May 25, 2007

So Now They Believe Saddamists And Islamists Would Work Together?

The release of Phase II of the review of pre-war intel has generated some odd comments from war critics. The same people who have told us over and over again that al-Qaeda and other radical Islamists would never have worked with a supposed secularist like Saddam Hussein now say "I told you so" when the pre-war intel warned of post-invasion connections between AQ and the Ba'athists:

The U.S. intelligence community accurately predicted months before the Iraq war that al-Qaeda would link up with elements from former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime and militant Islamists to conduct terrorist attacks against U.S. forces in that country, according to a report released today by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Two national intelligence assessments sent to the White House and other senior Bush administration policymakers in January 2003 also predicted that al-Qaeda "would try to take advantage of U.S. attention on postwar Iraq to re-establish its presence in Afghanistan," according to the Senate report. ...

"The most chilling and prescient warning from the intelligence community prior to the war was that the American invasion would bring about instability in Iraq that would be exploited by Iran and al Qaeda terrorists," Sen. John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-W. Va.), chairman of the committee and three other Democratic panel members wrote in additional views attached to the 229 page report.

AQ bears a resemblance to a pack of hyenas. They will descend on any carcass and attempt to feed itself on death and destruction. It didn't take a lot of imagination to think that AQ would attempt to take advantage of a transitional Iraq in order to set up shop to fight the Americans.

In fact, at one point, we made it clear that we would rather have them fighting us over there, against our military, than over here against our civilians. That's the forward strategy in the war on terror. We fought them and their allies in Afghanistan and chased them out of the country, too. They may want to reestablish themselves in Afghanistan as the report notes, but they haven't been able to do it -- and their Taliban allies have lost most of their leadership now.

Jay Rockefeller wants to use the report to show what a folly it was to invade Iraq, but part of the reason we invaded Iraq was precisely to avoid Saddam and his henchmen from partnering with al-Qaeda. These same intel agencies produced this prediction because they also had intelligence that Saddam and AQ had already established contacts with each other. With the Taliban a dead letter, the next obvious choice in the region for AQ was Iraq, which already had a bitter military dispute with the US going for 12 years.

Since Saddam had never complied with the cease-fire and the UN resolutions on many issues, and in fact continued to fire on no-fly patrols, a state of war already existed. With that in mind and with the intel that AQ and Ba'athists would be likely allies in the near future, the US acted to secure its flank in the Middle East by eliminating the source of the 12-year war that had been ongoing. And as it turned out, it was a good thing we did -- because we found out that our allies at the UN had been undermining the "box" that supposedly held Saddam for years, stuffing billions of dollars into his pockets and military hardware in his presidential palaces.

The CIA predicted this alliance before the invasion. That should put paid to the idea that no one but George Bush and Dick Cheney thought that al-Qaeda would work with secular dictators like Saddam Hussein and other Ba'athists.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference So Now They Believe Saddamists And Islamists Would Work Together?:

» SUN MAY 27 A Chilly Rainy Global Warming Summer Day! from The Pink Flamingo

Once again it appears as though my comments and track-backs are not working. 

[Read More]

Comments (45)

Posted by mrlynn | May 25, 2007 4:44 PM

If Bill Clinton or Algore had gone into Iraq instead of George W. Bush, we would have heard nothing but plaudits from the Democrats—except maybe the far left 'anti-war' crowd, like Kucinich.

/Mr Lynn

Posted by ck | May 25, 2007 4:59 PM

It's pretty easy to see how the two ideas can work together. When you are running a country, there are certain priorities. One of those priorities is to maintain power. Saddam allegedly thought that Islamics were a threat to his power since they would never hold a man above the religion (which is how he wanted it). After power has been lost, the rules change. The object is not to maintain power, but to grab the power back. I can see how the plan would be to work with anyone who could help restore the power, including those who advocate religious rule.

Posted by Angry Dumbo | May 25, 2007 5:45 PM

Recall in the old days, er Fall of 2003, we used to call this "politicizing intelligence"

Posted by Scrapiron | May 25, 2007 7:15 PM

Now get a democrat to read it and tell the truth. Impossible.

They got hundreds, maybe thousands killed by delaying the funding and then surrendered. Who will make them pay?

They are out bragging about how great the minimum wage raise (they won) is. One "democrat congress critter" even bragged it would be good for the middle class. I can understand his thinking when they succeed in converting the country to communism. We will have the welfare $15-18,000 per year not working and the middle class making $7.25 (about $15-18,000 per year working). The upper class rulers including the stupid democrat that made the comment will have all the rest. I guess being a millionaire isn't enough for a democrat, they have to be billionaire's a hundred times over. A nation of haves and have not's is the aim of the democrats. You democrats with your head up and locked deep had better wake up. The welfare/middle class includes you.

Posted by ck | May 25, 2007 7:45 PM

Scrapiron - I do believe that you do not know what you are talking about -

"Hundreds if not thoudands" were killed by the 'delay' in funding? Where do you get this stuff?

First, the republican led congress took longer than this one to pass their spending bills - did you know that?
Second, funding was never delayed. This bill was vetoed by the President initially, but there was never a gap in the funding - get your facts straight -

Posted by gaffo | May 25, 2007 8:02 PM

Captain You f%^&king moron.

up is down, sky is green and tree still blue koolaider?

Jay is right - and you are a deluded fool who only advicates empowering Al Qaeda by inading Iraq and now Iran or a few more dozen. Each "war" we wade into your favored and precious Al Qaeda benefits from.

just who's side are you REALLY on Captain?


for the smart REALISTS who don't drink from Jim Jone's special koolaid:

1. Saddam was not Al Qeada - hated them wanted nothing to do with them.

2. Saddam was better than what the Boy King has replaced him with

3. "Transitional" Iraq is a term only boobs who drink Koolaid use. there used to be a Nation called Iraq - now it is no longer. you can call it Somaliland if you want to.

4. "Fight over there so we don't fight them over here" - is also an infinate load of shit. FACT, there would be no fighting them over "there" (in Iraq) nor here had we never invaded Iraqnam - since Saddam helped keep them out by unify Iraq and keeping it stable.

5. You only enable and embolden Al Qeada when you advicate invading sovereign nations. I question your allegience, intelligence and patriotism Captain.

