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Weapon of mass acclamation

Another masterpiece from our favourite Frogosphere dissident, both graphically and morally.

We don’t mind either!





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38 comments to Weapon of mass acclamation

  • I am as happy as anyone that Saddam Hussein is no longer in a position to harm the multitudes. But all the pictures of bone piles or happy children kissing soldiers do not excuse the massive deception that appears to have been necessary to start this war, or the flouting of US constitutional processes that appear to have been necessary to authorize and prosecute it. You may not mind now, that an apparently right thing was done the wrong way. But that precedent will let the wrong thing be done in the same way, too, and probably sooner than you might expect.

    We didn’t work hard enough to ensure that the right thing was done the right way, and after the celebratory music we hear now fades away, I am confident that we will eventually come to regret the deeper defeat we have ensured in order to purchase this temporary victory. I think we are already beginning to see it all unravel, but that’s for time to demonstrate, I suppose.

  • I incline towards a slightly more optimistic view, at least short-term.

    The unravelling has some way to go. There will be intense discomfort but Bush and Blair will survive. Blair, in particular, will be much chastened and might yet need a fall guy to take the wrap. He won’t volunteer our participation so quickly again if GW’s neocon friends want to widen the area of operations. I don’t believe America could act in isolation, and certainly not in the middle east because of its closeness to Israel.

    In that sense America has been weakened by the failure to “legalise” Operation Iraqi Freedom, a sign of which may have come today with the Palestinian extremists’ rejection of compromise.

  • drs

    During the 1980s, when Hussein was torturing people and committing genocide, we gave him billions of taxpayer dollars. We knew it then just as we know it now. Just as today, we continue to give billions of taxpayers dollars to torturers all over the world. And Mr. Frog could care less.

    This year, we gave $3.4 billion to a government that cruelly tortures people dissenting. (Columbia). This year we gave $1.2 billion to Uzbekistan that will gouse your eyes out for being in the wrong political party.

    The point is, we could invade despotic countries for the rest of the century and not stop all the despots.

    The bigger point is that it looks as if the data presented to us is not wholly true.

    Whether we find the WMDs remains to be seen. The same can be said for the truth.

  • Well, I can’t say “I Don’t Mind”.

    In fact

    I dunno, change a couple words, it almost could have been something crafted by someone opposed to the invasion/opposed to the coalition/on the left… as a way to ridicule war supporters.

    It’s neato that he made an animation, but it’s not nearly as clever as it could be.

  • Beavis

    If the war was a conspiracy to start a war it must be the largest ever imagined. A plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel. Everybody has been in on it, and everybody has been lying, including Saddam.

    Come on…

  • Beavis

    If there were a conspiracy to start a war it must have been the largest ever imagined.

    wake up Beavis

  • G Cooper

    Yes, I think that gets it said.

    Were I running an advertising agency – more to the point, were I in the US or UK gummints and looking for a way of battering the truth into a lot of wilfully thick skulls – I think I would hire The Dissident Frogman to do the job.

    Great post – great (hideous) graphics.

    Still, as Mark Steyn writes in the Sunday Telegraph: “In Kirkuk the other day, they found another mass grave, this time with the bodies of 200 children who had been buried alive. Yawn. Doesn’t count. Wake me if they find a toxic warhead among the teeny skulls.”

    Quite.

  • kjones

    so misleading the public is acceptable as long as there are good results?

    if blair wanted to free iraqis he should have said so. it couldn’t have been less persuasive than the whole wmd charade, in fact i think he would have gotten a lot more public support a lot sooner.

  • Beavis

    kjones, why did Hans Blix, Al Gore, Clinton, Saddam ect mislead the public?

  • Amy Wolstenholme

    kjones and James Merritt:

    You all are leaping over some HUGE logical chasms by starting with the “fact” that Blair and Bush mislead their respective nations and then going into full outrage mode because you were lied to.

    Blair and Bush were working under the same assumption as EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD… including the UN and France. No one, and I do mean no one , seriously questioned that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. All evidence, including Saddam’s behavior, pointed to Iraq not having destroyed and still possessing the WMD that they admitted to manufacturing in the 90’s.

