Jeb Walks Back Iraq War Comments

When last we left our hero Jeb Bush, he was declaring on national television that even knowing what we know now, he would have done the same thing his brother did and invade Iraq. Since then, he’s been doing damage control for that wildly unpopular opinion. First he tried to hide behind the troops:

Former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) on Wednesday sought to sidestep questions about whether he would have authorized the Iraq War, saying such “hypotheticals” are a “disservice” to fallen troops.

“If we’re going to get back into hypotheticals, I think it does a disservice to a lot of people who sacrificed a lot,” Bush said during a town hall in Nevada, according to ABC News.

The report said Bush discussed calling the families of servicemembers who died while serving as governor.

“Going back in time and talking about hypotheticals — what would have happened, what could have happened — I think, does a disservice for them,” he added. “What we ought to be focusing on is what are the lessons learned.”

This bullshit is brought to you by the words FUCK and YOU. I get so damn tired of the right wing hiding behind the troops all the time. Then he decided to just totally flip his position and say that he would not go into Iraq:

“So here’s the deal,” Bush told an audience in Arizona. “If we’re all supposed to answer hypothetical questions, knowing what we know now, I would not have engaged. I would not have gone into Iraq. That’s not to say that the world is safer because Saddam Hussein is gone. It is significantly safer.”

It is? How so, exactly? Saddam Hussein was a threat to no one but his own people when we invaded, he was totally neutered by the no-fly zone and the sanctions. But the invasion did unleash sectarian violence that led directly to the creation of ISIS. So tell us again how it made the world safer.

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  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    So tell us again how it made the world safer.

    It did help the financial bottom lines of those that pay for politicians in the US.

    Having the US continue to leverage out non-puppet-dictators in the region is probably also to Israel’s benefit, though they never would have expected the US to fuck it up so severely. Hawks be stupid, but they be hawks all the same everywhere.

  • raven

    “Going back in time and talking about hypotheticals — what would have happened, what could have happened — I think, does a disservice for them,”

    Cthulhu, is this guy dumb.

    There is nothing hypothetical about what would have happened if we didn’t invade Iraq for no reason.

    Hundreds of thousands of dead people would still be…alive. Including some I knew. Not to mention a few trillions of dollars wouldn’t have been spent, dollars that we don’t have. We fought those wars on our credit card, the National Debt.

    Remembering those dead people doesn’t do a disservice to them. It keeps us from creating more dead people. For a while anyway. Post-Vietnam war syndrome usually takes about a generation to wear off. How long it takes to forget the last pointless war.

  • StevoR

    @ ^ Marcus Ranum : I think you owe a certain genus of bird of prey an apology!

    Hawks are beautiful avian life forms -politicians like Jeb Bush here not so much beautiful in any sense of the word and bipedal mammals of rather dubious character.

    Saddam Hussein attacked Iran, invaded and occupied Kuwait and paid families of Palestinian terrorists to encourage continued warfare against Israel. he did pose at least some threat to the region and lets not forget that – although that threat was greatly exaggerated and overestimated.

  • raven

    Jeb Bush didn’t quite walk back his dumb comment. He waffled a lot.

    It wasn’t a smart thing to say in the first place. Iraq was a massive US failure. And it is ongoing as factions kill each other every day, often in horrible ways. And we have no real idea how to stop it.

    I’ve never seen any indication that Jeb Bush is any brighter than his brother. He isn’t. Ironically, he is one of the few GOP clowns that can come across as part normal for whole minutes at a time. He plays the fundie xian with a brain the size of a walnut role but it isn’t very convincing.

  • StevoR

    @2 raven : It wasn’t exactly for no reason :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationale_for_the_Iraq_War

    The U.S. stated that the intent was to remove “a regime that developed and used weapons of mass destruction, that harbored and supported terrorists, committed outrageous human rights abuses, and defied the just demands of the United Nations and the world.”[1] Additional reasons have been suggested: “to change the Middle East so as to deny support for militant Islam by pressuring or transforming the nations and transnational systems that support it.”[2] For the invasion of Iraq the rationale was “the United States relied on the authority of UN Security Council Resolutions 678 and 687 to use all necessary means to compel Iraq to comply with its international obligations”.[3]

    Although in retrospect we know that some of the reasons given were misguided and the results at least of the post Saddam Occupation really, really didn’t go to plan or as desired! (Understatement.)

