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February 04, 2006

The big deal about illegal war

Kevin Drum is blase about the latest revelations about latest Downing Street memo detailed in the Guardian:

This is apparently getting more attention today, but I'm not quite sure I get what the fuss is about. Surely this isn't news to anyone, is it? Of course Bush was planning to invade no matter what.

On the other hand, the U.S. plan to paint a spy plane in UN colors and hope Saddam would shoot it down — now that's comedy gold. Ten bucks says it was Cheney's idea.

Maybe Kevin's just indulging in a little dark humor, but it grates to hear new evidence of fraudulent war plans dismissed as "old news." Dressing up a spy plane in UN colors isn't funny. It's despicable.

Outrage isn't shock-dependent.

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» News that doesn't matter from The J Train
Lindsay takes Kevin Drum to task for his writing off of the new Downing Street memo (which provides yet more evidence that the invasion of Iraq was an early foregone conclusion) as old news.Drum misses the mark in his wording--Surely [Read More]

Comments

Unfortunately it really is old news. Horrible news, but old nonetheless. Nothing about the age of the news excuses the actions of the participants, but by now most people realize that the administration was determined to go to war and was fixing intelligence around that objective. Some people think that is just fine, which is frankly scarier to me than the old news itself.

New revelations are filtering out week by week, and the number of people who honestly believe that the administration was misled by CIA incompetence is shrinking (though it's still too large, IMHO). The majority of the anti-war crowd has known since before the war started that the casus belli were cooked up. The pro-war crowd has slowly been opening its eyes, most of them apparently falling into the camp that believes getting rid of Saddam was sufficiently important to justify lying.

A lot of us have long believed the justification for war was fraudulent. But the discovery of new evidence should be newsworthy.

It’s noteworthy but just one more lie that has been foisted off on the American people by a criminal administration. Is it sad or funny when you think about it, this was an administration that ran on the slogan “restoring dignity to the office of the Presidency.”

The GOP should have told us that it wasn’t a “contract with America,” but really a contract “on” America!

Drum weel continue to pass off new evidence as "old news" until he ees invited on the Sunday Morning gasbag shows, he wants to be another Tweety.

so.

Knowing what they would, might or were willing to consider doing is of no value except in providing supporting evidence to demonstrate their willingness to act as they did.

We already know that, with malice and forethought, and in violation of International law, this cabal lied its way into a war of aggression. We know that there is abundant evidence of their having committed Crimes against the Peace, and Crimes against Humanity, as described under the US promulgated Nuremberg Laws. That in any just world, this group would be awaiting trial for their actions.

The real value of this information lies in helping to open the eyes of those who refuse to see. To illuminate those whose world view has so far prevented them from seeing the truth. Polls now indicate that more than half of all Americans believe that we were lied into this war.

Has anybody build a specialized blog to track/accumulate all evidence pointing to fraudulant/illegal justification of war?

that would be a very usefull blog/wiki.

I agree, SquashedLemon. That would be an incredibly useful wiki. The invasion of Iraq wiki article is contested, regularly overrun with political brouhaha, and seems to contain no mention of illegalities, etc.
I think thememoryhole.org does some tracking of things that change on the government's websites and news that never hits the news: not specifically on Iraq, but certainly a neat place to read what's ignored.

I could understand Drum if there wasn't a concerted disinformation campaign from the wingnut fringe -- Newsmax, CNS, etc -- to maintain the bullshit lies about Al Qaeda connections and WMDs in Syria. But while the liars keep lying? Nah.

I sat up when I heard about it. Yes, it's newsworthy. Though we knew what these wolves were up to, this is one more piece of hard evidence. This cynical little kaffeeklatsch rather resembles the Molotov-Ribbentrop meeting in Aug. '39. Ribbentrop was condemned at Nuremberg. One hopes that Bush and Blair will someday be hauled to The Hague. That probably won't happen, but history will judge these two for the vermin they are. Insofar as their bloated vanity requires history's accolades, knowing that their filthy secrets are exposed must dismay them.
And that photo in the Guardian! Honest to Christ someone needs to wipe the smirks off their faces, preferably with something that befits war crimes, like an entrenching tool.

The right will continue to lie about this; it's very, very important to get the facts drummed into the heads of those in the middle.

One thing about the drip drip drip of evidence that the war was sold on lies is that each revelation comes only after the hardcore supporters have already processed the previous one. Once they've come to terms with a given piece of evidence, minimized it in their minds, and reduced it to the level of background noise, irrelevant in the big picture, the next one comes out and is subject to similar treatment. If you put all the evidence together in a single place, the case is overwhelming. Scattered about in time and place the individual pieces can be rationalized away.

....

Did Tyepad just ate last two days worth of blog comments?

