Third Debate Live Blog

The debate just started. Let’s keep them honest. If you have any atta boys or raspberry’s, let ‘er rip. Interestingly they start off admitting that 4 people died in Libya and Obam’s first words were ,”My job as President is to keep Americans safe”, no doubt Ambassador Steven’s parents are soothed with that.

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  1. richtaylor365 *

    Obama keeps reminding us that he ended the War in Iraq, someone please remind him that what won that war was the surge that he voted against.

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  2. Poosh

    sad face. Romney is just wrong about Syria.

    Gadaffi wasn’t even a threat by the time he was butchered.

    Note his sudden concern for Israel out of the blue. Clearly American Jews are not towing the line.

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  3. CM

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  4. CM

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  5. Section8

    He was a clear and present threat to his own people. At the time. Which is what the outside involvement was all about. Which is required under the ‘Responsibility to Protect’. In contrast to Iraq, where the ‘clear and present danger’ to the world was non-existent, and to his own people was a decade old.

    Load of bullshit. It’s the UN who has a responsibility to protect which means NZ could have gone in and done the job. Our president did not get permission from Congress. Plenty of other countries who also participated could have done the entire job without us. He was no danger to us just as he was no danger to many other countries who did not participate. And we know that responsibility to protect only goes so far as the interest of the power players in the UN.

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  6. CM

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  7. Poosh

    Just taking a look at Obama’s Apology Tour but somehow missed this shocker (wikileaks finally coming through….):

    It was also revealed in a top secret cable published in 2011 by Wikileaks that the Japanese government vetoed the idea of President Obama visiting Hiroshima in September 2009 and apologizing for the atomic bomb.

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  8. Section8

    No, wrong wrong wrong. It most certainly does not permit unilateral action. That’s a domestic issue.

    Oh holy cow let me rephrase.

    Load of bullshit. It’s the UN who has a responsibility to protect which means NZ instead of the US could have gone in and done the job.

    better now? Still doesn’t mean anything different than my original statement but hopefully that clears it up. Or are you telling my NZ could not be part of it due to regional issues, which in that case, the US didn’t need to be involved either.

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  9. ilovecress

    Why ask about the executive murder of American citizens with killer flying robots? I want to hear more about bankrupcy law with regards to car factories!!

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  10. CM

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  11. Hal_10000

    My quick take: they disagreed on almost nothing. Their foreign policies are almost indistinguishable. All Romney was saying was that he would do the same thing, only more better.

    Obama probably won on style: his line about bayonets and horses was good. But there was no substantive address of real issues.

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  12. CM

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  13. CM

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  14. Iconoclast

    CBS News ‏@CBSNews

    Slate ‏@Slate

    I’ll bet you’re just giddy, ain’tcha?

    Wonder how you’re gonna feel when Romney’s the President Elect come November 7th…

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  15. Section8

    We specialise in South Pacific island security and peace-keeping. It was only ever going to be NATO/US. At least this way you can intervene with international legitimacy (as opposed to Iraq where there was none).

    Maybe you should start focusing more on building up your forces to save the world then instead of treating us like assholes who are only useful in the event of a fire to serve your interests. As for the Iraq war wasn’t a fan of it. I did find it ridiculous though that each violation of UN resolutions resulted in nothing but strongly worded letters for 12 years which is why I though we should have pulled out long ago. As for my take after the first Iraq war which I did support at the time, and later realized that was bullshit, I didn’t have much motivation about the second one. I was shocked though by the Euro outrage given this war doesn’t hold a candle to the brutality that’s come out of the continent on a regular basis. Now they’re getting awards because they haven’t beat the shit out of each other for a couple of decades along with dragging us all in with millions dead. How sweet. Congrats.

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  16. CM

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  17. CM

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  18. CM

    Ann Coulter ‏@AnnCoulter

    I highly approve of Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard.

    Obama wasn’t a retard at Debate 1?

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  19. Iconoclast

    It could be argued rather convincingly that after the first debate, Romney had nowhere to go but downhill, and Obama certainly had nowhere to go but up. Not that Obama necessarily beat Romney this time around, just sayin’ that, to the Left, anything would be an improvement over that dismal display the first time around.

    I believe Romney accomplished not allowing Obama to paint him as some sort of belligerent warmonger who would get us involved in more military campaigns overseas. And frankly, I don’t think this election is going to be decided on foreign policy anyway.

    (as opposed to Iraq where there was none)

    We’re still banging this drum? Frankly, I consider the UN to be illegitimate, so your assertion is meaningless as far as I’m concerned. France stated that she would veto any resolution the US proposed, so she was simply being obstructionist. The Congress did indeed give Bush authorization to invade Iraq, and that’s the only authorization that matters. Period.

    Intel said Saddam had wmd, Tenet said it was a slam-dunk (he was a liberal, appointed by Clinton), I mean, I could rehash all the arguments if you really wanna play that game.

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  20. West Virginia Rebel

    Romney was able to get some jabs in about Fisker, Tesla and Solyndra, and at least mentioned the debt. He made some good points about the failed expectations of the Arab Spring. China was, so to speak, used as a red herring by both candidates. I think Romney was more assertive overall and looked presidential at the end. Neither one talked about the drug war, again.

    Anyone who’s still undecided by next week probably shouldn’t be allowed to vote, drive, or reproduce in large numbers.

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  21. Mississippi Yankee

    I couldn’t bring myself to watch another 60 minute campaign commercial, Then this fellow commentator over at “Grouchy Old Cripple” perfectly explained why I find this Obeauzeau creature so abhorrent.