    It is fair to say that we now find the reasons for the Iraq War (Specifically Saddam’s second war of Iraq 2003-2011) insufficient or wrong but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there at all.

  • StevoR

    @4. raven : Again being pedantic Iraq was a failure alright but a lot more than just the US of A’s fault. There was a Coalition of many countries involved including Great Britain and Australia along with others. The US did lead that group but there’s plenty of blame to go around including blame to some of the Iraqi groups themselves and arguably to Iran which very likely supplied some of the Shia groups with weaponry and helped worsen the mess.

    No, I’m not defending the war – it was a dreadful mistake and should not have happened – but I do think we need to get facts right.

  • colnago80

    Re StevoR

    How’s the search for the WMDs that Saddam was supposed to have coming along?

  • StevoR

    @ ^ colnago80 : I think it finished a long time ago with the conclusion they weren’t there – but then Saddam did use chemical WMDs against the Kurds and Iranians.

    Saddam Hussein was an evil tyrant and a threat once and he was guilty of some appalling acts of cruelty and inhumanity.

    Now that doesn’t justify the war on Iraq by itself necessarily and I’m not saying it was a good idea but it is true and it is good that Saddam has gone even though what’s come after him has been a worse nightmare – which didn’t have to be that way.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Good. Now that those of us who are American Exceptionalism had admitted that, in some minor way, mistakes were made in the Iraq adventure, can we file that all away, ignore it, and get back to important things like beating the Drums of War for the annexation of Iran?

  • zenlike

    StevoR says

    Although in retrospect we know that some of the reasons given were misguided

    We? Well, you maybe. A lot of us thought it was a bad idea from the start.

    It is fair to say that we now find the reasons for the Iraq War (Specifically Saddam’s second war of Iraq 2003-2011) insufficient or wrong but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there at all.

    Except for all those people who thought it was wrong before it even started. The fact that the ‘reason’ for the the war changed multiple times over the course of it should clue you in it was all a big fat lie anyway, and the reason given wasn’t the real reason.

    There was a Coalition of many countries involved including Great Britain and Australia along with others.

    A yes, the “Coalition of the willing”. One big country, a vassal state and several micro countries; You sure did swallow that propaganda like a good boy, didn’t you?

  • Doc Bill

    I never followed Jeb Bush. Never heard him speak and didn’t pay any attention to news articles about him. Now that he’s on the national stage and word salad is tumbling out of his pie hole, turns out he’s just another dumb Bush.

    Is Jeb supposed to be the smart one? He’s really bumbling around like a fat, moon-faced Rick Perry without the down home charm, but just as clueless.

    Has pandering become such an overwhelming important feature of politicking that these knuckleheads are devoid of policy positions? As an example, just today I had to turn off the exchange between Chris Wallace and Marco Rubio because it sounded like an idiot interviewing a moron.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    If we’re all supposed to answer hypothetical questions,

    Yes, presidential candidates are supposed to respond to hypothetical questions. “What would you do if you were president and faced with…?” Since you aren’t the president, if we’re to learn how you think and maybe even what you might do if elected, we must pose some hypothetical questions about matters such as the use of military force.

    At least he didn’t respond like a certain VP candidate who might declare that asking her if she’s conscious is a “gotcha question.”

  • Al Dente

    Unlike StevoR, I remember when the raison du jour for the Iraq War was changing almost daily. It moved from:

    * Saddam is bestest buddy with Usama bin Laden and we gots to punish him for that.

    * Saddam has weapons of mass destruction which he’ll share with terrorists.

    * Saddam has weapons of mass destruction which he’ll use to wipe out Snodgrass, Georgia or someplace else.

    * Saddam tried to kill MA DADDIE!

