Would you pay $1 bn to save $1 trillion?

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Guillermo el Gato

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Sep 30, 2007, 7:39:49 AM9/30/07
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Not if you're President Bush:

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article3010189.ece

"A transcript of an eve-of-war conversation between President George
Bush and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has revealed a
previously undisclosed initiative to avert war in Iraq by spiriting
Saddam Hussein out of the country.

""Yes, it's possible," Mr Bush told the Spanish leader. "The Egyptians
are talking to Saddam Hussein ... He seems to have indicated he would
be open to exile if they would let him take one billion dollars and
all the information he wants on weapons of mass destruction.""

I'll be interested if this story gets legs in the US. I really doubt
it will.

Mary

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Sep 30, 2007, 9:12:23 AM9/30/07
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Guillermo el Gato wrote:
> Not if you're President Bush:
>
> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article3010189.ece
>
> "A transcript of an eve-of-war conversation between President George
> Bush and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has revealed a
> previously undisclosed initiative to avert war in Iraq by spiriting
> Saddam Hussein out of the country.
>
> ""Yes, it's possible," Mr Bush told the Spanish leader. "The Egyptians
> are talking to Saddam Hussein ... He seems to have indicated he would
> be open to exile if they would let him take one billion dollars and
> all the information he wants on weapons of mass destruction.""

And let him go where? He could do a lot with a billion dollars.

> I'll be interested if this story gets legs in the US. I really doubt
> it will.

It seems like a really bad idea to give Saddam Hussein a billion bucks
and set him free. I'd have much preferred that if we wanted to save the
money from the war, that we simply not do it rather than reward the
little despot with our tax dollars.

Mary

Greg Goss

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Sep 30, 2007, 9:37:01 AM9/30/07
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Mary <mrfea...@aol.com> wrote:

>> ""Yes, it's possible," Mr Bush told the Spanish leader. "The Egyptians
>> are talking to Saddam Hussein ... He seems to have indicated he would
>> be open to exile if they would let him take one billion dollars and
>> all the information he wants on weapons of mass destruction.""
>
>And let him go where? He could do a lot with a billion dollars.
>
>> I'll be interested if this story gets legs in the US. I really doubt
>> it will.
>
>It seems like a really bad idea to give Saddam Hussein a billion bucks
>and set him free. I'd have much preferred that if we wanted to save the
>money from the war, that we simply not do it rather than reward the
>little despot with our tax dollars.

It wouldn't be American tax dollars. The US was holding billions of
bucks in money earmarked as belonging to Iraq. If Saddam couldn't
find a billion from his own vaults, then a few of the Iraqi held funds
could have been released to him.

The airlift of billions of bucks to unaudited handing-out in Iraq has
been mentioned here a few times. Each time, I find thirty tons of
hundred dollar bills to be an astounding sum of money.
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/10/iraq_billions200710

A small fraction of that could have been allocated for a peaceful
transfer of power. A billion for a clean hand-off or a trillion for a
disastrous mess. Which one spent more US tax dollars?
--
Tomorrow is today already.
Greg Goss, 1989-01-27

Mary

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Sep 30, 2007, 11:06:55 AM9/30/07
to


I'm not convinced that letting Saddam roam around with a billion dollars
wouldn't have led to further messes later on, though. This is not to
say that I believe in the war or think we should have invaded; I don't.

But if you really think, as many people do, that Saddam is someone who
shouldn't have power, money, and the instructions to build a nuclear
bomb, then this is not exactly a smoking gun.

Mary

Opus the Penguin

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Sep 30, 2007, 11:17:56 AM9/30/07
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Mary (mrfea...@aol.com) wrote:

> Guillermo el Gato wrote:
>> Not if you're President Bush:
>>
>> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article3010189.ece
>>
>> "A transcript of an eve-of-war conversation between President
>> George Bush and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar
>> has revealed a previously undisclosed initiative to avert war in
>> Iraq by spiriting Saddam Hussein out of the country.
>>
>> ""Yes, it's possible," Mr Bush told the Spanish leader. "The
>> Egyptians are talking to Saddam Hussein ... He seems to have
>> indicated he would be open to exile if they would let him take
>> one billion dollars and all the information he wants on weapons
>> of mass destruction.""
>
> And let him go where? He could do a lot with a billion dollars.
>

That's kind of where I came down. I saw an article about this a few
days back. I let out an expression of disgust at the headline. I
assumed it was just another botched opportunity by the Bush
administration. That's the path of least resistance.

But then I read that, in addition to the billion dollars, Saddam
wanted to take all his info on weapons of mass destruction as well.
It would take a different kind of total fool than George W. Bush to
agree to that.

Taken by itself, the story breaks in the president's favor. He made a
good decision, and he has a bit more evidence that Saddam was
actively seeking possession of weapons of mass destruction. So even
though we didn't find any, Bush can claim it was only a matter of
time. And I think he'd be right. That doesn't mean total invasion was
the only recourse back in 2003, of course.


Guillermo el Gato (just to keep the attributions straight) said:
>> I'll be interested if this story gets legs in the US. I really
>> doubt it will.
>

I don't see why it should get legs. Despite the "man bites dog"
aspect of George W. making a good decision, it's really a minor
story.

--
Opus the Penguin
"A honeybee may have the behavior for the waggle dance imprinted in
its DNA, but you aren't going to learn the Watusi that way." - S.
Checker

Guillermo el Gato

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Sep 30, 2007, 11:49:46 AM9/30/07
to
On Sun, 30 Sep 2007 13:12:23 GMT, Mary <mrfea...@aol.com> wrote:

>Guillermo el Gato wrote:
>> Not if you're President Bush:
>>
>> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article3010189.ece
>>
>> "A transcript of an eve-of-war conversation between President George
>> Bush and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has revealed a
>> previously undisclosed initiative to avert war in Iraq by spiriting
>> Saddam Hussein out of the country.
>>
>> ""Yes, it's possible," Mr Bush told the Spanish leader. "The Egyptians
>> are talking to Saddam Hussein ... He seems to have indicated he would
>> be open to exile if they would let him take one billion dollars and
>> all the information he wants on weapons of mass destruction.""
>
>And let him go where?

French Riviera? Las Vegas?

> He could do a lot with a billion dollars.

That could buy a lot of hookers, whisky, and blow.

>
>> I'll be interested if this story gets legs in the US. I really doubt
>> it will.
>
>It seems like a really bad idea to give Saddam Hussein a billion bucks
>and set him free.

I don' think that "setting him free" would have had to have been in
the deal. "In exile" is the usual term.

I'd have much preferred that if we wanted to save the
>money from the war, that we simply not do it rather than reward the
>little despot with our tax dollars.

You're much too rational for this froup.