    Obamateur’s voice does not sit well in my ear. In fact, it carries a subliminal component of deceit which alerts my survival instincts as would a Muslim’s advice or a snake’s rattle beside my foot. How it manages to exit his oral cavity without triggering alarms and fears in reasonable minds is a mystery.

    “It is the saccharine of rhetoric, the NutraSweet of promise, the dust of promise, and the alum of hope. To paraphrase Shakespeare, it’s incredible how a voice which so many find pleasant and reassuring can come from such an empty soul and counterfeit ability: And I think I read somewhere in the Bible that The emptiest containers tend to make the loudest noises.

    If this nation goes the path of the Roman and British empires, the voice most remembered in the decline will be the one preaching Hope and Change. His voice is as reassuring as a carnival barker’s, the vox doli which precedes empty pockets and buyer’s remorse.”
    /bocopro@ Grouchy Old Cripple/

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  22. balthazar

    ODS full throttle for 2 more weeks…….oh yippee

    How does anyone even converse with you?

    You are one of the biggest goddamn hypocrites I have EVER run across. You had BDS so bad that it lasted another 4 years after he was out of office. GFY.

    GOD DAMN you are so fucking stupid that it wouldnt even be worth the bullet to put you down.

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  23. cburkard

    I haven’t read the thread yet but I have a prediction. CM is going to behave like the 2008 version of Chris Matthews. Everyone will down vote his comments because he is nuts and, like Baghdad Bob, he will declare complete and unmitigated victory for Obama and rave about how he crushed Romney on every point. Now, time to read…

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  24. Kimpost

    I thought Obama won this one too. Like Hal I think it’s clear to me that the two have identical (or close enough) views on foreign policy, which gives the sitting president an edge just by virtue of his office.

    The win won’t matter much, though. In my opinion Romney got what he needed from the first debate. He got to show the people who were disappointed with Obama but hesitant towards Romney that he could deliver. That was all they needed. Romney had them from there onwards, regardless of the following debates.

    Now it’s close to a 50-50 race, with a sleight edge to Obama. I think that he’ll win it in the end, but it will be tough. Obama needs to mobilize his base. Romney already has his fired up.

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  25. cburkard

    I thought it was a tie since Romney showed America he’s not a warmonger as much of the left has been accusing and that he would take a similar stance to Obama, only execute better than Obama has. All things being equal, I do not think the president has an advantage as there is a record to hold him to — and that record is pretty much a complete failure. I still believe Romney will be elected, and not by a small margin.

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  26. Xetrov

    The Florida focus group of “undecideds” on Fox mostly thought Obama won on foreign policy, but that Romney made strong points when he brought the economy into it. Most of them said they would vote for Romney based on the economy.

    According to after-debate analysis, it was Romney’s personal call to go big policy on answers instead of small attacks on Obama. For any actual undecideds left, I think that was probably the right call, even if he ‘lost’ the debate as a result. Obama came across as petty, even childish in some of his responses.

    I know one thing for certain – if you were already voting for Romney or Obama before the debate, either performance didn’t change your mind.

    Meanwhile, Rasmussen is now an ‘outlier’ like Gallup, 50% R, 46% O. How many polls need to start looking like that before they are no longer considered “outliers”?

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  27. davidst

    Comments on style… since that probably mattered more to most viewers (subconsciously). Romney seems to have a mild stuttering problem when he’s saying something that isn’t well rehearsed. During the middle part of the debate it made him sound weak while Obama sounded confident. Romney also doesn’t look very comfortable sitting there making faces while Obama talks. It stood out in a bad way. CNN insisted on an equally sized split screen format for the entire debate so you could see Romney clearly the whole time Obama was talking. Fox used a split screen during the beginning of an answer but quickly went to full screen of the speaker for the remainder of the answer. That definitely made Romney come off better. Romney’s prepared closing remarks undid a lot of the damage for anyone who stuck around long enough to hear them.

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  28. cburkard

    Meanwhile, Rasmussen is now an ‘outlier’ like Gallup, 50% R, 46% O. How many polls need to start looking like that before they are no longer considered “outliers”?

    As far as the media’s concerned? All of them.

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  29. CM

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  30. Xetrov

    Great, so you don’t know what the term ‘outlier’ means….sheesh.

    Or you don’t recognize sarcasm when confronted by it….sheesh.

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  31. CM

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  32. Iconoclast

    My point was about ‘legitimacy’ (even the appearance of it is better than having none).

    And we are obviously gonna disagree on what “legitimacy” even means, that’s the problem. You seem to think it means getting UN approval, whereas from my perspective, it means getting Congressional approval, so, from my perspective, Iraq was legitimate and Libya was not. The UN can go fuck itself at its earliest convenience. I am embarrassed and appalled that the USA is still suckered into hosting and funding this worthless outfit.

    That about sums up Romney’s lack of knowledge and experience.

    Yeah, being governor and businessman means nothing, and being a “community organizer” means so much…

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  33. CM

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  34. Kimpost

    You can’t limit legitimacy to US law, when international law is part of US law. If the US (or any other country) signs on to international law, then international bodies become just as valid as domestic ones.

    Vote for candidates who pledge to leave the UN and other international agreements all you you like, but until you have succeed in terminating said agreements, international law either equals or even trumps domestic law.

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  35. Mississippi Yankee

    but until you have succeed in terminating said agreements, international law either equals or even trumps domestic law.

    This fallacy has been discussed in our SCOTUS and nothing concrete has ever been ascertained. With at least 2 left leaning justices leaving in the next year that very point will be re-visited I’m sure.
    The victor on Nov. 6th will decide if the United States of America will remain an exceptional nation by virtue of his SC picks.

