Saturday, October 29, 2005

Ceding the Iraq Debate
The administration long ago gave up making the factual case to support the centrality of Iraq in the war on terroristm. Steve details the fruits of his own efforts as a frustrated researcher trying to get at the underlying story that Joseph Wilson and his media friends have done so much to obscure:

There are other documents from Iraq that would help the American public understand the nature of the former Iraqi regime and why a serious war on terror required its removal. Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) documents currently stored in a warehouse in Doha, Qatar, as part of the Defense Intelligence Agency's document exploitation project are a case in point. Many of these documents, listed in a database known as HARMONY, have rather provocative titles:

Money Transfers from Iraq to Afghanistan

Secret Meeting with Taliban Group Member and Iraqi Government (Nov. 2000)

Iraqi Effort to Cooperate with Saudi Opposition Groups and Individuals

Order from Saddam to present $25,000 to Palestinian Suicide Bombers' Families

IIS Reports from Embassy in Paris: Plan to Influence French Stance in UN Security Council

IIS Report on How French Campaigns are Financed

Improvised Explosive Devices Plan

Ricin research and improvement

There are thousands of similar documents. Many have already been authenticated and most are unclassified. That's worth repeating: Most are unclassified.

Of course, nothing is more important than winning on the ground in Iraq. Demonstrating that we are killing terrorists and making steady progress on the political front will do much to blunt the criticism of the war. But if the White House refuses to challenge its critics, and refuses to explain in detail why Iraq is the central front in the war on terror, and refuses to discuss the flawed intelligence on Iraqi WMD, and refuses to use its tremendous power to remind Americans that Saddam Hussein was, in fact, a threat, then it risks losing the support of those Americans who continue to believe that the Iraq war, despite all of its many costs in blood and money, was worth it.

"Demonstrating that we are killing terrorists." It's nice to see someone so enthusiastically promoting killing. I'm not saying I'm against killing terrorists. I'm just saying that I don't so eagerly endorse it while still trying to claim that I'm part of a peaceful religion.

So as long as we're on the topic of Iraq, I--along with many in the intelligence community--have argued that North Korea was a more eminent threat. When I said that in a comment to you, you pointed to China as a "wackier" country, presumably arguing that they were more of an eminent threat than North Korea--otherwise why bring it up? So, if that's the case, how do you feel about us working so closely with China on the North Korean talks. At one point, the administration was saying that China should be the ones talking to North Korea with the US stepping aside entirely. Oh, could it be that in politics sometimes you have to work with unsavory characters in order to promote your agenda? Well, clearly that mitigating circumstance only applies to non-Christian nations.

The apostle Paul said that goverment has the sword. It is perfectly proper and good for government to wield it against evil people who deserve it. I would rather wish they repent of the evil, but in liue of that government has a duty to wield its sword. There is a distinction between church and state, biblically and what is proper for each sphere. Pacifism, as far as I'm concerned, is not even remotely supported biblically. Confusing the commands for individual Christians with government's responsibilities will cause problems.

I don't remember saying China was worse. I remember saying that North Korea is very bad or worse, but it is necessary to work with China to achieve our ends there. China also has been irresponsible vis a vis North Korea. It's probably a little jumbled in your memory, which is no big deal. Glad I can clarify.
See, I remember it quite well, thank you. I said that North Korea was a greater threat to the US than Iraq, and that the major difference between the two was the Iraq had oil. I outlined the reasons why. You responded by saying, well, China is pretty wacky too ("wacky" was in fact the term you used). You didn't directly say China was a greater threat than North Korea, thus allowing for plausible deniability later on. You simply tried to use the statement to somehow disprove the idea that North Korea was not a greater threat than Iraq.

Well, with that context, I can pretty sure what I was thinking. China is a problem. They need/needed to put pressure on North Korea. You were trying to use the oil explanation to explain why we didn't invade North Korea. Besides the fact that the Carter-Clinton deal in 1994 was a disaster and they already had nuclear weapons, your explanation didn't take into account China or even South Korea. Ignoring that difference is huge. Keeping North Korea in line would be really easy for China. The fact that they are being irresponsible vis a vis North Korea is probably what I was reacting to.
Ah, I see. The Chinese influence has been a bit exaggerated by the conservatives you recite verbatim, but I can accept that as a reasonable alternative.

I notice you still haven't anwered one of my questions on a previous post of yours. I'm curious as to your answer.

Bird flu-evolution question is a good one and I will post something separate about it.
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