It's hard to believe, but lots of people are still on the Bush Lied! There were no WMD in Iraq! bandwagon. There are quite a few folks like that on the message and support boards for my 3D software of choice
. Every now and then, it puts a bug in my butt, and I feel almost compelled to respond. Here's what I wrote to them this morning. I know it won't change any minds, but maybe it'll embarass them into shutting up for a couple of days. It's not the greatest thing ever written, but I wanted saved, once again, for my kids, for much later.
Pretty broad audience there, too. High school kids, red-white-and-blue Americans, LLLs, crazed New Zealanders, jaded Europeans. Anyway, my contribution to a particularly odious thread:
To all of you no WMD/Bush Lied folks, just think for a minute. Not a single intelligence service or nation in this world doubted for one second that Saddam's regime had WMD. No one. Why? Because, well, he acted like he them. He distributed chemical suits and gas masks to his troops. He threatened people with them. His internal documentation showed that he had them. Did he actually have them? Hmmmm...
If someone in the neighborhood starts making threats against my family, and saying that he has a gun, and has actually shot people in the past, how hard do I look to see if he really has a gun this time? Right. I'm calling the cops. Oh wait. The cops are too busy riding around in the sports cars they bought with the cash that the crazy fellow has been funnelling their way, so they're not too keen on helping. The most they offer is to do a ride-by. So I warn the guy to knock it off, but he refuses. Then I tell him that I feel myself and my family are in mortal danger from him, and that if he doesn't can it, I'll take forceful steps to defend myself.
"I don't really have a gun," he says. "I was kidding." But you know he used to have guns, at least, because he's shot folks before, and you know that he'll lie, steal, kill, or do pretty much anything to keep his guns, because he hates your guts. So I tell him that he needs to prove it, or lose it. He refuses to prove it, all the while making stage whisper threats of shooting me and my family. Everyone in the neighborhood is afraid of the guy, even the folks on his payroll.
So what am I supposed to do? Show up at his front door in a kevlar vest armed for bear, that's what. At this point, he gets to choose whether he lays down in the cul-de-sac and lets me search his house unhindered, or if barricades himself in the baathroom and starts blazing away. His call. I'm ready for both. When I'm finished, does it matter if the idiot really had a bunch of guns or not? I think not. Maybe you think differently. But whether he did or didn't, I'll make the exact same call each time. Nations, like people, can only act on the information that they have at the time. We cannot be expected to do more than that.
Did Bush lie? Match up the official pronouncements of the administration with what they have actually done. They're quite predictable, really. They say what they are going to do, then hang back for a couple of months while their opponents/detractors squabble. Afterward, they do exactly what they said they would do. There is not an administration in recent memory that was so upfront and transparent in its actions.
And for those of you thinking that we want benign dictatorships, oil, etc., do a little bit of research, for goodness sake. Bush's doctrine is almost completely informed by the neocon movement. He's executing it almost point for point. Ultimate goal: democracy/economic development for ME = more stability for the world. Democracies do not attack each other. It's as simple as that, and the current US administration knows it. You will see, but I suspect by that point, you'll have moved on, forgetting how wrong your pronouncements were, just like you've forgotten about the civilian casualty and refugee predicitions that you made before the war, and the Soviet-reminiscent explusion from Aghanistan that never happened. Yes, you'll find some new way to underestimate and demonize America, and once again, you'll be wrong.
If your methodology leads you to demonstrably wrong conclusions time and time again, you are foolish to hold to your beliefs. How many times do you have to be wrong before you realize that it's your basic assumptions that are flawed? You're like Bart Simpson, grabbing the electrified cupcake over and over. Dumber than a hamster, at best.