Tag Archives: Gulf War

Stop The Presses! Bush Vindicated By Uranium Discovery!! Or Maybe Not…

21 Aug
This past Sunday, I saw my best friend and his bride for dinner with me and my wife.  My best friend tends to be more on the conservative or at least Republican side of things, while I started our friendship over twenty years ago as a raging liberal and have gradually moved more to the center.  Aging, 9/11 and the realization that both parties have done precious little over the past twenty years to address our biggest problems will do that to a guy.
Anyway, I think it’s safe to say that politics tends to be my more bag than my best friend’s.  But, I do respect his opinion and value getting his POV as it often differs from mine and helps me check my own beliefs.
 
Over dinner, he rocked my world.  He busted out that he met some guy at a barbecue earlier in the day that told him all about 500 tons of Iraqi yellow cake uranium that had been discovered and was being moved out of Iraq.  According to my friend’s new friend and the blog (this will be important in a few moments) that he showed him on his laptop, this was all a shocking case of the often referenced “liberal media bias” in action.  The original story, according to the barbecue laptop guy, was reported in July, yet the media (who ever they are these days) hadn’t made a big deal about it.  My best pal asked me if I’d heard about it.  I had not.
  
Hmmmmm…. Here was the smoking gun.  They found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and no one was reporting it.  Bush was vindicated.  The  Iraq War was justified.  Wow, maybe I owe our President a big apology I thought.
After drafting an apology letter to the president, I thought better of it and did some digging.  After a quick web search, I think the guy who told my pal about the 500 tons of uranium was off base on a few things.  The reason the media didn’t make this the top story of the year was twofold:
 
1 – it’s an old story.  The yellow cake uranium in question has been known to be in Saddam’s possession since the 1980s.  And none of it dates from after the First Gulf War.  So, it’s not the smoking gun that proves that Bush was right to invade Iraq.  Saddam had the stuff in his possession & we knew about it for over 20 years.  If it wasn’t dangerous enough for us to oust Saddam in the 80s or under the first and wiser President Bush, than what would make it a justification for the second Iraq War?
 
2 – The US wanted to keep the movement of the material as secret as possible.  Apparently, we were concerned that if it was widely known that we were moving it out of Iraq that extremists might target it.  The US Government didn’t want this to be a big story.
 
By searching the net, I found reporting on the material over the years.  So, the media has in fact been reporting it.  It just isn’t a big story cause of the two reasons listed above.  I know many people believe there’s a liberal media bias (despite the dominance of conservative talk radio & Fox News) but this just is not a case of liberal media bias.
 
In fact, the Bush Administration was trying to build the case that Saddam was trying to buy more uranium as a justification for the war.  That has to date not been proven.
 
Below is a link to a good article on the uranium in question from MSNBC and I also pasted the most relevant excerpt if you are pressed for time.
 
Totally cop to the charge that MSNBC is (as a business decision for their cable channel) featuring more and more liberal commentary (Keith Obermann, Rachel Maddow, etc).  But, I still take them to be credible for general reporting when it’s not commentary.  Keep in mind MSNBC is owned by GE & Microsoft not exactly bleeding heart liberal hippies…
 
THE EXCERPT:
Tuwaitha and an adjacent research facility were well known for decades as the centerpiece of Saddam’s nuclear efforts.Israeli warplanes bombed a reactor project at the site in 1981. Later, U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.

THE LINK

 
 
If none of this convinces you that the guy at the barbecue was off base, then ask yourself this.  If this was such a big story & vindicated Bush for this war, than why isn’t he out there saying so?
I would have attached a link to the blog my friend saw at the barbecue, but I don’t know what it was.
On a related note, seems to me this blogosphere (if that’s what we blogging nerds are calling) is at once one of the greatest aids to democracy in the world and at the same time one of the greatest threats.  Fact is any yahoo can start a blog (like I did).  I make no claim to be an expert and try hard to let readers know when I’m guessing at or assuming something.  I am by no means perfect.  So, if you read this blog, PLEASE fact check me and let me know when I’m off base.  It’s the least we can do as modern day Americans.
It’s tough to know these days what’s fact and what’s some guy or gal’s wacked out opinion.  At least that’s my take…
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Even If You’re A Conservative… Life Lessons Your Children Need To Learn From The Clintons!

