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about that looting...

Experts: Looters Had Keys to Iraqi Antiquity Vaults

Paris (AP) - Some of the looters who ravaged Iraqi antiquities had keys to museum vaults and were able to take pieces from safes, experts said Thursday at an international meeting.

The U.N. cultural agency, UNESCO, gathered some 30 art experts and cultural historians in Paris on Thursday to assess the damage to Iraqi museums and libraries looted in the aftermath of the U.S.-led invasion.

Although much of the looting was haphazard, experts said some of the thieves clearly knew what they were looking for and where to find it, suggesting they were prepared professionals.

"It looks as if part of the looting was a deliberate planned action," said McGuire Gibson, a University of Chicago professor and president of the American Association for Research in Baghdad. "They were able to take keys for vaults and were able to take out important Mesopotamian materials put in safes."

Bush didn't raid the museum.

Rumsfeld didn't raid the museum.

The Arrogance of the United States(tm) was not responsible for the looting of the most important artifacts.

Like I have been saying from the start, the Iraqi regime did the looting. And it started before the war.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference about that looting...:

» The media loves looters because they are looters themselves from Amish Tech Support
The looters are the big thing in the anti-American, anti-Bush media establishment these days. All those people lashing out at Saddam and spreading their wings after so many years of repression, now stealing back all the riches that were deprived... [Read More]

» More on those old pots from Too Much To Dream
This will not change the minds of those who believe it was America's and America's fault only that the Baghdad... [Read More]

» LOOTING? OR ORGANIZED CRIME? from Heretical Ideas
UNESCO has determined that the "looting" of the Baghdad Museum actually looks more like a well-planned heist with some indications that there was insider help.Some of the looters who ravaged Iraqi antiquities had keys to museum vaults and were able... [Read More]

» Keys from ***Dave Does the Blog
There are more indications that the looting of the Baghdad Museum was not just a random orgy of unrestrained violence,... [Read More]

» Iraqi Museums from American RealPolitik
Jim Hoagland has the best take I've seen thusfar on the whole museum mess in Baghdad... ...it is self-defeating for Iraqis (and others) to try to place all responsibility for [Read More]

Comments

So there.

I think BushCo. can have an airtight alibi if they just claim they are too indifferent and unintelligent to anticipate the fact that looting would spread in a city lacking infrastructure, including electricity for lighting, where all indigenous security forces were either dead or in hiding.

Hey, we don't give a happy shit about 1,300 or so dead and thousands of wounded civilians. We had to bomb them. It was them or us. Nits grow up to be lice don't you know and you can bet old Ali there won't be bearing arms against the USA, so why should we care about some old stuff? Bush probably thinks the Iraqis are better off getting some new antiquities. Hey, maybe the Iraqis can foot the bill for some new old stuff. It worked with the Texas Ranger's stadium. Besides, we are far too busy looking for weapons of mass destruction that are so well hidden that all we can figure is that they are in some other country.

It just shows how uncivilized the Iraqis are to loot. That would never happen here should you, say, kill the lights in LA or NY for a week or so after killing and driving off all the cops. Watts and South Central and the Bronx never riot. They just have spontaneous demonstrations of their freedom. That's because we have civilization and all the things that go with it. And if to protect our civilization we have to blow stuff up and kill a few hundred dozen kids (in a very civilized manner) in order to protect us from the huge stockpiles of special magical devious invisible weapons of mass destruction who is to argue with that? OK, the rest of the world, but they don't count.

I do believe you missed the point, Rev.

That point being that THESE PEOPLE HAD KEYS TO THE VAULTS!

Most of the stuff was probably taken before the war even started. The museum had been closed to the public for years, so it's not like anyone would have noticed.

Go back to bothering Andy.

It's not the past of Iraq that's important. It's the future.

Rev, You're just pissed because you were and still are wrong about the war.

Michele,

Isn't Nancy Drew's job already taken?

I'm sorry for bothering you. I keep forgetting how fragile that whole conservative mindset is.

Robb,

I was wrong about the war? Oh damn, I haven't checked CNN lately to find out that they finally found vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction that was the justification for this war.

Allow me to apologize in advance before I check CNN...

Huh?

I don't see a story about finding the vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction that threatened the security of the United States.

So, what in fuck's name are you talking about?

Oh, I get it: You are one of those boneheaded fucks that can only argue against figments of your own imagination. You must be under the impression that I was "against this war" because I thought we would not win it. Wrong. Please find any writing where I ever claimed that (although, to your credit, you are up on current events, because laughing about "quagmires" is the latest RNC spin point).

Think of it this way: I would be against Mike Tyson beating on cripples because he is under the delusion that the cripple is a threat to him (or using that as a cynical excuse to rob him). If Mike Tyson predicatably beats the tar out of said imaginarily threatening cripple, then the fact that he managed to "win" doesn't change my opinion one little bit.

Feel free to return to your regularly scheduled strawman.

Since the cripples spent their weekends dismembering quadrapelegics they deserved a good ass whipping.

So, Rev., since you seem to be so convinced that Iraq didn't/doesn't have any weapons of mass destruction are you going to criticize the U.N. for not removing the sanctions against Iraq? They say they won't remove the sanctions because the sanctions can only be removed after they see proof that there are no WMDs left in Iraq. It obviosly wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that France and Russia would loose their exclusive rights to Iraqi oil, would it?

Ken,

You must buy into some weird dicotomy that if I disagree with the American position that therefore I must uncritically accept the UN position.

Why?

As far as WMD, I am not convinced that they don't have them, as if their having WMD is a logical impossibility. However, the existence of the Loch Ness monster isn't logically impossible either. But after a period of peering into the peat black darkness and coming up with nothing, and after learning that your very best grainy photos were misperceived logs and hoaxes, after a while only perverse true believers would believe there is a Loch Ness monster.

