember France and Russia were betting on their ability to open his country by removing those sanctions). Once sanctions were removed he would be free to seek the materials for more WMD construction at his whim.
Part 2: Addressed above.
Part 3: Sanctions had failed to remove the WMD. In addition Saddam had violated over ten UN resolutions concerning his WMD and the ceasefire. Removal was the only reasonable alternative.
Part 4: Purely theoretical in nature. While a gas attack would have killed smaller numbers, the President has a responsibility to act in the best interest of US citizens. This trumps the UN charter.
Moreover, how has containment worked? The USSR collapsed only because it went broke trying to keep up with the US military expansion and upgrades, while North Korea and Cuba have oppressed their citizens for over 50 and 45 years respectively. North Korea has repeatedly violated the sovereign territory of South Korea, sometimes firing on American or South Korean soldiers while Cuba is actively involved in the drug trade. Moreover the embargo with Cuba applies to the US only. Other nations are not bound by it so is it really contained?
In regards to the Just War argument, you argue that Saddam’s was “relatively benign dictator” from 92 onward, esp. in comparison to several others. That may be true (although his victims and the victims of his two sons might disagree), but you can’t argue that any of those countries were involved with WMD which, again, was the point of the invasion. (In addition, just because we did not do the right thing in Burma, Sudan, Zimbabwe, or Congo does not imply that we should not do so in his case. It’s like saying that because I did not pick up one piece of litter that I should not pick any.) As for the republic/democracy idea, remember that the point is the people have the option to choose how their government works. If you are a true republic/democracy, you will be willing to allow other nations to choose their fate (the key word being choose). If the Russians are okay with the way Putin runs things, then so be it and the same with Palestine and Syria.
On your second point I disagree. Sometimes you have to act and use your collective conscience as your guide. We do it as individuals all the time.
As for part three remember that we believed that he had the weapons and that was the overriding motivation. The other motivations (removing a dictator and establishing a democracy) are also valid but individually were not enough to go to war over.
As for justifying his removal by force, you just mentioned that representation is a fundamental human right. By removing him we did not impose anything on any one -- we are allowing that representation. He is the one imposing his ideology (totalitarianism) by force. And in the end, if the people choose to change the government to one that removes that representation, that will be their right.
In regards to part four, the 100,000 number is an extreme number. Best guesses right now are around 30,000. Moreover, the vast majority of their deaths, bombings and kidnappings are caused by the terrorists, trying to begin a civil war. Don’t’ say as a result of the invasion, because that implies that somehow we are responsible for their actions as opposed to them bearing the guilt and that somehow you can morally equate their actions with ours. Rather it is more appropriate to say as an attempt to reestablish dominance over a people, who, for the first time in their history have a representative government, the terrorists are killing all these people. As for the propaganda, considering the attacks on USS Cole, the embassy bombings, the two attacks on the WTC and the bombing of the resort in South East Asia), I think they hate us already.
As for part five, containment does not work as for the examples mentioned above. The containment against Saddam was already collapsing due to the oil for food scandals and the under the table deals with Russia and France. Without sanctions, he would have been free to use his oil profits to seek what ever weapons he could get his hands on. As for future threats, anyone who invades a democracy would do so with or without a just cause. China (the example you cite) is a communist dictatorship who, considering their actions at Tiananmen Square, are unlikely to be swayed in either direction by international law.

10:45 PM  
Blogger finatic10 said...

I stopped reading this two days ago, flew to Germany, and - you folks don't stop! LOL! It's all good though, even if this is a FinBlog. Thanks to the UN dude, I can save all that money I woulda spent on law school!

The last post - Sir, you are clearly on the payroll if you think that W truly believed Iraq had significant WMD that could hurt us in the near term. Check out State of War. You work with the G-2 (like I did, back in the day) and you know you can cherrypick intel to create any scenario you want. The CIA groundhogs are saying that's exactly what the Veep did - that they warned him that the intel was weak, and he ignored them. And British Intel, Germany, was calling into question all this intel bush/tenet were saying was a slam dunk. You are SO wrong that everyone agreed Sadam was a threat - unless you are only watchign FOX news, then I understand how you mighta missed it. Or are you one of those fruit-loops who still believes that Sadam had WMD and we haven't found them yet? If so, you should join the 9-11 conspiracy crowd.

As for the body count, you both are off the mark. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancet_survey_of_mortality_before_and_after_the_2003_invasion_of_Iraq. And I don't think UN guy was saying we killed those people; but those people wouldn't have died if not for the invasion. Theres a difference.

Sir: "containment didn't work"? Are you high? Did the Soviets invade the US or drop nukes? Did Cuba? What does the drug-trade have to do with preventing an all out war? By all accounts, Sadam WAS contained - his top chemical people said he abandoned his WMD program after 91, and was years - YEARS away from doing anything about it. Where was the "imminent threat"? Losing credibility by the sentence.

