May 29, 2003

Unhappy Campers

Mark Bowden has joined the ranks of the unhappy campers:

The Point | U.S. has gained little if Bush lied about reason for war: ...They may yet be found, but it is beginning to look as though the skeptics in this case were right. If so, I was taken in by this administration, and America and Great Britain were led to war under false pretenses.

Events have moved so swiftly, and Hussein's toppling has posed so many new pressing problems, that it would be easy to lose sight of this issue, but it is critically important. I can imagine no greater breach of public trust than to mislead a country into war. A strong case might have been made to go after Hussein just because he posed a potential threat to us and the region, because of his support for suicide bombers, and because of his ruthless oppression of his own people. But this is not the case our President chose to make. Truth in public life has always been a slippery commodity. We expect campaigning politicians or debating journalists to pitch and spin. Facts are marshaled to support arguments and causes; convenient ones are trumpeted and inconvenient ones played down or ignored. This is the political game.

But when the President of the United States addresses the nation and the world, I expect the spinning to stop. He represents not just a party or a cause, but the American people. When President Bush argued that Hussein possessed stockpiles of illicit and deadly poisons, he was presumably doing so on the basis of intelligence briefings and evidence that the public could not see. He was asking us to trust him, to trust his office, to trust that he was acting legitimately in our self-defense. That's something very different from engaging in a bold policy of attempting to remake the Middle East, or undertaking a humanitarian mission to end oppression. Neither of these two justifications would have been likely to garner widespread public support. But national defense? That's an argument the President can always win. I trusted Bush, and unless something big develops on the weapons front in Iraq soon, it appears as though I was fooled by him...

Posted by DeLong at May 29, 2003 11:30 AM | TrackBack

Comments

Why did you think was the reason France was not on Bush side?

DSW

Posted by: Antoni Jaume on May 29, 2003 12:35 PM

By "you" I mean Mark Bowden.

DSW

Posted by: Antoni Jaume on May 29, 2003 12:36 PM

Bowden obviously does not want to join the ranks of Bush doubters. However, a public expression of dismay at the possibility that Bush lied about the bedrock reason for invading Iraq means he meets Lord Keynes' standard -- he changes his views when confronted with new information. He also shows that he takes war seriously, in an ethical sense. The overwhelming focus on humanitarian and human rights issues on the one hand and misadministration in the aftermath of the war both demostrate an awfully short attention span and a lack of willingness to face the issue that Bowden is now facing. The treatment of Iraqi's prior to the war and the administration of Iraq after the war are both important, but should not overwhelm questions about the reason war was undertaken. Good for Bowden, even if some of us wish he had come around sooner.

Posted by: K Harris on May 29, 2003 12:51 PM

It's hard for me to cheer for Mr.Bowden's change of heart. Many of us before the war were perplexed by the sudden transformation of Iraq into an imminent threat. Our demands for evidence were dismissed as the shrill cries of the objectively pro-Saddam. Mr. Bowden, and other hawks, should have been asking these questions before hand, and not after we have already begun an occupation of a foreign country with a hostile population.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on May 29, 2003 02:17 PM

I cannot come to believe that Bush lied to the American people and the world. I just do not see it in his character.

Misled by advisors? Perhaps. Faulty intelligence? It comes with the territory. Is 8 weeks too short of a time for history to make this judgment? Certainly.

Posted by: Pixelshim on May 29, 2003 02:25 PM

I cannot come to believe that Bush lied to the American people and the world. I just do not see it in his character.

Misled by advisors? Perhaps. Faulty intelligence? It comes with the territory. Is 8 weeks too short of a time for history to make this judgment? Certainly.

Posted by: Pixelshim on May 29, 2003 02:27 PM

I cannot come to believe that Bush lied to the American people and the world. I just do not see it in his character.

Misled by advisors? Perhaps. Faulty intelligence? It comes with the territory. Is 8 weeks too short of a time for history to make this judgment? Certainly.

Posted by: Pixelshim on May 29, 2003 02:28 PM

grrr sorry for the triple post.....

Posted by: Pixelshim on May 29, 2003 02:33 PM

Bush has no character. Lies mean nothing to him.

Posted by: Chuck Nolan on May 29, 2003 03:34 PM

The question isnt whether we can trust GW Bush.

The question is can Dick Lugar et al trust the CIA ... if GWB was presented with incomplete, slanted intelligence to support the case for war (even if thats what he wanted to hear), then what sane smart President is ever going to trust them again ?