Boron Elgar

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Sep 30, 2007, 11:51:28 AM9/30/07
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On 30 Sep 2007 15:17:56 GMT, Opus the Penguin
<opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:

>I don't see why it should get legs. Despite the "man bites dog"
>aspect of George W. making a good decision, it's really a minor
>story.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=15&entry_id=20648

Boron

Guillermo el Gato

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Sep 30, 2007, 11:54:03 AM9/30/07
to
On 30 Sep 2007 15:17:56 GMT, Opus the Penguin
<opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:


>But then I read that, in addition to the billion dollars, Saddam
>wanted to take all his info on weapons of mass destruction as well.
>It would take a different kind of total fool than George W. Bush to
>agree to that.

Well, that's certainly correct. I'm real interested if the WMD claim
is also real, or just the excuse made up to cover the decision. If
you're a dictator, and you've seen the writing on the wall, don't you
think you'd try to play nice?

Something doesn't smell right about the claim that Saddam wanted to
take his WMD plans with him.

Raven-Poe

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Sep 30, 2007, 12:40:46 PM9/30/07
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Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> wrote:
<snip>

> A small fraction of that could have been allocated for a peaceful
> transfer of power. A billion for a clean hand-off or a trillion for a
> disastrous mess. Which one spent more US tax dollars?

The problem with tribute money is that it's never just one payment: every
completed payment leads to ever increasing demands for more payment.
Appeasment sucks as a national policy.

It would beat defeat of course, but the mishandling of the anti-war
movement and it's role in securing a possible defeat for the US was hardly
a foregone conclusion: even at this late date, it's not decided.

John
Here, have 10 Opus Points (TM)
--
Remove the dead poet to e-mail.
Ask me about joining the NRA.

Greg Goss

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Sep 30, 2007, 12:49:14 PM9/30/07
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ra...@westnet.poe.com (Raven-Poe) wrote:

>Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> wrote:
><snip>
>> A small fraction of that could have been allocated for a peaceful
>> transfer of power. A billion for a clean hand-off or a trillion for a
>> disastrous mess. Which one spent more US tax dollars?
>
>The problem with tribute money is that it's never just one payment: every
>completed payment leads to ever increasing demands for more payment.
>Appeasment sucks as a national policy.

This is not tribute. You take away his country and let him keep a
small part of the country that he used to own. It isn't a trick that
he can easily repeat.

Baby Doc didn't take ANOTHER tranche of Haitian money. Idi never took
a second tranche of Uganda's money.

>
>It would beat defeat of course, but the mishandling of the anti-war
>movement and it's role in securing a possible defeat for the US was hardly
>a foregone conclusion: even at this late date, it's not decided.

Mishandling the anti-war guys is the only mistake that your goofballs
made? Let me know when you're interested in reality again.

Igor

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Sep 30, 2007, 12:53:12 PM9/30/07
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Where was he going to go? Detroit?


Bill Turlock

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Sep 30, 2007, 1:04:49 PM9/30/07
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Guillermo el Gato wrote:
>
> On Sun, 30 Sep 2007 13:12:23 GMT, Mary <mrfea...@aol.com> wrote:
>
> >Guillermo el Gato wrote:
> >> Not if you're President Bush:
> >>
> >> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article3010189.ece
> >>
> >> "A transcript of an eve-of-war conversation between President George
> >> Bush and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has revealed a
> >> previously undisclosed initiative to avert war in Iraq by spiriting
> >> Saddam Hussein out of the country.
> >>
> >> ""Yes, it's possible," Mr Bush told the Spanish leader. "The Egyptians
> >> are talking to Saddam Hussein ... He seems to have indicated he would
> >> be open to exile if they would let him take one billion dollars and
> >> all the information he wants on weapons of mass destruction.""
> >
> >And let him go where?
>
> French Riviera? Las Vegas?
>
> > He could do a lot with a billion dollars.
>
> That could buy a lot of hookers, whisky, and blow.

Esqs., L.L.P.

Mary

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Sep 30, 2007, 1:05:26 PM9/30/07
to

Denny Crane.

Mary

Bill Bonde ( 'Hi ho' )

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Sep 30, 2007, 2:10:46 PM9/30/07
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Saddam wanted a billion dollars and all the information he could get on
WMDs? That's a great plan, that's bin Laden with a billion dollars and
all the information on WMDs.

--
"Throw me that lipstick, darling, I wanna redo my stigmata."

+-Jennifer Saunders, "Absolutely Fabulous"

Bill Bonde ( 'Hi ho' )

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Sep 30, 2007, 2:12:30 PM9/30/07
to

Mary wrote:
>


> It seems like a really bad idea to give Saddam Hussein a billion bucks
> and set him free. I'd have much preferred that if we wanted to save the
> money from the war, that we simply not do it rather than reward the
> little despot with our tax dollars.
>

Saddam had a billion dollars, certainly, squirreled away. Why he didn't
have it hidden outside Iraq, I don't know. In the end, Saddam played the
same hand he had always played, push a Bush too far, get your ass
kicked.

Message has been deleted

tooloud

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Sep 30, 2007, 2:59:08 PM9/30/07
to

No, it's not nearly as simple as you're trying to make it. And George Bush
sucks.

--
tooloud
Remove nothing to reply


groo

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Sep 30, 2007, 3:09:00 PM9/30/07
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Boron Elgar <boron...@hotmail.com> wrote:

http://www.koco.com/news/14213305/detail.html


--
i'm in ur kitchin eatin ur horsemeet.

bill van

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Sep 30, 2007, 3:10:50 PM9/30/07
to
In article <46ffd18e$0$15909$6c5e...@news.westnet.com>,
ra...@westnet.poe.com (Raven-Poe) wrote:

> Greg Goss <go...@gossg.org> wrote:
> <snip>
> > A small fraction of that could have been allocated for a peaceful
> > transfer of power. A billion for a clean hand-off or a trillion for a
> > disastrous mess. Which one spent more US tax dollars?
>
> The problem with tribute money is that it's never just one payment: every
> completed payment leads to ever increasing demands for more payment.

But he's got no more leverage. What he had was control, more or less,
over Iraq. If he has sold that for $1 billion, he has nothing more to
sell. So no more payments. If he finds some other way to cause trouble,
he'll be a lot easier to assassinate on the Riviera than in Baghdad.

> Appeasment sucks as a national policy.

Okay, let's say you could look into the future and your choice was to
buy out this uncouth dictator for $1 billion with no loss of life, or to
spend $500 billion and counting, with something over 100,000 dead
including thousands of young Americans, and counting?
>

--
bill

bill van

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Sep 30, 2007, 3:19:47 PM9/30/07
to
In article <Xns99BB68107E544op...@127.0.0.1>,

Opus the Penguin <opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Mary (mrfea...@aol.com) wrote:
>
> > And let him go where? He could do a lot with a billion dollars.
>
> That's kind of where I came down. I saw an article about this a few
> days back. I let out an expression of disgust at the headline. I
> assumed it was just another botched opportunity by the Bush
> administration. That's the path of least resistance.

