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diamond
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Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:24 pm

(AP) A top Republican congressman has broken from his party in the final days of his career in the House of Representatives, saying he believes the U.S. military assault on Iraq was unjustified and the situation there has deteriorated into "a dangerous, costly mess."

"I've reached the conclusion, retrospectively, now that the inadequate intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things being considered, it was a mistake to launch that military action," Rep. Doug Bereuter wrote in a letter to his constituents.

"Left unresolved for now is whether intelligence was intentionally misconstrued to justify military action," he said.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/08/18/politics/main636799.shtml
 
L-188
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:27 pm

Well he is entitled to his opinion, no matter how wrong it actually is.
 
DC10GUY
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:35 pm

oooooohhhhhhhh yeahhhhhh. I blew my load when I read that. The truth will set you free. I'm sure he feels better now too.
 
cfalk
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:39 pm

"Left unresolved for now is whether intelligence was intentionally misconstrued to justify military action," he said.

Has this guy been in hibernation the past year or what? Has he bothered to look up any of the investigations into the issue? I know a lot of people here have ignored that, but he's a Congressman and should know better.

Of course, any war is a mistake. WWII was a mistake, resulting from greed and wishfull thinking on the part of the WWI Allies. The Mistakes leading to WWI are described in detail in Robert Massey's great book "Dreadnought".

But I say still that the main mistakes that brought on Gulf War '03 were made by Saddam. He was the one who decided to bluff with a losing hand. I still do not see how a reasonable person could deny believing that Saddam had WMDsback in 2002. Considering the time pressures, war was inevitable in early 2003.

Charles

[Edited 2004-08-19 07:46:03]
 
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Aaron747
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 2:41 pm

Good call Rep.

Spending over $100 billion to rebuild another country under a cockamamie scheme to install democracy for people who don't understand the meaning of the word to protect relationships with despotic royal governments that look the other way as human rights abuses explode under their noses when we've got pressing infrastructure concerns right here at home is definitely what I call *bad policy*.
 
cedarjet
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 5:53 pm

Cfalk: "But I say still that the main mistakes that brought on Gulf War '03 were made by Saddam. He was the one who decided to bluff with a losing hand." He wasn't bluffing, he was telling the truth, and Bush & Co knew it.
 
AvObserver
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:30 pm

L-188, you're entitled to your opinion, as well, but it doesn't necessarily make you right. I don't see that the President made a compelling case for war, whether Saddam had WMDs or not. He didn't clearly show the world how Saddam was a "gathering" threat to the U.S. and he made the decision to go to war while U.N. weapon inspectors were still in Iraq before they'd finished their search. That time, it was Bush who ordered them out, not Saddam, repeating endlessly that Hussein hadn't disarmed before the U.N. team was even done, there. Maybe the search was a sham and Saddam had balked before but he WAS cooperating at the time the inspectors were pulled out, thanks to Bush's prior saber-rattling. Despite Rumsfeld's seemingly compelling Feb. '03 address on WMDs, apparently based on flawed intelligence, it wasn't an urgent matter to invade, more time could've been given to fully assess the situation. If it had, a lot of subsequent problems might've been avoided. It certainly isn't clear to me that Iraq was a bigger immediate threat than Al Queda, many of whom escaped in Afghanistan, thanks largely to inadequate ground troops. Al Queda should've been Priority One in the War on Terror because they HAD attacked us, Iraq had only made some vague rumblings. Many argued then that N. Korea and Iran were bigger worries but Bush seemed obsessed with Iraq. I don't see why we've lost over 1000 soldiers to free Iraqis, especially when a lot of them aren't grateful. You guys seem desperate to spin things any way you can to justify this war but it seems you always come up short. As I see it, the many lives and billions spent to rebuild this sorry mess of a nation aren't worth it, especially when it wasn't much of a threat to THIS country, anyway, weakened by years of sanctions. Shameful!
 
N6376M
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:35 pm

"Top Republican Lawmaker" - let's be honest, before this post who had heard of this guy?

He's entitled to his opinion but this is not big deal.
 
airplay
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:41 pm

Has this guy been in hibernation the past year or what?

Party members are often pressured to "toe the line" no matter how stupid policy is. It is often neccessary to appease the president because being cast out or censured doesn't help you bring about reform.

