Oh, so Bush Didn’t Lie?

letter-447577_1280

We’ve all heard the accusation that President Bush “lied” about Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction, and did so in order to lead the nation to war. We’ve heard people argue it was grounds for impeachment. John Kerry made it a campaign issue (while admitting that we might still find them), and on that basis very nearly became the leading mortal custodian of our safety.

Now, Hussein’s interrogator has gone public with his interrogation. In reality, it tells us nothing we didn’t already know. Iraq had WMDs in the past — it used WMDs in the past — and the conclusion of every intelligence agency in the free world was that Hussein still had them. The interrogation only tells us why we all thought so: because Saddam Hussein deliberately locked the doors to Iraq and kept it secret that all his WMDs were destroyed.

Bush was not lying. He, the US Congress, the CIA, MI6, the Mossad, and all the rest unanimously believed what Saddam intentionally led them to believe. That’s not lying — at least, not for those of us still cognizant of what a lie is. [I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised at this “Bush lied” campaign. His predecessor, whom Bush opponents supported, was truly a world leader in the redefinition of truth and falsehood.] Saddam only got rid of his WMDs because he had to, he continued his research into new and better ways to kill us, and in the meantime — to keep Iran at bay, and under the mistaken impression that Bush Jr. would merely launch a Clintonesque air campaign — made sure all believed that he still had them.

Why is this a Jewish issue? There are both practical and philosophical reasons for this otherwise off-topic post. On the one hand, all too many are seriously considering putting another Clinton in the White House. If you want to know why no one knew what Hussein was thinking, you need to ask the one who decimated the CIA. And, on the other hand, call it hakoras hatov, simple gratitude. I was in Israel when Saddam sent his Scud missiles raining down upon us. He sent large financial payments to the families of suicide bombers, to encourage more of them to kill innocent Jews. And for all the lives lost in the Iraq War, let’s be honest. “The hearts of Kings are in G-d’s Hands” — George Bush didn’t make that decision on his own. We truly have no idea what Hussein could have done if his weapons program had been allowed to continue, but I, for one, thank G-d we never shall.

You may also like...

29 Responses

  1. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    Please allow me to correct something I said in previous postings. I had stated that General Eric Shinseki (whose name I misspelled) “was forced into retirement when he told Bush and Congress that it would take far more troops than Rumsfield claimed to subdue and occupy Iraq.” This was wrong. The general was scheduled to retire from the service in 2003 regardless, and his retirement had been announced prior to his testimony before congress. However, it remains true that the general was contradicted and even attacked by defense department officials, and was cold-shouldered for the rest of this term as army chief of staff. In fact, no civilian officials were present at his retirement ceremony, which given his rank and stature was highly unusual.

    Within the military, it remains a common belief that Shinseki was punished for publicly differing with Bush and Rumsfield. As one officer was quoted in the New York Times last October, “General Shinseki had shown there was a great cost, at least under Mr. Rumsfeld. “Evidence shows that when you do do that in uniform, bad things can happen,” he said. “So, it’s sort of a dichotomy of, should I do the right thing, even if I get punished?”

  2. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    YM:

    Clinton bombed Iraq to keep Saddam out of Kurdistan. After the first Gulf War, the US imposed a no-fly zone over Kurdistan to keep Saddam from bombing it. During the last years of Bush 41 and the Clinton administration, Kurdistan became a semi-autonomous region of Iraq and flourished. That was the purpose of the bombing. And there is a great deal of difference between Clinton’s bombing and GWB’s full-scale invasion.

    “All you Dems say that that Hillary, Edwards, etc were just cowards who voted for the war because there were mid-term elections coming up and they didn’t want to be seen as “soft” on defense, and you still would consider voting for them? Shouldn’t that be a reason not to vote for them?”

    I would gladly vote for a Democrat who voted against the war in 2002 if I had the choice. But better a Democrat that’s done teshuva than a Republican who doesn’t acknowledge that Iraq was a mistake.

  3. YM says:

    1. I seem to remember Clinton bombing Iraq on several occations. But Iraq wasn’t a threat to the US; Its not that Clinton thought that Iraq was a threat; he obviously knew they weren’t a threat. He was bombing them for fun! Then Bush came in and fabricated that Iraq was a threat.

    2. All you Dems say that that Hillary, Edwards, etc were just cowards who voted for the war because there were mid-term elections coming up and they didn’t want to be seen as “soft” on defense, and you still would consider voting for them? Shouldn’t that be a reason not to vote for them?

