Friday, December 16, 2005

(Another) Open Forum

First off, thanks to everyone who participated in one of the saner debates about Iraq I've ever seen.

Since that Open Forum is pretty full, I'm starting another one up.

The Moody Investigation is off and running this morning. DeStefano and Malloy continue to call for Rell to take more decisive action. Bob Englehart has his own view of how the two Democrats view the situation, of course...

More people seem to be clambering aboard the Weicker bandwagon.

What else is happening today?


Yes, I Choose to be Anonymous said...

Anyone else hearing the Joe Liber for Sec. of Defense rumors? Would Rell appoint herself to US Senate if that happned?

Anonymous said...

Morano should recuse himself for twenty differnet reasons. Or is he just going around asking questions so he can protect his boss?

MA did something with healthcare, improved the elementary and secondary education situation while holding the line on taxes with a GOP Governor and a Democrat legislature. In CT the talk is about a dumb move by dumb and dumber!!1

Anonymous said...

Hi All, Quick question here, is he JI covering the Moodygate issue at all. Their site has always been very spotty with online coverage.

I don't live in CT anymore and I love the gritty political coverage from the JI and I was wondering if they are covering this in the print version.


Anonymous said...

I'd choose to be anonymous too if I were askingif Rell would make herself Senator if Joe went to the pentagon. Rell's answered that questio with a big no and Joe's not going anywhere.

Now back to Eddie Haskell and Moodygate.

Anonymous said...

In response to Claims on the other forum:
15 years ago, Saddam had just ended a messy war with Iran. He had already used WMD's on Iran and his own people. He decided to invade Kuwait, in an effort to make up for his country's failiures with Iran. The UN supported the sovergnity of all of its member states and the World Rallied to help Kuwait. The resolution to go to war passed in the US House by a couple votes. The Democrats were against intervening.

Saddam crumbled, and the US was on the road to Baghdad, riots took up in the streets of the South and the North of Iraq, it appeared Saddam was done. The UN, being the chickens they are, therefore thought there was no reason to fight anymore, Bush went along, and the First Gulf War was ended. Sanctions were placed on Iraq, his WMD's were to be taken away, the no-fly zones were to be established, all in an effort to cripple his ability to stay in power and allow the Shiites to oust him. Saddam beat the odds, and the Shiite Riots were defeated. Saddam then bribed the Europeans to turn their cheek to him, and the UN lost its backbone to enforce the conditions of the End of the War. Clinton had no intention to go to war either, after all Clinton didnt want to rock the boat, Peace and Prosperity even by naive means was his intentions. He only confronted Iraq when he was plagued by scandals and needed to clean the headlines. He bombed Baghdad, as something to get his approval ratings up, without the risk of America losing a military confrontation with Iraq.

Saddam who was once 3 months away from Nuclear Weapons at the start of Gulf War One, threw out the Weapon Inspectors, the situation of him and WMD's becomes completely unknown for 5 years. He had contacts with Al Qaeda (though he had no role in 911) supported the Palestinian Suicide Bombers during the Intafadah. 911 rolls around, the US enters an age where no longer can possible threats to national security be left unchecked. Saddam leaks to the Intelligence Agencies of the World that he has WMD's, and he DOES in fact approach Niger to buy YellowCake. (He didn't buy any, but HE did meet with the Nigerians, even Wilson's report says so), Additionally the British to this day stand by this report. Bush citing this threat and with 911 in mind pursues the UN to restart its containment of Saddam. After some initial success in getting Saddam to comply, eventually Saddam violates 1441. He doesn't declare all of his weapons (even if they are from the 1980's), continues to fire on US aircraft, and play games with the UN weapon inspectors. Bush gives him a last ultimatum, goes back to the UN for support, they reject it, and with no choice left, goes to War.

Then it is claimed "No WMD's are found in Iraq" of "stockpile quantities", (there have been very small quantities of Chemical Weapons found, most from decaying depots from the Iran-Iraq War). Reports from Israel's Intelligence Agencies suggest that Saddam's WMD's were smuggled to Syria and then to the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. (the Syrians were then forced to pull out of Lebanon, and the Weapons according to Israeli Intelligence were dismantled, Satellite photos of the area showed explosions, and witnesses reported suspicious Syrian troop activities). Personally I dont know how much crediance there is to this claim, but its certainly Interesting. Anyways, even if there were no WMD's in Iraq, Bush made the right decision in context of this new time in History and of the Intelligence provided today. Saddam could not be trusted, and with circulating and widely accepted Intelligence supporting an ability of his to attack us, after all diplomatic oppurtunities were expended, War was our only option to ensure the Security of the US.

