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Old 11-21-2008, 09:04 AM   #136
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I saw that on CNN last night, they said (and showed) that he shook hands with all of them when he met with them privately before the photo op
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Old 11-21-2008, 04:55 PM   #137
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Yeah, he greeted all of them when they arrived. I guess he just didn't want to do it again (or maybe it's normal).
It's like saying hello to someone. You do it once a day, but when you meet the same person again you don't repeat it.
Okay, Americans found a way around it by saying "What's up?", "What's going on?" or something like that.

But he also looked down most of the time, which looked a bit strange. I would love to hear what all those politicians would have to say about him if they could just be honest.
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Old 12-01-2008, 03:49 PM   #138
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wow, breaking news, the Iraq war really was all about WMDs and had nothing to do with removing Saddam from power because he was the greatest existential threat ever to the world's oil supply:

Quote:
Bush: 'I Did Not Compromise My Principles'
President George W. Bush Says He Will Leave Office With 'Head Held High'
By LAUREN SHER

Dec. 1, 2008—

Looking back on his eight years in the White House, President George W. Bush pinpointed incorrect intelligence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction as "biggest regret of all the presidency."

"I think I was unprepared for war," Bush told ABC News' Charlie Gibson in an interview airing today on "World News."


"In other words, I didn't campaign and say, 'Please vote for me, I'll be able to handle an attack,'" he said. "In other words, I didn't anticipate war. Presidents -- one of the things about the modern presidency is that the unexpected will happen."

Bush, who has been a stalwart defender of the war in Iraq and maintaining U.S. troop presence there, said, in retrospect, the war exceeded his expectations.

"A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein," Bush said. "It wasn't just people in my administration. A lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington, D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence.

"I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess," Bush added.
(Irvine: don't fret, George, Cheney did his best )

When pressed by Gibson, Bush declined to "speculate" on whether he would still have gone to war if he knew Hussein didn't have weapons of mass destruction.

"That is a do-over that I can't do," Bush said.
(Irvine: gosh, and i thought that WMDs had nothing to do with why we went to war, i thought it was all about how awful Saddam was and how he threatened our oil )

Despite failed intelligence and accusations of mismanaging the war, Bush said his decision not to prematurely withdraw troops from Iraq was grounded in his values.

"I listened to a lot of voices, but ultimately, I listened to this voice: I'm not going to let your son die in vain," he said. "I believe we can win. I'm going to do what it takes to win in Iraq."

Bush said that one of his biggest disappointments was the failure to pass a comprehensive bill on immigration reform.

"I firmly believe that the immigration debate really didn't show the true nature of America as a welcoming society," he said. "I fully understand we need to enforce law and enforce borders. But the debate took on a tone that undermined the true greatness of America, which is that we welcome people who want to work hard and support their families."

Bush: Serving as President 'Joyful'

Reflecting on his time in the Oval Office, Bush said that he hopes to be remembered as a president who made difficult decisions in a principled way and "didn't sell his soul for politics."

He also spoke about his role as the "comforter-in-chief."

"The president ends up carrying a lot of people's grief in his soul," he said.

"One of the things about the presidency is you deal with a lot of tragedy -- whether it be hurricanes, or tornadoes, or fires or death -- and you spend time being the comforter-in-chief," Bush said. "But the idea of being able to serve a nation you love is -- has been joyful. In other words, my spirits have never been down. I have been sad, but the spirits are up.
" (Irvine: you've been so strong, George, we all know it's you that's suffered the most here, keep your spirits up, we'll pray for you alongside the thousands upon thousands your policies have killed )

Bush underscored his reliance on his values to guide him through tough moments.

"The thing that's important for me is to get home and look in that mirror and say, 'I did not compromise my principles,'" he said. "And I didn't. I made tough calls. And some presidencies have got a lot of tough decisions to make."

Bush said that he regrets that he was unable to change the partisan tone in Washington -- one that permeated his presidency.

"I didn't go into this naively; I knew it would be tough," he said. "But I also knew that the president has the responsibility to try to elevate the tone. And, frankly, it just didn't work, much as I'd like to have it work."

"9/11 unified the country, and that was a moment where Washington decided to work together," he said. "I think one of the big disappointments of the presidency has been the fact that the tone in Washington got worse, not better." (Irvine: and you tried so hard to unify us, George, what what your mandate and amendments to the constitution and Terri Schiavo, really, you've tried to be everyone's president, and we failed you, poor thing)

Nevertheless, Bush said that he felt his administration brought significant change to Washington, with reforms like the No Child Left Behind education policy, and international relief efforts such as the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Malaria Initiative.