    Saddam’s government, in any case, was required to provide proof of the destruction of their WMD and DID NOT. THAT is what put them in material breach of the cease fire that ended the first Gulf War as well as subsequent UN resolutions up to and including 1441.

    Even that, though, was only one of the reasons for removing Saddam. Saddam was supporting terrorism in the region as well as repressing his own people.

    President Bush very unambiguously and openly said all of these were reasons Saddam had to go… in fact has continuously said this since shortly after 9/11. He didn’t lie or mislead anyone about this.

  • I agree with that Amy. I don’t think there would have been an invasion without “weapons of mass destruction” (which is a term I’m growing tired of… but I guess it’s quicker than “weapons prohibited by the Geneva Convention”) though. They were the primary reason.

    But as far as the message: “No WMD? We Don’t Mind”, I do mind, as a matter of fact.

  • Amy Wolstenholme

    Perhaps my vision is skewed differently than the Brits because I’m not from that side of the pond.

    Looking at this from this American’s view, I would have to disagree with you Kevin. I think… WMD or no WMD… the Iraq battle was inevitable as soon as the US was attacked on 9/11. This was because Saddam was willing to support terrorist, with money and with training facilities.

    WMD, and the possibility of terrorists with WMD, didn’t constitute all of the US’s poker hand (to use Bush’s metaphor)… it just upped the ante.

  • drs

    Amy, are you serious?

    First of all, everyone did NOT accept there were WMD. There are news organizations around the world who seriously questioned A. the link between Al Quaeda and Saddaam ( there was none) and B. WMD ( there ARE none). None of those news organizations are in the US.

    So again, remind me why 9/11 and Iraq were connected? Oh OK, they are all Arabs. I see. Look Amy, there is zero connection between Sadaam and 9/11. You were duped. And you are foolish to continue to eat this crap spewing out of our state run media.

  • Amy Wolstenholme

    Let me check drs… scanning… scanning… yup completely serious and not the least bit duped.

    I never claimed there was a direct link between Iraq and 9/11. If that had been true they would have been first on our todo list rather than second.

    Nor have I claimed that there is a direct link between al quaeda and Iraq. That being said, Iraq did have camps, Ansar al Salam being one, where terrorists were being trained. Saddam was sending money to Gaza and the West Bank that was funding terrorists.

    I am not naive enough to think that al quaeda is the only terrorist group in the world, and more specifically the Middle East, that is a threat to US security. Nor will it be the only one targeted by the US… something that should be patently clear to anyone who has listened to any one of Bush’s speeches in the last year and a half.

    THere is a reason that this is being called the War on Terror and not the war on Osama.

  • Amy Wolstenholme

    And drs…

    please post your sources that say there were never any WMD cause I’m really puzzled as to how Tony and George faked those pictures of Kurds killed by non-existant weapons.

    Did they steal Mr. Peabody’s way back machine?

  • Oh good grief. First, let me distance myself from drs. < ---------------->

    Okay. I’m in America as well. We’ll have to agree to disagree, I’m still not convinced we would have gone after Iraq if they had, for instance, supplied proof of destruction of all their stores and facilities (but nothing beyond that). Would there still be reasons to invade? Surely, but the weapons gave us significant *enough* justification to actually go through with it, and to collect coalition partners through the UN.

    So maybe I shouldn’t say “primary” (though it seems to have played like that to a lot of people), but “most convincing”.

    As for the banner and download shown in the blog post, “We Don’t Mind” almost sounds like “We Don’t Care”, and I can’t agree with that. I care quite a bit about the weapons and facilities, and anxiously await the resolution to all this (i.e., proof they were destroyed, proof they were moved, a discovery of the weapons/facilities themselves, or, worst-case scenario, proof that the intelligence was flawed).

  • Amy Wolstenholme

    Partially disagree anyway, Kevin, because I totally agree that GW II may not have happened had Saddam not been so dodgy with the inspectors… or at least would have happened on a different time table.

    I also think the worst case scenario would involve faulty intelligence rather than some conspiracy of lies perpetrated across time and space by the leaders of the free world.

