Biden’s Lying About Iraq Shows Why Our Nation Has So Many Wars

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on a week of disturbing false statements from the two leading presidential candidates for 2020. Both stories should give voters pause. Indeed, this week has also seen candidates like Kamala Harris challenged on not one but two statements on her record and, in a way, her selective hearing. Yet, despite Donald Trump’s bizarre conduct in the Hurricane Dorian controversy, the more serious (and less covered) falsehood was Joe Biden’s statement about his claimed opposition to the Iraq War. As someone who opposed the Iraq War, it is frustrating to see former and current senators falsely claiming to have been duped or being opposed to the war. At the time, neither Democratic nor Republicans senators wanted to even hear from those of us who opposed the resolution. Indeed, the key hearing held was absurd with neither party calling opponents to the war. What is striking however is how little press was given to Biden’s false claim in comparison to the Hurricane controversy.

Here is the column:

Former French President Charles de Gaulle once explained that “since a politician never believes what he says, he is quite surprised to be taken at his word.”

This week, no one is more surprised than President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump succeeded in turning an innocent mistake about the weather into a blatant misrepresentation and then, after days of determined effort, into a subject of worldwide ridicule. Biden succeeded in denying his own words in support of the Iraq War — splitting television screens of himself saying diametrically opposing things with the equal vehemence. However, lying about hurricanes does not cause more hurricanes. Lying about wars is one reason we have so many of them.

Tragically, American voters are accustomed to politicians avoiding responsibility for their embarrassing or costly errors. Yet, Trump has taken that tendency to a truly pathological level with the debacle over Hurricane Dorian. He incorrectly said Alabama was in the hurricane’s path. Then, instead of simply correcting his mistake, he dug in deeper to avoid admitting it. Ultimately, he produced a hurricane-path map with a juvenile alteration made with a Sharpie to make Dorian appear Alabama-bound. As ridicule mounted, he refused to drop the matter and continued to tweet for days about Alabama being in the path.

Now, the Washington Post reports that White House advisers confirm Trump made the alteration — something he has denied. The controversy grew to the point that the normally apolitical Merriam-Webster Dictionary tweeted out the meaning of “mumpsimus,” or a “stubborn person who insists on making an error in spite of being shown that it is wrong.”

Voters could easily conclude that all politicians are mumpsimuses, or some more so than others. That, however, would ignore the gravity of lying about certain subjects — like war. Both Republicans and Democrats have long lied about wars. The Framers knew politicians would often take the nation into wars for stupid, self-serving or shortsighted reasons. They also knew few politicians would own up to their roles in costly wars. For that reason, under Article I of the Constitution, the Framers expressly required a declaration of war from Congress. Before politicians could send the nation’s sons and daughters off to war, possibly to die, they would have to do so with binding clarity.

During the Pennsylvania ratification convention, James Wilson explained the need for congressional approval as a guarantee that no one “will … hurry us into war [since] it is calculated to guard against it.” Of course, politicians are not big on personal responsibility, at least not in their own conduct. For that reason, virtually all of our wars have been undeclared and, as the Framers expected, politicians routinely misrepresent their roles.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry gave perhaps the most mind-numbing example of this. During his party’s primaries in 2004, Kerry portrayed himself as against the Iraq War even though he voted for it. Then, in the general election against President George W. Bush, he pivoted when confronted about his vote against spending $87 billion to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan, declaring, “I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it.”

Hillary Clinton engaged in the same kind of historical revisionism. She was a reliable hawk on military interventions, including the disastrous intervention in Libya, without even a resolution. On Iraq, she jumped on the popular bandwagon for war. When it became less popular, however, she claimed to have been misled, even though she and her colleagues ignored those of us opposing the original war resolution and refused to take the time to fully investigate the matter.

Ultimately, that war would claim an estimated 655,000 lives, including 4,500 Americans with another 47,500 American wounded. It would cost this country more than a trillion dollars. It initially was popular to send our troops to war — and, when it became unpopular, politicians simply denied responsibility. This is why lying about wars is not just another spin by the shameless. People died because Republican and Democratic leaders did not have the courage to stand against the drumroll for war.

