06 Sep 2013

The Really Important Thing About Syria…

Foreign Policy 23 Comments

…is that it rights the Bush Record, at least according to some people on Facebook who just posted this:

I’m posting this simply because I am in awe of it. Just off the top of my head:

==> I don’t remember President Bush, Don Rumsfeld, or Colin Powell saying, “There are WMDs in the Middle East.” I think they were a lot more specific about them being in Iraq, since that was the reason given for invading that particular country.

==> Is the only explanation for Syria having chemical weapons in 2013, that Saddam had them back in 2003 and moved them in advance of the US invasion?

==> Let’s assume that the people on Facebook who liked the above poster are right; they were saying things like, “and at the time bush said saddam moved them to syria. hmmm” Fine. Suppose Bush had said the following back in early 2003:

“My fellow Americans, we and the rest of the free world face a grave threat from the regime of Saddam Hussein. That’s why I propose sending in American forces, thousands of whom will die over the next ten years, so that the chemical weapons in Saddam’s possession will end up in the hands of Assad, who will use them in horrifying attacks on his people, so that (a decade from now) my successor will come back to you, explaining the urgency of using American forces to take over another country. God bless America.”

Are you telling me he would’ve gotten the green light? Yet the above is actually the defense of Bush that these people are giving, and giving it with smugness to boot. Like they can’t believe they’re surrounded by such idiots, that they have to point this stuff out about what a great decision it was to invade Iraq a decade ago because of those chemical weapons.

23 Responses to “The Really Important Thing About Syria…”

  1. Blackadder says:

    Are you sure that this isn’t mean as a joke, along the lines of this?

    • Bob Murphy says:

      I can’t say what was in the mind of the person who created it, but for sure it was on a Conservative Facebook group and the comments were people praising the message, with no irony at all.

      • JimS says:

        It is quite possible that the gas weapons went over the border before the invasion. No. That is not the only possible explaination. They could have had dealings with the Iraqis before and purchased them.

        Do not forget that the Syrians are friendly with the Russians, and formerly the Soviets who have many gas and biological agents. They may have come from there.

        Don’t foget that many, many Syrians entered Iraq to fight the U.S. Many put on their visas purpose for visit “jihad.” I can see a possibility of reciprocity between these folks.

        What do you think of the possibility that the “rebels” used the gas to incite action against Assad? I think that is a possibility. The weapons could conceivably fallen into the wrong hands.

        I even think it may have been an accident. These weapons need to be stored and maintained in a particular manner. If not, things like this may happen. Also, transporting these weapons in a non-perscribed manner can result in accidental discharge.

        Personally, I do not see the difference in killing people with a bullet, a bomb, an agent, or a Chevy Impala. Dead is dead. I remember an episode of All in the Family where Gloria was shocked by a particular number of people having been killed with fire arms, to which Archie Bunker responds, “Would it make you feel any better, little girl, had they been pushed outta windows?”


        • Bob Murphy says:

          I imagine workers in Detroit would prefer that foreign armies purchase Chevy Impalas.

          • JimS says:

            I’m sure they would. And aren’t the union ties of Iraq and Syria, Islam, stronger than that of Detroit, the UAW?

    • Major_Freedom says:

      I thought Poe’s as well.

  2. Economic Freedom says:

    The Facebook post was inaccurate.

    It was the “liberal mainstream media” that chose to play up WMDs as the sole reason for the invasion, when in fact, there were several:

    1. Iraq broke its cease-fire treaty with the UN after the 1990 “Desert Storm” war to remove it from Kuwait.

    2. Iraq harbored members of al-Qaeda.

    3. Iraq was a sponsor of international terrorism.

    4. Intelligence agencies in the US, UK, France, and Israel maintained that Iraq had WMDs, as well as having made attempts to negotiate the purchase of lightly enriched uranium yellowcake from Niger for a nuclear program. Attempts were made by US media to debunk this last claim, but the original reports have never been disowned.


    Testimony by Richard Butler on Iraq and Weapons of Mass Destruction

    • Scott H. says:

      Good. I was coming here to make the same comment. There was a general reassessment of what was, and was not, a threat in the Middle East after 9/11. Saddam was largely seen as a huge mess the US never properly picked up.

      Was the mass murder of Shia and Marsh arabs in 1991 also on our heads?

      • Ken B says:

        “Was the mass murder of Shia and Marsh arabs in 1991 also on our heads?”

        Well Saddam gets the lion’s share of the blame but my answer is yes. We overtly encouraged them to revolt, and then did nothing.

    • Ken B says:

      Thank you for this.

      I get so tired of the mantra “it was all about WMDs” when it wasn’t. WMDs certainly played into the timing of the invasion — now anot 6 weeks from now or 6 months from now — but were not the only argument given for toppling Saddam in the first place. I’m sure you can find Blair’s speech to parliament moving the motion, which made the case far more eloquently than Bush did if you doubt it.