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  36. Seattle Outcast

    You can’t limit legitimacy to US law, when international law is part of US law.

    No, it isn’t.

    If the US (or any other country) signs on to international law, then international bodies become just as valid as domestic ones

    No treaty the US signs or ratifies (presidents can sign all the fucking treaties they want, but until they are ratified per the constitution, they are worthless pieces of paper) trumps domestics laws (or the constitution) within the US (If I’m wrong provide examples). The only exemption to this might be extradition, and even those are treated rather suspect by many jurisdictions.

    Simply put, the USA doesn’t recognize or enforce international laws within US borders as the US doesn’t recognize the right of any other nation or entity to have legal power inside its borders.. With the exception of a very few select prosecutions for war crimes, the US has taken great pains to not grant any legitimacy to international criminal courts.

    If your country grants status to international laws and treaties to trumping domestic laws. then bully for you. The average American will think your government has just bent you over and supplied the lube to whomever wants to have at you.

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  37. Seattle Outcast

    To me, it’s the perception of the people being invaded that matters most with respect to legitimacy

    Wow, just wow. That must be one the stupidest fucking things I’ve ever read.

    The concept of “war” is just fucking lost on you, isn’t it?

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  38. CM

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  39. CM

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  40. Section8

    We don’t treat you like assholes. We’re good friends. Maybe you should stop taking specific disagreements on a blog between two average Joes and pretending it means anything.
    I’d argue it makes more sense for us to concentrate on our strengths. Comparative advantage and all.

    No my statement about thinking about us as assholes is more of a general statement regarding the general attitude toward us from the populous of our so-called allies. Of course I’m not going to view the world based on you and me going back and forth.

    As far as Libya

    1) The UN did not authorize an overthrow. You and Kimpost should be outraged it got to that point. It was about protecting only. Russia and China were upset about it which they should be correct?

    2) The UN did not authorize an overthrow. You and Kimpost should be outraged it got to that point. It was about protecting only. Russia and China were upset about it which they should be correct?

    3) The UN did not authorize an overthrow. You and Kimpost should be outraged it got to that point. It was about protecting only. Russia and China were upset about it which they should be correct?

    Thanks to Obama, I bet where won’t be any agreement any time soon to protect anyone (like Syria for example) as China and Russia won’t be on board to make “protecting” “legitimate”. I’d think that would upset you, but no matter, let’s give him another peace prize!

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  41. Seattle Outcast

    However, it also said that international law would not be applied if there is a controlling legislative, executive, or judicial act to the contrary.

    In other words, take your “international law” and shove it up your ass, it does not apply here. From your own “source” (Really, Wikipedia?)

    Also, the Court held that decisions of the International Court of Justice are not binding domestic law and that, without authority from the United States Congress or the Constitution, the President of the United States lacks the power to enforce international treaties or decisions of the International Court of Justice

    See how this works? To the US, “international law” is something done someplace else. It has no standing here, and generally only gets any sort of lip service from libtards that think the UN has, or should have, some sort of authority over sovereign nations (which it doesn’t).

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  42. CM

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  43. Seattle Outcast

    How about you let me know when you decide to live in reality and pull your head out of your ass instead?

    Seriously, you’re either a complete fucking moron or a deluded fool. Take your pick, and they aren’t mutually exclusive.

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  44. Kimpost

    My response was mostly triggered by this from Iconoclast.

    You seem to think it means getting UN approval, whereas from my perspective, it means getting Congressional approval, so, from my perspective, Iraq was legitimate and Libya was not. The UN can go fuck itself at its earliest convenience.

    UN-bashing mode (conservative stereotype) aside, I think that he posed an interesting question, and I answered it thinking of ratified agreements. Let’s save the unratified ones for another day.

    Since the Senate is yours, we should be able to agree on ratified agreements. That you guys haven’t (yet) acknowledged the International Court of Justice, makes international law more difficult to enforce, but the law still stands.

    Which brings me back to Iconoclast’s statement. Unfortunately from his perspective, if the US has signed (and ratified) an agreement, the UN might just matter.

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  45. Iconoclast

    Which brings me back to Iconoclast’s statement. Unfortunately from his perspective, if the US has signed (and ratified) an agreement, the UN might just matter.

    Not when the USA is defending herself against perceived threats, and not when the UN is utterly corrupt, no, it simply doesn’t matter.

    Like I said, intel said Saddam had WMD, Saddam’s Iraq was a state sponsor of terrorism, France’s Chirac stated unequivocably that France would veto ANY resolution the USA proposed, Saddam did violate UN resolutions, France did have sweatheart deals with Iraq, deals that would have been jeoparized by a US invasion of Iraq, the Duelfer Report’s Key Findings indicated that Saddam fully intended to revive his WMD programs once sanctions were lifted and that the Oil For Food program was undermining the effectiveness of the sanctions anyway, and so on and so on…

    As I stated earlier, I am more than willing to rehash all of these arguments if you insist. The USA will not allow her right to defend herself be held hostage by a corrupt body of thugs, dictators and socialists, regardless of what you think we “signed”.

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  46. Seattle Outcast

    Etc etc etc…..

    Yep, the stupid just keeps on rolling with you. Way to keep yourself in the spotlight as the victim, asshole – but I don’t think anyone is buying it.

    First you insert yourself between a posting that didn’t even reference you, then when your “source” gets trashed you start calling names and complaining that I’m attacking you over “something you never said” when none of my posts even came close to doing this.

