Minutiae
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"Chuck Norris doesn't read books; he stares them down until he gets the information he wants out of them."
- ChuckNorrisFactsdotcom

Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Dude,
not cool.

posted by Rachel 11/01/2005
. . .
Hmm, well the archaeology thing fits.
You scored as Lara Croft. A thrill-seeking, slightly unscrupulous, tough-as-nails archaeologist, Lara Croft travels the world in search of ancient relics perhaps better left hidden. She packs two Colt .45s and has no fear of jumping off buildings, exploring creepy tombs, or taking on evil meglomaniacs bent on world domination.

Lara Croft

79%

Neo, the "One"

71%

Maximus

67%

William Wallace

67%

Batman, the Dark Knight

63%

James Bond, Agent 007

58%

The Amazing Spider-Man

58%

Captain Jack Sparrow

54%

The Terminator

50%

El Zorro

42%

Indiana Jones

42%

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with QuizFarm.com

posted by Rachel 11/01/2005
. . .
Dean Esmay
says:
Glenn's really tired of historical revisionism on the reasons we went to Iraq.

So am I. Having been part of those debates when they were happening, I am utterly appalled at people I used to think of as intelligent and well-informed who keep repeating falsehood after falsehood after falsehood. And I am utterly exhausted with having to, at least once a month or so, go back and rehash the same arguments because some people are not honest enough, diligent enough, or caring enough to go back and look at the historical record and just be honest about it.

I find having to rehash it all about as pleasant and satisfying as chewing on aluminum foil. It's not disagreement I can't stand, it's the constant repetition of falsehoods that makes me want to scream. Glenn's latest debunking roundup is the best I've seen lately for rehashing what should have been settled long ago.
Boy, can I relate. We KNOW Saddam had weapons of mass destruction because he USED them on his own people. Chemical weapons ARE WMDS.

I had a brief debate with a liberal aquaintence on the subject. He was attempting to give the balanced yes-he's-evil-but... argument and mentioned that Saddam had used Mustard gas. Then he went on to say that we had no proof that he had WMDs. Mustard gas is a weapon of mass destruction (chemical,) regardless of the fact that it dates back to WWI. It's in the category of area-denial weapon, (rather than the much more hideous nuclear or biological weapons,) because it dissipates within a few weeks and won't spread around the globe if used. So, it may seem to belong in a different category. The reason chemical weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction is that they are just as horrific and just as indiscriminate.
The skin of victims of mustard gas blistered, the eyes became very sore and they began to vomit. Mustard gas caused internal and external bleeding and attacked the bronchial tubes, stripping off the mucous membrane. This was extremely painful and most soldiers had to be strapped to their beds. It usually took a person four or five weeks to die of mustard gas poisoning. One nurse, Vera Brittain, wrote: "I wish those people who talk about going on with this war whatever it costs could see the soldiers suffering from mustard gas poisoning. Great mustard-coloured blisters, blind eyes, all sticky and stuck together, always fighting for breath, with voices a mere whisper, saying that their throats are closing and they know they will choke."
Then there's the aflatoxin he used against the Kurds. It's a toxin produced by a mold. (Botox is the paralytic toxin that causes botulism, though it's produced by a bacteria rather than mold.) The ONLY thing aflatoxin does is to cause incurable liver cancer a decade later. It doesn't do anything at all immediately. Children are the most susceptible victims. Saddam is the only party known to have weaponized it. Sit and think about the possible motivations for developing such an agent.

There is NO QUESTION and NO DEBATE. Saddam Hussein was at one point in possesion of WMDs. He used WMDs. He tried to acquire and manufacture WMDs. We have samples and pictures and records and witnesses and victims. The fact that we didn't find any when we occupied Iraq should be a matter of as much apprehension as the missing Soviet suitcase nukes, NOT a matter of partisan historical revision and narrative wrangling.

We KNOW he had them. We know he doesn't have them anymore. We know we don't have them. (Publicly.) Who does have them? Where did they go?

Either, they were destroyed, or they are now in the possession of others, or they remain hidden and unsecured. If Saddam destroyed his WMDs, why did he allow the UN sanctions and the Oil for Food program to continue? If Saddam sold his WMDs, the same fate would obviously await the new owners if they were known. It seems prudent to assume that whoever Saddam might have sold them to would be a party or parties hostile to us, since they would have to be willing to secretly buy WMDs from freaking Saddam Hussein.

The Nigerian yellowcake uranium story, and the subsequent personnel debacle, is a very small aspect of a much larger picture. Regardless of the truth of the original allegation, regardless of the competence or judgement of Plame, Wilson, or their superiors, regardless of whether her name and job were well-known secrets or maliciously leaked, the question of Saddam's possession of WMDs is settled. He had them and used them in the 1980's.

The scandal focuses on our need in the runup to the war, to have recent proof that he continued to posesses or was attempting to acquire WMDs, that were threatening to the US. Since he wouldn't let inspectors in, all we had were the already public records from the 80's, through the gulf war and after, until he barred the UN weapons inspectors from the country. We had proof that he had weapons, but it was the same proof that had been left without action for years.

The Nigerian story was used to answer the question: why now? The question of why, had already been answered. It's answered in hundreds of UN resolutions. It's answered in US congressional resolutions. It's answered by hundreds of thousands in mass graves.

People who refuse to acknowledge those facts, at this point, are begining to remind me of holocaust deniers. Saddam Hussein was a monster. Removing him from power was a good thing. Those are self-evident facts to anyone with any sense of honesty and conscience. I'll entertain debate about planning and policy, or honest mistakes versus incompetence versus malice, but debate about the existence of WMDs or the pretext for the war seems rather moot at this point, and a waste of energy.

posted by Rachel 11/01/2005
. . .
So now we come to
Alito. Reportedly, he was Bush's first choice all along. His track record seems solid. He appears to be a nice, polite, intellectually honest judge with a solid resume.

I suspect that we'll see more of this Noh theatre senate and Greek chorus media choreographed drama and debate, (picture the masks and the wailing.) In the end though, I expect to see him confirmed pretty easily. So, Bush will have accomplished the looming bogey of both presidential elections, he'll have reshaped the supreme court.

posted by Rachel 11/01/2005
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