Delayed Response

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I want to go back a ways because it looks like I missed a good discussion while I was on vacation.

I posted on May 2 about the comments of Harry Reid which I viewed as treasonous. Stay Poof then masterfully steered the following posted comments into an indictment of American policy in Iraq, stating the following about Saddam:

when did he try to assassinate the pres? was it before or after we had invaded his country?

Um...before. We only kicked him out of Kuwait in 1991. We didn't invade Iraq until 2003.

Poof then went on to say:

actually, the Iraqi government sent a guy to the US embassy to find out what the Bush admin's response would be if Iraq invaded Kuwait, and was told something to the effect of, "we have no official policy on that" That statement was interpreted to mean that Bush/the US didn't care one way or the other if Iraq invaded Kuwait.

Poofy then quoted the NY Times and New Republic to back up his statement, to which Kevin replied:

schooled. Nice work.

Now, I'm not saying that the Times has ever had a problem with journalistic integrity, but I didn't trust the sources Poof was using. I, like Jack, figured I would have heard more about this if their reporting was accurate. I decided to check it out for myself and I found this now declassified NSC report on the meeting. That's the full text there.

So here's my take on the Glaspie issue:

First- The NY Times and New Republic printed Glaspie's words out of context at a time when the meeting between her and Saddam was considered classified.

Second- NOTHING she stated even implied giving Saddam a "go ahead" to invade Kuwait. Only a madman like Saddam could interpret a statement like "We are neutral in your territorial dispute," to mean, "Go ahead and invade and annex the other guy."

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23 Comments

zimzo said:

I wonder why you were afraid to quote the actual words.

"On the border question, Saddam referred to the 1961 agreement and a "line of patrol" it had established. The Kuwaitis, he said, had told [Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak Iraq was 20 kilometers "in front" of this line. The ambassador said that she had served in Kuwait 20 years before; then, as now, we took no position on these Arab affairs."

Seems pretty clear to me. But I guess to people who believe that Valerie Plame was not covert and "enhanced interrogation techniques" aren't torture and that we are making progress in Iraq, it could mean just about anything.

Jack said:

We take no position on the dispute between Russia and Japan over the Kuril Islands. Does that give Russia the go-ahead to march on Tokyo?

BTW, Plame was NOT a covert agent, or Libby would have been charged with outing her. Since she was not covert, outing her was not a crime.

No Relation said:

I wasn't afraid to quote anything. That's why I linked to the entire text, Zimzo. Also, I'm not sure what your point is with your selection.

zimzo said:

The quote is the one referred to in the Times and New Republic pieces, which comes from the document you linked to. The fact that you didn't realize that shows that you don't have any idea what you're talking about.

Not taking a position on Iraq's and Kuwait's border dispute after Iraq had already crossed into Kuwaiti territory was indeed a signal that U.S. would do nothing to stop Saddam's incursion. Perhaps not being diplomats you guys have trouble understanding diplomatic language.

Yes Plame was covert, which you would know if you had read the news this week:

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/05/30/valerie-plame-covert-indeed/

The reason Fitzgerald didn't prosecute Libby for outting her was that he was unable to gather enough evidence to prove it because of Libby's obstruction of justice. That is why he prosecuted Libby and a jury agreed.

And by the way, the earth revolves around the sun, but I'm sure you guys will deny that as well.

stay puft said:

OK, I quoted the abstract of the New Republic article before. I guess now's the appropriate time to link to the entire article:

http://tinyurl.com/2fvzvy

for the time being, I'll let it speak for itself.

No Relation said:

C'mon, Zim, you know better. Read carefully the quote you just posted.

In July of 1990, Iraq had entered Kuwait, according to the Kuwaitis. According to Iraq, this was Iraqi territory. This is called a BORDER DISPUTE.

America didn't get involved until Iraq took over the whole country of Kuwait in August...That's a little more than a border dispute and a completely different issue than Glaspie was addressing when she expressed America's neutrality to Saddam.

zimzo said:

Who knew that you would be a proponent of the Neville Chamberlain school of diplomacy. Germany and Czechoslovakia were just having a border dispute, too.

You know where I can get a pair of your freaky conservative glasses? They sound like real trip, man.

Jack said:

Zimzo -- of course the prosecutor said Plame was covert. Otherwise, he would be telling everyone he wasted two years investigating a case that was not a crime. It's a load of B.S. Does he present any proof? No.