> But then I read that, in addition to the billion dollars, Saddam
> wanted to take all his info on weapons of mass destruction as well.
> It would take a different kind of total fool than George W. Bush to
> agree to that.

All his info on WMD, it turned out, was reports packed full of lies by
bureaucrats who were afraid to tell him they no longer had the capacity
to make WMD. Even if he took how-to information with him, what could he
do with it, lacking a national scientific establishment and
manufacturing facilities to make them, and a military capability to
deliver them?


>
> Taken by itself, the story breaks in the president's favor. He made a
> good decision, and he has a bit more evidence that Saddam was
> actively seeking possession of weapons of mass destruction. So even
> though we didn't find any, Bush can claim it was only a matter of
> time. And I think he'd be right.

But Iraq's capability was devolving. They were not approaching the
ability to make WMD, they were losing it. They had only remnants left of
what they'd had a decade earlier.

--
bill

Bill Bonde ( 'Hi ho' )

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Sep 30, 2007, 3:26:10 PM9/30/07
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Probably France.

Opus the Penguin

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Sep 30, 2007, 3:27:57 PM9/30/07
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That's surely a possibility.

--
Opus the Penguin
"My suspension of disbelief is currently in a coma." - groo

Opus the Penguin

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Sep 30, 2007, 3:33:30 PM9/30/07
to
bill van (bil...@shaw.chopchop.ca) wrote:

> In article <Xns99BB68107E544op...@127.0.0.1>,
> Opus the Penguin <opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Mary (mrfea...@aol.com) wrote:
>>
>> > And let him go where? He could do a lot with a billion
>> > dollars.
>>
>> That's kind of where I came down. I saw an article about this a
>> few days back. I let out an expression of disgust at the
>> headline. I assumed it was just another botched opportunity by
>> the Bush administration. That's the path of least resistance.
>
>> But then I read that, in addition to the billion dollars, Saddam
>> wanted to take all his info on weapons of mass destruction as
>> well. It would take a different kind of total fool than George W.
>> Bush to agree to that.
>
> All his info on WMD, it turned out, was reports packed full of
> lies by bureaucrats who were afraid to tell him they no longer had
> the capacity to make WMD.

What's your source on that? Was that known at the time that Saddam's
offer was on the table? If not, could it have been known with better
intelligence?


> Even if he took how-to information with
> him, what could he do with it, lacking a national scientific
> establishment and manufacturing facilities to make them, and a
> military capability to deliver them?


I dunno. Does a billion dollars not buy what it used to?


>> Taken by itself, the story breaks in the president's favor. He
>> made a good decision, and he has a bit more evidence that Saddam
>> was actively seeking possession of weapons of mass destruction.
>> So even though we didn't find any, Bush can claim it was only a
>> matter of time. And I think he'd be right.
>
> But Iraq's capability was devolving. They were not approaching the
> ability to make WMD, they were losing it. They had only remnants
> left of what they'd had a decade earlier.
>

Again, is that something you feel a better intelligence community
with a better president could and should have known?

If it had been known, do you think a competent, wise president would
have made the deal with Saddam? So far I'm not convinced. At all. I
think any president who made that deal would have justly invited the
ire of the people. There would (and should) have been Senate hearings
to find out just what kind of deal had been made and just how illegal
it was.

To repeat, rejecting the deal does not make Bush a competent, wise
president. It just makes him a different kind of total fool than the
total fool who would have pursued the deal.

--
Opus the Penguin
"Am I the only one here who smells Chinese Freedom Wall?" - Robert
Goodman

K_S_ONeill

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Sep 30, 2007, 3:58:42 PM9/30/07
to
On Sep 30, 2:33 pm, Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com>
wrote:
> bill van (bill...@shaw.chopchop.ca) wrote:
> > In article <Xns99BB68107E544opusthepenguinnet...@127.0.0.1>,
> > Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com> wrote:

I don't know that I understand your objections all that well. For
example, from my extensive watching of The West Wing, I am given to
understand that dictators always ask for a billion dollars and to take
out fifty armed personal guards, and that the response is to laugh and
to tell them they can take out a quarter million, their immediate
family and they get a guarantee of safe passage and a public will-not-
harm promise from us as long as they stay on the estate in Syria, say.

Now, that would have been an excellent example of useful
brinksmanship. We dispose of a dictator, we cut out the heart of the
badness in Iraq, we spend precious little money, we drop no bombs (to
be completely accurate, we stop the bombing we were doing under
Clinton and then Bush II), Iraq is far less in tatters than it was
when we had to roll over an army to get in, no matter how useless the
army was it was still an army we had to shoot up, I mean, what's the
downside here? Boot his ass, for god's sake. Make the offer public,
put some pressure on him, sit on the border and growl for a month,
he'd have flinched, I bet.

Then we let the UN run some elections, and since we didn't bomb the
hell out of the place we aren't on the hook for fixing everything in
the miserable godforsaken dirtyassed useless fucking chunk of desert,
let the people who want to live there sell the oil, buy some power
plants, and tell them not to let any more crazy people into power.
What's the downside?
--
Kevin

Opus the Penguin

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Sep 30, 2007, 4:20:42 PM9/30/07
to
K_S_ONeill (K_S_O...@yahoo.com) wrote:

The part where Saddam has tons of money to fund Al Qaeda and good
reason to do so?

--
Opus the Penguin
"Most of us don't store much fat in our heads." - bill van

Dover Beach

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Sep 30, 2007, 4:54:12 PM9/30/07
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Opus the Penguin <opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote in
news:Xns99BB9397EB6E7op...@127.0.0.1:

>> All his info on WMD, it turned out, was reports packed full of
>> lies by bureaucrats who were afraid to tell him they no longer had
>> the capacity to make WMD.
>
> What's your source on that? Was that known at the time that Saddam's
> offer was on the table? If not, could it have been known with better
> intelligence?
>

Foreign Affairs, May/June 2006.

http://tinyurl.com/qy7ac

--
Dover

bill van

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Sep 30, 2007, 5:13:45 PM9/30/07
to
In article <Xns99BB9397EB6E7op...@127.0.0.1>,

Opus the Penguin <opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> bill van (bil...@shaw.chopchop.ca) wrote:
>
> > In article <Xns99BB68107E544op...@127.0.0.1>,
> > Opus the Penguin <opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> Mary (mrfea...@aol.com) wrote:
> >>
> >> > And let him go where? He could do a lot with a billion
> >> > dollars.
> >>
> >> That's kind of where I came down. I saw an article about this a
> >> few days back. I let out an expression of disgust at the
> >> headline. I assumed it was just another botched opportunity by
> >> the Bush administration. That's the path of least resistance.
> >
> >> But then I read that, in addition to the billion dollars, Saddam
> >> wanted to take all his info on weapons of mass destruction as
> >> well. It would take a different kind of total fool than George W.
> >> Bush to agree to that.
> >
> > All his info on WMD, it turned out, was reports packed full of
> > lies by bureaucrats who were afraid to tell him they no longer had
> > the capacity to make WMD.
>
> What's your source on that? Was that known at the time that Saddam's
> offer was on the table? If not, could it have been known with better
> intelligence?