  • T. Hartin

    A fascinating post at InstaPundit and one at Tech Central Station on “justifications” v. “reasons” or “motivations” changed my thinking on this subject. The gist is that WMD were a reason or motivation for going into Iraq, just as Hitler’s alliance with Japan was a reason for going to war with Hitler after Pearl harbor and just as the secession of the Confederacy was the reason for the Civil War in the USA.

    In hindsight, though, the justifications for those wars is very different. No one really looks at the 500,000 killed in the US Civil War as justified by anything other than the elimination of slavery. Now, the elimination of slavery was definitely in the mix of reasons for the Civil War, but it is doubtful that it was predominant (otherwise, why was Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation issued so late?). Similarly, most people view the deaths of so many US servicement in Europe as justified not so the French and Dutch and whoever could elect their own leaders, but to end the death camps.

    In Iraq, a similar evolution is taking place. I think most people are satisfied that the war was justified because it ended the appalling butchery of Saddam Hussein’s regime, even though this reason, though definitely in the mix before the war, was not highlighted.

    As to whether Bush “lied,” based on current evidence, the people who claim this are letting their hatred of Bush could their judgment.

  • T. Hartin

    My bad – here are the links to Instapundit and Tech Central Station.

  • Robert Kagan sums it up nicely in yesterday’s Wash Post.

    Either Saddam had WMDs, or he didn’t.

    If he didn’t, then the people who lied include: George Bush, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and Bill Frist.

    It also includes Democrats like Hilary Clinton and Presidential candidate Bob Graham.

    It also includes European leaders, like Tony Blair. (But you knew that). Other liars are Gerhard Schroeder and Jacques Chirac, all of whom have admitted that they believed Saddam had WMDs.

    It also includes Hans Blix.

    Oh, and one other person. Bill Clinton.

    On the other hand, if you believe Saddam Hussein never had WMDs, you agree with… well, Saddam Hussein.

  • Thanks T Hartin, heading over there after this post.

    I need to amend what I wrote before. I said that the “worst-case scenario” would be that the intelligence was flawed. While this is true from a political impact standpoint, by far the worst thing to have happen overall is for the investigators to find the weapons were moved and we don’t know where.

  • BJW

    The “We” in We Don’t Mind is the Iraqi people, not us (non-Iraqis).

  • T. Hartin

    This isn’t quite true:

    “Either Saddam had WMDs, or he didn’t.

    If he didn’t, then the people who lied include: George Bush, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, and Bill Frist.”

    It is perfectly possible that Saddam did not have WMDs on the eve of the battle, AND that Bush et al. DID NOT lie about their good faith belief that he did have WMDs.

    The fast one that the quagmiristas are trying to pull here is to equate a mistaken belief with a lie. A lie is when you say something that you know isn’t true. That is very different than when you say something that you mistakenly believe is true.

  • drs

    Amy,

    I am not talking about what Saddam had 13 years ago. I am talking about WMDs that he didn’t have when we went to war two months ago.

    By the way, when he killed the Kurds, he fired the canisters out of US made 155mm Paladin self propelled howitzers. We knew it when he did it, and we continued to give him billions until 1989.

  • Let’s assume he didn’t have anything when we went to war two months ago.

    drs, where’d they go?

    If he destroyed em some time before, why didn’t he tell the world about it at the time? You’d think if he’d made a good faith effort to comply, he would have made a good faith effort to inform the UN and US of that compliance, no? Why would he get rid of them and NOT tell us?

    Not having them and making us think he still DOES have them doesn’t seem to serve his interests in any way.

  • BJW: The “We” in We Don’t Mind is the Iraqi people, not us (non-Iraqis).

    Yes, the “We” in the graphic means the Iraqis and my point was precisely that because they do not mind, I/we do not mind either. For myself I did not trust Bush or Blair before the war with Iraq, I don’t see why I should be shocked at their potential manipulation of intelligence and any other means to their end. It just happens that their end was one I agreed with because what mattered to me was that Iraqi people can have a chance to experience freedom.

  • drs

    Kevin,

    Good questions.

