Factcheck: "Good" Things Clinton Did vs. "Bad" Things Bush Did

There is an email going around that compares the "good" reactions liberals had to things Clinton did, with the "bad" reactions liberals had to the things Bush did. It aims to equate the things Clinton and Bush did, and show that Bush's decisions were as "good" as Clinton's, or at least no "worse."

I fact-checked some of the numerical claims.

Cheers, Edward T. Babinski

Clinton spends 77 billion on war in Serbia - good..

ED: The cost of the war in the Balkans during the Clinton administration appears to have been far less than "77 billion." Clinton at first asked Congress for "6 billion" to wage the war from April to Dec 1999. Even a conservative commentator admits that the cost of the war in the Balkans under Clinton amounted to $15 billion, not "77 billion": "What about Clinton-led incursions in Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina? Intervention in the Balkans during the '90s cost the United States about $15 billion."

For additional views of the costs see Congressman Duncan's Remarks From The Congressional Record AIR WAR AGAINST SERBIA March 27, 2000

Source: www.house.gov/duncan/floor106/fs_000327_airwar.html

And it was not a unilateral war like Bush's invasion of Iraq. It was a coalition fought war, and the NATO coalition also supported rebuilding costs.

Furthermore, U.S. casualties were either extremely low, or nonexistant, if I recall correctly.

Bush spends 87 billion in Iraq - bad...

ED: Bush spent far more than "87 billion" (in fact, the Bush administration even misappropriated billions of dollars that it had originally asked Congress to spend on the war in Afghanistan, diverting that money instead to its war chest against Iraq). Here are some indications of the cost of war in Iraq, which continue to climb:

So far, the bill for the war in Iraq is under $120 billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget. But there's little question that the Iraq war and its bloody aftermath will cost $200 billion, eventually.

At present, over $150 billion, but will be higher as the Bush Administration requests further spending later this year.

Source: www.nationalpriorities.org/Issues/Military/Iraq/CostOfWar.html

$142 billion and rising

Also, the true extent of US casualties in Iraq are still unknown. This has fuelled suspicion that the administration may be hiding the true human cost of the war and its aftermath.

Posted 9/7/2003 -- Monthly costs of Iraq, Afghan wars approach that of Vietnam -- By Dave Moniz, USA TODAY -- WASHINGTON -- The monthly bill for the U.S. military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan now rivals Pentagon spending during the Vietnam War, Defense Department figures show. The Pentagon is spending nearly $5 billion per month in Iraq and Afghanistan, a pace that would bring yearly costs to almost $60 billion. Those expenses do not include money being spent on rebuilding Iraq's electric grid, water supply and other infrastructure, costs which had no parallel in Vietnam. During the first war against Iraq under president Bush Sr., the United States was reimbursed for much of the cost of Operation Desert Storm by Saudi Arabia, from which the operation was launched, and Kuwait, which had been invaded by Saddam's troops.

Clinton imposes regime change in Serbia - good...

ED: Clinton's "imposition" was not a unilateral action, but a NATO decision, it was backed and supported by a coalition of European powers.

Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...

ED: Bush told Sadam, we know you are hiding "WMDs," so you must leave Iraq. When Sadam responded, "But I don't have any WMDs," Bush imposed regime change, and then looked for the hidden WMDs, which haven't been found, and were in fact destroyed in the 1990s according to the latest weapons inspector's extensive report.

Clinton bombs Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim Albanian terrorists - good...

ED: The "Christian Serbs," you mean the ones with their tanks and machine guns, invading Bosnia and killing Muslim men women and children en masse and driving most of Bosnia into refugee camps in nearby countries?

Bush liberates 25 million from a genocidal dictator - bad...

ED: Unfortunately, even with Saddam gone, things are not better. They may get better of course if we continue to pour billions into the country. But that's true of any country on earth if we deposed its regime and spent $200 billion or more on it. Right now the minority Christians in Iraq are fleeing their brutalized homes, shops and towns, since Saddam is no longer able to keep the Muslim majority from expressing itself. The different religions and ethnics groups don't like each other. The Kurds want to form their own country. The Muslim Shiities think their Muslim Sunnis cousins are going to hell. Right now the factions are united only by their mutual hatred of the Americans in their country.

Clinton bombs Chinese embassy - good...

ED: Nobody ever said that was "good."

Bush bombs terrorist camps - bad...

ED: If the bombs ONLY hit "terrorist camps," good, but what about collateral damage? You can look up the figures of Afghani and Iraqi CIVILIAN casualties of those wars on the internet, a figure far more numerous than the number of Chinese killed in Clinton's embassy bombing mistake, and which he admitted was a horrendous error.

No mass graves found in Serbia - good...

ED: Of course there were no mass graves found in Serbia. "Christian" Serbs invaded Bosnia, massacred Muslims there, and left them lying in mass graves in BOSNIA. Just google, "mass graves" BOSNIA and read about them. Just a few entries at random on a google "news" search:

Bosnian Serb commission publishes final report on Srebrenica ... San Diego Union Tribune, CA - Oct 14, 2004 ... UN and Muslim experts have found the remains of about 5,000 victims from mass graves in eastern Bosnia and discover new remains every month.

