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Old 08-18-2004, 01:41 PM   #1
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abandon partisan politics and tell the truth

This man and O'Neil have done that.

Quote:
Bereuter: War in Iraq not justified

by don walton
In a dramatic departure from the Bush administration, Republican Rep. Doug Bereuter says he now believes the U.S. military assault on Iraq was unjustified.

"I've reached the conclusion, retrospectively, now that the inadequate intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things being considered, it was a mistake to launch that military action," Bereuter wrote in a letter to constituents in the final days of his congressional career.

That's especially true in view of the fact that the attack was initiated "without a broad and engaged international coalition," the 1st District congressman said.

"Knowing now what I know about the reliance on the tenuous or insufficiently corroborated intelligence used to conclude that Saddam maintained a substantial WMD (weapons of mass destruction) arsenal, I believe that launching the pre-emptive military action was not justified."

As a result of the war, he said, "our country's reputation around the world has never been lower and our alliances are weakened."

Bereuter is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee and vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

His four-page letter represented a departure from his support for a 2002 House resolution authorizing the president to go to war.

His vote to authorize the use of military force - even pre-emptive force - was based on faulty, or misrepresented, intelligence that led to the fear Saddam Hussein would share weapons of mass destruction with terrorists, Bereuter said.

"Left unresolved for now is whether intelligence was intentionally misconstrued to justify military action," he said.

In a floor statement accompanying his 2002 vote, Bereuter urged that the international coalition be broadened and the administration adequately plan for the consequences of war and not divert resources from the battle against al-Qaida and the stabilization of Afghanistan.

Despite acknowledged intelligence failures and failure to locate weapons of mass destruction, President Bush continues to forcefully argue the war was justified because Saddam represented a threat to the United States, his neighbors and the people of Iraq.

While criticizing the manner in which the administration went to war, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry has said he still would have voted for the authorizing resolution knowing what he knows today.

Bereuter pointed to a list of negative consequences arising from the war.

"The cost in casualties is already large and growing," he said, "and the immediate and long-term financial costs are incredible.

"From the beginning of the conflict, it was doubtful that we for long would be seen as liberators, but instead increasingly as an occupying force.

"Now we are immersed in a dangerous, costly mess, and there is no easy and quick way to end our responsibilities in Iraq without creating bigger future problems in the region and, in general, in the Muslim world."

Bereuter sent the letter to constituents who have contacted him about the war.

"I felt I should send you a forthright update of my views and conclusions on that subject before I leave office," he said.

Bereuter will depart the House after 26 years to become president of the Asia Foundation on Sept. 1.

Congress and the administration "must learn from the errors and failures" related to the attack and its aftermath, he said.

"The toll in American military casualties and those of civilians, physical damages caused, financial resources spent, and the damage to the support and image of America abroad all demand such an assessment and accounting."

In addition to "a massive failure or misinterpretation of intelligence" concerning weapons of mass destruction, Bereuter said, the Bush administration made a number of errors in prosecuting the war despite warnings about the consequences.

"American and coalition forces were inadequate in number to take effective control of Iraq when the initial military action was completed," he said.

Other mistakes included disbanding the Iraqi army and placing responsibility for reconstruction with the Department of Defense instead of the Department of State, he said.
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Old 08-19-2004, 01:54 AM   #2
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Good for him. I think his conclusion is fairly obvious to a reasonable person (but no one said politicians are resonable people), but it's still good to see it from a member of Congress (even a departing one) who supported the initial action in Iraq.
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Old 08-19-2004, 07:01 AM   #3
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He is perfectly entitled to change his opinion and tell the truth as is everybody who has the luck to live in a free society. I myself think that knowing what we know now about the mass graves, torture and police state maintained by Saddam opposing said invasion was wrong, I stand by my argument that I held through 2002 - There is was bad reason to get rid of that thug Saddam.

As far as the criticism of the millitary campaign - You cannot fight a 3 week war and expect the same post-war situation as a 6 month war, mistakes have been made but overall this has been one of the most sucessful millitary campaigns in the history of the world - liberating an entire country at the cost of 1000 soldiers,10,000 civilians is most certainly worth it - especially considering that the regime itself would have murdered 7 times that many people by this time.
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Old 08-20-2004, 04:52 PM   #4
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You've got a great sense of humor with that thread title.....
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Old 08-21-2004, 10:30 AM   #5
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I have trouble with the name of this thread. In my postmodernist view of politics, there is no truth, only opinions.
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Old 08-22-2004, 04:12 AM   #6
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No postmodernism embraces truth, however there is no true truth because all truth is the truth of an entity.
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Old 08-22-2004, 10:20 AM   #7
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Fair enough, but I have trouble with the word "fact". This comes from my training as a historian. I have a baccalaureate in history. It was drilled into me at school that there really are no "facts" in history. The notion that there are facts in history was popular during the Victorian era, but got thrown out by an Italian historian and philosopher named Benedetto Croce at the beginning of the twentieth century. He was more inclined to agree that anyone's account of history is full of opinions and biases, and I agree with him.
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Old 08-23-2004, 01:02 AM   #8
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Argh, that PoMo statement was to illustrate how messed up it is. There is bias in history however there is most certainly fact to. It is when they drag in their cultural relitivism / all people being equal and no good or bad thats when things become awful and history becomes a diatribe. There are facts in history, dates, speeches, statistics and events. The downplaying of these by many postmodern wankers has rotted so much of the acedemia.

an example of the usual postmodern crap is here.
Quote:
The Consensus of Dialectic: Nihilism, capitalist discourse and capitalism

Jean L. B. Long
Department of Politics, Miskatonic University, Arkham, Mass.
Catherine P. Abian
Department of Semiotics, University of North Carolina
1. Predeconstructive cultural theory and postdialectic theory

In the works of Pynchon, a predominant concept is the concept of textual sexuality. Therefore, Bataille uses the term 'capitalism' to denote the bridge between society and sexual identity.

The main theme of the works of Pynchon is a self-supporting totality. It could be said that Debord uses the term 'the precapitalist paradigm of narrative' to denote the common ground between consciousness and class.

The primary theme of Buxton's[1] critique of cultural subtextual theory is not deappropriation, as Bataille would have it, but subdeappropriation. In a sense, if semiotic precapitalist theory holds, we have to choose between capitalism and deconstructive rationalism.
This was generated with a wonderful script called The Postmodernism Generator, it basically constructs the usual crap full of big worlds and flawed logic randomly, oddly enough most cannot tell the difference between this and the "real thing" (For instance the real essay, "Sexual Allusion within the Mathematics of Special Relativity and Quantum Electrodynamics" - this is total shit and it was pushed by a feminist-lefty-postmodern "acedemic".)
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Old 08-23-2004, 08:52 AM   #9
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Unfortunately the congressman, by stating that (with which i whole-heartedly agree), has set himself up in front of the Republican firing squad. I can guarantee you he will be taken down, whether it be in public or private. As much as i love politics its actions like that which i loathe.
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Old 08-23-2004, 10:22 AM   #10
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There are indeed facts, but they tend to be associated with dates. For example the Battle of Agincourt happened in 1415. No one argues that it was a disaster for France. It's hard to argue that Henry V's death at the age of 35 in 1422 was great for France and lousy for England. He left a nine-month old heir, and a strong monarch was replaced with first stupid self-seeking regents and then Henry VI was incredibly unqualified to be King. But there is controversy over the reputations of most eminent people from the Middle Ages, not to mention certain developments like the Crusades and the fall of Constantinople to the Turks. You're going to find many diverse opinions, and that's what makes it interesting.
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