Ian Whitchurch

Posted by: Ian Whitchurch on May 29, 2003 04:53 PM

"I trusted Bush, and unless something big develops on the weapons front in Iraq soon, it appears as though I was fooled by him... "

Fooled by Tony Blair too, most eloquently.... http://politics.guardian.co.uk/foreignaffairs/story/0,11538,916789,00.html

Posted by: Jim Glass on May 29, 2003 05:25 PM

Bush is a liar and a con-man, surrounded by liars and con-men. Their whole agenda is a fraud based on fantasy ideologies, rip-offs, secrecy and conscious lying. Sounds like Bowden is finally seeing the reality of what he is watching.

What really disgusts and scares me is how many people in this country must see that Bush is lying. Do they so desperately want to trust a "strong leader" that they ignore the unbelievable corruption and dishonesty of Bush/DeLay/Newt and the rest of the miscreant right. Are my countrymen really such sheep? It's like getting in a car with a seriously drunk driver or like Jim Jones and the Kool-Aid that everyone happily drank--no sane person woud do it...only a cult member or abused children. Argh, I feel like I'm watching Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Crazy and sad times, indeed. Serious, persistent, mature press scrutiny hasn't been going on for years in this country. That's part of it, for sure. But a LOT of people seriously want to believe the propaganda. How do you address that?

Posted by: ntb on May 29, 2003 05:49 PM

One important reason for not lying to start a war is embodied in the fable about the boy who cried "Wolf!"

Or perhaps it was put even better in that line about fooling all of the people some of the time...

Pixelshim, you break my heart with your wishful thinking. You ought to have a president who wouldn't lie to the American people and the world. You deserve to have one. But your options are limited, aren't they? Somebody lied. Somebody deliberately chose to create a war on false grounds. That was an evil act -- there's no other word for it.

Was it Iraqi exiles who basely tricked the entire American government into war? But that hypothesis requires us to presume that the government is populated only by fools.

Was it Bush's advisors, twisting the evidence, lying to the president so that he would stand up and spout their lies to the American people? But he selected them. If this is what happened, he has to know by now that they lied to him. Notice that nobody's head is rolling. A real president, one worthy of the office, must ultimately be responsible for whatever his advisors do. If you want to excuse him by saying he was misled by his advisors, what you are really saying is that your president is only a puppet, captive to the will of a group of advisors. Is that really any better?

For what it's worth, I think you are both right and wrong. I think George W Bush knew he was misleading the American people, but I also think he is a weak man who felt he was trapped and dared not disobey his advisors.

Posted by: Canadian Reader on May 29, 2003 06:06 PM

Oh, this is precious. Don't you remember how so many - recognizing Bush's obvious limitations - said something along the lines of "true, he's not the brightest crayon in the box, but he's surrounded by really smart people and he'll follow their advice".

More to the point, before the war the CIA was stating clrearly that they had no evidence that Iraq was connected in any way to 9/11. Nor, did the CIA believe, that Iraq had any meaningful offensive WMD capacity.

The agenda of the "really smart people" with whom Bush surrounded himself involved a US military imposed political revolution in the mid east. This was developed and first expressed while Bush was still governor of Texas.

Therefore, we must conclude that Bush is not some unwitting dupe. Rather, he is in agreement with the PNAC/ AEI agenda and that he chose to advance that agenda despite the CIA intel. available to him and despite the need to lie to the American people in order to advance it.

If Mr. Bowden was a young college student, his ability to critically evaluate the situation and his subsequent change of heart would be laudable.

But he is experienced enough to have known better. He should have evaluated the evidence, stakeholders, motives, and processes up front.

And, it would appear, he still has some reserve denial to work through.

Posted by: arslan on May 29, 2003 07:08 PM

I think the debate about what was driving the war quickly decends into vague conspiracy theories, which don't get anyone anywhere.

The true goals about why Iraq have been spelt out for years by Wolfowitz et. al. and reported in the New Yorker even before 9/11. Liberating Iraq has (so far) been a good thing, even if not for the reasons (i.e. WMD) that were sold to America. But, as the rationale changes, so does the plan and the political consequences. Leading up to invading Iraq all parties in the White House were agreeing. But it will be interesting to see what happens when political expedience (i.e. making Bush look like a strong, decisive leader) is no longer aligned with the long-term project of the neo-cons (a free, democratic, prosperous Iraq realigning the Middle East). I think that the unity of mis-truths out of the White House will be undermined, but hopefully at the expense of political goals and not foreign policy goals.

