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Name: Jim
Gender: Male
Member since: Thu Apr 5, 2012, 08:33 PM
Number of posts: 2,570

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I'm thrilled that the president is considering safety net cuts in his budget

because as we all know, "considering" isn't actually doing it.

I think it's important that doubting Thomas be left with something to hang onto besides all that hope that must be getting stale by now.

Well, Obama really is going to try to cut Social Security and Medicare. No, it's not a clever ploy -- unless you count the part where he's counting on you thinking that.

So here it is: The biggest trial balloon of them all in this morning's Wall St. Journal. Get your dialing fingers ready. There's a reason they let this story out on Good Friday, they're counting on you not noticing or being too busy to do anything about it. The White House switchboard is 202-456-1414, the comments line is 202-456-1111 (be prepared to hold) or you can email here.

WASHINGTON—The White House is strongly considering including limits on entitlement benefits in its fiscal 2014 budget—a proposal it first offered Republicans in December. The move would be aimed in part at keeping alive bipartisan talks on a major budget deal.

Such a proposal could include steps that make many Democrats queasy, such as reductions in future Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security payments, but also items resisted by Republicans, such as higher taxes through limits on tax breaks, people close to the White House said.


there's wmd, and then there's wmd.

In evaluating who believed what individually or country-wise prior to the reintroduction of inspectors as a result of UNSC res 1441 (which came a month after the Iraq AUMF) it's critically important to determine specifically what they believed, given that the likelihood of the war being sold absent any nuclear threat from them were practically nil. Another "Desert Fox" maybe, but a full scale invasion and occupation? I think not.

DEBATEDISTORTED: THEINFLATION OF THENUCLEAR THREAT As former intelligence analyst and National Security Council staffer Kenneth M.Pollack has argued, Iraq’s alleged nuclear program “was the real linchpin of the BushAdministration’s case for an invasion.”41Indeed, a recent scholarly study found that manymembers of Congress “gave the nuclear threat as the main or one of the main reasons for their votes” supporting the war resolution in October 2002.42Yet, it now seems virtuallycertain that the administration publicly exaggerated the status of the Iraqi nuclear program.Officials also strategically manipulated their pre-war rhetoric about the Iraqi threat so as tomislead the general public and mass media. This often meant, for instance, blurring certainkinds of policy distinctions that would otherwise have suggested greater caution in the pathway to war. In many cases, moreover, it meant emphasizing the strong certainty rather than the real ambiguity about key evidence and thus implying the worst about the Iraqi threat. http://www.academia.edu/881665/Deliberating_Preventive_War_The_Strange_Case_of_Iraqs_Disappearing_Nuclear_Threat
CLINTON: Good evening.

Earlier today, I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces. Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors.

For example, there are reasons for this comment on the part of Blix "While I never believed Saddam could have concealed a continued nuclear program, I too thought there could still be some biological and chemical weapons left from Iraq's war with Iran.", which pretty much mirrors the pov of many if not most of us that opposed the war.

In the effort to give individual dems the Pontius Pilate water in terms of their roles prior to and in the wake of UNSC res 1441, and the countries "that believed" as well, an examination of the evidence in support of the potential for an active nuke program alone is the only thing that really matters, not whether they thought he had leftovers from earlier days, or indeed, was keeping biological/chemical stockpiles fresh in some measure.

The real history, according to the president, is that Iraq was a threat that had to be confronted in a post-Sept. 11 world, and that both parties accepted the administration's case for war. One key element of that case was the suggestion that Saddam Hussein had — or would soon have — the deadliest weapons imaginable.
In the fall and winter of 2002, the president and other top administration officials used stark language to help Americans imagine the dangers. "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud," Mr. Bush said in his State of the Union address in January 2003.Two months later, then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice used the very same words to describe the threat. And Vice President Dick Cheney publicly alleged that Saddam Hussein "has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons, and we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
Critics Unimpressed by White House Claims
Outside the administration, there was widespread belief that Iraq possessed biological and chemical weapons, but less confidence on the nuclear question. The U.S. intelligence community was deeply divided over the issue. And, despite months of searching, U.N. inspectors — both before and after the invasion — failed to find any weapons of mass destruction.