Today we are still in Iraq, Huge political progress has been made, along with some limited Security progress. The goal is eventually to let the Iraqis take control of their Nation, and to do so when their Security forces are strong enough to fight back with the level that we the Americans can. Essentially to build an Iraqi force that can perfrom the duties of street patrols, raids, and ground force engagements. Once that happens we can seriously reduce the Ground foces present in Iraq, and this probably will start happenning in the next 6 months to a year.

Calls for a pull out are foolish, Democrats are merely playing a partisan game to oppose the president's policies. They claim he has no strategy, but what about what I just laid out isnt a Strategy? Many say it doesnt not define Victory in this situation, but it does, Victory is when the Iraqis have an armed force to fight the Insurgency, meaning when they have the numbers, the training and the leadership to carry out day to day activities on their own. Many of them already do. Pulling out now would be foolish, the Iraqi Security Forces are not quite ready yet, and the security situation without American forces in Iraq would quickly crumble into a Civil War. Some claim that we already have a Civil War, but its not. There are no imposter governments or civilian supported armies. We are merely fighting bands of armed men that come from both Iraqi and Foreign Origin Backgrounds. They have taken no cities, they have no overwhelming popular support. Additionally, their attacks are centered in only 4 provinces, Al-Anbar, Baghdad, Salah ad Din, and Ninewa. The rest of the provinces are nearly completely peaceful. Setting a timetable is also not a good strategy. It allows the Terrorists the advantage of forthsight, it gives them a chance to know when to plan attacks and who and where to attack. In times like this, that sort of advantage cannot be given to our enemies. Again, the time table was a brain child of the Democrats, trying to find something for which they could attack the policies of a REPUBLICAN president. Some also cite that Iraqis dont like our troops there, and this is true. But polling also had told us that the Iraqis want us there to ensure security until they can do it on their own.

Sorry for the long post, probably broke all the rules, just want to get my thinking out there.

Anonymous said...

79 US Senators voted a non-binding resolution for significant change in Iraq next year and quarterly updates from the Bush administration. It is absolutely absurd to suggest this is a Democrat/Republican issue because in the halls of the US Congress it is not.

And random facts are not a strategy for anything. Good bye.

Anonymous said...

More on Moodygate.....

Governor M. Jodi Rell announced today that she has placed Chief of Staff M. Lisa Moody on a two-week unpaid leave for unintentionally violating the Governor’s own office ethics policy. Governor Rell also said that her election campaign would return all contributions from a fund-raiser that has been called into question.

“I want to stress that Lisa herself suggested the leave of absence to me, and I agree that it is for the best,” Governor Rell said.

Nice of Moddy to chose her own punishment... Grandma Jodi shows she's a lightweight

Mr. Reality said...

Grandma Jodi? Now we have a problem with her age? C'mon let's keep this above board. You people can't say anything without going personal!

Returning funds is kind of a big deal. Why doesn't Malloy and Destafano return money from lobbyists and contractors? CCAG and Common Cause say that money is not clean and leads to corruption.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:55,

To Say there is not a partisan Republican/Democrat undercurrent to the discussion on the War is to be completely ignorant to the last 3 years of political history. Citing a single example of bipartisan on a issue says nothing about the nature of the issue or the discourse of that issue in the country.

However, you are correct, random facts arn't a strategy, but once and a while, they can back one up.

Good Bye.

Anonymous said...

Right. Because we all remember how "We Can Do Better" DeStafano suspended staff and returned checks when his people filed that illegal campaign finance report, the one that was missing all that information about the $1,000-and-up donors?


Oh ... wait ...

That was an administrative oversight. This is "Moddy"gate, as some fatfingered savant has noted.

Aldon Hynes said...

Mr Reality: I suspect that the comment by Anonymous(4:36) about 'Grandma Jodi' isn't so much about ageism as it is about contrasting the kind 'grandmotherly' image that Rell is trying to project with what is going on with her campaign.

As to returning the money, I don't see it as a big deal. If the investigations find that the donations were obtained illegally, then the campaign would be required to return the funds. By volunteering to return the funds ahead of time, it makes it so that the SEEC won't have to issue an action requiring the campaign to return funds. I'm sure that my more strident liberal friends will view it as a de facto admission of guilt.

