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Guest George Burdell

Why Iraq?

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Guest Loki

Mulshine is an editorial writer. He writes opinion backed up by sources. You will find equally compelling arguments from a different writer with different viewpoints, also based by source materials.

Just wanted to differentiate between reporting and the opinion pages.

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No one has yet posted what would seem like a good argument for the war in Irag.

The consensus seems to be not in retaliation for 9/11 so that's not the reason.

Why Iraq?

If it's to spread democracy and freedom, Why not Belarus?  Why not not North Korea?  Why not Myanmar?  Why not any number of ***istans?  Why was Iraq chosen?

Some claim due to non-compliance with UN sanctions.  Two big snags here.  If that's the reason why not insist on and wait for UN action?  And for those who would argue the ineffectiveness of the UN, why would you then give so much credence to the sanctions of such an ineffective group?  Why Iraq?

Because of sanctioning of Al Qaeda activities?  Really no proof and certainly not the only country that fits that description.  Why was Iraq singled out?

And yes, I remember our actions in Afghanistan also

I'm sure there are reasons on many levels but:

Haliburton is already well net-worked in the area?

The wayward son proving to his targeted daddy that the son is worthy of his place in the privileged life he has enjoyed?

You are telling me that we should check with the UN and allow them to help???

These are the same people who did nothing for the Rwandans, brought us the oil for food scandal (a primary reason why sanctions would never work), and placed Syria on the Human Rights Council. Sorry, not inspired by their abilities, or standards.

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Mulshine is an editorial writer.  He writes opinion backed up by sources.  You will find equally compelling arguments from a different writer with different viewpoints, also based by source materials.

Just wanted to differentiate between reporting and the opinion pages.

I think I did differentiate, I never suggested anyone believe his OPINIONS, I suggested taking names/events he mentioned and doing your own research to get the facts.

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Instead read the cover story of the Bergen Record from 12/13.  Iraqi's happy for a chance at freedom and democracy.  Or is this also being fed to us by the administration?

I NEVER suggested believing Mulshine, half the time I'm not even sure what he's saying or backing, I suggested taking names/events he mentioned and doing your own, independent research.

And yes, I believe the administration does maintain press control. Didn't the DoD just admit payments to place stories. And notice pictures are not allowed at Dover AFB when the fallen are returned and I don't accepte their argument to maintain dignity. I f you are going to be so quick to offer graphic proof of the good then let's have balanced reporting and represent the cost graphically too.

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Yes that is a win.

The US is not there to promise anything.  As far as I've read and heard, we are there to clean up their mess, kill a bunch of terrorists and bad guys as a bonus, turn it over to the Iraqi's, and get out.  What they do with it after we're gone is their business.

Good to hear from the Neanderthal faction of foreign relations.

If you think it's worth the investment in blood and $ we're making only to allow things to revert back immediately after our withdrawal you have a very questionable value system.

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Guest Devil's Advocate
You are telling me that we should check with the UN and allow them to help???

These are the same people who did nothing for the Rwandans, brought us the oil for food scandal (a primary reason why sanctions would never work), and placed Syria on the Human Rights Council.  Sorry, not inspired by their abilities, or standards.

Not "inspired by their standards"? That's EXACTLY my point. Why are people so willing to cite UN sanctions as reason to go to war when the UN's standard's are as you say so uninspiring?

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Guest george Burdell
Yes that is a win.

The US is not there to promise anything.  As far as I've read and heard, we are there to clean up their mess, kill a bunch of terrorists and bad guys as a bonus, turn it over to the Iraqi's, and get out.  What they do with it after we're gone is their business.

So by your reasoning it's fine to ultimately spend who knows how many lives, accept injuries in the tens of thousands, and spend hundreds of billions of dollars and then leave and leave open the possibility of a government that's even more brutal to its citizens and more anti-American than the one we removed?

That is truly absurd.

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Not "inspired by their standards"?  That's EXACTLY my point.  Why are people so willing to cite UN sanctions as reason to go to war when the UN's standard's are as you say so uninspiring?

I think it was Saddam's disregard for sanctions that was so troublesome. He promised to do certain things after 1991, and went back on all promises. How long do you allow someone to ignore the int'l. community before something needs to be done.

