LLR Pages

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bush Defends His Decision to Invade Iraq

Former President George W. Bush, in an upcoming interview he gave with Today Show host Matt Lauer to tout his new presidential memoirs Decision Points, defended his decision to invade and occupy Iraq, all the while claiming that he was a "dissenting voice" against the war establishment's push for the invasion and occupation of that homeland.

Not everybody thought you should go to war, though. There were dissenters.

Of course there were.

You know, there were questions at the Pentagon. Colin Powell had questions. Brent Scowcroft, your father's former National Security Advisor, and dear friend, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, I'm paraphrasing here, saying, "It's not a good idea to go to war in Iraq." So there were dissenting voices.

I was a dissenting voice. I didn't want to use force. I mean force is the last option for a President. And I think it's clear in the book that I gave diplomacy every chance to work. And I will also tell you the world's better off without somehow [or someone?] in power. And so are 25 million Iraqis.

Funny enough, he ends up contradicting himself, as evidenced in this following exchange with Lauer:

You know the question. If you knew then what you know now--

That's right.

--you would still go to war in Iraq?

I-- first of all, didn't have that luxury. You just don't have the luxury when you're President. That's a very hypothetical question. I will say definitely the world is better off without Saddam Hussein in power, as are 25 million people who now have a chance to live in freedom.

History judges you on the decisions you make. Sometimes history doesn't judge you on the absence of a decision. And I believe Saddam Hussein in the Middle East today, if he were there in power he would be enriched, he'd be emboldened. He would still have the capacity to make weapons of mass destruction, whether we found the vats of weapons of mass destruction. And I believe it's likely you'd be seeing a nuclear arms race between Iran and Iraq. And the world would be much more unstable. And America would be-- less secure.

Your words. "No one was more sickened or angry than I was when we didn't find weapons of mass destruction." You still have a sickening feeling when you think about it.

I do.

Was there ever any consideration of apologizing to the American people?

I mean apologizing would basically say the decision was a wrong decision. And I don't believe it was the wrong decision. I thought the best way to handle this was to find out why. And what went wrong. And to remedy it. And that's why we had the Silverman Robb Commission.

So let me get this straight: Bush was a "dissenting voice" in moving the U.S. into a war with Iraq, yet he doesn't "believe it was the wrong decision"?

After what's been leaked out thus far, I'm voting for the latter. According to Iraq Body Count, the number of deaths have now reached between 98,585 and 107,594 civilian casualties from 2003 to 2010, which he and President Obama combined now both have blood on their hands.

This claim that he had tried to employ diplomacy is a baldfaced lie. There is no evidence of any kind that he used this tactic to avoid launching his invasion and occupation. This is evidenced by the fact that Bush, his pro-war cronies, and their American allies claimed that Hussein was producing "weapons of mass destruction" (WMDs) that purportedly jeopardized the national-security state of the U.S. Bush and former VP Cheney alleged in 2002 and 2003 that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) claimed in an alleged report asserting that Hussein was manufacturing "chemical and biological weapons" -- a document that the IAEA subsequently denied in the first place. In other words, that "report" was an outright fraud upon the American people, and Bush and Co. knew it the entire time. Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter has been on record stating that, while it is true that Hussein and his regime failed to abide by the United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for WMD disarmament, there were no WMDS found in his possession. Even if there had been, the stockpile would have been virtually useless because of years of deterioration and had become harmless.

[*Note: See Jim Bovard's piece "Bush's WMD Flimflam," which is an excellent piece that goes into great detail about the lies of the Bush administration and its flimflam that he and his ilk perpetrated on the American people.]

After all has been said and done, what kind of fools does Bush truly take us for?

29% of Americans Voted in Midterm Elections

It turns out that the voter turn-out at Tuesday's midterms on a national level was not as high as observers and analysts predicted would be.

According to Channel 7 in Bozeman, Montana:

Nationally, voter turnout was higher Tuesday than for the mid-term elections four years ago....The turnout is projected at 42 percent of registered voters. That translates to about 90 million people, 6.2 million more than in 2006. [Emphasis added.]

To analyze it much further, the break-down of the math is like this:

  • According to the Midterm Elections 2010 Rates data table at the United States Elections Project website, 90,504,100 registered voters showed up to vote at the polls on Tuesday. That's 90.5 million voters casting their votes for Highest Office (which is the highest vote counted for Governor, U.S. Senator, and combined House of Representatives). The Voting-Eligible Population (VEP), which is the number of eligible registered voters for this year's 2010 midterms, is 218,054,301. Divide the Highest Office by the VEP, and what you end up getting is 42% of the total number of minority eligible registered voters electing the 112th Congress to office via pluralities/majorities.

  • According to the Census Bureau's U.S. Population Clock, there are exactly 310,636,612 Americans living in the United States. If one takes the total number of eligible registered voters -- that being 90.5 million -- who showed up to vote on Tuesday and divide it by the total U.S. population count (as given by the Clock), only 29% of the entire population, whether they are registered to vote or not, cast their votes, thereby electing the 112th Congress to office via pluralities/majorities.

