JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2008/04/youve-got-to-be-kidding-me.html (26 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1207200987-590242  Rob at Thu, 03 Apr 2008 05:36:27 +0000

Ugh! I feel soiled.

I hear the hoofbeats of the four horses of the apocalypse. I am certain that Markadelphia is about to swoop in.....

jsid-1207229508-590250  Last in line at Thu, 03 Apr 2008 13:31:48 +0000

Actually Mark had a death in the family and will be out of town. Info is on his blog.

jsid-1207231286-590251  Oldsmoblogger at Thu, 03 Apr 2008 14:01:26 +0000

Yeah, when even Margaret Cho is on the case, you know the game is up.

jsid-1207231334-590252  tkdkerry at Thu, 03 Apr 2008 14:02:14 +0000

I love the mental image of the wild-eyed panting, spittle-flying Truther waving his/her arms and spewing this crap. And it only adds to the hilarity when they refer to Margaret Cho as a "top" comedian and use "trailblazing" to describe Charlie Sheen. Hey, does anyone notice a strong similarity in the writing style to Helmke and the VPC et al, or is it just me?

jsid-1207231638-590254  Unix-Jedi at Thu, 03 Apr 2008 14:07:18 +0000

Launch the alert Vipers!

jsid-1207240417-590263  Boyd at Thu, 03 Apr 2008 16:33:37 +0000

There's no need to rush to see it before it's removed. If it's just some nutjob that the Obama campaign wishes would shut the hell up, they'll take it down purty durn fast, and it won't matter, because that means they're sensible folks.

OTOH, if they have no problem associating with Troothers, then it'll be there 'til the cows come home.

Knowing what we already know about Senator Obama, which do you think is more likely?

jsid-1207240557-590265  Ed at Thu, 03 Apr 2008 16:35:57 +0000


It obviously didn't take you long to get through those season 3 discs. ;)

I'm sure hoping that season 4 lives up to the promise of the first season and a half.

(Still working on it. Disc 5 tonight. - Ed.)

jsid-1207242832-590267  Markadelphia at Thu, 03 Apr 2008 17:13:52 +0000

I'm not leaving town until tomorrow so I thought I would chime in...it's nice to get my mind off things. Thanks for the kind words on my blog, Kevin.

First of all, it does my heart proud to find more agreement between all of us. BG is one of the best shows in the history of television. I have really dug it from day one and season 4 (20 total episodes) promises to be insanely good.

For those of you who like spoilers..


As for the Obama-truther thing...I just want to be clear about something: Everyone here agrees that all "truthers" are insane lunatics or idiots and their theories are completely wrong and could in no way have any truth to them whatsoever, correct?

Just want to make sure that we all still consider ourselves "critical" and "thinkers."

And now, onto the QotD link in which I am being ravaged...

jsid-1207268376-590283  Kevin Baker at Fri, 04 Apr 2008 00:19:36 +0000

I just want to be clear about something: Everyone here agrees that all "truthers" are insane lunatics or idiots and their theories are completely wrong and could in no way have any truth to them whatsoever, correct? - Markadelphia

The three World Trade Center buildings were demolished by professionals, not by a motley crew of 19 Arabs under the direction of one Osama bin Laden who was dying if not already dead in the Middle East at the time (9/11/01). The real question is “Who are these professionals who demolished the buildings and who paid them?” It was an inside job, folks. - Insane raving moonbat.

The answer to your question, Mark, is "Yes." The World Trade Center buildings were not "demolished by professionals," they were destroyed as a result of being struck by passenger jets fully laden with fuel and the resulting fires. Osama bin Laden is apparently not yet dead (maybe), and he certainly was alive to celebrate their destruction.

Dick Cheney and Chimpy McHitlerBurton didn't know that the attack was coming, did not know that the WTC and the Pentagon were targets, Flight 93 was not an unmanned drone nor was it shot down by a U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft, the Pentagon was not struck by a missile,

You see, critical thinkers look at evidence, and once that's done they come to what's known as a conclusion. REAL critical thinkers come to conclusions that agree with the evidence, unlike Rosie O'Donnel who proclaims that "fire doesn't melt steel," or this clown who wouldn't know how to build an accurate engineering model if his life depended on it.

jsid-1207271689-590288  Markadelphia at Fri, 04 Apr 2008 01:14:49 +0000

Alright, Kevin. Then I would humbly request that you read this book


His preface begins with DO NOT TRUST THIS BOOK. If you are the critical thinker you say you are, look at the evidence (and there is a lot of it) that Marrs presents and then decide for yourself. I seriously doubt you have examined anything but the most loony theories out there and have come to a conclusion that makes you feel more comfortable.

