Saturday, October 09, 2004

Discuss debate #2 here.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Since the Duelfer Report is out and is being paraded around like the last nail in Bush's Iraq coffin, I thought I'd post some exerpts from it that probably won't be making the rounds in the mainstream media:

"Saddam Husayn so dominated the Iraqi Regime that its strategic intent was his alone. He wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted."

"The introduction of the Oil-For-Food program (OFF) in late 1996 was a key turning point for the Regime. OFF rescued Baghdad’s economy from a terminal decline created by sanctions. The Regime quickly came to see that OFF could be corrupted to acquire foreign exchange both to further undermine sanctions and to provide the means to enhance dual-use infrastructure and potential WMD-related development."

"By 2000-2001, Saddam had managed to mitigate many of the effects of sanctions and undermine their international support. Iraq was within striking distance of a de facto end to the sanctions regime, both in terms of oil exports and the trade embargo, by the end of 1999."

"Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability—which was essentially destroyed in 1991—after sanctions were removed and Iraq’s economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability—in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks—but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities."

"Iraq Survey Group (ISG) judges that events in the 1980s and early 1990s shaped Saddam’s belief in the value of WMD. In Saddam’s view, WMD helped to save the Regime multiple times. He believed that during the Iran-Iraq war chemical weapons had halted Iranian ground offensives and that ballistic missile attacks on Tehran had broken its political will. Similarly, during Desert Storm, Saddam believed WMD had deterred Coalition Forces from pressing their attack beyond the goal of freeing Kuwait. WMD had even played a role in crushing the Shi’a revolt in the south following the 1991 cease-fi re. "

"Iraq’s decisions in 1996 to accept the Oil-For-Food program (OFF) and later in 1998 to cease cooperation with UNSCOM and IAEA spurred a period of increased activity in delivery systems development. "

"Procurements supporting delivery system programs expanded after the 1998 departure of the UN inspectors. Iraq also hired outside expertise to assist its development programs."

" Given Iraq’s investments in technology and infrastructure improvements, an effective procurement network, skilled scientists, and designs already on the books for longer range missiles, ISG assesses that Saddam clearly intended to reconstitute long-range delivery systems and that the systems potentially were for WMD."

"Nevertheless, after 1991, Saddam did express his intent to retain the intellectual capital developed during the Iraqi Nuclear Program. Senior Iraqis—several of them from the Regime’s inner circle—told ISG they assumed Saddam would restart a nuclear program once UN sanctions ended. "

"Saddam indicated that he would develop the weapons necessary to counter any Iranian threat. "

"Saddam never abandoned his intentions to resume a CW effort when sanctions were lifted and conditions were judged favorable: "

"ISG judges that Iraq’s actions between 1991 and 1996 demonstrate that the state intended to preserve its BW capability and return to a steady, methodical progress toward a mature BW program when and if the opportunity arose. "

Depending on its scale, Iraq could have re-established an elementary BW program within a few weeks to a few months"

"ISG judges that in 1991 and 1992, Iraq appears to have destroyed its undeclared stocks of BW weapons and probably destroyed remaining holdings of bulk BW agent. However ISG lacks evidence to document complete destruction. Iraq retained some BW-related seed stocks until their discovery after Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)."

"The IIS had a series of laboratories that conducted biological work including research into BW agents for assassination purposes until the mid-1990s. ISG has not been able to establish the scope and nature of the work at these laboratories or determine whether any of the work was related to military development of BW agent."

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

•••Official Spot for Discussion of the Vice Presidential Debate•••

I know I'll be tired tonight, so I thought I'd put this up now.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Evidence of Saddam's WMD's and terror ties? You be the judge. It will be interesting to see if this gets anywhere in the current political climate.

Tres presidential.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

My wife and I drove to New Jersey this weekend to attend a friend's surprise birthday party. It was a great time, and we're really glad we made the trip. As the party dwindled down to the last six or so guests, we all got into a political discussion. It was a pretty even split between liberals and conservatives, and the debate was lively. A couple of interesting things happened. First, despite the fact that the discussion was fairly heated for a while, nobody lost their temper, nobody cried, and to the best of my knowledge, nobody left the party thinking anyone else was evil or insane. That alone made it a novel discussion. Towards the end of the night, my wife was talking to the guy doing the most talking on the liberal side. He was well spoken, and had a lot of facts to back up his opinions regarding the Iraq invasion, which was the topic that took up most of our debate. Their discussion shifted to domestic policy, and Stacy mentioned that she had calculated how a Kerry presidency would affect our finances (as you all know, we have a small business.) The figure she came up with, after calculating Kerry's proposed removal of the Bush tax cuts and the increased taxes on "the rich," was about a 10% increase in our taxes. This essentially would put us at or above a 50% tax rate. The guy who she was talking to, who all night had been coming back strong with good arguments against Bush, looked a little limp. All he said was "well, I'll have to look that up." The reason for his sudden lack of enthusiasm? He's a small business owner too, and clearly hadn't looked into the impact of Kerry's plan on his business.

This made me wonder how many other people are so pissed off at Bush for invading Iraq that they're completely ignoring Kerry's domestic policies. I'll tell you one thing: Anyone who owns a small business that makes any amount of money needs to go to John Kerry's website and do some math. The results are sobering.

Bush wondered aloud in the debate on Thursday how Kerry would pay for all of his proposals, mentioning that there would be a "tax gap." Well, he can stop wondering how Kerry is going to pay for his plan. He's going to do it with my profits.