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Greg

First of all I apologize for the length of this comment. As I was writing this I was thinking I need to blog this, but since it would take me an hour to argue my point completely on a blog, and it only takes me 10 minutes to post a comment, I am taking the easy way out.

You write
George W. Bush has - repeatedly - told us that Saddam and Iraq were not connected directly to 9/11. Nothing our government has ever found has established this.

This statement is somewhat misleading and incorrect. If you are asserting that George Bush never went on stage and said that Iraq played a role in 9/11, then you would be correct. But, George Bush and the Administration have constantly asserted through speeches and rhetoric that Iraq played a role in 9/11. It is because of these insertions that lead a great many of people (mainly those who get there news from that Left Wing News Organization such as Foxs News (me being sarcasstic here)) that Iraq and Saddam had a hand in 9/11.

During 2003 poll after poll showed that people believed that Iraq had a roll in 9/11. CBS, the New York Times and other polls consistently found that 45% of Americans agreed with the statement that "Saddamm Hussein was personally involved with the 9/11 terrorist attacks". Where did this idea come from? It had to come from somewhere. I find this interesting because as the Christian Science Monitor reported

"Right after 9/11, when Americans were asked about who were responsible for that attack on 9/11 only 3% of the respondents mentioned Iraq or Saddam Hussein."


So where did this shift come from. I am sure you can not blame the left wing press, perhaps it was statements made from key officials such as Cheney and George Bush that helped form peoples opinions in this way. Let's look at 2 of these statements.

On Meet The Press, Dick Cheney said the following about what success in Iraq would mean:

"We will have struck a major blow right at the heart of the base, if you will, the geographical base of the terrorist who have had us under assault now and for many years, but most especially 9/11"

Do you see the inference of Iraq, the war and 9/11?

But what here is Bush in his letter to Congress on the eve of war, he concluded that attacking Iraq was

"consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks on 9/11"

Or again as the Christian Science Monitor reported on 3/14/03

"In his prime time press conference last week, which focused almost solely on Iraq, President Bush mentioned Sept. 11 eight times. He referred to Saddam Hussein many more times than that, often in the same breath with Sept. 11."

I will ask you how many times did the President mention Osama Bin Laden at that press conference? Zero times. In fact in the year 2003, Bush only mentioned Osama Bin Laden 4 times. Every time in a direct response to a question about Osama Bin Laden.

Now am I saying that Saddam was not a bad man, no I am not. Should he have been removed from power? Perhaps? Were the American people mislead into this war is something I believe, and I also believe the great opposition that the war in Iraq is having now is due to that misleading information before the war. It is my belief (and I preface with it being solely my opinion) if the American people were told all the truths upfront (ie. length of the war, the costs of the war, the numbers of dead and injured Americans they might of not opted for this war, the number of troops needed to do this correct) we not be in Iraq right now. But that is not or was not the case, and to imply anything else I would believe is incorrect.

Well it is time for me to head to the gym.

Peg

Greg, I will grant you that many have assumed a strong connection between 9/11 and Iraq - both because of the war itself there, but also because of frequent references to Iraq and the War on Terror. Many do assume that the "War on Terror" is a war on Iraq, because Iraq was responsible.

They assume erroneously.

This quote:
"consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorist and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks on 9/11"

should not allow one to infer that Iraq was responsible for 9/11. It only means that nations that were complicit in these actions will be held accountable.

I do not plan to argue the entire "should we or should we not" issues regarding going to war against Iraq. You need only examine what was said when we did decide to go there to see that many, many reasons were given.

But - my point is a much smaller one. It is only that we are not in Iraq because they were responsible for 9/11. Thus - comparisons of how many have been killed there to how many were killed on September 11th make little sense.

That many conflate the two is partly a function of politics and partly a function of people not being well informed.

That these numbers are being bandied about as they are now is also a function of the same.

Greg

It was not my intent to debate the issue of whether we should of atracked Iraq or not. I never thought we should of went in, and that is just my opinion. My intent is not to change your mind or anyone else, but the question still must be asked 'why so many American people linked to two together'? If the two are not linked, what caused a huge part of the American public to link the two together? What words, speeches or actions lead them to believe that. That is the $64,000 question.