    * We gots ta bring democracy to Iraq.

    Finally the Bushites settled on “Saddam is a big meanie!” as an excuse to waste American prestige, treasure and lives for the greater glory of George W. Shrub. Killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis was an added benefit.

    And people like StevoR “nuke the Middle East ’til it glows” are still trying to justify Bush’s hatred of humanity in general and the US in particular.

  • robertfoster

    For a man that everybody says is so smart, does Jeb even know what hypothetical means? It is a position based on an hypothesis — an unproven idea or theory that requires further investigation. There is really nothing unproven or theoretical about the Iraq fiasco. The hypothesis was at the front end, you know, the WMD fantasy. What followed the invasion is history, not hypothesis.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    “Going back in time and talking about hypotheticals — what would have happened, what could have happened — I think, does a disservice for them,”

    It’s how you learn from mistakes. That’s a very useful trick for anyone who’s ever made a mistake.

  • caseloweraz

    @Al Dente:

    I well remember that last reason rationalization “We gots ta bring democracy to Iraq.” From it arose the biting punch line “You’d best watch what you say or we’ll bring democracy to your country!”

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    Marcus Ranum “It’s how you learn from mistakes. That’s a very useful trick for anyone who’s ever made a mistake.”

    If anything, it’s you Liberals and other Democrats who are to blame, for not telling us at the time about the mistakes that were being made. Imagine how much bigger our Mission Accomplished banner could’ve been, if we’d only known at the time that mistakes were being made.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    “I think it finished a long time ago with the conclusion they weren’t there – but then Saddam did use chemical WMDs against the Kurds and Iranians.”

    StevoR, spare us this idiotic Bush propaganda, please. He used chemical weapons a full 15 years before the US invasion, at a time when he was a US buddy. He attacked Iran with the blessing and support of the US of A.

    You are also leaving out the other excuse offered at the time for the invasion, namely the claim that Saddam was somehow connected to 9/11. Admit it: you supported the war at the time and you just can’t bring yourself to admit that you supported a crime — and it was obvious even then that it was a crime.

  • se habla espol

    Marcus Ranum: “It’s how you learn from mistakes. That’s a very useful trick for anyone who’s ever made a mistake.”

    As said by a boss I once had: “If we are not going to learn from our mistakes, why do we bother to make them.”

  • Doc Bill

    “Lessons learned” is the biggest lie since “I won’t come in your mouth.”

    Having retired from Big Oil I can tell you that lessons were never learned. The company made the same mistakes over and over and over again. The lesson from the first Gulf war should have been to have an end game planned; plan for success. If you recall, Bush the First was all worried about the scary Republican Guard who folded like a cheap tablecloth under fire. Schwartzkoff was poised to take Baghdad but there was no plan for that.

    Was that lesson learned? No.

    The Soviets and legions of armies before them could not tame Afghanistan, the poorest nation on Earth, and yet in we went! Was there a plan to follow military “success” however you define that? No. Still, after all these years there is no real plan.

    Iraq war 2, same thing again. No plan following military success. If anything, Iraq is worse off now than when it was under Saddam.

    If anything, the lesson learned should be that we’re really good at blowing shit up, but we’re terrible after that. At the very least we should announce to countries up front that we’re going to come in and fuck you real good, then we’re bugging out. Clean up the mess yourselves.

  • tfkreference

    He could easily have turned the question around and come out on top.

    “Knowing what we know now, of course not, but at the time, even Hillary supported it.”

    Or more honestly, “Of course not – but I’m not as afraid of Cheney as my brother is.”

  • llewelly

    StevoR:

    … but I do think we need to get facts right.

    But one fact you left out was that the G. W. Bush and Clinton administrations carried out a highly effective program to destroy Hussein’s WMD capabilities, and prevent them from being redeveloped. So part of the rationale was a big fat lie. A lie supportable only by the most tortured thinking. Here, “tortured” is literal. W and friends only believed their own bullshit because they tortured people until they could believe it.