It was widely reported some time after the invasion. I don't know
whether that was known outside Iraqi government circles before the
invasion.

> > Even if he took how-to information with
> > him, what could he do with it, lacking a national scientific
> > establishment and manufacturing facilities to make them, and a
> > military capability to deliver them?
>
> I dunno. Does a billion dollars not buy what it used to?
>

Probably not. But it never bought a functional economy with lots of
infrastructure and a capable military for a mid-sized country.
Especially when the recipient is exiled from that country, and there's
no ongoing oil and tax revenue to top up the treasury.


>
> >> Taken by itself, the story breaks in the president's favor. He
> >> made a good decision, and he has a bit more evidence that Saddam
> >> was actively seeking possession of weapons of mass destruction.
> >> So even though we didn't find any, Bush can claim it was only a
> >> matter of time. And I think he'd be right.
> >
> > But Iraq's capability was devolving. They were not approaching the
> > ability to make WMD, they were losing it. They had only remnants
> > left of what they'd had a decade earlier.
>
> Again, is that something you feel a better intelligence community
> with a better president could and should have known?

Without going into full search mode and reading the collected speeches
of Hans Blix, I think the intelligence community knew very well that WMD
capabilities were largely destroyed in the Gulf War bombing, and that
Iraq had halted its nuclear program in 1991. I don't know how organized
or complete or dependable this information was. I think that whether
secret work was under way to rebuild, and to what extent remnants
remained in hidden places, was not fully known.

It was certainly compatible with what Blix and the inspectors were
reporting -- that they had found nothing yet by way of nuclear, chemical
or biological weapons, and that they were confident they were getting
enough cooperation from Iraq that, given time, they could find the
nooks, crannies and filing cabinets they hadn't inspected yet. You
recall what happened, though. Their information and intelligence
information to the same effect was discounted, and anything that pointed
to the presence of weapons was "enhanced."

> If it had been known, do you think a competent, wise president would
> have made the deal with Saddam? So far I'm not convinced. At all. I
> think any president who made that deal would have justly invited the
> ire of the people. There would (and should) have been Senate hearings
> to find out just what kind of deal had been made and just how illegal
> it was.

In that context, hindsight is everything. Imagine the deal was made and
there was no war, but Iraq continued to be annoying in some ways. No one
would be able to look into an alternate universe and realize 100,000
deaths and half a trillion in spending had been averted.

>
> To repeat, rejecting the deal does not make Bush a competent, wise
> president. It just makes him a different kind of total fool than the
> total fool who would have pursued the deal.

That decision was made when the U.S. was on the verge of invasion.
Assuming there was such an offer, it was just Saddam trying to save his
ass when it became clear the U.S. was serious and he was not going to
remain in charge. He wouldn't have offered such a deal in earlier times,
I think. By the time the deal was apparently on the table, the U.S. had
determined to wipe out his regime and remake the political balance in
the Middle East.

--
bill

Charles Bishop

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Sep 30, 2007, 5:22:52 PM9/30/07
to
In article <1191182322.8...@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>,
K_S_ONeill <K_S_O...@yahoo.com> wrote:

[snip]


>
>I don't know that I understand your objections all that well. For
>example, from my extensive watching of The West Wing, I am given to
>understand that dictators always ask for a billion dollars and to take
>out fifty armed personal guards, and that the response is to laugh and
>to tell them they can take out a quarter million, their immediate
>family and they get a guarantee of safe passage and a public will-not-
>harm promise from us as long as they stay on the estate in Syria, say.
>
>Now, that would have been an excellent example of useful
>brinksmanship. We dispose of a dictator, we cut out the heart of the
>badness in Iraq, we spend precious little money, we drop no bombs (to
>be completely accurate, we stop the bombing we were doing under
>Clinton and then Bush II), Iraq is far less in tatters than it was
>when we had to roll over an army to get in, no matter how useless the
>army was it was still an army we had to shoot up, I mean, what's the
>downside here? Boot his ass, for god's sake. Make the offer public,
>put some pressure on him, sit on the border and growl for a month,
>he'd have flinched, I bet.
>
>Then we let the UN run some elections, and since we didn't bomb the
>hell out of the place we aren't on the hook for fixing everything in
>the miserable godforsaken dirtyassed useless fucking chunk of desert,
>let the people who want to live there sell the oil, buy some power
>plants, and tell them not to let any more crazy people into power.
>What's the downside?

I'm behind you all the way, but . . .and it's a big one, what do you think
Iraq would have been like with Saddam gone? If the US can't make elections
happen, what would the UN be able to do? Saddam's bureauracy is still in
place, I assume the army is under its control, or that of his lackeys, so
there is perhaps hope for a more stable country than we have now, but do
you really think the majority Shia are going to let things go on as
before?

Admittedly, we are in the fray, and that's all to the good, but what would
the result have been?

charles, with three moves of the chessmen, there are two many
alternatives, and that butterfly is stil there, bishop

Charles Bishop

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 5:24:59 PM9/30/07
to
In article <billvan-E12C4D...@shawnews.vc.shawcable.net>, bill
van <bil...@shaw.chopchop.ca> wrote:

>In article <Xns99BB9397EB6E7op...@127.0.0.1>,
> Opus the Penguin <opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:

[snip]


>
>> If it had been known, do you think a competent, wise president would
>> have made the deal with Saddam? So far I'm not convinced. At all. I
>> think any president who made that deal would have justly invited the
>> ire of the people. There would (and should) have been Senate hearings
>> to find out just what kind of deal had been made and just how illegal
>> it was.
>
>In that context, hindsight is everything. Imagine the deal was made and
>there was no war, but Iraq continued to be annoying in some ways. No one
>would be able to look into an alternate universe and realize 100,000
>deaths and half a trillion in spending had been averted.


And, of course, history is no help.

--
charles

bill van

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 5:42:24 PM9/30/07
to
In article
<ctbishop-300...@dialup-4.246.39.38.dial1.sanjose1.level3.net>
,
ctbi...@earthlink.net (Charles Bishop) wrote:

How would you have used it in this context?

--
bill

K_S_ONeill

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 6:07:45 PM9/30/07
to
On Sep 30, 3:20 pm, Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com>
wrote:

Did you read the part where I mused on how perhaps Saddam would have
taken less than his first foray indicated? How much trouble could he
have caused on an estate in Syria or Egypt, not in charge of a country
any more?