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I think it was Saddam's disregard for sanctions that was so troublesome.  He promised to do certain things after 1991, and went back on all promises.  How long do you allow someone to ignore the int'l. community before something needs to be done.

If you believe the sanctions have merit why do you not insist action be taken by the issuing body? If we have no belief in the sanctions or the UN Saddam should have been taken down during the first Gulf War, why give him another 10 years to dig in?

If the concern is Saddam ignoring the international community, why do you not insist on action by the international community?

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Good to hear from the Neanderthal faction of foreign relations.

If you think it's worth the investment in blood and $ we're making only to allow things to revert back immediately after our withdrawal you have a very questionable value system.

Do you think it was worth the blood and money to defeat Germany, Japan, and Korea? Over 50 years later and we still maintain over 100,000 troops between those 3 countries and not one of you B**ch about it. You know why? Because it is good for the world that we maintain a presence in those regions. It would have been good for Vietnam also. Funny how they want our businesses and economic benefits now. I guess we won that war after all.

And it will be good for the Middle East that we maintain a presence there also.

Stop being blinded by your hatred of Bush and use your heads.

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Do you think it was worth the blood and money to defeat Germany, Japan, and Korea? Over 50 years later and we still maintain over 100,000 troops between those 3 countries and not one of you B**ch about it.  You know why? Because it is good for the world that we maintain a presence in those regions.  It would have been good for Vietnam also.  Funny how they want our businesses and economic benefits now.  I guess we won that war after all. 

And it will be good for the Middle East that we maintain a presence there also.

Stop being blinded by your hatred of Bush and use your heads.

We defeated Korea? How do you figure that?

Japan was certainly a war of necessity and by extension their ally Germany was a necessity. We maintain troops in Germany and Japan to have jumping off spots for conflict in other countries, not to maintain peace in those countries and avert civil war as is likely in Iraq. And there is a very large difference between maintaining a presence in the Middle East and starting an ill planned war of choice. You must have amazing psychic powers to say what would have been good for VietNam.

And do not speak of my "hatred of Bush", I actually like the guy, I just think he's not up to the tasks of the presidency and has a very poor staff of advisors.

I'm not impressed by the fact it took quite a bit of argument for Bush to agree to a ban on cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees. And for you silly folks about to say "do whatever it takes" to detainees you should realize that when you sink to the level of those you condemn you are no better.

Bush will be safely in residence in Crawford playing cowboy long before we can truly judge whether it was all worthwhile, I hope it is because we are incurring a debt that sveral generations yet to come in America will be paying for. My opinion is he made the crucial mistake of jumping into a long term problem and had only short term planning on his side.

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Do you think it was worth the blood and money to defeat Germany, Japan, and Korea?

You must be in the wrong thread, this question has no relavence to the question:Why Iraq?

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Do you think it was worth the blood and money to defeat Germany, Japan, and Korea? Over 50 years later and we still maintain over 100,000 troops between those 3 countries and not one of you B**ch about it.  You know why? Because it is good for the world that we maintain a presence in those regions.  It would have been good for Vietnam also.  Funny how they want our businesses and economic benefits now.  I guess we won that war after all. 

Peace existed in Japan and Germany after their respective surrenders, according to many this is far from the ony possible outcome in Iraq. There really is no comparison between the two situations, different times, different circumstances.

Bush has admitted that the decision for war was his, he has yet to justify that decision. He's admitted faulty intelligence, the big question is when was it known? It's been published that the CIA tried to dissuade Bush from using the storyof Iraq seeking uranium in Africa, it was known to be faulty intelligence, Bush went ahead and used it anyway. What really needs to be known is how much other known faulty intelligence he was aware of and when? If it was the factors he claimed made war necessary he should be impeached. He is not a king who is immune from questioning, He's a man doing a job that he asked for and should be held accountable for his actions.

Bush supporters are prone to use the "people like you" or the "hatred of Bush" defenses, no one has yet offered a reasoned, logical justification of his actions.