  4. Noam says:

    Which brings us to the CIA. I got my information on the CIA from a semi-inside source: on Sept. 12, 2001 my son was treated by a nurse whose husband is a CIA contractor. A dear friend of theirs was missing — I never found out what happened, but I doubt the news was good. She said the CIA had been decimated in the Clinton years, and that’s why they didn’t see this coming.

    I think the above paragraph says volumes on the reliability of Rabbi Menken’s sources, much more than it says anything about the CIA and former presidents. Are we reduced to writing columns based on informal second hand opinions of people who happen to have some sort of affiliation with an organization? Is this the best we can do? Does this even rise above Lashon Hara? rechilut?

  5. Seth Gordon says:

    President Bush must have disagreed with Rabbi Menken’s son’s nurse’s assessment of the CIA, because he gave George Tenet (CIA director from 1997 to 2004, serving under both Clinton and Bush) the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

  6. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    “Offering $25,000 to a single family has a very different impact on people than tens of millions to the corrupt upper echelon. If the Saudis raised $90 million for the families of suicide bombers, you have to wonder where the money went. Considering how far a few hundred thousand dollars travels in Jenin, each of these families should have a nice villa”

    Rabbi Menken seems to think that Saddam Hussein’s offer of money went further than what the Saudis or Hamas has raised. We have no way of knowing where the Saudi money went, but we have no way of knowing where Saddam’s money went, either, or even if it went. Saddam had a history of making big blustery promises that he never kept.

    “Saddam presented no effective threat? The Israelis issued gas masks in 1991. Every tourist got a gas mask. He hurt the country in 1991 from hundreds of miles away.”

    Saddam never used gas, or much of anything else against the Israelis. He was all too aware of the Israeli capacity for reprisal, and unlike Hezbollah or the Iranian Ayatollahs, he valued his surivial.

    “The Iran-Iraq War ended in 1988, and Saddam could hardly counter-balance Iran once his army was destroyed.”

    His army was not destroyed. He used it to invade Kuwait in 1990, and he used it to keep himself in power for 12 more years after that.

    “Bush was told it would be quick and easy.” That’s not his fault, ” Yes it is, when he silenced anyone who tried to tell him otherwise. Please don’t forget General Eric Shineski, the army chief of staff who was forced into retirement when he told Bush and Congress that it would take far more troops than Rumsfield claimed to subdue and occupy Iraq. And he wasn’t the only one, either.

    “But he’s mistaken on the issue of body armor. The Americans went over with the best protection”

    Tell that to the soldiers and marines in the unarmored humvees.

    “and really lousy Intel.” Bush had access to good intel, he just didn’t want to listen to anything that contradicted his preset notions.

    ” I got my information on the CIA from a semi-inside source: on Sept. 12, 2001 my son was treated by a nurse whose husband is a CIA contractor”

    Sorry, but this doesn’t sound like a very authoritative source.

    “Does Seth honestly think Bush could have reconstituted the CIA with expert analysts and field workers, infiltrated Iraq, and gotten decent Intel, within less than 2 years? He went with Clinton-era Intel, and responded accordingly.”

    Bush wasn’t interested in intel, just affirmation of his preset ideas. That has been obvious from the beginning. You can’t blame Clinton for Bush’s refusal to deal with reality.

    Finally, am not a doctor.

  7. Yaakov Menken says:

    I think Rabbi Oberstein has it exactly right — in saying a series of very different things than what Dr. Reisman added earlier. And I certainly wouldn’t argue his point that G-d doesn’t belong to either party.

    Offering $25,000 to a single family has a very different impact on people than tens of millions to the corrupt upper echelon. If the Saudis raised $90 million for the families of suicide bombers, you have to wonder where the money went. Considering how far a few hundred thousand dollars travels in Jenin, each of these families should have a nice villa. So I don’t know where the $90 million figure comes from or where the money went, but it seems certain the bombers never got a penny (thankfully). And money to families after the fact doesn’t encourage more bombers the way a future promise does.

    Saddam presented no effective threat? The Israelis issued gas masks in 1991. Every tourist got a gas mask. He hurt the country in 1991 from hundreds of miles away. Even 15 years later, Hezbollah could only hit the northern part of the country. The Iran-Iraq War ended in 1988, and Saddam could hardly counter-balance Iran once his army was destroyed. [The interrogator learned this was why Hussein claimed to still have WMDs, so that Iran would not invade.]