And last, UN Guy made a point about not withdrawing from the UN, and you just said France broke the rules, so we can do anything we want. If the judge is corrupt, you don't get to do whatever you want - you appeal. The US never appealed or withdrew from the UN - it said, "the rules still apply" and 51 still applied. but you avoided talking about that. and you didn't respond to the universal point. You think we can follow the UN rules when we want, just bcz we're the US? Saying "the president can do what he wants to protect the people" means you think we don't have to follow the rules that everybody else does. We joined the UN, we said, we'll follow your rules. I disagree with you that we get to pick and choose when we follow the rules.

You both made some good points, but the last blogger seems to be ignoring reality a bit.

But its cool to see Finatics can argue intelligently. Now if we can figure out how to make Chambers stop dropping passes....

FINATIC10

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Finatic,

“You are SO wrong that everyone agreed Sadam was a threat - unless you are only watchign FOX news, then I understand how you mighta missed it.”

ALL these folks watch FOX religiously and cherry-picked the intelligence. The scoundrels!

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998.

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.

"There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002.

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002.

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years . We also should remember we have alway s underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
Sen. Jay Rockerfeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002,

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002.

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction. "[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he has continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003.

NOW THESE FOLKS SAY PRESIDENT BUSH LIED, THAT THERE NEVER WERE ANY WMD'S AND HE TOOK US TO WAR FOR HIS OIL BUDDIES??? Right!!!

7:49 PM  
Blogger finatic10 said...

Hillary: I guess the way you argue is to look at only half the story and avoid the question. The question was, did Bush & Comp. truly believe Sadam was a threat? Not according to these people:

Cheney on Meet the Press, 9-16-01: “Saddam Hussein is bottled up.”

Powell on 2-23-01: the containment strategy against Sadam was "a success. We have kept him contained, kept him in his box.” He then said “[Saddam] is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors”

Powell on 2-24-01: Iraq “has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction.”

And did Bush lie? Wake up, Hillary...

Re: Bush's claim that Sadam was acquiring uranium in Africa. “Revelations by officials at the CIA, the State Department, the UN, in Congress and elsewhere” showed that the White House knew the claim was false before making the allegation [7/20/03]. Washington Post, 7/13/03]

Re: Bush's statement on Sep. 17, 2003, that “There's no question that Saddam Hussein had al Qaeda ties.” But the National Journal reported (Aug. 9, 2003) that “Three former Bush Administration officials who worked on intelligence and national security issues said the prewar evidence tying Al Qaeda was tenuous, exaggerated and often at odds with the conclusions of key intelligence agencies.” and U.S. allies have found no links between Iraq and Al Qaeda. 'We have found no evidence of links between Iraq and Al Qaeda,' said Europe's top investigator. 'If there were such links, we would have found them. But we have found no serious connections whatsoever.'" (L.A. Times Nov. 4, 2002)

And you say, so what if Bush lied. Other people thought Sadam was a threat and had access to the same intell. that Bush did. WRONG AGAIN, HILLARY.

(1) Bush alone had the President's Daily Brief, a top-secret compendium of intelligence on the most pressing national security issues from seven (approximately) sources that were not available to Congress. (2) Cheney's staff visited the CIA and other intelligence agencies to view RAW intelligence reports not accessed by the people you're citing. (3) the White House and the Pentagon received information directly from the Iraqi National Congress (the INC), an exile group, circumventing the CIA - which specifically discredited the INC. (4) Rumsfeld created a special intel unit that produced a prewar reports for the White House not shared with Congress - that alleged that Iraq was in league with al-Qaida.

Bush relied on all this info to make his case to go to war. It was not available to the people you're quoting.

Hillary, you and some others on this blog who are making every excuse in the world for Bush's lies about the war are the same people who got twisted and outraged when Clinton lied about doing an intern. Don't be a such a obedient tool.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

While Clinton was having spit shines in the Oral Office, the business of terrorism was booming.

Shall I list the attacks against Americans and American interests, not to mention the damage Islamofascism was doing to anyone who 'dissed their worldview of the new Caliphate?

re WMD:

June 14,2004

JINSA Report #416
UNMOVIC Comes Clean on Saddam's WMD and It's Worried

For some of us, Iraq's possession of WMD was axiomatic. Saddam had it and used it in the late 1980s (Halabja and Iran) and early 1990s (southern Iraq after the aborted Shi'ite uprising). It was there in the mid-1990s; UN inspectors found it. It was there in the late 1990s; UN inspectors said so. There was no evidence that he had gotten rid of it. Deductive reasoning said it must still be there. For others, deduction ran the other way: If you can't find it, it must not be there.

On June 9th, 2004, the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission briefed the Security Council about the export of Iraqi WMD, missile and nuclear components shipped out of Iraq before, during and after the invasion. As reported by MENL news service, UNMOVIC acting executive chairman Demetrius Perricos told the Council, "The removal of these materials from Iraq raises concerns with regard to proliferation risks," and said inspectors found Iraqi WMD and missile components shipped abroad that still contained UN inspection tags.