    I pointed out those facts to many people during the days leading up to the invasion, and a far portion (unfortunately not a majority) found my argument that it was a war based on lies convincing. I even convinced a few people who weren’t particularly anti war, and despised Hussein, to go to a protest, despite all their crap about “but what about 9/11 and what will people think of us?”

  • llewelly

    My apologies – I meant the G. H. W. Bush and Clinton administrations.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    It should be pointed out that, as Digby put it, “[Jeb] was a neocon long before neocons were cool.”

     

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that he hasn’t renounced the PNAC agenda. I doubt very much that he thinks about anything.

    I am saying, however, that only with passengers the GOP primary clown car racing to out-kook each other, an Establishment that isn’t, and a compliant media can he pass as “The Moderate”.

  • StevoR

    @ Al Dente :

    people like StevoR “nuke the Middle East ’til it glows” are still trying to justify Bush’s hatred of humanity in general and the US in particular.

    No I am NOT saying this or meaning to imply it at all. I don’t want nuclear war or even Bombs dropped anywhere thanks and have said so clearly. Nor am I justifying Bushes supposed “hatred of humanity” or actions in invading Iraq.

    I’m just saying lets get historical facts right here -that’s all. Its isn’t as simple as some here would imagine it or misremember it in hindsight. (Human memory is very fallible, um, remember?!)

    I think whilst wrong, the Bush admin weren’t exactly lying but fooled themselves and believed they saw what they wanted to see much like Lowell’s martian canals. They were wrong, they were mistaken and that had terrible horrific consequences – but they weren’t deliberate liars.

    All those reasons (Listed by Al Dente) were offered at various stages from various places too. Pointing out nuances and complexities here isn’t defending Bush II and his neocons either please note.

  • StevoR

    @10. zenlike :

    We? Well, you maybe. A lot of us thought it was a bad idea from the start.

    (Italics original.)

    A lot of people thought it was bad idea and a lot of people thought it was a good idea too. The relative percentages of each group fluctuated throughout the lead up as the various polls on the question showed with public opinion being quite split and at times there were large majorities both in favour and against the war. Actually at the time, I thought it was a bad idea and I still do. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t have their reasons and make some sort of case for war. Is it really too much to be fair and note that even if we disagree with the exact reasons and think them insufficient?

    The fact that the ‘reason’ for the the war changed multiple times over the course of it should clue you in it was all a big fat lie anyway, and the reason given wasn’t the real reason.

    Fact eh? In the lead up it was pretty consistently the threat that Saddam may have WMDs , and his violation of UN resolutions and his support for terrorism as the primary reasons given among many. Post war when WMDs couldn’t be found the rationale did change a bit more to an emphasis on regime change and other things. Again, just because a person, here Bush & co, said X was the case and then X turned out to be incorrect that doesn’t mean that they were necessarily lying as there are other possibilities such as mistaken or misled by others. Saddam Hussein who effectively bluffed that he did have WMDs when he didn’t and failed to really co-operate with the UN weapons inspectors bears a large degree of the blame here for doing that. (Also Saddam could’ve avoided a war and saved his life among so many others have he accepted the offer to flee into exile open up till the minute the bombs started falling.)

    “There was a Coalition of many countries involved including Great Britain and Australia along with others.” StevoR, A yes, the “Coalition of the willing”. One big country, a vassal state and several micro countries;

    So which nation is supposed to be the vassal state and which the micro country here – Australia or Britain? There was also Spain, Poland, Japan, Italy, South Korea, Norway, Georgia (the nation!), Philippines, Honduras, Portugal, Mongolia, El Salvador, Romania, New Zealand and more. (wikipedia – / Multi-National_Force_–_Iraq # List_of_countries_in_the_coalition These all “micro countries” or vassal states in your view?

    You sure did swallow that propaganda like a good boy, didn’t you?

    Actually no, not at all. Also not propaganda but fact.

    @22. llewelly :

    one fact you left out was that the G. W. Bush and Clinton administrations carried out a highly effective program to destroy Hussein’s WMD capabilities, and prevent them from being redeveloped. So part of the rationale was a big fat lie.

