Friday, November 11, 2005

A particularly stupid (and hence improbable) "lie"

The Democrats think they have a winning argument: President Bush lied about the weapons of mass destruction, so as to start a war he wanted to start.

What an incredibly stupid idea. However much a dolt one thinks Bush was, he's not that stupid.

Consider this: suppose Bush did lie; then he knows that once the Americans go in, they will not find any WMDs! In short, he knows his lie would be exposed!

12 comments:

BG said...

Fr.

Please excuse me for being a bit plain spoken:

You, by your thoughts expressed here, show your knowledge and understanding is horribly lacking about our misled Nation. It's not a moral fault. You just don't understand what the
Bush Admin. is about. And you, nor any of us have had an honest functioning media. I don't consider what I'm saying here as insulting or critical. I grieve that you and others are so blind. I grieve on this day for all suffering the effect of evil wars sold to the sheep.

I beg you to take just one moment and follow this link.

Nate said...

I don't really care much about the Dems. And I don't quite understand bg's unexplained comment or his link, but I do think you've simplified a bit.

Do you see any mistake in what he did?

Father Martin Fox said...

Elsie:

I'm not sure what you mean, when you ask, "Do you see any mistake in what he did?" -- so I don't know how to answer that.

Bg:

I did as you asked -- I took one moment and followed the link.

But here's what I won't do. I won't do your work for you.

You appear to want to convince people -- me, at present -- that the prevailing narrative about 9/11 is wrong in some significant way.

Fine: feel free to state, in a sentence, written in language all can understand, just what is wrong with the prevailing 9/11 narrative.

Instead, what you've posted here are hints and laments; you want me (and, presumably, others) to go do the work, figure it all out; I guess because you believe if we do that, we'll arrive at the same epiphany you have.

I posted my thoughts on this on another thread, in response to you. My comments there have received no response from you. I made an assessment -- that you're peddling a conspiracy theory -- which you haven't challenged. Nor have you challenged my method: namely, to treat all conspiracy theories with extreme skepticism.

Please note: I'm giving you every opportunity to say -- in brief -- why (a) I'm wrong in calling this a conspiracy theory and/or (b) why your theory passes the high threshold I set.

In my experience and judgment, it is in no way unreasonable to expect someone to explain ones point or claim SIMPLY AND BRIEFLY.

A true test of one truly understanding a thing is the ability to explain it, to others, both briefly and in plain language.

So my invitation stands.

But, no, I won't do your work for you. I have plenty to do without chasing phantoms; and I'm not going to follow the trail of breadcrumbs you are pointing to, simply because you say so. If you've followed the trail, do us all the favor of telling us where they lead.

Anonymous said...

Fr.

Well, either Bush lied or was stupid. You say he is not stupid, OK, that is as good an excuse as any.

I noted the headlines the other day that he said he was very pleased with the progress he made in South America with the free trade agreement. I didn't hear of any progress.

And, of course he claims we treat prisoners nicely. Yet the name of the company supplying the CIA with an airplane to move prisoners to countries that do allow torture has been published in the news.

And now the vice president wants the CIA to be exempt from the law that forbids torture.

And you believe this man?

Father Martin Fox said...

anonymous:

Your tone is discourteous, especially considering you are visiting my blog. A word to the wise...

I didn't say whether I believe Bush or not; in fact, my argument was not premised on his credibility in any way.

My argument -- to which you did not respond -- was that the idea that he would lie about there being WMDs in Iraq simply makes no sense. How could he expect to get away with it? I notice you don't really answer that question, either.

I am no expert in matters of espionage, cloak-and-dagger, and all that intelligence biz; but folks who I think know more than I say it is far from an exact science.

One looks at incomplete data, and makes an interpretation. Bush and his folks -- as well as other world leaders, and his precessor, Mr. Clinton, and members of Congress -- looked at the data, and interpreted it similarly, yet wrongly. I fail to see how that means they must be either "liars" or "stupid" . . .

Should a police officer, confronted with someone on the street, in the dark, with something in his hand that sure looks like a gun, pointed at the officer -- and the suspect's actions and words are menacing -- conclude it was a gun and acted accordingly . . .

And we found, afterward, that it wasn't actually a gun -- given the situation, would you say there's no alternative but that the officer was "a liar" or "stupid"? You can't allow for a good-faith, yet mistaken judgment?

After all, one doesn't always have the luxury of saying, "let's wait and see." In the case of Iraq, I wanted Mr. Bush to "wait and see"--but his argument was, that would be too late; akin to the officer's dilemma.

The menacing behavior of the suspect, in this analogy, is very apt to Saddam; here is the tragic figure of our times: he lost everything for his lie!