The World Tribune reported on Perricos's briefing. "He said the Iraqi facilities were dismantled and sent both to Europe and around the Middle East at the rate of about 1,000 tons of material a month... The Baghdad missile site contained a range of WMD and dual-use components, UN officials said. They included missile components, reactor vessel and fermenters ... required for the production of chemical and biological warheads. 'It raises the question of what happened to the dual-use equipment, where is it now and what is it being used for,' Perricos's spokesman, said. 'You can make all kinds of pharmaceutical and medicinal products with a fermenter. You can also use it to breed anthrax.'"

Anthrax? Reactor vessels? Now they tell us?

Not exactly. The question was never what the world knew. The UN apparat, along with all of the world's major intelligence services, knew the chief threat Saddam posed was in nonconventional capabilities that threatened the world, either by Iraq's further use or by export to other countries or non-state actors. The question was, rather, what the world was willing to do about what it knew. The answer, wrapped partly in the vast corruption of the oil-for-food program and partly in fear of a terrorist backlash, was "nothing."

The ability of the UN as an institution, and the French, Russian and German governments and their cronies to rake in illicit millions of dollars from oil-for-food contract kickbacks across the misery of Iraq's weakest citizens required a continual program of ineffectual inspections - perpetually seeking and never finding the WMD/nuclear components.
That's the dirty secret; that's why they would NEVER (Chirac said so)have gone to war against Saddam and why the French double-crossed us on Res. 1441 and why they hate President Bush and resent the liberation of Iraq. It is OUR war because THEY didn't want their cozy scheme to end.
But it did end. Oil-for-food is over and the UN's own Mr. Perricos has blown the cover.

We can send quotes back and forth about this when what really matters is whether one believes we are at war or not - whether we are in a battle against an evil ideology with a worldwide agenda.

Containment had gotten us decade after decade of turmoil in the middle east, repeated attacks against Americans and American interests, and worsening prospects after 9-11. After defeating the Taliban, the next logical step was to make a statement in the center of the region where the evil is bred and fostered. Bush and Co., with the exception of , most notably Powell within the administration, at least had a plan to change the situation that containment had failed to alleviate.

We won’t know whether the plan works for a while. If the liberal mainstream media and their political wing, the Democratic Party, have their way, the plan won’t work. The world will be at much greater risk, but who cares? We’ll have a Democratic President, maybe Congress. THEN, at last, all will be right with the world and we’ll have ‘free’ health care (only the ‘rich’ will be soaked, ha ha, you won‘t have to pay a penny) and the terrorists will suddenly forget that we are the Great Satan and their wish to destroy us will, magically, evaporate.

And I am supposed to WAKE UP?

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Finatic10,

I assume that State of War is a book. I will have to see it when I get a chance. In regards to your post:
1) Was the intelligence weak? The Bill Clinton administration not only believed that he was in possession of WMD, but that he would seek to reconstitute that supply should the sanctions be removed. Why should Bush believe any thing different? Given that both France and Russia were in Saddam’s pocket, having made deals with him to profit upon the removal of the sanctions, the window of opportunity for the US to act was closing. One other thing to remember: Information is never perfect – you mention that you served so I guess you know that. There are always different opinions within each agency about almost every report issued by that intelligence agency. Reports are what the general consensus within an agency is. And the general consensus of the CIA, KGB, MI5, Mossad, and the UN was that he still had WMD.
2) You refer to the Lancet report for casualties. That report is controversial to say the least. A quote from Yale University Beth Osborne Daponte, senior research scholar at Yale University's Institution for Social and Policy Studies (as quoted on the Slate Website by author Fred Kaplan, Oct. 29, 2004), “It attests to the difficulty of doing this sort of survey work during a war. … No one can come up with any credible estimates yet, at least not through the sorts of methods used here.” Moreover the report was released within two weeks of the 2004 presidential election. I smell bias (as have many other commentators).
3) As for containment working: Communist forces took control of Vietnam, Afghanistan, Hungary (twice), Somalia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Ethopia, and several other parts of Africa and South East Asia. And if you don’t think that the Soviets had a hand in all of this you must be a “fruit loop” (your quote).
As for the present day, North Korea is developing or has developed nuclear weapons in spite of containment. Cuba funneled money and weapons into Nicaragua and helped to keep the communist government in power until the late 1980’s. They did the same in Angola. By the way the mention of the Drug trade was to point that while Cuba was contained in military sense (we had nothing to do with that --- Cuba has no amphibious forces worth mentioning), Cuba was still more that capable of influencing the outside world to the detriment of the US.
4) Am I high? No but thanks for offering.
5) You argue that Saddam was years away from doing something with WMD. I suppose we should wait until he had them and do something then. That is what happened in North Korea. Not exactly a great historical precedent.
6) You argue that we never withdrew from the UN and that we should appeal. Appeal to whom? The corrupt UN? The Security Council? Give me a break. As for staying in the UN, it still serves a purpose, for ideas of lower importance or events where world participation is better and so membership is not so bad. It gives us a platform to try to change the world for the better without using force. But the UN is not a suicide pact –we don’t have to do what they tell us to if we know it is the wrong thing to do. As a child I was taught to do what was right, not what was popular. When we can work with the UN we will and when we can’t (because of conscience) we go our own way.
7) You argue with Hillary as to whether or not he was a threat. He was not perceived to be conventional threat at the time (except for the constant painting with Surface to Air Missile batteries in and of itself an act of war) because we had decimate his army and the sanctions were denying him the money to rebuild (although the Oil For Food scandal proves that was all gibberish – he siphoned off billions buying weapons from the French among others – Russian specialist were also present during the invasion trying to help the Iraq’s jam are JDAMS). He was still perceived to be a threat because of his mere possession of WMD. Remember one of the arguments for war was the fear that he would hand the WMD over to terrorists (remember that Saddam was paying enormous sums of money to the families of suicide bombers in Israel, so the point is not as far fetched as many have stipulated. By the way Powell may not refer to him as being a significant threat but considering all the quotes Hillary posted I think we can argue that over the term significant)
You will note all your quotes occurred before the 9/11 attacks. From that moment onward the policy of the US had changed. Under the old rules we would have waited until the threat was imminent, like in North Korea. You can see what a success that has been. Now we act before that point, allowing us (hopefully) to derail future threats before they get out of hand. It is not always going to be perfect, but I would rather sin by commission then omission.