In Biden’s case, he attempted to take a Sharpie to the entire war and black-out his name. In a Kerry-like moment, Biden insisted in an NPR interview that he voted for the war before “immediately opposing it” because, he said, he had been misled. He claimed, “[Bush] looked me in the eye in the Oval Office. He said he needed the vote to be able to get inspectors into Iraq to determine whether or not Saddam Hussein was engaged in dealing with a nuclear program. He got them in and, before you know it, we had ‘shock and awe.’”

Bush’s staff denies such an exchange ever occurred. More importantly, Biden himself said repeatedly that he supported the war and continued to do so … while it was popular. Although he now insists otherwise — “That moment it started, I came out against the war at that moment” — he is repeatedly shown on videotape supporting the war. He said publicly before the invasion that it was important for the U.S. not to stop with “covert action,” if that failed, but to move to overwhelming “overt action” because “we can’t afford to miss.” Then, months after the invasion, Biden told CNN: “I, for one, thought we should have gone in Iraq.” Still later, he said at a Senate hearing, “I voted to go into Iraq, and I’d vote to do it again.”

Still later, he expressly said “we have always known” about the war in Iraq, namely that troops “would have to stay there in large numbers for a long period of time.” He stated publicly — again, after the invasion — that “contrary to what some in my party might think, Iraq was a problem that had to be dealt with sooner rather than later. So I commend the president. He was right to enforce the solemn commitments made by Saddam. If they were not enforced, what good would they be?”

It should not be a surprise that politicians who vote casually to send others to war would not be particularly troubled about denying their own responsibility. The problem is that undeclared wars often are not just measured by the lies, but also by the lives left behind.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

68 thoughts on “Biden’s Lying About Iraq Shows Why Our Nation Has So Many Wars”

  1. The misuse of the concept of a lie is widespread…sadly extending to Mr. Turley (whom I admire greatly)
    A lie requires that the person accused is fully aware of the truth and says something that contradicts.
    An incorrect memory (a common affliction of successful politicians) is NOT a lie…
    And, knowing the inner workings of Mr Biden’s or Trump’s thinking/knowing is impossible.
    Yes, yes the law does have established standards for declaring a statement a lie, but while necessary in a society of laws, it is deeply flawed and highly circumstantial and based largely on ignoring the veracity and accuracy of others
    What we have here are 2 idiots – one an idiot/savant (IMO) – the other a degenerating political brain.

  2. Body Count: Casualty Figures After 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror’ , a report published by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in 2015 found that the 2006 Lancet study was the most comprehensive and reliable mortality study conducted in Iraq, based on its study design, the experience and independence of the research team, the short time elapsed since the deaths it documented and its consistency with other measures of violence in occupied Iraq.  That study estimated that about 601,000 Iraqis were killed in the first 39 months of war and occupation in Iraq, while the war had also caused about 54,000 non-violent deaths.

    March 23rd, 2018
    By Nicolas J.S. Davies

    How many people have been killed in America’s post-9/11 wars? I have been researching and writing about that question since soon after the U.S. launched these wars, which it has tried to justify as a response to terrorist crimes that killed 2,996 people in the U.S. on September 11th 2001.

    But no crime, however horrific, can justify wars on countries and people who were not responsible for the crime committed, as former Nuremberg prosecutor Ben Ferencz patiently explained to NPR at the time.

    “The Iraq Death Toll 15 Years After the U.S. Invasion” which I co-wrote with Medea Benjamin, estimates the death toll in Iraq as accurately and as honestly as we can in March 2018. Our estimate is that about 2.4 million people have probably been killed in Iraq as a result of the historic act of aggression committed by the U.S. and U.K. in 2003. In this report, I will explain in greater detail how we arrived at that estimate and provide some historical context. In Part 2 of this report, I will make a similar up-to-date estimate of how many people have been killed in America’s other post-9/11 wars.

    Mortality Studies vs Passive Reporting

    I explored these same questions in Chapter 7 of my book, Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq, and in previous articles, from “Burying the Lancet Report… and the Children” in 2005 to “Playing Games With War Deaths” in 2016.