Posted by: RK on May 30, 2003 02:06 AM

I understand those who are less than enthusiastic about conversions like the one that seems to be underway in Mr Bowden. I also understand that my emotional response to Bowden is just about completely irrelevant to actual events in the world. However, we should keep in mind that we are fighting the last war here. If there is to be another war, or an urge toward another war in the Bush administration, then having former hawks turn dove, for the sort of reason that Bowden cites, could be important. Let us welcome him, encourage him, buy him drinks. Maybe it will help next time.

Posted by: K Harris on May 30, 2003 05:28 AM

A good article from the NYT on the topic.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/05/30/nyt.kristof/index.html

K, I agree. It seems that the same abuse of intelligence is being artificed to now go after Iran.

The NYT article also stops short of accusing Bush of willfully participating in what was clearly a purposeful deception of the American people. The article gives him some wiggle room; maybe he was, himself, decieved by the "cabal".

The question merits repeating....why then have heads not rolled? Rumsfeld's should be served up on a platter.

And again, what was Bush doing with these people in the first place. He is at least experienced enough to know that carreer bureaucrats with grandiose notions will try to act on those notions if given a loose rein. Why not develop alternative sources within the intelligence community?

Then again, this is the playboy that bankrupted several companies. So maybe he really is just a bumbling idiot that is easily manipulated by deviant economists and militarists.

Posted by: arslan on May 30, 2003 05:48 AM

This whole effort to finger real rat comes down to the same old question - is the official under scrutiny stupid or wicked? Was Bush misled or did he mislead? My knee-jerk response is to think that, no matter how "incurious" a politician may be, he can't be stupid or somebody else would have all that power. But the press doesn't seem to want to dwell on that.

Posted by: K Harris on May 30, 2003 06:26 AM

I tried to post this link to the Economist's take yesterday: http://www.economist.com/agenda/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1816878

As The Economist points out, the basic intelligence was provided by the UN guys! "Conspiracy theorists should remember that much of the evidence against Mr Hussein came not from the American and British governments or their spies, but from two unimpeachable sources. They were the United Nations weapons inspectors, and Mr Hussein himself." "On the eve of the war, Unmovic reported a “strong presumption” that around 10,000 litres of Iraqi anthrax might still exist."

I find the article's conclusion less than rational since Saddam had many more resources at his disposal than any potential subsequent actor and contrary to the wishful thinking of many containment was NOT working. Saddam was very involved in destabilizing the Middle East. That instability was/is THE ROOT CAUSE of Al Queda.

Antoni, Every one of the Security Council members signed 1441 telling Saddam that he had to disarm. Thus, the French thought he had WMD and of all the numerous reasons that can be given for France not being on Bush's side none have anything to do with better intellegence. In fact, the vast majority of potential reasons have only to do with French interests.

Amitava Mazumdar, Saddam's "sudden transformation... into an imminent threat" had a lot to do with recognition that he didn't need sophisticated delivery systems. That recognition occured for many around mid-September 2001.

The Administration did exaggerate the case for war. The links to Al Queda were never as direct as the Administration was implying, but I disagree that "the intelligence used to elevate the threat of Iraq’s WMD from long-term and tolerable to imminent and actionable... looks ropy." The change in threat always was the change of recognized risk from delivery systems available to Saddam. Because the amount weapons needed to make this threat imminent and actionable are very small and Saddam had gone to great lengths to hide them, the evidence was almost assuredly going to have to come from the mouths of Iraqi scientists. That remains the case.

It is still important that we find that evidence. As important as it is though, why aren't we simply making it up? Many on this board suggested we would.

Posted by: Stan on May 30, 2003 07:02 AM

arslan, as you can tell I strongly disagree with Greg Thielmann's assertion that "the Al Qaeda connection and nuclear weapons issue were the only two ways that you could link Iraq to an imminent security threat to the U.S." Iraq could easily use chemical or biological weapons in a way to implicate Al Queda without any connection whatsoever. Kristof's article thus seems politically contrived to me. Needless to say, I hope that it isn't true.


Posted by: Stan on May 30, 2003 07:53 AM

Stan: Amitava Mazumdar, Saddam's "sudden transformation... into an imminent threat" had a lot to do with recognition that he didn't need sophisticated delivery systems. That recognition occured for many around mid-September 2001.