AFF said:

I wonder what sits on the border between Iraq and Kuwait?

All of the Kuwati oil fields?

Why would we green light a murderous dictator to take over a huge oil field?

zimzo said:

Wrong again, Jack. He submitted a declassified document from the CIA that summarized her employment history as an attachment to his brief.

No Relation said:

Hey now, let's not go putting words in my mouth. My point has been that Glaspie didn't say anything to Saddam that could be interpreted as a "green light" to invade Kuwait. I never said she handled the situation well, but she certainly didn't come to any agreement with Saddam that could be compared to Chamberlain's Munich Agreement.

Jack said:

Wrong again, zimzo. Read the links in the article to which you refer. One says, "Fitzgerald has, not surprisingly, adamantly refused to release the actual Referral Memo" upon which his "summary" is based.

Jack said:

BTW, zimzo, you win that award you keep talking about. You know -- for bringing up the National Socialist Party.

stay puft marshmallow man said:

It's fair to say that her comment was a tacit endorsement of Saddam's aggression toward Kuwait.

I brought this up in response to the claim that Saddam's invasion of Kuwait proved that he was a volatile leader who posed a threat the the region and global security. The fact is that it's more complicated than that, and using Iraq's invasion of Kuwait as evidence that Saddam was poised to launch an attack on American interests is foolish.

as to, "we didn't invade Iraq until 2003," get a load of this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Operation_Desert_Storm.jpg

jacob said:

Marshmallow is correct on both counts. The dolt from the state department did say something to the effect that we 'would not have a position on the matter.' And, we did send troops into Iraq in 1991.

No Relation said:

Hold on now...

It's not fair to state that at all, Poof. Saddam had not yet committed any aggression at the time the meeting took place. I linked to the document in the hopes that you would read it yourselves, but apparently that hasn't happened, so let me point out the parts you are not reading:

Paragraph 27. Saddam tells the Ambassador that the Kuwaitis have agreed to negotiations

Paragraph 28. Saddam states that no military action will be taken for the time being.

Paragraph 29. The Ambassador expresses "delight" that peaceful negotiations will go forward.

Paragraph 30. The Ambassador states the US will remain a neutral party in the border dispute.

Not to mention the initial summary states this:
"Although not explicit, Saddam's message to us seemed to be that he will make a major push to cooperate with Mubarak's diplomacy, but we must to to understand Kuwaiti/UAE "selfishness" is unbearable. Ambassador made clear that we can never excuse settlement of disputes by other than peaceful means."

No Relation said:

As for the 1991 "invasion"...

A military invasion involves conquest, and we did no such thing in 1991. Simply having troops in Iraq does not constitute an invasion.

stay puft said:

excuse me; aggressive posturing and brinkmanship.

now you want to debate the meaning of the word "invasion"? that's ridiculous.

No Relation said:

It's not really debatable.

"in va sion...n. 1. The act of invading, esp. the entrance of an armed force into a territory to conquer."

- The American Heritage College Dictionary, 3d Edition

Okinawa was an invasion. Inchon was an invasion. Gallipoli was a failed invasion. America entered Iraq in 1991 to cut off the retreating Iraqi forces and prevent them from regrouping and counter-attacking. Then we left Iraq. Not an invasion.

What's ridiculous is the idea that any time a soldier steps foot in a country other than his own, it constitutes an invasion.

stay puft said:

while you have that dictionary out, you may as well take a look at "conquer"

here I'll do it for you:
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/conquer

since our expressed intent in 2003 was to liberate the Iraqi people, I suppose you could argue that we've never invaded Iraq!

...will you PLEASE make that argument?

Kevin said:

And imagine the Quds entering US territory uninvited.

"Tonight, fellow Americans, I regret to inform you that we have been liberated. . ."

Ha ha!

Jack said:

Our intent in 2003 was to remove Saddam Hussein and the WMD. As such, we were trying to conquer him and his government.

BTW, I do find it amusing that so many libs attacked George H. W. Bush for not taking out Hussein in 1991, when he had no U.N. mandate to do so, then attacked George W. Bush for taking out Hussein.

No Relation said:

Exactly, Jack. Our intent in 2003 was to conquer Iraq, which was not our intent in 1991.

And as I've said before, I have a problem with the whole "liberation, not occupation" mindset, because we have done both. I see nothing wrong with it, either.

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