Remember, we are talking about Iraq having huge stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction that makes them a threat to the United States. Maybe finding a lab somewhere with anthrax residue hardly counts. But even then, report after report of finally finding the smoking gun have come to nought. Iraq is reported to be using SCUDs, they are not. They found a lab...oh, no they didn't. Hey, look, warheads with sarin! Ooops, false alarm. Now we found some drums of chemical weapons, vindication! Ooops, it's bug killer.

And so on.

I thought before this spectacle began that Bush didn't make a case for Iraq having stockpiles of WMD. Well, ok, he made a case, but it was about as compelling as the average Kennedy conspiracy theory filled with hoax, forgery and confusing motive with volition.

At what point after scouring the country, after false alarm after false alarm do you admit that that weakens the case for Iraq having weapons of mass destruction? At what point do you finally adopt the maxim that absence of evidence is evidence of absence?

And what's the vested interest? Is it so unlikely that Bush, and maybe the UN are just wrong about this? Sure, that would mean that the war, according to Bush's own justification, would turn out to be wrong (with freeing the Iraqi people as a booby prize). It's not like we have had half-cocked unjustified wars before. Remember the Maine? Does Archduke Ferdinand of Austria ring a bell?Remember the Gulf of Tonkin? If this turns out to be a stupid little war based on error, well, that's hardly a precedent.

Whether or not Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the liberation of the Iraqi people is justification enough for the forceful removal of the regime.

Keith,

Keep repeating that until you believe it.

Unfortunately, it wasn't George Bush's initial reason. Oddly enough, the freeing of the Iraqi people wasn't a priority until his case for WMD fell flat.

And, of course, there are millions being killed in a war in the Congo, a thriving slave trade in the Sudan and all they are wondering is what Iraq has that they haven't got.

The answer? Texas tea, kids.

Now if only we can shake this stupid unelected fanatical un-American and treasonous criminal regime we are burdened with.

Plus the supporters of this treasonous regime are rapidly running out of spin points.

You are one of those boneheaded fucks that can only argue against figments of your own imagination

Hehehe - You are still wrong. I'll say it again because it apparently pissed you off and you reverted to insulting me to prove your point.

it's about the Oil™? Talk about fantasies.

A lot of people who were against the war wanted to give the inspectors a lot more time to find said weapons. We've been over there only a month (and quite a bit of that fighting I might add) and now you're saying "Show me the WMD NOW!!!". Relax, you will find this information out soon enough. (Probably not from CNN as they've lost total respect when it comes to reporting the facts. Seen any obituaries lately?) I mean, it's not like Saddam had any warning or time to move the stuff right?

And I don't absolutely believe we were over there just for the WMD. We were taking out a regime that supplied monitary compensation to terrorists, turned a blind eye to training camps, and hated our guts. The attack on Iraq shows the US isn't going to tollerate it. Looks like NK took a hint.

But thank you for the "fucking bonehead" comment. It illustrates your debating skills.

A republican president who comes into office after a tight race. Hated with an almost irrational hatred by his opponents, he launches an undeclared war., the justifiying reason changes per the person justifying it. He curtails Constitutional rights. The war frees oppressed masses as a side effect. He is regarded as being ape-like and idiotic. Who is He?
.
.
.
.
.
.
Abraham Lincoln

I'm sorry for bothering you. I keep forgetting how fragile that whole conservative mindset is.

Projection: 6 b : the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety

Robb,

Sorry, for annoying you. You see, I'm from Earth Prime, not the conservative Bizarro world. Here on Earth Prime if someone says that we are going to war because someone else has a shitload of, say, Pink Elephants and we go to war in order to find and remove the threat of Pink Elephants, and then we can't find any Pink Elephants, then that sort of weakens the case for going to war over Pink Elephants in the first place.

Oh, and here on Earth Prime when someone says, says a commodity like, oh, Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts is a motivating factor, it's intellectually dishonest to then characterize describing Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts as being a factor as "It's all about Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts", especially when one of the only things protected is the Greasy Grimy Gopher Gut fields and the Ministry of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts.

In fact, the knee-jerk assertions that Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts have absolutely nothing to do with it and Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts never entered anyone's mind and we really don't care one little bit about Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts even though our entire civilization would grind to a halt without Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts and even an artificial increase in the cost of Greasy Grimy Gopher Gut can throw our economy into a recession eventually gets as silly as strawman claims that it is "all about" Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts.

Sorry about the extended analogies here, but sometimes I have to use little incentives to trick people from the conservative bizarro world to actually think, which tends to run against your idiological force of habit.

Rev, if I may. . . bitch slap.

Before you crucify the war in Iraq on the cross of WMDs, you should remember that the existence of WMDs wasn't our sole purpose for going to war. Sure, WMDs were the sticking point that exposed the U.N. as the ineffectual bureaucratic monolith that it is, but Iraq was also targeted because it harbored terrorists.

First and foremost, this has always been a war on terror, not a war on WMDs. And we've found plenty of evidence of terrorist sympathizing in Iraq, from the discovery of training camps in the north and south of Baghdad, to the arrest of the despicable Abu Abbas.

I, for one, was never dumb enough to believe that Iraq could seriously hit us with WMDs. Israel, maybe. Our base in Saudi Arabia, maybe. If Iraq had WMDs and we find them, great, but if not I'm not going to yell and scream that we waged an unjust war.

But terrorists? You're damned right they're a threat to U.S. soil, and pretty much any soil that embraces Western civilization. We just knocked down a regime that actively supported terrorism and, more importantly, a regime that could afford to reward terrorists handsomely and finance their endeavors. I may not be a major fan of "W," but I agree that a war on terrorism is more than hunting down major players. It's also about knocking down the support structure of terrorism itself, denying it safe haven in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. That's what this war was, and is, about.

Oh, and it's a pretty nice perk that we were able to free an oppressed people, don't you think?