For someone who distrusts government as much as you do, I find it perplexing that completely buy everything they have told you about 9-11.

jsid-1207279551-590296  Regolith at Fri, 04 Apr 2008 03:25:51 +0000

"For someone who distrusts government as much as you do, I find it perplexing that completely buy everything they have told you about 9-11"

There is a difference between distrusting the government and discounting reality. The Reality of the matter is that terrorists, under the command of OBL, flew three planes into the WTC and Pentagon, and attempted to use a fourth to destroy either the Capitol Building or the White House.

There is a lot of solid evidence pointing to that conclusion, and not a hell of a lot (if any) pointing to any other conclusion. If one is to base their arguments on reason, logic, and facts, then it'd be difficult to a different conclusion.

Yes, people like Kevin, people like most of the rest of us that read this page DO distrust the government, but we do it not because we are paranoid or are basing our reasoning on emotion, but rather because the FACTS tell us the government is not to be trusted on certain matters. It doesn't mean they're behind every wrong or tragedy to befall us, as the facts don't support that conclusion.

jsid-1207280495-590297  Kevin Baker at Fri, 04 Apr 2008 03:41:35 +0000


I humbly refuse your request.

Sorry, but a book by the author of an " in-depth investigation of UFOs, Alien Agenda," Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy, and Rule By Secrecy is not someone whose "evidence" I am inclined to give much credence to.

That you would does not surprise me in the least.

There is a significant difference, Mark, between being a critical thinker and being someone who wants to believe something because reality is too difficult to face.

After all, you believe in the inherent goodness of man.

jsid-1207282724-590298  Ed "What the" Heckman at Fri, 04 Apr 2008 04:18:44 +0000

Markadelphia: "I find it perplexing that completely buy everything they have told you about 9-11." (Plus a link to a 9/11 conspiracy book blaming President Bush.)

See what I mean about believing "facts" that aren't facts? You're so damn intent on blaming President Bush for the attack by Al Qaeda that you seem to have forgotten that Bin Laden personally claimed responsibility for the attacks on video. (See here, here, and here. Be sure to check the video link from the last article.) There have also been videos released by Al Qaeda of final testimonies by the hijackers. (Link deleted due to HaloScan's stupid limits.)

Finally, most of these conspiracies ignore basic physics, obvious evidence and even simple logic while dreaming up these convoluted and totally unreasonable plots in an insane effort to prove their preferred conclusion in spite of the clear evidence. Their approach to analyzing the evidence is like taking Occam's Razor, attaching a wooden handle to it, then turning it around and trying to use the blunt wood to carve the evidence into their preferred shape.

Fire doesn't melt steel? C'mon, heat is how steel is formed!

Explosives were used to bring down the buildings? You try putting explosives and their control mechanisms in a 1500+ degree fire and see what happens!

Puffs of materials coming out of the windows as the floors collapse is evidence of explosives? Get real. Every child who has ever gone swimming has discovered what happens when you squeeze two objects together (hands/floors) and there's something in between (water/air & debris). It gets pushed out!

Muslims don't actually want to kill us? Riiiigggghhhttt. Those crowds chanting "Death to America" are really just complaining that their fuzzy bunny slippers itch.

The hijackers and passengers were spirited away? You would have to kill them to keep the secret. And the most foolproof method of doing so IS HAVING THEM IN THE FREAKIN' PLANES WHEN THEY ACTUALLY CRASHED INTO THE STINKIN' BUILDINGS!

I mean, c'mon. This stuff is just so idiotically stupid that only someone so intent on an insane attempt to vent their anger against someone they hate beyond all reason could even imagine such outrageous fantasies, never mind take them seriously.

Mark, thanks for proving my "facts" that aren't facts claim once again.

jsid-1207338785-590332  Sarah at Fri, 04 Apr 2008 19:53:05 +0000

Sorry, but a book by the author of an "in-depth investigation of UFOs, Alien Agenda...