6. Iraqnam was and remains illegal. UN security Council never ruled upon the matter of alledged violations of thier resolutions - let alone any punishment if found guilty.

7. only guility ones here is the Boy King and the dipshits who hang on his arse like the bitter end apparenty

Posted by davod | May 25, 2007 8:04 PM


The funding was delayed. Where do you get your facts from. The Democratic response to the war effort is directly responsible for the ratbags thinking they can get us to leave Iraq. Listen to the latest AQ briefing paper.

They more the ratbags see the childish Demonrats antics the more they think we will cut and run and the more they will continue the fight.

Posted by Colin | May 25, 2007 8:07 PM


you said "I can see how the plan would be to work with anyone who could help restore the power, including those who advocate religious rule."

First off, while I don't agree with it, I can see the reasoning in your statement about Islamists being a threat to his power while Saddam was in power. The secularist/islamist split is a well-known criticism of the Iraq war.

But, if I may take the portion of your comment I excerpted one step further, if the baathists were willing to work with just about anyone in order to restore power, wouldn't their working with just about anyone they could make common cause with to project power abroad make sense? Wasn't that Saddam's motivation in working with an embryonic al Qaeda network in the mid-1990's in order to broadcast anti-Saudi propaganda from Iraq into the Kingdom?

He may have saw the Islamists as a potential threat, and as a destabilizing influence within his country, but at least I think he saw the United States, ever since the end of the Gulf War, as an EXISTENTIAL threat, and in such an environment would work with anyone who was as virulently anti-American as he was, and the most anti-American individual around at the time, especially within the region, was the Bin Laden and the wider salafist jihadist movement.

Also, when you step back, you can see the commonalities between Saddam and the burgening al Qaeda were, at least to me, much greater than the differences. Hatred of the West, and the United States in particular. Hatred of the Saudi kingdom, Hatred of the Iranians. In short, I think bin Laden and Saddam had a lot more holding them together than separating them, and, like that propaganda thing shows, they could work together before OIF began.

Finally, I don't think I'll end up swaying you with this little comment, as opinions on this issue have pretty much become set in stone. I just wanted to point out that , while your comment is well-founded, the argument you presented can cut both ways.

Posted by bayam | May 25, 2007 8:07 PM

they also had intelligence that Saddam and AQ had already established contacts with each other

The constant repetition of this point is nothing short of amusing. So what? It doesn't matter if a conservative blogger were to find a series of personal letters between Saddam and bin Laden that include lavish praise for each other, accompanied by lewd photos. The CIA has analyzed the contacts and communication and determined that it amounted to nothing of significance. Some of you assume that enemies or non-cooperating entities don't talk to another (just like W foreign policy), but in the real world, enemies engage in dialogue all the time for a number of reasons.

This idea that a few politically motivated bloggers can analyze the nature of contacts and communications more effectively than seasoned experts in the CIA is a complete joke.
What's next? Are right wing bloggers going to start analyzing genome sequences and find a cure for cancer?

Posted by bayam | May 25, 2007 8:24 PM

In fact, at one point, we made it clear that we would rather have them fighting us over there, against our military, than over here against our civilians. That's the forward strategy in the war on terror

Captain, I'm not so sure that you're being intellectually honest on this point. It was on your blog that I learned a lot about the size of the Islamic threat to Britain and statements from MI5 about the number of suspected terrorists and cells that are under surveillance in the UK. You know full well that the "forward strategy" hasn't made Britain safer.

The forward strategy you describe is an excuse for invading Iraq after the fact. It's another attempt to justify a lapse in judgment. Invading Afghanistan was broadly supported by both US political parties and among all NATO countries. By trying to tie the war in Iraq to Afghanistan as part of a single strategy sounds like a classic bait and switch tactic.

In reality, if the US had focused on Afghanistan and al Qaeda, it's likely that bin Laden would be dead and al Qaeda would be largely finished. Instead, you have Iraq as a source of funding and training for al Qaeda worldwide. So I'm completely puzzled by the claim that this forward strategy has worked for anyone but bin Laden.

Anyway, how would al Qaeda take the fight to the US? Do you envision terrorists riding in speedboats across the Atlantic? It's a known fact that al Qaeda sleeper cells are alive in the US and that the CIA recently detected the cancellation of a planned attack- one that US intelligence had no actionable info to prevent. To say that invading Iraq has saved the US from a future, domestic attack is just inaccurate. No serious security analyst would agree with such a claim.

Posted by gaffo | May 25, 2007 9:04 PM

Trump, O'Donnell's nemesis, naturally weighed in on Wednesday's war of words between Hasselbeck and O'Donnell, surprisingly taking O’Donnell’s side while still managing to insult both co-hosts.

“On this one I think Rosie should win, but Rosie is not much herself. I think anybody that’s against the war in Iraq is the winner of the fight, because to justify the war in Iraq — only an imbecile could do that," he told "Extra."

not a fan of Trump - but he's right here. only an imbecile could justify Iraqman.

2008 cannot come too soon!!

Posted by Carol Herman | May 25, 2007 9:08 PM

WE are a target! If you don't think there are people in this world who hate us, and hate our freedoms, then this stuff looks like it could have been boxed. And, contained. NOPE.

At some point we're gonna have to defend against these idiots. Just as we did against hitler. And, stalin. We didn't handle stalin so well, either.

But the one thing communism did, as it spread, is made those who lived under it, HATE IT. In a sense? Those lessons are priceless.

Same lessons for Iran.

While politics has always been for the rich people. They're used to thinking of whole countries as "their own."

And, yes. Bush had a "wider" dream. That he'd use force. Squirt out Saddam. Who popped like a zit. But then? "Mistakes were made." Paul Bremer, and Bush's deep friendship with the Saud's, lead to why we're seeing the errors.

While the UN is of no help. (Again, the very rich guys like the idea of owning "stuff" on the globe. So they give every system a "run for their money.")

The Iraqis elected Maliki. And, Maliki wants the Shi'a to have their day in the sun, I suppose? But the costs are high.

While the Turks now fear their own muslems reaching into the controls of power.

It seems people love democracy. But it has this weakness. IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE MILITARY WILLING TO DEFEND? You're gonna lose.

