Off Topic Messages

Clinton says Iraq Invasion a Big Mistake... Let's Flashback

Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:36 pm

Clinton says Iraq invasion was a big mistake

The United States made a "big mistake" when it invaded Iraq, former President Bill Clinton said Wednesday, citing the lack of planning for what would happen after dictator Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

"Saddam is gone. It's a good thing, but I don't agree with what was done, " Clinton told students at the American University of Dubai.

"It was a big mistake. The American government made several errors ... one of which is how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country."

Clinton did however say that the United States had done some good things in Iraq: the removal of Saddam, the ratification of a new constitution, and the holding of parliamentary elections.

I just love an armchair quarterback. Especially one that apparently knew that Saddam was a threat but who didn't have the balls to do the job of getting rid of him. Does anyone remember what Clinton said & did about Iraq in 1998 ????? Let's take a trip down Memory Lane.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- From the Oval Office, President Clinton told the nation Wednesday evening why he ordered new military strikes against Iraq.

The president said Iraq's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors presented a threat to the entire world.

"Saddam (Hussein) must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons," Clinton said.

Operation Desert Fox, a strong, sustained series of attacks, will be carried out over several days by U.S. and British forces, Clinton said.

"Earlier today I ordered America's armed forces to strike military and security targets in Iraq. They are joined by British forces," Clinton said.

"Their mission is to attack Iraq's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs and its military capacity to threaten its neighbors," said Clinton.

Clinton also stated that, while other countries also had weapons of mass destruction, Hussein is in a different category because he has used such weapons against his own people and against his neighbors.

'Without delay, diplomacy or warning'

The Iraqi leader was given a final warning six weeks ago, Clinton said, when Baghdad promised to cooperate with U.N. inspectors at the last minute just as U.S. warplanes were headed its way.

"Along with Prime Minister (Tony) Blair of Great Britain, I made it equally clear that if Saddam failed to cooperate fully we would be prepared to act without delay, diplomacy or warning," Clinton said.

The president said the report handed in Tuesday by Richard Butler, head of the United Nations Special Commission in charge of finding and destroying Iraqi weapons, was stark and sobering.

Iraq failed to cooperate with the inspectors and placed new restrictions on them, Clinton said. He said Iraqi officials also destroyed records and moved everything, even the furniture, out of suspected sites before inspectors were allowed in.

"Instead of inspectors disarming Saddam, Saddam has disarmed the inspectors," Clinton said.

"In halting our airstrikes in November, I gave Saddam a chance -- not a license. If we turn our backs on his defiance, the credibility of U.S. power as a check against Saddam will be destroyed," the president explained.

Strikes necessary to stunt weapons programs

Clinton said he made the decision to strike Wednesday with the unanimous agreement of his security advisors.

Timing was important, said the president, because without a strong inspection system in place, Iraq could rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear programs in a matter of months, not years.

"If Saddam can cripple the weapons inspections system and get away with it, he would conclude the international community, led by the United States, has simply lost its will," said Clinton. "He would surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction."

Clinton also called Hussein a threat to his people and to the security of the world.

"The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government -- a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people," Clinton said.

Such a change in Baghdad would take time and effort, Clinton said, adding that his administration would work with Iraqi opposition forces.

Clinton also addressed the ongoing impeachment crisis in the White House.

"Saddam Hussein and the other enemies of peace may have thought that the serious debate currently before the House of Representatives would distract Americans or weaken our resolve to face him down," he said.

"But once more, the United States has proven that although we are never eager to use force, when we must act in America's vital interests, we will do so."


Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:44 pm


:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

Wed Nov 16, 2005 11:59 pm

Clinton has been retired for almost five years, give it a rest. Try to force yourself to accept the reality that Bush Jr. is the worst presidency in the history of the US.

He's even less popular with the public than when Nixon resigned in disgrace in August 1974. Amazing, and pathetic.


Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:19 am

It's not us you need to convince, it's the 63 percent of Americans who disapprove of the president's Iraq policy. More than half of Americans want a timetable to get us out in less than a year.

You're trying to pass Bush off as the guiding light on Iraq when his administration has been wrong -- and has admitted it's wrong -- on the war's cause, cost, troop requirements, timetable and level of enemy resistance.

With every reason and resource miscalculated, Bush deserves criticism from anyone who wants to dish it out -- Clinton included.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:32 am

Did someone think that after Sadam Hussein was gone that there was not going to be suicidal bombs everywhere in Irak?