--
Kevin

Opus the Penguin

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 6:13:42 PM9/30/07
to
K_S_ONeill (K_S_O...@yahoo.com) wrote:

Yes.


> How much trouble
> could he have caused on an estate in Syria or Egypt, not in charge
> of a country any more?
>

How likely was he to abide by such an agreement? How easy is it to
funnel money from there to Al Qaeda? I'm betting it could be done.

--
Opus the Penguin
"Some days there isn't enough herring in the world to give you the
smack you're asking for." - Veronique

K_S_ONeill

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 6:15:16 PM9/30/07
to
On Sep 30, 4:22 pm, ctbis...@earthlink.net (Charles Bishop) wrote:
> In article <1191182322.880963.291...@d55g2000hsg.googlegroups.com>,

I don't know. If we fucked up how things should have gone after we
invaded, we can be presumed to have had a good chance at fucking up a
better but still not ideal situation, sure. I would like better the
precedent set by buying out a dictator and retiring him to a villa,
and working on the problem of transitioning a country from a
dictatorship to a democracy. The Shia were a minority in power. The
best parallel I can think of is South Africa. Truth and
Reconciliation Commissions might have been a reasonable thing to think
about. General advice from South Africa might have been a reasonable
thing to think about. Getting some help in general would have been
good.

> Admittedly, we are in the fray, and that's all to the good, but what would
> the result have been?

I don't know. But it's a better starting position than we had, and a
lot fewer people dead.

> charles, with three moves of the chessmen, there are two many
> alternatives, and that butterfly is stil there, bishop

More than two, eh? But sure, life is complicated. Make smart moves,
take the center squares, don't kill a lot of people if you can help
it. General principles for reasonable game play have to take over.

--
Kevin
because even the very wise cannot see all ends.


Charles Bishop

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 6:25:32 PM9/30/07
to
In article <billvan-E185F2...@shawnews.vc.shawcable.net>, bill
van <bil...@shaw.chopchop.ca> wrote:

>In article
><ctbishop-300...@dialup-4.246.39.38.dial1.sanjose1.level3.net>
>,
> ctbi...@earthlink.net (Charles Bishop) wrote:
>
>> In article <billvan-E12C4D...@shawnews.vc.shawcable.net>, bill
>> van <bil...@shaw.chopchop.ca> wrote:
>>
>> >In article <Xns99BB9397EB6E7op...@127.0.0.1>,
>> > Opus the Penguin <opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> [snip]
>> >
>> >> If it had been known, do you think a competent, wise president would
>> >> have made the deal with Saddam? So far I'm not convinced. At all. I
>> >> think any president who made that deal would have justly invited the
>> >> ire of the people. There would (and should) have been Senate hearings
>> >> to find out just what kind of deal had been made and just how illegal
>> >> it was.
>> >
>> >In that context, hindsight is everything. Imagine the deal was made and
>> >there was no war, but Iraq continued to be annoying in some ways. No one
>> >would be able to look into an alternate universe and realize 100,000
>> >deaths and half a trillion in spending had been averted.
>>
>> And, of course, history is no help.
>
>How would you have used it in this context?

Don't get involved in a land war in Asia^W the Middle East.

--
charles

D.F. Manno

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 6:38:58 PM9/30/07
to

> I don't know that I understand your objections all that well. For
> example, from my extensive watching of The West Wing, I am given to
> understand that dictators always ask for a billion dollars and to take
> out fifty armed personal guards, and that the response is to laugh and
> to tell them they can take out a quarter million, their immediate
> family and they get a guarantee of safe passage and a public will-not-
> harm promise from us as long as they stay on the estate in Syria, say.
>
> Now, that would have been an excellent example of useful
> brinksmanship. We dispose of a dictator, we cut out the heart of the
> badness in Iraq, we spend precious little money, we drop no bombs (to
> be completely accurate, we stop the bombing we were doing under
> Clinton and then Bush II), Iraq is far less in tatters than it was
> when we had to roll over an army to get in, no matter how useless the
> army was it was still an army we had to shoot up, I mean, what's the
> downside here? Boot his ass, for god's sake. Make the offer public,
> put some pressure on him, sit on the border and growl for a month,
> he'd have flinched, I bet.
>
> Then we let the UN run some elections, and since we didn't bomb the
> hell out of the place we aren't on the hook for fixing everything in
> the miserable godforsaken dirtyassed useless fucking chunk of desert,
> let the people who want to live there sell the oil, buy some power
> plants, and tell them not to let any more crazy people into power.
> What's the downside?

The downside is that it doesn't achieve the intended purpose of the Iraq
war. It doesn't set the stage for the grand democratic makeover of the
Middle East, it doesn't satisfy blood lust, and it doesn't secure the
oil fields.

--
D.F. Manno | dfm...@mail.com
The America I believe in does not torture people.
The America I believe in does not run secret prisons.
The America I believe in would shut down Guantanamo Bay.
(Amnesty International USA)

D.F. Manno

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 6:41:56 PM9/30/07
to
In article <Xns99BB9C0D23350op...@127.0.0.1>,

Opus the Penguin <opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> The part where Saddam has tons of money to fund Al Qaeda and good
> reason to do so?

Hussein was a secularist, al Qaeda is not. Hussein wasn't out to restore
the Caliphate, he was just in it for the power and the money. If he got
the billion, not a nickel would have gone to al Qaeda.

D.F. Manno

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 6:44:14 PM9/30/07
to
In article <46ffd18e$0$15909$6c5e...@news.westnet.com>,
ra...@westnet.poe.com (Raven-Poe) wrote:

> The problem with tribute money is that it's never just one payment: every
> completed payment leads to ever increasing demands for more payment.

Being out of power and in exile, Hussein would have no leverage for
demand additional money.

> Appeasment sucks as a national policy.
>

> It would beat defeat of course, but the mishandling of the anti-war
> movement and it's role in securing a possible defeat for the US was hardly
> a foregone conclusion: even at this late date, it's not decided.

Only on Planet Raven.

K_S_ONeill

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 7:08:27 PM9/30/07
to
On Sep 30, 5:13 pm, Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com>
wrote:

What's the downside?


>
> >> The part where Saddam has tons of money to fund Al Qaeda and good
> >> reason to do so?
>
> > Did you read the part where I mused on how perhaps Saddam would
> > have taken less than his first foray indicated?
>
> Yes.

Ok. When do you think he was convinced we were invading and he was
going to lose? I mean, maybe he was nuts, maybe he wouldn't have
taken it, but he did end up dead. If he saw that coming, a quarter
million US and a small estate in Syria and a web page where he can
rant to his heart's content might have sounded pretty good to him.

>
> > How much trouble
> > could he have caused on an estate in Syria or Egypt, not in charge
> > of a country any more?
>
> How likely was he to abide by such an agreement?

Well, once he's gone he's not in charge of Iraq, there's no 'will he
abide'. Put him somewhere where he feels safe but where we can
monitor his communications, something like that.