    Except we didn’t know at that time whether or not Saddam’s program really had been as effectively destroyed as it tuned out because Saddam didn’t fully co-operate with the weapons inspectors and there were doubts and various claims that he did have WMDs still.

    Here, “tortured” is literal. W and friends only believed their own bullshit because they tortured people until they could believe it.

    Actually no. A lot of the evidence came from Iraqi defectors who were paid and /or voluntarily offered to provide their evidence. In some cases these defectors made false or exaggerated claims that were taken seriously. Again, they were wrong but mistaken and not lies on Bush and co’s part although some defectors did probably lie or atleast exaggerate their own claims and certainty in them.

    @18. sigurd jorsalfar :

    StevoR, spare us this idiotic Bush propaganda, please. He (Saddam- ed) used chemical weapons a full 15 years before the US invasion, at a time when he was a US buddy. He attacked Iran with the blessing and support of the US of A.

    Yes but he did use them and committ a whole lot of other atrocities too. See :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Saddam_Hussein%27s_Iraq

    Its not “propaganda ” to point this reality out and to note that Saddam really was an absolutely monstrously evil dictator. Let’s not forget that and forget that he did support terrorism and was a regional problem.

    I recall seeing a great cartoon of an investigator in Iraq post war digging up a mass grave tossing out skulls onto an ever larger pyramid and saying “Nope, keep digging! No justification for the war in Iraq yet ..” I think it makes a good and valid point even if I don’t agree that the war was justified. There are reasons to have mixed feelings here.

    You are also leaving out the other excuse offered at the time for the invasion, namely the claim that Saddam was somehow connected to 9/11.

    I don’t think that claim was actually officially made by any Bush administration official although it was probably implied by Fox news and some other journalists. FWIW, Saddam was a sponsor of terrorism against Israel notably rewarding Palestinian terrorists families after homicide-suicide attacks and sent teams of his secret police /intelligence spies out to kill and attempt to kill people in other nations too.

    Admit it: you supported the war at the time and you just can’t bring yourself to admit that you supported a crime — and it was obvious even then that it was a crime.

    I didn’t and it wasn’t. I opposed the war at the time and it was a war and not a crime pretty much by definition.

  • llewelly

    StevoR:

    I don’t think that claim was actually officially made by any Bush administration official …

    Here is Colin Powell:

    But what I want to bring to your attention today is the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al Qaida terrorist network, a nexus that combines classic terrorist organizations and modern methods of murder. Iraq today harbors a deadly terrorist network headed by Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, an associated in collaborator of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaida lieutenants.

    Yes, I am aware of the standard dishonest goalpost-moving: It’s a connection with Al-Qaida, not 9/11 . But, if not for 9/11 being in the recent past at the time, a connection with Al-Qaida would not have mattered.

    http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030205-1.html

    PS. Know where you could have found a link to that whitehouse document? The same link you already provided:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rationale_for_the_Iraq_War#Al-Qaeda

  • dingojack

    Stevo – European Spy agencies, including the DGSE, BND and MI6, told the Americans that the information was unreliable. Even the US’s own State Department, CIA and NSA (and the rest of the alphabet soup) warned the Whitehouse it was unreliable.

    Wilfully lying to one self before wilfully lying to the UN, the world press, other world leaders & etc., doesn’t make it suddenly truth-telling, no matter how you spin it.

    Dingo

  • llewelly

    StevoR:

    Actually no

    Fact:

    The report suggests torture was the source of a false confession by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi linking Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda that was cited in Colin Powell’s address to the UN in advance of the 2003 Iraq War.[5]:141[38]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senate_Intelligence_Committee_report_on_CIA_torture#Other

  • zenlike

    Wow StevoR, you really drank the Kool-aid on this. Also, your recollection of what happened in the build up to the Iraqi war does not conform to reality at all.

    Hint: there are other news-sources then the Murdoch-owned media.

  • Anri

    Sorry, not gonna sit and analyze this statement. It’s too depressing this morning for another round of “Conservative Politician: Dumb or Dishonest?”