    Let’s take this as a small example of what it takes to create thousand of liters of botulism toxin. Botulism is a living organism. It needs to be grown, and cultured and kept alive.
    It produces a deadly toxin. This toxin requires very extensive biological research facilities to separate it, weaponize and so forth. After 15 days, the toxin grows inert. And so it has to be reconstituted. Even the US doesn’t have the capacity to produce that much BT.

    None of that equipment, nor the hundreds of techncians it would require are there. those they have caught have indicated the weaponize BT is all gone.

    We were led to believe that Saddam had them and we were in imminent danger. Go to the URL I have included and see the eight pages of quotes from administration officials insisting he had all this.

    Where are they? read the quotes, they indicate that we knew exactly where they were.

    So where are they?

    Here is the link.
    http://www.lunaville.com/WMD/billmon.aspx

    I don’t why any madman would do anything in good faith. He certainly wasn’t about to kowtow to Bush. That would be my only guess why he didn’t come clean.

    But the more intelligence officials leak to newspapers (The Guardian, the NYT, Newsweek, and TIME) the more it seems like we had no solid evidence by September 2002 that he had ANY of this stuff stockpiled.

    Today’s NYT and the BBC online has articles on this today.

    I have a friend whos brother is 4th ID and just entered the theatre a month ago. He told me his Brother said where he is, outside of Tikrit, they hate us. He said the locals feel that life is worse now than with saddaam. Heck, read BBC. they are a news organization that still reports the truth. They are reporting that the Iraquis aren’t much happier with the freedom we have given them than the tyrrany before.

    Whatever your opinion is, your have to agree, it is easier to sit here and believe what we want to than hear the harsh truth. The harsh truth is that the anarchy, crime, looting, lack of services is so bad over most of the country, that they aren’t experiencing much freedom at all.

    Of course, if you watch MSNBC or FOX News, you migth believe they’re all happy as clams about Saddam being gone. Sad as it is, and well intentioned as it migth have been we have so fumbled this “liberation” that it isn;t much of one to them anymore.

  • G Cooper

    drs writes:

    “Heck, read BBC. they are a news organization that still reports the truth. ”

    Ah, so the art of satire didn’t die with Swift, after all!

    Oh, dear God – he *was* joking wasn’t he?

  • Amy Wolstenholme

    drs… are you being deliberately obtuse? Did you not read any of the text of any of the UN resolutions or see any coherent news reports that explained them?

    It was not up to the intelligence community to prove that Saddam still had WMD. Saddam was the one that had to prove that he no longer had the weapons he admitted to producing. HE DID NOT DO THAT.

    I cannot argue dormancy rates of botulism toxin with you nor should I have to since, and I know I am being redundant here, everyone (even BBC) was working under the assumption that he had really nasty nerve agents as well as other WMD.

    As to whether the Iraqis are better off now than under Saddam…. lets put our thinking caps on.

    Tikrit…Saddam’s hometown… Baathist stronghold… recipient of large amounts of patronage under Saddam’s regime……. nope can’t think of even one reason why your friend’s brother might be getting a less than honest overview of Iraqi attitudes in general- can you?

    I can totally understand how you would say Iraqis are no happier now that they know, for instance, that their toddlers are safe in their own beds at night instead of, just for example, being buried alive in mass graves.

    At least Saddam’s troops let them keep their dolls…

  • drs

    Amy,

    Who can beat the logic of toddlers safe in their beds? Is that true? By alll means, I would love it if you would send me one article that highlights how much happier the general population is. Or how safe toodlers are when there is no power, no schools, no police and no medicine.

    As if that were the only issue here.

    They are killing American soldiers in every town around Baghdad. I offer this not as personal criticism at all, but I feel you are being someone naive to think that only the citizens of Tikrit hate us.

    We have lost 39 soldiers since the war was “won”. The attacks have taken place in 5 different towns. ( Tikrit, Falluja, Badar, Kirkuk, Umm Kasr). We have had 119 wounded, 79 severely. In about another two months, we will have lost the same number of soldiers in occupation as we did in the invasion.