    In each of those accounts, I explained that estimates of war deaths regularly published by UN agencies, monitoring groups and the media are nearly all based on fragmentary “passive reporting,” not on comprehensive mortality studies.

    Of the countries where the U.S. and its allies have been waging war since 2001, Iraq is the only country where epidemiologists have conducted mortality studies based on the best practices that they have developed and used in other war zones (like Angola, Bosnia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda). In all these countries, as in Iraq, the results of comprehensive epidemiological studies revealed between 5 and 20 times more deaths than previously published figures based on passive reporting.

    Body Count: Casualty Figures After 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror’ , a report published by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) in 2015 found that the 2006 Lancet study was the most comprehensive and reliable mortality study conducted in Iraq, based on its study design, the experience and independence of the research team, the short time elapsed since the deaths it documented and its consistency with other measures of violence in occupied Iraq. That study estimated that about 601,000 Iraqis were killed in the first 39 months of war and occupation in Iraq, while the war had also caused about 54,000 non-violent deaths.

    In the other countries affected by America’s post-9/11 wars, the only reports of how many people have been killed are either compiled by the UN based on investigations of incidents reported to local UN Assistance Missions (as in Iraq and Afghanistan), or by the UN or independent monitoring groups like the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Iraq Body Count (IBC) and Airwars based on passive reports from government agencies, health facilities or local or foreign media.

    These passive reports are regularly cited by UN and government agencies, media and even by activists as “estimates” of how many people have been killed, but that is not what they are. By definition, no compilation of fragmentary reports can possibly be a realistic estimate of all the people killed in a country ravaged by war.

    Read more by Nicolas J.S. Davies

    15 Years On, the Staggering Death Toll in Iraq Keeps Climbing
    The Illusion of War Without Casualties
    Sowing Global Chaos as a National Defense Strategy
    Democrat, & Ex-Dove Alcee Hastings Is Proposing War On Iran
    At best, passive reports can reveal a minimum number of war deaths. But that is often such a small fraction of actual deaths that it is highly misleading to cite it as an “estimate” of the total number of people killed. This is why epidemiologists have instead developed scientific sampling methods that they can use to produce accurate estimates of war deaths through statistically valid mortality studies.

    The huge disparities epidemiologists have found between the results of mortality studies and passive reporting (between 5:1 and 20:1) have been consistent across many different war zones all over the world. In countries where Western governments are not responsible for the state of war, there has been no political controversy over these results, and they are regularly cited by Western officials and media.

    But Western politicians and media have dismissed and marginalized the results of mortality studies in Iraq for political reasons. The U.S. and U.K.’s responsibility for the state of war in Iraq means that the scale of the slaughter is a serious matter of political and criminal responsibility for senior officials who chose to ignore legal advice that the invading Iraq would be “a crime of aggression”.

    In 2006, British officials were advised by Sir Roy Anderson, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense, that “The (Lancet) study design is robust and employs methods that are regarded as close to ‘best practice’ in this area…”

    The BBC obtained copies of emails in which British officials admitted that the study was “likely to be right,” and “the survey methodology used here cannot be rubbished, it is a tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones.” But the same officials immediately launched a campaign to discredit the study. President George W. Bush publicly declared, “I don’t consider it a credible report,” and the subservient U.S. corporate media quickly dismissed it.

    In “Playing Games With War Deaths” in 2016, I concluded, “As with climate change and other issues, UN officials and journalists must overcome political pressures, come to grips with the basic science involved, and stop sweeping the vast majority of the victims of our wars down this Orwellian “memory hole.”

    Some have argued that it is not important to know whether our wars have killed tens of thousands of people or millions, since all deaths in war are a tragic loss of life and we should just mourn them, instead of quibbling over numbers. But as the authors of Body Count noted,

    “The numbers relayed by the media should in themselves be terrifying enough… But apparently they are still perceived as tolerable and, moreover, easy to explain given the picture of excessive religiously motivated violence. The figure of 655,000 deaths in the first three war years alone, however, clearly points to a crime against humanity approaching genocide.”

    I agree with the authors of Body Count that it makes a difference whether our wars kill millions of people or only ten thousand, as most people in the U.K. and the U.S. seem to believe according to opinion polls.