  • tfkreference

    Don’t forget that Saddam opened the country to inspections – other than his palaces.

  • eric

    If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it isn’t about Iraq II; it’s about Jeb Bush. He’s unprepared to answer fairly predictable questions (hint: when your father and brother were President and you name one of them as a close foreign policy advisor, expect to get questions comparing your future policies to their past ones). He can’t think on his feet. Neither he nor his staff have a good understanding of the population’s position on Iraq II. We can probably expect him to punt on any “if you become president” policy question for which he doesn’t have a sound byte prepared. All in all, not impressive. Its very bad news for the GOP if this is supposed to be their “moderate, mainstream” candidate. I would say so far he’s less impressive than Romney was. Romney put his foot in his mouth a couple of times over class issues, yes, but there’s a difference between coming out of an interview looking classist/callous and coming out of an interview looking incompetent at giving interviews.

  • tfkreference

    Thanks, eric, for getting back to the original topic. That’s a much more eloquent explanation of what I mean @ 21.

  • dingojack

    Shit, if even I knew it was a really bad idea to invade Iraq before the actual invasion based on what evidence I could glean from various creditable news sources* –

    surely a (fortunately hypothetical) President Jeb, armed with the information from, what is called, the greatest spy network on Earth, briefed by the ‘best & brightest‘, surrounded by experienced military personnel with hundreds of years of combat experience between them AND INFORMED BY 20/20 HINDSIGHT —

    should have some kind of fucking clue, don’t ya think?

    Dingo

    ———-

    * definitely not the Murdoch ‘news media’ (so-called)

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    StevoR – I’ve read that you’ve been banned from PZ’s place. Until now I didn’t now why. But now I see it. You are a dishonest right wing propagandist. This:

    Its not “propaganda ” to point this reality out and to note that Saddam really was an absolutely monstrously evil dictator. Let’s not forget that and forget that he did support terrorism and was a regional problem.

    … is about as dishonest as anyone can get.

    You completely ignore the point that Saddam did all these absolutely monstrously evil things with the blessing and support of the US. And he did them all YEARS before the US invasion in 2003. It precisely is propaganda to ‘point out’ the things you are pointing out in the context of using that to justify the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. You’ve had 12 years to figure this out but you haven’t. Fuck you.

  • favog

    I’ve seen the tape of the question and the answer. What happened is really very simple. Jeb missed the part about “knowing what we know now” and just answered the question “what would you have done at the time?”. His claim that Hillary would’ve too makes that clear. There’s sure a lot of noise being made just because Jeb can’t come right out and say, “Sorry, I really wasn’t paying attention to the question”.

  • colnago80

    Re sigurd jorsalfar @ #36

    The fact that StevoR was given the heave ho at PZ’s blog is to his credit. Myers only wants sycophants who kiss his ass there.

    I would also point out that the US stopped supporting Saddam in 1991 after the invasion of Kuwait. He was supported by the US prior to that because he was considered the lesser of the two evils vis a vis Iran.

    However, it is obvious that Dubya and Cheney lied us into war over WMDs that no longer existed. When then SofS Powell went to brief then Israeli Prime Minister Sharon about the planned invasion, according to the former’s aide, Lawrence Wilkerson, who was present, Sharon advised them that the proposed invasion of Iraq was a bad idea as removing Saddam would only empower the ayatollahs in Iran as it would remove a counterpoint to them. Maybe they should have listened to Sharon who knew a thing or two about military matters.

  • StevoR

    @36. sigurd jorsalfar : Except that’s NOT what I’m actually doing. Read my fucking words. The actual ones not the one’s you’re imagining in your head. I don’t think Iraq was justified and I’ve very clearly said so and stating that Saddam Hussein was an evil tyrant who did commit all sorts of atrocities is stark reality.