BillHedrik,

"A republican president who comes into office after a tight race. Hated with an almost irrational hatred by his opponents, he launches an undeclared war..."

Lincoln started the war? Wow, that whole Fort Sumpter thing was a masterful stroke on his part.

Oh, and Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy, you know?

I once was in a semi-improv piece where the author did a whole analogy between Elvis and Hitler bit just to prove that there is no two people you can't play this game with. It was wickedly funny. Well, almost as wickedly funny as comparing Lincoln to Bush.

Patrick Chester

"Projection: 6 b : the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety"

And you do it so well. But thanks, it clears up why it is that people who support an unelected, unconstitutional president put into office by an act of treason would be so quick to label others as unpatriotic traitors.

Lincoln never declared war on the confederacy, look it up. Ft. Sumter was his 911.

R.e. the "unelected president" Bush won the majority of electoral votes according to the HYT& WP recount of disputed florida votes

Ryan,

Remember when you were a kid and you would stand with your arms out and spin and spin and spin until you got dizzy and fall over?

Has writing that bullshit recaptured that feeling for you?

It's funny how the spin involves constantly shifting definitions. First we target Iraq because they have huge threatening stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. Then, eventually some weapons of mass destruction will do. Finally you can almost
bet a Q-Tip with some Anthrax on it, or even some of Saddam's ear wax, will do in a desperate, face-saving pinch.

First, the White House specificially and unequivocably ties Iraq to the 9/11 attack, and even makes people believe that at least some of the hijackers were Iraqi when none of them are. People persist in this tie, even as it unravels, fails to persuade the UN and even the CIA says there is no connection. Rather than see the Bush administration caught in a lie and with egg on their face, yes, you guessed it, the definition shifts so that now it's not the 9/11 terrorists that have to be produced, or anything to link the Iraqis with 9/11, nope, just any old terrorists will do. The claim of al qaeda training camps becomes any old training camps and finally if you can find the local Iraqi chapeter of the NRA, that will be just fine. If you can't find evidence of Iraq harboring the 9/11 folks, then finding a fat old terrorist from 1985 will do just nicely.

Damn, I really missed the boat. Here I am worried about evidence and equivocation and intellectual honesty when I could just become yet another conservative bot and, by (shifting) definition never be wrong.

It's not the oil, it's not the WMD, it's not even the looting that worries me. It's the establishment of government-forming talks before reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure. It's also the arrival of Chalabi, who hasn't placed a foot inside of Iraq since the 1950's, yet is on track to becoming their leader. It's about what Iraq looks like in 5 years that worries me, kinda like Afghanistan.

Bush cannot and will not nation-build (look at Afghanistan, where we support corrupt warlords in the countryside and the elected president rules over one city), he said as much as a candidate. 9/11 didn't change his mind on that, it changed his mind on military pre-emption.

Anyone but Bush in 2004

-x

Rev,

Not quite sure where you were trying to go with the GGGG or the Pink Elephants. But, I'll just have to assume.

I think that the belief that this whole war was solely based on the US pumping out more oil is, well, assinine. Yes, we need oil. Yes Bush comes from oil money. That is not conclusive enough evidence to make me think we're there simply for the oil. If that was the case, why didn't we kick Canada's ass since we get more from there, it would be less distance to travel, we wouldn't piss off the Arab World, and nobody cares much about Canada anyway.

From your posts, it doesn't appear that us "whacko insane conservatives" are the ones living in a dreamworld. But you just keep telling yourself that lie enough.

Have a nice day, I'm going to go drive my SUV around so that W can kill more babies!

billhedrick,

Look up the meaning of the word "launch". I think most historians would agree that the attack on Fort Sumter "launched" the war. Since, as far as I can determine, it was the South and not Lincoln that attacked Fort Sumter, which contained a Union garrison that refused to surrender to Confederate forces, then to claim it was Lincoln who "launched" the war would be in error.

Of course, this doesn't take into account the shifting definitions of the conservative bizarro world and the fact that, by definition, conservatives are never wrong and any pronouncement made by a conservative or in defense of conservative ideology can serve to warp external reality. I am patiently looking at some text on the start of the Civil War so I can actually catch the moment when it retroactively changes.

X-rage,

Afghanistan and Iraq are two different items all together. We got rid of the Taliban because of their support of Al-Quiada (or however it's spelled these days). Afghanistan had no infrastructure and was / is war torn from DECADES of destruction. It takes time to find natives to run their country, especially since it's like starting from scratch.

Iraq has a much better chance of self rule now. Yes, those people have been gone a long time, but if they'e accepted by the populace, so be it.

Oh, and what if the Dem. candidate has worse ideas than Bush. Woukd you still vote out of spite?

by definition, conservatives are never wrong and any pronouncement made by a conservative or in defense of conservative ideology can serve to warp external reality

Which, I'm assuming you mean that liberals are truly the ones who are never wrong.

Jeneane Garafolo owes us some flowers and cut up knees. She was wrong when she said we'd not be welcomed by the Iraqis, but now she says she doesn't owe anyone an appology. By your logic, she's a conservative! Talk about facts changing!

Robb,

"Not quite sure where you were trying to go with the GGGG or the Pink Elephants"

It's called an analogy.

"I think that the belief that this whole war was solely based on the US pumping out more oil is, well, assinine."

No doubt this is why you keep ascribing this view to me. I don't think the war is "all about oil". Nor do I think oil has nothing to do with it. This war has to do with using Iraq as a fulcrum for regional power. Oil, as a resource, is one means to that power, but certainly not the only one.

"That is not conclusive enough evidence to make me think we're there simply for the oil. If that was the case, why didn't we kick Canada's ass since we get more from there, it would be less distance to travel, we wouldn't piss off the Arab World, and nobody cares much about Canada anyway."