    The Iraquis hate us. They are miserable that toilets don’t flush, that electricity exists for about two hours a day in one quarter of Baghdad. Basra had electricity up, and last week it went down again.

    Crime is so bad now in Baghdad that children who went to school two weeks ago are now not showing up. One soldier from 3rd ID told a Reuters reporter (Sunday) that there is more gunfire every night than he heard growing up in Detroit. Running water and power don’t exist in most schools. Texts have been looted. We don’t have the troops to protect the schools.

    Cholera and Dysentary (sp?) are sickening their children.
    As I said in my post, we fumbled this. We turned what was a victory into a defeat. It’s only going to get worse.

    I wish your lyrical way of putting it were true. I just don’t think it is.

  • drs

    One more thing.

    The fcatual basis of the UN reports have been largely pooh poohed. Every day that goe sby brings more and intelligence personnel out of the woodwork because they fear their credibility and accuracy are at stake. From the section that was quoted by Powell that had been lifted from a 19 year old graduate thesis posted in 1990- to the satellite photos that were supposedly tanker trucks filled with chemicals that now turn out to be concrete trucks- to large portions of the British report which now looks like it was a masterpiece of selective evidence selection.

    By the way, the entire report is available from the UN online or which a postage stamp.

    Yes, I did read the reports that they made public.

  • aymry

    It is collosal damage what Saddam did to his people, however, it was the silence of the international community that led to such acts. I do believe that ulterior interests not humanitarian ones that led to this so called “Iraqi Freedom” war. Interests that silenced the USA when Kurds were massacered, when Palestinians are being cleansed, and when East Timor was destroyed by Indonisian troops.
    Just war is unjust from the point of view of others, and imposing solutions other than finding common grounds will only drag war after war.
    Finally if we are going to show some photos about mass graves and horrible acts of Saddam, a person should show it all – those perpetrated with the US consent, and those perpetrated because of their encouragement to the Shite in the south to revolt against the system.

  • andrew

    drs: you must be excluding the 200+ Kurdish toddlers unearthed in a mass grave in N. Iraq recently. Buried with their toys in everything.

    Maybe you know — were those children holding those toys when they were butchered, or did they drop them in terror before they were shot? That would mean that their executioners would have had to kick the toys into the open grave.

    Or the toddlers freed by our troopers from an Iraqi children’s prison, held there, some for years, as a pledge of good behavior by their parents.

    Or the toddlers who did succumb to malnutrition and disease during the sanctions regime because Uncle Saddam spent the oil-for-food dollars building palaces and hiring mad scientists.

    Those toddlers.

  • I read a couple weeks ago that they had restored power to the extent that the power was more widespread and reliable than it had been in years.

    “They” are killing coalition soldiers–is that the whole population? Is all of Iraq united behind the effort to kill soldiers? I doubt it, and I doubt it’s more than a minority faction.

    There are infrastructure problems, no doubt about it. If there was an expectation that things were going to go smoothly after the Saddam statues were knocked over, it was unrealistic. These aren’t the most principled people on earth, it’s true–they’ve hardly had a chance to learn and grow and show greatness. But they will.

    There was a thread here at Samizdata last week about how many Iraqis are having trouble coming to grips with just what freedom is. They’ve never tasted it, never studied it, never had a concept of it. It is going to take TIME.

    Regime change, and a change in the form of government, is rarely smooth, peaceful, or free of problems that must be solved. That doesn’t mean you don’t do it. The people will be better off.

    As for your prior post, about the weapons, I will admit you gave me something to think about.

    This is a good way to look at things as they stand now: http://www.howardowens.com/index.cfm?action=full_text&ARTICLE_ID=1294

  • drs

    Andrew,

    First of all, thank you for your comments. I say the same things to you that I was saying to Ms Wollenstein.

    If you are really concerned about the terror that children experience in Iraq, why aren’t you worried about the terror that many of the recipients of our tax dollars perpetrate
    on their children all year long. ( Columbia, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Malaysia)
    I don’t see anyone crying over the 2.5 million central African who were killed in a civil war in the last year and a half. ( Of course, they aren’t on oil. They aren’t located in an area where we have startegic interests).