  • eric

    @34: Thanks. The weird thing is that he could’ve given a reasonably okay defense of the war, IF he’d actually thought about the subject prior to the interview. Something along the lines of: “there was no evidence of bio WMD or connection to Al Qaeda, but personally I think the threat of Iraq having chemical WMD was credible and a just cause for war.” Now, I wouldn’t have agreed that potential Iraqi chemical weapons were a just cause for war, but if he’d answered like that I would’ve at least thought “Hey, this guy is reasonably well informed on the subject. He’s thought about it. He’s more hawkish than I am but at least he has reasons for his policy positions and he can tell me what they are in an understandable way.” IOW, in my mind Jeb didn’t fail merely because he supported his brother’s policy; there were ways to ‘succeed’ but still show yourself to be reasonable Presidential material. He failed because he ducked the issue in an incompetent manner that implied he was ignorant or unwilling to discuss it.

    @37:

    There’s sure a lot of noise being made just because Jeb can’t come right out and say, “Sorry, I really wasn’t paying attention to the question”.

    That was his first answer (though phrase more politically). But the press then responded (I’m paraphrasing), “okay now that you understand it, can you answer it” and he balked. IIRC, twice more. It was only the fourth or fifth time that the press asked that he came out with an actual answer to it. So I think the noise is fair: maybe he sincerely didn’t understand the question the first time, but even ignoring that instance, he still stonewalled and was unwilling to answer in a straightforward manner.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    StevoR, fuck off you dishonest shithead.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Does this mean you got the heaveho by PZ too, colnago? Moron.

  • colnago80

    Re sigurd jorsalfar @ #42

    I’ve gotten the heave ho twice from Myer’s blog. Hey, it’s his blog and he can run it anyway he wants.

  • llewelly

    zenlike:

    Hint: there are other news-sources then the Murdoch-owned media.

    Tragically it was not just the Murdoch-owned media. The New York Times was overwhelmingly eager to print pro-war lies.

    So were a lot of other news sources. Actually the only non pro war news sources I can remember for sure were Democracy Now and The Nation … after Hitchens left.

  • Hoosier X

    colnago

    The fact that StevoR was given the heave ho at PZ’s blog is to his credit. Myers only wants sycophants who kiss his ass there.

    You do know there are a lot of people here who read PZ, right? PZ tolerates A LOT of gibberish from people who disagree with his views. But he does have his limits, thankfully, and to say he only tolerates sycophants is a transparent lie that doesn’t do your nearly non-existent credibility any good.

    And, yes, SteveOR is a very transparent, goalpost-moving tool.

  • dingojack

    SLC (#43) — To be banned once* may be regarded as a misfortune, twice looks like carelessness!

    😉 Dingo

    ————-

    * To misquote somewhat…

  • colnago80

    Re Hoosier X # @45

    I also read PZ’s blog several times a week and I have yet to see anyone who takes exception to his posts hang around for long. So I am afraid we will have to agree to disagree on this issue, hopefully not disagreeably.

  • Al Dente

    colnago80 @47

    Look, we all know you were banned from Pharyngula because you’re a shithead. People don’t have to cozy up to PZ to remain on his blog but they can’t be shitheads. You, Mr. “I’ll pretend Hitler’s name wasn’t Hitler”, are a shithead. Just own it. Nobody will think the less of you. It would be difficult to think any less of you.

  • colnago80

    Re Al Dente @ #48

    Yawn.

  • StevoR

    @41. sigurd jorsalfar : Well, that sure refutes my arguments and proves me wrong – NOT!

    You claim I’m “dishonest” but you cannot back it up – name one thing there which is a lie as opposed to simply a difference of opinion or emphasis?

    Weird thing is I’m in almost complete agreement with most of you here. I condemn the Iraq war, I think it was a horribly wrong decision to go to war, I think Bush was a lousy president who did a lot of things wrong with dreadful consequences on the world, so far so good yeah? But then mention that Saddam Hussein was an evil tyrant who also has to share a lot of the blame for the Iraq war as well as Kuwait (The first and second Saddam Wars really) – and suddenly I’m a fucking heretic!

    Why? Why exactly is it so wrong to point out that it wasn’t all and purely Bush’es and America’s fault and that Saddam Hussein’s regime is also culpable and also deserves the blame here? How is that “goalpost shifting” in any way, Hoosier X? (#45.)