> How easy is it to
> funnel money from there to Al Qaeda? I'm betting it could be done.

What money is this? I wouldn't let him take enough to be trouble. If
you're thinking he could do fund raising, well, I guess. Monitor his
communications. A Saddam in Syria or Pakistan or wherever in an
estate where the US has an ear on his phone and internet
communications sounds like a de-fanged Saddam, to me.

--
Kevin

bill van

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 7:26:47 PM9/30/07
to

We're agreed on that. But the discussion is much narrower than that: if
such a deal was really offered by Saddam, would you/I/we have made it?
If you use history to answer that question, there a lot of past tyrants
who made such deals and were never heard from again.

Then the trick would be to lean on the next guy to act a bit more
reasonably. If that was the goal. I don't think it was.

--
bill

bill van

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 7:33:33 PM9/30/07
to
In article <Xns99BBAF103ECEAop...@127.0.0.1>,

Opus the Penguin <opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:

> How likely was he to abide by such an agreement? How easy is it to
> funnel money from there to Al Qaeda? I'm betting it could be done.

Saddam had no ties with Al Qaeda. His secular regime and the Islamic
fundamentalists were not on the same side.

I'm also thinking, by offering the deal, he has declared what he is. Now
we just dicker about his price. So, in return for his life, no mass
bombing of his country, a quiet exile and much less money than demanded,
he goes away.

If it doesn't work out, not very much harm has been done, and you still
have the military threat in reserve.

--
bill

Bill Turlock

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 7:35:40 PM9/30/07
to

Rcd by email today:

""
HOW IT WORKS

Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White
House in D.C.; one from New Orleans , another from Tennessee
and the third, from Florida. They go with a White House official
to examine the fence.

The Florida contractor takes out a tape measure and does some
measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. "Well", he
says, "I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials,
$400 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring,
then says, "I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300
for my crew and $100 profit for me."

The Looziana contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over
to the White House official and whispers, " $2,700."

The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like
the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"

The Cajun contractor whispers back, "$1000 for me, $1000 for you,
and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence."

"Done!" replies the government official.

And that friends, is how it all works!
""

bill van

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 7:44:59 PM9/30/07
to
In article <470032CC...@sonnnic.invalid>,

Bill Turlock <"Bill Turlock "@sonnnic.invalid> wrote:

> Rcd by email today:
>
> HOW IT WORKS
>
> Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White
> House in D.C.; one from New Orleans , another from Tennessee
> and the third, from Florida. They go with a White House official
> to examine the fence.
>
> The Florida contractor takes out a tape measure and does some
> measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. "Well", he
> says, "I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials,
> $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me."
>
> The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring,
> then says, "I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300
> for my crew and $100 profit for me."
>
> The Looziana contractor doesn't measure or figure, but leans over
> to the White House official and whispers, " $2,700."
>
> The official, incredulous, says, "You didn't even measure like
> the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"
>
> The Cajun contractor whispers back, "$1000 for me, $1000 for you,
> and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence."
>
> "Done!" replies the government official.
>
> And that friends, is how it all works!
>

Nice. You figure that's how they're rebuilding New Orleans?

--
bill

Bill Turlock

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 7:55:28 PM9/30/07
to

Maybe, but it's just as valid for the organization that pays off
Saddam to retire. Problem is, there isn't enough to go around,
so... we gotta make a trillion $ war.

Charles Bishop

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 8:08:05 PM9/30/07
to
In article <billvan-AE1721...@shawnews.vc.shawcable.net>, bill
van <bil...@shaw.chopchop.ca> wrote:

I was replying to

"No one would be able to look into an alternate universe and realize 100,000
deaths and half a trillion in spending had been averted."

Going to war there was likely to cost, in deaths and money (and current
history confirms this). I don't think there is anyone competent who
wouldn't have predicted that. History of the region, and of recent wars
helps predict that. If Iraq continues to be annoying after the deal, then
war isn't the answer, assuming that "annoying" doesn't involve WMDs or
nuclear attacks, and I don't think it would.

Of course, if the outcome to Saddam leaving is complete chaos and
genocide, that's another decision.


>
>Then the trick would be to lean on the next guy to act a bit more
>reasonably. If that was the goal. I don't think it was.

No, it wasn't.

--
carles

groo

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 8:17:37 PM9/30/07
to
bill van <bil...@shaw.chopchop.ca> wrote:

That would be the best-case scenario. It is well established that much of
the rebuilding is going through a Russian-doll-like series of sub-, sub-
sub-, sub-sub-sub-contractors (repeat as deep as you can stomach). This
quite often results in the final sub^n-contractor operating on a slim
margin and being marginally capable or totally incapable of doing an
adequate job. And virtually everyone in the chain having someone else to
point at as being the cause of the problem.

I believe the Bush administration calls this "privatization". Louisiana
politicians probably call it "the way we've always done things down
here".


--
i'm in ur kitchin eatin ur sausages.

Mary

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 8:45:18 PM9/30/07
to


Yeah, but Kevin, the problem is that Bartlet isn't really in the White
House. Bush is. Also, you'd be relying on the ruler of Syria or Egypt
to confine him to his estate. Would that be wise?

Mary

Peter Boulding

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 9:38:19 PM9/30/07
to
On Mon, 01 Oct 2007 00:17:37 GMT, groo <afca...@gmail.com> wrote in
<Xns99BBAFEDED63994...@207.115.33.102>:

2. Nothing special about Louisiana reconstruction: exactly the same system
is in use both in Iraq and elsewhere. But in any case,

1. *What* Louisiana reconstruction?

--
Regards
Peter Boulding
p...@UNSPAMpboulding.co.uk (to e-mail, remove "UNSPAM")
Fractal music & images: http://www.pboulding.co.uk/

Peter Boulding

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 9:44:42 PM9/30/07
to
On Sun, 30 Sep 2007 17:08:05 -0700, ctbi...@earthlink.net (Charles Bishop)
wrote in
<ctbishop-300...@dialup-4.246.39.38.dial1.sanjose1.level3.net>:

>Of course, if the outcome to Saddam leaving is complete chaos and
>genocide, that's another decision.
>>
>>Then the trick would be to lean on the next guy to act a bit more
>>reasonably. If that was the goal. I don't think it was.
>
>No, it wasn't.

It is now. At least for the US strategists who are currently arming and
supplying intelligence to Sunni clans, and especially to the Neocons who
have of late been scheming to put Allawi back in power. (And they'd settle
for another Saddam if that's what he turned out to be. *Anyone* who agreed
neither to badmouth Israel too much nor to give China and India preference
on oil exploitation would do.)

Mary

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 9:46:58 PM9/30/07
to


Silly. The Superdome. What else?

