Well, there’s a reason he looked like that…

Cooking it

Normblog notes an interview with Robin Cook:

Cook returns to the matter of WMD, and disarming Iraq, and whether Iraq was a threat, and is then asked by the interviewer, ‘Would Saddam still be there?’ Here is the money passage, Cook’s reply to that question:

Umm… Well, that of course… the longer the period that passes… it is now some two years since the invasion… the longer, that becomes a speculative question. Anybody who has seen Saddam Hussein emerge from his hole and has seen the disordered, deranged mind that he now has, is bound to ask whether those that were actually saying at the time of the invasion that Saddam would fall in his time, would probably have been right by now.

Better read it again. (You’re right – there’s no reference to the Hussein boys, Uday and Qusay.) I referred in my previous post to the ‘self-comforting ways’ in which some people manage to evade the fact that but for George Bush and Tony Blair Saddam Hussein’s regime would still be extant.

This is, as A.E. Brain so succinctly puts it, Stark Idiocy. I think I’ve mentioned before the conversation I had with an opponent of the invasion of Iraq in June or July of 2003(!). I was told that “things were changing” and that we didn’t even know if Saddam would still be in power if we hadn’t invaded.

This is like the “Reagan didn’t win the Cold War because the Soviet Union was doomed to fail anyway” theory on steroids.

Sure, Saddam would eventually be out of power. Probably when he died of natural causes. And then one of his sons or hand-picked successors would have stepped in. Just like the Soviet Union would eventually have collapsed. Probably decades or centuries later than it did, as all nations will eventually succumb to the forces of time.

Should we have been willing to wait? In either case? I think not.

When Cook mentions the ragged-looking Saddam, he seems to be conveniently ignoring the factors that got him into that spider hole. Most of them wear reversed US flags on their right shoulders.


  1. I dare you not to delete this post. So Saddam would still be in power. So what? Iraqis, if we care, are dying a lot faster than they were before. The entire Muslim world hates the U.S. now; we’ve fanned the flames of terrorism in an amazing way. The U.S. military is stretched to its limit while real threats like North Korea get put on the back burner. It looks like my DAUGHTERS are going to get drafted at this rate. Companies like Halliburton and Bechtel, which just happen to have heavy ties to the administration, make billions in no-bid contracts despite repeated, documented instances of overbilling. What happened to the spirit of competition? Turns out it was a load of hooey. Meanwhile, back at home, electronic voting machines, which determine the fate of our elections, are ruled to be the property of the companies that make them–hence no U.S. official, no watchdog of any kind, has any right to look at the the programming inside. Statisticians across the country ( e.g. http://www.yubanet.com/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/6/15415 and plenty of others) point out the odd correlation between the use of the machines and a shift away from the exit poll numbers–always, oddly enough, in favor of Bush. Why doesn’t this piss off Republicans? Because major Republican contributors own the machines! Diebold and ES&S are both owned by major Republican contributors. Why is there no mainstream media coverage? You guessed it. Clean water? Clean air? We don’t need them. God is going to fly us away to Heaven on a red carpet. We are in a heap of trouble, no thanks to you and your flag-waving friends. Sure, you can be a cynic and say, ‘Money makes the world go around. It’s always been this way.’ But don’t try to call it truth. Don’t pretend that the facts, or anything but raw greed and I-got-mineism justify the way things are. Give up your blog, take your money, go screw some blonde bimbo, fine, but just shut up.

  2. Alan: Why on earth would I delete your comment? You’re convincing people that the Bush-hating Lunatic Lefties are out of their minds far more effectively than I ever could. You’re doing America a great service. Keep up the great work!

  3. Standard ad hominem crap. It’s not like you could refute my facts or anything. AS a matter of fact it is a bit loony of me to be taking my bad mood out on someone like you. Conservatives of your strain don’t have opinions for rational reasons; you’re whipped from early childhood into believing that whoever is in power is by definition right. I’d have better luck arguing with a toaster. So, have a nice life and I’ll see you in hell. We’re paving the road there pretty nicely.