    However, if you really want to discuss the applicability of “international law” on US soil, as Kimpost was alluding to previously, then jump right in. Just don’t use Wikipedia as a source for vague application when I specifically asked for examples – it just shows how weak your hand is. This appears to be right up there with your uber-liberal definition of “legitimate” military action and fundamental missing of the mark on war; it brings up the old saying “what color is the sky on your planet?”

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  47. Poosh

    They did find WMD in Iraq. Not newer types, but the Saddam was obliged to destroy unless he wanted war. He didn’t destroy them, thus war was triggered legally. Not that legally matters. Kosovo was illegal.

    and they found the capacity to make WMD. Which is a bit like building a tank factory, retaining the blueprints for each tank model, then saying “no, we have no interest in tanks”.

    Never mind though. Eraze history.

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  48. Xetrov

    I knew there was a reason that I didn’t like France.

    It is not even close: In a world poll of the U.S. presidential race, President Barack Obama is the clear favorite over Governor Mitt Romney. By a margin of 50-9 percent, Obama is favored in the poll of 21,797 respondents in 21 countries around the world.

    “France was the most strongly pro-Obama (72%),” according to the BBC. The only country that would select Romney over Obama is Pakistan, though neither candidate gets more than 20 percent of the support in that country.

    And the country where Romney polls the highest? Kenya. But even there, Romney’s support does not even eclipse the 20 percent mark.

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  49. Iconoclast

    That comment was specifically about foreign issues. Obama has the benefit of 4 years of briefings and intelligence. Romney has nothing, and it shows.

    Of course. Never mind that Obama’s “substantial experience” turned Libya back into a terorist state, never mind that his White House pleaded blatant ignorance when it came to the Ambassador’s pleas for more security, etc., etc., etc.

    Maybe, MAYBE Romney’s lack of experience “shows”, but what’s far more damning is how Obama’s alleged experience doesn’t.

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  50. CM

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  51. Iconoclast

    …it was all Obama’s fault…

    Obama did send in US troops without Congressional authorization, and when Libya was not a threat to US interests. Those are simple facts of life, chief.

    Traditionally, the buck stops at the Oval Office, so what gives Obama a free pass?

    Do you not see how ODS that sounds?

    I simply take it for granted that any valid criticism of Obama’s actions sounds like “ODS” to you. I just don’t give a tinker’s damn.

    If Obama had not sent troops in, and if Qaddafi was overthrowm anyway, then Obama would have been completely in the clear, but since Obama had a hand in the overthrow, the subsequent consequences do indeed fall on him to the degree that he was involved. That’s just how Responsibility works, which is a concept that seems utterly alien to people on the left, and as you just now illustrate with your “well, shit happens” hand-wave dismissals.

    It reminds me of when Jimmy Carter withdrew US support from our ally the Shah of Iran, which facilitated his overthrow — that vacuum was filled by the Ayatollah Khomeini, but of course, Jimmy ain’t at all responsible for that, yes?

    It just seems so typical that when do-gooder liberals meddle in foreign affairs, they think they’re doing the right thing but they all to often simply end up making things worse.

    So we now have direct evidence that the requests for additional security went all the way up the chain to the very top?

    Why should it not reach the President’s awareness when an Ambassador requests enhanced security? The President doesn’t necessarily have to make the decision whether the request is granted, but if he is unaware that the request was even made, that simply reveals an incompetent, dysfunctional (or at the very least, uncaring and apathetic) White House. The State Department, in theory, reports directly to the President — the Secretary of State is a cabinet position.

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  52. Xetrov

    Either ODS works both ways (meaning CM is deranged in favor of Obama’s actions/policies), or he should have died from his extremely severe case of BDS back in the day. Pages and pages and pages of threads of him railing against Bush for Iraq.

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  53. CM

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  54. CM

    ….CM is deranged in favor of Obama’s actions/policies…..

    CM (other thread, earlier):

    I agree Alex, it is a stupid slogan. It’s the perfect example of reducing complex matters to a soundbyte. I cringe everytime I hear it.

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  55. Poosh

    I went out of my way to ensure that anything I said about Iraq was rational and specific.

    Roll.
    On.
    Floor.
    Laughing.

    Just clocked that line as I scrolled to avoid, couldn’t let it go. Comedy gold. I can’t begin to imagine the horrors that the victims of CM’s anti-war bullshit had, inflicted on them. My heart goes out to you all. True warriors against the forces of insanity and irrationality.

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  56. CM

    That’s just how Responsibility works, which is a concept that seems utterly alien to people on the left, and as you just now illustrate with your “well, shit happens” hand-wave dismissals.

    IMO a good example of being responsible is clearly backing up personal accusations and insinuations with firm evidence, rather than just throwing them out willy-nilly and assuming people will believe it because “they’re on your side”. You should provice the evidence at the same time as making the accusation (that’s just a basic requirement), but if you don’t for some reason, then you should absolutely do it when the person you’re attacking requests it. IMO those who throw out accusations and have no intention of backing them up demonstrate that they may not really believe in the concept of responsibility.

    This is an excellent example.

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  57. Iconoclast

    You should provice the evidence…

    …that Obama sent troops to Libya without Congressional approval? That Libya was no longer a sponsor of terrorism and was removed from the list in 2007? That the events at Benghazi were in fact an act of terrorism backed by al-Qaeda?

    I realize that the “Good Stuff” thread is now on page two of this blog as of this writing, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone off to oblivion. In my post of October 22, 2012 11:41 am, I provided links to substantiate the latter two points. Is it absolutely necessary that I repeat them here just because you choose to be thick?