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not a lawyer so cannot address the legalistic matters addressed here, but I teach history and debate, and have been following this thread with some interest.

To Hillary: With all due respect, it is hard to take a post like yours seriously because (as an earlier poster pointed out) it is not a complete argument. I've read your posts in this thread, and they are not very mature arguments. In fact, they remind me of ones made by some of my first-year debating students. Also, the conspiracy theory you see in the "liberal media," and the angry broad-brushed attacks against democrats are not only beside the point, but also suggest that your personal affairs may not be going so well. But to get to the nub of what I think your point was -- the risk of potential proliferation does not amount to an imminent threat. As the lawyer pointed out, this potentiality would give a green light to just about any nation to invade another. And really, we won't know if the plan to invade will work? Do you think that suddenly the Shias and Sunnis are going to drop their arms? Please familiarize yourself with the history of Iraq: it is an artificial state, created by British colonialism. The Sunni/Shia conflict goes back decades, but was relatively stable with Hussein in power. The invasion let the genie out of the bottle, making a bad situation much, much worse. Again, with all due respect, if you think Iraq is better off now than it was before, you are simply out of touch with reality.

To the Anonymous poster at 10:26

Here are your analytic mistakes:

1. You (like others here) jump to the conclusion that if Hussein had WMD, the only option was to invade. Your view is bi-polar and contrary to about 700 years of thinking about the nature of war. And, frankly, your argument is also very sloppy. As for France and Russian being in Hussein's "back pocket?" At best, this is a simplistic account of events that ignores that both countries sought to continue inspections (which was the right course. French-bashing may be en vogue, but they were right.) The problem with this argument is that it is in part counterfactual, and that you pose a solution that does not follow from the factual predicate.

2. Correct, it is controversial, but there is a stasistical corrector imbedded within the range of that estimate. Also, my understanding is that this study is the only true epidemogical study to date, made by those who do this for a living. It is accordingly the best estimate.

3. The notion that "containment" did not work is not in line with what historians have been saying about our position in the Cold War. And even mainstream Republicans. But your unstated alternative is invasion. And look at what that has wrought - you got what you wished for.

4. As to your other points, I am afraid they miss the mark. I am late to this discussion, but I believe the question presented earlier was whether the United States was justified, morally or legally, in invading Iraq. The lawyer's argument was principled and sound, although there apparently may be some quibble about the facts. On the other hand, the responses to the lawyer's argument have committed one basic error. They only suggest an ad hoc approach to the US response -- i.e., we can do what we want, when we want. This may be true, but it is not a principled basis for invading. Your argument boils down to, "We invaded because we had to." Not only is this simplistic and counterfactual (by many measures), but it also does not address the original question of whether it was justified.

Arguments are won by based upon rules and principles and the application of facts to those rules and principles. Your argument does not emerge from a set of rules, but is, in essence, a statement that the US did not need to follow the rules because of a set of exceptional circumstances. This is historically naive, and is not a valid argument.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear other Anonymous,

As to my mistakes:

1) I never said that there were only two options if Saddam had WMD – there were theoretically three. At the risk of being simplistic they were: Remove the sanctions and walk away, keep them in some variation, or invade. What I actually said was (in a nutshell) if the sanctions were heading toward being removed, which was the ultimate goal of France and Russia due to their greed, then invasion was preferable to allowing Saddam to be in position of either using or reconstituting his WMD.