    Also why is it that so many on FTB immediately start attacking people personally with insults and abuse when they are disagreed with? Why not simply accept that reasonable, intelligent people can come to differing conclusions and have differing opinions of things even based on the same evidence. Then that people can argue these opinions in good faith and calmly without needing to resort to demonisation of those who disagree with them in part or full? That fact that someone disagrees with me (or you) does’t make them a bad, unethical person contrary to the standard Pharyngulite line and that’s why Pharyngula has such a really bad reputation online outside its immediate circles. (A reputation which also then taints people’s views of FTB as a whole.)

    @ 40. Eric :

    The weird thing is that he could’ve given a reasonably okay defense of the war, IF he’d actually thought about the subject prior to the interview. Something along the lines of: “there was no evidence of bio WMD or connection to Al Qaeda, but personally I think the threat of Iraq having chemical WMD was credible and a just cause for war.” Now, I wouldn’t have agreed that potential Iraqi chemical weapons were a just cause for war, but if he’d answered like that I would’ve at least thought “Hey, this guy is reasonably well informed on the subject. He’s thought about it. He’s more hawkish than I am but at least he has reasons for his policy positions and he can tell me what they are in an understandable way.” IOW, in my mind Jeb didn’t fail merely because he supported his brother’s policy; there were ways to ‘succeed’ but still show yourself to be reasonable Presidential material. He failed because he ducked the issue in an incompetent manner that implied he was ignorant or unwilling to discuss it.

    Agreed and seconded by me.

    @29. llewelly :

    The report suggests torture was the source of a false confession by Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi linking Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda that was cited in Colin Powell’s address to the UN in advance of the 2003 Iraq War.[5]:141[38]

    Okay, that’s one example and admittedly terrible. I hadn’t seen or remembered that one. I don’t agree with torture and that was wrong for Powell to use as part of the case for war – but it was only a small part of that case and a lot of the other evidence was provided by paid and volunteer defectors from Iraq such as most notoriously Ahmed Chalabi ( See : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmed_Chalabi ) among many others. There was plenty of other evidence used a lot of which was later found by unreliable and, yes, some doubts were raised by some people at the time too.

  • dingojack

    Stevo – concerning the invasion of Kuwait (The First Bush Oil War): a little research into the causes (and effects) of that war might be enlightening for you.

    Just my AUD 0.02.

    Dingo

  • StevoR

    @ 51. Dingojack : Okay. Anything in particular you think I’m missing here?

    I was alive at the time though. Saddam Hussein chose to invade his small oil rich neighbour, I’m really not sure what possible excuse for that there is. Its not like Kuwait posed any threat to Iraq or was threatening to attack it was there? I’m not saying the war in Iraq was right or justified only that Saddam Hussein really was an evil shithead who also has to carry a lot of the blame for what happened there. Is that really a point on which people are going to disagree?

    @48. Al Dente : Being a ‘shithead’ is a subjective personal opinion. You are entitled to your opinion but others are as equally entitled to theirs. Kinda axiomatic but still.

    @ sigurd jorsalfar : You have failed to point out where I have been ‘dishonest’. If you are really curious about what happened to me on Pharyngula well see :

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/singham/2014/05/05/the-impossible-goal-of-a-risk-free-society/#comment-2052302

    (Comment #19.)

    For a full explanation and link so you can decide for yourself. Remember it was a few years ago and when I was in a worse state than I am now (I’m always learning and hopefully improving aren’t we all?) and still I don’t think I was actually guilty of what PZ Myers charged me of doing. Making a relative argument that X is not as bad as Y is not the same as saying I think X is good after all especially if you explicitly state that X is bad. Yes I fucked up there and have since apologised for it repeatedly but I do think I wasn’t treated fairly there still. (Had I seen PZ Myers warning to stop commenting there in time I would have done so. Mea culpa for not refreshing and posting when angry but I was also answering a direct demand to answer there so.. yeah. Couldn’t win could I?)