I've got this really rad idea: Why not respond to what I say rather than having a conversation with your imaginary friend who, it seems, you keep confusing with me?

"From your posts, it doesn't appear that us "whacko insane conservatives" are the ones living in a dreamworld. But you just keep telling yourself that lie enough."

Well, obviously you haven't read my posts for comprehension, if for no other reason than you make up quotes as if I said them. For the most part I only think some conservatives are insane. Most, like you, I just think are not particularly bright and Clear Channel conservatism gives you a handy out from actually thinking.

"Have a nice day, I'm going to go drive my SUV around so that W can kill more babies!"

And you think I give a shit if you drive an SUV? I know SUVs are not particularly safe, but as a courtesy to others on the road, I hope you don't let your buddy Harvey the Rabbit drive.

"Projection: 6 b : the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects; especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety"

And you do it so well. But thanks, it clears up why it is that people who support an unelected, unconstitutional president put into office by an act of treason would be so quick to label others as unpatriotic traitors.

snicker

Oh no, Reverend, thank you. You might note that, despite your IKYABWAI attack, I haven't accused anyone of treason. Yet you continually do so. In other words, you've attributed a habit of yours upon someone else.

Here, have another petard and try again.

Gosh, Rev, I guess you're right. How unforgivably blind of me.

I should accept nothing less than a smoking nuke, or preferably an unsmoking nuke, not just all this circumstantial chemical and biological evidence, for this war to be justified.

I should accept nothing less than bin Laden himself, working from a training camp called "Al Queda Headquarters," not just any old run of the mill generic training camp, for this war to be justified.

I should not be swayed by the liberation of children's prisons, because that is just a convenient aside when going after a tyranical dictatorial regime.

I feel so free right now, I can finally SEE! Thank you, Rev! Thank you!

Oh sorry Rev, should I use analogies instead? I was trying to avoid them and use facts, but apparently you have this fixation that you know me better and that child like references are easier to understand. I mean granted, you probably have a point that I'm a non-thinking person, and being a systems architect and developer means I can't comprehend logic.

Keep attacking me, that's fine. It just goes to show your argument skills in this particular post aren't that sharp.

However, I do agree that Iraq was chosen as a fulcrum point in the Middle East. Damn good move.

Robb,

"Oh, and what if the Dem. candidate has worse ideas than Bush. "

Wow...that would have to involve "anti-ideas", what a novel concept.

"Which, I'm assuming you mean that liberals are truly the ones who are never wrong."

If there is a 12 Step program for people addicted to false dicotomies, please find your higher power immediately.

"Jeneane Garafolo owes us some flowers and cut up knees. She was wrong when she said we'd not be welcomed by the Iraqis, but now she says she doesn't owe anyone an appology. By your logic, she's a conservative! Talk about facts changing!"

Speaking of facts changing: A couple dozen people toppling a statue in Saddam City (mostly shills and disenfranchised poor Shi'ites) in a city of 5 million is not particularly impressive.

When people shoot at you, that is also another sign that you are not being welcomed.

And if all the Iraqis were welcoming, why is it that just the other day the US troops fired into a crowd of Iraqi protestors that (and here is where your false dicotomy comes in) seemed equally belligerent towards the Baath and Bush regimes?

Please start composing your apology to Janeane Garofalo. Or weasel some more. Whatever floats your boat.   

Bottom line: The world is better off without Sadaam Hussein in power. The world is better off without the Taliban in power. America is safer without Al Gore in power.

On another note, I would like to thank the Democratic Party for continuing to show their stupidity. It assures my fellow Americans and myself that there will be someone that will at least try to protect our security until at least 2008.

Patrick Chester,

Have you ever heard the expression "It's not all about you"?

Ryan,

Please don't flame me while kicking that strawman. It's a violation of the fire code.

Robb,

If you think being a "systems architect and developer" means that you are axiomatically logical (perhaps even infallible) then paradoxically, all that proves is that your argument skills are virtually undetectable.

Rev,
I find it funny that you keep referring to Bush as "unelected".
I mean, where were you eleven years ago when Clinton was elected, despite the fact that approximately 57% of Americans voted for someone else. Hell, where were you seven years ago when 52% of us didn't vote for him? Why weren't you screaming "unelected" then? Because he was a democrat? Conservatives may not have liked Clinton, but no one ever referred to him as "unelected" or "fictitious president".
But go ahead and pout anyway. Things haven't gone exactly the way you would have them go, so go ahead and sulk in the corner with your arms crossed.
As for me, I can only put up with so much whining before I just start tuning it out.

Beags,

So, obviously you think having an unelected, unconstitutional president put in office by a partisan act of treason who is not only not protecting the Constitution he swore to defend, but is actively trying to eviscerate it is a good thing?

Increasingly "conservative patriot" is simply an oxymoron.

Bob,

"I find it funny that you keep referring to Bush as "unelected".

I find it unfunny, except in a sick sort of way.

And Bush was unelected. No recount was completed to confirm his exceptionally tentative and hypothetical .00895% lead when the Supreme Court passed a decision that surpasses Dred Scott for its lack of ethics and, in fact, constitutes judicial malfeasance, in order to ensure that all the votes were not tallied.

Strange way to run a constiutional democracy, by ignoring both the constitution and democracy.

It's not that complicated to read various accounts of the case and the actuall SC decision. Although your ignorant guffaw is hadly surprising.

Ok, I just realized this is a dead post. Rev, no matter what I say, you see it differently and this 2×3 box I type in doesn't give me the ability to reason with you and vice versa. You keep painting me as some sort of dolt who is brainwashed by the Right. I guess I can't argue with you since I am conservative, therefore everything I say is wrong. I'd try to prove my points, but I'll I'd end up doing is wasting Michele's bandwidth since neither one of us are going to listen to the other.

Sometimes I forget the Internet is a horrible discussion ground.