I just don't see how this passes the sniff test. Under this formulation, we get to wage war against any non-democratic nation in the world, irrespective of our obligations under international law, as long as they might have a WMD program, no matter how small or undeveloped (which is just about everybody in Asia and Africa). All because Islamic fundamentalists attacked us on 9/11. If this was about 9/11, then Powell's speech before the UN should have been a legal argument about how we now get to wage war at will against any nation of our choosing, and should have laid off the bullshit about the vats of VX.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on May 30, 2003 08:04 AM

What disturbs me are reports that prior to the war, the Bushie's continually suppressed intelligence reports that didn't match the story they wanted. Information that undermined the war effort were quickly dismissed. Rumsfeld went as far as creating an intelligence office inside of the Pentagon to generate assessments presumably favorable to his hawkish position.

The Gulf War Redux was started not because of an intelligence failure on the part of the CIA. They wanted an invasion; they got an invasion. Anything that threatened the war agenda was ignored. 9-11, Al-Queda, WMD, all provided convenient justification.

An important concern, was Dubya being duped by his advisers or a willful ringleader throughout the process? Either way….

Posted by: Paul on May 30, 2003 08:11 AM

At last, there is a smoking gun. Canada's National Post, citing a Vanity Fair interview with Paul Wolfowitz, has Wolfy saying

"For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction, because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."

The fundamental reason for war? Well:

"He said a less public, but important reason for invading Iraq was to allow the Pentagon to remove U.S. troops protecting Saudi Arabia. Their presence had been fueling tension with Islamic fundamentalists in the kingdom and providing ammunition for al-Qaeda's terrorist campaign."

http://www.nationalpost.com/world/story.html?id=3F188693-89D7-4600-94C9-BDCEF593B790

Posted by: K Harris on May 30, 2003 08:22 AM

Even if Iraq did have vast quantities of nasty weapons, I've still not heard a single remotely credible suggestion of the circumstances under which he would use them-- against us or against anyone else. It would be suicidal, and the man was never suicidal. Which leaves the possibility of his passing them on to people like al Qaeda. But again, why on earth would he risk doing that? To what advantage? I can see none. The risk of them being traced back to him is not that low, and the risk of al Qaeda turning around and using them against him or against his interests very high.

My bottom line? So what if Saddam has/had huge quantities of "weapons of mass destruction"? As another poster pointed out, so do lotsa bad and not so bad guys around the world, some far less rational than Saddam. We can't possibly wipe all that stuff out, we have to figure out how to neutralize them and live with the situation.

I, for one, would have no objection whatsoever if it was made a publicly announced official policy of this country that any state that uses WMD against anyone will immediately have a nuclear bomb dropped on its head. That threat is credibly reported to have been made by the first Bush administration to Saddam just before the Gulf war, and we have every reason to believe it's the reason he's never used this stuff again.

Posted by: Jane Stein on May 30, 2003 08:30 AM

By the way, in light of the Wolfowitz interview, anybody care to make odds on whether the US will be pulling out of Iraq any time soon?

Posted by: K Harris on May 30, 2003 08:51 AM

Stan writes:

>Saddam was very involved in destabilizing the Middle East. That
>instability was/is THE ROOT CAUSE of Al Queda.

I am confused about this. Is the argument then that the Middle East is more stable now than it was then? It could be possible that the complete withdrawl of US forces from Saudi Arabia would lead to an increase in stability there, but I am doubtful of that, given current events. I have no reason to believe that Al Qaeda won't just continue a terror campaign in Saudi Arablia and attempt to eliminate the royal family from the picture.

Certainly the war has not led to stabilization in Iraq, whatever its merits in removing a brutal dictator. Re-building Iraq as a single state now appears to be an extraordinarily challenging problem. I do not know how strong public support in the US will remain for this project if our armed forces continue to suffer casualties at the rate they have in this past week. One hopes that things will calm down, but this is not a certain result.

Posted by: Jonathan King on May 30, 2003 09:13 AM

Amitava Mazumdar, your sniff test is miscalibrated. Iraq was in breach of UN demands that it disarm. There are no grounds for your assumption that UN resolutions authorizing the use of force against Iraq weren't still in effect. Thus, your statement "irrespective of our obligations under international law" is not accurate.