    Most Americans would say that it matters whether Germany’s role in the Second World War led to millions of violent deaths or only ten thousand. Suggesting the latter is actually a crime in Germany and several other countries.

    So American politicians, journalists and members of the public who say it doesn’t matter how many Iraqis have been killed are consciously or unconsciously applying a morally untenable double standard to the consequences of our country’s wars precisely because they are our country’s wars.

    A War That Keeps Killing

    While the 2006 Lancet study of post-invasion mortality in Iraq is recognized by independent experts like the authors of PSR’s Body Count report as the most accurate and reliable estimate of war deaths in any of our post-9/11 wars, it was conducted nearly 12 years ago, after only 39 months of war and occupation in Iraq. Tragically, that was nowhere near the end of the deadly and catastrophic results of the U.S. and U.K.’’s historic act of aggression.

    The 2006 Lancet study documented ever-increasing violence in occupied Iraq between 2003 and 2006, and many other metrics indicate that the escalation of violence in Iraq continued at least until the end of the U.S. “surge” in 2007. The tide of mutilated bodies of death squad victims overwhelming morgues in Baghdad did not peak until late 2006 with 1,800 bodies in July and 1,600 in October. Then there was a five-fold increase in the U.S. aerial bombardment of Iraq in 2007, and January 2008 was the heaviest month of U.S. bombing since the invasion in 2003.

    This pattern gives credibility to a survey conducted by a respected British polling firm, Opinion Research Business (ORB), in June 2007, one year after the Lancet study, which estimated that 1,033,000 Iraqis had been killed by that time.

    The Lancet study estimated that 328,000, or more than half of the violent deaths it counted, had occurred between May 2005 and May/June 2006. So, if the ORB’s estimate was accurate, it would mean that about another 430,000 Iraqis were killed in the year after the 2006 Lancet study was conducted.

    While the figure of a million people killed was shocking, the continuing increase in deaths revealed by the ORB survey was consistent with other measures of the violence of the occupation, which continued to increase in late 2006 and 2007.

    Violence in Iraq decreased in 2008 and for several years after that. But the Special Police death squads recruited, trained and unleashed in Iraq by the Iraqi Interior Ministry, U.S. occupation forces and the CIA between 2004 and 2006 (rebranded as National Police after the exposure of their Al-Jadiriyah torture center in 2005, then as Federal Police in 2009) continued their reign of terror against Sunni Arabs in the North and West of the country. This generated a resurgence of armed resistance and led to large swathes of Iraq accepting the rule of Islamic State in 2014 as an alternative to the relentless abuses of the corrupt, sectarian Iraqi government and its murderous death squads.

    U.K.-based Iraq Body Count (IBC) has compiled passive reports of civilian deaths in Iraq since the invasion, but it had only counted 43,394 deaths by June 2006 when the Lancet study found an estimated 601,000 violent deaths, a ratio of almost 14:1. Just Foreign Policy (JFP) in the U.S. created an “Iraqi Death Estimator” that updated the Lancet study’s estimate by tracking deaths passively reported by Iraq Body Count and multiplying them by the ratio between the mortality study and IBC’s passive reporting in 2006.

    Since IBC is based mainly on reports in English-language media, it may have undercounted deaths even more after 2007 as the the Western media’s interest in Iraq declined. On the other hand, as it became safer for government officials and journalists to travel around Iraq, its reporting may have improved. Or perhaps these and other factors balanced each other out, making JFP’s Iraqi Death Estimator quite accurate. It may have become less accurate over time, and it was discontinued in September 2011. By that point, its estimate of Iraqi deaths stood at 1.46 million.

    Another mortality study was published in the PLOS medical journal in 2013, covering the period up to 2011. Its lead author told National Geographic its estimate of about 500,000 dead in Iraq was “likely a low estimate.” The study had a wider margin of error than the 2006 Lancet study, and the survey teams decided it was too dangerous to work in two of the 100 clusters that that were randomly chosen to survey.

    The most serious problem with the PLOS study seems to be that so many houses were destroyed or abandoned and so many families wiped out or just disappeared, that nobody was left to report deaths in those families to the survey teams. At the extreme, houses or entire blocks where everyone had been killed or had fled were recorded as suffering no deaths at all.

