Tuesday, September 20, 2005

If At First You Don't Succeed....

Michael Ledeen intones darkly:
MORE ON CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN IRAQ...AND MAYBE HERE
Bill Roggio continues his excellent work on this extremely important subject (do you have your gas mask yet?).
Check out the link to which Ledeen refers, which is here. It's pathetic.

These guys never give up, do they? You'd think as our troop deaths rapidly approach 2,000, Ledeen would turn a tad introspective. Alas, no---he actually has the temerity to peddle lines like "do you have your gas mask yet?"

Assuming this administration understands that John Bolton would get laughed across the East River, if we can't find a suitable candidate to make the inevitable presentation to the U.N. about Iran (or Syria? Venezuela???) I hereby nominate Michael Ledeen. "Mobile bioweapons lab" would roll off his tongue so smoothly, wouldn't it?

Does anyone know the half-life of shamelessness?

40 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The half-life of shamelessness? Let me refer you to Kenneth Pollack on that one, as soon as I finish "The Persian Puzzle".

9/20/2005 8:40 PM  
Blogger bill roggio said...

"It's pathetic"

What is? The fact that a chemical weapons facility was discovered in Tal Afar? Or that al Qaeda has been pursuing chemical weapons, under the direction of Abu Khabab, as documented in the Senate Select Intelligence Commission and the 9-11 Commission? Or do you discount these reports? Please, enlighten us with your infinite wisdom. Tell us that al Qaeda is not pursuing chemical weapons, despite the reams of evidence to the contrary. Heck, just watch them gas that dog in Afghanistan. Or was CNN lying? Which is it?

In your desire to conduct a not so clever political attack on Mr. Ledeen, you attack the article without nothing more than a few angry words. Now that's pathetic. Oh, and cowardly.

9/20/2005 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

billroggio
If gas wasn't so expensive, I'd tell you to "take the pipe".
No one is forcing you to this site that I'm aware of. Maybe you'd be happier somewhere more suited to your "intellect".

9/20/2005 9:14 PM  
Anonymous scott_api said...

Bill-

AQ has chemical weapons. They have used them, and continue to use them. Saddam didn't have them. These weapons were not n Iraq when we invaded. Bin Laden, the man that is planning to use these weapons, is still free. That is what is pathetic.

9/20/2005 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wars and lies they always go together. The myth is that we (the allies) are above lies and deceit, unfortunately we are not. I'd still like to find out why the British Marines were dressed up like Arabs and firing on civilians. All is never what it seems. Waving the flag doesn't mean mindlessly following the current agenda.

Good Post

9/20/2005 9:47 PM  
Blogger bill roggio said...

scott_api,

Where did I mention Saddam in my post? I specifically discussed the chemical find in Tal Afar, and al Qaeda's pursuit of WMD, which is quite real.

As far as anonymous #1 goes,

Not sure what al Qaeda's desire for WMD has to do with the cost of gas. Maybe you should look into the status of your own "intellect", as your ability to make a coherent argument is questionable. The Realist challenged my work, I challenged him to tell me exactly what is so pathetic about it. Or is debate not welcome in the comments, and you prefer your comfy little echo chamber?

9/20/2005 10:14 PM  
Blogger DrDave said...

I believe the half life for shamelessness is four years.

9/20/2005 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clinton is still as shameless as ever.

9/21/2005 1:07 AM  
Blogger The Cunning Realist said...

To Bill Roggio:

I should have been a bit more clear. My intent was not so much to impugn your work (though in light of your posts on this board, you deserve some impugning) as it was to jeer Ledeen for breathlessly citing it as something to warrant getting our gas masks ready. No reasonable person (and I don't include Ledeen in that group, obviously) would deny that the "evidence" of chem/bio weapons you present is more than a bit "thin"...a few soldiers experiencing "burning eyes" and "sore throats" in Iraq of all places is not exactly evidence of anything these days. Of course, we know Ledeen does not see it that way, which is one reason we find ourselves in our current predicament and have lost almost 2,000 men and women.

In an above post, you state that "a chemical weapons facility was discovered in Tal Afar." Precisely what evidence do you have of that? A few soldiers with sore throats? You present nothing else. You then follow that with the non sequitur that "Al Qaeda has been very interested in augmenting their arsenal with chemical and biological weapons." True perhaps, but nonsense in the context in which you use it.