  3. joe says:

    It was well known when the US invaded Iraq in 2003 that Syria had chemical weapons. It’s ridiculous to claim that Assad’s use of chemical weapons vindicates the idiotic decision to invade Iraq.

    Article from Apr 19, 2003 on Syria’s chemical weapons.

    Chemical weapons program well advanced

    “In the aftermath of the successful United States invasion of Iraq there have been several warnings by the Bush administration to Syria regarding its weapons of mass destruction (WMD), with some apparent justification”

    “The only type of WMD that Syria definitely does have is chemical weapons. According to the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Syria is not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and has an extensive and advanced chemical weapons program. However, it is hardly the only country in the region not to be a CWC signatory. Others include Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and Libya. Israel has signed but not ratified it. “

    • JimS says:

      Sure they had them. Was it unreasonable to assume Iraq had them? They had in fact used them. Is it unreasonable to assume that Syria either bought them out right at bargain basement prices or took them for safe keeping?

      I am not arguing that our actions in Iraq were justified or that our intended action in Syria are justified. I am saying there is reasonable doubt.

  4. guest says:

    I understand these guys because that’s who I was before Ron Paul converted me to Austrian Economics and sites like LewRockwell.com convinced me that we should have a non-interventionist foreign policy.

    What you have to understand is that these people don’t know that their own government, under the guise of “defense”, has been violating the Constitution and pissing off other countries in pursuit of a Progressive/Collectivist ideology.

    We THINK that we are defending ourselves against nut job towel heads who “love death more than you love life”, and will be set off on a murder spree for any reason at all.


    Who, in their right mind, looks at the murder of 3000 random civilians, cheering in the streets on the other side of the world, and concludes that that is a sensible response, even if it were true what the “isolationists” like Ron Paul say, that they don’t hate us for our freedom, but because we’re over there?

    Even on Ron Paul’s OWN terms, the attack doesn’t make any sense.

    Add to that the fact that we had given Hussein WMDs (so we knew he had them); Hussein said, himself, that he had WMDs; and that he was giving UN inspectors a hard time when they went to do inspections.

    For people who believe that the UN just wants to be helpful, and who are lied to about our wars, and the fact that the Islamic radicals are willing to kill civilians, and the fact that it’s part of their religion to do stuff like that (yes, it is), we don’t have a chance but to conclude that we’d better kill them over there because they ruin every place they get a hold of with their Shariah laws.

    I never wanted war as a neocon – I just figured that it was better than the alternative of them coming over here. And given this paradigm, could you honestly not see why it would be acceptable, on SOME level, for collateral damage to happen over THERE rather than HERE? That makes a lot of sense.

    This is why Neocons are frustrated and fearful of people like Ron Paul who don’t seem to understand the evil that comes from the Muslim religion. Killing is part of their religion, so how can you NOT see the danger of them getting nukes?

    And then Ron Paul didn’t help himself when he could have been more careful than saying we should apply the Golden Rule to terrorists. You mean we should just talk to those who have just slaughtered our civilians? You, sir, like free bananas or something, and you aren’t getting anywhere near our military.

    (When he said that, what he actually meant is that we should STOP violating other countries’ rights and then we won’t get attacked. But since the audience didn’t understand that Ron Paul was saying that 9/11 was a RESPONSE to our agression, the point was tragically lost on them. Ron Paul is not a careful speaker under pressure.)

    Until you can convince the Neocons that their government has been conducting false flags, violating the Constitution, and ignoring our Founders’ advice regarding foreign policy – and this in pursuit of a Progressive agenda – you can’t reach us.

    We THINK our government largely wants to follow the Constitution (well, maybe not so much as of late).

    I suggest using Austrian Economics to chink the armor of our belief that the Government’s basically doing the best they can, because foreign policy is a tough nut to directly crack.

    I recommend these on foreign policy:

    Ron Paul Predicted 9/11 a Decade Ago!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Is Ron Paul serious? Blowback in 1979 from a 1953 coup?

    Ron Paul’s 2002 Predictions All Come True – Incredible Video!

    War, Ron Paul, and Conservatism

    Santorum Won Debate on Iran, Say Drones

    Ron Paul Is a ‘Stooge for Hitler’?

    Another United Nations War?

