bullet built for revenge (friskycat) wrote in jfk_for_prez,
bullet built for revenge

More Time Magazine

Here's another good article from Time Magazine.

Reality Check: George Bush

The Claim:
The difficulties facing the U.S. in Iraq are a product of foreign terrorists showing up to fight the America there.

Reality Check:
The U.S. military on the ground says that the overwhelming majority of the insurgents fighting the U.S. in Iraq are Iraqis, not foreigners.

The Claim:
Saddam Hussein "had no intention of disarming and was systematically deceiving inspectors."

Reality Check:
The fact that no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq, and the U.S. inspection team has concluded that no such stockpiles existed when the war began, suggests that Saddam Hussein had, in fact, disarmed.

The Claim:
"The A.Q. Khan network has been brought to justice." (Khan is the Pakistani nuclear scientist who shipped nuclear weapons technology to North Korea, Iran, Libya and possibly other states.)

Reality Check:
Observers generally concur that there's no way Khan could have acted without the authorization and support of Pakistan's military leadership, yet the U.S. accepted an outcome in which Khan received a slap on the wrist and wasn't even made available for questioning by U.S. officials, nor was any obvious attempt made to hold his superiors accountable — perhaps because of Pakistan's crucial role in hunting al-Qaeda.

The Claim:
President Bush says he tried diplomacy in Iraq, and went to war only when it failed.

Reality Check:
Numerous accounts from within the U.S. and allied governments suggest the Bush Administration had decided to invade Iraq even before it went to the UN in the fall of 2002, and had gone back to the international body only under pressure from moderates in its own ranks and from Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair. The termination of the UN inspection process had nothing to do with its progress; it was based primarily on the window of opportunity for an invasion presented by the seasonal calendar.

The Claim:
Saddam Hussein would have grown stronger had the invasion not occurred.

Reality Check:
The decrepit state of the Iraqi military, its negligible pursuit of prohibited weapons, and the widespread internal rot of the regime that emerged after it collapsed showed that, in fact, containment had succeeded in weakening Saddam Hussein — although an enormous cost to Iraq's civilian population.

The Claim:
Bilateral talks with North Korea would be a fatal mistake that would precipitate the collapse of the six-party talks on Pyongyang's nuclear program.

Reality Check:
Some of the key parties to those talks, including China, Russia and South Korea, are in favor of the U.S. talking directly to North Korea in order to provide Pyongyang with security guarantees that would improve the prospects for success in the six-party process.

The Claim:
Osama bin Laden is isolated, and 75 percent of his people have been brought to justice.

Reality Check:
Bin Laden may have physically sequestered himself, but he remains considerably more popular than President Bush in most of the Arab world. And despite considerable success by U.S. intelligence and allies in Europe, the Middle East and Pakistan in rounding up Qaeda operatives, allied intelligence services concur that al-Qaeda's ranks have swelled a lot faster than they've been denuded, particularly since the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

The Claim:
A free Iraq will help secure Israel.

Reality Check:
The bulk of Iraq's Arab majority, both Sunni and Shiite, hold the same hostile view of Israel as their brethren throughout the Arab world. While elements of one particular faction of the formerly exiled opposition (Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress) have suggested that ties with Israel could be established, there's no evidence to support the claim that an Iraqi government reflective of the popular will would be any warmer toward Israel than any of its neighbors.

The Claim:
We have 100,000 Iraqi troops trained now.

Reality Check:
There are around 100,000 people currently recruited to various Iraqi security forces, although the number who've been fully trained is closer to 20,000. And the number on whom U.S. commanders believe they can currently rely in frontline combat situations against the insurgencies is thought to currently number no more than 5,000.

The Claim:
We have 30 nations in our coalition; our coalition is strong.

Reality Check:
There isn't a single Arab country in the coalition, in contrast to the wide Arab participation in the Gulf War. And the U.S. and Britain between them provided more than 90 percent of the troops. Moreover, eight of the countries that initially joined the U.S. have since pulled out their soldiers, and more are expected to follow. Efforts to persuade Muslim countries to send troops have foundered.
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