Maybe it's the same UFO guy who's head of the Spaceology Department at the Correspondence College of Tampa.

jsid-1207521918-590403  Markadelphia at Sun, 06 Apr 2008 22:45:18 +0000

ED, I don't blame Bush for the attacks. I know bin Laden and company did it. What I want to know if people (ex, Cheney, Rumsfeld etc) knew the attack was coming and they let it happen. I'm not certain either way but I am inclined to believe that they knew SOMETTHING was going to happen and they worked it to their advantage.

As to your chiding of the evidence, since you haven't read the book and critically examined it as I have, then you are no authority on what he says.

Sarah, you really should read the book Rule By Secrecy by Marrs. It makes Zinn look like a 10 year old.


"After all, you believe in the inherent goodness of man."

I was waitng for this one to come up again. Don't you find it odd that I "believe" in the inherent goodness of man and yet can plainly see the downright awful things that men like Dick Cheney are capable of and you think that any criticism of him is paranoia? Or partisanship?

I'm sorry, Kevin, but until you start to see what these scumbags are up to, it is YOU that believe in the inherent goodness of man.

Oh, and on the topic of Marrs, UFOs etc....how's the view of the earth with your head stuck in the sand? Tell you what...try this book out instead...


jsid-1207531535-590409  Ed "What the" Heckman at Mon, 07 Apr 2008 01:25:35 +0000

"Oh, and on the topic of Marrs, UFOs etc....how's the view of the earth with your head stuck in the sand? Tell you what...try this book out instead..."

OMG! Please tell me you're not serious!

jsid-1207579829-590427  Kevin Baker at Mon, 07 Apr 2008 14:50:29 +0000

I'm sorry, Kevin, but until you start to see what these scumbags are up to, it is YOU that believe in the inherent goodness of man.

The difference between us, Mark, is that I understand that all people are capable of both good and evil. You seem to believe that if they're capable of any evil, then they're completely evil, and you then project upon them your belief that anything they do must be evil. There can be no rational, logical reason for their actions, they're scumbags!

If they're Republicans, that is.

If they're Democrats then anything they do that people like myself deem evil, well we just don't understand. Their motivations were good, just the implementation failed - probably because of the interference by the evil scumbags!

Really, you are tiringly predictable.

jsid-1207582324-590432  Markadelphia at Mon, 07 Apr 2008 15:32:04 +0000

Ed, I think if you read Rule By Secrecy your head will explode from cognitive dissonance.

I find it very interesting that in this den of "critical thinkers" then when topics like this come up, the immediate reaction is: NOPE! NEVER! NUTTERS! ALL LUNATICS!! OMG! PLEASE TELL ME YOU'RE NOT SERIOUS!

I also find it interesting that you aren't allowed to apply the scientific method to things like UFOs, 9-11 stuff, or assassinations. Why? Because everyone knows that ALL UFO stories are made up, 9-11 happened exactly the way our leaders told us, and everyone that believes there was a conspiracy behind JFK etc also believe that Elvis is alive. So, there's really no need to look at any evidence....right?

It's all lies :)


"if they're capable of any evil, then they're completely evil"

Wrong. I think Dick Cheney's actions are evil. Is he evil? Maybe it's not up to me to decide.

There are plenty of Democrats that have also done great evil. Lyndon Johnson would be a prime example. Even Jimmy Carter pursued a Middle East policy that was similar to our current president's policy. There are good Republicans as well. I think Colin Powell, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, and Rudy Giuliani are basically good people. I'd be hard pressed to find any actions of theirs that are evil, even Powell's address to the United Nations, which many consider to be treacherous. To me, he was doing what he thought at the time was right. I know I believed him. I was wrong.

jsid-1207759579-590555  Ed "What the" Heckman at Wed, 09 Apr 2008 16:46:19 +0000

Markadelphia: "I don't blame Bush for the attacks. I know bin Laden and company did it. What I want to know if people (ex, Cheney, Rumsfeld etc) knew the attack was coming and they let it happen. I'm not certain either way but I am inclined to believe that they knew SOMETTHING was going to happen and they worked it to their advantage."

Here's a chance for you to prove that I'm wrong about your inability to use logic and reason. Show us that you understand Occam's Razor and how it applies to this situation.

Markadelphia: "As to your chiding of the evidence, since you haven't read the book and critically examined it as I have, then you are no authority on what he says."