Turkey remains interesting, because it doesn't want to be told what to do from religious folks, who reach the top. But they also fear their military. What a conundrum.

Iraq's not isolated. And, they're getting 9/11's every single week. Considering how the groups, sunni and shi'a, go at each other.

Is that the part that's least understood? You understand what syria can pull off in Lebanon, for instance? And, why when military intervention is used, the muslem countries are WEAK? You didn't know? Saddam was so weak, when he was fighting Iran, we'd send in "specialists" to help him. And, he still didn't understand military strategy.

Given that the Saud's funded our 9/11, it's irresponsible to think, they'd have stood by while Bush did nothing. Because as long as Bush was gonna be weak, the terrorists were gonna attack at will.

I've also read someplace, that we've given great opportunities NOW to men in our military. UNFORTUNATELY, we've got stink-o generals on top. Either they've never seen conflict, or to get where they are, they're worthless politico's. But, ahead? There's hope. We've got good guys, who've gotten military experience.

And, the situation is very complex. Heck, Bobby Inman tried to hog tie Ronald Reagan. (Once you're in the Oval Office? The lawyers have gone out of their way to tie the hands of the President.) You've got to be Houdini to escape this stuff.

WHile Bush went in the opposite direction. From Boob #1, Colin Powell, to Boob #2, Condi Rice. He's playing a rather weak hand. ANd, he's playing for time. (Gee. Just like my hero, Olmert.) Only God knows how this will turn out.

Yes. It makes for interesting times.

Posted by chsw | May 25, 2007 9:35 PM

Senator Rockefeller's righteous indignation should be dismissed as puffery. This is because he had access to this intelligence during the weeks leading up to the war. He had this intelligence because he was the ranking Democratic senator on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Therefore, the voters see a whining Senator who was once a respected Democrat, but now just a whiny jackass.


Posted by bayam | May 25, 2007 9:36 PM

Right Carol, mistakes were made in executing the invasion and occupation. If you read Woodward's Plan of Attack, you'll find out who most of the generals and many administration insiders blame for the horrendous comedy of errors.

But what if no mistakes had been made? Would it have made a difference at the end of the day? The big question seems to be this- does the "Iraqi national" exist?
In other words, is it possible to form a nation-wide Iraqi military that will hold its allegiance to the sovereign Iraqi nation instead of to a clan or religious sect? For this to be possible, there must be a large number of true "Iraqi nationals" living in Iraq who can be drawn into an army.

If the answer to this question is no, then everything that we've done in Iraq and will do in Iraq is a complete waste of time, life, and treasure.

Posted by ck | May 25, 2007 9:42 PM

Davod - that's pure conjecture -
And there was never a gap in the funding. There was an allotted amount of time for the funding details to get worked out, and the bill was (unfortunately) passed well within the time frame that would keep money flowing to Iraq -

Colin - You make many good points - And you are absolutely right when you say the argument I made could go either way. I was merely trying to point out how it could happen, because I was under the impression Captain did not think it to be feasible.

A couple things I'm not sure of though -
1) Saddam's estimation of American power (or at least the exertion of American power) was reportedly very low. He actually believed in the first Gulf War that he could successfully counter an American attack. And up until Bush went straight at him, I think there was some skepticism about whether or not we would actually attack.

The point I'm trying to make is that I'm not so sure he considered America his greatest threat. He very well could have, and its a perfectly plausible notion, but I'm not necessarily convinced that is the case.

2) Reportedly, Saddam was extremely wary of the people around him. So much so he created circles of defense which resulted in only his closest advisors having personal contact with him. This adds to the notion that he was more afraid of his own people than that of the outside peoples.

Anyway - We are pretty sure (again reportedly) that Saddam had extremely limited contact with Islamists if any. We also know the war only increased the presence of terrorists and Al Qaeda.

I don't know - a tricky situation that we were apparently wholly unprepared for.

Posted by bayam | May 25, 2007 9:45 PM

I hhink bin Laden and Saddam had a lot more holding them together than separating them

Colin, I agree that this makes sense from a pure common sense standpoint. But you could say the same thing about Iran and Iraq- that their mutual hatred of the US would inevitably lead them to work in conjunction against Americans. However, in reality nothing could be further from the truth. The world is a complex place. Iraq was in fact an ally of the US, with many shared secular values, until Saddam started his quest of MidEast domination. In fact, take away Saddam's lust for conquest, and you had an ideal US ally. And this isn't armchair speculation- look at our relationship with Iraq before 1990.

Posted by ck | May 25, 2007 10:03 PM

It was even said that the ambassador to Iraq was told about the Kuwait invasion and did not object (did not approve either - but there was no forceful objection)

Posted by Zelsdorf Ragshaft III | May 25, 2007 10:58 PM

It seems that liberal dismissal of facts, when presented is nearly univesal traveling blog to blog. You have the insulters and the deniers. Most of what becomes apparent is a lack of honesty and knowledge. Thankyou Capt. for what you presented here. I always wondered what that jet liner fusilage was doing at the airport. Looked like a training device. Remember when the sand strom hit the troops during the invasion phase and the left called it a quagmire? From day one they were ready to toss in the towel. Brave lot.

Posted by TyCaptains [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 25, 2007 11:13 PM

Wow, this is the first post from the Capt that made me take a double take.

You're clearly misconstruing the conclusions of the report to form a weak counter-argument for those against the war.

Here's where your argument breaks down:

Pre-invasion Iraq != Post-invasion Iraq.

The people in charge of Iraq pre-invasion (Saddam) are not the people in charge of the tribal political structure now.

That is PRECISELY the fear that this report speaks to - that by removing Saddam, the power vacuum would allow those willing to work with ALQ hold sway. And that is PRECISELY what happened.

Posted by Carol Herman | May 25, 2007 11:22 PM

No,Bayam. Our being in Iraq is NOT a waste of time!

But, yes. It comes with a learning curve that's proving to be very steep.

I also don't think we can devine the future. And, I don't think Iraq will go the way Vietnam went. The "stars" aren't lined up the same way.

And, what we have going on in Iraq, is a very "low scale" war. It's now the time for the Iraqis to learn what happens if they think the Shi'a will climb to the top. Because this also underpins Lebanon's crisis.