    Interesting that “PlinketyPlink” believes a defector that the British Foreign office discredited. That’s all I can say.

    But in the end, as I said, Rabbi Oberstein is right. “Bush was told it would be quick and easy.” That’s not his fault, although we could have told the CIA that when the militant Islamic fanatics on both sides can’t kill Jews, they kill each other. The Americans were hopelessly naive about the Middle East. But he’s mistaken on the issue of body armor. The Americans went over with the best protection, and really lousy Intel.

    Which brings us to the CIA. I got my information on the CIA from a semi-inside source: on Sept. 12, 2001 my son was treated by a nurse whose husband is a CIA contractor. A dear friend of theirs was missing — I never found out what happened, but I doubt the news was good. She said the CIA had been decimated in the Clinton years, and that’s why they didn’t see this coming.

    Does Seth honestly think Bush could have reconstituted the CIA with expert analysts and field workers, infiltrated Iraq, and gotten decent Intel, within less than 2 years? He went with Clinton-era Intel, and responded accordingly. Do I think McCain would be better than Clinton? Defintely.

  8. Jacob Haller says:

    Lawrence Reisman – well said!

    YM – here’s a possible the scenario to address your question. Maybe the Dems didn’t want to appear soft on terrorism right before a mid-term election.

  9. Yosef Blau says:

    This political discussion has not included any reference to religious sources. Why is the question about President Bush and the Iraqi war and whether he misled the American people a Jewish issue? The fact that this appears in Cross Currents indicates that serious people see a correlation. Please explain it.
    Yosef Blau

  10. Seth Gordon says:

    President Bush’s father is not only a former President and Vice-President, but a former CIA director. Vice-President Cheney was Secretary of Defense under the elder Bush, during the first Gulf War. If Clinton had left behind problems with the CIA, nobody in the Republican Party was in a better position to identify and fix them.

    In the lead-up to the war, Cheney and his political appointees reviewed the CIA’s work. They didn’t just look at the opinions of CIA analysts on Iraq; they looked at the raw intelligence information that was coming in from the field. By the time this war began, Bush was more than halfway through his first term, his approval ratings were around 70%, and he had not vetoed a single bill that Congress had sent him.

    George W. Bush owns this war. The buck stops with him, not with his predecessor.

  11. PlinketyPlinkPlinkPlink says:

    “don’t know why people have forgotten it, but we were all shaking in our boots over Saddam’s WMD . . . Now, everything is down the memory hole.”

    Also down the memory hole was the testimony of Lt. General Hussein Kamel in which he testified that all of Iraq’s WMDs were destroyed in the early 90s after Desert Storm.

    General Kamel, remember, was Saddam’s son-in-law who defected to the U.S., gave us a lot of information on Saddam and Iraq, was lured back to Iraq and subsequently murdered by Saddam for his actions. He was also the guy in charge of the Iraqi WMD programs.

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

    So, those of us who didn’t let THIS bit of information slip down the memory hole weren’t “shaking in our boots,” because we knew there were no Iraqi WMDs.

  12. Friar Yid says:

    Excuse me, Mrs. Katz, but if you’re going to talk about the personal politics of Presidents undermining the CIA, it would seem to me that you have to include some acknowledgment of this questionable move, as well.

    Yes, Clinton may have applied his own PC biases to the CIA, but you seem to be forgetting that under the wonderful Bush administration we got to see CIA translators being fired because they were, horror of horrors, gay. Because that’s relevant to their jobs.

    Now, isn’t this an example of exactly what you were criticizing under Clinton? Only now it’s conservative PC. How nice to know that something is bipartisan these days.

  13. LOberstein says:

    Lawrence M. Reisman , who has the guts to write his real name and not hide under some stupid nickname, is absolutely right. The Iraq War, which I supported at the time, has turned into a boondogle and a miasma.The “experts” who got us into this quicksand didn’t know that Sunnis hate Shias and that Iraq, like Yugoslavia, was held together only because of Saddam Hussein. The US went in because Bush was told it would be quick and easy and we would have a loyal Arab Pro-US Democracy that would be a beacon for all the Arabs and get the US secure oil reserves. Most of us also thought it would be good for Israel.
    I don’t fault the intentions of the President, they sounded good at the time,although they were naive and ignorant of the realities of the Middle East, but I do fault those who sent our troops into Iraq to die without sufficient armor, without sufficient troop strength, who dissolved the Iraqi army and police when they could have kept order and pushed them into rebellion. The incompetence is evident to all. I am sorry it didn’t work but you don’t go into a war unless you have the troops to win it and the competence to win it. We look like clueless dolts.

