Wednesday, July 28

Prevarication is just a nice way of saying I lied.

Juan Cole takes Chenigula to the woodshed, and surprise of suprises, invites Reagan and Bush I, along for the ride.
He said, Terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength. They are invited by the perception of weakness.

This statement is half right and half wrong. Some terrorist attacks are caused by the use of strength. For instance, the Shiites of southern Lebanon had positive feelings toward Israel before 1982. They were not very politically mobilized. Then the Israelis invaded Lebanon in 1982 and occupied the South. They killed some 18,000 persons, 9,000 of them estimated to be innocent civilians. The Shiites of the South gradually turned against them and started hitting them to get them back out of their country. They formed Hizbullah and ultimately shelled Israel itself and engaged in terrorism in Europe and Argentina. So, Hizbullah terrorist attacks were certainly caused by Sharon's use of "strength."
I sometimes imagine that Chenigula and the demented Dauphin, have these beehives in their bellies filled with bees, except the bees are lies and they force themselves clear of the lips because they need to forage for sustenance, and at night the bee's (i mean lies) return through mouths opened in lumber sawing glory. Just a vision I had that really has nothing to do with the subject at hand. Cole continues, suggesting some lessons to be learned.
The lesson I take away from all this is that the US should not get involved in places that it may get thrown out of, because that projects an image of weakness and vulnerability to the country's enemies. There was no way the United States could possibly have maintained a presence in Lebanon in the early 1980s, and Reagan was foolish to put those Marines in there, and even more foolish to put them in without pilons around them to stop truck bombs. The country was embroiled in a civil war, and it would have taken a massive commitment of troops to make a difference. In the wake of the Vietnam failure, the American public would not have countenanced such a huge troop build-up. Likewise, Bush senior was foolish to send those troops to Somalia in the way he did (which became a poison pill for his successor, Bill Clinton).

The question is whether the quagmire in Iraq makes the US look weak. The answer is yes. Therefore, by Cheney's own reasoning, it is a mistake that opens us to further attacks.
Oh and it gets better:
Iraq was not a threat to the United States. Period. Let me repeat the statistics as of the late 1990s:

US population: 295 million
Iraq population: 24 million

US per capita annual income: $37,600
Iraq per capita annual income: $700

US nuclear warheads: 10,455
Iraq nuclear warheads: 0

US tons of lethal chemical weapons (1997): 31,496
Iraq tons of lethal chemical weapons (1997): 0

While a small terrorist organization could hit the US because it has no return address, a major state could not hope to avoid retribution and therefore would be deterred. Cheney knows that Baathist Iraq posed no threat to the US. He is simply lying. I was always careful not to accuse him of lying before the war because who knows what is in someone else's mind? Maybe he believed his own bullshit. But there is no longer any doubt that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, no active nuclear weapons program, no ability to deliver anything lethal to the US homeland, and no operational cooperation with al-Qaeda. These things are not matters of opinion. They are indisputable. Ipso facto, if an intelligent person continues to allege them, he is prevaricating.
Well maybe not, maybe it is the beehive, that is the problem. Maybe the bees assemble en masse, and slip into a Cheney suit.