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:43 am

Francesc wrote:Did someone think that after Sadam Hussein was gone that there was not going to be suicidal bombs everywhere in Irak?

Unfortunately, the few people delusional to believe we wouldn't face murderous resistance included people key to the decision to invade Iraq.

"Speaking of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, former Army secretary Thomas E. White White said, “Their view of the intelligence was much different. Their notion of it was resistance would run away as the few remaining Saddam loyalists were hunted down.”
"Several senior policymakers have said recently that they were not totally prepared for what has occurred. On Sunday, for example, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice was asked on CNN’s “Late Edition” if there could have been better planning for the postwar period. She responded, “Obviously, there were things that were not foreseen.”
"In the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion, senior Pentagon officials were privately optimistic about postwar Iraq, and their assessment shaped calculations about the size of the occupation force that would be required and how long it would have to be there, as well as the overall cost of the U.S. management of Iraq after the fall of the Hussein government."

Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:34 am


He obviously killed innocent Iraqi women and children
and with missiles -
not soldiers on the ground conscientiously looking before they fire.
No, his tactic was push buttons and launch, let them fall where they may.

Clinton said Saddam was a WMD threat
so did Madeline Albright, and Sandy Berger.

In 2002, Nancy Pelosi (D) and Rockefeller (D) and JOHN KERRY (D) also said Saddam was a WMD threat. In 2002, Sen. Kerry stood before the Senate and told scary things about Saddam's capabilities.

Liberals have short memories.
Last edited by Graceland Gardener on Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:48 am

I'm sure the historical nuances of that argument will help sway the nearly two-thirds of Americans who disapprove of the war and George Bush.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:58 am

Does anyone think that President Clinton or even Bush Jr. could have gotten an approval for an invasion of Iraq pre-911?

No soldiers on the ground looking conscientiously before they fire???

Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:21 am


Thu Nov 17, 2005 7:44 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:He's even less popular with the public than when Nixon resigned in disgrace in August 1974.

This is unbelievably true. I mentioned it in another thread recently.

I'm at the point now to where I hold my breath everytime I see Bush in a crowd. Presidents that have had a much higher popularity rating have not lived until the end of their term. As a matter of fact, I recently saw a bumper sticker that said Lee Harvey Oswald, where are you when we really need you? It was pretty tasteless.

Despite everything, I would vote for Bush again before I would ever vote for John Kerry.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:12 pm

Q:Invaded Iraq?
A: Yes.

Q: Any Iraq people was killed by the invasor?
A: Yes

Already an ENORMOUS mistake.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:45 pm

From the UK's Independent newspaper today:


Thu Nov 17, 2005 10:06 pm

I absolutely love how the Far-Left turns everything into a Bush discussion.

This topic isn't about Bush, it's about Clinton's recent comments vs. his comments and actions during his presidency. As much as some of you dislike Bush, and I can understand that you do, are we unable to discuss this as it relates to Clinton without using it as a means to further disparage the current president?

This is obviously an issue that began years before Mr. Bush took office and I'd like to hear some intelligent thoughts on why Clinton did what he did and why he is saying some of the things he is now saying.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:02 pm

Far left? How many times do I have to say it -- I'm a REPUBLICAN!!!!!!

Because I've lived with Bush as a Texan for years and have determined over those long years after political and business observation that he's an appalling nitwit, then that makes me a member of the far left?

Apparently, the far left is growing by leaps and bounds because more and more Americans are reaching the conclusion that I predicted they would. Where did I make that prediction? On this board. When did I make this prediction? Back when so many people here were defending Bush as a political savant and brilliant tactician.

I guess every Republican who has criticized Bush, including McCain and so many others, are now members of the Communist Party.

That's freaking McCarthyism (yes, another embarrasing Republican who has haunted our party for decades). By endorsing such fools we humiliate ourselves and hurt the party.

Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:12 am

I wouldn't say you're Far-Left or even Communist. I would say, however, that you are being a bit extreme and defensive. No one is attempting to demonize you as a Bush critic for your beliefs. Please get over that. I simply would like a dialogue on Clinton and the topic on which I posted.

I wrote:
I'd like to hear some intelligent thoughts on why Clinton did what he did and why he is saying some of the things he is now saying.

I guess I expected too much.

Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:03 am

EagleUSA wrote:... you are being a bit extreme and defensive.

The irony of this comment does not escape the intelligent members of this MB.