President Bush said that his administration responded promptly to the economic crisis.

"When you have the secretary of the treasury and the chairman of the Fed say, 'If we don't act boldly, we could be in a depression greater than the Great Depression,' that's an 'uh-oh' moment," he said.

Through government action such as the Troubled Assets Relief Program, Bush insisted that the government has taken the necessary first steps towards economic recovery.

"Slowly but surely, the system is becoming unthawed, and it's going to take time for the system to become unthawed," he said. "What the American people have got to know is we've taken the steps to unthaw it, which is the first step to recovery.

"The American people got to know that we will safeguard the system," he said. "I mean, we're in. And if we need to be in more, we will."

While many have cast blame on the Bush administration for mishandling the economy, the president said he did not have feelings of guilt for the financial collapse.

"You know, I'm the president during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in president," Bush said. "And when people review the history of this administration, people will say that this administration tried hard to get a regulator. And there will be a lot of analysis of why that didn't happen. I suspect people will find a lot of it didn't happen for pure political reasons."

Bush on President-Elect Obama's 'Smooth Transition'

President Bush said that he encouraged President-Elect Barack Obama to become involved in the planning and implementation of the economic stimulus plan, personally calling the Obama for a briefing on the government's decision to infuse money into Citigroup.

"This is a very unique period in American history where a new president is coming in, where we are fighting a two-front war against terrorists and, at the same time, dealing with a very difficult economic situation," he said. "And the more we can work together, the better off our country will be."

Obama has assumed a leading role on the economy, announcing key members of his economic team in three consecutive press conferences last week in Chicago, despite assurances that there that there is only "one president at a time."

But Bush insisted that he did not find the president-elect's role intrusive.

"I don't feel any intrusion whatsoever & our administration still will be making the decisions necessary until he becomes the president."

Asked if Obama's election was in any way a repudiation of his administration, Bush saw more nuance.

"I think it was a repudiation of Republicans," he said. "And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me. I think most people voted for Barack Obama because they decided they wanted him to be in their living room for the next four years explaining policy."

He also said that Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain faced a "tough headwind" in the campaign, particularly in terms of the economic climate and the perception of the Republican party.

Bush praised the Obama campaign's organization and message, and when asked what his parting relationship will be with President-elect Obama, Bush said that he will reach out to the incoming president.

"One of my parting words to him will be: 'If I can help you, let me know,'" Bush said.

Bush Looks Forward to Life Out Of Spotlight

President and Mrs. Bush agreed that said that they've had enough of the limelight and are looking forward to living a "normal daily life."

"It's going to be an interesting adjustment. We'll adjust. We got each other, we've got our kids, we've got fabulous friends in Texas," Bush said.

"I'm going to have a lot of time to think," he added. "My day is going to go from getting up early-early, and being at the Oval Office at 6:45 a.m., and having a lot to do when you get there, to waking up at 6:45 a.m., getting Momma the coffee -- and kind of wandering around trying -- 'What's next, boss?'"

Bush said he plans to write a book and to continue serving the country with his wife through an institute for policy and library at the Southern Methodist University.

As they prepare to say goodbye to the White House, the first lady said she thinks the country is thankful for her husband's leadership.

"I think they think he's somebody that kept them safe for eight years," she said. "And I hear that all the time, people thanking me, telling me to thank him."
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:18 AM   #139
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Huffington Post Dec 2


In what was a remarkable admission that contradicted - to a large extent - the past statements from his onetime boss, former Bush strategist Karl Rove said on Tuesday evening that had the President known Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, the United States would not have gone to war.

"In the aftermath of 9/11 the concern was about a tyrant accused of enormous human rights abuses," but who also possessed weapons of mass destruction, said Rove. "Absent that, I suspect that the administration's course of action would have been to work to find more creative ways to constrain him like in the 90s."

The remarks, delivered at a debate in New York on Bush's legacy, came amidst a vigorous defense by Rove on behalf of the war's purpose and outcome. At no point was it mentioned that the administration -- specifically Vice President Dick Cheney -- reportedly advanced faulty or poorly sourced information to fit the conclusion that Iraq possessed WMD, or that intelligence reports from the run-up to the war suggested that such a case was flimsy. Later in the event, Rove argued that Saddam Hussein was supporting terrorism, poised a grave threat to the region, and had systematically duped the international community into assuming he was armed.

"He told his interrogators it made him look big in the neighborhood," said Rove, before noting all of the Democratic officials who believed as much.

As such, Rove argued, the Bush administration was justified in the course it chose and the world better off for its actions.