    After the extreme violence of 2006 and 2007 and several more years of lower level conflict, the effect of destruction and displacement on the PLOS study must have been much greater than in 2006. One in six households in Iraq was forced to move at least once between 2005 and 2010. The UNHCR registered 3 million refugees within or outside the country, but acknowledged that many more were unregistered. The authors added 55,000 deaths to their total to allow for 15% of 2 million refugee households losing one family member each, but they acknowledged that this was very conservative.

    The authors of Body Count calculated that, if only 1% of houses surveyed were empty or destroyed and each of these households had lost two family members, this would have increased the PLOS study’s overall mortality estimate by more than 50%. Ignoring the two clusters that in effect represented the most devastated parts of Iraq must have had a similar effect. The cluster sample survey method relies on the effect of surveying a cross-section of different areas, from the worst affected to many that are relatively unscathed and report few or no deaths. Most violent deaths are often concentrated in a small number of clusters, making clusters like the two that were skipped disproportionately important to the accuracy of the final estimate.

    Since 2011, a whole new phase of the war has taken place. There was an Arab Spring in Iraq in 2011, but it was ruthlessly suppressed, driving Fallujah and other cities once more into open rebellion. Several major cities fell to Islamic State in 2014, were besieged by Iraqi government forces and then largely destroyed by U.S.-led aerial bombardment and U.S., Iraqi and allied rocket and artillery fire. Iraq Body Count and the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq have collected passive reports of tens of thousands of civilians killed in this phase of the war.

    Former Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari told Patrick Cockburn of the U.K.’s Independent newspaper that Iraqi Kurdish intelligence reports estimated that at least 40,000 civilians were killed in the bombardment of Mosul alone. Zebari said that there were probably many more bodies buried in the rubble, implying that the reports he saw were of actual bodies found and buried up to that point.

    A recent project to remove rubble and recover bodies in just one neighborhood of Mosul yielded another 3,353 bodies, of whom 20% appeared to be IS fighters and 80% were civilians. Another 11,000 people are still reported as missing by their families in Mosul.

    IBC has now updated its death count for the period up to June 2006 to 52,209, reducing its ratio to violent deaths in the 2006 Lancet study to 11.5:1. If we apply the method of JFP’s Iraqi Death Estimator from July 2007 to the present using that updated ratio, and add it to ORB’s estimate of 1.03 million killed by June 2007, we can arrive at a current estimate of the total number of Iraqis killed since 2003. This cannot possibly be as accurate as a comprehensive new mortality study.But, in my judgment, this is the most accurate estimate we can make based on what we do know.

    That gives us an estimate of 2.38 million Iraqis killed since 2003, as a result of the criminal American and British invasion of Iraq.

    Minimum and Maximum Range

    With significant uncertainty underlying this estimate, it is also important to calculate a minimum and a maximum number based on possible variations in the numbers involved.

    To arrive at a minimum and maximum number of people that may have been killed in Iraq, we can start with the minimum and maximum numbers of violent deaths that were each established with 97.5% probability by the 2006 Lancet study, which were 426,000 and 794,000. ORB in 2007 gave a narrower range for its minimum and maximum based on its larger sample size, but ORB was not considered as rigorous as the Lancet study in other ways. If we apply the same margins as in the Lancet study to the ORB study‘s main estimate, that gives us a minimum of 730,000 and a maximum of 1.36 million people killed by June 2007.

    To update those minimum and maximum figures to the present time using a variation of Just Foreign Policy’s method, we must also allow for changes in the ratio between IBC’s tally of deaths and the actual number of people killed. The ratios of the Lancet study’s minimum and maximum figures to IBC’s revised count for June 2006 are about 8:1 and 15:1 respectively.

    These ratios are well within the ratios between comprehensive mortality studies and passive reporting found in other war zones around the world, which have varied from 5:1 to 20:1, as I noted earlier. But maybe IBC has counted more or less of the actual deaths since 2006 than it did before. It must surely have tried to keep improving the scope of its data collection. On the other hand, in the most recent phase of the war, many people were killed by U.S.-led bombing and shelling in areas ruled by Islamic State, where people were punished or even executed for trying to communicate with the outside world. So IBC’s data for this period may be more fragmentary than ever.