  4. alan, IIRC while Haliburton and friends may very well be in bed with Inner Party Repubs, there wasn’t much competition for the Iraq and aghan contracts largely because there really aren’t very many companies which can do what they do. I would have spent Iraq war money first on weening ourselves from foreign oil, securing our southern borders and waters, improving the infantry situation…then kick Saddams but. ah well. And, the military neither wants nor needs draftees. So your daughters are safe…unless they are blond. Murdoc did express at one point a dislike for electronic voting machines, as do I. Paper rules. And there was mainstream media coverage of this wierdness. NPR is mainstream neh? Clean water & air? Republican hunters and other rural types also understand the need for such…not sure theres any big argument for reduced standards on MO. Sam the Lazy Leftist* of MO. *My car drives on the right hand lane (usually…we better hope), but I sit in the left driver seat

  5. And if you ask what my post has to do with the article, it is more related to the posts above, showing blatant, outrageous violations being carried out in Iraq by the Administration and Republican Party, either directly or indirectly (failiure to act in Court on massive violations….see previous post link). But obviously these are just unfortunate coincidences. The war really, really wasn’t about money.

  6. Jason: I’ll agree wholeheatedly that there are flagrant violations of ethics going on in the military supply and the Iraq reconstruction. Oh, how I long for the days before George Bush and Dick Cheney introduced politicians and business managers to the concept of shady dealings with war-related projects. I mean, are you suggesting that this sort of thing didn’t happen before the invasion of Iraq? That before Bush became president that people didn’t try to profiteer from whatever circumstances they could? It’s all well and good (and proper) to shine some light on these deeds. And if they, in fact, turn out to be the truth, something must be done about it. But to point them out and then try to make the leap that they somehow prove that the war was wrong is pretty shaky. You’re welcome to try, though. What if some the charges made in the WaPo story end up being untrue, or only partly true? Would that suddenly validate the invasion of Iraq? Of course it wouldn’t. But you seem to be making the case that the charges of graft prove something about the motivation for the invasion. The same graft has ocurred in every war ever fought anywhere by anyone. Were they all waged simply for profit?

  7. Sam: Alan somehow knows that I’ve been ‘whipped from early childhood into believing that whoever is in power is by definition right’ but he can’t trouble himself to search my site for ‘electronic voting’. (Never mind that his theory indicates that I would have been a Clinton supporter from 1993-2000, which wasn’t really the case…) He simply spouts some of the same old rhetoric that’s been debated hundreds and thousands of times and then tries to convince himself that he’s proven right when no one will play with him. He’ll get over it. Or not.

  8. First off, you do not need to state ‘if’ the WaPo story turns out to be true, because the story only refers to proven facts. Secondly, I have come to expect this kind of behaviour from the US military, but what I am more shocked at is that the minimal action that has been taken by the Republicans, was taken only after cries by the Democrats. Since the Republicans were in constant contact with this ‘Firm’, they were obviously aware of the circumstances beforehand. And what a disgusting manipulation to say it was not American money that was wasted so the case should not fall under American jurisdiction.

  9. First off, you do not need to state ‘if’ the WaPo story turns out to be true, because the story only refers to proven facts.’…How long have you been following these sorts of stories? To assign a news item like this the level of credibility you seem to be seems a little unwarranted, to say the least. Proven facts, indeed. And you never responded to my point that these allegations neither justify nor condemn the invasion as you seem to be claiming. If your point is only that this sort of behavior is bad, I’ve already agreed. I’m even operating under the assumption that the ‘facts’ are largely if not completely true. Fair enough. What does that really have to do with whether or not we should have invaded Iraq? Recall that the point of this post is that if we had not invaded, Saddam would still be in power and that some people apparently think that maybe he wouldn’t have been.

  10. Firstly, in regards to whether Saddam would still have been in power whether the US had invaded or not, I did not realise this was even a debatable isse. I find it pretty obvious that he would have been, and any theory which says so otherwise is illogical. And I admit that it is wrong to correlate the wrongdoings mentioned in the WaPo article with the reasons for going to war. Since we both agree (glad to see that you didn’t try to twist facts around and somehow say that what was done was in SOME way justified) that what was done was wrong, IF the facts turn out to be true, my problem is simply with the response. If Government officials really weren’t aware of the circumstances, I think it would be fitting to take strict measures just to send out a clear message to others who might try to benefit from the current fragile situation in Iraq.

  11. J, I seem to recall hearing rumors recently that GWB’s reason to go into Iraq when he did may have been because of strong rumors that a Shia revolt was immuinent, a revolt with the intent of setting up a very unsecularized Islamic state. I don’t know if this is true.