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OFFAL Acknowledges Common Knowledge

May 26, 2006

The Associated Press
says the President and British Prime Minister have “acknowledged difficult times in the Iraq war,” and quotes the President referring to “setbacks and missteps.”

This is what OFFAL said yesterday:

The decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power was controversial. We did not find the weapons of mass destruction that we all believed were there — and that’s raised questions about whether the sacrifice in Iraq has been worth it. Despite setbacks and missteps, I strongly believe we did and are doing the right thing. Saddam Hussein was a menace to his people; he was a state sponsor of terror; he invaded his neighbors. Investigations proved he was systematically gaming the oil-for-food program in an effort to undermine sanctions, with the intent of restarting his weapons programs once the sanctions collapsed and the world looked away.

  1. We did not find the weapons of mass destruction that we all believed were there. — This just boils down to what your definition of “we all” is. I think I’ve heard something about some folks in the intelligence area who had their doubts. Even Colin Powell said, prior to the invasion, that Iraq had “not been terribly successful” in the pursuit of WMD. Of course, if “we all” means “the general population,” the reason “we all” believed such a thing was because our leaders in congress and the executive were fucking dreaming out loud about unmanned aerial vehicles dropping biological and/or nuclear weapons on US cities! Can you believe we bought that shit?
  2. Saddam Hussein was a menace to his people. — Yes he was. What would it be like if we pursued a policy of regime change and preemptive military action against all menaces to peoples? All’s I’m saying is, we can’t take this one all by itself.
  3. He was a state sponsor of terror. — I’m not familiar with all of the evidence. I know he publicly offered to pay families of Palestinian suicide bombers, which you could say was sponsoring the use of terrorist tactics. “Terror,” however, is a subjective term that could mean anything. I suspect a more objective look at the evidence would prove less compelling vis-à-vis the direct threat of Saddam-sponsored ‘terror’ to US citizens inside the United States. [Pure conjecture on my part. Maybe he was sponsoring terrorists to undergo state training in the remote operation of Iraq’s still hidden unmanned aerial vehicles capable of dropping biological and/or nuclear weapons on US cities.]
  4. He invaded his neighbors. — Yeah. That was fifteen years ago now. Besides, we already gave him a fucking war for this!
  5. Investigations proved he was systematically gaming the oil-for-food program in an effort to undermine sanctions… — The GAO investigation of the program was after the invasion. Which means— unless the CIA has Minority-Report-style precogs floating in a pool of water in a high-tech darkened room with high ceilings who dreamed about the GAO’s findings back in ’02 —this doesn’t count as a reason for the invasion!
  6. …with the intent of restarting his weapons programs once the sanctions collapsed and the world looked away. — Not sure what the name of the fallacy at work here is off the top of my head. But there are two faulty assumptions here: 1. That the sanctions would collapse because of the oil-for-food scandal (and that Saddam’s intent was to foster corruption in order to undermine the sanctions?); and 2. That when the sanctions did collapse, the world would ‘look away’ from potential weapons related program activity . . . I don’t think so.

All too easy. The United States President should be able to do better than this.

White House: President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom Participate in Joint Press Availability

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