And yet, his remarks stand in contrast to those offered by the president himself, both recently and in the past. In an interview that aired last night with ABC's Charlie Gibson, Bush declared that the greatest regret of his presidency was "the intelligence failure in Iraq." But he claimed it was "hard... to speculate" as to whether or not he would make the same decision to invade with the correct information.

Back in December 2005, however, Bush did just that, declaring the WMD issue effectively irrelevant when he said that, "knowing what I know today, I would have still made that decision."

"So, if you had had this -- if the weapons had been out of the equation because the intelligence did not conclude that he had them, it was still the right call?" Fox News' Brit Hume asked.

"Absolutely," replied Bush.

On Tuesday night, Rove wasn't the only Iraq war protagonist indulging in a bit of retrospection. Bill Kristol, of the Weekly Standard and Project for a New American Century fame, said he agreed with the sentiment that "the President would not in fact have gone to war if he had known what seems to be the case, that Saddam did not have functioning weapons programs at the time."

At the same time, Kristol too, argued that the decision to invade was ultimately correct, asserting that with Hussein still in power, radical groups would be more empowered, and radicalism would be resurgent far more than it is today.
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:57 PM   #140
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I can feel the steam coming out of Sting's ears...
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:41 PM   #141
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Well obviously Rove is misinformed.
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Old 12-04-2008, 09:50 PM   #142
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Bush already stated that he still would have removed Saddam even if he had known that certain WMD weapons would not have been found after the invasion. In fact, during the national security deliberations on the issue before the war, it was listed as a possible although unlikely outcome. Despite that, it did not deter anyones view in the need to remove Saddam from power because the key tenents of the containment strategy of the 1990s, Sanctions, the Weapons embargo, had recently crumbled and the means to rebuild them were limited at best do to the political and economic situation in the region.

Bush by the way has already been widely qouted on the issue giving definitive responses below unlike the ABC interview:

Quote:
"knowing what I know today, I would have still made that decision."

"So, if you had had this -- if the weapons had been out of the equation because the intelligence did not conclude that he had them, it was still the right call?" Fox News' Brit Hume asked.

"Absolutely," replied Bush.

Let me remind you that just because Saddam might not of had certain WMD weapons in March of 2003 did not in any way prove that he would not have such weapons in 2006, 2008, or 2010, or beyond, just as the fact that Saddam did not have WMD in the summer of 1979 did not prevent him from both acquiring and using such weapons by the summer of 1982.

While specific WMD weapons were not found in 2003, programs related to the production of WMD and that were in violation of the UN resolutions were found. Their existence and Saddam's concealement of them alone show his true intent.

Sanctions and the weapons embargo were at best a band aid, and by 2002 were essentially gone. The means to rebuild them were very limited because of the political and economic situation in the region. The means to overthrow Saddam from within were virtually zero do to the police state Saddam had built up over decades. Relying simply on deterence would not work with a regime that had shown in the past that it had a very different way of caculating risk and benefits derived from certain actions. This is why the only way to insure that the Saddam regime would never cause a crises in the region again or use or develop certain WMD weapons was by removing the regime from power.
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:08 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongbow View Post
Let me remind you that just because Saddam might not of had certain WMD weapons in March of 2003 did not in any way prove that he would not have such weapons in 2006, 2008, or 2010, or beyond, just as the fact that Saddam did not have WMD in the summer of 1979 did not prevent him from both acquiring and using such weapons by the summer of 1982.
Let me remind you that just because the U.S. is not ran by aliens from Mars in 2008 does not in any way prove that aliens won't be running the country in 2010, 2020, or 2025.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:01 PM   #144
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Let me remind you that just because the U.S. is not ran by aliens from Mars in 2008 does not in any way prove that aliens won't be running the country in 2010, 2020, or 2025.
Sorry, but the fact that Saddam did not have WMD in 1979 but had acquired and used such WMD by the summer of 1982 is a matter of historical fact.

As to the issue of what he had at the time and what he might be able to get in the future and what the US response should be consider the following:

Absent the removal of Saddam's regime, what was the only way the United States had of preventing Saddam from acquiring new WMD?

Sanctions and the Weapons Embargo


What condition were sanctions and the weapons embargo in, in 2002?

very depleted to non-existent

What was the capacity of the United States to rebuild the sanctions regime and weapons embargo that existed shortly after the 1991 Gulf War?

very limited given the political and economic situation in the region


What was the capability of US intelligence to tell what Saddam did or did not have before the 1991 Gulf War and before Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003?