I was not responding specifically to his book. I was responding to common troother claims. Furthermore, I was using commonly understood facts about heat, steel, construction, basic physics and easily understood psychology in responding to those claims. Are you claiming that those fields cannot be understood unless someone reads his book? That's making the claim that his book is the source of ALL truth.

The simple point is that most troother claims are so absurd on their face that it's not necessary to do more than dismiss them out of hand. What's left is the possibility—and without evidence, it is no more than a mere possibility—that President Bush knew specifics of the plan and did nothing about it. This is where Occam's Razor comes in. (Okay, I gave you a hint for my challenge. Try running with it.)

Markadelphia: "I also find it interesting that you aren't allowed to apply the scientific method to things like UFOs, 9-11 stuff,"

I did apply the scientific method to UFOs. Back as a teenager I was very interested in them. I read all I could get my hands on because I thought the concept was cool and that it might be true. After researching it for years as I was learning logic and the scientific method, I eventually realized that the theories don't hold up to the same kind of examination used in fields like forensics, physics, etc. Hoaxes were rampant. What remained was either so vague that it was "seeing" patterns in the noise like you "see" familiar shapes in clouds, or incidents which are more easily explained by things other than space aliens.

The list of answers I gave to the most common and stupid troother claims is also applying the scientific method. No theory exists in a vacuum. There is always some relationship to other known scientific discoveries. In this case, I applied things like the effect of heat on explosives and other materials, the effect of two materials trying to occupy the same space at the same time, etc. The simplest tools of the scientific method: observation and the knowledge of physics (and in one case, basic psychology).

Markadelphia: "I think if you read Rule By Secrecy your head will explode from cognitive dissonance."

Cognitive dissonance results from facts not aligning with theories and theories being retained in the face of the facts. Given your established propensity for making up your own facts and ignoring those you don't like, I seriously doubt that his book contains accurate statements of fact, which means there would not be any cognitive dissonance.

I'll tell you what, if you can show that you can apply basic reasoning by accurately showing how Occam's Razor applies, and you give accurate answers to my questions about basic facts about Iraq, I'll read his book. Just be aware that I will seek verification on every factual claim made in his book. I will also be testing his reasoning against the rules of logic and logical fallacies.

jsid-1207767593-590565  Markadelphia at Wed, 09 Apr 2008 18:59:53 +0000

"Show us that you understand Occam's Razor and how it applies to this situation."

(Pardon me, but I have to interject here. This is the first time I've ever done this - and hopefully the last - but this comment demands it. My comments will be interspersed. - Ed.)

Ed, are you certain that you want me to look at the simplest explanation and the smallest amount of assumptions when it comes to the 9-11 attacks? You probably won't like the answer but I would be happy to do it.

I would hope that you re-visit the UFO thing. There have been a lot of events in the last 10 years that have enough evidence to warrant further investigation...one in Kevin's home state.

(That would be the Phoenix lights? Other than some film/videotape, what evidence? Yup, those were "unidentified flying objects." UNIDENTIFIED being the operative word. Again, what other evidence is there? Cite your sources.)

As to your questions about Iraq, here goes...but be forewarned...I will not be answering them in the framed way you want me to answer them...

"Did Saddam Hussein invade Kuwait?"

Yes, after our ambassador gave him tacit approval. Remember, Saddam was our ally during the 80s and may have thought, in his deranged mind, that we would be OK with it. He had cultivated a relationship with our intelligence agencies for years.

(So, did we "give him tacit approval" or did he, in his "deranged mind" simply think we had? Which is it? And where's your evidence?)

Did he agree to certain conditions when he surrendered?


Did he violate those conditions?

Yes, but did that make him as big of a danger as Al Qaeda? (That's not the question. You answered the question. He was in violation of the terms of the cease-fire. That alone was sufficient cause to invade.)

To me, he was about 5th or 6th on the list of threats to the nation. (But his was the only nation where we had legal justification to invade - and his country abuts four or five of the "other threats" we face, does it not?)

Since he is dead and there are no WMDs in Iraq, why aren't we re-deploying the marines to Afghanistan? (Because "you break it, you bought it" is something Americans - usually - understand. Why aren't we completely pulled out of Bosnia? Is Bosnia a threat to the U.S.? Why are we in South Korea? Okinawa? Germany?)

Is Iraq really the most effective front in the war on terror? I don't think so. (Perhaps not, but what legal justification would we have to invade Iran? Or, as you've insisted, Saudi Arabia?)

Was he routinely shooting at our aircraft?