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Instead read the cover story of the Bergen Record from 12/13.  Iraqi's happy for a chance at freedom and democracy.  Or is this also being fed to us by the administration?

I've never said that there was no good being done by our actions, the question is at what cost?

And as far as "being fed to us by the administration", if you truly think they promote an unbiased reporting can you tell me where to find the published civilian casualty figures? Is the fact that they're missing an administration oversight? I think not.

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Guest Radagast
Do you think it was worth the blood and money to defeat Germany, Japan, and Korea? Over 50 years later and we still maintain over 100,000 troops between those 3 countries and not one of you B**ch about it.  You know why? Because it is good for the world that we maintain a presence in those regions.  It would have been good for Vietnam also.  Funny how they want our businesses and economic benefits now.  I guess we won that war after all. 

And it will be good for the Middle East that we maintain a presence there also.

Stop being blinded by your hatred of Bush and use your heads.

This is truly the basis of the problem, as I see it. Aside from all the discussion of the lack of WMDs and terrorist connections in Iraq, what Bush's little adventure has done is make it less likely that the United States WILL maintain a presence in the Middle East. Overwhelmingly, the Iraqis' want us out of their country. The chances of a permenant military base in Iraq is almost non-existent. The war has weakened our credibility with just about every nation in the Middle East not to mention the rest of the planet. The Saudis already threw us out, who will be next? Our presence in the Middle East isn't good for anyone right now.

Vietnam has a large untapped oil reserve and they are looking for investment from anywhere to exploit. China will likely have more influence than we will. Any relationship the US has will be more to our advantage than theirs. Vietnam can sell their oil anywhere.

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Do you think it was worth the blood and money to defeat Germany, Japan, and Korea? Over 50 years later and we still maintain over 100,000 troops between those 3 countries and not one of you B**ch about it.  You know why? Because it is good for the world that we maintain a presence in those regions.  It would have been good for Vietnam also.  Funny how they want our businesses and economic benefits now.  I guess we won that war after all. 

And it will be good for the Middle East that we maintain a presence there also.

Stop being blinded by your hatred of Bush and use your heads.

America is a great place, none finer, that doesn't mean it can't be improved or that we should feel it unnecessary to keep an eye on its elected officials.

Why are you so willing to blindly assume the government or so called "American presence" always does the right thing? Two small examples that aren't speculation or opinion but historical fact.

The internment of Japanese-American citizens, not visa holding immigrants but US BORN CITIZENS. The government at its finest? Maybe if racism is a selling point.

The previously mentioned US backed overthrow of Allende and miltary dictatorship of Pinochet. This was a benefit of American presence? Remember there are many disappeared by Pinochet who still lie in hidden graves and have no voice.

Hatred of Bush? No, hatred of his willingness to hide behind the cloud of faulty intelligence and the platitudes he spouts, hatred of what could only be his ignorance of history or insensitivety to when he referred to the war on terror as a crusade, hatred of the arrogance exhibited by Cheney and Rumsfeld. Faulty Intelligence is like ignorance of the law, an unacceptable defense.

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Guest Loki

Let's all start from one point of agreement. If the intelligence was faulty, it was cited by both sides of the political spectrum. This point is not open to discussion. There are those who say "the Congress doesn't see the same intelligence as the President", while this may be true, they are not allowed to get a pass because they were too (lazy, busy, trusting, or substitute your own word). We are allowed, in fact entitled, to expect more from elected officials, all of them.

The fact that the CIA tried to dissuade the use of the Niger story is peculiar to me.

At a time when intelligence gathering was taking a hit for not foreseeing 9/11, some would have you believe that the CIA intelligence is now an ultimately exact science. I don't buy it. In my opinion, the CIA is in self preservation mode; as long as everyone is asking questions about the cause for war, or the "perceived CIA leak", no one is questioning the CIA any more.

