Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Another member of the Canadian right-wing wankerhood.

In the same way it's always a pleasure to find another worthwhile, progressive Canadian blog, it's almost as much fun to stumble across a Canadian site that's so stunningly moronic, it's worth the read just for the entertainment value.

Following a link from this article over at Antonia's place, I came upon one Damian J. Penny, whose sole redeeming virtue appears to be that, since he's in Newfoundland, I don't have to worry about him ever showing up and sucking all the intellect out of the room or something.

Ms. Z included his site as an example of "Canadian content drool" over Bush's painfully meaningless speech last night and, sad to say, I think she was being overly polite. Penny opens with:


Full text here. Some of President Bush's speaking appearances in the past have been absolutely painful to watch (he's not the orator Adolf Hitler was, as the CounterPunch crowd would say), but he seemed genuinely confident and resolute this evening.

So he's on better meds these days. Big deal. Then Penny descends into gibbering stupidity in the space of a single sentence:

I wish Bush had explained that the WMD issue was just one of several reasons for the invasion of Iraq, ...

And why exactly didn't George try this strategy? Because, quite simply, it would have been total crap. There was one reason, and only one reason, that was offered for the invasion of Iraq when it initially happened, and that was weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). Not regime change. Not terrorism. Not spreading democracy. Not Saddam's mistreatment, torture and gassing of his people. None of that. This was a weapons issue, plain and simple.

And how do I know that? Because, unlike Mr. Penny, I can read. And what I'm reading is a revealing document entitled "Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq" which describes, in excruciating detail, the rationale under which the Congress of the United States authorized military force against Iraq. So follow along as we quote selective snippets out of that document to show exactly what the focus was:

Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq's war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;

Let's stop here just long enough to note well that the opening sentence of this resolution makes it clear that, first and foremost, the issue here is one related to defending "the national security of the United States." In short, unless it pertains directly to security, it's not relevant here. So, keeping that in mind, let's continue reading to see just how explicit is the emphasis on WMDs, shall we?

Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terror;

Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

Whereas in 1998 Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in "material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations" and urged the President "to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations" (Public Law 105-235);

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

Starting to get the idea? It's not clear how anyone could read this and not understand that this was about WMDs and alleged threats to U.S. national security. And yet, admittedly, every so often, the authors of the resolution apparently felt the need to add a quick human touch, as in the next paragraph:

Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

Well, yes, Saddam most certainly did mistreat large segments of his citizens but, regardless of how you feel about that, that in no possible way represents a security threat to the U.S., just as the rest of that passage is absolutely irrelevant when it comes to security issues.

Anyone with a functioning brain stem who reads that resolution will know that it was written, presented and approved with one, and only one, relevant issue at hand -- WMDs and the threat to national security. You will read in vain for even a single mention of "torture", "gassed", "regime change", "democracy" or "freedom" simply because, at the time, no one involved gave a rat's ass about any of that.

Which, coming full circle, nicely explains why Bush never, as Mr. Penny so fervently wished he had, "explained that the WMD issue was just one of several reasons for the invasion of Iraq." Because, quite simply, it wasn't. It was the reason, and the only reason, which makes it kind of surprising that anyone would be such an idiot as to even make the suggestion.

And as to Mr. Penny's lament that he was also "a bit surprised [Bush] didn't address the allegations about Guantanamo Bay," well ... sorry, but there's only so much terminal stupidity I can handle in one day.

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