Yes. Our country has also routinely shot at aircraft over the years. We used to call it communicating. (That's called the tu quoque argument - "you too!" The difference, and you're well aware of it, is that Saddam fired missiles at aircraft enforcing the "no fly" zones that were part of the cease-fire accords, and were thus justification for the RESUMPTION OF HOSTILITIES. Instead, we put up with it for TWELVE YEARS - until it became apparent that Saddam wasn't going to be overthrown and the sanctions most likely were going to be dropped.)

Did he have WMD's at one time?

Yes, some of which were provided by us. (Really? And your citations are...? As I understand it, the equipment and materials came from Germany, France, and Russia - all members of the UN Security Council who opposed our "unilateral" act.)

Was part of the conditions of surrender/cease fire that he had to destroy those WMD's and prove to the U.N. that he had done so?

Yes, and according to weapons inspectors he had done so. (Again, really? And your citations are...? As I understand it, Saddam DID NOT PROVIDE PROOF of the destruction of large quantities of WMD, and was quite uncooperative so long as he believed that Germany, France, and Russia had his back.)

Did he abide by those conditions?

Yes and no. Grey area question because he did make a feeble attempt to resurrect the program but there wasn't much behind it. (And what would have been the probable outcome of the lifting of sanctions and the ending of the "no-fly" zones? If, in fact after twelve years we had packed up and gone home - or moved those forces into Afghanistan? Be honest. Cite your sources.)

Did the U.N. warn Saddam numerous times that he was in violation of the cease fire conditions?

Yes. The UN also warns Israel that they are in violation of treaties as well. They still do what they want...and they should, btw, in my opinion, or they will be destroyed. (But we shouldn't have resumed hostilities against Iraq, even though Saddam was paying the families of suicide bombers - in an attempt to aid in the destruction of Israel?)

Did everyone other than President Bush (that means Democrats, the U.N., other countries, etc.) claim that Saddam had WMD's?

Not everyone, but yes some Democrats did. General Zinni has stated our guys did a great job of containing Saddam in the 90s and that would've continued. Hey, wait a minute. I thought we weren't going down the appeal to authority path!? (You get a tu quoque, he gets an "appeal to authority." Especially since those authorities were Madeline Albright, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, John Edwards, et al.)

Did Saddam routinely torture and kill large numbers of Iraqi citizens?

Yes. He did this at several points throughout the 1980s when he was our ally. (Back when we practiced the "our bastards" policy that had been in place since the Truman administration. That policy changed after 9/11. As bush expressed it:

As recent history has shown, we cannot turn a blind eye to oppression just because the oppression is not in our own backyard. No longer should we think tyranny is benign because it is temporarily convenient. Tyranny is never benign to its victims, and our great democracies should oppose tyranny wherever it is found.

You have a problem with that? We had legal justification to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam. We don't have it in Iran or Syria, much less Saudi Arabia or Pakistan - the latter, you'll remember, you yourself have advocated.)

Is Al Qaeda fighting in Iraq today?

Yes. But they weren't there before we invaded. In fact, Saddam loathed bin Laden and would never have allowed any challenge, especially one as large as this, in his country. (But he let Al Zarqawi in, even giving him medical treatment prior to the invasion. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," remember? You are certain about what Saddam of the 'deranged mind' would have or wouldn't have done?)

Why don't you apply the razor to Iraq? I don't think you will like the results. (Right. It's all about Oiiiillllll! Oh, and the military-industrial complex that wasn't getting rich enough off of the war in Afghanistan.)

In fact, if you still want me to do the razor exercise, why don't we expand it to include Iraq? That might make more sense since it all falls under the umbrella of the War on Terror. (I think you misspoke here. This was all about Iraq.)

jsid-1207779227-590580  Markadelphia at Wed, 09 Apr 2008 22:13:47 +0000

Just to note, I don't care one wit if you interject in my comments-ever. It's your site, dude.

"Cite your sources."

Well, you can start with the videotape and then the eyewitnesses...including your former governor who has now come forward, on Larry King, and said that he did see a craft that was...well...not like anything we have.

All I am saying is that I want further investigation..serious investigation...that doesn't begin with UFOs aren't real so no matter what these were just...weather phenomenon.

"Which is it? And where's your evidence?"

The evidence is the transcript of their meeting which has been altered at least twice.