Bosnian Serbs admit scale of Srebrenica massacre for first time Channel News Asia, Singapore - Oct 14, 2004 BANJA LUKA, Bosnia-Hercegovina : Bosnian Serb authorities admitted for the first time that Serb forces slaughtered more than 7,000 Muslims in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, Europe's worst atrocity since World War II. "I am confirming that the number (of victims) is higher than 7,000. I cannot reveal the exact figures. It is up to the government to do it," an official from a special investigative commission told AFP Thursday on condition of anonymity. In June the Bosnian Serb government admitted for the first time that Serb forces had committed the massacre and tried to cover up the crime, but it avoided giving a definite figure on the number of victims. The commission included the figure of more than 7,000 victims -- a number which conforms to most independent assessments -- in a report it presented to the Bosnian Serb government on Thursday. "I think that the commission made the most objective and the most correct list of those killed in Srebrenica," commission member Djordje Stojakovic told AFP, without revealing the figures. "We had more than 30 sources of information but the list is not final. I'm not sure that there will be a final list ever."

More Muslim Bodies in Bosnia Mass Graves Islam Online, UK - 12 hours ago ... Children as young as 15 were among the dead, he added. Some 372 bodies from of Muslim victims had been found in mid September in two mass graves in Bosnia . ...

Note, I am not denying that Muslims have also pulled the old switchero and killed Christians en masse in the past. In fact, not many years before Hitler began employing his "final solution" toward the Jews, the Turks had killed Christians in their country en masse, yet neither America nor other countries of the world made it a point to discipline or provoke Turkey with harsh words, since Turkey proved to be an ally against Hitler. (At least I hope I got that story straight, I'm working from memory on that one.)

No WMD found Iraq - bad...

ED: Yes, extremely bad, since the case for going to war was built around Saddam having WMDs in his palaces, on trucks, everywhere in fact.

Our president looked us in the eye and said that bin Laden was wanted dead or alive and he was going to "smoke em out." Six months later, when he wanted to finally attack Iraq , a plan he had on day one of his administration, bin Laden was an afterthought. The facts surrounding allowing bin Laden to escape at Tora Bora are just that, facts. Instead our president decided to invade Iraq . He again came to us and looked us in the eye and swore that Iraq was an imminent danger to us all. We were regaled with tales of 3,000 liters of anthrax, 50,000 munitions with mustard gas, and mobile Iraqi weapons labs. The politics of fear were taking root. Deciding to push the envelope, Bush and his cohorts decided to invoke images of mushroom clouds to try to scare us into support. We began to hear about how Saddam was working with al Qaeda and it was certainly implied, many times over, that Saddam had some hand in 9-11. These tales all became fairy tales this year however. The republican led 9-11 commission, despite being stacked and compromised, still had to conclude that there was never a working relationship between Iraq (Saddam) and al Qaeda (bin Laden). This fact was, of course, relatively well known in the intelligence community and most of the world. Bin Laden, a strict fundamentalist, despised the secular Iraq that Saddam led. In fact, it is certainly obvious that by invading Iraq and deposing Saddam, Bush actually did bin Laden and al Qaeda a huge favor.

Bush continues to point to the intelligence that both he and Kerry looked at to decide to go to war but he omits two important points. One, is that John Kerry granted the president the war powers only if he tried to bring in the world to the cause and if the danger was imminent. This is a crucial point and I urge all to read the speech that Kerry gave on the floor of the Senate when he granted this. The link to the transcript.

The second point is that what Kerry and the Senate were not told is that the intelligence they were looking at was "cooked" by the Office of Special Plans, led by top war-hawk, neocon, Douglas Feith. Realizing that Bush needed a justification for the war he wanted, Bush placed this secret cell within the Pentagon with the express purpose of developing the "intelligence" Bush needed to convince us all that Iraq was a necessary war. This of course is backwards logic as usually you find intelligence and then analyze it, as opposed to deciding what outcome you want and then creating intelligence to support it.

The second important factor that has emerged is the Deufler Report exposed the fact that the entire reason to go to war was wrong. This report confirmed that not only did Iraq not have WMD; they had not had them in over ten years. TEN YEARS. There never were any weapons, no nuclear ambitions, and no imminent threat.

It seems to me that the more frightening the state of the planet (economically, environmentally, politically) becomes; and the more that people recognize how tiny and fraglie our teensy planet is, a mere lifeboat hanging in space), that the greater the appeal of fundamentalisms of all sorts. I see the fundamentalist phenomenon as growing, not declining. I just heard on the radio a preacher reminding his listeners that there's no need to worry once you've got Jesus, or Allah, the world is fine.

But all of that is moot when you consider that our species may have already reached Hubbert's peak, the point at which rising oil consumption in the world and diminishing returns from wells is reached, after which the price of oil will continue to do nothing but rise, and an enduring world-wide recession will begin.

Hoyle once mentioned that if the oil goes, and we have not developed alternative sources of energy, then we'll probably slip backward to the middle ages kinds of lifestyle. Oil is also important for running generators, cars, factories, all different types of machinery, including oil rigs, plastics, synthetic clothing, fertilizer, insecticides, etc. See the above website.

Glenn Morton also has an oil crisis website, he's another professional oil geologist.

If I had to spend $200 billion it would not be in invading Iraq or even Afghanistan. I'd spend it on homeland security and on building windmills in the plains states, to generate electricity for the whole country. Wasting the money on Iraq is the greatest farce I've ever heard of. If Sadam really tried building a nuclear power plant, we could have bombed it out like the Israelis did before the first Gulf war. If Osama was wandering around Afghanistan, we could find him via satellites and robot planes, and bomb the heck out of his location, whichever hole he ran to. We should have been thinking about securing America's energy future, the future of civilization itself, not spending so much money on changing regimes and rebuilding entire countries, and pouring increasing funds into companies that simply build things that go boom, and backrupting our own government for the sake of full scale wars and rebuilding. Spending the money on alternative energy technologies, which will INEVITABLY be necessary in the near future, is far more important, and new energy technologies will help produce more jobs and bless the world far more in the long run than dropping a few bombs is going to bless the world.

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