As much as you can question whether Malloy or DeStefano should return funds from lobbyists and contractors, while such money might not be 'clean' and has the potential to lead to corruption, there is nothing illegal about accepting such donations in this election cycle.

A few other comments on this: The DeStefano press release this afternoon compared the two weeks suspension to a holiday vacation. I suspect, with the exception of campaign fundraising, there isn't going to be a lot of political activity over the next two weeks (with the possible exception of a little damage control).

Of course, if Moody is currently suspended from the Governor's office, that should free her up to work on fundraising during the last two weeks of what will be a very important fundraising quarter for Rell.

And, if Rell doesn't have good fundraising numbers this quarter, I'm sure that the Rell campaign will find some excuse based on the recent shenanigans.

Gabe said...

Mr. Reality said...
Grandma Jodi? Now we have a problem with her age? C'mon let's keep this above board. You people can't say anything without going personal!

When you say you people, you mean anonymouses, right?

Anonymous said...

I think the grandma or auntie Jodi nicknames come directly from her office. She's intentionally positioning herself as Connecticut's Governor/Mom or Mom/Governor. This comes from her office, her staff. It hasn't anything to do with slander or her age.

DeanFan84 said...

I just want to say you are really hitting them out of the park lately!

Everything you write is predicated upon the premise that Saddam was a legitimate threat to the United States, even if he had the missing WMD. I never believed that, despite BushCo's propaganda campaign. Saddam was a bug that we could crush at any time. He knew it, and we knew it.

I'm not going to parse your post, but I am going to call into question the entire "Pre-Emptive Doctrine" which you have bought into. If your Neo-Cons had been in charge during the Cold War, we probably would have ended up with a Nuclear Holocaust.

Whatever happened to "Containment Policy"? That which brought us safely through the Cold War, and that which we had been practicing sucessfully against Iraq for twelve years?

What your argument also conveniently relies on, is a notion that America and Israel will be safer in the post-Saddam era. I hope this will prove true, but I maintain grave doubts. Iran has to be drooling at the prospect of a Shi'a takeover of a "Democratic" Iraq.

Now a little snark...

1). If Saddam was so dangerous, when are we going to invade Iran and North Korea? I don't think it makes sense to ignore 2/3 of the "Axis of Evil".

2). China has to be the greatest threat to American hegemony in the coming centuries. Shouldn't we be waging an all-out economic war against them?

3). When are we going to "Free" Saudi Arabia? You would think W cared enough about the Saudi People to pick up the phone and tell Bandar Bush to get with the program.

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

What a sanctimonious crapsack your boss is, Aldon. For three days he cries for Moody to be suspended, and when she is, he bitches that it's a holiday vacation?

He would perhaps prefer sackcloth and ashes?


Aldon Hynes said...

A Diff: Actually, sackcloth and ashes seems more to Rell’s liking than DeStefano’s liking. Instead of the images and photo opportunism which Rell seems to relish, she should be addressing the issues. The Hartford Courant article says, “Rell was informed that her commissioners were being questioned, but didn't know how many were approached by investigators, a spokesman said.”

If Rell was really committed to running a cleaner government, I would have expected she would be on top of who is being investigated.

It goes on to say, “Rell said in a statement issued by spokesman Judd Everhart. ‘I am pleased that Mr. Morano is acting with all due haste. I expect that everyone involved will fully cooperate with any inquiries.’”

I am glad that she has made that statement, but it does seem that something stronger should have been said, like ordering her staff to fully cooperate.

The next paragraph is perhaps even more troubling: “Everhart said he was not aware of unconfirmed reports that a couple of commissioners declined to answer questions without first consulting lawyers. He declined further comment when asked whether Rell would take action against appointees who failed to cooperate with the investigation.”

When will Rell ever take action on her own? Even Moody’s suspension illustrates a lack of leadership by Rell. Rell points out that the suspension was Moody’s idea.

Personally, I don’t think the lapse by members of Rell’s staff is the big issue. The real issue is Rell’s continued lack of leadership in addressing any issues. Like so many other issues, this is yet another example of Rell issuing a press release and a band-aid only after being pressured by others. We need real leaders, not merely someone who plays one on TV.

Anonymous said...

so, Aldon, I suppose you want Joe Lieberman to run for Governor, not the whiner in chief in the Elm City

Aldon Hynes said...

Anonymous(7:07) I like Joe. He is a good man. He's been over to my house to talk politics. He has some great staffers working for him. However, I do not think he would be a good governor. Right now, I'm very disappointed with Joe for his suggestion that questioning Bush would "undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril".

