Sunday, January 30, 2005


Mad Kane Clarifies Her Previous "WMD's Period" Post

There's been quite a dustup over my post entitled Stop Practicing Law Without A License: "WMDs, Period" Revisited Yet Again in the comments section.

I posted my response to the comments as a comment to that post. But I felt it was important enough to publish here as a fresh post, as well. Here's the meat of it:
This is in response to your various comments:

1. First let me state that, as George says, my purpose isn't to stifle debate, but to persuade Democrats to "quit eating our own using right-wing spin points that have no basis in reality."

I think that it's great that we're talking about what Senator Boxer meant by "WMD's, period." I believe she meant that the Bush administration persuaded her colleagues that the imminent threat of "WMD's" rendered the Resolution necessary. But of course I'm no mind reader and welcome this discussion. And I would love for Senator Boxer to clarify exactly what she meant.

Again, I'm not trying to shut down this discussion, and I encourage dissent, discussion, and clarification. What I do discourage is spreading misinformation (however inadvertently). And I believe that misinterpreting the role of "whereas clauses" has that net effect.

2. My post was not meant to justify the War Resolution or to excuse the huge number of Democrats who voted for it. The Democrats who voted for it were Bush administration dupes and pawns. In many cases, they feared being perceived as weak on terrorism, a fear that the Bush administration skillfully manipulated.

The Democrats who voted for the Resolution fell for Bush administration scare tactics. They fell for Bush administration claims that Iraq posed an imminent threat from WMD's. They fell for Bush administration claims that Bush needed the Resolution in order to avoid war. They fell for Bush's promise to use war as a last resort. And they apparently deluded themselves into believing that Bush would comply with the Resolution and would not go to war unless the conditions of doing so set forth in Sections 1 through 4 were fulfilled.

Those conditions were not fulfilled and, in my opinion, Bush never intended to comply with the Resolution. And, based on Bush's deceitful track record, Democrats should have anticipated Bush's noncompliance with the Resolution and refused to vote for it.

Democrats who supported that Resolution should have known better and have much to apologize and atone for.

3. I did not mean to imply that any Democrats posting here are deliberately trying to discredit Senator Boxer. What I meant was that some of you are inadvertently discrediting her by misinterpreting the Resolution.

4. Again, the "whereas clauses" don't explain "the reason and the causation behind that particular vote." For the most part, Democrats supported the Resolution for the reasons I cite right above in item "2." The "whereas clauses" provide history and background, including a recitation of many long past events, and not, as Loyal Opposition asserts "reasons for going to war."

You don't go to war because of long past events. You got to war because of an imminent threat. And the so-called imminent threat was, of course, false Bush administration claims of WMDs.

5. Liberal Avenger asks me to provide some examples of the "sort of nonsense the right-wing blogosphere is spinning this into with regards to Boxer." I hadn't bookmarked them, but did a quick search and found these three: LGF, Reason and Revelation, and 4 Mile Creek.

6. If my post wasn't sufficiently clear, I apologize. I hope this clarifies my position.

Wow! Bonafide controversy on PB!

I for one enjoy the vociferous debate.
Thanks for publishing this blog. Boxer was correct about the reason we went into IRAQ. The only acceptable reason for the majority of the American public was WMDs. I personally went along with the Iraq invasion because of this alleged threat. Saddam Hussein was an evil tyrant. But if Saddam's "evilness" had been the sole reason to invade Iraq, I would not have supported it. Neither would the overwhelming majority of the American public. Neither would Congress. To say there were other reasons for the decision is an outright lie. It's the equivalent of saying that Congress didn't read the fine print. The reason Congress, and the American public went along with the war WAS WMDs, period. The fact that there were other "fine print" addendums is immaterial. In the real world people sign contracts with unwanted fine print notices all the time. They sign the contract IN SPITE of the fine print, not "because" of it. It simply means that they must accept the fine print to accept the major elements of the contract. This applies to the Iraq War Resolution as well. The Republican arguments are comletely dishonest and deceitful. Republicans are still trying to create reality. They realize, as did Adolf Hitler, that the best lie is one that includes a little bit of truth. And George "Adolf" Bush understands the "big lie" theory quite well. So do his Oberstermfuehrers Rice, Rumsfeld, Snow, McClelland, and Mankiw. Bush's Propaganda Ministry is using the "big lie" principle here. The reason for going to war was exclusively WMDs. Everything else was a matter of "reading the fine print." The additional fine print content does not constitute additional reasons.

Mad Kane, thanks for a very clear and civil post.

I'll mention a couple places where I differ and plan to move on. I have some parting words on the topic on my blog as well, for what it's worth...

From the
transcriptRice: ... "It was the total picture, Senator, not just weapons of mass destruction, that caused us to decide that, post-September 11th, it was finally time to deal with Saddam Hussein."

SEN. BOXER: "Well, you should read what we voted on when we voted to support the war, which I did not, but most of my colleagues did. It was WMD, period. That was the reason and the causation for that, you know, particular vote."

Note that Boxer was waving a piece of paper at the witness when she spoke those words. She was referring not to the dialog among her colleagues prior to the vote or what the administration was saying. She was referring to a specific document. So, it's not necessary to read minds, she's referring to the text: "you should read what we voted on".

While it may be true that you go to war because of anticipated future events, that's not always true. Sometimes you go to war to retaliate. For example, you might want to retaliate for an assassination attempt on your father. What's more, you form your anticipation of future events based on recent history, so in effect, that is the reason you go to war. The future is not known.

So we agree to disagree and I'll drop it. Further rounds of this would be pretty pointless.

No doubt, you're right the "yea" Democrats were pawns. The questions about Boxer don't change that.

Mad Kane: I appreciate your post. You did a great deal to change the tone of the debate and clarify the issues. I am still unsure as to what you mean when you say that Democrats are eating their own. . .I look forward to your future post on that.

I agree with much of what you said, however I think we have a different visceral reaction to history here. I concede your point that we go to war because of immiment danger and that Bush led the Yea-voting-Democrats around by the nose causing them to vote on the resolution, thinking they were possibly voting to avoid war. Shame on them.
With regard to the Boxer incident, however, history provides a greater lesson. I was reminded, as I watched Senator Boxer wave that pieced of paper around and say "WMD, period" of history. . .
* Neville Chamberlain, "I have here the key to peace in our time"
* Joseph McCarthy, "I have on this list the name of 60 communist inside the State Department"
* Ms. Rice, herself, when she spoke of the famous PDB a month before the planes took down the towers,
"Those documents were historical"
I guess I am revealing myself as a history teacher here, but we are all very lucky that Ms. Rice didn't ask to see the document that Senator Boxer was waving around.
Thanks for your hard work
Let's have one of Bush's many war criminals weigh in on the subject:

"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason," Wolfowitz was quoted as saying in a Pentagon transcript of an interview with Vanity Fair.
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