As to which it is...well, that is a matter of opinion but it does color the answer to be more grey and not as simple as Ed puts it.

"Really? And your citations are...?"


Check out the third paragraph...

"Again, really? And your citations are"

On October 6, 2004, the head of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), Charles Duelfer, announced to the United StatesSenate Armed Services Committee that the group found no evidence that Iraq under Saddam Hussein had produced and stockpiled any weapons of mass destruction since 1991, when UN sanctions were imposed.

There's more information out there, if you want to look, but I don't really know if it is worth it. I doubt anything will change your mind.

I also think you operating under the assumption that I don't see your side. In fact, I shared it for at least a year (fall 2002 to fall 2003). Too much has come out since that time and it has become quite clear to me that there has been a tremendous amount of lying, playing with the facts, and downright treason for me to adhere to such a simplistic view of Iraq and why we are there.

jsid-1207809511-590588  Ed "What the" Heckman at Thu, 10 Apr 2008 06:38:31 +0000

Kevin: "You get a tu quoque, he gets an "appeal to authority."

It's late. I'm sick and exhausted, but my medicine isn't letting me go to sleep and this one is bugging me, so I've just got to answer it. Please excuse any typos and unclear statements.

It sounds to me like you think I've made a faulty appeal to authority. I didn't, and here's why.

A faulty appeal to authority has a substantial problem with who is being used as a reference. The two most common types are appealing to only authorities on one side of an issue and appealing to an invalid authority.

In the first case, an appeal might be made to an authority who holds one position while ignoring or minimizing the fact that there are at least equally valid authorities who hold a contrary position. Al Gore's description of glueball worming as "settled science" is one such faulty appeal to authority. He claims that the only opposition is flat earther types. In reality, there are a significant number of climate scientists who disagree with anthropomorphic global warming, including some of the top scientists in the field. Even better, he points to the U.N. report on climate change as proof, yet some of the top scientists whose names appear there where rebuffed in their attempts to have their names removed because they disagreed with the final report so strongly. In short, this type of faulty appeal is cherry picking the authorities.

In the second case, a faulty appeal to authority is one in which the authority appealed to is not actually an authority. We see it all the time with ads from actors touting a particular product or service. Yet the fact that they know how to play pretend in front of a camera does not in and of itself make them an authority on whatever it is that they're discussing. An example of such an appeal would be appealing to Rosie O'Donnell's expertise in skyscraper engineering.

In this case, I did not make either of those mistakes. I pointed to all authorities (those who had seen the actual intelligence information), not just those who supported a particular side.

In this case, I'm also borrowing a bit from how historians determine the accuracy of various pieces of information. If a historian finds a document by an enemy of a particular point of view which concedes a particular point—especially if that concession hurts their own position—they consider that to be pure gold as far as reliability.

This might be best explained by an example. The recent movie 300 was highly stylized version of an actual conflict which took place between the Persians and 300 Spartans. Now suppose that a historian found a document written by a Persian which said that those Spartans were the best fighters the world has ever seen. (I don't know that such a document has ever been found or not. This is just an example.) First of all, we know that the claim has not been blown out of proportion because the writer isn't tooting his own horn. To strengthen the claim further, such a statement admits that the Persians were not as good, which hurts their own reputation.

Even if the statement does not actually harm the writer's position, it's still rock solid confirmation of a particular point. If two solid enemies agree on certain facts, then it becomes clear that the statements are actually true because the facts are clearly not in contention.

In other words, if everybody—especially hardened enemies—agree on a point of fact, then (barring an incredibly unlikely occurrence such as collusion between enemies) that fact can be considered to be true.

In this case, it was not just Republicans claiming that Saddam had WMD's, we also had Democrats (a hardened partisan enemy of Republicans if ever there was one) claiming that Saddam had WMD's. Let's not forget that we had numerous other intelligence agencies from countries around the world saying the same thing, some friendly, some not so friendly. Finally, even Saddam himself was acting like he still had them. Not to mention that he actually had some that he used against the Kurds.

In short, when both friends and enemies were saying that Saddam had WMD's, you can be almost certain that he did.

jsid-1207837506-590600  DJ at Thu, 10 Apr 2008 14:25:06 +0000

Well stated, Ed.

But ...