It's more than a little foolish to expect a president to say -- of someone seeking WMDS -- "ah, he's just bluffing."

Had Bush taken that approach . . . and been wrong! -- are you telling us you'd have come to his defense, and said: "he held back because the intelligence was insufficient -- exactly what we wanted him to do"? Puh-leeze!

When a criminal works hard to convince a police officer he's pointing a loaded gun at him, and is ready to use it, it's not the officer's fault the criminal gets killed for successful bluffing.

Anonymous said...

Fr.

Sorry you feel I was discourteous, if you wish I will stop visiting your blog. However, in your reply I find that you are defending Mr. Bush.

At the risk of being discourteous, I think your anology of the police officer in the dark limps badly. As I remember it, Mr Bush was amply warned by many others that there were no WMD, and that to launch a premptive attack would de-stabilize the middle east. Even Pope John Paul told Mr Bush to wait for the UN to act.

Now, if that police officer you hypothosized is being shouted at by others that the man is not really armed, and even the chief of police is telling him not to shoot, and he does shoot anyway, then either the policeman was very stupid, or simply didn't care.

Mr Bush would not be the first politition that thought they could lie and get away with it. And I am afraid that most of the time that they are right. Mr bush could also be guilty of either surrounding himself with people that will only tell him what he wants to hear, or of simply hearing only those that say what he wants to hear.

In any case, whether he lied or not, he did not tell the truth, and I believe he continues to fail to tell the truth.

Mike L

Father Martin Fox said...

Mike:

You are most welcome to visit and comment.

I don't know whether I'm defending Bush or not. I'm not particularly a fan of Bush; I never voted for him (I voted third-party), but I try to be fair to him and anyone else.

I would say that those who denied there were WMDs in Iraq didn't have a lot of credibility at the time.

The dispute between the U.S. and other world powers was not, however, over the presence of WMDs -- the other Security Council nations pretty much concurred on that point; the dispute, rather, was whether that justified the war.

So, while you can certainly point to them, and say, "they told Bush not to go to war"--that's true; that's not the same thing as saying, "they said there weren't WMDs. As I recall, the disputes over Iraq's involvement in WMDs, between the U.S. and other Security Council member nations, was a matter of degree, not a dispute over their presence or absence.

And, the fact is, Saddam Hussein did everything he could to make it appear he did have the weapons!

Indeed, he did have some of them -- he did have chemical weapons, and it appears he was pursuing biological and nuclear weapons -- but was less far along.

But his military, scientific and political leadership all either sincerely believed they had this stuff, or were part of the deception.

So, if you think Bush was "out on a limb" asserting there was a WMD problem in Iraq (meaning biological, and nukes soon to come, on top of chem weapons we know Iraq had), I think you are misremembering things. The Clinton White House believed essentially the same thing as Bush; and the other Security Council powers did as well.

And if you think the UN is analogous to "the police chief," well I simply disagree all the way around on that.

The UN is not a government; it has no significant means of gathering intelligence, it has no real clout. The UN has no moral authority and very little credibility. Exhibit A is the oil-for-food mess; but even without that, you have the painfully obvious fact that the UN is not a democratic body; it has precious little accountability -- it's largely made up of tyrants and kleptocrats -- yet, somehow, the aggregate has moral authority? Gimme a break!

Finally, the UN simply lack actual authority over other nations. Many operate under the romantic, but utterly unfactual, notion that the UN is some sort of world government. It is not. It is a treaty organization among the nations of the world. That's it.

But to go back to the original point -- which you still haven't directly refuted: why in the world would Bush claim there were WMDs in Iraq if he knew they're weren't? That makes no sense at all.

You keep saying -- he lied. Fine; why in the world would he commit himself to a lie he knew -- with virtually absolute certainty -- would be exposed as a lie? What advantage accrues?

That's why I call it a particularly stupid -- and hence improbable -- lie.

joeh said...

Father, you are wasting time talking to obvious Bush haters. Your argument is indeed hard to refute unless one is already disposed to hate no matter what.
I like the argument you make because it is simple and yet very telling. If Bush were lying, why invade? Lob a few missles in, but do not send in troops from many nations with imbedded reporters. Your lie would be exposed by your own actions. No Bush was convinced that there were WMD just as was all the other people who are logical were from both parties. Hilary Clinton said in 2003 that the intelligence given was consistent with that seen in the White House during the Clinton administration which was used as reason for missles being fired into Iraq and Sudan. Sudan because supposedly Iraq agents were there seeking WMD.
But trying to deal with someone filled with hate using logic makes no sense especially if it takes more than four words. Bush lied, people died is about as much as the haters can understand.