As a parting comment, and I mean this, I hope everyone (including Rev) has a nice Easter weekend.

Priest...err, Reverend?,

Yes it is a good thing that Bush is President. I seriously doubt that Gore would have done anyting after 9-11. He's even a bigger punk ass bitch than Clinton was. It's too bad that Ronald Reagan doesn't have any decent children that could take over after Bush completes his two terms.

By the way, I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. I'm not conservative. I'm not liberal. I'm an American who votes for and respects those leaders who deserve it.

Clinton is immoral and Gore is just an idiot. Bush is a Christian who says what he means and means what he says, which is very refreshing after the embarassment of leadership we had in the 1990's.

9-11 was when the terrorists flew hijacked planes into the WTC and the Pentagon. Just thought I would remind some of you because it seems it's been forgotten by some.

If the anti-war crowd can only hang on to the thin reed of "That wasn't his ORIGINAL reason!!!" they truly are some sad individuals.

Gosh, Rev, you sure make sniping look easy. Oh, wait, sniping is easy. 'Cause, hey, all you have to do is look at anything which actually goes wrong (and you know it'll be something) and then decry that to the heavens! And you have the luxury of never worrying about tradeoffs, because those only make finding an actual solution difficult, and you don't actually offer those.

Take looting as an example. If looting occurs and US soldiers don't stop it, then Bush was incompetent for not stopping the looting! If looting occurs and our soldiers stop it, but to do so they shoot even a few Iraqis, then Bush is out to kill the Iraqi people! If looting occurs and our soldiers stop it while killing nobody, Bush is incompetent because our soldiers aren't flushing out remaining resistance! He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't because you have predetermined that he's damned.

So you hate Bush. So you think he is unelected. So you think that conservatives are out to screw over this country in their quest for glory. How are you going to help fix this pressing problem? You're going to find everything that ever goes wrong under Bush, deliberately ignore everything that goes right, and then go "Nyeah, nyeah!" in conservative blog comments.

Oh, yeah. That'll help.

Hopefully, this fixes the missing flag from Patrick Chester......

Common sense: any museum curator, anywhere on earth, who expects his city to be bombed will cache his most significant and valuable artifacts in safe places.

Baghdad's curators had months of advance warning.

Furthermore, even assuming they were truly stupid, they had two weeks from the war's start to cache valuable items in expectation of street-fighting. No curator would ever do otherwise.

So why do they claim these items were stolen? Two likely reasons: museum officials stole them, or helped steal them.

Heyyy.... were those things insured? (I work in insurance, can't believe I just thought of this one now.)

Robb,

Honestly, I feel sort of sorry for you and conservatives in general. Here you are watching your Fox TV and listening to Clear Channel radio (of course you dont. Every conservative I have ever spoken to denies watching Fox TV. I can't figure out how they stay afloat when absolutely no conservatives are watching. Maybe they have the masochistic left market cinched) and you get it into your silly little head that arguing with the left is easy. Wht you don't realize is that it's a rigged game. There are no left wingers on Fox. Only ringers. Colmes isn't a lefty, he's a right leaning moderate. And a liberal surrogate like Mara Liasson is actually a registered Republican. So watching Fox (again, of course you don't. The viewing audience of Fox contains, from my unscientific self-selected survey, not one conservative) is like watching a channel where the Hell's Angels are all played by schoolgirls and effeminate gimps and so you run out into the real world, pick a bar fight and wonder why you get pummeled until your dog bleeds.

Poor you.

You see, not everyone on the left camp out in tress and babble about the Goddess and want everyone to love each other. There are people on the left who don't particularly give a shit about being loved. What we care about is smacking the crap out of greedy, self-involved and not particularly bright conservatives before they fuck up this country even more than it already is.

Let's take a particularly brain dead little Freeper wanna-be and demonstrate:

Beags pontificates:

"Yes it is a good thing that Bush is President. I seriously doubt that Gore would have done anything after 9-11."

Fuck Gore. Gore is not the issue. The issue is whether or not the presidency is legitimate and whether the law and the constitution is worth the yellowed parchment it is written on. Whether or not you think Bush is a good president or bad (I vote bad only because his entire life history indicates that he is a spoiled, lazy, irresponsible coked-head dry drunk) is equally besides the point. If you want to chuck the rule of law and the constitution and do away with the right of states to conduct elections in compliance with their own state laws, that's fine. We can appoint a president by a lottery, or single combat or oiuja board. Just be honest about not caring if the president is elected via a democratic process.

That being said, hosing the Taliban out of Afghanistan was a no-brainer. The only reason you would think Gore wouldn't do it is because you love cuddling with your tree-hugging liberal stereotypes.

"By the way, I'm not a Republican. I'm not a Democrat. I'm not conservative. I'm not liberal. I'm an American who votes for and respects those leaders who deserve it."

In other words, like Bill O'Reilly you are a stealth conservative who thinks posing as an independent makes you seem smarter than you really are.

Oh, by the way, we need more red-blooded Americans like you who are singularly unphased by undemocratic and illegally appointed executives. Big thumbs up for you.

Incidentally, what part of Bush do you respect? The chickenhawk draft dodging, the skating by on his family name, the drug use, the alcoholism, using taxpayer money to increase his personal wealth or the brainless Jesus freaking?
Just curious.

"Clinton is immoral and Gore is just an idiot."

Hey, don't worry, once George gets through with the economy you will no longer have to live under Clinton's immoral peace and prosperity. We will be back to a rock-ribbed supply-side deficit and recession just like George's daddy used to make.

Incidentally, about who is and is not an idiot. You mispelled George's name. It is B-U-S-H, not G-O-R-E.

In fact, with George Bush's abyssmal SAT scores, his perennial "gentleman Cs" his scoring a 25% on his pilots aptitude test and his inability to speak the English language without making up quasi-words, his idiot credentials are unquestionable.