People with democracies; or at least voting rights; are getting shafted by the Assads. And, other despots. In this world. That is part of the fight! Syria, for instance, has nothing without Lebanon. And, her troops have already been removed.

The other reality for the Iraqis? Their troops stink. Plain and simple. Most of the arab countries have troops that are good for parades. But they're not able to do wars, well.

And, we're not confronting this stuff. We're holding back military force. While country after country goes thru learning curves.

I'm also going to guess that just because we've known our two parties to be labelled democrat and republican; doesn't mean internally, things can't change.

In other words? From history. FDR was a totally different type of man at the helm, than Woodrow Wilson. (Or his wife. After he got his stroke.)

We had the two parties giving us less than stellar choices at the polls. You think this happens, again? Now, I don't know what the future will be; but I think the Internet makes a difference.

And, I think our military will have coming up the ranks, better men in uniforms carrying the 4-star general's insignia. Why? Because we let things lapse. Because just like what happened when WW2 rolled around, and Herman Wouk wrote the Caine Mutiny, the American Armed Services didn't provide the career paths you could get in the private sector. (Though our generals in WW2 were top notch!) The feeder system, what with the Civil War, proved to be a strong one, when it came to producing General Pershing. (General MacArthur was his Aide, in WW1.)

I'm not chicken little. I don't think the sky is falling. But I think we are LEARNING a great deal.

Bush had every opportunity to be an outstanding president. But he fell short. He hasn't got it. Well, Nixon, didn't. LBJ didn't, either.

And, we're asked to pick leaders every four years.

If I had to bet, though, on what can happen, ahead? I'd bet that the donks fall apart. That they're the party with way more problems. But until the leadership comes along, lots of people will want to follow, here, at home, we're looking at the 50/50 divide.

What makes the war on terror, difficult; is that many Americans don't trust the muslems as far as we could throw them. And, we've got no vested interest in seeing any of these turkeys ending up with the world's 2nd largest oil reserves, in their pockets. (If you think the people in Iraq are happy? I don't. And, I don't think most iranians are happy, either. They just don't know how to get out of the fix they are in.)

Posted by Colin | May 26, 2007 1:33 AM

CK and Bayam,

You both addressed a couple of things I brought up, and I thought your points deserved a response.

First off, CK,

You mentioned how Saddam's estimation of America's willingness to use force to depose him might cut against the argument that he saw the US as his greatest threat. Now, I know he might have doubted our resolve, but after his spanking in the 91 Gulf War, I'm sure he knew that, if the US ever did decide to topple his regime, he couldn't do much to stop us. Additionally, I think our military actions during the Clinton administration, while not amounting to a full-fledged invasion, may have left the dictator more chastened and intimidated than you might think. After all, Desert Fox was a MAJOR operation, and it really creamed Saddam's command and control infrastructure.

Secondly, with the defections, exemplified by his son-in-law, I can certainly imagine that Saddam was very wary of the people around him. However, I don't think that militates against cooperation with outside forces. Saddam's feigning Islamic piety during the 1990's seems to have been an attempt to gain the sympathy of his supporters in the wider Islamic world, but he could have also been trying to do like the Saudis had done as their own population became restless - use religious extremism as a release valve for all of the pressure his rule and Iraq's isolation were putting upon them. This might explain the Pan-Islamic (more appropriately, Islamist) conferences Saddam held in Baghdad after the Gulf War.

Finally, in regards to the limited contact with the Islamists, at least in my opinion, it wouldn't take a lot of contact to create a lot of damage. Imagine all the death and destruction a cash-strapped al Qaeda could do with just a few oil-for-food vouchers, or a few tons of RDX, or a few surplus russian surface to air missiles? There may be a lot of aQ-type terrorists in Iraq today, many more than were there before the invasion, but right now they don't have the possibility of the support of a heavily militarized nation-state to work towards.


I realize that the same logic that I used to explain my belief in an aQ -Saddam connection could apply to Iran and Iraq, but I think the hatred you mentioned in regards to Iran and Iraq ran much deeper than the antipitay Saddam and bin Laden displayed towards each other, and even in that case, Iraq sent its fighter jets over the border and into Iran for safekeeping during the Gulf War (granted, Iran kept the jets and interned the pilots for the duration of the war). After all, al Qaeda didn't engage in a decade-long war with Iraq that cost both sides a million men total.

However, one thing you said really struck home with me, namely that the world is a complex place. That simple statement, at least to me, can explain how mortal enemies, or two diametrically opposed forces, can ally with each other in response to a threat or a perceived threat from another force.

Again, everything mentioned here can be explained away in a different way. Every fact can be interpreted in a different light. It all comes down to how you perceive the nature of the threat. Thanks for your thoughtful responses.

Posted by Maverick Muse | May 26, 2007 6:46 AM

bayam, the death of Osama is not going to destroy al Quaeda or stop jihad.

gaffo, when under attack you shoot your own countrymen in the back while sh*tting in your pants. Join the Peace Corps and grow up.

Carol, perhaps the closest alignment between Vietnam and Iraq is the Press agenda.

All right, Americans, let's learn from Vietnam; let's begin with unity during war! No one likes war. But once you are in war, support our troops as they fight to win, the only way worth fighting.

Memorial commemoration, remember, and show gratitude.

Posted by gaffo | May 26, 2007 8:28 AM

Maverick - Before I shoot my own countrymen in the back while under attack - we must be at war first.

We are not at war.

I ask you Sir:

1. Where is the Draft?
2. Where are the ration cards for gas?
3. where is the unified will from Joe Q Public to rally and unify in time of war.

nowhere! thats where!! Why? because unlike the few moonbats here looking under thier beds for "Islamo-Terrsts" - the VAST majority of the Public no longer views the United States as a nation at War!!

simple as that bubba.

P.S. If you are so f%&king Gungho about Iraqnam and the Islamo"threat" (which I quess you see as real). THEN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!

1. Call for a DRAFT
2. DEMAND Americans ration fuel.
3. sell you SUV (if you got one) buy a Smartcar or similar if you do not have one already.

sitting on your arse - playing armchair chickenhawk no longer cuts it. And if that is what you are doing, you too do not beleive we are at War.