    If we invaded every country that killed children, we would be invading for the next ten years.

    The ends does not always
    justify the means. If we were so concerned about the death of Iraqui children, we wouldn’t have built that monster up to begin with.

    By the way, ask the parents of the American children who have no access to medicine if they want their tax dollars saving children from other countries.

    Ask the parents of children who suffer in this country every single day if the war was worth it- especially the $2 billion a week we spend to “liberate” them.

    I just think if you believe Iraqui children are better off with how we have handled the situation there, you are mistaken. We don’t have the people in theater to effectively restore democracy there. the last two men who suggested that were fired.

    It’s just that bringing up images of murdered children will not correct what looks like cooked information, and deceiving the public to draw us into a war.

    I do not mean to dismiss your sentiments. Or to make light of them.
    There are so many issues at hand that dead Iraqui children will not make up for.

    We have problems here that need to be addressed.In America, 15 children are shot A DAY. 15 million Americans go to bed hungry EVERY NIGHT.

    Again, I don’t want to make light of the idea that man who murders children should be brought down. But we have our own dead children here &
    we ahve millions of children who are in danger of dying and they don’t have any cable news anchors fawning all over them or bringing attention to their plight.

    I offer that you consider what is
    the best way to spend our own resources given that we have dead children, and desperate children here as well ?

    Mr. White, I went to that link. Excellent piece. I will visit his blog often. Thank you too.

  • BUSH EQUATES TO SADDAM IN TERMS OF NAZIHOOD

    Pointless off-topic drivel deleted by Samizdata Admin.

  • FRANCE 1789 BETTER THAN USA 2003

    Pointless off-topic drivel deleted by Samizdata Admin.

  • chola

    “You all are leaping over some HUGE logical chasms by starting with the “fact” that Blair and Bush mislead their respective nations and then going into full outrage mode because you were lied to.”

    Don’t you think it was a bit misleading to claim that “Iraq could launch attack in 45 minutes,” as Mr. Blair so forcefully put it?

    Or how about Blair’s claim “that Saddam has reconstructed three plants to manufacture biological and chemical weapons.” How is it possible to “hide” three plants.

    There has been a steady stream of misleading evidence from the beginning, including plagarized evidence taken from a paper written years before. Why is it a huge logical chasm to point to the facts? Are they irrelevant now that that we have found mass graves.

    A lot of folks who could not support this war to root Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction from this planet are the same sort of people who would whole-heartedly embrace any sort of earnest attempt to support human rights and justice around the world. However, you don’t send in the fox to guard the henhouse. The United States has a dismal record of safeguarding and promoting human rights, which is precisely the reason that the Bush/Blair administration did NOT market this war based solely upon Hussein’s egregious human rights abuses. If the United States/Britain were to proclaim themselves as leaders of the free world in Iraq, it would also have to do so in a whole slew of other countries where the concept of human right is non-existant.

    It’s ironic that the same sort of folks who provided millions of dollars of aid to governments across Latin America, governments who have systematically raped and tortured their own people, are the same neo-conservatives who were clamoring for war in Iraq. Do you want to talk about mass graves? Why don’t you go to Guatemala or El Salvador, where whole towns were EXTERMINATED with US Tax Dollars. The Guatemalan government is still axing off any soul who dares to uncover the truth. It’s not an accident that not one Latin American country supported this war effort, even though support would mean aid to countries who are starving to get it. Why did they not support it? They knew better, in other words, they knew from personal experience that the United States does not always have pure intentions.

    I’m extremely pleased that Hussein can no longer torture and kill his oppenents. I’ve been clamoring for accountability and justice in his country for years. However, that doesn’t let either Blair or Bush off the hook. Misleading evidence was presented to the public and it DID influence support levels for the war effort. I’m not an idiot or a child, nor are my fellow Americans. We deserved to be presented with credible evidence. We deserved to be told the truth.

    I do not support any manipulation of the facts for ANY reason. The facts should stand by themselves. If the Frogman/Bush/Blair wanted to make a case for armed aggresion in the name of human rights promotion, they should have done so BEFORE we decided to drop bombs.