"Bush is a Christian who says what he means and means what he says, which is very refreshing after the embarassment of leadership we had in the 1990's."

Yes, I know Bush is a Christian. He replaced his alcoholism with God-intoxication. But hey, if actually believing that God made the world in 6 days and man was thrown out of paradise because a woman who was made from a guy's rib was conned into eating an apple by a talking snake and so God, eons later, decided to make up for this set-up by having his only son born to a virgin (yeah, right) and sent stomping around piss nowhere Judea circa 30 AD to absolve everyone of their sins by being nailed to a tree and then reportedly (by his followers) rising from the dead and oddly held up for 2,000 years when he said he's be right back can keep old George from bruising his liver, goody for him.

As to meaning what he says, it's clear Bsh doesn't even understand what he is saying, even when he gets grammar and syntax correct, but is a useful idiot sock puppet for what Karl Rove and Paul Wolfowitz mean.

And again, don't you worry, we will be completely over that embarrassing 90s peace and prosperity in no time.

"9-11 was when the terrorists flew hijacked planes into the WTC and the Pentagon. Just thought I would remind some of you because it seems it's been forgotten by some."

Whatever that means.

HH

"If the anti-war crowd can only hang on to the thin reed of "That wasn't his ORIGINAL reason!!!" they truly are some sad individuals."

Nah, sad is a president that embarrasses himself in front of the world by not being able to articulate a coherent reason for going to war, killing civilians and breaking 50 years of alliances.

Sadder are the blockheads that give him a pass on all that because he has a little ® after his name.

Black Swan,

"Gosh, Rev, you sure make sniping look easy. Oh, wait, sniping is easy. 'Cause, hey, all you have to do is look at anything which actually goes wrong (and you know it'll be something) and then decry that to the heavens! "

In other words, pointing out Bush's mistakes are no fair.

Why?

"And you have the luxury of never worrying about tradeoffs, because those only make finding an actual solution difficult, and you don't actually offer those."

You got me there. I have no already worked out solution to the problem of increasingly illusory weapons of mass destruction. Luckily George is fearless when it comes to getting both Americans and Iraqis killed to protect us from imaginary WMDs.

"Take looting as an example. If looting occurs and US soldiers don't stop it, then Bush was incompetent for not stopping the looting! If looting occurs and our soldiers stop it, but to do so they shoot even a few Iraqis, then Bush is out to kill the Iraqi people! "

Yes, and you have brilliantly articulated why engaging in a pre-emptive and badly justified war in order to eliminate imaginary WMD and/or freeing people who no one on earth believes we give a fetid turd about in the first place (depending on the whim of the moment) is probably a bad idea.

" they shoot even a few Iraqis"

Yeah. I hate it when people get all bent out of shape when we shoot a few Iraqis. I mean, where do they get off?

" He's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't because you have predetermined that he's damned."

Not necessarily. If I recall, when Clinton went into Kosovo Bush said it was a bad idea because Clinton had no exit strategy (he did, but no matter). If George takes his own advice he should have a really sweet exit strategy. He's only damned if he is a stupid-assed hypocrite.

"So you hate Bush."

Oh yes.

"So you think he is unelected."

His being unelected is not a matter of opinion.

" So you think that conservatives are out to screw over this country in their quest for glory"

Of course not. I think they generally screw over the country by being greedy and stupid and having the morals of a ten dollar whore.

"How are you going to help fix this pressing problem?"

By making people aware of it.

"You're going to find everything that ever goes wrong under Bush, deliberately ignore everything that goes right, and then go "Nyeah, nyeah!" in conservative blog comments."

You betcha. That tactic was good enough for Anne Coulter, Mike Savage, Sean Hannity, David Horowitz, Bill O'Reilly, Trent Lott, Tom DeLay (etc. etc) to make a career at.

"Oh, yeah. That'll help."

Ah fuck. I made another conservative snivel. I feel so bad now.

Atombomb,

"Common sense: any museum curator, anywhere on earth, who expects his city to be bombed will cache his most significant and valuable artifacts in safe places.

Baghdad's curators had months of advance warning."

According to the two Bush advisors that quit over this, Bush had months of warning too. He chose not to protect the museum but did find the motivation to protect the Oil Ministry. And Bush was the one with the tanks and the guns that was calling the shots. Why isn't he responsible for having common sense too?

And exactly where do you want curators to hide a stella with the Law Code of Hammurabi on it? In their garage?

"Furthermore, even assuming they were truly stupid, they had two weeks from the war's start to cache valuable items in expectation of street-fighting. No curator would ever do otherwise"

So, while Saddam Hussein is in power, with the Baath paramilitaries roaming the streets you expect the curators to empty out a museum full of stuff that doesn't belong to them and hide it?

That must be some weird form of "no spin" common sense that only works in the rarified atmosphere of the conservative bizarro world.

Silly conservatives. Like Rush and Bill, you just can't give a good showing unless you are having a monologue.

Speaking of monologues...

Joe,

On a blog with such a high concentration of knee-jerk Clear Channel parroting conservatives, I just have to talk to myself in order to have an intelligent conversation.

"Afghanistan and Iraq are two different items all together. We got rid of the Taliban because of their support of Al-Quiada (or however it's spelled these days). Afghanistan had no infrastructure and was / is war torn from DECADES of destruction. It takes time to find natives to run their country, especially since it's like starting from scratch."

That's not the point. The point is we aren't even trying to protect the entire country. We will not leave Kabul, except to harass Taliban holdouts. We will not reign in corrupt, ruling warlords from the excesses that brought the Taliban to power in the first place.

