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How come the US haven't found any nukes in Iraq? (some more scrutiny)

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Ragusa, Apr 14, 2003.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    [​IMG] OK, then lets's leave out the ToPaine stuff and focus on the Die Zeit part - perhaps I should have done this right from the start:
    The above piece of Powell's evidence is an example on how the US PR sexed up the thread by Iraq. Leave out "we have problems with that source" and "despite that it's plausible" and just state Iraq actually *has* infameous Winnebagos of Death is the classical pattern of about all the US administration's hype around the phantom menance by Saddam's WMD.

    Seeing the info passed over to the US presented in that ... err ... simplified way by Powell at the UN certainly didn't help to convince the german gvt about solidity of the US evidence, not to mention the credibility of their claims.
    After that it is fairly easy to assume that that show was primarily aimed on the US audience. Nice, that is way more moderate, bit on that here.

    That was my point, to keep things short I just linked the article.
     
  2. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Well, really, that is the part of the article I was referring to.

    The German intelligence was only one of apparently four different sources for the information. The Germans, not knowing what the other three sources are, can only speculate whether they were more solid or not, comment that it's possible the various sources trace back to their own, and "wonder" how these other sources could possibly be more solid than their own :rolleyes: .

    That the Germans question the three sources doesn't mean the sources were not solid. It doesn't mean Powell was playing "fast and loose with intelligence".

    The article then goes on to discount the fact that the Germans considered the information plausible, by making an unfounded claim that they were trying "to avoid taking the heat for appearing the constant naysayer".

    Finally is says the "plausibility has all but evaporated" in recent weeks. Even if that's true, it has no bearing on the decisions that were made before the war.

    So, I still say "fabricated excuse" is a long stretch.
     
  3. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    The article was hinting on the BND source beeing an exile. The US asked a lot of exiles as well and it is quite possible that their sources were just as bad as the BND one. Or, that their sources had their info from the BND source and that this one was a liar. Or that the BND source had this unreliable info from another one who supplied the other two as well. There are a couple of options.

    However, the key is that the source was an exile - with own interests. One wonderful example for a really unreliable exile is neocon pet Mr. Ahmend Chalabi.

    And iirc it was this very exile who trumpeted that the Iraqis would welcome US troops with flowers and that it would be a plug and play invasion ( more here ) and this man even got a chance to directly speak with the president even though he has barely any contacts to iraqis in country, nor any substantial following - so where would he have info from? That's just for his credentials.

    It is reasonable to assume that the van story emerged from the Chalabi circle, and that it indeed originated from a single source - and as for credibility:
    The story was proven wrong, substantially so. So the concerns about credibility were sound and well founded.
    As were the the concern this bit might have been designed to meet the expectations of those asking (that is the rationale behind distrusting exiles) - and as a gift for those seeking ammo for the propaghanda war against Saddam by people profiting from a regime change in some way - by gaining a nice prestigious job in the post-war administration perhaps? So where please is the stretch?
    It would be very instructive to learn more about the source and to try to find out more about its motivation but I don't think I'm that far off.

    That is the really interesting part. That it was proven wrong shouldn't really come as a surprise. The BND doubted. The CIA doubted. The State Department doubted. But a few people believed ... or said so.
     
  4. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    There were four sources of information and the other three were not disclosed. You can speculate all you want on who or what those sources were, but that doesn't make them unreliable because you choose to believe one thing over another.

    I also note that you play the same games as your TomPaine.com friends. Using phrases such as "It is reasonable to assume" does not persuade me. When you make unfounded assumptions, your argument is not persuasive because someone with an opposing viewpoint can make an opposing assumption with just as much validity.

    Again I will state that because the story may be proven wrong in hindsight does not mean the decisions based on the information at the time were wrong. The information was believed reliable because four sources corroborated it.

    So once again I say you're stretching pretty far in your claim of "fabricated excuse".
     
  5. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Well, when the plausibility of Iraq having a WMD program and cooperating with Al Quaida is reason enough for war, swell.

    There is a chance that history repeats itself: Just as it was plausible that Saddam had WMD hidden it is plausible that "I want to see Iraq down for a decade now" neocons talked Bush into seeing Iraq as a threat. McNamara did that about commies in Vietnam to LBJ inventing the "Tonking Incident" - and the result became known as the Vietnam war. Sh*t happens. And sh*t happens to happen again.

    The Tonking Incident was proven a lie in hindsight. I fail to understand how a reaction based on a (intentionally) false information might be actually right at the time of conduct.
    Not everything is relative - especially not right and wrong. When something later points out to have been wrong it cannot have been right before.
    Fighting the Vietnam war wasn't the right thing only because LBJ believed so when starting to escalate it.

    I mean: When a little demon on your shoulder tells you that someone down the street with a bad criminal record is a threat for you and your family and you believe him and go down and kill him scared sh*tless - preemptively - then that was hardly the right thing to do even when you firmly believed otherwise.

    It is a really hard to swallow for me that we now have to support the US in Iraq in their selfmade mess, because leaving them alone we would risk Iraq becoming ungovernable - which is worse than helping the US. It's kinda like helping the vigilante against his victim, to prevent a riot in the victims block spread to a big riot rubbling the entire city.