1.a) Please explain how my view is contrary to 700 years of thinking about the nature of war.

1.b) As for France on sanctions:
Bill Gertz, Washington Times (Oct.7, 2004) “Saddam Hussein used a U.N. humanitarian program to pay $1.78 billion to French government officials, businessmen and journalists in a bid to have sanctions removed and U.S. policies opposed, according to a CIA report made public yesterday.”
Newsweek Online (Oct 12, 2003): “Those who now oppose the war must recognize that there was no stable status quo on Iraq. The box that Saddam Hussein had been in was collapsing. Saddam’s neighbors, as well as France and Russia, were actively subverting the sanctions against Iraq.”
WashingtonPost.com (October 7, 2004): “Saddam Hussein made $11 billion in illegal income and eroded the world's toughest economic embargo during his final years as Iraq's leader through shrewd schemes to secretly buy off dozens of countries, top foreign officials and major international figures, according to a new report by the chief U.S. weapons inspector released yesterday.
Oil "vouchers" that could be resold for large profits were given to officials including Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua and former Russian presidential candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky as well as governments, companies and influential individuals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the report said.”
As for my view being simplistic: Maybe so but it seems to have been true.
2) It can have what ever you want attached to it, it is still disputed, by a professor from Yale no less. They may be right but the fact that someone of that level disputes it makes me wonder. They may in the end prove to be correct but you got to admit it does call for more inspection. Moreover where are all these people buried? You would think the press would have run pictures of mass burials, because with that many bodies, that’s about all you can do due to the danger of disease. Not even Al Queda had pictures.

2a) You also never addressed my point about the release of the report two weeks before the election. The issue of bias is important.

3) If it is considered to have worked, what would you have considered failure? Remember the purpose of containment was the keep communism boxed in. Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, China, Afghanistan, and Angola all went communist. As for getting what I wished for:
a) I got 26 million people with a chance to be part of a democracy for the first
time in their history. What they make of it will be up to them.
b) ; I got a people out from under the thumb of a ruthless dictator who
murdered an estimated 200,000 of his own people, plus instigated an
invasion of Kuwait that killed 1,000 Kuwaitis and resulted in the death of
over 30,000 (Unconfirmed reports are as high as 100,000) Iraqi soldiers
fighting the US. That does not include the 500,000 he claims died fighting
Iran (another war he started). (source –New York Times, January 27, 2003
John Burns).
c) I got the elimination of what the world thought was a dictator is possession
of WMD and the ability to use them. a possible future source of WMD.
d) I got rid of a dictator who was supporting suicide bombers in Israel.

4) In regards to your dismissal of our “we invaded because we had to” argument:
First off, please prove to me that my argument is counterfactual. I did my best to provide citations for many of my points. I don’t see where you provided a single checkable fact.
Your argument for not invading seems to be that we should follow the rules no matter what the cost. That’s not a charter or an agreement -- it’s a suicide pact. All situations have to have exceptions. Otherwise we are lemmings.

As to your argument about justification: I presented my reasons during a previous entry. Let me know specifically where I went wrong or where I am "naive".

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the history teacher and Finantic 10: YOU are making one big mistake. You are expecting Hillary and Mr. Anonymous to be able to apply rules of logic and engage in sophisticated arguments. Why waste your time? They don't get it, and they never will.

If you are a fan of history, you would know that every society has its Hillarys and Anonymouses who faithfully recite the talking points of their fuhrer in the name of security. In Germany in the late 30s, they were the ones obediently putting Jews into concentration camps; in the U.S. during World War II they rounded up Japanese families and put them into internment camps. All of these actions were done by patriots like Hillary and Anonymous in the name of national defense.

You can't use reason with these people because they're not bright enough to appreciate it and even if they were, they are too close-minded to admit their mistakes. I mean, what does it tell you that they think invading Iraq was a good idea or was related to 9-11? These loons are on the fringe. Let them pass into obscurity and lets move on.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, the gift that keeps on giving.
I'm the attorney who posted days ago, saying it was my last post. Sorry, I flip-flopped. Can't resist.

Not to pile on, but let me add to the pool of your analytical mistakes: First and foremost, your argument is based upon speculative and counterfactual premises. You have clung to your peripheral France/Russia OfF conspiracy from the beginning, and I've never challenged it bcz it was irrelevant to the issue at hand. But let's look at what we know of it. You say that the sanctions were going to be "removed" by France and Russia. This statement, aside from being speculative pap, reflects a profound misunderstanding of the way the UN works. Please, tell me, how was this to happen? How would "sanctions" be "removed?" How many votes does it take? Was this put up for a vote, or was it on the agenda for discussion? Who was going to vote for sanctions to be removed? What sanctions were in place at the time? Do you have any idea what you're talking about? This oil-for-food scenario you posit is absurd: two countries could remove sanctions while the remainder of the UN Sec. Council simply turned its back on Hussein and let him operate freely? Your statements are utterly silly.