By the way, who said I was voting democrat? I'm from vermont, where the electoral college is rather insignificant. I'm going to give my vote to a 3rd party where the tally will help their party. Green Party, you'll assume? Perhaps. I'll probably end up going Libertarian in the end, I prefer conservatives that are true to their roots, not ones that enact protectionist tarrifs from the global free market and forcing a moral code down everyone's throat (i.e. drugs, homosexuality)

-x

Man, that Rev guy is so much smarter than everyone here! Look at this

He uses the term "kneejerk", and then automatically assumes all conservatives are Fox news drones. That's a kneejerk reaction itself, but the good Rev is too smart for this.

The issue is whether or not the presidency is legitimate

Both sides did what they needed to do to win the election. Neither side played perfectly by the rules. If Gore would have won his recount (of only 4 primarily democratic districts, he didn't care about anything else) he would have still lost, but assuming he had won, it would be illegitimate. Rev refuses to see that his side played dirty because, well, only conservatives lie. Keejerk reaction.

just have to talk to myself in order to have an intelligent conversation.

Again, proving himself unintelligent. I have conversations with people, even those I disagree with, so that I can understand the entire issue.

Rev would make a shitty scientist. He would make a hypothesis, and then stick to it even when the results claim differently. He will never change his mind about conservatives because of the hate and anger in his mind. He will constantly assume he can refute any evidence you give him because in his mind, he is never wrong. He considers himself infallible and if you disagree, he will attack you personally instead of trying to understand your point.

In otherwords, he suffers from the exact same kneejerk reaction he accuses EVERY conservative for.

Rev, you can't see it. You never will see it, but you are as bad (if not worse) than the people you post about. You are just as guilty as those you condemn.

Kneejerk,

Thanks for having the balls to deploy a sock puppet to take me on.

"Man, that Rev guy is so much smarter than everyone here!"

Now there's the very model of faint praise.

"He uses the term "kneejerk", and then automatically assumes all conservatives are Fox news drones."

No, I didn't assume. When I see conservatives just parroting the special of the day from the Fox/Clear Channel/Washington Times echo chamber, that's hardly an assumption. Think of it as a hypothesis to account for an observation.

"That's a kneejerk reaction itself, but the good Rev is too smart for this."

No, it's not a knee jerk reaction. Hey, let's face it, your snotty little diatribe here is your protesting too much against the fact that most conservatives really do get most of their information from a small set of incestuous sources. In fact, some 22% of conservatives claim they get their news from Clear Channel. The remainder get their info from that small locus of conservative organs.

"Both sides did what they needed to do to win the election."

See, here we go, the conservative playing the "moral equivalency" game. Jesus Christ, nothing is more amusing than a conservative who would no doubt rant and rail against moral relativism, except, of course, when moral relativism is the only way they can justify their illegal, extra-constitutional, treasonous conduct.

Fact of the matter is, a fair reading of the fact of the case indicates one thing and one thing only: All Gores legal maneuvers were aimed to have all the votes counted. All Bush's legal maneuvers were aimed at preventing all the votes being counted.

If Bush had nothing to fear from the domocratic process, he would have allowed the recount to proceed according to the laws of the State of Florida rather than hypocritically run off to the Supreme Court in order to have them, in a complete reversal of the federalism conservatives supposedly advocate, interfere in the business of the state of Florida and the jurisdiction of the Florida Supreme court.

Your facile, smoke-and-mirrors conservative spin about each side doing what is necessary to win doesn't hold water.

"Neither side played perfectly by the rules"

Actually, from Bush's behavior it was clear that he thought the rules didn't apply to him (why should they? They haven't all his pampered life) and unfortunately, the criminal behavior of the Supreme Court bears this out.

"If Gore would have won his recount (of only 4 primarily democratic districts, he didn't care about anything else) he would have still lost,"

Damn, why is it so hard for conservatives to grasp simple ideas? I'm impressed though, your ability to repeat the same tired boilerplate assertion in the face of everything I have previously written shows a completely hard-core adherence to conservative apologia. Fact is, considering the fact that Bush's lead of 537 votes out of 6,000,000 votes cast, plus the error rate of the Votomatic machines, plus the irregularities in the absentee ballots, not to mention the republican's racist and immoral culling of black people off the voter rolls means that Bush would only have won in some conservative fantasy world where facts just don't matter.

All you are saying is that given the conservative's illegal, immoral and treasonous actions, Bush would have won. That's the point. That's why Bush is illegitimate except, of course, if you are only paying lip-service to democracy.

The point is, even assuming "Bush would have won", then the Supreme Court should have allowed the recount and let Bush win, instead of tossing the votes and appointing him president. It is that, and that alone, that makes him illegitimate.

You don't stop a race with a lap to go, appoint the winner and then claim he would have won anyway.

"but assuming he had won, it would be illegitimate. Rev refuses to see that his side played dirty because, well, only conservatives lie. Keejerk reaction."

Again, if it is "kneejek" it must be a definition of the word meaning you just keep getting kicked in the ass with facts. Look, the conservative James Baker spin points get tiresome: All that was required under Florida election law was a recount of votes. If you think counting all the votes is "playing dirty" then fine, just come out and say it and be done with your pretentions of supporting democracy and be proud of your treasonous machiavellian machinations.

"Again, proving himself unintelligent. I have conversations with people, even those I disagree with, so that I can understand the entire issue."

Your comments prove that you can remain ignorant of the issues by sheer force of will. Good for you.

"Rev would make a shitty scientist. He would make a hypothesis, and then stick to it even when the results claim differently."

That's funny. I have made an empirical case. I have cited law and precedent, facts and figures, drawn conclusions from them where the conservative "argument" seems to be "Bush won fair and square and even if it wasn't fair that's how the game is played".

Wrong. There are laws, rules, standards. I am ceaselessly amazed at how easily conservatives can hypocritically dispense with not only their own values, such as state's rights, but continue to play mock patriot while pissing on the Constitution.

It reminds me of the old joke about a guy that goes up to a woman and asks if she would sleep with him for a million dollars. When she agrees, he asks if she would for ten dollars. "What do you think I am?" she asks. He says, "We've already established that, now we are just bartering over price".