Mary

Opus the Penguin

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 10:29:26 PM9/30/07
to
K_S_ONeill (K_S_O...@yahoo.com) wrote:
> Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> How easy is it to funnel money from there to Al Qaeda? I'm
>> betting it could be done.
>
> What money is this? I wouldn't let him take enough to be trouble.

Then you're changing the whole hypothetical. What is your evidence
that Saddam would have left for pocket change?

--
Opus the Penguin
"I dunno, maybe I'll remember and be coherent, later." - Charles
Bishop

Bill Turlock

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 10:41:27 PM9/30/07
to
Peter Boulding wrote:
>
> On Sun, 30 Sep 2007 17:08:05 -0700, ctbi...@earthlink.net (Charles Bishop)
> wrote in
> <ctbishop-300...@dialup-4.246.39.38.dial1.sanjose1.level3.net>:
>
> >Of course, if the outcome to Saddam leaving is complete chaos and
> >genocide, that's another decision.
> >>
> >>Then the trick would be to lean on the next guy to act a bit more
> >>reasonably. If that was the goal. I don't think it was.
> >
> >No, it wasn't.
>
> It is now. At least for the US strategists who are currently arming and
> supplying intelligence to Sunni clans, and especially to the Neocons who
> have of late been scheming to put Allawi back in power. (And they'd settle
> for another Saddam if that's what he turned out to be. *Anyone* who agreed
> neither to badmouth Israel too much nor to give China and India preference
> on oil exploitation would do.)

Hell, _I_ could do that! Some body armo(u)r and a hit squad, I'm
in business!

Bill "Me for President" Turlock (of Iraq), I wouldn't want it
here--too many warring factions.

Bob Ward

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 11:11:50 PM9/30/07
to
On 1 Oct 2007 02:29:26 GMT, Opus the Penguin
<opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:

>K_S_ONeill (K_S_O...@yahoo.com) wrote:
>> Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>> How easy is it to funnel money from there to Al Qaeda? I'm
>>> betting it could be done.
>>
>> What money is this? I wouldn't let him take enough to be trouble.
>
>Then you're changing the whole hypothetical. What is your evidence
>that Saddam would have left for pocket change?


Jack Benny's "Your money or your life?"

Bob Ward

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 11:15:07 PM9/30/07
to
On Mon, 01 Oct 2007 00:45:18 GMT, Mary <mrfea...@aol.com> wrote:

>
>Yeah, but Kevin, the problem is that Bartlet isn't really in the White
>House. Bush is. Also, you'd be relying on the ruler of Syria or Egypt
>to confine him to his estate. Would that be wise?
>
>Mary

How about a small estate in the south of Cuba?

K_S_ONeill

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 11:43:46 PM9/30/07
to
On Sep 30, 9:29 pm, Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> K_S_ONeill (K_S_ONe...@yahoo.com) wrote:
> > Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> >> How easy is it to funnel money from there to Al Qaeda? I'm
> >> betting it could be done.
>
> > What money is this? I wouldn't let him take enough to be trouble.
>
> Then you're changing the whole hypothetical. What is your evidence
> that Saddam would have left for pocket change?

Do you read what I write, at all? I said very clearly earlier that I
was basing my idea of how such things would go on my extensive viewing
of The West Wing.

Also, if Saddam understood that he was going to lose and that we were
going to kill him, which he may well have, a villa in Pakistan and
enough money to live comfortably on for the rest of his life might
seem like a good deal. Or he may not have take it, but we could have
tried.

--
Kevin

Bob Ward

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 11:45:41 PM9/30/07
to
On 30 Sep 2007 15:17:56 GMT, Opus the Penguin
<opusthepen...@gmail.com> wrote:

>Mary (mrfea...@aol.com) wrote:
>
>> Guillermo el Gato wrote:
>>> Not if you're President Bush:
>>>
>>> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article3010189.ece
>>>
>>> "A transcript of an eve-of-war conversation between President
>>> George Bush and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar
>>> has revealed a previously undisclosed initiative to avert war in
>>> Iraq by spiriting Saddam Hussein out of the country.
>>>
>>> ""Yes, it's possible," Mr Bush told the Spanish leader. "The
>>> Egyptians are talking to Saddam Hussein ... He seems to have
>>> indicated he would be open to exile if they would let him take
>>> one billion dollars and all the information he wants on weapons
>>> of mass destruction.""

>>
>> And let him go where? He could do a lot with a billion dollars.
>>
>
>That's kind of where I came down. I saw an article about this a few
>days back. I let out an expression of disgust at the headline. I
>assumed it was just another botched opportunity by the Bush
>administration. That's the path of least resistance.
>
>But then I read that, in addition to the billion dollars, Saddam
>wanted to take all his info on weapons of mass destruction as well.
>It would take a different kind of total fool than George W. Bush to
>agree to that.
>


Nothin' from nothin' leaves nothin'...
either he had it or he didn't - unless he was a quantum despot.

Bob Ward

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 11:45:41 PM9/30/07
to
On Sun, 30 Sep 2007 15:07:45 -0700, K_S_ONeill <K_S_O...@yahoo.com>
wrote:


Would he have access to the Home Shopping Network?

K_S_ONeill

unread,
Sep 30, 2007, 11:49:34 PM9/30/07
to
On Sep 30, 6:33 pm, bill van <bill...@shaw.chopchop.ca> wrote:
> In article <Xns99BBAF103ECEAopusthepenguinnet...@127.0.0.1>,

> Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > How likely was he to abide by such an agreement? How easy is it to
> > funnel money from there to Al Qaeda? I'm betting it could be done.
>
> Saddam had no ties with Al Qaeda. His secular regime and the Islamic
> fundamentalists were not on the same side.

Right, but Opus is right in principle if not in the details. We have
to worry about him funding some group of bad actors somewhere if he
has the ability.

> I'm also thinking, by offering the deal, he has declared what he is. Now
> we just dicker about his price. So, in return for his life, no mass
> bombing of his country, a quiet exile and much less money than demanded,
> he goes away.

I would think so also, but it's hard to say. On the one hand he was
apparently a pretty good judge of what was and was not going to fly in
Iraq. On the other hand, he was apparently fucking delusional about
his own weapons programs. So it's possible, perhaps even likely, that
he would have thought he could ride out a US assault, and not realized
he was lost until it was too late. That's possible. That's likely,
even. But it's not certain, and it would have been a good thing to
try, and a fine model for future actions. Imagine if we could as a
rule evict dictators for a million bucks, a villa and a promise not to
kill them.

> If it doesn't work out, not very much harm has been done, and you still
> have the military threat in reserve.

Correct. But as has been pointed out, this doesn't leave Haliburton
in charge of the oil wells. I actually think that went into the
considerations, that important stuff like oil wells really can't be
trusted to how a bunch of Iraqis might vote. We're not that far from
Operation Ajax, even now.