  14. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    To Toby Katz:

    1. “While Saddam was alive, he was the most dangerous and the most evil world tyrant alive.” In your opinion. But he was not a danger to the US. Israel knew how manage him, as proven when they knocked out his reactor in 1981. He may have used his WMD against his own people, but he would not have used them against Israel; he knew what Israel retaliation would mean. In contrast, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Ahmadinejad don’t really care about Israeli retaliation. Hence they are a greater danger.

    2. “CIA took a sharp turn for the worse in terms of its effectiveness, when (under Clinton) it started to worry much more about being PC and less about recruiting the best agents. When they started counting beans to make sure there were the right number of women, the right number of ethnics and so on — and especially when they started recruiting davka liberals out of the Ivy League — things went downhill. That’s when the staunchly liberal Valerie Plame and her husband Joe were recruited.” Valerie Plame started working for the CIA in 1985, when Ronald Reagen was president.

    3. “Third of all, the liberals always hated the CIA… In reality all they have ever wanted to do is hamstring the CIA and all American intelligence agencies, and to this end they continue to work assiduously.” The Republicans have been quite willing to hamstring the CIA when it suited their purposes. In the 1980s, the agency came under pressure when it refused to support the Reagan administration’s line that Mexico was in danger of falling under Communist dominination. And in the aftermath of 9/11, the Bush administration put pressure on them when they refused to back his allegations of Iraqi involvement in the 9/11 attacks and Saddam’s development of WMD.

    I know it is convenient and comforting to blame the liberals for all the problems, but it just doesn’t hold water. Of course, there are those among us who believe that anyone who isn’t a right-wing Republican is a kofer be’ikkar.

  15. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    “if everything was so obvious on September 12, 2001, why did John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and many other Dems vote for attacking Iraq? ”

    Because they didn’t have the guts to oppose President Bush. The President was beating the drums loudly, and he and his minions were insisting that anyone who didn’t back his war were pro-terrorist. Given the choice between showing courage and playing it safe, they chose to play it safe, and they should be held to account for their cowardice.

  16. mycroft says:

    As for the spectre of another Clinton in the White House, Obama should concern us at least as much—same core beliefs

    McCain does not have4 a good track record with Israel-Romney has stated the right things but people don’t really believe him but per my brother-lives in Israel, also citizen of Israel works in Israel in a job where he certainly deals with educated Israeli opinion in these matters-tells me the current crop of candidates haven’t even in general mouthed pro-Israel platitudes that are usually stated-probably Clinton is the most trusted-but that says a lot of the current candidates rather than Clinton.

  17. YM says:

    Lawrence, if everything was so obvious on September 12, 2001, why did John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and many other Dems vote for attacking Iraq? And don’t say “Bush lied”; this is disproven.

  18. YM says:

    Shlomo,the answer is yes. Evildoers are held responsible for their evil, but the will of Hashem is responsible for whether someones evil is successful in causing damage or not. Ultimately, the holocaust was the will of Hashem.

  19. Toby Katz says:

    I would like to register my disagreement with Lawrence Reisman. While Saddam was alive, he was the most dangerous and the most evil world tyrant alive, and I think we do need to have hakaras hatov for what George Bush did, despite whatever mistakes were made in the conduct of the war. I don’t know why people have forgotten it, but we were all shaking in our boots over Saddam’s WMD (especially because we knew he had used them against his own Kurds — the pictures were printed all over the world). TIME magazine had a cover story about Saddam’s WMD before Bush was ever elected, and it was very frightening. Now, everything is down the memory hole.

    As for the failures of the CIA, well, first of all, every intelligence service in the western world, including British and Israeli intelligence, were misled by Saddam — all believed he had WMD and was prepared to use them if cornered, and BTW I am not convinced that he did not have them.

    Second of all, the CIA took a sharp turn for the worse in terms of its effectiveness, when (under Clinton) it started to worry much more about being PC and less about recruiting the best agents. When they started counting beans to make sure there were the right number of women, the right number of ethnics and so on — and especially when they started recruiting davka liberals out of the Ivy League — things went downhill. That’s when the staunchly liberal Valerie Plame and her husband Joe were recruited.