The Crimean War was fought on false grounds (protecting the catholics and holy places of the Ottoman Empire from orthodox christian encroachment, while actually meaning to limit Russian expansion toward India). World War II as well ("defending" Germany against an attack on a German border radio station by Polish soldiers, though the "Polish Soldiers" were actually concentration camp victims, dressed in Polish army uniforms, which were procured, incidentally, by Oskar Schindler, who was later to save so many lives). We knew the grounds for the war were false when they first started mouthing them. That's why, though no-one protested our invasion of Afghanistan (including the French, Germans, and Canadians, who by the way invaded Afghanistan with us, and are still there), half of America and most of the world protested our invasion of Iraq. It was just so obviously a lie, and knowing Bush, presumably done from self-interest (and I don't mean American self-interest).

Kevin Drum blase?

No! Not that!

Less a feeble attempt at black humor by Mr. Drum that the usual and successful attempt at smug 'aren't we all in on it know it all ness with this on the one hand on the other hand aren't I reasonable and so well informed", that seems to be the defining quality of "liberal" and "progressive" discourse, (Mr. Marshall is probably the MVP of the style) which only allows for outrage when political correctness rules of etiquette are violated. Then the tsk tsk tsk deafens. But, for little things like the sell out of liberty to extra constitutional authoritarianism witnessed in the Scalito fiasco, the smug style reigns supreme.

But maybe this problem begins to dawn on the good hearted capable of discrimination and judgment and outrage.

Lindsay wrote >>

A lot of us have long believed the justification for war was fraudulent. But the discovery of new evidence should be newsworthy.

Should be but isn't. Why are you guys blaming Kevin for this?

It's the major media and about 50 percent of our republic that is the real problem. It's obvious that most americans ARE NOT outraged by the false premises that were offered for the war.

Should they be? I certainly think so. but my wishin don't make it so.

When the people in power provide a new scandal every day, eventually outrageous becomes the new normal.

When outrage is so overdone maybe a little sardonic irony is appropriate.

Uh, merelycurious?

You are clear that Mr. Drum is a paid major media figure, aren't you? One who has been providing rhetorical cover for some of the most egregious acts of this administration?

Dude, the man does this for a living. He's paid to put this stuff out there. There is no way in the world it's inappropriate to make him own his own shit when he leaves it on the table.

If you are genuinely non-plussed, don't say anything--but don't denigrate other people's interest in an issue you actually think is important. The issue in this case being the fraudulent justification for war.

I think if you do believe in the gravity of this offense, you've got a moral obligation to get through to other people. It's not necessarily a partisan political thing. If you think major crimes were committed, then you have a basic responsibility as a journalist/pundit/citizen/human being to tell the truth and keep telling it until people understand it.

Those of us who believe that the invasion of Iraq was fraudulent are fighting an uphill battle for public opinion. There's nothing to be gained by further downplaying an issue that's already getting way less attention than it deserves. Going out of your way to call something old news is a political statement in its own right, irrespective of the merits of the story.

We'll never make inroads unless we keep talking and seize every opportunity to drag the war fraud story back into the news. That's how you construct a narrative. You pick a description and highlight each new piece of evidence in the context that you've chosen. If we want people to realize that Bush is a war criminal, we've got to keep telling that story, citing new evidence as it arises.

Julia

No offense to Mr. Drum but I don't consider him a "major media figure". My threshold for major media would be where most americans get their news - fox, cnn, npr, abc, cbs, nbc. If I asked 1000 random people who Kevin Drum is I'm betting I wouldn't get a single hit. so that's my personal threshold for "major" YMMV.

Kevins brief post (that I, at least, took as mocking the conservative meme of "legitimate war, legitimate legal and moral reasons for it") is not even a drop in the bucket compared to 24 hours a day of Fox news and Meet the Press

One who has been providing rhetorical cover for some of the most egregious acts of this administration?

Sorry, I have to disagree with this statement. Kevin has consistently analyzed events from the viewpoint of a moderate liberal and he has never claimed otherwise. An analyisis I find useful, personally, considering the majority of americans are self-described "moderates"

So, let me get this straight - in your reading of Kevin's "Political Animal" blog you see him defending the Bush administration? a Bush apologist?

Wow. That's a perspective I find genuinely... curious.

More to my point - why attack Kevin when there is a plethora of more worthy targets for this anger. (not that I'm conceding that Kevin doesn't care - I took his post not as denigration but irony)

irony 1 |ˈīrənē; ˈiərnē| noun ( pl. -nies) the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect

Lindsay said >>

I think if you do believe in the gravity of this offense, you've got a moral obligation to get through to other people.

A - I believe he (Kevin) did attempt to bring the issue forward, with irony. he could have said nothing at all.

B - we are rapidly wandering down the path of "if you really cared about starving children you'd sell your house and car to feed them, if you really cared, anything less and you're just posing"

We'll never make inroads unless we keep talking and seize every opportunity to drag the war fraud story back into the news. That's how you construct a narrative.