In conclusion - as I've been saying since day one:

1. we WILL lose Iraqnam - today or tomorrow. Losing is inevitable. game over.
2. We will pay for that lose - economically -primarily energy costs through the roof.
3. americans will re-learn about conservation (a good learned behavior from the bad defeat in Iraqnam)
4. American arrogant Nationalism will be put down and replaced with Humility (btw unlike Pride (both personal and National) Humility is NOT one of the Seven, but the opposite, a Virtue)

and for all of those who have a "Power of Pride" bumper stickers - add some "Virtue of Sloth" "Rightousnous of Greed" "self dicipline of Gluttony" and "Holesomness of Lust"

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 26, 2007 8:47 AM

Ya don't need a draft if there's enough troops, and so far...there's plenty. WAIT-before you snap into talking points about the army on the verge of collapse, recall that there are almost 3 million in uniform, and barely 200k in Iraq and Afghanistan. If they need more troops, they up the pay and benefits. Conscription armies just aren't as capable as an American volunteer army.

Rations? I guess we don't need em since the troops have enough supplies now that Dems have given up trying to CUT the funds/cut off the army's supplies

SUV's...who cares? If you wanna go green start saving on toilet paper first. That way you have fewer friends to go visit.

Posted by Tom Shipley | May 26, 2007 9:01 AM

As others have pointed out, the intelligence cap’n is referring to was for post-invasion Iraq. Doesn’t relate to pre-invasion Iraq. The fact that this intelligence was ignored (and turned out to be good intelligence) while other, incorrect intelligence was pushed pretty much says it all.

Shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001, Bush and co. decided to take out Saddam. The decision was made by at least March 2002, but was probably made earlier. Why was this decision made? That’s pretty much open to speculation. But I believe it’s rooted in the PNAC belief that Iraq was the strategic ground zero for transforming the Middle East into a friendly, democratic region of the world. This is an excerpt of a letter from the group sent to Bush on Sept. 20, 2001:

[E]ven if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.

What happened over the next year+ was the sell job. Intelligence that would help the administration gain public support for this invasion was trumpeted, while intelligence that would hurt its case was brushed aside.

This is why we were so wrong about WMDs and the Iraqi nuclear program. This is why we were so wrong about being greeted as liberators and post-invasion Iraq. The problem is Iraq was a war started for ideological purposes. It was started as a strategy, not as a necessity. And that’s the fatal flaw. Bush has said over and over that he doesn’t believe the US should go to war unless it was absolutely necessary, then went on to say why Iraq was necessary. But it wasn’t. Never was. That more than anything is why we find ourselves in the situation we’re in today.

Bush and Co. took a HUGE gamble with our military and our nation. And they lost. Now we’re stuck with shitty options. Personally, I’m glad to see reports that Rice and Gates are pushing for a troop reduction in 2008, focusing the US efforts on training Iraqis and fighting AQ.

Posted by gaffo | May 26, 2007 9:18 AM

Well Scott, since you do not believe in sacrifice I can only conclude that like me you do not beleive we are at War.

Or you simply don't care what happens in Iraqman.

thanks for making this clear.


Mr Shipley - clear, concise, and straight to the point! thanks for the wise post!

Posted by syn | May 26, 2007 9:38 AM

SO the reason why Gaffo doesn't believe we are at War is becasue there is no draft and people are not selling their SUVs?

Dude Gaffo...debating while blinded by Bushhate is damaging your brain cells.

Posted by syn | May 26, 2007 9:56 AM

For what it's worth Mr Shipley

While living in Moscow, Russia in 1991 I had access to all sorts of info about the russian mafia selling state secrets and weapons to Saddam; in 2003, was not a Russian convoy captured as they were heading towards Syria. Actually while living in Moscow, I daily came across info about contracted killings of American businesspeople while the CIA and our US State Dept kept their mouths shut.

I don't give a flyingfook what our CIA intelligence says, since most of the time it's a bloated power hungry bureauarchy where everyone's one running around like chickens with their heads cut off, and I don't need Bush to tell me Saddam need to be removed.

In my opinion the war in Iraq is just and necessary.

We weren't wrong about removing Saddam.

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 26, 2007 10:01 AM

I'm also particularly fond of the misconception-I mean COMPLETE IGNORANCE regarding comments that pre-war intel was ignored, and I can say complete ignorance because the comments were made in a thread regarding the latest report on pre-war intelligence, and the comments clearly indicate that said report was never read before coughing out the talking points. Hindsight brainiacs love to point to this and that intel report and say, "See we knew and you lied or ignored," and in the same comment ignore that there was also a HUGE volume-a prevailing volume of intelligence saying that Saddam's ties were far closer than reported by the Admin and that he was far more armed. In fact, to demonstrate this, I need only point to the Discovery Channel documentary on the war in which their cameras actually recorded Saddam's pre-emptive missile attacks on his neighbors just hours before the war. Why's that important? Because you can see quite clearly the concern that military leaders in CENTCOM headquarters (where the footage was shot) feared it was a nuclear strike. They had intel from Jordan, Egypt, Saudi, and others that Saddam already had nukes. Those who claim intelligence was ignored while ignoring other intelligence are cherry picking their way to a revisionist history that serves ZERO purpose other than political fingerpointing and misdirection from the real culprits-those who were really responsible for intelligence oversight, and who did not do their jobs. What? Oh, they have a (D) next to their names? Well, then clearly their baby butt innocent.

Posted by DaleinAtlanta | May 26, 2007 10:14 AM

GREAT Post Captn!

You, Scott, and "Syn" "get it"!

Glad the rest of the typical Leftist Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi bozos, like "bayam", "goffo" show up, to once again reveal that their Lunar Chiroptera, BDS-infected craniums are full of more crap than Al Gore's overbloated lower intestine!

You can always tell Anti-American/Pro-Jihadi Leftists like "bayam" and "goffo"; they're the ones suffering from Reflexive Surrender Syndrome; they don't care WHO they surrender to, let's just do it NOW, so we can say we "won" and go home!


Posted by Tom Shipley | May 26, 2007 10:17 AM

Scott, these are just a couple claims about the administration ignoring pre-war intelligence that didn't jibe with their plan for war.

You can also point to the IAA report prior to the war that Iraq had no nuclear program.

Don't you find it odd that so much of the wrong intell was known by the world over before the war while we have to wait for newspapers to report on the intell that was correct years after the war?