    How Libya Got Off the List

    Al Qaeda’s plan for Libya highlighted in congressional report

    An unclassified report published in August highlights al Qaeda’s strategy for building a fully operational network in Libya.

    The chart shows that, according to the US military, al Qaeda’s operatives in Libya have already completed many of the tasks set forth by AQSL.

    As for the first item…

    Obama should have obtained Congress’ approval on Libya

    While few doubt that, in a national emergency, the president can order troops into action, any sustained engagement must be approved by Congress. This isn’t a technicality: It’s embedded in the US Constitution.

    And this is the crux of the matter — you keep citing the UN as if it means something. Well, to transnationals who don’t seem to respect the sovereignty of nations, maybe it does, but to conservative Americans, the Constitution trumps the thugfest known as the United Nations, period, end of discussion.

    And lots of despotic rulers kill their populations en masse. Hell, Saddam Hussein himself did, as have Pol Pot, Mugabe and others. We can cite places like Darfur, where genocide was taking place, and Syria, where Bashar al-Assad has killed 30,000 of his own people. What made Libya so special that she required UN military intervention?

    As for Mugabe, I have already posted a link showing that the UN made him the Envoy for Tourism. This is f*cking Twilight Zone material.

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  58. Iconoclast

    Right, but you’re arguing that Obama “turned Libya back into a terorist state”

    Well, unfortunately, this is what happens when one replies to what amounts to a cheap shot sound bite (“Romney’s lack of experience of being the President for the last four years ‘shows‘.”) with another sound bite, but Obama did indeed faciliate in Qaddafi’s demise, al Qaeda is indeed building a strong presence in the resulting vacuum, and four Americans were indeed killed in an al Qaeda-backed terrorist attack.

    You can feign your “objectivity” until the universe burns out, but from where I stand, you’re only fooling yourself.

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  59. Iconoclast

    Which suggests that Gaddafi killing his own people en masse was preferable…

    Yeah, you seem to love false dichotomies, but this begs the question: Was Saddam Hussein’s “killing his own people en masse … preferable” to our trying to make Iraq not a state sponsor of terrorism? Since you apparently argued vociferously against the US invasion, I would wager that, in your view, the answer would be a resounding “yes”, which would be a fine example of flagrant duplicity on your part.

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  60. Poosh

    Pretty brutal slapdown of CM, there, Iconoclast. Did ya have to decapitate him?

    He will argue “but Saddam was only torturing and police-stating his population and killing them on a very slow basis / sponsoring only Jew-killing terrorists. So that is totally different.”

    Never mind the Libyan rebels murdered innocents as well.

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  61. Kimpost

    There are several large threads in the old MW-archives on this, but I’ll try to give you a short version of my position here just the same. I realize that we won’t agree, we certainly didn’t at MW, but at least some of you might remember and acknowledge some of the arguments.

    In short I’d argue that the war was unlawful. I’d suggest that even the Bush administration thought so before finally deciding that resolution 1441 gave them all the authorizaton they needed. Remember that they only decided that after failing in getting a clearer/tougher resolutions passed.
    (I recommend reading “Disarming Iraq” by Hans Blix. It really is a fascinating tale of a diplomats view of the situation.)

    Disregarding the possible unlawfulness of the project, I also found it wrong because I didn’t (and don’t) like the precedent of pre-emptive warfare. Before going to such extremes, evidence need to be presented, and to me, that never happened. The IAEA went looking for WMD’s, but found none. Sure the Iraqis weren’t co-operating, but the later the game, the better the co-operation. At the end it was evident, at least to me that the United States had made their minds up. Saddam needed to go, WMD’s or no WMD’s.

    Another objection of mine was that I didn’t think that it would work. You would win the war, of course, but I wasn’t as confident as some conservatives were about the nation building afterwards. Would you really commit to being there long term (as in decades)?

    Then there was the whole “humanitarian” side of the project. Getting rid of Saddam was good of course, but at what cost? Would it be worth 100.000 lives? A million? If getting rid of Saddam indeed was a major objective, then perhaps that could have been achieved in a slightly less intrusive way.

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  62. Xetrov

    At the end it was evident, at least to me that the United States had made their minds up. Saddam needed to go, WMD’s or no WMD’s.

    That was actually official US Policy from 1998 forward. Five more years of playing Saddam’s games just showed it really was necessary.

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  63. Poosh

    Not to repeat the obvious but the American reasons to go to war against Saddam were multiple, WMD was merely one of them.

    The arab spring would certainly NOT have happened last year had Saddam not been destroyed (obviously) but pretending that the Arab Spring did happen, Libya would be using WMD (which they destroyed as a result of Iraq via fear) and Saddam would be doing the same.

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  64. CM

    …that Obama sent troops to Libya without Congressional approval? That Libya was no longer a sponsor of terrorism and was removed from the list in 2007? That the events at Benghazi were in fact an act of terrorism backed by al-Qaeda?

    Sorry, I should have been clearer. Although I quoted you my comments referred to the posts from Xetrov and Poosh. In my view, they demonstated a significant lack of responsiblity.

    And this is the crux of the matter — you keep citing the UN as if it means something. Well, to transnationals who don’t seem to respect the sovereignty of nations, maybe it does, but to conservative Americans, the Constitution trumps the thugfest known as the United Nations, period, end of discussion.

    Yep, I agree. If you don’t agree that it was domestically legal, you’re not going to be concerned about the legitimacy in terms of international law/norms.

    And lots of despotic rulers kill their populations en masse. Hell, Saddam Hussein himself did, as have Pol Pot, Mugabe and others. We can cite places like Darfur, where genocide was taking place, and Syria, where Bashar al-Assad has killed 30,000 of his own people. What made Libya so special that she required UN military intervention?