Ms. Harris, the bureaucratic reason "we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction" is due to the fact that UN authorization of force already existed due to Saddam's breach. The change in threat level his possession of weapons were acknowledged to represent after 9/11 made enforcing that UN authorization a much larger priority.

Wolfowitz's admission that the U.S. wanted to quit policing "the no fly zone" from Saudi Arabia was hardly given as "the fundamental reason for war" you want to ascribe it. I stated above that containment wasn't working. There were a lot of follow-on effects removing Saddam could be expected to attain. None of it changes the fact that 9/11 showed that Saddam was a bigger threat than previously believed.

As to the odds of our permanent ensconcement in Iraq, why would Islamic fundamentalists find that more palatable when they don't accept any of the political borders within the old Caliphate?

Posted by: Stan on May 30, 2003 10:48 AM

Stan, Hussein was not necessarily in breach of UN demands that he disarm, he was in breach of *proving that he had disarmed*. It's a subtle distinction, but an important one.

You did indeed state that containment was not working. You also stated that Hussein was actively engaged in destabilizing the Middle East. However, you failed to support either one of these assertions. Absent such support, I find it difficult to take either one of them seriously, particularly the latter.

Posted by: PaulB on May 30, 2003 11:12 AM

Jane, lots of other bad regimes aren't under UN requirement to disarm. If Saddam didn't disarm, we didn't have to live with it. As far as anyone knew before hand, he had not disarmed. FYI, I do not agree with the Administration's stated policy of preemption.

Jonathan, logically your statement does not make sense. My quote:

">Saddam was very involved in destabilizing the Middle East. That
>instability was/is THE ROOT CAUSE of Al Queda."

In no way does the above quote imply that the war has led to increased short-term stability. Logically wars lead to increased short-term instability so any positive effects should be expected to be long-term. Positive long-term impacts are also not guaranteed. We can very well screw things up. Hopefully we are not currently doing so. Further, nothing in the quote implies that Al Queda would stop targeting the Saudi regime.

Posted by: Stan on May 30, 2003 12:12 PM

Stan: "There are no grounds for your assumption that UN resolutions authorizing the use of force against Iraq weren't still in effect."

I made no such assumption. The resolutions do not, however, grant the US authority to resort to war to enforce those resolutions. (My analysis on the legality of the war are here, if anybody cares at this point.)

But either way, the Bush administration's argument in favor of war now was that Saddam was in breach *and* he posed an immediate threat to Americans. Being in breach of UN resolutions alone would have gotten a big ho-hum from Americans, because, well, there are lots of nations in violation of UN resolutions. Thus, in order to persuade Americans, Bush apparently exaggerated the threat that Saddam posed, and his allies demonized those who dared demand evidence that Saddam posed such a threat.

If so, this is just the Gulf of Tonkin all over again. And if Americans don't object, it just means that we're just fine with the idea that the President can start wars based only on his own secret objectives and justifications, and we have no problem with our President misleading us into agreeing to allowing him to kill others in our name, and we are willing to excuse Congress from completing its constitutional war-powers duties.

If WMDs were not the justification for the war, and if the President was just pulling everyone's chain with the first resolution, and the dispatching of the inspectors, and all that, then this really should bother us. It's like defeating imperial Japan only to learn that the only Japanese to visit Pearl Harbor were photo-taking tourists. It wouldn't matter if there were other good reason to fight Japan.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on May 30, 2003 12:16 PM

Paul, since Saddam had been proven to not have disarmed earlier, the distinction is meaningless from a policy perspective. The cease-fire required that he show his compliance.

As for my assertions: The impact of our enforcement of the Southern "no fly zone" has been mentioned earlier. Saddam provided financial support to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. The terrorist training camp to the Southeast of Baghdad, the scale models of various buildings, and the meetings between Iraqi agents and various individuals are further evidence of Iraqi intrigue.

Amitava, there is no link. Unless you can point to a resolution removing authorization for the use of force, authorization was in fact granted in 1991.

Posted by: Stan on May 30, 2003 02:10 PM

Stan, I will never grant any authority to any one who think like you. And as a matter of principle, to any citizen of either the USA or the UK. All honest people will understand that.

DSW

Posted by: Antoni Jaume on May 30, 2003 02:51 PM

Stan, the data about Saddam's failure to disarm was years old. The distinction is definitely not meaningless, particularly since we had some evidence that he had, in fact, disarmed.