The string cite that you use illustrates a common mistake in your reasoning. You cite a number of sources discussing the OfF program, but you let these cites sit there, as if they make your argument for you. But they don't: the first is an allegation based upon a partially disclosed CIA report - the remainder of which i address below - about the OfF program. (Oops, you did it again, citing partial facts). The second is a sound-bite from an OPINION piece written in Newsweek. Are you kidding me? Citing an editorial as a fact? Third is a statement about Iraq's efforts to influence multiple foreign governments, not about a quid pro quo between France & Iraq. But as flimsy as these citations are, Anon, you never tie any of them together into a coherent argument. You raise the spectre that it's POSSIBLE that France and Russia might have been opposed to the war because they were influenced, and leave it at that. You ignore the gaping probative holes of agency and proof (vs. speculation). Speculation, while entertaining (and sir, you truly are entertaining!) doesn't qualify as proof.

(Please get your facts right on the the oil-for-food program. Hint: reading that pillar of journalism, the Washington Times, doesn't help you. Read the Duelfer report. Read the part of the report not reported by the Washington Times: how US companies ExxonMobil, Chevron, et al. were paid kickbacks. Read the US Senate committee report of the investigation which details how the US was not only aware of these kickbacks, but also "facillitated" them. Does this make the US "biased" too? Or does the US once again get special treatment, in your mind?)

But before you go rushing off to cut and paste dimestore quotes from your favorite conservative website, save your effort: your French/Russia conspiracy has NOTHING TO DO with the issue here. Bias is no longer an issue bcz I assumed early on, arguendo, that your factual points were correct. So - listen carefully - France and Russia's intent is not an issue - instead, it is whether the U.S. invasion was legal. So, one last time, here is how the argument goes: 1. We (the US) AGREED that the rules of UN charter apply to the US (did you get that?). 2. We acknowledged that an invasion wasn't justified without a further UN SecCouncil resolution. 3. No further resoluton was obtained, and 4. We invaded anyway. So tell me what part of this you don't understand.

As for flourishing gibberish about the good of spreading democracy, removing a ruthless dictator, rah rah, your citation as justification crimes committed more than 20 years ago (when btw, WE SUPPORTED Hussein in fighting Iran) made me wince. Read something -- e.g., this week's "Time" magazine -- and tell me how those Iraqis are loving the spread of "democracy." Seriously, anon., listening to you argue is like watching a bad Rambo flick. and "What they make of it will be up to them?" Dude, ... oh nevermind.

Sadly, nothing you've said - really, nothing - has addressed the core issue of whether the US invasion was legal. I had high hopes for you when you started with what looked would be a somewhat mature discussion about just war. But then you hid behind a completely circular argument that is nothing more than the US can do what the US wants to do. Ipse dixit, yet another argumentative flaw. To not follow the rules is a "suicide pact?" Oy... You have made me regret even attempting to explain the principle of universalism to you, Anon. Other posters made this same point, but you're like the kid in class who just doesn't get it. This Rainman schtick of repeating that "saddam was a bad man" simply doesn't engage the question.

oh, and as for the 700 years - the teacher/professor can speak for himself/herself, but he may have been referring to the teachings of the Scholastics (e.g., Vitoria) in the 1500s on the justification for war, or possibly to the earlier rise of the modern nation-state (a fort., which led to modern warfare). In the 500-600 years that has passed, the world's most astute thinkers have reasoned that there are a set of rules and principles that must govern the conduct of nation-states before warring is justified. This president has invoked divine inspiration to say that these principles no longer apply to the United States. But I surmise from your posts that you are no student of history, and that precedent, principles and rules carry little weight in your world.

9:08 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Ha ha.

I am responding in kind to most everyone who disagrees with me.

You are morons incapable of rational argument. You see only one side of the 'argument' you are incapable of making. You are a tool of your leaders, incapable of making your own decisions or drawing your own conclusions. You are a parrot/puppet. You hate this country and everything it stands for. You are mentally unstable, lonely or have relationship problems. You read only on your leftist websites, leftist newspapers and watch only leftist TV. You have a direct link to the DNC website.

You are ugly and, most likely, have bad breath.

Now, respond rationally, with footnotes and quotes, displaying your vast knowledge of history, politics and the interaction of world bodies, noting well the subtlety of every nuance. No matter what you say, how many facts you present, nor how well reasoned, I will disagree and you will remain an idiot.

Bill Clinton is a criminal and a rapist. President Bush is the most wonderful person who has ever lived.

Have a pleasant day!