I tend to believe that they were sold a bill of goods that was somewhat flawed and fraudulant. One only needs to look at the polling numbers and the thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs of the American people to bare that out. Some could blame the liberal media (whomever that might be) but I ask to what gain would that serve them? If there is a so-called liberal, anti-Bush media out there, then what purpose would they have in conjoining Iraq and 9/11 together? Doing this would do nothing in proving their side in this debate, this would be counter productive to their so-call anti-war cause. The only person or people who were to gain from such an inference were those neo-cons who were in favor of going to war. To get the American people solidly behind the issue of war in Iraq, one would have to create the Boogyman, Saddam (who was not a nice man), create a threat (WMD's), then unite them for a cause (9/11 and the threat Saddam supposedly could unleash against the United States).

Now we both agree that we are not in Iraq because of 9/11, but we also must agree that the majority of American people for whatever reason one might choose to believe did not really know the real reason why we are there. And if they were told something else, what is the reason to most America's this cause didn't sink in and resonate with them?

Peg

Greg - a fairly large proportion of Americans believe in astrology ... some significant minority does not believe in evolution ... and, to the horror of my far left, atheist friends, over 90% of Americans do believe in God.

Why then, do you think that if a much larger proportion of Americans think that 9/11 and Saddam are directly connected, that it is necessarily the fault of the Bush administration?

We disagree.

Greg

Again you are misreading what I am saying. I am not sure if this is done on purpose, or that you are not just understanding my point. I find it curious since you have constantly avoided the question I have consistently asked.

What do you believe is the cause for the vast numbers of people who thought there was a link between Saddam and 9/11?

We both agree there was no connection between the two, you say it was not the Administration's fault, I contend that those opposed to the war had no point in making this link, so what do you believe caused people to believe this?

I feel that the Bush Administration has some (not all the blame, but some) blame for this misconception, but a large part of the blame I believe rest in the hand of the media which fell asleep at the switch and failed to ask the tough questions that needed to be asked at this time. If you care to see where I got a lot of my information just go and read The Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, Oct 2, 2003. Or one can read Michael Massing's article "Now They Tell Us" which chronicles how the media failed to report accurate information as we approach the war in Iraq. It appears in the New York Review of Books 2/26/2004.

Peg

Sorry not to answer your question, Greg.

To what do I ascribe this? A little of the administration pushing that Iraq is part of the War on Terror - and the public assuming that "War on Terror" is nothing more nor less than retaliation for 9/11.

Mostly, however, I put the cause to so much of the public caring more about "Survivor" and "Desperate Housewives" than our government, our security, our budget, etc.

If such a large percentage of people can think that because they were born on September 25th, they are outgoing or shy, successful or not (AKA astrology) - does it surprise you that lots of folks think all kinds of odd - and untrue - things?

alreadybent

greg,

the msm is responsiable for the mis-understanding of Iraq. they have tried to confuse Americans and succeeded.

Greg

Alreadybent you claim that MSM is responsible for this mis-understand of Iraq?

Clearly you did not read the report The Program on International Policy Attitudes. I used it to as a source to one of my statments already, and I will do so again with a link to this report. This report clearly shows that a great many of the misconceptions developed about the war in Iraq came primarily from the bastion of media greatness FoxNews. Just a small portion of the report goes as follows.

" While it would seem that misperceptions are derived from a failure to pay attention to the news, in fact, overall, those who pay greater attention to the news are no less likely to have misperceptions. Among those who primarily watch Fox, those who pay more attention are more likely to have misperceptions. Only those who mostly get their news from print media have fewer misperceptions as they pay more attention.

The level of misperceptions varies according to Americans’ political positions. Supporters of President Bush and Republicans are more likely to have misperceptions. However, misperceptions do not appear to only be the result of bias, because a significant number of people who do not have such political positions also have misperceptions."
The report can be read here: http://65.109.167.118/pipa/pdf/oct03/IraqMedia_Oct03_rpt.pdf

If MSM is to blame such as you say, please show me something that leads to this conclusion. Liberals have been said to be those who do not like to live with facts, I have provided many facts to back up what I say, all I ask is if what you say is correct, please do the same.

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