In the entire time I've lived in downtown milwaukee (since 1988) there has been this religious fanatic who drives a black station wagon where every square inch is covered in biblical verse and prophecy. He drives this all day, every day. He has sandwich boards propped on top and he has a speaker system that spits out hate speech against gays and stem cells etc. from a looped tape.

He's been tirelessly building a narrative but I suspect it's not the one he hoped for.

---------

I prefer a more stategic approch to building a compelling, successful narrative. Getting on a soapbox and screaming at the passersby that they should be outraged is a sure route to being ignored and even tilting opinion in the opposite direction. And attacking your own side is what Nader did in 2000 and look where that got us.

We have to make the war fraud story interesting and compelling to people who, as far as I can see, don't really care.

I'm saying THAT is where the real battle lies, not with Kevin.

Sometimes when people seem not to care about something it turns out that nothing could be further from the truth. Often it is just simmering beneath the surface and at the moment when it seems that they can actively do something about it... it explodes.

Often under the trigger of a matter that is seemingly unrelated, all hell breaks loose.

The Plame case is about to burst on to the scene again. This week was the revelation that e-mails from Bush and Cheney were illegally removed from the archive servers at the White House and Fitzgerald knows it.

Now another blip has popped up on the radar screen:

"Newsweek

Feb. 13, 2006 issue - Newly released court papers could put holes in the defense of Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby, in the Valerie Plame leak case. Lawyers for Libby, and White House allies, have repeatedly questioned whether Plame, the wife of White House critic Joe Wilson, really had covert status when she was outed to the media in July 2003. But special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald found that Plame had indeed done "covert work overseas" on counterproliferation matters in the past five years, and the CIA "was making specific efforts to conceal" her identity, according to newly released portions of a judge's opinion."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11179719/site/newsweek/

You could call this the death of a thousand cuts or specualte that people don't care enough yet or what ever. Personally I think it is building to a climax from multiple directions at once...

This week you have the Spy hearings opening as well.

Calling something "old news" is part of Rovian strategy. They do this all the time. They stonewall "nothing to see here, nothing to see here," until parts of the MSM *finally* wake up and think there might actually be something there. Then the new talking point is "old news". So thanks, Drum, for carrying water for the Bush admin.

Personally, I'm suffering a severe case of scandal fatigue, and I'm also not sure what *more* evidence will accomplish. Who is out there that is presently unconvinved of the criminality of Bush et al that is making decisions based on evidence? What evidence would convince such a person?

The one thing I think we can do is plug these scandals into a story-line about lying. Then we can say "See, they do this all the time. Remember how they lied about WMD? Why should we believe them now?" This is a storyline we need to push into the MSM, to counteract their dutiful stenography of whatever the admin says.

What is the size of Kevin Drum viewership?

If he gets some 300,000 hit average daily, he is bigger than MSNBC shows. So if he makes a bad posts, he is liable to get correction.

between 50k to 300K are just regular popular blogger, not big time yet.

(just my personal category)

"Getting on a soapbox and screaming at the passersby that they should be outraged is a sure route to being ignored and even tilting opinion in the opposite direction."

I missed where that was suggested. But a "moderate" has got to do what a mdoerate has got to do to keep their irony intact. And why should the use of straw men be limited to Rovian sheeple? Other sheeple have rights as well!

we are talking about Kevin Drum, are we not?

The gentleman who excused his support of the war in the face of massive amounts of evidence that it was a bad idea supported by lies that the current administration wasn't capable of carrying out by saying that he was forced to support it because the people who were against it were too flaky and credibility-challenged to side with?

The one who thinks that women aren't capable of political discourse, but at the same time thinks that the future of Democratic politics should be in showing the world that we really aren't all that interested in what more than half the people who vote for us think?

The one who hews extraordinarily closely to the DLC line and is forced to back down and apologize (insisting, every time, that he didn't actually mean what he clearly said) with astonishing consistency when he posts his own analysis and not stuff he pulled off of Nexis?

Hooey. He took the job, he can take the heat.

razor quotes me and comments

"Getting on a soapbox and screaming at the passersby that they should be outraged is a sure route to being ignored and even tilting opinion in the opposite direction."

I missed where that was suggested. But a "moderate" has got to do what a mdoerate has got to do to keep their irony intact. And why should the use of straw men be limited to Rovian sheeple? Other sheeple have rights as well!

razor - you're really getting the hang of this irony stuff!

You take the only part of my post obviously intended as allegorical and offer it up as your own strawman while both claiming it was mine and using the Rovian technique of decrying the technique your opponent is using while using it yourself.

You're good.

Julia

I'm sorry, the lab did not furnish me with the results of Kevins "ideological purity test" before I posted. mea culpa.

And I, for my part, am sorry I forced you to type repeatedly before you had an opportunity to post what you came here to post.

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