Comments: How America's Political Class Manages To Be Wrong About Absolutely Everything

Okay, Jon. I'll bite.

How do YOU *know* "no one" at Slate "realizes" Saletan is lying?

The TRUTH is:

You DON'T (really) know that. Isn't it?

Well, isn't it?

(Bonus Rhetorical Question: Isn't it [really] just as likely that EVERYONE at Slate "realizes" that Saletan is a fucking liar as "no one"?)

Posted by Mike at April 20, 2007 02:08 PM

I agree that humanity is doomed. Regardless of a few hundred million sane people, the media, the plutocrats and the capital markets have got a lock on the mechanics and levers for creating the reality they want most people to consume.

Posted by Jon Husband at April 20, 2007 02:48 PM

Saletan is an anagram of El Satan.

Coincidence?

Posted by Bernard Chazelle at April 20, 2007 02:48 PM

Hmm...
OK, I am not a concern troll or whatever. (Scan the link back to my blog for a complete context.)

A few months ago I posted a comment here about this issue, so here it goes again. In that comment, I cited an Associated Press article from a few years ago. The article was about a member(s) of SH's inner circle. The gist of it was that Saddam did not have WMDs, Nukes, etc. but had been purposely evasive and bluffed about his weapons programs so he didn't look weak. I am probably missing some details, but hopefully you remember.

Anyway, you said the article and my general understanding is incorrect and said you would explain, but never went any further with it.

Having said that, do I think the administration lied about its prewar claims? Self-evidently so, and only fools or the ignorant could think otherwise. Do I think the WMD thing was an appeal to public fear so these guys could continue long standing policy in the Middle East? Absolutely. Did the absence or presence of WMDs have any effect on this policy? No. Do I also find it plausible and backed up by the evidence that Saddam tried to appear stronger than he was by fronting an WMD arsenal? Yeah.

One last point: the author is claiming a nuclear arsenal bluff, which is a total lie. My understanding is that SH was representing chemical weapons, and you also offer an unqualified WMD in your rebuttal, so let's not get stuck on that.

Posted by Justin at April 20, 2007 02:52 PM

KEEP PAYING, KEEP PLAYING, it's sooooo hard to find good government help these days.

Posted by Mike Meyer at April 20, 2007 03:55 PM

What I want to know, Jon, is when you're going to stop pretending to have a $50 million Bel Air mansion so that you can impress the ladies? I can't count the number of times I've said you've had a Bel Air mansion, only now to find out that I was wrong all along! Your dastardly scheme just won't cut the mustard any longer. Own up, man.

Posted by saurabh at April 20, 2007 04:01 PM

Then there's my personal favourite, a quote from Scott Ritter made after the release of the ISG Report (sorry, I don't have a date) -

"It is now clear that Iraq had in fact disarmed in compliance with Security Council resolutions. One of the tragic ironies of the decision to invade Iraq is that the Iraqi WMD declaration required by security council resolution 1441, submitted by Iraq in December 2002, and summarily rejected by Bush and Blair as repackaged falsehoods, now stands as the most accurate compilation of data yet assembled regarding Iraq's WMD programs (more so than even Duelfer's ISG report, which contains much unsubstantiated speculation). Saddam Hussein has yet to be contradicted on a single point of substantive fact. Iraq had disarmed; no one wanted to accept that conclusion."

Having quoted this, I don't think its necessarily a contradiction to suggest that Saddam, at various points in time, both blustered (to give a false impression as to his nation's capabilities) and reported straight up. I also don't think anything Saddam said or did re WMD in any way justifies, then or now, the horror of a preventative invasion. As I like to say: If Iraq was (is?) your idea of an existential threat, then the U.S. is pretty damn safe.

And yes, you can substitute "Iran" for "Iraq" any time you feel like it. The sentence should read the same.

Posted by The Reality Kid at April 20, 2007 05:12 PM

Dear Kid:

Is "preventative invasion" the way they say "High Crime" (and/or "War Crime") where you're from?

I only ask because it's painfully obvious NOW, that the 'key' people 'behind' the "horror" you allude to were knowingly AND intentionally lying to Congress, to the UN General Assembly AND to us THEN...

Posted by Mike at April 20, 2007 05:40 PM

i have programmed a robot to upend every world government that is coy about its national security apparatus. shall i push the start button? or would that be too destabilizing.

Posted by hibiscus at April 20, 2007 05:57 PM

hibiscus:

"Coy?"

Is that a Beach Boys tune? Could you hum a few bars?

Posted by Mike at April 20, 2007 06:39 PM

oooweeoooo, ooo ooo
that's what the air raid sirens do

i'm makin' fake radiation
to try to bluff away your invasion
fake fake fake radiaaaa-tion

bomb ba da ba da, bomb ba da
bomb ba da ba da, bomb ba da

Posted by hibiscus at April 20, 2007 09:20 PM

If any of us had any sense, we would be challenging these assholes the only historically proven way you can. Organized, supplied and extremely violent decisive resistance.

Posted by at April 23, 2007 10:29 AM

ORGANIZED, the key word, if you figure out how, let me know.

Posted by Mike Meyer at April 23, 2007 12:19 PM