The fact that lots of both Democrats and Republicans believed, and stated, that Hussein had lots of WMD's does not mean it's a fact that he did. It simply means that the evidence was compelling enough that both sides believed he did, and believed it strongly enough to approve military action based on it. Most significantly, it also means that those who publicly agreed with the evidence, long after the fact, pointing to the other side and screaming, "You lied!" is pure hypocrisy, and it is typical of politicians.

jsid-1207838003-590601  Kevin Baker at Thu, 10 Apr 2008 14:33:23 +0000

Excellent reply, Ed. I did, however, note (with link) those authorities, thus (I had hoped) indicating the fallacy of his "appeal to authority" protest. He held up one "authority" - General Zinni, who said we would continue to "contain" Saddam - completely off the topic of WMD.


There may yet be hope for you. You actually argued on point, for a change.

It's still fascinating watching you avoid mentioning those points for which you apparently have no rejoinder as though they don't exist.

You admit Saddam violated the conditions of the cease-fire, thus justifying a military response. You acknowledge that he did not provide proof of the destruction of WMD he admitted to having, as required by the terms of the cease-fire. You admit he routinely fired missiles at aircraft enforcing the "no-fly" zones, also violating the terms of the cease-fire. You admit that he made efforts, "feeble" or otherwise, to resume his WMD programs. You admit that Al Qaeda is in Iraq today.

So the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam was in significant breach of the terms of the cease-fire, and now that U.S. forces are in Iraq, we're fighting many of the the same groups we're fighting in Afghanistan. They all share militant Islamic fundamentalism, anyway.

Iraq sits in the middle of the region that is responsible for the spread of militant Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, abutting several of the nations that sponsor such acts. The overthrow of Saddam and the establishment of Iraq as a stable democracy is therefore legally justifiable and strategically important. Whether or not it's tactically achievable is what we're debating about now.

But not you. Because you believe we went in on "false pretenses" you advocate that we abandon Iraq to the tender mercies of Iran or civil war.

In your response, you avoid all mention of the points I made above to concentrate exclusively on the cause of Gulf War I and the October 6, 2004 report (months after resumption of hostilities) that UN weapons inspectors concluded that Saddam hadn't made any new WMD since 1991 - without mention of the stuff he admitted having as of 1991.

The invasion was justifiable, Mark. The strategy is logical and reasonable.

The tactical situation is at question, but "run away!" is not an option.

jsid-1207840282-590604  Markadelphia at Thu, 10 Apr 2008 15:11:22 +0000

Ed, hope you get better soon. I enjoy our exchanges.

On appeal to authority, just to clarify...would the following people be considered sound sources on Iraq?

* General Jay Garner, who briefly ran the reconstruction before being replaced by L. Paul Bremer
* Ambassador Barbara Bodine, who was placed in charge of the Baghdad embassy
* Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of the State Department
* Robert Hutchings, former chairman of the National Intelligence Council
* Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff
* Col. Paul Hughes, who worked in the ORHA and then the CPA

I think I am pretty clear on what you are saying but I want to be sure.

On climate change, it's my understanding that Gore's main source is the IPCC. Their position all along is that there is a 90 percent chance that climate change is a result of man. It is still considered a theory that is only 90 percent valid and their job is to continue to make that theory more valid. Have you looked through their material? It's pretty compelling but by no means 100 percent certain. There still is that 10 percent so they continue to gather data. I wonder how much more they will need to sway you....

"It's still fascinating watching you avoid mentioning those points"

It's not that I avoid them...it's just laziness. A failing that has improved only slightly since I started posting here..

I think there are other factors with Iraq that aren't generally talked about that play a part in why we went in. I think our tenuous economic relationship with Europe played a large part in it. I think President Bush's personality was exploited by Cheney, Rumsfeld etc to get into Iraq...his need to one up daddy...

I also think there was nothing logical about it. Standing alone...perhaps. But when you add in the 9-11 attacks, it makes no sense to me to invade a country that nothing to do with them while allowing the one that did to fester. It is neither logical or reasonable in our large effort against Al Qaeda to allow them to reconstitute in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

At present, though, I think our best course in Iraq is listen to our commanders on the ground, including Patreaus, as to what we should do. The head of the marines wants to redeploy to Afghanistan. I don't think he will get his wish until we see President Obama, who, in the end, will actually listen to the commanders and, more than likely, keep some troops in Iraq for his first term.

jsid-1208273588-590826  Russell at Tue, 15 Apr 2008 15:33:08 +0000

I see rationalization is still being confused with reasoning.

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