This is the kind of sloppy agenda-driven thinking that got us into the mess we currently face. It must be confronted and rejected.

9/21/2005 4:22 AM  
Blogger Hume's Ghost said...

You would think anyone complicit in theh Iran-Contra scandal would automatically be disbarred from having anything to do with foreign policy. But we the American public are a forgetful bunch, and the press doesn't do to much reminding.

"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business." - Ledeen, attributed with admiration by Jonah Goldberg

9/21/2005 8:53 AM  
Anonymous scott_api said...

Bill-

You never mentioned Saddam. I didn't mean to imply you did, my fault for firing off my reply too quick. The point I was trying to make was that the weapons were not there prior to our invasion, yet they were one of the reasons given for invading.

On another subject - is anyone else bother about having to verify their post? Was CR getting slammed with spam posts or something?

9/21/2005 9:35 AM  
Blogger bill roggio said...

Cunning Realist,

I cited U.S. Army Col. McMaster, who stated as such in his press briefing. I cited his words extensively in the post. I'll excerpt it again here:

"In one of these buildings the enemy had big barrels of chemicals that had explosives implanted in the chemicals, wires running around, and the whole house was rigged for demolition. Around this house a lot of families were living. Our soldiers were conducting an area reconnaissance operation. They went into this house. Immediately their eyes began burning, their throat began burning, so they withdrew out of the house immediately and then we conducted reconnaissance with some chemical protective gear and with a remote reconnaissance capability into the house and we could tell that the thing was rigged with chemicals....We found some manuals that describe how they could make sort of these kind of chemical dirty bombs and so forth."

Now, if you chose not to believe Col. McMaster, that is your choice. I see no reason not to believe him, based on al Qaeda's history of attempting to obtain and use chemical weapons.

I'll not trade insults with you about sloppy, agenda-driven writing

scott_api,

I am not arguing whether weapons were there before we got there or not. That's an entirely separate debate.

9/21/2005 11:29 AM  
Blogger bill roggio said...

And just to clarify, it case it wasn't abundantly clear in Col. McMaster's statement. I wasn't just 'A few soldiers with sore throats.' The military sent in a chemical recon team to inspect and verify the find.

But perhaps I'm being unreasonable.

9/21/2005 12:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill, that's pretty thin.

No indication of what the chemicals are, whether they were manufactured for this task, etc. ALL bombs are chemical weapons, and many household chemicals could do what's described above. Any WalMart in the US could deliver what is described above and there are plenty of copies of the Anarchist Cookbook in the US that can give you the instructions.

When these things start being used in a systematic fashion and present a viable risk to people here, THEN the alarm can be sounded. But people in this country are afraid of their own shadow because statements like yours lead people to believe every plane is a missile, every farm is a chemical weapon factory, and every car is a bomb.

At some point you have to back up these 'potentials' with probabilities, and the probability that Al Qaeda will harm anyone in the US with a chemical weapon is almost non-existant. I hereby predict that poor hurricane planning (which would cost a trivial amount to address) will result in more US lives lost just due to Rita than the US will lose to domestic terrorism attributable to Al Qaeda over the next year, which we are spending untold dollars to address.

The scaremongers need to steer people to what is most likely to harm them and not only to those things that advance their own agenda.

A question for the community: why have there been no terrorist attacks on the public or infrastructure over the last several years. Enormous damage could be done with a handful of people and a four-figure budget, yet it doesn't happen and there are hundreds of potential scenarios to take advantage of. Why hasn't anything happened?

9/21/2005 12:26 PM  
Blogger bill roggio said...

Sounds to me like you do not believe Col. McMaster. I typically don't go around insinuating military officers are dishonest, but that's me.

So because I could cook up a brew of chemicals in my bathroom, place it in a container and hook explosives up to it means it isn't chemical weapon? I guess Timothy McVeigh really wasn't a terrorist, and those fertilizers he used in Okalhoma City were just a farming project gone bad?

If you prefer to wait until they "start being used in a systematic fashion" they we've already lost. That's the equivalent of implementing airline security after planes are used as guided missiles.

Call it scarmongering or whatever you choose to call it, but the fact is al Qaeda has openely stated they want to obtain and use WMD against the West and unpure Middle Eastern regimes. And they have attempted to do so several times in the recent past.