    [WWW]The Pearl Harbor Myth: Rethinking the Unthinkable

    The Mysteries of Tonkin Gulf

    AP Exclusive: Memos show US hushed up Soviet crime

    Third Annual Message to Congress by Thomas Jefferson

    We have seen with sincere concern the flames of war lighted up again in Europe, and nations with which we have the most friendly and useful relations engaged in mutual destruction. While we regret the miseries in which we see others involved let us bow with gratitude to that kind Providence which, inspiring with wisdom and moderation our late legislative councils while placed under the urgency of the greatest wrongs, guarded us from hastily entering into the sanguinary contest, and left us only to look on and to pity its ravages. These will be heaviest on those immediately engaged. Yet the nations pursuing peace will not be exempt from all evil. In the course of this conflict, let it be our endeavor, as it is our interest and desire, to cultivate the friendship of the belligerent nations by every act of justice and of incessant kindness; to receive their armed vessels with hospitality from the distresses of the sea, but to administer the means of annoyance to none; to establish in our harbors such a police as may maintain law and order; to restrain our citizens from embarking individually in a war in which their country takes no part; to punish severely those persons, citizen or alien, who shall usurp the cover of our flag for vessels not entitled to it, infecting thereby with suspicion those of real Americans, and committing us into controversies for the redress of wrongs not our own …

    Washington’s Farewell Address

    The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

    Mike Church, Tom Woods, and Kevin Gutzman Destroy Neocons Mark Levin and Jeffrey Lord – Part 1

    Why They Hate Us
    [or, originally, Why the Left Fears Libertarianism]

    Rethinking the Good War

    And for Austrian Economics, I recommend these:

    Ron Paul Calls the Housing Collapse in 2003

    Peter Schiff Was Right 2006 – 2007 (2nd Edition)

    Ron Paul: “This real-estate bubble will burst, as all bubbles do” (part 3)

    Smashing Myths and Restoring Sound Money | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

    Answering the Same Old Arguments Against Sound Money | Thomas E. Woods, Jr.

    Economic Cycles Before the Fed | Thomas E Woods, Jr.

    The Birth of the Austrian School | Josep T. Salerno

    Calculation and Socialism | Joseph T. Salerno

    Critics Say, “You Libertarians Are Soulless Materialists”

    • guest says:

      Note that I was not, now, intending to claim support for UN inspections. They are illegitimate.

  5. Tel says:

    But, but… didn’t he say, “Mission Accomplished” ?

    That means Congress approved his warmongering in 2003, and he got all the resources he asked for, plenty of cash for Haliburton, and whatever it was he set out to do, well he did it.

    So now it was the liberal media’s fault?

    • Ken B says:

      Actually I don’t think he did. I think sailors on ship flew a banner with that phrase and Bush was photographed in front of it. I think you can make a pretty persuasive case he and his team meant that, and exploited the photo op, but I don’t think he actually said it.

  6. Cody S says:

    Okay, so the guy who got elected deriding the same war you all hate has decided to start another in a neighboring country, and what happens here?

    The Austrians start whining about Bush again.

    Way to stick to the meaningful stuff, guys.

    Why even talk about current Fed policy? We can just carp about Greenspan some more.

    Does anyone think the Sox will ever beat The Curse?

    • Richie says:

      Um, which group brought up Bush first? Dr. Murphy is responding to them.

      • Ken B says:

        Not on this blog. That silly poster was somewhere else; Bob dragged it over here to discuss it.

    • guest says:

      Does anyone think the Sox will ever beat The Curse?


      Just putting this out there for contemplation: Maybe it was rigged.

      You know, like how there were enough good pitches for batters to compete for the “out of the park” world record? That there was going to be a competition was taken as a given, it seemed.

      • guest says:

        Home run record, I mean; Not “out of the park” record.

  7. Innocent says:

    As a Conservative/Libertarian I am in awe of the stupidity of this picture and message. Second, I would NEVER call Bush a Conservative. He was a Republican. He agreed with a few principles of ‘Conservatism’ but that is about as far as I would go with him.

    If there were WMD’s in Iraq they were gone when we got there. We found none. The story of WMD’s was used to attempt to gain international and internal support for military action. If anything I think that we should use it as a cautionary tale now against action in Syria, even with the use of Chemical Weapons as far as going in as a ‘lone wolf’.

    Let us not allow our emotions to be manipulated a second time. Are Chemical Weapons horrific, yes. Does that mean we should attack Syria without a clear understanding of Who used them, how much of it they have, what they intend to do in the future and if the rest of the world even cares? Heck I feel just as strongly about abortion as I do WMD’s being used on people. does that mean I should take a proactive attempt of force to stop people from having abortions? Can I lob a few grenades into abortion clinics because ‘that will teach them’?

    Of course not.

    The Picture and post above is stupid, ignorant, and to be honest offensive to me as a Conservative. I can’t understand why any Conservatives would praise this. Lastly I have many Muslim friends both here and in the Middle East. I know the mentality of some of the more extreme ones is they would not mind kill me and my family. But they lack the means and opportunity to do so and are honestly worried about reprisal. Hence they don’t act on the feelings. Not all of them mind you, just a few. They are even open and honest about this with me lol…

  8. Ken B says:

    The Bush poster above is foolish but I like this one … https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BTPhrINIIAAsvq-.jpg

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