Wed Open Thread

CIA Analyst Who Interrogated Saddam Hussein Just Blew the Lid Off the US ‘Official Story’:

Writing on his book, Debriefing The President: The Interrogation Of Saddam Hussein, for the Daily Mail, Nixon offered acrid criticism regarding Bush’s leadership, saying the former president heard “only what he wanted to hear” — including that Iraq had somehow been responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001.

“Look at who was involved,” Nixon recalled the Iraqi leader telling the interrogators. “What countries did they come from? Saudi Arabia. And this [ringleader] Muhammad Atta, was he an Iraqi? No. He was Egyptian. Why do you think I was involved in the attacks?”

In fact, Nixon noted, “Saddam had actually believed 9/11 would bring Iraq and America closer because Washington would need his secular government to help fight fundamentalism. How woefully wrong he had been.”

I don’t know this website, so I can’t vouch for its veracity, and these days, everything seems a little questionable (wow that is an awfully artistically staged photo of that Russian ambassador’s assassination.)

I think we define “violent” differently.

Of course, we know that Iraq had no WMDs to speak of and we know the country descended into chaos and anarchy and ISIS crap. We know that thousands of people died so Americans could vent their hate at *someone* who looked vaguely like their enemies.

I woke up at 9 am on 9-11 to my alarm clock radio telling me that the Twin Towers had just been hit, and honestly, my first thought was, “some poor unrelated country is going to get bombed.” I figured Iraq was highly likely.

The attack on Afghanistan I can understand, but Iraq was unjustified and I was against the war even then, including participation in anti-war protests. I did not want to see Americans or Iraqis dying.

I have no respect for the fuckers who led us into that war, and no respect for the fuckers trying to start shit with Russia now.

The grand lie of weapons of mass destruction — and Judith Miller’s utterly false reports in the New York Times suggesting stockpiles of chemical weapons — are arguably the most deadly ‘fake news’ gaffe in U.S. media history. …

Nixon emphasized it wasn’t as if Saddam Hussein were a saint, but the profound mischaracterization of the Iraqi leader had appalling consequences.

“I do not wish to imply that Saddam was innocent,” Nixon writes. “He was a ruthless dictator who plunged his region into chaos and bloodshed. But in hindsight, the thought of having an ageing and disengaged Saddam in power seems almost comforting in comparison with the wasted effort of our brave men and women in uniform and the rise of Islamic State, not to mention the £2.5 trillion spent to build a new Iraq.”

So, what do you guys think of the assassination of the Russian diplomat in Turkey? What’s going to happen? Will there be open hostilities against Turkey? Will Russia and the US team up?

spread of spoke-wheeled chariots
spread of spoke-wheeled chariots, in years ago

I also enjoyed Physical Anthropology in 1950.

Now, you guys have left so many excellent comments, it’s getting tough to look back through them all, much less pick the best. Iffen and Unknown128 have been having an interesting discussion of Russian history over on the Classics post; With The Thoughts You’d Be Thinkin left a link to a very interesting documentary/footage of first contact between whites and people living in the interior of Papua New Guinea:

Figured this might interest you, a documentary about Michael “Mick” Leahy and his brothers, gold prospectors and explorers who made first contact with the Highland tribes of Papua New Guinea in the 1930. The full documentary includes footage of the first encounters and interviews with the tribesmen and the surviving Leahy brothers decades later.



So, do you guys think I should read Audre Lorde for next Cathedral Round-Up, to see if she is a fitting replacement for Shakespeare?

21 thoughts on “Wed Open Thread

  1. I was completely convinced that going into Iraq was the right call at the time. My trainer had worked the Iraqi mission in the lead up to the war, and he had been completely convinced that they had WMD. We were young, though; experienced Intel hands should have known better. In retrospect, people are people, and observing the early to mid 00s taught me a lot.

    What’s amazing to me, even with all I know now, is that we have never raised a finger against the Saudis, and seem to consistently support them against their rivals. Salafi interpretations of the Koran are inevitable to some extent, but they should clearly be stamped out whenever possible. We’ve let the Saudis export and support this crap for decades, with predictable results.

    The Russians and the Turks (Ottomans) were best friends forever and ever, right? I’m sure this little event won’t amount to much (also, Turkish TFR).


  2. Here’s the deal on Iraq

    Every reason ever stated about why we invaded Iraq the 2nd time is utter bullshit

    We invaded Iraq to create a kill box. It was a way to sucker hard core hajjis into an area so we could kill them vs them pulling off operations in the USA. Iraq worked for several reasons. The UN stuff, the WMD stuff(& Sadam liked to hint that he had them), logistically easier to support, easier for hajjis to get to Iraq etc

    And it worked. Extremely well. We drew so many fuckers in they were begging for hajjis to jihad in other locals and we killed a shit ton of them

    That part worked. The nation building shit failed, as it pretty much always does. Should have let the people split up the bation, or installed our own puppet to run things.

    Don’t forget Sadam Hussain tried to kill Bush’s old man. That shit always comes back to get you

    Also, we found something like 500 WMD ‘s. Expired shelf life but we did find them. Hell found 3 set up as an IED.

    I don’t think much will be done about the Russians getting whacked. 1st, Trump is an unknown so that gives Putin a shit ton of extra question marks to ponder. #2, Putin doesn’t seem to be the sort who over reacts and Russia seems to be stretched pretty thin right now. Soooooo covert ops and targeted bombing. I doubt it will be anything major. Putin was KGB so I think he’d favor something small and covert by training.