What I expect from those in positions of public service is their very best effort. I expect elected officials to examine the issues before voting on it. I expect the military, and in my view, they have been outstanding; to wage their war in a responsible manner. Abu Ghraib was a terrible offense to this country, and those involved should be punished, however we do not damn the entire military because of it. Civilian casualties should be kept to an ABSOLUTE minimum, but not at the risk of further exposing our troops to further casualty rate. Some will argue that this is a callous attitude, fine; however, our military should not be asked to fight with one hand tied behind their back. See how careful the insurgency is being about civilian casualties. Sorry, my mistake, they don't care. I expect the CIA to obtain accurate info, and I will not ask them to look for this info at the PTA meetings; if they need to deal with unsavory characters to obtain information, so be it. Keeping the CIA away from these sorts quite probably cost us our best chance to prevent a 9/11 attack.

For those who think this war exposes us to further acts of violence, I offer a comparison. A bully tries to take your lunch money (attack your country), you either give him the money (embassy bombings, USS Cole, WTC bombing #1), or you fight back like we are doing now. Make no mistake, these extremists' enemy is all of Western Civilization.

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Let's all start from one point of agreement.  If the intelligence was faulty, it was cited by both sides of the political spectrum.  This point is not open to discussion.  There are those who say "the Congress doesn't see the same intelligence as the President", while this may be true, they are not allowed to get a pass because they were too (lazy, busy, trusting, or substitute your own word).  We are allowed, in fact entitled, to expect more from elected officials, all of them.

The fact that the CIA tried to dissuade the use of the Niger story is peculiar to me.

At a time when intelligence gathering was taking a hit for not foreseeing 9/11, some would have you believe that the CIA intelligence is now an ultimately exact science.  I don't buy it.  In my opinion, the CIA is in self preservation mode; as long as everyone is asking questions about the cause for war, or the "perceived CIA leak", no one is questioning the CIA any more.

<<SNIP>>

For those who think this war exposes us to further acts of violence, I offer a comparison.  A bully tries to take your lunch money (attack your country), you either give him the money (embassy bombings, USS Cole, WTC bombing #1), or you fight back like we are doing now.  Make no mistake, these extremists' enemy is all of Western Civilization.

The big question now isn't IF the intelligence was faulty but WHEN it was known to be faulty.

The CIS/Niger story seems to be well documented, the point is Bush went ahead and knowingly used it.

I absolutely agree you fight the bully but............................If you are sucker punched, knocked down by someone you didn't see, it can be a very dangerous thing to get up and attack someone who you think MIGHT have punched you.

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Guest Radagast

Gee, Loki, that's a lot of stuff, so lets take it from the top:

>>Let's all start from one point of agreement. If the intelligence was faulty, it was cited by both sides of the political spectrum. This point is not open to discussion. <<

Some Democrats were buying the Company Line but not all. There are more than two sides to this so don't try to justify Bush by pointing to Democrats who were trusting in his word. The 'Otter Defence' as I like to call it, from 'Animal House' when Otter tells Flounder, 'Hey! You Fd up, you trusted us,"

>> There are those who say "the Congress doesn't see the same intelligence as the President", while this may be true, they are not allowed to get a pass because they were too (lazy, busy, trusting, or substitute your own word). We are allowed, in fact entitled, to expect more from elected officials, all of them.<<

The President wasn't sharing any intel that did not agree with what he had already decided to do. Hell, he might not have even bothered to look at intel that wasn't telling him to attack Iraq. However, other people were and they had a lot of doubts that they expressed at the time but were dismissed by BushCo because it wasn't the Company Line. Congress never heard them until after the invasion and couldn't hear them over the loud Iraq Pep Rally that started in 2002.

>>The fact that the CIA tried to dissuade the use of the Niger story is peculiar to me. At a time when intelligence gathering was taking a hit for not foreseeing 9/11, some would have you believe that the CIA intelligence is now an ultimately exact science. I don't buy it. In my opinion, the CIA is in self preservation mode; as long as everyone is asking questions about the cause for war, or the "perceived CIA leak", no one is questioning the CIA any more.<<

It took a long time for people like me to get the national focus on the long list of abuses by the Administration surrounding this war. Up until a short while ago, most people were falling over themselves kissing Bush's butt. The worm has turned. There clearly was a leak and Mr. Fitzgerld, I hope, will find out who is responsible. The CIA was never perfect, that's a given. Many times, intel is conflicting. However, there were clear signs that intel about Iraq was being manipulated by parties with a self interest in removing Saddam, Ahmad Chalabi for example. Also, the CIA wasn't the only agency calling the shots. The group set up by Douglas Feith and others under Rumsfeld at the Pentagon was filtering intel to sell the war. They were often at odds with the CIA and the State Dept. Only the Executive Branch knew about ALL the intel and they did not share ALL of it with Congress