Very limited in both cases in terms of what was found after each conflict, far more WMD capability than had been thought before the 1991 Gulf War given what was found, and far less after the invasion in 2003 given what was found

If Saddam were left in power like many liberals would have like to have done, would US intelligence be any better and determining when or what level of WMD capacity Saddam would have in 2006, 2008, than they were in 1991 and 2003?

highly unlikely given the difficulty in detecting such materials and programs plus the growing capabilities in concealing such efforts


Given the disentigration of the key part of the containment program in the 1990s, the sanctions and weapons embargo regime, the limited ability of US intelligence to tell what Saddam did or did not have at any specific time, the regimes refusal to fully cooperate on the verifiable disarmament of all WMD and its violation of 17 UN Security Council Resolutions, the only way that the United States and the international community could fix the situation and remove the threat for good and also finally enforce the UN resolutions was through the removal of the Saddam regime.

Equally important, the number of casualties Coalition forces would suffer, the number of Iraqi civilian casualties, possibly the number of civilian casualties in other countries in the region, would all increase the longer an invasion to remove him was put off as Saddam acquired more capabilities over time given the disentigration of the sanctions. Waiting for Saddam to develop certain WMD capabilties as well as other conventional military capabilities before removing him would only increase the cost and casualties of every country involved.
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:44 PM   #145
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Sting, do you feel the slight bit lonely now that even the administration isn't defending this rhetoric?
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Old 12-04-2008, 11:57 PM   #146
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it seems that some people think that the indefinite "conditions based" occupation -- as defined by the generals, of course, not the president who has abdicated any responsibility for Iraq -- in a fast-devolving, ethnically toxic, religiously crazy region is somehow in American interests. given the enormous challenges of, say, Pakistan, the huge debt we are piling up, the exhaustion of the military, i do not believe that an endless "conditions based" military, economic and political commitment to Iraq makes sense. it only makes sense if we are determined to occupy the Middle East indefinitely to secure oil supplies. which is why this war was always about in the first place.

where do we stand at present? we still have 150,000 troops occupying Iraq nearly 6 years later. yes, because we've bought off the Sunni tribes, divided and walled Baghdad, and changed some techniques, we've managed to bring Iraq back from the brink so instead of a civil war, we merely have a society that's become normalized to a scattering of car bombs across the country on any given Tuesday. but we're still there. there is no stable state that will grow to fill the void that will be left when we do leave unless Maliki somehow becomes Saddam part 2.

nothing has really been "won" here by the Surge, and the Surge has worked insofar as it has been a band aid that has helped stanch a bleeding head wound. but to think that the Surge has somehow healed Iraq, that the society has somehow been mended, that we actually will be better off in the long run because of The Surge, is foolish. yes, The Surge was a success in that it succeeded in what it set out to do -- cut down on the apocalyptic violence of 2006/7. but for how much longer? have we not just delayed the coming inevitability of more mass death in Iraq? for what? at what cost? and does the delaying of this inevitable mass death mean more occupation? for how long? to what end? do we have to wait for an entire generation to die out? what happened in Vietnam after 1975? are we to endlessly prop up Baghdad? to contain ... not the Soviet Union, but what?

there is no way out of Iraq, and nothing was improved by the removal of Hussein that has not been negated by something just as dangerous. you've replaced one set of problems with another, and managed to kill tens of thousands along the way. is it reasonable to ask the American people to spend their treasure and spill their blood on something that amounts to very little in the end? do we really think we can forcibly integrate the Arab/Muslim world to be like a secular European democracy? has Iraq ever been truly pacified? simply because the Americans seem to have done it better than anyone doesn't mean at all that it's being done well -- to say, as some do, that we're "the most successful occupation in the history of Afghanistan" is rather damning with faint praise.

if you want to "succeed" in Iraq, and to follow The Surge through to it's logical end, which is not just the stanching of violence for a few months, then it will require a significant military presence in Baghdad for the rest of our lives.

is that what we really want? does this address the actual challenges that lie before us?
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Old 12-05-2008, 04:06 AM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strongbow View Post

Bush by the way has already been widely qouted on the issue giving definitive responses below unlike the ABC interview:
One is an opinion given with elections and political ramifications still at stake.

The other is an opinion with absolutely nothing attached to it but the opinion itself.

Which do you think is the more honest answer?
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:50 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by BonoVoxSupastar View Post
Sting, do you feel the slight bit lonely now that even the administration isn't defending this rhetoric?
it reminds me a bit of those japanese soldiers who hid in the jungles decades after the second world war had ended, because they refused to come to terms with the surrender.

everyone's laughing at sting2 and strongbow nowadays, guys.
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Old 12-05-2008, 08:06 AM   #149
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but the ladies still love him.

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Old 12-05-2008, 01:48 PM   #150
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I'm Really Gonna Miss Systematically Destroying This Place | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

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