--
Kevin

bill van

unread,
Oct 1, 2007, 12:12:31 AM10/1/07
to
In article <1191210574.6...@19g2000hsx.googlegroups.com>,
K_S_ONeill <K_S_O...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Which pretty much explains why the U.S. wouldn't take the deal.

--
bill

Glenn Dowdy

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Oct 1, 2007, 10:56:32 AM10/1/07
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"K_S_ONeill" <K_S_O...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:1191210574.6...@19g2000hsx.googlegroups.com...

> On Sep 30, 6:33 pm, bill van <bill...@shaw.chopchop.ca> wrote:
>> In article <Xns99BBAF103ECEAopusthepenguinnet...@127.0.0.1>,
>> Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
>> > How likely was he to abide by such an agreement? How easy is it to
>> > funnel money from there to Al Qaeda? I'm betting it could be done.
>>
>> Saddam had no ties with Al Qaeda. His secular regime and the Islamic
>> fundamentalists were not on the same side.
>
> Right, but Opus is right in principle if not in the details. We have
> to worry about him funding some group of bad actors somewhere if he
> has the ability.
>
Ability doesn't necessarily equal desire. If he's left with a fixed pot of
money, is he going to spend it on folks he doesn't like, knowing that if
it's traced back to him all deals are off, or is he going to use it to
maintain his hedonistic lifestyle for the rest of his life. If he doesn't
play nice with his billion dollars, another $50M in foreign aid to sic the
Mossad on him is peanuts. That could be made very clear up front.

Glenn D.


SourOldSeeReal

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Oct 1, 2007, 11:11:40 AM10/1/07
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bill van <bil...@shaw.chopchop.ca> wrote in
news:billvan-8373BE...@shawnews.vc.shawcable.net:

Oil is certainly a part of the equation, but I also think part of the
"problem" the US was facing (I put problem in quotes because it was of
their own making) was that the force that was put in place wasn't prepared
to stick around in a holding pattern while the details of a transfer of
power.

Partly this was due to what Rumsfeld and the Bush administration was
willing to finance. Adding another 3-6 months to the timeline would have
added several to tens of billions to the overall cost. OMB and the other
financial guys in the Bush administration wanted to avoid the spending,
while Rumsfeld didn't want funding diverted away from the less traditional
stuff he liked and to a conventional operation.

This dovetails into one of Rumsfeld's bureaucratic wars -- to hamstring
the traditional planning, coordinating, implementing and risk managing
parts of the Pentagon that accompanied conventional wars. A longer
deployment would require ceding more control (and therefore more
legitimacy) to the part of the Pentagon he was trying to bust up, as
forces needed to be resupplied, rotated, reequipped, etc.

Also, the hardcore Cheney side of the Administration wanted Chalabi in
power, but a negotiated removal of Saddam would have probably checkmated
that approach. Since the negotiations were going on with Egypt and
presumably other friendlish Arab states like Jordan, Chalabi most likely
would have been shut out if negotiations took place.

In addition, the hope of the Cheney wing was to avoid any long US
involvement in the nation building side of Iraq, and a negotiated
withdrawal of Saddam would have increased US ownership of Iraq. Plus,
negotiations would have offered the State Department an avenue of getting
into the process, and Rumsfeld and Cheney would absolutely not want that.
They were fuming that Bush had granted Powell his opportunity to make a
case before the UN, and they would explode if he and the State machinery
got involved.

I think the Cheney and Rumsfeld and OMB side at this point was able to
push a naturally impatient Bush over the edge with the tiniest of pushes,
if he wasn't already there.

Here is where you can insert all of the incredible ironies about where all
of this thinking (and lack of thinking) led.

xho...@gmail.com

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Oct 1, 2007, 11:30:40 AM10/1/07
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K_S_ONeill <K_S_O...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Sep 30, 5:13 pm, Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
>
> > How easy is it to
> > funnel money from there to Al Qaeda? I'm betting it could be done.
>
> What money is this? I wouldn't let him take enough to be trouble.

Heck, if I were in charge Saddam would have paid me a billion dollars to
allow him to hang himself. I'm just that good of a negotiator. Vote for
Me.

Xho

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Veronique

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Oct 1, 2007, 11:33:28 AM10/1/07
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On Oct 1, 7:56 am, "Glenn Dowdy" <glenn.no.do...@hp.spam.com> wrote:
> "K_S_ONeill" <K_S_ONe...@yahoo.com> wrote in message


Surely a billion in gold, dropped from a height, would have solved the
ethical dilemma.


V.
--
Veronique Chez Sheep


K_S_ONeill

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Oct 1, 2007, 1:13:24 PM10/1/07
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On Oct 1, 10:30 am, xhos...@gmail.com wrote:

> K_S_ONeill <K_S_ONe...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > On Sep 30, 5:13 pm, Opus the Penguin <opusthepenguin+use...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
>
> > > How easy is it to
> > > funnel money from there to Al Qaeda? I'm betting it could be done.
>
> > What money is this? I wouldn't let him take enough to be trouble.
>
> Heck, if I were in charge Saddam would have paid me a billion dollars to
> allow him to hang himself. I'm just that good of a negotiator. Vote for
> Me.

Your sarcasm is duly noted. But if he'd been convinced that what was
in fact going to happen was in fact going to happen, surely he'd have
taken a quiet retirement and the hope of causing trouble at some point
over being dragged out of a hole in the ground and fitted for a
noose? The problem is convincing him to connect with reality. Ok,
he's not the only world leader for whom that's a problem. Still.

--
Kevin

Lee Ayrton

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Oct 1, 2007, 6:47:44 PM10/1/07
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On Sun, 30 Sep 2007, Bill Bonde ( 'Hi ho' ) wrote:

> Guillermo el Gato wrote:
>>
>> Not if you're President Bush:
>>
>> http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article3010189.ece
>>
>> "A transcript of an eve-of-war conversation between President George
>> Bush and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has revealed a
>> previously undisclosed initiative to avert war in Iraq by spiriting
>> Saddam Hussein out of the country.
>>
>> ""Yes, it's possible," Mr Bush told the Spanish leader. "The Egyptians
>> are talking to Saddam Hussein ... He seems to have indicated he would
>> be open to exile if they would let him take one billion dollars and
>> all the information he wants on weapons of mass destruction.""
>>

>> I'll be interested if this story gets legs in the US. I really doubt
>> it will.
>>
> Saddam wanted a billion dollars and all the information he could get on
> WMDs? That's a great plan, that's bin Laden with a billion dollars and
> all the information on WMDs.

there's room for doubt on that one. bin Laden was probably happy to
Saddam go, too.


--
"We began to realize, as we plowed on with the destruction of New Jersey,
that the extent of our American lunatic fringe had been underestimated."
Orson Wells on the reaction to the _War Of The Worlds_ broadcast.

Raven-Poe

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Oct 1, 2007, 7:26:28 PM10/1/07