"He will never change his mind about conservatives because of the hate and anger in his mind."

Blah-blah-blah blah...Sure I hate conservatives. How do you feel about traitors?

"He will constantly assume he can refute any evidence you give him because in his mind, he is never wrong."

No, I've been wrong. I'm just not wrong in this instance. And your quasi-psychological prattling is not a refutation.

"He considers himself infallible and if you disagree, he will attack you personally instead of trying to understand your point."

Blah-blah-blah. This from the person whose argument, in the face of everything is "Well, Bush would have won anyway".

"In otherwords, he suffers from the exact same kneejerk reaction he accuses EVERY conservative for."

No, not at all. My position on the 2,000 election is no "kneejerk". YOur characterizing it as such only demonstrates that you have no argument to support your position. All you can do now is resort to this silly ad hominem.

"Rev, you can't see it. You never will see it, but you are as bad (if not worse) than the people you post about. You are just as guilty as those you condemn."

Blah-blah-blah. How many ways can you repeat the same idea? You know, this lame "I can't think of a real argument" ad hominem doesn't get more persuasive with each repetition.

Rather than ranting ans sniveling about how I am blind because I will not see (and in this instance you sound exactly like a christian apologist losing an argument) why don't you address the substance of the issue instead of having a snitty little referendum about my lack of faith?

Actually, from Bush's behavior it was clear that he thought the rules didn't apply to him (why should they? They haven't all his pampered life) and unfortunately, the criminal behavior of the Supreme Court bears this out.

And yet you skip right past the Florida Supreme Court that DID not play by the rules? The US Supreme Court forced the FSC to follow their own election laws. How is that unconstitutional?

Dubya and Donnie didn't raid the museum, neither did they protect it, neither did they ever care about it, keys or no keys. Lessee...which building did they protect? The Oil Ministry. Well, duh. The others are in flames. Did they ever give a rat's ass about the other buldings? Well, duh. I suppose it goes way beyond the sad looting of the museum. Was the museum and the library looted beforehand? Who knows? No one here, as far as I can tell.

And there are some out there who still think this wasn't a war about oil.

As for rules, it's not a question of application to Bush and Daddy's Team, it goes beyond that to the US as a country. You are the only superpower left - what's evolving quickly is that it's "our way or the highway", and if the rest of us don't like it, Dubya's gonna run us down with his SUV...

Rev: Kindly explain to me why, if Iraq had no WMD's, Saddam refused to simply prove this fact to the UN weapons inspectors? He could have had the sanctions lifted. He could have made it rather harder for Bush to justify prosecuting this war (both to citizens and to allies). So why didn't he?

On another topic, given that you've stated that Florida's election law requires a full recount of all votes in the state, why did the SCOF decide (first decision) that undervotes would be counted only in three counties?

Also, given the fragility of the ballots, the potential partisan bias of some of the counters, and the difficulty in trying to read someone's mind from holding a ballot, why do you believe that hand counts are more accurate than machine counts? (A machine recount was done immediately after the election, IIRC, but that apparently isn't good enough for you or for the SCOF).

Black Swan,

"Rev: Kindly explain to me why, if Iraq had no WMD's, Saddam refused to simply prove this fact to the UN weapons inspectors? "

Congratulations, you have just made the biggest logical blunder seen since the last time I read a Jack Chick cartoon book.

How do you prove a negative? Just by way of example you can demonstrate the techique by proving to me that you are not wearing a pink bunny costume.

The unknown poster wrote:

"And yet you skip right past the Florida Supreme Court that DID not play by the rules? The US Supreme Court forced the FSC to follow their own election laws. How is that unconstitutional? "

Uh, no. The Florida court was following their own election laws, they cited case and precedent, including Chappel and Boardman. It was the Supreme Court that could not allow Florida to follow their own election laws because they had to find a way to ensure that by Jan. 20 Renquist would be holding the Bible, whored like Jimmy Swaggert, swearing in the Bush kid.

Black Swan,

"Also, given the fragility of the ballots, the potential partisan bias of some of the counters, and the difficulty in trying to read someone's mind from holding a ballot, why do you believe that hand counts are more accurate than machine counts? "

Didn't I already explain the procedures to prevent fraud in recounts? Yes, I did. And so instead of addressing my answer, you just repeat the question. Brilliant. Maybe no one will notice.

I don't know. Assume I don't believe hand counts are more accurate. Explain to me, as I asked before, why it is that Dubya though hand recounts were accurate enough to sign it into law in Texas, yet when in Florida, hand recounts violated his rights?

Did you ignore that the last time I addressed your very same question because even you don't want to try to spin Dubya's obvious hypocrisy?

Rev:

I only just now read your response re: the election (in the other thread). Thank you. That was a rather cogent argument about why SCOF's decision wasn't particularly heinous. I needed that.

You have been stating that Iraq never had WMD's. I thought that Iraq gassed the Kurds; you have stated it was Iran. Do you have a cite for this?

Black Swan,

Saddam gassed the Kurds; google on Halabja. According to Pollack, he also used chems on the Iranian army during the Iran-Iraq war, frequently, as a means of softening concentrations up before ground assault. There are allegations of experiments on Iranian POWs also.

Linda

Pretzlel = haf vote (few?)
Sadam = all vote

MATH!!

Thanks, Linda. I found that the claims that Iran did it were based on the victims having blue extremities, which is indicative of cyanide that Iran had but Iraq didn't. The counter to that, which I also found, was that the victims were hit with mustard, Sarin, Tabun, and VX, all of which Iraq had, and that an impure form of Tabun beaks down to form cyanide compounds.

http://www.robertprather.us/archives/001521.php

Black Swan,

If you googled it, you will also see that there were two gassing incidents, in March and August of 1988 that may have been conflated.