Based on Bush's level of maturity I haven't decided yet if reform in this case should include a spanking.
 
cfalk
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:24 pm

AvObserver

You seem to forget the logistics of the situation in early 2003. The military buildup in the Middle East either had to go into Iraq, or go home, by the spring of 2003. As it is, they launched the war pretty much at the last possible moment where they could defeat the Iraqis before the summer heat made major unit combat impossible (ever sit in a tank baking under the MidEast sun with 130F in the shade?). If Bush had waited only a week or so more, his military advisors would have recommended scrapping the invasion at least until the end of 2003, when it got cool again.

But that would mean keeping the troops in place for 8-9 months before a new invasion window opened:

- Diplomatically, keeping so many troops in the MidEast for that long would already be very difficult, if not impossible.

- Operationally, the forces would be forced to hunker down and take the heat as well as they could, far away from their normal training facitities, which means that if they did have to invade 9 months later, they would be out of practice due to substandard training, and U.S. casualties would be far greater. Their equipment would also not be in the best of shape, hot having the maintainance facilites they have back home.

- Economically, keeping the forces in-theater for an extra year would be extremely expensive - the better part of $100 billion, as I recall. The public and Congress would never accept that cost, especially if there is no knowledge of whether they would be needed in the end. Getting the troops deployed there cost a huge amount of money, and getting them home again would have also cost a bundle. Congress would also never approve a redeployment again in the spring of 2004, should Saddam decide to stall again.

- Strategically, with the knowledge that for 9 months, a huge chunk of the U.S. military would be rendered practically useless, unavailable to be redeployed elsewhere, and rapidly losing combat efficiency due to lack of proper training facilities, Congress and the U.S. public would find keeping the troops in-theater for that long unacceptable.

- Politically, pulling back the troops without using them and without having resolved the WMD issue would have been a major, major political defeat for Bush, Blair and all the coallition members, from which they would probably never recover. They certainly would not have had the prestige and influence to repeat the deployment in 2004.

We know from interviews with Saddam's officials that Saddam was hoping to force the U.S. to delay an invasion until it was too late - another week or two would have been enough. Once it was clear that an invasion was no longer possible, he would have started obstructing the inspections again, knowing that there was nothing the U.S. could do about it any more. Remember his goal - he wanted to leave the seeds of doubt about his WMDs so that other MidEastern countries would fear him.

Therefore, If the invasion had not started when it did, Saddam would still be in power, the U.S. would have suffered a major diplomatic defeat, there would still be questions and doubts about WMDs, investigators would go home with inconclusive evidence, and the Russians and France would have probably succeeded in removing the sanctions (through a General Assembly vote), thus freeing up Saddam to re-arm - this time for real.

Honestly speaking, even with 20/20 hindsight, the decision to go to war was the correct one - even Kerry has agreed with that.

Charles
 
Alpha 1
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:26 pm

Well he is entitled to his opinion, no matter how wrong it actually is.

The opinion that is wrong, L-188, is yours. And, fortunately, more and more people are starting to see that.

Do you want to join them Jeff?? Because I can wake them up for you. It would be a shame if you had to Jack off by your self.

And QIguy24 sends JeffM, weenie in hand, crashing to the canvas!



Has he bothered to look up any of the investigations into the issue?

Charles, far as I can tell, there has been no specific investigation into if the intel was cooked up, or was just dead wrong. So maybe you should bother to remember that.

He's entitled to his opinion but this is not big deal.

Right. And if this is another conservative Dem breaking ranks, the RWAK crowd, like yourself, are on here trumping it up. It is a big deal for a party-the GOP, that, publically, demands members, ESPECIALLY in the House, be in lock-step with the Administration.
 
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JeffM
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:31 pm

LOL..... Yea. ouch.?

Charles summed it up correctly, as he usually does...

"the decision to go to war was the correct one - even Kerry has agreed with that."

Even you 'lock step' liberals should be able to pick up on that.
 
Klaus
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JeffM

Thu Aug 19, 2004 10:34 pm

If your "correct" decisions are already that disastrous, I don´t dare to ask what you´d call a mistake!!  Wow!
 
jaysit
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:25 am

Uh Oh.
Dissension in the ranks.
Time to bring out the A.net goon squad to put said Congressman in his place.

 
N6376M
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:27 am

KROC - please list one example of why I'm part of the RWAK crowd? If anything I've criticized GWB more than I've supported him. I just don't buy into the theory that he's Satan incarnate the way many on this board do.

I've even gone on the record defending you and MattD's right to marry in direct opposition to GWB's position on the matter.

Remember, you threatened to call me the "biggest dickrider on a.net"


[Edited 2004-08-19 17:30:17]
 
Alpha 1
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:34 am

KROC - please list one example of why I'm part of the RWAK crowd?