Of course, prior to the war no one knew for certain what intell was correct or not, but there was intell that did not support the administration's case for war that was not shared with the public. That's why I say the administration took a huge gamble. They went with the intell that supported their cause for war and that intell ended up being wrong.

This was not an honest push for war. There was no chance for debate. We were told we needed to invade Iraq or else we risked mushroom clouds in America even though Iraq had NO NUCLEAR PROGRAM and there was intell that suggest that at the time.

this was a false case for war. And there was intell most definitely ignored by this administration when they made that case to the American people. I don't know who you are trying to kid.

Posted by onlineanalyst | May 26, 2007 10:37 AM

(Apologies ahead, Captain Ed, for the extensive quotation from Andy McCarthy, but the deniers would never consider clicking on to the link, and McCarthy sums up the point so much more succinctly than I.)

Good for Senator McCain on his sharp rebuttal to Senator Obama. May I add one point, though, that continues to make me nuts?

Senator Obama says: " It is time to end this war so that we can redeploy our forces to focus on the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and all those who plan to do us harm."

Senator Obama, are you proposing that we move U.S. troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, where you guys keep saying the "real" War on Terror is?

There is also a very good chance that bin Laden and some al Qaeda hierarchy are in Pakistan. When you say "redeploy," are you suggesting that we invade Pakistan?

Folks, let's not let these guys get away with this. By "redeploy," they don't really mean move the troops to where they say al Qaeda is. They don't want to fight al Qaeda. If they wanted to fight al Qaeda, al Qaeda is in Iraq — that is indisputable. Bin Laden has said repeatedly that Iraq is the central battle. You can argue about whether al Qaeda has been in Iraq all along or whether they are there only because we've drawn them there. Reasonable minds differ on that. But however they got there, they're there.

If you really want to fight al Qaeda, you stay in Iraq.

If you really believe al Qaeda is not in Iraq — that the real al Qaeda is only in Afghanistan and its environs — then you're on drugs. But, sure, fine, "redeploy" our troops ... to Afghanistan. But can we please have five seconds of honesty? You guys don't have the slightest intention of doing that. You don't want to go to Afghanistan. You want to go home.

When you say redploy, you mean withdraw. You don't actually want to "focus on the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11." You are content to bring the troops home and leave "the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11" to build a safe-haven in Iraq even as they continue to make mayhem in Afghanistan.

You think Bush is incompetent and "his" war in Iraq is a terrible mistake? Fine. You think the price of that is that we should pull everyone out of Iraq even though we all know that will be a monumental victory for al Qaeda — geometrically abetting its future fundraising and recruiting for future terrorist attacks on America? Fine.

But have the good grace to say so. Don't give us this BS that you want to redeploy to fight al Qaeda, when the truth is that you want to "redeploy" to NOT fight al Qaeda."

gaffo: Did you have a 4.0 GPA from the same school where that gal who is claiming "walking rights" attended? Your logic, spelling, and sentence structure surely take away from whatever message you are attempting to convey.

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 26, 2007 10:55 AM

As I said, there was intel that said everything from Saddam was already armed with nukes to intel saying there was no threat at all. You're cherry picking the intel that seems correct now and in some cases is, as if it was the only viable reporting. That's not the case at all. There was viable reporting that Saddam was a threat. As to no time to debate? omg, man....the first inkling that the US was gonna end the standoff with Iraq was 17 months before the invasion. The diplomatic and military runup to war started on 91202 with the address to the UN and it wasn't until over half a year later that the US invaded. What? 6 months isn't enough time? 17 months isn't enough time? 12 years isn't enough time? No sir, the problem wasn't lack of debate (as Gov Dean fueled the anti-war fires starting in May 02 (10 months before the invasion). It was a lack of intel gathering and crappy analysis. Specifically, there is NO EXCUSE POSSIBLE for not having a single human intel asset inside Iraq for 4 years (12/98-11/02). None. Testimony in the 911 investigations bears it quite specifically that the CIA had lost human intel assets due to budget cuts, poor leadership, and political manipulation of the IC in general.

In the end, people could have debated the pre-war intel for years (as we are still today), but the problem wasn't the lack of debate. It's the lack of pre-war intel. The CIA was asleep at the switch, and a HUGE portion of that blame goes to the utter lack of oversight from both Clinton and Bush Admins, but EQUALLY or more so from those members of Congress (D/R) who neglected to do their jobs. Those are the same people today who cry Bush lied Bush lied and point to pnac conspiracy theories today rather than own up and say, "Gosh, I guess we in Congress coulda done a better job." Or "Hmmm, maybe I shoulda gone to those close door intel meetings?"

Sorry Tom, but it's not the lack of debate. It's the lack of substance for debate. The CIA and the other 15 intel agencies let America down on 911, and they did it again re Iraq.

Now did the Admin hype the intel? I ask you this, should Administration's seek to dismiss threatening intel, or should they express concern? Kennedy seemed to feel Presidents should express concern. Back when Democrats had balls, others did too.

I fully agree, and STRONGLY believe the IC dropped the ball. I still believe there's abundant intel showing that Saddam had to be removed because of the dangerous relationship between his regime and AQ, as well as the revamped WMD threat that the ISG report found (just the pics prove that inspections were a fool's errand), and many other reasons de guerre. But I also think the intel was inexcusably lacking.

Posted by Tom Shipley | May 26, 2007 10:57 AM


Obama's suggestion of a phased redeployment calls for troops to remain in Iraq to fight al qaeda. He first made this suggestion over a year ago. Today Rice and Gates seem to be favoring a similar plan of action.

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 26, 2007 11:26 AM

Tom, the strategy of reducing troops to a level where they need only be in Iraq to fight AQ and train Iraqis has been an objective of the Bush Admin plan since 2004. Obama is going with the tried and true "demand" and "suggest" a certain course of action on the eve of its being employed anyway. This political strategy began in Nov 05 when Sen Kerry "demanded" that 20k be pulled from Iraq immediately after the Iraqi elections. His "demand" came literally weeks after the Pentagon announced their deployment schedule which included (guess what) pulling 20k from Iraq after the elections. It's a classic political attempt at claiming victory for actions that are already in motion. Democrats have skirted and shirked their responsibility in the war in Iraq as well as the war on terror since the DLC convention in Spring 02 where the decision was made to break with supporting the President and oppose the war. So many people are so quick to embrace this idea that the PNAC is an all-controlling conspiratorial cabal bent on war, but then those same people completely and deliberately ignore the even greater and undeniable evidence that opposition and subverting the efforts towards success in the war is a political move. One need only ask, "What have Democrats done to HELP fight Al Queda?"

answer: nothing.