>>What I expect from those in positions of public service is their very best effort. I expect elected officials to examine the issues before voting on it. I expect the military, and in my view, they have been outstanding; to wage their war in a responsible manner. Abu Ghraib was a terrible offense to this country, and those involved should be punished, however we do not damn the entire military because of it. <<

The military isn't allowed to have opinions. They do what they are told. They work for the Commander-in-Chief. He gives them the war they figure out how to fight it the best they can ... even if they can't win it.

>> Civilian casualties should be kept to an ABSOLUTE minimum, but not at the risk of further exposing our troops to further casualty rate. Some will argue that this is a callous attitude, fine; however, our military should not be asked to fight with one hand tied behind their back. See how careful the insurgency is being about civilian casualties. Sorry, my mistake, they don't care.<<

No, they don't care ... but we're supposed to be improving life in Iraq ... we're supposed to be different. Our troops should never have been exposed to the dangers they face in Iraq to begin with. The sooner they are out of there the sooner they will stop getting killed and hurt.

>>I expect the CIA to obtain accurate info, and I will not ask them to look for this info at the PTA meetings; if they need to deal with unsavory characters to obtain information, so be it. Keeping the CIA away from these sorts quite probably cost us our best chance to prevent a 9/11 attack.<<

I agree with you on most of this, however, the 9/11 attackers were on US soil, not CIA turf. I won't rehash my old argument that if someone is willing to kill themselves to kill you, there isn't much you can do to prevent it, but that's where I stand. I, at least, am not willing to blame George Bush or anyone else in government for 9/11.

>>For those who think this war exposes us to further acts of violence, I offer a comparison. A bully tries to take your lunch money (attack your country), you either give him the money (embassy bombings, USS Cole, WTC bombing #1), or you fight back like we are doing now. Make no mistake, these extremists' enemy is all of Western Civilization.<<

There are a bunch of bullies on this planet. Saddam was certainly one of them. But let's face it, even Bush would not have gotten away with attacking Iraq if 9/11 had not happened and if he did not plant, at least, the perception that Saddam was responsible or that Saddam was a clear and present danger to the United States. That perception was wrong. So while we are spending lives and military assets in Iraq, Spain gets attacked, London gets attacked along with other countries. The bullies that hit us are still out there hitting people and we have done little to stop them.

We are 'staying the course' and misdirecting our efforts.

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Guest Loki

Gee, Loki, that's a lot of stuff, so lets take it from the top:

Some Democrats were buying the Company Line but not all. There are more than two sides to this so don't try to justify Bush by pointing to Democrats who were trusting in his word. The 'Otter Defence' as I like to call it, from 'Animal House' when Otter tells Flounder, 'Hey! You Fd up, you trusted us,"

--Some, would include the Democratic Presidential candidate, the former first lady, Dick Gephardt, Pat Leahy, just about the entire leadership. Those excluded are Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean, I hope you're not THAT kind of Democrat. Follow Kennedy, John not Teddy, much better mind.

It took a long time for people like me to get the national focus on the long list of abuses by the Administration surrounding this war. Up until a short while ago, most people were falling over themselves kissing Bush's butt. The worm has turned. There clearly was a leak and Mr. Fitzgerld, I hope, will find out who is responsible. The CIA was never perfect, that's a given. Many times, intel is conflicting. However, there were clear signs that intel about Iraq was being manipulated by parties with a self interest in removing Saddam, Ahmad Chalabi for example. Also, the CIA wasn't the only agency calling the shots. The group set up by Douglas Feith and others under Rumsfeld at the Pentagon was filtering intel to sell the war. They were often at odds with the CIA and the State Dept. Only the Executive Branch knew about ALL the intel and they did not share ALL of it with Congress

--You will never convince me Plame was a covert agent, so don't try. That being said, people have to have the sense to keep sources protected. To me its a matter of journalistic discretion, where sources in conversation can be quoted but not identified. This one should and will play out in a court. But certainly Bush is not the first president guilty of abuse of power, just can't get past the 900 FBI files.