    Third of all, the liberals always hated the CIA and were always happy to “out” CIA agents, to hamper their work, etc etc — EXCEPT when the purported outing of Valerie Plame suddenly became a liberal cause celebre. It was eventually abudantly proven that Bush and Cheney and Karl Rove and the poor scapegoat Jew, Scooter Libby, had nothing to do with “outing” Valerie. Despite that, enormous damage was done to Bush’s reputation by the year-long media feeding frenzy in which, for the only time in history, the liberal media pretended to care about the CIA. In reality all they have ever wanted to do is hamstring the CIA and all American intelligence agencies, and to this end they continue to work assiduously. (See for example their pretended outrage at Bush allegedly listening in on millions of innocent Americans’ phone calls.)

  20. LOberstein says:

    Finally we are talking about the election and the amazing point is that it is bad for the Jews if Hillary gets elected President. Since this is such a juicy topic, why shouldn’t Cross-Currents sneak it in?
    I do not know who will be the next President, it may very well be Hillary but it could be McCain. In either case, or even if Obama somehow wins,which I doubt, there will be no massive substantive changes in our politics. Our elected officials have to raise mega bucks and they are therefore beholden to special interests. Even if the President personally is honest, he or she is surrounded by lots of advisors who have debts to donors or who envision a future job in an industy that they are now regulating. The whole system is corrupt.
    That being said, I do not think it wise to confuse politics with religion . The Torah does not require you to be a right wing Republican, even though many of my friends think it is a mitzvah. If anything our Torah is partial to the ideals of the Democratic party. Most Jews except for the orthodox are Democrats for very good reasons.
    Sure, you can bring up gays and abortions and other such issues but they are just red herrings.All of the Republicans running this country for much of the past generation have been unable (and in truth unwilling) to deny legal protection to homosexuals or to outlaw abortions. They are just talking and their promises are hollow. The republicans no more represent family values than the Democrats represent hedonism, they are all just politicians trying to get elected and raise money from fat cats. So get real, G-d does not belong to a political party.

  21. One Christian's perspective says:

    I am sure that Bush didn’t lie when he spoke about Hussein’s WMD’s. However, he based his “truth” on incorrect information. The purpose of intelligence is to determine what your enemy is really doing, not what he wants you to believe he’s doing. In that regard, the CIA failed miserably.
    Comment by Garnel Ironheart

    If the CIA presented the intelligence that Saddam wanted the world to swallow, did they fail or did Saddam succeed ? Afterall, intelligence gathering has never been a complete picture of “truth”. Often times, the complete picture isn’t evident until we look back and then we realize the folly of waiting.

  22. Lawrence M. Reisman says:

    Rabbi Menken states that Saddam Hussein “sent large financial payments to the families of suicide bombers, to encourage more of them to kill innocent Jews.” Saddam promised $25,000 to the family of each suicide murderer. If there had been one bombing a week (and there wasn’t) that would have amounted to $1.3 million in a year. In 2002, the Saudis held a telethon for the families of suicide murderers and raised $90 million. In 2005, a second telethon raised $110 million. In his book “American Jihad,” Stephen Emerson estimated that Hamas raised $55 million a year in the United States. Compared with all the other sources of funds for terrorism, Saddam Hussein’s promise of $25,000 per family was hardly a major contribution to the terrorist cause.

    While he was in power, Saddam Hussein was the only effective counterweight to the Ayatollahs of Iran. Removing him allowed them to let loose both Hamas and Hezbollah. I doubt Israel would have faced these two enemies the way they did last summer if Iran had to worry about Saddam. I also question whether there would be so many Kassam rockets aimed at Sderot. After all, if Iran had to worry about its own security, it wouldn’t have the funds to give away. And removing Saddam leaves Syria free to go about its business as well, since it doesn’t have a potent enemy on its eastern border.

    Saddam presented no effective threat to the US. He had nothing to do with 9/11, and he repeatedly refused to aid Osam Bin Laden. Going after him did nobody any good, except for Iran and its puppets. Going after Iraq, when we had real enemies elsewhere, was a mistake. And it was a willful mistake, since on 9/12, President Bush knew that Saddam was no menace to the US. I don’t see why we owe him any hakaras hatov for Iraq.

  23. Yehoshua Friedman says:

    It doesn’t much matter who gets elected because the power centers, which Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex” back in 1960 when almost no one knew what he was talking about, will stay in power. The New World Order may lose a tentacle or two from time to time, but every Eisenhower has his Dulles, every GW Bush his Cheney. Ultimately history is in Hashem’s hands, but if we don’t do teshuva, repent of our wrong thoughts, words and deeds, the modern-day Pharaohs will retain power until the last possible moment, to the detriment of all of humanity.