    Only because Vietnam and Watergate are long ago now that doesn't mean integrity or a sense of ethics suddenly spread in Washington like the flu. I envy your trust. The question is if the Bush administration deserve it.

    [ August 28, 2003, 11:49: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
     
  6. Mithrantir Gems: 15/31
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    I can't understand this obsession and i would love to see an explanation.
    Why must USA be in charge; Is the US administration so eager to prove her ability to recostruct a country? Or are there more dubious causes?
    What fears me the most is that the US administration is eager to get some help without considering from who and what impact these soldiers nationality may have in Iraq. This is an article from a Greek newspaper
    On the other hand Turkey administration is eager, as it is reported, to send troops in Iraq because of the recent troubles between Turkomans and Kurds in the territory the Kurds control. And they would love to get back to the beloved list of US administration. US administrators must think very carefully before they act or else things will get only worse.

    [ August 28, 2003, 12:25: Message edited by: Mithrantir ]
     
  7. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Well, to me it seems pretty obvious... Bush doesn't want any more American soldiers killed, if others can easily take their place while USA still remains in control of everything. It's a really good plan to improve the current administration's public image. They've been criticized even by some of the people who openly support the war for the number of American casualties, which has been growing steadily since day one. On the other hand, the American public won't care as much if non-American soldiers die in Iraq, and this won't hurt Bush nearly as much as if American soldiers kept dying there...
     
  8. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    @ Ragusa
    Of course both are plausible. The problem with the Tom Paine and Die Zeit articles you reference is that they are both based on assumptions, speculation and unfounded claims, and then statements are made in an attempt to (artificially) give those assumptions, speculations and claims more credibility than they deserve given the known facts. It’s all smoke and mirrors, without any evidence supporting it. Now sure, I have serious doubts about the administration’s motives myself, but your quotes and links don’t really do anything to increase my scepticism.
    And just as there is a chance that history repeats itself, so is there a chance that they learn from their mistakes.

    And talking about unfounded claims:
    Perhaps this is true. But, and as much as I distrust Bush and his cronies, I doubt that this is the main reason. The U.S. likes to be in control – not just in Iraq, but generally speaking. I think they are willing to accept participation by other nations in order to smooth the waters a bit, but the U.S. still sees this as their war, and they want to be in the driver’s seat. As well, and if the U.S. has a hidden agenda for being in Iraq in the first place, turning control over to an international coalition could undermine that agenda.
     
  9. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Rags - Just so I'm clear: I'm not saying you are wrong; you simply haven't convinced me you're right.

    I find our discussion rather amusing in an ironic sort of way. Here you are condemning the US administration for using shaky information to justify the war, but then in your own arguements you present shaky information and then ask us to believe you are correct. Ironic to say the least.
     
  10. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Heh, I'm not presenting anything as a fact, Splunge. Just my personal opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree.
     
  11. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Tal, its not just you who I've heard say that (although not necessarily on these boards), so my "unfounded" comment was more in response to that; sorry if it seemed (and I realise that it did seem) to be directed at you specifically. And yes, I disagree that reducing U.S. deaths is the main reason (I don't see any basis for making that argument), although I have no doubt that it is a factor.
     
  12. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    BTA,
    I think this is one of the points why there is so much shaky info around. The Bush administration just doesn't tell much - and there is so much convenient secrecy - probably because no one kicks then hard enough:
    Yeah, beeing the president sure rocks. Is it just me, or has america become a monarchy recently ...

    At least, my shaky info doesn't get people killed and maimed.
     
  13. Nobleman Gems: 27/31
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    Can you be so sure of that Ragusa when your information is "shaky" too? That your actions wouldn't have gotten people killed and maimed, if you had been in the presidents seat? Which is in fact what is the interesting aspect of this bohemoth thread.
     
  14. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    I think if you sent troops in a foreign country, any more or less responsible goverment wants some control over the situation, i.e. being on the driver seat.

    The obvious driver-seat solution of any nation, let's take for arguments sake a nation like India, would be, having the UN-control the issue and not sending troops away and put them under the comand of foreigners.

    So, the interesting thing will be the increasing negotations between the US and the UN, because I think that the drain on resources in general is becoming an issue and between 100'000 and 200'000 more troops are needed, I've heard.
     
  15. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Yago - Yes, but the UN will face the same situation that the US faces. That was probably what the message was behind the attack on the UN headquaters last week. The UN would still be seen as another occupier, even though those in the West have a different view of the UN and the US. That is a miscalculation on the part of the terrorists. The UN could do a lot of good for Iraq, given the current situation.

    The US has its own uses for Iraq. But you are right, the cost is more than they bargained for. Politics is the central motivation. You can be sure that as the next election draws near, that the polls on the Iraq situation will determine just how much the US is willing to partner with other nations and the UN. If most see that Iraq is going badly, then there will probably be a large UN presence there. The UN may get the same "business" as the US there, but Americans will not care, as long as American soldiers are no longer dying there as they are now. And Bush will try to diffuse the arguments of opponant, which could be Howard Dean.