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anaymous,

Okay First off, let me start by saying that I too am disappointed in you guys. To call someone a Nazi (I assume that is what Anayomus 6:02 meant – I can’t see any other way to interpret the remarks of obeying my “fuhrer” and “they were the ones obediently putting Jews into concentration camps” and thus participating in the Holocaust) is a sure sign that you lack any significant argument. Moreover it is lacking in both class and courage (class that you have to stoop to the level of name calling and courage in that you can’t stand up and argue without using vile remarks).
To Anaymous 9:08, I also expected better from you. I have done my best throughout these postings to cite sources and make point by point arguments in response to what you and others have said. Rather than do the same, you have chosen to instead argue in vague terms with cute demeaning sounds like “oy” and equally demeaning phrases like“listening to you is like watching a bad Rambo flick” or “Ipse Dixit”. Ironically you use the phrase, “I had high hopes for you when you started with what looked would be a somewhat mature discussion about just war” just before acting like a school child

----- I know what universalism is and your explanation was less than satisfactory. I also know that it only exists in a perfect world. However, in your rush to condemn me, you totally ignored my response to your statement on universality. At the expense of repeating myself, here it is again: Why would China, who massacred an estimated 60 million of its own citizens during the Cultural Revolution as well as those that have died and been imprisoned for protesting at Tiananmen Square, care about international law? International law only restrains those nations that are law abiding in nature and thus is it useless to say it establishes a precedent. I am going to assume that you have no response to that and so will seek to make more strange sounds or bizarre phrases.
----- I don’t believe I ever said the France and Russia were going to remove sanctions. I believe the cloist I came was “pushing the removal of sanctions”.
----- I do know how the Security Council voting process works. I could not contemplate that you would assume that I thought France and Russia could not remove sanctions by themselves.
----- You ask me to read the Duelfer report. I will acknowledge that some US companies violated sanctions through kickbacks. Will you also acknowledge that the report also shows that Iraq was out to illegally influence France and Russia and considering their stance on things probably succeeded? For instance:

----- on page 11 of the report it states that “The sanctions debate in the Security Council in June 2001 was indicative with the Russians demanding further relaxation and a concrete signal from the council that sanctions would be lifted if Iraq satisfied the elements of UNSCR 1284. Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and the new Foreign Minister, Naji Sabri, were making progress internationally. France, Russia, and Syria (then a member of the Security Council) were all quite vocally supporting Iraq in sanctions debates in the Security Council.“ From that I think we can infer that France and Russia wanted the sanctions removed.
----- On Page 40 of the Regime Strategic Intent: Aziz award oil allotments to “Several French individuals in which, “both parties understood that the resale of the oil was to be reciprocated through efforts to lift UN sanctions or through opposition to American initiatives within the Security Council.” An “under the table” understanding if I ever saw one.
----- Same page : June 2000 Iraq awards short term contracts to France in the sum of 1.78 billion dollars. Smells like “an understanding”.
----- Same page; Former French Interior minister Charles Pascua received 11 million barrels. Another bribery attempt.
So your argument that Oil for Food has nothing to do with the Justification for invading Iraq is debatable.

To continue:

----- I also have read the Volker report. Have you? Some more names in Oil for Food:
• Jean-Bernard Merimee, Special Adviser to the United Nations, with the rank of Under-Secretary General (6 million barrels)
• Claude Kaspereit, businessman and son of French MP Gabriel Kaspereit (over 9.5 million barrels)
• Serge Boidevaix, former Director of the Department for North Africa and the Middle East, French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (over 32 million barrels)
• Gilles Munier, Secretary-General of the French-Iraqi Friendship Association (11.8 million barrels
I assume that you will acknowledge this as an attempt at illegally gaining influence at the UN.

-----Re: Reading this week’s Time magazine. I am condemned for using the Washington Post but it’s okay for you to reference Time, partner with CNN in the famous Tailwind boondoggle? Consistency please.
-----As for following the rules being a suicide pact – to follow rules, regardless of where it leads you is to be a lemming. Remember the story of the Good Samaritan? Had he had strict adherence to the law the injured man would have died.

As for the Legality of going to war:

---------- You argued originally that even if the UN Security Council was corrupt, the US had to play by its rules because we did not withdraw from the UN (“Even if true, however, that does not relieve the US from its obligations under the Charter. The US did not revoke the Charter nor did it withdraw from the UN, and in doing so agreed to be bound by its terms”). You continue this with your 4 point paragraph in your last posting. Here is my response:
1) The official Coalition position is that they did work within the charter, merely enforcing the mandates of the Security Council as the term “serious consequences” listed in Resolution 1441 was never defined, leaving it open to legitimate interpretation.
2) Considering that Iraq was under sanctions at the time, what was left to do? What do you think the term meant? I would really like to hear your specific response to this one.
3) And as far as I know, your vaunted Security Council has never condemned the action, by default giving its approval. After all, that is the same argument you use above with the US and the Security Council -- a lack of action equals consent.