That leaves 71% of Americans either choosing not to vote or being unable to vote because they were prohibited from doing so (because they were convicted of a felony which legally prevents and prohibits them from voting, they were under the age of 18, or they were fundamentally and legally disenfranchised). Furthermore, that percentage alone is not an indicator of why those who opted out of voting this year chose not to engage in the process. Thus, "apathy" is not the reason for those who embrace non-voting as a means to reject the political process; on the contrary, "non-consent," which is the tacit choice not to be governed by the ruling elite, is the reason for those who have turned their backs on voting.

For the next two years, the congressional and senatorial establishments will "represent" (rule) us, meaning that he or she, regardless of whether either he or she has an R or D next to his or her name, will have the legitimate power to have authority over us.

Quite par for the course.

[H/T goes to Tom Knapp of KN@PPSTER and the creator of the newly-formed Ⓧ2012 Project for bringing this to everyone's attention in the Liberty movement.]

Senator-elect Rand Paul Chooses Campaign Aide as Chief of Staff

Senator-elect Rand Paul, who won his senatorial race in Kentucky against Democratic opponent Jack Conway, has chosen campaign aide Doug Stafford, a long-time GOP political consultant, to be his Chief of Staff who will be responsible for assembling a Senate staff. reports:

Stafford serves as vice president of National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and as a consultant to the Campaign for Liberty, an organization chaired by Paul’s father, Ron Paul, a Texas congressman and former GOP presidential candidate.

I will admit that, while Conway was worse than Paul on a number of key issues, Rand has made me feel uncomfortable throughout the election season with his comments on a handful of issues that obviously paint him as a social conservative on that front. His troubling positions, as best as I can assemble them, include his positions on gay marriage and medical marijuana, Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act* (specifically because of his poorly-argued, poorly-worded semi-libertarian defense of private racist proprietors who refused service to people on the grounds of their skin color), his defense of the War on Terror (specifically his opposition to closing down Guantanamo Bay a.k.a. Gitmo and trying the "enemy combatants" in New York that issue became the center of a much-publicized controversy), his polarizing stances on illegal immigration and birthright citizenship, abortion, transferring some functions like disbursing student loans and Pell Grants of the Department of Education (which he does favor ending, and I concur with him on this) to other departments and agencies in lieu of eliminating them, to name a few. Additionally, his comments on the recent BP oil spill, in which he called Obama's criticism of BP "un-American," rankled me because, although I oppose the federal government's involvement in the clean-up, BP ought to have been held responsible for the spill and be forced to pay for the clean-up costs.

I'm willing to reserve judgment and see how he handles his first six-year term. But don't expect me to hold my breath either.

[*Note: While I agree in principle that racist proprietors have a right to be racist and do have a right to exclude anyone for any reason (even if it has to do with that individual's skin color) because of my support for freedom of association, that does NOT translate into me saying that I condone the behavior. I am a much bigger fan of community organizing (like Obama is), and I do favor boycotts, sit-ins, non-violent and voluntary ostracism, and other forms of non-violent protests aimed at private statist employers who use their bigotry as a moral and rational justification for averting non-violent customers from entering their establishments. Such criticisms of these grotesque practices are valid and widely accepted in the Liberty movement. It is regrettable that Paul had to reverse his position on that provision of the bill due to the ugly fall-out of his comments which were clearly poorly-constructed and ill-thought out.]

The GOP Reneges on Promises of Huge Spending Cuts

Except for the Senate, the Republicans have complete control of the House. While the Tea Partiers are stoked over their newly-backed GOP congressional line-up and its "pledge" to "pare down" federal spending, "balance" the federal budget, and "slashing" the federal deficit, their enthusiasm for the new Congress after last night's election results will be short-lived.

House Republican leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, who's poised to become the next House Majority Leader and with congressional Republicans flocking to his side, has gone on record saying that his conservative colleagues and he will be pursuing "across-the-board" cuts in "discretionary spending" and cuts in the state's payroll. He has come out noting that he wants such spending levels pared down to 2008 levels not excluding defense, which is nonsensical because the GOP, especially prior to Election Day, has been vague on specifics on the budget, aside from talks about "saving" taxpayers $100 billion a year (which is meaningless). After all, Cantor has shown no interest in gutting discretionary spending at all, before and after the elections. (The GOP's only achievement so far is the push of a spending cap that would cut the outlay by $20 billion as opposed to what Obama wanted, but talk is cheap in the political scheme of things.)

Discretionary spending is a form of outlay that Congress authorizes by "appropriating" (stealing) taxpayer monies every fiscal year. This is separate from "mandatory spending" - another outlay specifically set (by default) to allocate stolen taxpayer funds to the entitlement programs for retirees and needy who are dependent on and can't live without their Medicare, Social Security, and food stamps.

Most Americans are not aware that discretionary spending (and this is what the two major parties don't want them to know) only accounts for approximately 33 percent of the entire federal budget. This translates into meaning that the GOP is only interested in a that minute amount of spending. They are set only on those cuts, the GOP pledging that military (defense) and "homeland security" spending are off-limits notwithstanding. So much for the "huge spending cuts" that the Republicans promised the Tea Partiers throughout the election year.

In other words, the GOP has just reneged on their promises of huge spending cuts - promises to which they made to the Tea Partiers. Their so-called referendum against Obama has, for all intents and purposes, gone up in smoke.

With all of this in mind, the only message that one can deliver to the Tea Partiers is this: don't you feel better now that the Big Statist Republicans whom you passionately and excitedly elected have your best interests at heart?