    To arrive at a realistic minimum and maximum, we must allow for both these possibilities. IBC’s 8:1 ratio to the Lancet study’s minimum number killed by 2006 may have fallen closer to the historic minimum ratio of 5:1, or its 15:1 ratio to the Lancet study’s maximum number in 2006 may have risen closer to the historic maximum of 20:1. Using a ratio of 6.5:1 to arrive at the minimum number of deaths and 17.5:1 for the maximum allows for a lower minimum and a higher maximum than in 2006, without equaling the most extreme ratios ever seen in other conflicts. That gives us a minimum of 760,000 Iraqis killed since July 2007, and a maximum of 2.04 million.

    Adding these figures to the minimums and maximums we calculated for the period up to June 2007 gives us total minimum and maximum figures for the entire period since the U.S.-U.K. invasion of Iraq in 2003. We can estimate that the number of Iraqis killed as a consequence of the illegal invasion of their country must be somewhere between 1.5 million and 3.4 million. As is generally the case with such statistical ranges, the actual number of people killed is likely to be closer to our main estimate of 2.38 million than to either the minimum or maximum end of this range.

    Call for a New Mortality Study in Iraq

    It is very important that the public health community provide the world with accurate and up-to-date mortality surveys of Iraq and other post-9/11 war zones.

    A new mortality study for Iraq must find a way to survey even the most dangerous areas, and it must finally develop realistic procedures to estimate deaths in cases where entire families have been killed, or where houses or apartments have been destroyed or abandoned. This factor has been identified as a potential flaw in every mortality study in Iraq since 2004, and it is one that only becomes more significant as time passes. This cannot be ignored, and neither should compensating for it be left to guesswork.

    Survey teams could compile records of empty and destroyed homes within the clusters they are surveying, and they could ask neighbors about empty or destroyed houses where large numbers of people or entire families may have been killed. They could also survey refugees and internally displaced people to estimate deaths among these populations.

    Epidemiologists have overcome very serious dangers and difficulties to develop techniques to accurately measure the human cost of war. Their work must continue, and it must keep developing and improving. They must overcome powerful political pressures, including from the guilty parties responsible for the carnage in the first place, to politicize and discredit their incredibly difficult but noble and vital work.

    On the 15th anniversary of the illegal invasion of Iraq, the Center for Constitutional Rights in the U.S. renewed its call for the U.S. to pay war reparations to the people of Iraq. This is one way countries that are guilty of aggression and other war crimes have traditionally fulfilled their collective responsibility for the death and destruction they have caused.

    In Blood On Our Hands, I concluded my account of the U.S. war in Iraq with a similar call for war reparations, and for war crimes prosecutions of the senior U.S. and U.K. civilian and military officials responsible for the “supreme international crime” of aggression and other systematic war crimes in Iraq.

    Coming to terms with the true scale of the crimes committed remains an urgent moral, political and legal imperative for the people of Iraq, the United States, the United Kingdom, and for the whole world. The world will never hold major American and British war criminals accountable for their crimes as long as the public does not understand the full scale and horror of what they have done. And the world will not know peace as long as the most powerful aggressors can count on impunity for “the supreme international crime.”

    Nicolas J.S. Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. He also wrote the chapters on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.

    [ I removed the photos and captions to Mr. Davies’ article. ]

    Mr. Davies’ study or review of different mortality studies, certainly is not the only such study or review, of the deaths of the War of Aggression against the sovereign nation of Iraq by the U.S. and its so-called Allies, but if anyone knows of a more thorough one or more accurate one, please advise.

    dennis hanna

    1. Dennis Hanna fancies his utterances are pearls of great price, so people will take time out in a comment forum to read 3,700 words of his.

      1. This from the limpist of all limp diqqss who spends his few remaining viable years as a “Traditional Katholic” trolling Facebook and internet forums spewing his wizzzdom

        Sophia ure not dumbazz

  3. One of the first things the new president, whoever he or she is, should do is to reintroduce the draft. Let everyone have a stake in any future wars, including the people who so readily send other people’s children to their deaths.