If we are committed to democracy, then we should not discourage discourse the way Joe is doing.

No, I think Mayor DeStefano is the person who is doing the most to encourage involvement in Connecticut state politics and doing the most to make Connecticut better.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dearfan84,

Sure, Saddam was a bug we could crunch at any time. But the man was violating UN resolutions (which in International Law was enough to launch an invasion) while there was suspicions of him having WMD's and ties to terror. We know he was willing to seek revenge on the US, he ordered the failed assassination of George HW Bush while he was in Kuwait in the early 90's. So all this untrustworhty, law-breaking, revenge seeking dictator would have to do is give a terrorist group a WMD, have them pack it away on a Syrian Freighter, and blow it up in any of America's fine port cities. The worst part is millions of Americans could be dead even before the government could lift a finger.

As for Nuclear Holocaust during the Cold War, let me remind you, Ronald Reagan (a neocon and former Democrat) came into power in 1980 and pursued a very agressive anti-Communist inventionist policy. Did we have Nuclear Holocaust? Nope, Just the Fall of the Soviet Empire.

So, Whatever happened to "Containment Policy"? Well it wasn't working with Iraq, he was breaking the resolutions, firing at our airplanes, and playing games with the weapons inspectors. The UN would settle him down, sign another Resolution, and a couple months later he'd be at it again. Can you rest American Security on that, NO! Eventually Saddam needs to face consequences, and the process evolved enough that War in Iraq was the only option possible to get him to comply, and to ensure American security.

As for a safer world, of course Saddam leaving makes us safer, no matter what extent of a threat he was. And as for Iran taking influence over Iraq, right now I'd say the US is winning in the Influence game. Iraq has our form of government, 11 Million participants in it, and an army that supports us. Being Shi'a may bring Iran and Iraq together, but remember Iran is Persian, and ethncity divides the Middle East as much as Religion. Example, the Sunni Arabs and Sunni Kurds don't get along real well.


1). I dont think we are ignoring the other 2/3rds do you? With Iran, we are currently exhausting all diplomatic abilities through the IAEA, and if that fails then the UN, and if that fails, War will follow. After all, most on the Left wanted us to exhaust all Diplomatic leverages before invading Iraq (as we did). I can also ensure you that the CIA and others are working with the Iranian Opposition (as they have since 1979) on ways in which to remove the threat by political upheavel. As for North Korea, the same goes, Diplomatic Iniatives first. As Joe Biden said "we can't rush into these things".

2). Interesting you bring up China, well the englightenment era and the Cold War tell us the more a nation Frees its economy, the more and more a totalitarian nation will be faced with Internal movements for Individual Political Rights as well. Eventually, China is going to burst, and when the time of Revolution comes, the US US should help support a smooth transition to Democracy there. If you consider China a threat to the soundness of the American Economy, well be comforted by the fact that men like Lou Dobbs were wrong. About 2 years ago, Lou and others ran around saying that China is sucking up our manufacturing jobs and causing outsourcing. So today, according to those predictions we should have 15% Unemployement right? Well Unemployment actually went down last time i checked. Why? In Free market America, lost of one industry does't mean the end of the Economy. Free markets allow for versatility and diversity, which has allowed for us to accomodate for the exponential growth of China and grow our economy as well. Nothing to be worried bout here.

3). I agree with you here, but what does this have to do with whether or not we should have invaded Iraq or whether we are to stay in Iraq?

Thanks, it was fun, look forward to your response

Anonymous said...

Novak says Lieberman is all ours.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senior Defense Department officials say Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has told them nobody should stay for just another year, but that he wants them for the rest of President Bush's second term. That is read as a signal that Rumsfeld intends to serve out the next three years.

Rumsfeld finishing his term would contradict wide speculation that he will quit soon after this week's Iraqi parliamentary elections. That is now considered unlikely even if he does not complete the full term.

Anonymous said...

Rumsfeld was alwasy leaving early '06 but let's get to the new anonymous poster here. Cheney's been awfully quiet in the media so I guess he's turned to blogging

Anonymous said...

Howard Dean is an idiot with this Saddam was a bug that could be crunched anytime. Saddam was a threat to the region, Clinton had him contained but he was never going away no more than castro was leaving Cuba. That still didn't justify the early invasion of iraq which was supposed to be about WMDsssssssss

Anonymous said...

I've been found out. BTW, my daughter is happy with your civil union law