Saddam's money to families of Palestinian suicide bombers pales beside the money provided by other governments and organizations in the Middle East. Besides, that money did nothing to "destabilize the Middle East" -- it was simply a blow against Israel. If that's your criteria, then just about every Arab country is guilty of "destabilizing the Middle East."

As for the terrorist training camp, I'm not aware of any of these to the southeast of Baghdad. I'm aware of one (not shown to be linked to Saddam Hussein in any meaningful way) to the north of Baghdad, in the no-fly zone controlled by the Kurds, but that's a different matter.

Scale models of various buildings? Meetings of Iraqi agents and various individuals? Man, what have you been smoking?

Posted by: PaulB on May 30, 2003 08:09 PM

Stan, the data about Saddam's failure to disarm was years old. The distinction is definitely not meaningless, particularly since we had some evidence that he had, in fact, disarmed.

Saddam's money to families of Palestinian suicide bombers pales beside the money provided by other governments and organizations in the Middle East. Besides, that money did nothing to "destabilize the Middle East" -- it was simply a blow against Israel. If that's your criteria, then just about every Arab country is guilty of "destabilizing the Middle East."

As for the terrorist training camp, I'm not aware of any of these to the southeast of Baghdad. I'm aware of one (not shown to be linked to Saddam Hussein in any meaningful way) to the north of Baghdad, in the no-fly zone controlled by the Kurds, but that's a different matter.

Scale models of various buildings? Meetings of Iraqi agents and various individuals? Man, what have you been smoking?

Posted by: PaulB on May 30, 2003 08:09 PM

Here's the link that lays out my views:
http://www.ajmazumdar.blogspot.com/2002_09_01_ajmazumdar_archive.html#P090302

The WaPo says this morning that finding the two trailers, though there is no evidence when they were last used or what substances they actually produced, represents sufficient evidence to justify the war. I think he's going to get away with it. Congress should be preparing to have hearings. Someone needs to be held accountable. It doesn't have to be the president, but I want to see some public recognition that this nation acted precipitously and/or illegally.

Posted by: Amitava Mazumdar on June 1, 2003 06:37 AM

A while back I remember the argument that ‘those people’ only understood strength, that attempts to improve the conditions of the potential converts was seen as weakness, and would embolden them. Now, I am seeing the argument that starting a war to get us into a situation where we could capitulate on Al Qaeda’s main objective (US troops out of Saudi Arabia) goes along way toward making us safer. Which is it?
Does the US removal of troops from Arabia appear to be a major victory for the terrorists thus strengthening them, or is the removal of one of the root causes going to help appease them, making us safer in turn?

Posted by: theCoach on June 2, 2003 07:10 AM

Amitava, factually the U.S. did not act unilaterally. That all members of the Security Council did not join the action, does not make it unilateral. The action was a joint action by UN members to enforce UN resolutions. Rereading all of those texts under that reality you will see that the Administration's authorization is legally quite strong. (Bytheway, you forgot Congress's more recent votes of support.) The political reasons to seek another resolution are real enough, but the action was not illegal.

Paul, given that the most recent UN inspectors' reports did not say that Saddam had disarmed your statement "we had some evidence that he had, in fact, disarmed" is untrue, not accurate, false.

I gave you evidence "to support either one of" my assertions. You appear to find "it difficult to take either one of them seriously" because you haven't the capacity to figure out that giving money to the families of suicide bombers was clearly designed to instigate further suicide bombings and hence destabilizing. That you want to dismiss this information offhand is hardly an indication that I'm off in my assessment.

The Saudi method of giving money to Palestinians who have lost relatives also funnels money toward families of suicide bombers prompting more violence. Both actions are destabiling. Which one is worse? Clearly the Iraqi version. Are most countries in the region doing something similar, yes. Does that mean having Saddam stop doing his this won't help, no. Does that mean that Saddam wasn't the worst problem in these instances, no.

The Palestinian problem is one of the biggest sources of instability in the region. Much of the region's politics revolve around it. If you are searching for peace in the region, having a fool pouring fuel on the fire in Palestine is counterproductive. I guess this isn't a simple enough concept for you to grasp.

The other information was given with a similarly misplaced hope that you were capable of filling in the blanks. If you can't figure out how models of certain buildings, terrorist training camps, etc. are valid evidence of my assertions, I cannot help you. You obviously need a much more remedial explanation than I am prepared to give.

Posted by: Stan on June 2, 2003 07:28 AM
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