Posted by Tom Shipley | May 26, 2007 11:27 AM


the decision to go to war was not based on bad intell, good intell or unknown intell (or as Rumsfeld would say, known unkown intell).

The decision was based on -- now this is my opinion, mind you -- the belief that Iraq was an opportunity for the US to transform the middle east into a friendly, democratic region. this goes back the PNAC who had a members influential people in the administration (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz). I mean, there was discussion about invading Iraq almost immediately after Sept. 11.

Now, of course the belief that Saddam had WMDs and the fact that he was a brutal dictator played a large role because it gave them an opportunity to make a case for using military action as a precursor to transforming a middle eastern country into a democracy. He's a bad guy with bad stuff, here's our chance to take him out and implement our vision of transforming the middle east into a place where people won't want to fly airplanes into our buildings anymore.

As I see it, they decided to take out Saddam and started making the case by using the intell that bolstered their cause. In doing so, they ignored intell that suggested Saddam didn't have WMD or nuclear programs, and most damning, they ignored CIA analysis that a post-war Iraq was not condusive to creating a democracy, which was one of their main goals, if not the main goals, of the invasion.

They scared the american public with statements like smoking gun mushrooms clouds and UN presentations showing WMD labratories and munitions that weren't speculation but ABSOLUTELY REAL.

We were told this invasion HAD to take place when it didn't. They were wrong. They misled us. And I think I have a perfect right to be pissed about it.

You can blame it on bad intell, but as we are finding out there was intell that turned out to be correct that was ignored because it didn't fit the administrations push for the invasion.

Now, if the intell had turned out to be correct? If Saddam had large stock-piles of WMDs, was working on getting a nuke and had a working relationship with AQ, then they would have been validated. But it wasn't. And they ignored intell that said it wasn't. And they ignored intell that said post-war Iraq would not be parades with flowers and candy for the liberators.

They took a big gamble in doing this, and they lost.

Posted by grognard [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 26, 2007 12:32 PM

Ah the left and right ,ranting, raving, frothing at the mouth, politicizing everything and not making even a feeble attempt to learn anything. Here is what a [insert your choice of derogatory name] centrist learns from this. Saddam was the paranoid leader of an organized state, his contacts with AQ were to feel them out as to any plots against his regime, and to find out what they were up to in the Middle East. His motives were completely different than the out of power Ba’athists who were trying to destabilize the Iraqi government and either reclaim power or carve off a section of the country for themselves. Two completely different situations with different motivations and players. On both counts the intelligence community made the right call and made fairly accurate predictions as to what was going on. That is good news, it shows that they have a handle on the motivations of the various factions that make up the caldron of Iraq. The question is no longer Iraq but Pakistan where the AQ/Taliban elements might be turning their attention away from Afghanistan and towards destabilizing Musharraf. If past assessments of AQ/Ba‘athist intentions in Iraq have been accurate then the CIA probably has a good idea of what is going on there also.
As far as the “forward strategy” goes the is a huge difference between recruiting disaffected Muslims in the Middle East and sending them on a bus ride to Baghdad [where they have a support network and everyone speaks the same language] versus putting them on a plane to a strange culture and country where they have would stick out and not able to communicate with most people. Iraq is a very convenient, easy reach, target of opportunity that AQ will naturally take advantage of. To say they would have anywhere near the same operation going on in the US if there was no Iraq is partisan spin divorced from reality.

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 27, 2007 7:46 AM

Well Tom, I'm glad you admit that intel played a role, and I'll readily (as I have since my first book on the subject in 2003) said that Operation Iraqi Freedom was about Iraqi Freedom, and draining the swamp/confronting terrorists on ground of our choosing instead of theirs. However, I strongly disagree that intel was dismissed for political reasons. What we see now in the rpt that came out Fri is that people like Paul Pillar-who put together one of the pre-war intel assessments then claimed it was cherry picked and dismissed for political reasons-really gave unsuable intel assessments. His report-and others-took inexcusably small amount of intelligence and put for analysis that said everything. The pre-war reporting would say, "Iraq and AQ are working together, would work together if the US went to war with Iraq, and both believe that the US has been at war with Iraq constantly since 1990, and there's no evidence of ties." Even the 10/02 NIE was packed with WMD claims, then had caveats saying, 'we're not sure.' Well, where's the assessment? Threat or not? The pre-war assessments said, "yes, no, and we really don't know".

In the wake of the the admin took all the other pieces of kindling, looked at the pile, and said 6 months before invading, "alright, let's resolve this one way or the half a year or so."

I'm sorry man, but the idea that there wasn't enough time to debate stated in a debate that continues 5yrs later seems to miss the point that there just wasn't enough intel to debate.

I think the real problem is that we had an intel question that could only be answered with human intel, and despite getting a min of $40billion a year, the CIA couldn't manage to get a single spy into Iraq for 4yrs. That's $160billion (minimum) that was wasted. There's no excuse for it.

W's been held to account by being made a lame duck.
Republicans in Congress have been held to account by being voted out of power.
Now, the Democrats who controlled the Senate in 02, who saw the intel, who authenticated it, who promoted the war, and who now misdirect attention away from their failures should be held to account...that is, if one's beef is the war and not just W and Republicans

Posted by Tom Shipley | May 27, 2007 3:13 PM

Scott, certainly the Democrats should be held accountable for not challanging this invasion more (especially in light of the revelation that Clinton didn't read the NIE on Iraq before her vote), but Bush and Co. did such a good job selling it as necessary (especially after Powell's UN speech) that challanging put them at great risk politically. And sadly, we don't have many politicians left or right who will stick their neck out on politically unpopular moves.

On the "not enough time to debate" issue, I never said there was not enough time for real debate. I said there was no chance for debate because of the case Bush and Co. put forth. They were playing with a stacked deck. When Bush is standing up there saying Huessien has stockpiles of WMDs, a nuclear program and is working with al qaeda, it's hard for any politician to say no to an invasion. Problem is, his case was wrong.