  3. Since its an open thread I would like to ask another question about NRX:

    Why is James Donald such an authority in this circles?

    Compared to other Reactionaries he seems to be much more willing to operate without any facts, just invent things that suit his theory (instead of building up theory based on facts) and make wide and sometimes bizarre conclusions. Contrary to Moldbug who tended to take a thought and bring it into strange (but often interesting) places Jims ideas are usualy simple and primitive.

    I have no problem with his tone but so far I have seen far to little substance in his writing to merit his high status in NRX


    • Probably a combination of having been around for a while and having connected with/talked to other neoreactionaries over the years. NRx is a pretty small world. Plus there aren’t a lot of people writing real political theory these days (Moldbug is gone and Land is cryptic.)

      I haven’t read much Jim, so I can’t really comment on him overall. Sometimes he seems right and sometimes he seems wrong. Personally, I don’t find him a pleasant writer to be around, but that’s just me.


  4. Came across this paper the other day. My mind is blown.

    Click to access whrlassekgaulin2008.pdf

    Basically, women story body fat in their lower extremities, it’s rich with omega 3s which only come from diet since it’s not synthesized by the body.

    Men are attracted to women who have a low WHR. Omega 3s are critical for proper brain development in new borns.

    This paper is changing how I think about human intelligence. Women with a lower WHR are more intelligent and have more intelligent kids.

    What are your thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

      One thing I noticed in college (environment selected for high-IQ) there were very few overweight people, even fewer than in highschool. I don’t have any data, but annecdotally, it seems like there’s a negative correlation between high weight and IQ. (The causation is another matter, of course.)


      • “I don’t have any data, but annecdotally, it seems there’s a negative correlation between high weight and IQ.”

        Ask and you shall receive.

        Kanazawa (2014), reviewed the data on the research between obesity and IQ. What he found was that those studies that concluded that obesity causes lowered intelligence only observed cross-sectional studies. Longitudinal studies that looked into the link between obesity and intelligence found that those who had low IQs since childhood then became obese later in life and that obesity does not lead to low IQ. The average IQ for an individual suffering from PWS is 65 (Butler, Lee and Whitman 2006, p. 13), so that is one reason they have a tendency to be obese. He states that those with IQs below 74 gained 5.19 BMI points, whereas those with IQs over above 126 gained 3.73 BMI points in 22 years, which is a statistically significant difference. Also noted, was that those at age 7 who had IQs above 125 had a 13.5 percent chance of being obese at age 51, whereas those with IQs below 74 at age 7 had a 31.9 percent chance of being obese.

        Click to access COEDO2014.pdf

        I know of another study on obesity by Kanazawa as well, I believe 2007, but I can’t link a pdf on my phone. I’ll link it later.

        Cross-sectional studies conclude that obesity lowers IQ, whereas longitudinal studies conclude that those who become obese already have a low IQ since childhood.

        There is NO scientific evidence that shows that obesity leads to lowered IQ. There is, however, ample evidence, both in scientific theory as well as ample amounts of evidence that lower IQ people become obese.

        “The causation is another r matter of course.”

        I covered that here. People believe that becoming obese leads to lower IQ, when it is in fact the opposite.

        Careful examination of longitudinal studies in Sweden, New Zealand and America clearly show that the casual direction goes from low IQ to obesity, not obesity to low IQ.

        In a population-representative birth cohort study of 1037 children, it was found that cohort members who became obese had a low IQ, as expected. But, contrary to what your study said, cohort members didn’t exhibit a decline in IQ from becoming obese, they instead had a lower IQ since childhood. There is no evidence of obesity contributing to a decline in IQ, even in obese individuals and those on the verge of metabolic syndrome. Another problem is that they wrongly conclude that obesity leads to lowered intelligence, completely misinterpreting the extremely strong negative correlation between obesity and intelligence.

        Misinformation about obesity is rife. Read Gary Taubes and Jason Fung to learn the truth. I also refuted some garbage on the chicken or the egg problem with obesity and intelligence.

        A follow up to the marshmallow experiment showed the same thing.


  5. I supported Operation Iraqi Freedom because this citizen needs to know whether and how the civilized world would enforce its nonproliferation treaties in the event a rogue state acquired weapons of mass destruction.

    Years after the conflict one can conclude several actionable things. Here are three: that multilateral efforts to limit WMD programs to the five or so signors of the nonproliferation treaty are futile. Also, America’s domestic opposition will labor to scupper these same efforts at home. And also, we learned that our erstwhile allies like France and Italy and Turkey will sabotage our efforts should we choose to go it alone.

    Are the lessons learned worth the price we paid? Yes. But only if save more lives by applying the lessons to our future foreign policies. And if we teach these lessons to our fellow citizens truthfully.

    With the currently corrupt state of our media I’m doubtful well ever get an honest reckoning on OIF. At least with new leadership in D.C. we may see these lessons translated into cogent policy this decade. And then we’ll have to grudgingly thank Bush-Cheney for setting-up the field for Trump’s maneuvers to come.


  6. The caption to the second image reads:
    “spread of spoke-wheeled chariots, in years ago”
    Pretty sure the dates on that map would make much more sense BC.

    Democracy does not seem to take well in the Middle East. All attempts to spread democracy to that region have led to religious fanatics taking over, an army backed strongman dictator is seems to be as good as it gets there.


    • Good catch! Thanks for letting me know.

      I don’t know enough about the Middle East to speak about the whole place, but I definitely think that conquering countries, removing their gov’t, and trying to replace it with a different one tends not to go very well.


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