    Those other examples are why R2P was introduced, and Libya was the first real time it was able to be used.

    Following the genocide in Rwanda and the international community’s failure to intervene, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan asked the question: When does the international community intervene for the sake of protecting populations?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_to_protect

    As for Mugabe, I have already posted a link showing that the UN made him the Envoy for Tourism. This is f*cking Twilight Zone material.

    I completey agree that the UN has to stop doing stupid things like that. It’s damaging to credibility. However I don’t believe examples like that mean the UN should cease to exist, or that it’s a sufficient pretense for countries to leave it. Almost all the work the UN does is via established ongoing non-political programmes like the World Food Programme, the World Health Organisation and various development programmes. Things that don’t make the headlines, but make a considerable ongoing difference to a huge number of people.

    Well, unfortunately, this is what happens when one replies to what amounts to a cheap shot sound bite (“Romney’s lack of experience of being the President for the last four years ‘shows‘.”) with another sound bite, but Obama did indeed faciliate in Qaddafi’s demise, al Qaeda is indeed building a strong presence in the resulting vacuum, and four Americans were indeed killed in an al Qaeda-backed terrorist attack.

    “Romney’s lack of experience of being the President for the last four years ‘shows‘.”) = a sound bite. There are plenty of people with foreign policy experience who haven’t been President.
    Yes Obama assisted in the demise of Gaddafi, although that’s a carefully worded statement design to reduce a complex situation to a simplistic sound bite. Ultimarely his demise was his own decision, it was a given when Obama decided to join with others in UN-agreed action. And again, terrorists were always going to try and exploit the vulnerablities of states getting rid of dictators and trying to move towards democracy. That was always forseeable to some degree, and it’s a matter of dealing with it. Rather than saying it means it was wrong to assist in protecting civilians from being slaughtered, even if it leads to the removal of a dictator as a consequence.

    You can feign your “objectivity” until the universe burns out, but from where I stand, you’re only fooling yourself.

    Well I don’t think so. We just disagree and we’re exploring why and how.

    Yeah, you seem to love false dichotomies, but this begs the question: Was Saddam Hussein’s “killing his own people en masse … preferable” to our trying to make Iraq not a state sponsor of terrorism? Since you apparently argued vociferously against the US invasion, I would wager that, in your view, the answer would be a resounding “yes”, which would be a fine example of flagrant duplicity on your part.

    1. Iraq wasn’t a state sponsor of terrorism to any significant degree. As horrific and murderous as Saddam was, he wasn’t a good ally to Islamic terrorists. And there was no evidence that he was committing genocide in 2002 or 2003. If you apply the standard applied there, a hell of a lot of nations could justify invading other nations on a fairly regular basis. Which is why the threshold has to be high. That’s the whole point of the post-WW2 era of collective responsibility and have frameworks and agreements and norms and laws to try and prevent nations unilaterally deciding they’re going to invade another country.
    2. The Iraq invasion wasn’t authorised by the UN and wasn’t self defence, and therefore it was not legal. It also meant diverting resources and focus off Afghanistan. The Libya action was authorised and was lawful.
    3. Nevertheless, I’m in favour of trying to get rid of dictators, especially violent murderous ones. I just don’t favour doing it via massive amounts of violence, and against huge international opposition. It’s just never going to work out very well. If its going to happen without the legitimacy of the UN, then I’d favour doing it quietly via building up internal opposition, so if the dictator falls, it at least has internal legitimacy.

    Let me ask you again though – if you believe it was wrong for the US to become involved in the Libya intervention, but you have concerns about the clear and present mass slaughter of civilians, then what do you think should have happened?
    I guess your response is that you would prefer that Obama sought and got the required domestic authorisation so that the US could legally take part. If so, how is that really any different to my position on Iraq?

    That was actually official US Policy from 1998 forward. Five more years of playing Saddam’s games just showed it really was necessary.

    Nothing to say about your dishonest portrayal of MW Forums? Xetrov I respect and admire you a great deal and have done for many years, so I admit it cuts pretty deep. You have a great deal of power because you can portray MW Forums in any way you like and most people here will simply believe you if it casts me in a negative light. They aren’t going to check it out themselves, they’re always going to believe you over me simply because they don’t like me, and so there is nothing I can do about it. Which is why I responded to Icon’s paragraph about responsibility. There were two topics I concentrated on heavily at MW Forums; the Iraq situation and climate change. I would guess that perhaps half my posts were on those two topics. On both I spent considerable time and effort making sure I posted rationally and supported anything I said with evidence or reasonable opinion. Six months or so ago you made a similar claim with respect to climate change and although it wasn’t just your comment alone, I threw my hands up in despair and took a month off. And now it looks like you’re doing it with respect to Iraq. It’s pretty sad. I recognise that you’re fully entitled to your own opinions, but please don’t misrepresent mine, especially in such a casual manner. I certainly won’t be trying to do it to you.

    The arab spring would certainly NOT have happened last year had Saddam not been destroyed (obviously)

    Really? Why not? Iraq isn’t exactly a shiny example of democracy, or an example of how dictactors can be overthrown from within. The overthrow of Iraq didn’t weaken dictators (through fear of something similar happening to them). If Iraq was relevant, why didn’t they happen sooner?
    I’d like to see some detailed arguments supporting your case.

    but pretending that the Arab Spring did happen,

    What do you mean by this? Is it possible to pretend that it didn’t?

