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April 29, 2006

Please Help Me Determine Which Of Us Is Insane

According to Raw Story, Frank Rich interviewed former CIA executive Tyler Drumheller for a column that will be in the New York Times tomorrow. As you hopefully recall, Drumheller was on 60 Minutes last Sunday to criticize the Bush administration for ignoring indications Iraq had no WMD programs.

So, that's nice enough. But. Here's some of what Drumheller apparently told Rich:

"The real tragedy of this," Drumheller says, "is if they had let the weapons inspectors play out, we could have had a Gulf War I-like coalition, which would have given us the 300,000 to 400,000 troops needed to secure the country after defeating the Iraqi army."

This is essentially the view expressed by Bill Clinton back in 2004:

"I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over," the former president said. "I would not have done it until after [former U.N. chief weapons inspector] Hans Blix finished his job."

The flaw in this reasoning, of course, is that it is completely insane. Both Drumheller and Clinton seem to have missed the fact that Iraq HAD NO BANNED WEAPONS. Thus, allowing the inspections to continue would have garnered us not more support from other countries, but even less.

Unless...unless I am the one who's completely insane. Perhaps I've imagined the 200,000 news stories about Iraq's lack of WMD. Perhaps I wrote the Duelfer report while asleep, then (also while sleeping) procured the domain, and posted it my waking self could download and read it, never realizing what my sleeping self was up to. Perhaps it was like sleep walking, except it was sleep-government-report-writing. The first rule of Duelfer Report Club is, don't talk about Duelfer Report Club.

I'm not dogmatic about which of these things is true. Please help me out here.

(It's also possible I'm being unfair to Clinton. As Adam Kotsko says: "Well, maybe he doesn't realize that there were no weapons. I can see not reading the newspaper as closely after eight stressful years as president.")

Posted at April 29, 2006 06:47 PM | TrackBack

Letting the inspections play out longer would have satisfied everyone. It was never a question of WMDs. For potential partners, it was a question of following proper procedure. Weapons, schmeapons. No one but the studio audience and certifiable crackpots ever took that seriously. What everyone but the Rebel in Chief and his band of merry cretins wanted was correct procedure. A resolution here, an ego stroked there, a courtesy emolument or seventy paid into dignity accounts, some more resolutions and the gruesome, evil deed would have been celebrated, welcomed even. It would have taken as much as a year for the strokes and whatnot to work. When the weapons turned out to not be there, rueful shrugs would have lifted jacket soldiers and plummy voices would have said, "mistakes, regrettably, were made, but isn't it a splendid occupation?"

Instead, they were called chocolate makers and batshit crazy wingnuts poured wine into the streets to teach them a lesson.

Posted by: J. Alva Scruggs at April 29, 2006 07:41 PM

Maybe it was more a Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure thing. You put the report there so you could find it later in the space-time continuum. BTW you get interesting results for "continuum" in a Google search.

I have to agree with J Alva Scruggs up to a point. The stroking wasn't done and that's a large part of international policy, however in the end, I still don't think the invasion was right. Its true not finding WMD didn't mean they weren't there, it just means we couldn't find them. But that's how things go. If the police "know" you're guilty, but can find no evidence, then you are not guilty.

Posted by: spiiderweb at April 29, 2006 08:02 PM

Spiiderweb, you may agree with me further than your first impression would suggest. The attack would have been a gruesome, evil deed under any circumstances.

Posted by: J. Alva Scruggs at April 29, 2006 08:41 PM


You're right. I do.

Posted by: spiiderweb at April 29, 2006 09:31 PM

it's just big brother trying to confuse you, mr schwartz. it has you questioning your sanity more than say a message like this would, doesn't it?

"hi jon, it appears to me that since you run a "[bleep]g" that doesn't support your mandated president and also expect to be treated to facts, or more accurately fact-based political news, you are unhinged and on the verge of being completely and totally insane.

in fact a squad of re-educators are heading to your ISP right now."

Posted by: almostinfamous at April 29, 2006 09:35 PM

Had a guy tell me recently that the WMD were smuggled out of Iraq, to Iran, and that I could find this out from "websites." I believe this has been tackled here before (as in "why would Iraq smuggle weapons to a country with whom it fought a devastating war?"), but I was wondering if anyone could tell me where this idea originated. This gentleman had placed great emphasis on "educating yourself and knowing who is saying what and why," then said global warming was "junk science" so I'm inclined to take his claims with a grain of salt. I think he said there were "pictures of crates" or something, although it would seem like a pretty handy claim for the administration to make as it faces of with Iran. Any ideas?

Posted by: Akihockey at April 29, 2006 09:44 PM

More than likely the smuggled weapons rumor orginates with the Administration. Much like Iran, Iraq IS all about he oil from 1880's to now, 125 yrs. Clinton is all about that just as much as Bush. The oil companies did not just appear over night in 2000, and MONEY IS MONEY. Chewing gum in class would have been just as good an excuse as WMD's IF the AMERICAN public would accept it. ANY excuse but oil.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 29, 2006 10:17 PM

Inspections would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

Invasion/occupation and nation-building is costing us hundreds of billions of dollars per year: a thousand times as much.

WHY do the Iraqi's get all that ...that ...welfare when folks in the United States get Katrina-ized?

Posted by: Darryl Pearce at April 29, 2006 11:13 PM

Surely, anyone spreading rumors about the smuggling of WD-40 or whatever from Iraq to Iran is unpatriotically attacking the best secretary of Defense this country has ever had! The implication is clearly that old, commiesympdem story about not having enough troops in the country, which has been so shot down by experts, like Tony Snow and Mel Gibson's personal trainer.

You should tell your "friend" that he needs to get his head out of lefty propaganda land. Otherwise, I think it is your duty to turn him into the FBI. This kind of guy sounds like he might be wearing Jack Anderson's old underwear (upon which there are scribbled various state secrets, highly confidential). We don't need these types in the long war for FFFFREEDOM!

Posted by: roger at April 30, 2006 02:42 AM

I think what a lot of you are forgetting is that both Drumheller and Clinton are saying is premised on the idea that Bushist America was going to invade Iraq no matter what.

The idea that Clinton would have even gotten us into anything like the current bullshit is wingnut-batshit crazy wet-dreaming, from their side.

As several folks have mentioned here, and as I mentioned years ago [holy shit - has it been three years already?], if procedure had played out on the world stage, the likelihood of invasion was slim to none - hence the way things were done by Rummy, Dick, and Incurious George.

Using logic then, it can be construed that since worldwide political protocol was NOT followed, and the invasion DID happen, then the likelihood that the reasons for invasion/occupation were illegitimate (and likely criminal) is EXTREMELY high, and is why those so-called reasons for invasion/occupation were buried so deeply.

After all, we don't want the Pres., the V.P., and the Sec. Of Def. all going to the Hague for crimes against humanity, do we?

(Actually, I do - and I bet if you're reading this, you do too.)

Posted by: Silversmith at May 1, 2006 10:54 AM