We will have had 20 years of Clinton and Bush in 2008. Hopefully we can find another name because those who hate these names in our country are about evenly divided and will believe anything to feed their hatred. If Hilary decides to run, hold onto your hate because the hate will run wild. And guess what else, all the positions on every issue will change overnight for both parties.

Anonymous said...

Fr.

Just a few comments and then I think it is time to end the discusion. I think JoeH is right, it is difficult to convince the Bush haters that Bush was right, and just as difficult to convice the Bush lovers that Bush was wrong.

As for moral authority, I question whether the US has any more than the UN. And I do remember that John Paul XXIII told us that the problem should be left in the hands of the UN. The UN atomic energy commision consistently told us that they were finding no evidence of nuclear weapons, but it was obvious to me that we were going to invade no matter what they found.

The one thing that I could not understand was why Saddam tried to make it look like he did have WMD. Someone finaly gave me the clue. I think he may have been trying to keep Iran and Syria off his back. And, I would ask, if it is wrong for Saddam to have weapons of mass distruction, why is right for us to have them?

I think in the end I want to go back to your statement that if Bush lied, he knew he would be exposed. Consider this: Although Bush may not have lied, what he said was not the truth. None-the -less people have continued to believe what he said until it was far to late to stop the war. Even today, with all the failure to find any WMD, there are still some that continue to believe, and others now saying that it didn't matter, we needed to go to war anyway.

So in short, the next president knows that if he is careful he can probably fool the American people for long enough to get done what he wants.

By the way, I do not particularly hate Bush, I just think he has been a very poor president. Nor do I believe that he is the first to lead us astray. Certainly Kennedy did with the claim of Soviet missiles, and maybe the result was good. Still, I do not think that the end justifies the means.

Nate said...

I agree that the argument that Bush is a liar is absurd. But I feel like there is something very amiss and faulty about this administration and it's views and beliefs about the Middle East.

Nate said...

What exactly? I'll think about it and try to get back to you.

Thanks for providing a place to dialogue.

joeh said...

Anonymous, you seem to be saying we should leave things to the UN. I suppose you have missed the oil for food scandal. I suppose you have missed the way were are getting Iran in line before they have nuclear weapons? I think looking to the UN for much of anything until they have extensive reorganization is a foolish waste of time. As to the use of intelligence gathering and how we are where we are today, I will remind anyone that is at all versed in history that every war we have ever fought is done so with the best intelligence available and that millions of soldiers have lost their lives to bad intelligence. I will give you an example. In WWII, after many years of fighting and with our troops poised to enter Germany and our intelligence service at its hightest, we failed to see the Battle of the Bulge heading our way and many lost their lives in horrible ways in Bastogne. The enemy either wants you to think he has more than he does or he wants you to think he has less to lure you in. Our problem today is an amazing lack of intelligence about history and warfare by many in congress and in the media. Those in congress have an ax to grind to get power or keep power. The media was meant to serve as the ones to keep them on their toes and honest. But today's media is stupid in most regards. Few understand economics, history, healthcare, religion or warfare. Pick any topic above you know something about and tell me how well they do on it. They are lazy and most often have an agenda. America suffers because we lack a good media. 24 hour news networks fighting for ratings give us more glitz and sound bites than actual thought out news. When was the last time you actually saw a worthwhile debate of issues other than the talking heads shouting the party line. But in the end, we the public get what we deserve and what we deserve is not much. We too are lazy and do not know issues before we vote. We get an R or D in our mind and then go out and vote for that party. The socalled independent voters are most often the least knowledgeable on many issues. They seem to wait to see which one looks to be popular and winning. Those that love Clinton and say he was a great President cannot answer why he was great. Some say the economy but cannot name three things he did to make the economy good. Some say his attempts at peace in the middle east but I do not see how this can be looked on as successful in view of the 8 years of his presidency or the five years since. Some say he signed the end to welfare and balanced the budget and I will say that he was forced to sign the welfare reform or lose big in 96 and he did so after 2 other vetos. As to the deficiet, I remind those who care to look that his wife was assigned to create the biggest boondoggle of all time in healthcare and this was stopped in its tracks. He then lost congress which the democrats had for 40 years and the new republican congress crammed cost savings down his throat including welfare reform.

As to Bush, while I did vote for him, I am disappointed in his allowing congress to spend like drunken sailors and I think he has not done a good job of communication. On Iraq, I think he did the right thing because only a villiage idiot would not have believed that Saddam had WMD and I am still not 100% certain he did not have more that is now hidden in Syria with a lot of money which is supporting the terrorist network. After 9/11, if he had not gone in with all the Democratic calls for action from Hilary, Kennedy, Kerry, and even Pelosi, and anything had happened, they would be calling for impeachment.