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The only solace I have about the Bush presidency is that it could have been worse. Not in their actions, it’s hard to conceive of an administration so thoroughly wrong so frighteningly often. But if you want a real scary thought, think about the idea of Bush being President during the Cold War.

I can see it now:

Stalin is a terrible dictator. He has an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction unlike anything the world has ever seen. He has torture chambers, rape rooms and gulags. He hates freedom. He suppresses his own people. He supports evil-doers. We have to fight him over there before we fight him over here!

How quickly would W. have called for a preemptive strike against the Soviet Union? Stalin makes Saddam look like a Boy Scout. Under this administration’s logic, if Truman, Eisenhower … Reagan cared about protecting the American people, they would have struck at the Soviet Union before they had a chance to strike against us with their WMD. And they actually had WMD!

Now imagine Bush during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Do any of you have any doubt that he would have started World War III? Kennedy was tough but reflective. He paused and gave Khrushchev a chance to back down. He never ordered air strikes against Cuba. He considered a preemptive strike and turned it down. Bush would have gone in guns blazing and that would have been the end of us all.

Just because someone is a terrible dictator doesn’t mean the only solution is war. The United States proved brilliantly with the Soviet Union that sometimes containment is the best strategy. We contained them for half a century. No matter how wrong or how evil they were, we did not invade. We were right.

It didn’t mean we didn’t care about the suffering of the people behind the Iron Curtain. It didn’t mean we wanted to coddle the Soviet Union. It didn’t mean we didn’t want to get rid of the Soviet Union or have regime change. It just meant that war wasn’t the right answer in that case. Conservatives seem to have forgotten this lesson. War is not the only possible strategy.

I though the Persian Gulf War and the Afghanistan War were necessary evils. But just because you think war might be the right strategy in one instance, doesn’t mean you think it’s right in all instances. Anyone who lives in that kind of black and white existence isn’t mentally equipped to handle the complexities of the real world.

Finally, imagine George W. Bush with his finger on the button throughout the whole Cold War. It gives me a chill down my spine.


I am wondering is the below the same sort of intelligence data that everyone in Congress, or the American people were told about? In today's LA Times, they ran a story which focused on "Curveball". To those who do not know, "Curveball" was the name given to the chief source of intel that the Bush administration's used as their source on Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction. The facts about "Curveball went as follows:

1) "Curveball" was last in his engineering )class, not first, as he had claimed. He was a low-level trainee engineer, not a project chief or site manager, as the CIA had insisted.

2) Most important, records showed "Curveball" had been fired in 1995, at the very time he said he had begun working on bio-warfare trucks.

3) A former CIA official said "Curveball" also apparently was jailed for a sex crime and then drove a Baghdad taxi.

4) [The CIA] interviewed 60 of "Curveball's" family, friends and co-workers. They all denied working on germ weapons trucks.

5) "Curveball's" former bosses at the engineering center said the CIA had fallen for "water cooler gossip" and "corridor conversations."

6) "The Iraqis were all laughing," recalled a former member of the survey group. "They were saying, 'This guy? You've got to be kidding.' "

7) The report goes on to say that the German intelligence officials who interrogated "Curveball" repeatedly warned U.S. officials that the information he was providing was "vague, mostly secondhand and impossible to confirm" and that the Iraqi informant was "not a stable, psychologically stable guy."

So let me see if I have this right -- we went to war based on information from some guy whose history and psychological background wouldn't have even allowed him to be a contestant on "elimiDate"? Is this the same intell everyone was shown, or as I have said many of times, were the books cooked, and the information mishandled in a way to get a result the administration wanted?

The story can be read here http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-curveball20nov20,0,1753730.story?coll=la-home-headlines

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