The military isn't allowed to have opinions. They do what they are told. They work for the Commander-in-Chief. He gives them the war they figure out how to fight it the best they can ... even if they can't win it.

--This is always one of my favorites. "Bush went to war without a plan". Apparently the Military War College, who has contingent plans on countless enemies, just overlooked war plans for the country we went to war with a decade ago, and were in fact still patroling at the time. Tough sell.

There are a bunch of bullies on this planet. Saddam was certainly one of them. But let's face it, even Bush would not have gotten away with attacking Iraq if 9/11 had not happened and if he did not plant, at least, the perception that Saddam was responsible or that Saddam was a clear and present danger to the United States. That perception was wrong. So while we are spending lives and military assets in Iraq, Spain gets attacked, London gets attacked along with other countries. The bullies that hit us are still out there hitting people and we have done little to stop them.

--I agree that Bush would not have been able to make a case for war without 9/11.

But, I guess I was more troubled than you that Saddam ignored the mandate of the international community. You have to agree, despite the call for longer inspections, etc.; Saddam was hardly cooperative. Philosophically we disagree on the effects of sanctions, whatever money that Hussein collected under sanctions went to his own endeavors, leaving those people to fend for themselves. You may think Bush is a bully, but ask yourself this, if Bill Clinton was president, and doing exactly the same thing, would you find fault or be cheerleader.

--As for me, if American troops step into harms way, I support the Commander in Chief without reservation.

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this

--You will never convince me Plame was a covert agent, so don't try. That being said, people have to have the sense to keep sources protected. To me its a matter of journalistic discretion, where sources in conversation can be quoted but not identified. This one should and will play out in a court. But certainly Bush is not the first president guilty of abuse of power, just can't get past the 900 FBI files.

Odd, the special prosecutor seemed to believe Plame's position, I guess it's the "hide your head in the sand and refuse to be blided by the facts" theory of government you like.

Bush not being the first president to abuse the position doesn't absolve him of answering for his actions. NO ONE should be held to be above the law and that includes the president.

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--As for me, if American troops step into harms way, I support the Commander in Chief without reservation.

I support the troops , they are fine young men and women and soldiers who are doing as they have been trained and ordered.

If the Commander in Chief places them in harm's way for no valid reason or for reason(s) based on lies or omission of facts then HE must be stopped and made to answer for his misdeeds.

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Guest Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the White House

The fear was of questions and not of a mouse

Ol' Georgie was puzzled and could only guess

Why people were saying he'd created a mess

Dickie was arrogant it's truly his way

All he'd say was "I don't give a rat's a** what people say"

Donny was silent thought maybe he could hide

The fact that his attitude is truly snide

They don't understand why people question this war

"We think the talk should still be of Clinton's wh**e"

So these three wise? men say while huddled together

Say " At least when young we could just cry for Mother"

They'll spy on their enemies they'll spy on their friends

They're silly to believe it's not means but just ends

I pray for our daughters, I pray for our sons

May they see the rising of many, many more subs

But one thing I'll wish for even more than a Lexus

Is for the hip shootin' cowboy to go back to Texas

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Guest Loki
Odd, the special prosecutor seemed to believe Plame's position, I guess it's the "hide your head in the sand and refuse to be blided by the facts" theory of government you like.

Bush not being the first president to abuse the position doesn't absolve him of answering for his actions.  NO ONE should be held to be above the law and that includes the president.

Of course not, only Democrats' are above the law.

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Guest Georgie Dubya Shrub

I really don't unnerstand what all you folks is arguin' about. Why just the other day i arranged for a buncha nice people to have some lower taxes and they all agree that things is just fine and dandy. Trust me, things'll be OK, when y'all have realized that that's the truth you just let me know, I got a little bridge in Brooklyn that I'm gonna let y'all have a good deal on. And if ya hear a click on your phone line don't worry, it's just a 'feature'.

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