Any commentary by dems prior to or in the wake of UNSC res 1441 that voiced a level of certainty rivaling that of Bush's on the nuke weapons programs (like bombing nuclear program facilities that didn't exist as we know in 1998) cannot be granted immunity from the charge of irresponsibility or divorced from participation in the selling of the war imo, if for no other reason due to ignorance or the enabling silence always is.


If keyboard warriors like me can study and cry foul as a result of it on the nuke questions and the critical role they played in the march to war the AUMF facillitated, surely all the smart guys we elected, dems and repubs alike, could have and should have slowed that march down with no votes until something more closely approximating "imminency" was established. This is no doubt why the push for the Iraq AUMF came first, with UNSC res 1441 second, which reeks of a cart before the horse situation to me. Maybe they didn't think Bush would lie us into war, or boot the inspectors before they could show the "flaws" in the intelligence, but it was certainly their job to include that in their calculation of the most important decision they can ever possibly make. This is why I've long contended that the Clinton efforts prior to Bush's best explain both the yes votes from dems and the level of public support for the war that resulted, regardless of the motivation for them like sanction preservation as opposed to invasion and occupation, etc. The potential for/the spectre of a nuclear threat was kept alive throughout the BC admin and beyond as a result, and were certainly exploited quite energetically by Bush and his lying crew if nothing else.

Bush bears the full responsibility for the war crime his war of aggression was and is, but the idea that the dems had no role whatsoever in creating the conditions conducive for that criminal act to take place, and therefore that slice of responsibility -- which my reading of your efforts indicates is the case you seem to be arguing -- will remain uncompelling and unconvincing to many of us.

But do keep trying. That's the case being made by most of us against the dems, not that they, like Bush, are war criminals as a result, or are directly complicit in that crime.

In the interest of fairness and telling the whole story

First of all, I've thought and argued from the beginning that the lies of Bush would never have been sold but for the comments coming from Bill Clinton and crew, who could have had no more certainty as to their existence than Bush did, as the Kay report subsequently showed. http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/wmdquotes.asp

Of course you can make the case that some of them were taken outta context or fell short of expressing the pov of the person who uttered them, like not in an effort to promote or support the military action Bush was obviously contemplating when he sought and secured the Iraq AUMF, but that doesn't diminish their value and role in the war campaign.

The posting of that list of dem quotes and noting that BC signed the Iraq Liberation Act in 1998 (ignoring Section 8 which rejected military use of course), ALbright finding all the guesstimated deaths from the sanctions "worth it", etc, was the standard defense of Bushbots for years. I see used still today. WHat I always found amusingly stupid, is the way the rightwingnuts took the guesstimated number of deaths due to the sanctions as gospel, but found the surveys calculating the deaths due to the war bunk.

Secondly, for all the hoopla about the CIA and M16 ignoring intel circulating here and in Great Britain right now, I fail to see the big deal, since it really did nothing more than support for the "intel" we had during the Clinton admin

In a 25 January 1999 report to the U.N. Security Council, UNSCOM declared that the history of the Iraqi weapons inspections "must be divided into two parts, separated by the events following the departure from Iraq, in August 1995, of Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel."

Kamel maintained that Iraq had destroyed its weapons of mass destruction and related programs after the end of the first Gulf War.

I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weapons—biological, chemical, missile, nuclear—were destroyed.[3]

A 3 March 2003 Newsweek report said that Kamel's revelations were "hushed up" because inspectors "hoped to bluff Saddam [Hussein] into revealing still more."[5] Kamel's version of events appear to have been borne out in the wake of the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.

So while Bush has complete ownership as the "decider" for misusing the Iraq AUMF and launching that illegal/immoral war of aggression, the dems were extremely helpful in creating -- unwittingly or not -- the situation underwhich it was conducive to sell the threat as a real one to the public. Their "certainty" imo was due to a desire to maintain the brutal sanctions that like with Iran now, which only escalated the human misery in the population, leaving those in power untouched. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/07/iran-santions-suffering

If this anniversary should be used for anything, it should be to ask the question as to whether history is on course for repeating itself. The biggest diff at this point seems to be that between the "Q" and "N" at the end of the name of our victims, separated by an "O/P".
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