  4. Happy Monday Chicago, 6 dead, 28 others were wounded over the weekend. Where’s the outrage. Where are the democrat presidential contenders when it comes to the inner city. This is a weekly crisis they could take advantage of.

  5. And now Bush democrats and their republican cabal are pushing to stay in Afghanistan forever and want WW3 with Russia based on lies and propaganda propaganda and zero evidence.

  6. The roundworm C. elegans has 302 nerve cells. One wonders if all commenters here are equally well endowed.

  7. OT: Biden should just step out of the 2020 race.

    The evidence is not in his favor.

    One video of him petting hair, kissing foreheads, rubbing shoulders, and it’s over.

    Sure, if it was your own grandchild, related to you in some way, that’s fine….

    ….but these are other ppls children, and all those cringe-worthy uncomfortable smiles.

    Even Hillary was uncomfortable with his touching.

    It’s just a no. It’s awkward. And it’s not 2008 anymore, he’s screwed.

    Sorry Biden, you won’t be Pres in 2020, let someone else handle it.

      1. Prairie Rose – poor Nero, who wasn’t even in town when Rome started to burn, rushed back to the city and helped lead firefighting forces to save the city. What does he get for his effort “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” The fiddle hadn’t even been invented yet.

        1. I guess lyre’d just doesn’t roll off the tongue. I thought he was at a party, though, out in the country.

          The poor schlubs who didn’t get to go to fancy parties decided his firefighting heroics were too little, too late it seems.

      2. “What should people be doing instead?”

        Great question Prairie Rose. The critics critique but they have no answers.

    1. Benson steps forward, ready to command!

      Would be great leader, what shall we do?

      we of the little brain cells.

  8. OH! I think I have it figured out! The liars, and Liberals, and Trump-Haters, aren’t just stupid liars and frauds! Oh no. They just do not do well with words and reasoning. Sooo, here is a link which shows in PICTURES, the potential path of Dorian, from way down there in the ocean until now. If you can follow green blobbly lines, then you can see that Trump was right. Also, for the dumber and stupider among us, “Alabama” is the state next to Georgia,on the left of it. It is marked with an “AL” – so here- Follow the bouncing blob!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    Hat tip to Oldsmithey!

  9. The thing might speak for itself but we do not want to see Biden or Trump’s thing. Ike warned the world when he left office to be aware of the military industrial state.
    The only thing worse is the medical monopoly capitalism which exists.

  10. JT’s recollection of events surrounding the 2002 vote on the Iraq War resolution are not correct. 21 of 50 Senate Democrats and 126 of 207 House democrats voted against the resolution and Sen Graham of Florida, who was the Head of the Senate Intell. Comm led a fight against it’s passage. There certainly were Democrats who wanted to hear about opposition and they were part of it.

    I share his concern with rewriting that history and the GOP – which was virtually unanimous for it – and the minority of Democrats ( a majority in the Senate) owe an apology at the least. Most of the national Democrats, including Kerry and Hillary have crossed that bridge. Biden has not properly faced that responsibility. Of course the vote was set up by Bush to make it politically palatable as an authorization which required verification by his administration and therefore a built in out for responsibility. Adults know it was a vote for the war based on everything he had been saying and doing to that point.

    Long story short, if Biden owes the country an apology, so does the GOP and many of their members in the Congress.

    They both due and in that sense this is not a partisan issue.

    1. PS Biden’s lying involves a much more serious issue, but it demonstrates a more typically human reason – to avoid blame for a serious matter and at least a recognition of reality. Trump’s lying – which is none stop – demonstrates a mental illness going toward meglomania – he can never allow himself to be thought wrong on anything – and delusional narcissism – he defines reality as that which feeds his ego, nothing more or less, and will cling to that in the face of all evidence.

      PS His cult followers will also accept whatever fantasy he spins – wait for it.

      1. Thanks for agreeing with the facts and me. 126 of 207 House Democrats voted against it.

        48 out of 49 Republican Senators voted for it and 215 out of 221 Republicans in the House voted for it. Extrapolating. If they had the majority, Democrats in the House would have killed the resolution.

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