The Tapes

In the game known as “politics,” does this story help or hinder the Bush administration?

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10 thoughts on “The Tapes

  1. This story will not even be mentioned outside of America (or, maybe, in very, very small print). I do not think it will make a difference anyway. Those who were for this war at any price will support Bush, those who were totally against it will keep the same ideas. And those who supported the invasion for wrong reasons (like me)will continue nonetheless to support America because the job must be finished.

  2. Depends on how the news spins the story. Nothing in this story reflects anything that we didn’t already know at the time.

    >>>
    J.M., (since you opened the door), may I presume to present an alternate viewpoint? 🙂

    It is not logical after the fact to say that one supported something based on wrong reasons. I think we supported the war for right reasons. Just some of us are now rethinking our application of those otherwise right reasons.

    The true facts of this issue remain sealed behind the top secret doors of national security, and anything the news media is spouting right now is highly suspect. For those of us who have had access behind those doors, the picture of Iraq is much different that what the national and international media choose to portray.

    My opinion of the Iraq invasion, with my own 20-20 hindsight, is it may not have been a wise thing to do but it was definitely a necessity.

    And, where you and I agree the most is that we now have the utmost responsibility to make wise choices and finish the job correctly.

  3. I agree with Lawrence who said that it really doesn’t present anything we didn’t already know.

    So, to answer you Michael…

    This may change things politically in favor of the President, but only a bit.

    But even so, it doesn’t really changes things substantively.

    Most mainstream Democrats and most Republicans believe that Saddam wanted weapons of mass destruction and may have even had them. Certainly these same people believe that he was doing what he could to produce them. These tapes are more evidence to support this thinking.

    Where the rails on these trains of thought diverge into two paths is in regard to:

    1) fighting a war in Iraq at the time we fought it
    2) the method in which the war has been planned and resourced

    We have put a lot of military might into Iraq, but the elected leadership (not the military leadership) miscalculated (at best) the amount of effort needed once Saddam fell. That was malfeasance in my view. In the power vacuum following the demise of a dictator, long pent up frustration, rising expectations and newfound freedom do not lead to nirvana. Instead, you get upheavals. The administration said this wouldn’t happen, it did, they denied it was happening, then they said it was getting better, all the while our troops were dying.

    Before the war, I couldn’t think of a reason not to support a war against Iraq, but in the weeks preceding the war a strong reason became clear:

    The administration literally did not know what it was doing in planning or managing the war and its aftermath. Josh Marshall from http://talkingpointsmemo.com at the time went through the same thoughts and so did many others who are bitter about how this war has been handled.

    So, knowing how it has come out and how the administration manages things (Katrina, 9/11, Iraq, the Budget)…No, I don’t think we should have gone to war and I am concerned that if we need to fight in Iran that this administration will blow it like they’ve botched so many important efforts –at our soldier’s and nation’s peril.

    The tapes have made me more worried but not more confident in our nation’s leadership.

  4. That’s a fair argument, David. We aren’t prosectuting the war in a perfect manner.

    But the fact is we didn’t lose the war, and we aren’t loosing against the terrorists. The only lossers so far are are the Baathists and the Terrorists. And in the minds of the anti-Western media outlets.

    With regard to recent polls, (which I can’t find right now), 80+% of the Iraqi people are behind U.S. efforts, as compared with maybe 65+% of Americans.

    If we compare this war with previous historical international conflicts, this is one of the most successfull and least destructive wars to date.

  5. “It is not logical after the fact to say that one supported something based on wrong reasons.”

    Lawrence,
    I guess I should have been more specific. Before the invasion of Irak, I have strongly supported the war. I now realize that I did it largely in reaction to anti-americanism, in solidarity with the USA and, yes, out of hostility to what much of the arab regimes represent.

    Now, I have to say all that does not qualify as good factors when determining if a war is just in terms of christian ethics. I still think it was, biblically speaking but, honestly, I never really cared about the WMD thing just because I knew well that even if Saddam had them, he had had the time to hide or destroy them. Also, the way the war was (or is) handled confused me, and I am not sure AT ALL that the neo-con agenda is waht’s best for America and the rest of the world. Just my opinion, though.

    Anyway, I am pretty sure Syria or Iran will be next. As far as France is concerned, Syria is first on the list.

  6. Lawrence,

    Well, I think it is very difficult to compare wars to each other in a meaningful way. Arguably the most successful war the USA ever fought was WW2 and possibly the Civil War. But the success of those wars is in what they accomplished or what they prevented. In terms of lives lost, however, they were incredible tragedies.

    The point is that if there is a way to accomplish what war aims to solve –but to do it without war, then we should always try to do it without war because war is so destructive.

    In WW2 and the Civil War, we had no other choice, war was declared on us and there was no alternative.

    In Iraq, it can be argued there were alternatives and that the threat was not both grave and iminent. And there’s the rub.

    Don’t fight war unless you absolutely have to, because there’s nothing more valuable than human life and war kills. Now, we kill when we need to, but generally when there is no better alternative. The case that there was no better alternative to war in Iraq was not made well.

    While it’s hard to argue with success, it’s reasonable to argue what was sacrificed for it and if there were alternatives.

    My two cents.

  7. J.M., a fair and reasoned argument. I certainly understand your opinion.

    You know, I could go ask this same thing of the next 10 people I meet on the street day and maybe one could present a reasoned argument for why the do or do not support the war.

  8. You know what they say, David. War is the consequence of failed politics. (or something like that).

    And when people are willing to volunteer to die for a cause, then the cause is worth it. And the death is not a tragedy, but a sacrifice.

    Yes, some successess are more costly than others. With regard to the Iraq war, the loss of life a historical low, while the monetary cost is a historical high.

    In the end. We are winning and they are loosing. Problem is that if we quit, they won’t. But if they wanted to quit we would also quit.

    In the long run, both Iraq and the Iraqi people will be far better off.

    There is an old US military proverb:
    “If you want to energize your country and rebuild your economy, just go to war with the United States.” Because after the war the U.S. will rebuild your country for you.

  9. Syria is about ready to collapse from within. I am not expecting a war there any time soon. But I don’t know that for sure. The Baathist Assad regime is very weak right now, but that also makes them very dangerous.

    I do not see an invasion of Iran, even though there may be significant combat. I do envision an internal political upheaval, possibly a kind of civil war between their Muslims and non-Muslims, and in this they are more a danger to themselves that to anyone else. However, if they ever get their Nukes it could get really ugly really fast.

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