4 May

The latest polls show that Hillary Clinton is far from done.  Barack Obama has repeatedly had his chance to put her campaign away.  He’s failed to do so.  The Clinton campaign is alive and well.  Give credit to Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s recent tendency to shoot himself in the foot and the famous Clinton never say die drive.

Years ago, the first President Bush (remember him fondly now? Me too!) was riding high as he headed for reelection.  Bush I’s approval ratings were the exact opposite of Bush II’s.  Daddy Bush was getting something like a 90 plus percent approval rating following the Gulf War victory.

Mario Cuomo was the nationally known eloquent spokesman of the Democratic Party as well as the well regarded governor of a big important state.  Cuomo had presidential aspirations.  Democrats were enthusiastic for a Cuomo candidacy.  Yet, Cuomo hesitated.  He hemmed and hawed and never got into the race.  He’ll never know what might have been.

Bill Clinton was the little known governor of a state that let’s charitably say wasn’t at the top of most lists you’d want your state to be at the top of.  However, Clinton was young, ambitious and charismatic.  He didn’t hesitate.  Clinton jumped in.  Bush 90 percent approval rating be damned.

We all know what happened.  Clinton won and George Bush went home a one term president.

Regardless of your politic persuasion, what should your children learn from the above?  Glad you asked!

First, let’s take Hillary’s ’08 Campaign.  She has been knocked down and counted out over and over in this campaign.  Yet, she’s still out there fighting day after day.  Momentum even seems to have turned her way.  Ask yourself, when’s the last time the Obama Campaign got some good news?  Guam victory?  I don’t see Senator Obama writing home about that one…  “Dear Michelle,  Hey Honey, I think I got this thing sewed up now that Guam is in my court!!”

The point that’s valuable for kids is that everyone gets knocked out.  None of us wins all the time.  Not even Derek Jeter or Brett Favre, despite reports to the contrary.  Often, it seems like the world is in a hurry to count us out. 

Hillary’s campaign teaches us so many things.  Belief in yourself for one.  Never counting yourself out.  Fighting on against the odds.  Most importantly, getting back up when you’ve been knocked down.  The world is going to floor your kids.  As parents, our biggest job is to teach them to get up.  We need to ingrain in them that carrying on after suffering a set back or disappointment is the mark of a true champion.

Now, onto Bill.  Clearly, Bill Clinton is a risk taker.  Sometimes those risks are reckless and damaging to himself, his family and our country.  Lewinsky, anyone?  Other times, as with his decision to get in the race in ’92, his belief in himself and his risk embracing nature won him the presidency and in my opinion (at least) gave our country a very good though flawed president.

What should your kids learn?  Clinton proves you’ve got to be in it to win it whether it’s the lottery or running for the most powerful job in the world.  Bill Clinton lives life like this is his one shot at it.  Do you?  Not many of us do, but many of us wish we did. 

Do you want your kids to completely fulfill their potential?  Of course you do.  Then, you’ve got to teach the Clinton lesson.  Kids have to go out into the world and take chances.

And for you conservatives, here’s the Bill Clinton lesson for your kids that even you’ll agree with.  Kids need to learn the difference between a good risk and a bad risk.  Even as a Clinton fan, I acknowledge that he had trouble with that one.  Ultimately, it’s what kept him from being a great president rather than a very good one.

PS – Conservatives, I don’t expect you agree with my presidential rating of Bill Clinton, but hope you’ll get the underlying point.  Can’t we all agree to get along for our kids?