I am not saying there is a threat threat everywhere you look, I am saying al Qaeda is a threat, and am providing information to back up this assertion.

9/21/2005 12:48 PM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Bill,

From what I read above, it wasn't a "chemical recon team" as you assert -- the Col stated that "we conducted reconnaissance with some chemical protective gear," which is not the same. And I'm guessing that if they did confirm the existence of weapons-grade chemicals, the report would have been more specific about what kind of chemicals were used.

9/21/2005 1:02 PM  
Blogger Tex MacRae said...

Mr. Roggio:

This is a chemical weapons facility.

This is not a chemical weapons facility:

The enemy had rigged a lot of buildings for destruction, and they wanted to time the destruction of these buildings with the entry of our forces. In one of these buildings the enemy had big barrels of chemicals that had explosives implanted in the chemicals, wires running around, and the whole house was rigged for demolition.

9/21/2005 2:01 PM  
Blogger 277fia said...

Let's see - Big barrels of chemicals with explosives planted in them. Wires running around. A "remote reconnaissance capability". House demolition. Dirty chemical bomb manuals.

I assume the remote capability is some kind of video camera. After they saw the barrels and the wires, did someone actually go in the house? Seems somewhat risky.

I can't see how they knew chemicals were in the barrels by looking at them. How did they rummage around a barrel full of who knows what and find the implanted explosives? Seems very risky.

The manuals, I assume, were in full view for the taking.

How was the house demolished? Did they remove the chemicals and explosives first? If not, were the explosives detonated? You wouldn't want to leave them under a pile of rubble.

I'd say it's your standard "proof that Al Qaeda has chemical weapons" story.

Anybody remember the woman who pre-war snuck into the stadium in Afghanistan and filmed night time Taliban executions? I remember reading that she got paid $500,000 but I never saw the film.

What about the movie made by the French film maker that Maureen Dowd wrote about? The guy supposedly had pre- war access to Saddam. If I remember correctly, Dowd said that it showed Saddam's palace with a mile-long underground runway for planes. And there was something about people shooting fish in a pond to serve for dinner. Did anyone else see the movie besides Dowd?

9/22/2005 12:10 AM  
Blogger CMike said...

Anonymous asked:

...why have there been no terrorist attacks on the public or infrastructure over the last several years?

Bin Laden's 9/11 attacks were designed to force the United States to go to war against Muslim fighters in Afghanistan where the al-Qaeda leader and his allies had beaten back the Soviets. Despite what Bush has claimed, Bin Laden is not warring against "our freedoms" which he "hates." The al-Qaeda leader wants to break America's will to support corrupt regimes and base military power in Muslim lands.

Bin Laden understands further attacks on American soil would only steel our resolve to conduct an agressive foreign policy. Effective terrorism is intended to achieve or, at least, forward specific objectives. The attacks in London this year came at a time when Bin Laaden, or someone in charge, correctly determined they would not rally the British people to greater support for their ongoing foreign war(s) in Afghanistan and Iraq.

To be sure, Bin Laden misjudged the power of the United States to conduct successful operations in Afghanistan. He and his grand plan were saved by two blunders: Gen. Tommy Franks et al. unsuccessfully subcontracted the mission to kill Bin Laden when he was located in Tora Bora and George W. Bush undertook a war of choice against what proved to be a deadlier and costlier Muslim resistance in Iraq than Bin Laden could muster in Afghanistan.

In Bin Laden's fatwa against the US he listed three grievences: 1) the basing of US troops in Saudi Arabia, 2) the maintaining of opressive UN sanctions against Muslims in Iraq and 3) the aiding of Israel and its opression of Muslims in Palestine

At this point the United States has withdrawn most of its military from Saudi Arabia and announced its intention to end its military presence in those sacred lands completely. Iraqis may be worse off than ever but the UN sanctions against Iraq have been lifted. When the neo-cons get toppled from their perch in the Republican party, the anti-Israeli Buchanan foreign policy wing will take over the GOP. How's Bin Laden doing?

Of course, I may be all wrong. Perhaps it's the vigilence of the Department of Homeland Security and the machismo of George W. that has kept us safe from al-Qaeda here in the states all these years after 9/11.

9/22/2005 2:58 AM  
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