Again, Clinton retired close to five years ago. Dredging up talking points from 1998 does not serve to obscure the hideous mess that is the Iraq War. Or that Bush Jr. and his cronies are fully responsible.


Fri Nov 18, 2005 3:18 am

I have a lot to say about Clinton, some of it you might love to hear.

But first you'll have to explain to me how I'm not supposed to take offense to:

I absolutely love how the Far-Left turns everything into a Bush discussion.

in a thread in which my responses represent 25 percent of the content?

It sure sounds as if you're trying to paint me as a left-winger to me.

Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:29 am

Clinton has every right to criticize the current administration about Iraq. It is definitely not a case of throwing stones in a glass house.

While it was generally conceded that Iraq was a threat, although the nature of that threat has never been specifically defined, and regime change was a priority at least in concept, in retrospect his handling of Iraq seems exactly right. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Whatever the threat was that existed with Iraq was largely contained during his administration which was about the extent of what he could do. No US congress in the 1990s was going to approve regime change in Iraq by invasion; it was not going to happen. Only 9/11 created an atmosphere where the US could undertake a pre-emptive invasion. I don't mean to say that Iraq was not a threat but the fact that a country is a potential threat is not enough to justify an invasion. North Korea is a threat. Cuba is a threat and they are only 90 miles away. In many ways, because of the US's support of Israel, almost every country in the Middle East is a threat. When Bush Jr. took office, he was reminding people about the threat still posed by the former Soviet Union, a country that has multiple weapons of mass destruction. You could go on and on.

You can criticize Clinton, with some legitmacy, for allowing his personal problems to derail work he should have been doing in office particularly alignment of the various governmental entities involved in addressing the terrorist threat. He did do more than previous administrations in addressing the terrorist threat creating a cabinet level post and substantially increasing funding but it was clearly not enough as 9/11 demonstrated. However, I don't want else anyone could have wanted in regards to Iraq. As it was he was criticized for heavy handiness when he left office.

Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:36 am

likethebike wrote:You can criticize Clinton, with some legitmacy, for allowing his personal problems to derail work he should have been doing in office.

And what kind of personal problems would you be referring to?

Could it possibly be that young White House intern that could suck a golf ball through a garden hose? The same one that could suck Lincoln off of a penny? The very same one who specialized in those tasty cigars?

Could you be more specific? That was a long time ago and I don't remember.

Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:43 am

These personal problems were only problems for the country at large but because a relatively small group attached to them an importance they didn't deserve.

Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:00 am

They must have been important enough for him to be one of the two Presidents in U.S. history to get impeached.

Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:34 pm

They weren't but that didn't stop Tom DeLay and company from pushing for the impeachment. Just because the US congress or President or local legislators waste time on a given subject does not mean it has a particular importance. In New Jersey, we just had a revision of the sales tax code that extended non-tax status to items like chocolate bars presumably because chocolate companies were big campaign contributors. New Jersey wasn't sinking or swimming because of the lack of sales tax revenue on toilet paper or the tax revenue tax revenue generated by Hershey bars but that didn't stop lawmakers from wasting hours and money changing the law. Government is always sticking its nose into trivia. As we have seen, government often can go to extremes on unimportant issues.

Fri Nov 18, 2005 1:35 pm


Now why is it that Clinton (he) and Clinton (she)
and other Democrats (Pelosi, Kerry, Rockefeller, Howard Dean)
can spew anti-Saddam rhetoric for years - "he has wmds, can produce anthrax, etc"
but really do nothing about the guy?
Or want to do nothing about him?

Leave it to the UN? Trust it to the UN?

What a crock - they were scamming billions with the Oil-for-Food deal,
no wonder they (UN) wanted Saddam left in power.

USA is getting little support for this part of the war on terror simply because it f**ked up the illegal scam that many Europe countries had going with Iraq.

--- Iraq is a mess, yeh, and so is this Saddam Trial.

They should just hang the sonofabitch from the tallest olive tree asap.

Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:07 pm wrote:
That's freaking McCarthyism (yes, another embarrasing Republican who has haunted our party for decades). By endorsing such fools we humiliate ourselves and hurt the party.

You may believe you're a Republican, but I don't buy it. You've obviously bought into the Far-Left media frenzy regarding Senator McCarthy. Republicans knowledgeable about their party's history know differently.

Can you or anyone else produce one person...just one...falsely accused by McCarthy? You can't.

I'd like to hear intelligent thoughts on this topic, too, and not have it turn into another round of Bush bashing. I doubt that will happen.