  24. Reb Yid says:

    It’s hard to find an administration more consistently and purposefully deceitful that the present one.

    Lies, and the covering up of lies, have been this administation’s bete noire. Lies (and/or the omission of information) are what have turned Americans of all stripes against this President and his minions–even the Republicans in Congress (who as a result are now in the minority) found it impossible to get straight answers from the Executive Branch.

    Also–is it truly “better” after all of the trillions of dollars and lives expended to date, to have only replaced Iraq with a far more lethal Iran as a regional threat?

  25. Noam says:

    President Bush deliberately misused intellegence reports, and pressured the intellegence agencies to say what he wanted them to say. Just read what former CIA director Tenent has to say. He also botched the war in a major fashion, and tried to deceive the american people regarding how it has progressed. If he was so concerned over weapons of mass destruction, why has he not invaded Iran?

    Of course the president has gotten some things right- being tough on Iran, responding forcefully to the 9/11 bombings, etc. However, the things he has gotten wrong far outweigh these positives. His State of the Union speech last night listed having a Palestinian State as a mojor objective, but it didn’t emphasize a safe, secure Israel, and certainly his approach shows a horrible lack of understanding of the situation. He has also presided over a worsening economy, and the biggest growth of income disparity in history. He has ignored the risk of global warning, done very little to promote neither conservation nor alternative fuel options, and has done nothing to increase the output of refineries or other methods to limit us reliance on foreign oil. Perhaps worst of all, he has polarized the country as never before, tried to run rough shod over congress and the courts, ingored the balance of power, and tried to limit the bill of rights. In summary, he has been an unmitigated disaster of epic proportions.

    In response to the comparison of Clinton and Bush, R. Menken should look at the difference (l’havdil) between Shaul and David. Shaul was stripped of his kingship because he failed in matters of national policy, when he did not execute Agag and kill all the sheep. David failed on a personal level with Batsheva, but was not only allowed to keep the kingship, but his relatives also recieved the kingship.

  26. Bob Miller says:

    Don’t think Saddam Hussein was above lying after his capture. If any of his WMD’s had been shipped out of the country, he may have been party to a deal not to acknowledge them.

    As for the spectre of another Clinton in the White House, Obama should concern us at least as much—same core beliefs, but so much more personable.

  27. Shlomo says:

    “And for all the lives lost in the Iraq War, let’s be honest. “The hearts of Kings are in G-d’s Hands” — George Bush didn’t make that decision on his own.”

    I think this idea is logically flawed. Are we never allowed to criticize any decision made by a world leader because, “The hearts of kings are in G-d’s hands,” – i.e. it was meant to be?

    Hitler’s Holocaust? “The hearts of kings are in God’s hands.” Who knows what would have happened at 6,000,000 Jews not been slaughtered?

    Stalin’s purges? “The hearts of kings are in God’s hands.”

    Although Jewish tradition does ascribe world events and human history to a path charted by an all-powerful God, this does not relieve the individuals involved of personal responsibility for their poor decisions and disastrous choices.

    See for example the discussion among the traditional commentators (specifically Ramban and Rambam) regarding the Egyptians’ culpability for their harsh treatment of the Israelites. Although the slavery was meant to be (and God indeed told Abraham that his children would be oppressed in a foreign land), Egypt was nevertheless punished for their cruelty and heartlessnesss.

    Although God plans world events, the leaders who orchestrate those events are culpable for their misjudgments and blunders.

  28. Garnel Ironheart says:

    I am sure that Bush didn’t lie when he spoke about Hussein’s WMD’s. However, he based his “truth” on incorrect information. The purpose of intelligence is to determine what your enemy is really doing, not what he wants you to believe he’s doing. In that regard, the CIA failed miserably.

    As much as I was disgusted by the (first) Clinton’s administration, it is also not fair to blame him for the CIA. They were incompetent far before he came to power.

    By the way, interesting how America seems to chose its leaders:

    Bush – Clinton – Bush – Clinton? – And isn’t there another Bush up and coming?

  29. mycroft says:

    In fairness one should also read David Makovsky about Bush adopting Rices viewpoints -the following link will get you there
    http://www.thewashingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2704

    ‘. On the one hand, all too many are seriously considering putting another Clinton in the White House”

    AL TIVTICHI BINDIVIM-But which current realistic candidate remaining has a better track record on Israel. ? I believe there are panels in various Israeli media that rate the US candidates and of remaining realistic candidates Clinton may be the top.