    Dean will attack Bush on the war every chance he can. He is not afraid of being labled as "anti-American," because he thinks that the war is a bunch of bull, since most of his base feels the same way he does and he has learned that by appealing to his base he can have some success against those who caved-in to the WMD issue.

    Note: Harrison Ford made some anti-war remarks in Spain today, and already a few in the media have accused him of being ... you guessed right: "anti-American." Even though he just has the good sense of being opposed to the war. What a surprise. :rolleyes:

    [ August 29, 2003, 16:33: Message edited by: Chandos the Red ]
     
  16. Iago Gems: 24/31
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    Chandos, My point in this issue was from the beginning, that the US possesses not enough resources to pull it through. And I think that the current administration is not only forced by domestic polls to find new partners, but by sheer necessity. The other solution would be, to fill the gaps of needed troops with us-soldiers. This isn't so much a problem, at least in my view, because of the mortality-rates, but the finances. More troops will cost more money.

    And on the other hand, my understanding of the US-forces is, that after a certain service-time, they are set-back as reserve, start a life, job, family and one day comes a letter, they have to leave it all. To go to Iraq or replace someone else at another place who went there.

    I saw an interview at the beginning of the war with some offical of the administration, saying that the Americans will be willing to pay for that. I personally don't think so. In my view, if I may use that metaphor, they were arguing if they should order the salad or the 4-turn-menu. But the question, if they were able to pay for the 4-turn-menu, never came into the spotlight, like it should have, in my opinion.
     
  17. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Yago - Yes, I agree. To your point about troop rotation, there is a lot of concern here that there will not be any replacements soon enough for the proper rotating of forces in Iraq, and it has been causing poor morale. This talked about link on the situation there is from July:


    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/wnt/World/iraq030716_2ndBrigade.html

    But the debate is still raging here. Americans are beginning to see how poorly thought-out this whole war was. John Kerry was on "Meet the Press" this morning complaining about how he was misled by Bush into voting for the war based on WMD. He is saying that there are not really enough troops to enlarge the force that is already there. But that he is in favor of throwing away more money in Iraq. He is trying to fend off attacks from Howard the "Dean Machine" who is just blowing through all the would be Dems who voted for the status-quo and the Bush war.

    http://www.msnbc.com/news/959775.asp?0dm=V23FN
    http://www.msnbc.com/news/950967.asp?0dm=V21FN
     
  18. Mithrantir Gems: 15/31
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    LOL
    I understand that the US troops in Iraq would love nothing more than see themselves be transfered back home. I believe that at first, right before the invasion they thought that this whole war against Iraq would be a piece of cake and the citizens of Iraq would bent over (to put it mildly) in order to please them.
    They were misleaded IMHO, by their administration and their senior officers, big time. And that happened because these guys (goverment and generals) would never go in the heat of the battle, so it is easy to lie for something that A)you don't know if it will happen and B)either way you won't be there to see it happen :mad:
    I think that the US administration did expect some kind of resistance but not that big. And this is due to the very low level of understanding the US administration has at the internal relations between the various races in a state ( i mean not only Iraq but also Afganistan, Serbia, Boznia-Erzegobine), and this will not change the way i see things progressing
     
  19. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    More and more it seems that the neocon elite planned the capture of Iraq in an ivory tower, counseled by cheering claqeurs. A nice Op-Ed on that, of course biased, here.

    Some critical analyes, both referred to in the article above, on "how-to-and-how-not-to reconstruct Iraq", provided by the pretty irrelevant US Army War College * and the renowned but just as irrelevant London based CSIS, were ignored by Washingtons decisionmakers ... perhaps ... because they didn't sing the neocon tune ?! Hubris anyone?

    Now there is critque popping up everywhere, mostly by people sacked for standing up against the leadership opinion. That were people like Gen. Shinseki who dared to demand more troops for Iraq and was forcibly retired 1 year earlier than planned, resulting in a pension cut for him - for not serving full time. Or the ex army-secretary White, forcibly retired in may, who in a recent book describes the Bush administration's postwar effort in Iraq as "anemic" and "totally inadequate." Seemingly the Neocons make an ideological cleansing in their areas of responsibility.
    Great prospects, even more as the damage is done already. I don't like to imagine what they might be able to without dissent in their organisations.

    The final line of the US war college report was:
    * The US army site currently seems down ... bibliographical info on the report here.
     
  20. Prozac Gems: 4/31
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    +++ Newsflash +++

    • The british gvt's justification for their case against Iraq took a heavy blow when two senior officials were interviewed at the Hutton inquiry. More here and here.
      Subject under fire was the 45min claim, that said Saddam had WMDs ready for use in 45min time.
      .
    • Responding to the growing number of incidents in Iraq, the US gvt has reverted to now only report those incidents where soldiers are actually killed.
      However, the number of wounded by far exceeds the number of soldiers killed, reflecting the benefit of advanced equipment such as modern body armor as well as the progress and good organisation of US army field medics. But only reporting the deaths however, is prettying up the picture of the actual situation in Iraq. More on that in the Washington Post.
    +++ End +++

    PS: The US Army page is up again.
     
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