More Justification for Invasion (Also from the Duelfer Report):

1) Under Scientific Research and Intention to Reconstitute
“Saddam’s primary concern was retaining a cadre of skilled scientists to facilitate reconstitution after sanctions were lifted”.
2) Under Cooperating with UNSCOM while preserving WMD
“Iraq attempted to balance competing desires to appear to cooperate with the UN and have sanctions lifted, and to preserve the ability to eventually reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction.”
3) Under Looking Ahead to Resume WMD programs
“The Regime made a token effort to comply with the disarmament process, but the Iraqis never intended to meet the spirit of the UNSC’s resolutions.
4) Under Guarding WMD Capabilities
After Sept 1997, “Iraq burned documents, barred access to sites to UNSCOM, banned US inspectors, and threatened to shoot down UNSCOM U-2 missions”.
5) In the interests of not quoting the entire report, I direct your attention to page 11 of
The Transmittal, Acknowledgements, Scope Note which says the following: “By 2000, the erosion of sanctions accelerated. The semi-annual debates over the renewal of sanctions in the Security Council became the forum for Iraqi proponents to argue the case for relaxing sanctions further [please note that the sanctions had been lessened in 1999 at the instance of Russia – My note]. Out of concern that this pillar of containment policy was about to collapse, the US (under a new administration) proposed “Smart Sanctions” in early 2001.
--- So to sum up:
1) So in the end, it seems that sanctions were on the way out.
2) There is evidence that oil was used to convince countries to seek to weaken and remove sanctions, thus illegally influencing the Security Council.
3) These sanctions being removed would have allowed Iraq to be able to constitute its WMD.
4) This had been a goal that Iraq had sought using subterfuge and deception all along (I know they are synonymous but I just like the way they sound together).
5) The prevention of which was the Reason the Coalition invaded.
6) All this according to the Duelfer report which you said you read.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way guys -- this is my last one. I am out of here. Take care.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Hillary said...

“Anonymous said...
To the history teacher and Finantic 10: YOU are making one big mistake. You are expecting Hillary and Mr. Anonymous to be able to apply rules of logic and engage in sophisticated arguments. Why waste your time? They don't get it, and they never will.

If you are a fan of history, you would know that every society has its Hillarys and Anonymouses who faithfully recite the talking points of their fuhrer in the name of security. In Germany in the late 30s, they were the ones obediently putting Jews into concentration camps; in the U.S. during World War II they rounded up Japanese families and put them into internment camps. All of these actions were done by patriots like Hillary and Anonymous in the name of national defense.

You can't use reason with these people because they're not bright enough to appreciate it and even if they were, they are too close-minded to admit their mistakes. I mean, what does it tell you that they think invading Iraq was a good idea or was related to 9-11? These loons are on the fringe. Let them pass into obscurity and lets move on.
6:02 PM “

Now, anyone can hide behind anonymity or a pseudonym and spout off, cast aspersions or make up anything they wish. With that in mind, I am making my final comment on this thread. I assure you, save my pseudonym, the story is the absolute truth.

Anon 6:02 makes assumptions and then makes pronouncements based on those assumptions. This Hillary’s family, in fact, fled Germany in the 30’s when Hitler came to power. I was not yet born but am fully capable of reciting family history. My mother and father went to Africa and settled in what was then British Cameroon. Ironic that 6:02 could be so wrong in his assumptions, when so convinced of his brilliance.

During WWII, the British had occasion to intern Germans, Italians, and others in Cameroon. My mother, father and their two children were placed in internment camps- my father segregated in a men’s camp and my mother, sister and brother in a women and children’s camp. These camps were an ocean away from Cameroon, where my family was forced to abandon home and belongings.

After more than four years of imprisonment, as the war was winding down and it became obvious the Allies would prevail, the family was allowed to reunite. I was born into that internment camp. A further irony, don’t you think, 6:02?

We had lost all contact with relatives in Germany and were not allowed to return there, nor back to Cameroon. A person in the United States stood up in his church, in what is now condescendingly referred to as ‘fly-over’ country, and having heard of the plight of our family, offered to sponsor us, some hated ‘Krauts.’ That was the beginning of my love for this great country. During the ensuing sixty years I have not always agreed with the policies or actions of this land, but I am an unabashed fan of this bastion of freedom and good will. We and our leaders, regardless which party, are basically good. Yes, there is division among us regarding politics and policy, but we are not evil and Bush is not a criminal. End of my story.

Those who suggest otherwise, who claim this country is the source of the world’s ills, are simply blind or themselves evil. Those who are unable to see in the present world the alignments of evil forces are those who would forget the same occurrences in the 30’s and are ignorant of history. They are legion and they, in my humble opinion, are the ones who are obdurately blind to the threats to their own country. They are blind to the fact that totalitarian fanatics are not to be appeased. Those who refuse to see we are in a war are too closed-minded to even allow debate. They only call names and attempt to belittle those whom they mindlessly hate.

I am truly sorry that we have so many in our own land.

I prefer to remain optimistic that OUR Iraq policies, an outgrowth of the Bush Doctrine, will prove prescient rather than disastrous. I prefer to think we will pull together to battle a common enemy before that enemy forces us together through an act or acts of unimaginable horror. When the cloud rises over a great hole in what was once a decent, civil place, will you see then, 6:02?

11:11 PM  
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11:25 AM  

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