1. Bush's war on the US media for making it look at as if Iraq is a hellhole, when in reality things are going very well indeed thank you and stop being so damn unpatriotic.
I don't know whether to laugh or cry, have people not heard of shooting the messenger? Iraq is a mess, Iraq is a warzone, the murder rate (as in non-military casualties, so Iraqi on Iraqi crime killings) has shot up from 11 (for most of 2005) to over 30 a day! A murder rate of 30 a day! That's worse than Washington DC which has 0.7 murders a day!
Iraq is not going well but (all conservatives please read the following before you go mental) I for one didn't expect it to, nation building and supporting Iraq in defining itself and stabilising the infrastructure is not going to be quick or painless, so I don't necessarily see the terrible state it's in as a Bush failure but more of a sadly natural path that has to be endured on the way to hopefully better times. However, pointing the finger of blame at the US media and saying that they aren't showing all the good stuff that happens and they are supporting the terrorists is not only offensive but also flawed. I'll leave you with some thoughts, by it's own targets the US is failing on the rebuilding programme: 77,000 jobs created instead of the 1.5 million promised; 44 water plants working out of 187 promised, the list goes on. Also, Iraq is a security nightmare, journalist's movements are restricted and success stories are not only slow in the making but are put in danger by media coverage.
2. Iran needs to be invaded/bombed/destroyed because they are bad and they have nuclear weapons.
This is terrifying to me because it all seems so arbitrary and unfounded on any evidence at all and you get the feeling that whoever Bush turns his sights on, he can get international leverage to invade/implement sanctions. The case against Iran seems to be based on two things: the fact they didn't co-operate with the IAEA and the comments by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad concerning Zionism.
There is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, no one out there will be able to provide me with any because there is none, not a jot. In fact the body of evidence out there points in the opposite direction and all that Iran wants to do is develop an alternative source of power (as the US government itself suggested and helped Iran do throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s and early 80s). IAEA visited Iran February 2003 and stated that there was 'no evidence' that Iran was pursuing nuclear weapons. On December 18, 2003 Iran signed the Additional Protocol at the IAEA headquarters and acted in accord with its provisions pending completion of ratification of the protocol. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a fatwa forbidding the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons on August 9, 2005. In September 2005 the International Institute for Strategic Studies concluded in a report that Iran was still many years away from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.
The agenda here is clear, Iran was marked out some time ago as a member of the axis of evil and reasons now have to be invented to position them as a global threat, that's why it is so inconvenient that like Iraq, Iran had nothing to do with al-Qaeda either. That's what makes the comments of President Ahmadinejad so frustrating because it feeds the propaganda beast but there is no doubt that many of his comments have been taken wildly out of context. Why? Ahmadinejad is an interesting character and one that no doubt worries the neo-cons in Washington, no only is he populist (and popular) in his policies (for instance he is ploughing much of the oil revenue into a programme to support young couples into their first home, first job and a good start in life) but also very religious. This couldn't be a worse mix as far as Washington is concerned, add the fact he is virulently anti-Zionist and you have a worse case scenario.
3. Saddam Hussein did have connections with al-Qaeda even though he and Osama Bin-laden couldn't stand one another and are from opposite ends of the political spectrum but we found new documents! Honest!
This old chestnut has been resurrected by some new documents (in fact old documents but translation takes time) that have been released. Let us be clear, as is happening with Iran, a case for war was built around dubious evidence to convince the US public that direct, pre-emptive action (please see Abe Lincoln's thoughts on this) was necessary. As with Iran and nuclear weapons there is still no evidence and this goes for the latest papers. Before I talk about these let me paint the picture of how bloody unlikely it is that Saddam and al-Qaeda worked together:
1. 9/11 Commission said there was no connection
2. CIA and FBI said there was no connection
3. Bush's Presidential Daily Briefing on the issue said there was no connection
4. Saddam was interested in a secular Arab empire, not an Islamic nation state and wanted to expand this across the region, utterly at odds with al-Qaeda
5. Osama saw Saddam as a devil and motherfucker with his secular policies and funded Jihadists in Iraq to carry out attacks on Saddam forces, as well as sending al-Qaeda members to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War
Now onto the new papers themselves, we have no idea of their authenticity, accuracy or the quality of translation. Also, the source of these documents as with much of the data used by the US to take the country to war came from the Iraqi National Congress, a group set up by the US to oppose Saddam after the first Gulf War. Can you see where this is going? I'll say no more apart from I have no doubt whatsoever that representatives of Iraq's government under Saddam met with members of al-Qaeda, just as representatives of the American, French, British, Israeli and Iranian governments have met with members of al-Qaeda.
Have a nice day.