    Libya would be using WMD (which they destroyed as a result of Iraq via fear) and Saddam would be doing the same.

    Perhaps, although it could also be argued that Gaddafi saw the opportunity to strike a good deal.

    The factors that induced Libya to give up its weapons programs are debatable. Many Bush administration officials have emphasized the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq, as well as the October 2003 interdiction of a ship containing nuclear-related components destined for Libya, as key factors in Tripoli’s decision. But outside experts argue that years of sanctions and diplomatic efforts were more important.

    http://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/LibyaChronology

    Even Libya’s 2003 decision to scrap its weapons of mass destruction program is sniffed at by some experts. Although the Bush Administration liked to attribute that move to the intimidating effects of its Iraq invasion, some independent experts suggest it was more a case of giving up poorly performing and relatively useless programs in return for almost total diplomatic rehabilitation.

    http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1649277,00.html

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  65. Xetrov

    Nothing to say about your dishonest portrayal of MW Forums?

    10,000+ posts, a good third of which were railing against George W. Bush for Iraq, and yet here you are defending Obama on Syria when Bush had more backing both domestically and internationally for what he did in Iraq. Either it’s ODS, or BDS. Take your pick, the door swings both ways.

    Xetrov I respect and admire you a great deal and have done for many years, so I admit it cuts pretty deep.

    You showing that respect when you linkbomb a comment of mine to the point where I throw my hands up and say, “it aint worth it”? You make a lot of rational points, but they get burried in the mire that is your habitual link-bombing, and absolute refusal or incapability to recognize the double-standards that come out in almost every one of your posts.

    You have a great deal of power because you can portray MW Forums in any way you like and most people here will simply believe you if it casts me in a negative light.

    I don’t have that power, because anyone who actually cares can go look at the archives. Anyone who takes anyone else online at their word deserves the misconceptions that they base their reality on.

    They aren’t going to check it out themselves, they’re always going to believe you over me simply because they don’t like me, and so there is nothing I can do about it.

    Do you honestly care what those type of people think about you? I didn’t post what I did for them. I posted it in the hope that you might finally recognize one of your double-standards.

    On both I spent considerable time and effort making sure I posted rationally and supported anything I said with evidence or reasonable opinion.

    But only ‘evidence or reasonable opinion’ to you. Anything contrary, or differing was discarded without any consideration beyond what other links you could find that disagreed with it.

    Six months or so ago you made a similar claim with respect to climate change

    Are you claiming you didn’t posts links in hundreds of posts on climate change threads on MW and disregard any differing opinions or contrary evidence? Cause I’m pretty sure that’s all I said six months ago.

    I recognise that you’re fully entitled to your own opinions, but please don’t misrepresent mine, especially in such a casual manner. I certainly won’t be trying to do it to you.

    You’ve already done that to me. Repeatedly. By link-bombing and completely disregarding everything I said. Here and on MW.

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  66. CM

    10,000+ posts, a good third of which were railing against George W. Bush for Iraq, and yet here you are defending Obama on Syria when Bush had more backing both domestically and internationally for what he did in Iraq. Either it’s ODS, or BDS. Take your pick, the door swings both ways.

    There are SIGNIFICANT differences Xetrov. In order for “Either it’s ODS, or BDS. Take your pick” too hold, the key elements we are talking about would need to be the same.
    On Iraq I spent much of the time discussing the legal basis for the proposed action (i.e. international law). And as I pointed out, I mocked BDS positions (usually by using the term Bushitler). I was not interested in the “hes doing it for his Dad” and “no blood for oil” arguments.
    I haven’t looked into it in detail but I would be very surprised if the evidence showed that “Bush had more backing both domestically and internationally for what he did in Iraq”. I don’t remember 10 million people around the globe protesting in the streets against the US being part of a UN-supported multi-lateral intervention in Libya.

    You showing that respect when you linkbomb a comment of mine to the point where I throw my hands up and say, “it aint worth it”?

    You’d have to elaborate as I’m not sure what you’re referring to.

    You make a lot of rational points, but they get burried in the mire that is your habitual link-bombing.

    One man’s link-bombing is another man providing evidence to support what he says.

    and absolute refusal or incapability to recognize the double-standards that come out in almost every one of your posts

    Almost every one of my posts contains a double-standard?! Really? There is no come-back to that. It’s an accusation that cannot be countered because you provide no support for it.
    So I guess well done again, if this is your new thing. It never used to be.

    I don’t have that power, because anyone who actually cares can go look at the archives. Anyone who takes anyone else online at their word deserves the misconceptions that they base their reality on.

    They won’t and you know it. Nobody cares enough. They’ll simply take your word for it. Poosh gave us a perfect example of that. He immediately took your word for it. He wasn’t even there and yet he’s expressing outrage that I would dare claim that you are wrong. He’s so certain that he’s pretending it’s a fact. There couldn’t be a better example.
    As I say, it’s your choice. Recognise that we have different opinions, and sometimes we choose to explore them, and sometimes we don’t. On some issues I can’t understand why someone has a different opinion so I’ll try to figure it out.

    Do you honestly care what those type of people think about you?

    Some of them no, some of them yes, to the extent that poisoning makes it very difficult to have certain discussions.

    I didn’t post what I did for them. I posted it in the hope that you might finally recognize one of your double-standards.

    As I said, it would be nice if you’d actually explain what the double-standard is. It is not my intention to hold or express double-standards. In some cases what you see as double-standards might not be accurate because the relevant circumstances in each case might be different.

    But only ‘evidence or reasonable opinion’ to you. Anything contrary, or differing was discarded without any consideration beyond what other links you could find that disagreed with it.