And you say they saw this muddled intelligence picture and decided we have to go one way or another. That's the problem. And that's why I say they took a huge gamble. They took that muddled picture and created a clear picture of an imminent threat tot he US and our allies, one that required an immediate invasion to protect our interests. But, that picture they painted for the American public and world was wrong. That's the problem.

Posted by Publius Hamilton | May 27, 2007 7:20 PM

I have a question for all you left wing cheese eating surrender monkeys:

What happens after we surrender/redeploy in Iraq? If we lose, who wins?

You guys are great at Monday morning quarterbacking and are blessed with 20/20 hindsight, so let us all benefit from your infinite wisdom and ability to read palms and tell the future.

What happens after we surrender in Iraq?

Posted by gaffo | May 27, 2007 10:59 PM

OK, I'll bite.

What happens?

1. (2012) 1st we will never "surrender" - at least not officially. We will "win" - then leave Iraqnam and her people to their own civil war. We will declair "Victory" first of course, then leave in defeat. Of course it will not be called a defeat until 30 years later however for National ego reasons.

2. (2012) Iraq will split into three parts - Kurdistan (Kurds live there - they force out Shia and Sunni- maybe alow a few to live there, probably not kill then - a stable Nation-state) Turkey has a hissy-fit yet does nothing, Basrastan (Shia - they kill all Sunni who refuse to leave) , and Fallujastan (Sunni - they kill all Shia who refuse to leave).

3. (2013) Kurdistan remains in relative peace and stability - looks at Basrastan (supplied by Iran) and Fallujastan (supplied by Saudi Arabia) go at each other.

4. (2013) Both Basrastan and Fallujastan battle internally with their respective militias/stongmen for a consolidation of power from a state of anarchy to city-state and finally State control by one governing body. They also each concurrenty battle Al Qaeda cultists.

5. (2015) Basrastan and Fallujastan battle over control of Baghdad. Kurdstan stays out of war and watches.

6. (2020) Basrastan finally wins control of Baghdad by slow Somalia style slugging.

7. Fallujastan settles for the crumbs and makes an armistice with Basrastan.


Stage One: 2013-2015 anarchy-Somalia. Baddar Brigade or equivalient vs. Mahdi army or equivalent (shia vs shia...............sunni vs sunni..............kurds just look and watch - at peace in the north). Al Qaeda at this stage will be removed by the militias as a cancer of death - such an organization cannot create a State and will be fought and destroyed by the top dog militia.

Stage Two: 2015-2020 partition by force-Bosnia One shia (sunni) faction ends up supreme over other shia (sunni) factions in their respective areas of Iraq. Defacto then later formal statements of Partition into Basrastan/Fallujastan.

Battle over Baghdad - slow and bloody.

2020: peace with three small Nation states where Iraq used to exist.

Saudis will supply Fallujastan, Iranians will supply Basrastan. Iran will have great influence on Basrastan and will be almost a "colony". Iran will end up better off than the Saudis who will get nothing out of the war. Fallujistan will be poor and too fr removed geographically to be controlled by the Saudis. Jordan may annex some territory along the former Iraqi border if they see a need. Jordan may also ally with the Saudis if the Iranians look to be "winning" via their proxy Basrastan - otherwise they will stay out of it as much as possible.

Syria will do little or nothing - they have their own internal troubles at home now. and in fact if the House of Saud starts to go more unstable they too may remian out of Iraqnam and take care of thier own house of cards before it is too late - at which case the Iranians benefit even more.


what happens here at home?

1. we declair victory - half the sheople convince themselves "We won" out of ego. the rest say about fucking time, and we move on.

2. Gas prices go to 8 bucks a gallon, SUVs begin to sell and garage sales. Small cars make a comback - small, as in TWO seaters. Fiat 500 size cars.

3. US becomes more Humble and also more Isolationist, and a little humiliated-deflated in self image. Like what happened after nam.

4. Due to the high cost of gas/oil, the economy goes into a recession - but not as bad as a depression.

5. Americans re-learn the meaning of conservation and "Conservation for Secure America" become the everyday patriotic duty of all America loving folks. Recycling, and ascetic living become virtues of behavor to emulate rather than revile.

6. the "hard-times" will not only make us conserve and recycle but will light a fire under the butts of those who will find alternative fuels and alternative means of energy (wind/solar/nuclear/clean coal) and accelerate our weening of the oil tit.


So in the end a defeat in Iraq will be a good thing - but this will not be seen so before 2020.

and yes many Iraqis will die - but the fact remains that a state of equilibrium must re-assert itself - they will die regardless until the State formerly know as Iraq is Partitioned into three parts. Die via occupation over 30 yrs or via civil war over 10 yrs. same number of dead either way.

Posted by Tom Shipley | May 28, 2007 12:38 AM

Publius Hamilton,

What happens after we surrender/redeploy in Iraq? If we lose, who wins?

But in Sergeant Safstrom’s view, the American presence is futile. “If we stayed here for 5, even 10 more years, the day we leave here these guys will go crazy,” he said. “It would go straight into a civil war. That’s how it feels, like we’re putting a Band-Aid on this country until we leave here.”

The fatal flaw with the Iraq war is that we're an outside force trying to impose our will onto another country. We want them to be like us, when they didn't ask to be like us. France didn't invade the US prior to the Revolutionary War and say the New World would be a democracy. It was born from within. And they helped us out.

It's just that simple. Iraq does not own it's country right now. That's why we need to start drawing down our troops, keep some there to fight AQ in the west, and let them figure out what they want their country to be.

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 28, 2007 7:38 AM

Apparently the Bush Admin didn't hype the intel. They cited the intel that was threatening. That Sen Intel Com Phase II rpt dumped out last Fri shows that the Dems did see all the intel.

Are American leaders supposed to dimiss threat reporting? To what point?

Posted by Tom Shipley | May 28, 2007 10:36 AM

Are American leaders supposed to dimiss threat reporting?

No, but it was never a choice between ignoring the threat and pre-emptively invading the country.

Posted by hbmgu | May 28, 2007 11:51 AM

gy [url=][/url] gy