Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Neocons letter to Clinton RE Iraq's WMD 1998

Below is a letter from a band of Neocons to President Clinton dated Jan. 26, 1998. It explains their thinking regarding invading Iraq. It was printed on March 8th, 2001 in the Washington Times Oped pages. The comments within the brackets are mine. Most were written wtih insights already acknowledged in 1998 ... others with insights gained only after Bush's invastion of Iraq. Not much has changed.

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“Have hawks become doves?”

Editor's note: The following letter was sent to then-President Clinton on Jan. 26, 1998. A number of the signatories below have been appointed or nominated for posts in the Bush administration. The letter is reprinted here for the sake of the record.

Dear President Clinton:
We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. [Prophetic! …]


You have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the United States and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor. [Noble but, problematic…]

The policy of "containment" of Saddam Hussein has been steadily eroding over the past several months. As recent events have demonstrated, we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades U.N. inspections. Our ability to ensure that Saddam
Hussein is not producing weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq's chemical and biological weapons production. [True!] The lengthy period during which the inspectors will have been unable to enter many Iraqi facilities has made it even less
likely that they will be able to uncover all of Saddam's secrets. [True!] As a result, in the not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons. [False! There was never a time we could determine ‘with any reasonable level of confidence’ such a reality and any hopes or intentions of doing so in the future are even less credible—even insane.]


Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire Middle East. [Yes, but not as much as a preemptive US military invasion and occupation of Iraq] It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world's supply of oil will all be put at hazard. [Ah. We finally come to the real issue… our nation’s economic need for their oil] As has been rightly pointed out, the security of the world in the first part of the 21st century will be determined largely by how we handle this threat. [True! And the Bush administration has failed this miserably!]


Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate. [Gain cooperation of Hussein? We had his cooperation when he invaded Iran and gassed the Kurds.]


The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. [False. Any strategy to ‘eliminate the possiblity’ is doomed to fail. Elimination of a possibility IS NOT POSSILBE!!! Not even with a Nazi like occupation of the entire nation. We still haven’t found the guy who launched an Anthrax attack against our own capital -- with the largest FBI man hunt in our nations history]
In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. [And military action has failed also.] In the long term, it means removing
Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy. [This could have been done with a real international coalition if we had gone after Saddam for his mass murder of Kurds, Iraqi’s and Iranians with chemical weapons. The US support for the International Criminal Court would have been the best venue for this…but this group of war advocates were at the forefront of blocking any US acquisition of such diplomatic powers].


We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your administration's attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam's regime from power. [Clinton started this with his signature to the ICC statue…which Bush then unsigned.] This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. [Including support for the ICC!]

Although we are [NOT] fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe [Wrongly] the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe [Wrongly] the United States has the authority under existing U.N. resolutions to take the
necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf [While ignoring the genocidal interests if the Sudanese Government]. In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the U.N. Security Council. [They prefer to have American Policy crippled by its’ military overextension in an unnecessary war.]
We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the United States or its allies, you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests of the country. If we accept a course of weakness and drift, we put our interests and our future at risk. [Choosing a belligerent course and drift toward Armageddon has also put our interests and our future at risk. There is a wiser path called the rule of law. And extension of our nation’s second amendment to the world should play a vital role. That means our effort to disarm any nation or group is a violation of inalienable human rights. Their abuse of that right by murdering any innocent individual or mass murdering any group of innocent people should be held accountable. Any other attempt to secure our own security without doing the same for others is doomed to failure]


Signed by,

Elliott Abrams, Richard L. Armitage, William J. Bennett, Jeffrey
Bergner, John Bolton, Paula Dobriansky, Francis Fukuyama, Robert
Kagan,Zalmay Khalilzad, William Kristol, Richard Perle, Peter W. Rodman,
Donald Rumsfeld, William Schneider Jr., Vin Weber, Paul Wolfowitz, R.
James Woolsey, Robert B. Zoellick.

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