    Well I don’t agree. sl0re (who was never one to comment favourably toward me) told me at one stage that I made the best Iraq anti-war argument he’d come across. That’s not really possible to do if relevant issues or facts are simply discarded. sl0re certainly wouldn’t have stood for it. Not all links and arguments are equal. When I say reasonable, I mean they were obviously not just emotional cherry-picking BDS crap. There was plenty of that out there, but I went out of my way not to use it. Presumably sl0re recognised that. It seems that you didn’t. As I say, to my recollection (and it’s something I think I’d remember), I never got accused of BDS in all that time, other than that one pathetic attempt by LD I linked to.

    Are you claiming you didn’t posts links in hundreds of posts on climate change threads on MW and disregard any differing opinions or contrary evidence? Cause I’m pretty sure that’s all I said six months ago.

    I’ll go back and look at excatly what you said. I certainly did post hundreds of posts on climate change. Not all ‘evidence’ is equal though, so it’s perfectly reasonable to prefer some evidence over another.

    You’ve already done that to me. Repeatedly. By link-bombing and completely disregarding everything I said. Here and on MW.

    I have misrepresented your positions here and at MW? That’s news to me. I know we disagree on a fair amount, and we both engage in snark and sarcasm in both directions, but I’ve never had the impression you felt that I fundamentally misrepresented your positions on things.
    I don’t understand the link between “link bombing” and misrepresenting you. How does providing supporting evidence for what I’m saying during a discussion equate to misrepresenting your position? That makes no sense to me. I assume when you say ‘disregarding’ that you mean disagreeing and explaining why. Which is something everyone does. Why is it only ‘disregarding’ when I do it?
    Anyway, I completely disagree that I misrepresent people, including you. I go out of my way to try and avoid it because it’s so transparent and obvious and counter-productive, and I hate it when others do it. Sometimes I misinterpret, but when it’s pointed out I’ll apologise. You’re describing BluesStringer/CzarChasm very well though, who misrepresented as a modus operandi, and never conceded he’d made a mistake in how he took what someone said (especially me). He usually doubled down and made out I was a liar.

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  67. Xetrov

    I never said you misrepresented my position, and I’m not doing that to you in this case. Your double-standard is that you railed against Bush on Iraq for thousands of posts – spent hours, hell days or weeks worth of time searching for any questionable thing he could possibly be accused of doing wrong. But now defend Obama on Syria. So if it wasn’t BDS then, It’s Reverse-ODS now. I can’t make it any more basic than that. Continue to exist in your own ignorance if you insist.

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  68. Iconoclast

    There are plenty of people with foreign policy experience who haven’t been President.

    But they worked in the Federal government in some capacity — that is the only way to get foreign policy experience. And you can scoff at Romney’s alleged lack, but it ain’t as if Obama had any in 2008. Double-standards. Again.

    Rather than saying it means it was wrong to assist in protecting civilians from being slaughtered…

    You mean as you still insist on doing re: Hussein? Using nothing but an argument from ignorance? (see below)

    1. Iraq wasn’t a state sponsor of terrorism to any significant degree.

    Which, of course, begs the obvious question: Who the hell are you to dictate what does or doesn’t qualify as “significant”??!? I’m sure you can pull up dozens of left-wing cites that back you up, but that certainly wouldn’t prove anything. That Hussein’s Iraq was a sponsor of terrorism is undeniable, so the obvious recourse is to trivialize…

    And there was no evidence that he was committing genocide in 2002 or 2003.

    As if that matters. In 2002, Hussein did increase the amount offered to families of suicide bombers from $10,000 to $25,000, a fairly significant increase, and his involvement with terrorism at any level represented a violation of UN Resolution 687.

    Besides, your claim that there was “no evidence…in 2002 or 2003″ is just an appeal to ignorance. There was copious evidence that Hussein engaged in mass murder; whether there is specific evidence that he specifically committed specific acts of mass murder at some specific time is irrelevant. Given that he had a history of doing it, there is no rational reason to believe he wouldn’t resume whenever he saw fit to do so.

    If you apply the standard applied there, a hell of a lot of nations could justify invading other nations on a fairly regular basis.

    Load of crap. Hussein harbored the man responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, targetted George H. W. Bush for assassination, was in violation of UNSCR 687, and was believed by intelligence agencies the world over to have WMD. Few other nations have or had such a laundry list of “justifications”.

    2. The Iraq invasion wasn’t authorised by the UN…

    …because Chirac vowed to veto any Resolution the USA proposed. I’ve told you this repeatedly. French businesses had sweatheart deals with the Hussein regime, deals that would have been jeopardized by a US invasion, so there was simply no way France would allow a proposal of invasion to move forward. What this means, quite simply, is that the UN was a corrupt body whose members were more interested in making money than international justice. Since the UN was rigged against the USA’s interests, there is no reason to ascribe any “legitimacy” to that organization for any reason.

    The Libya action was authorised and was lawful.

    Not from a US Constitution point of view, which is the only one that matters. I know that many non-Americans simply cannot fathom the importance of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to Americans (conservative ones, anyway), but it’s really quite fundamental: Rights do not come from Government — Government exists to secure rights endowed by Nature and Nature’s God, and Government serves the People, not the other way around.

    Since the UN doesn’t seem to recognize any of this, there is no reason to recognize the UN.

    I guess your response is that you would prefer that Obama sought and got the required domestic authorisation so that the US could legally take part.

    Your guess would be correct.

    If so, how is that really any different to my position on Iraq?

    I have explained this, both here and elsewhere.

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