Did you call me KROC? I don't see a KROC post on here, and since I said that about being a RWAK, you must be referring to me.

As for the reasons, read your damn posts on politics the last couple weeks. That will clue you in.


[Edited 2004-08-19 17:35:26]
 
N6376M
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:38 am

Alpha1 - my apologies - I saw the trademark KO and assumed. I know - when you assume, you make an ass . . . . .

As for the substance, What posts Alpha? I've hardly posted anything on politics in the recent past. Time to get back on the meds. You keep making this charge but you can't ever substantiate it. Just one post come on, it shouldn't be that hard.
 
L-188
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:01 am

Top Republican Lawmaker" - let's be honest, before this post who had heard of this guy?

I hadn't.

It was an attempt of the original poster, who has have a habit of late, of demonizing the centerist republicans, in this country by claiming this guy is a "top" person.

 
Alpha 1
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:05 am

I hadn't heard of him either, but he, we have a no-name Republican congressman who has been tapped to run CIA. So I guess it all evens out.
 
jaysit
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:08 am

There are over 500 Congressmen and women. The public rarely hears or knows of all of them unless they are publicity hounds like Cynthia McKinney or obnoxious crooks like Tom DeLay.

However, Bereuter is actually quite well known in political circles wielding great influence in international security matters as well as in foreign aid (ie., which of our so-called tinpot allies gets our tax dollars). Plus, over the past 10 years he has influenced the party machine tremendously in areas such as congressional candidate choice and funding. So he is not one to be messed with lightly.
 
bruno
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:38 am

Amen Doug Bereuter!  Big thumbs up

I am glad he spoke out! As a republican, I get frustrated when other republican are too afraid to come out and denounce Bush's actions. I know planty of republicans that feel the same way as I do.
Too bad he is retiring. We need more people in our party like him.
 
AvObserver
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RE: Top GOP Lawmaker: War 'A Mistake'

Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:44 pm

"You seem to forget the logistics of the situation in early 2003. The military buildup in the Middle East either had to go into Iraq, or go home, by the spring of 2003. As it is, they launched the war pretty much at the last possible moment where they could defeat the Iraqis before the summer heat made major unit combat impossible (ever sit in a tank baking under the MidEast sun with 130F in the shade?). If Bush had waited only a week or so more, his military advisors would have recommended scrapping the invasion at least until the end of 2003, when it got cool again."

Cfalk, I'm aware of those logistics but that, in my opinion, makes a weak rationale in itself to launch a campaign. I think your analysis of the Administration's actions is spot-on; I just happen not to agree with it. While Hussein was one of the worst bastards ever to his own people, the Administration has failed to convince me and many others that he was a priority threat to the U.S. over the proven one of Al Queda. I think it's criminal that nearly 3 years after 9/11, we've got Saddam but NOT bin Laden. We needed this major force in Afghanistan, NOT Iraq, to finish destroying the group that DID attack us, not a dictator whose bluster was worse than his bite. All of your other points are quite rational but still fail to justify the case for war in the context of Iraq being a major threat to the U.S. It was a major threat to Israel but I consider that insufficient grounds for the U.S. to go to war; certainly considering the additional staggering costs of rebuilding an entire nation, not to mention the already heartstopping cost in lives, both of our own soldiers and of Iraqi civilians.

"Therefore, If the invasion had not started when it did, Saddam would still be in power, the U.S. would have suffered a major diplomatic defeat, there would still be questions and doubts about WMDs, investigators would go home with inconclusive evidence, and the Russians and France would have probably succeeded in removing the sanctions (through a General Assembly vote), thus freeing up Saddam to re-arm - this time for real.

Honestly speaking, even with 20/20 hindsight, the decision to go to war was the correct one - even Kerry has agreed with that."

Which, in my mind, makes Kerry and the Congress as wrong as Bush. I don't agree with the new philosophy of launching a 'pre-emptive' war to eliminate potential later threats, as opposed to current real ones. What makes it right if the U.S. does it but "terrorism" if someone else did it to us for the same reasons? If I were to broadly interpret this policy, another nation who perceived the U.S. as a potential threat, as I'm sure many already do, would be as correct in launching such a preemptive attack against us. Is this policy going to be followed into Iran, Syria, N. Korea, etc.? Even if Saddam was in violation of the U.N. resolution, there should have been a U.N. mandate for an invasion. We've plenty justification to fight Al Queda anywhere but precious little to choose Iraq over them. With respect, even if Iraq were later to become a serious threat, Al Queda was the immediate, undeniable enemy. We need to take care of that current threat before we go after potential later worries. First things first.

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