Bush’s War – 2

The primary reason given by the Bush administration for the attack on Hussein’s Iraq was to search there for weapons of mass destruction. We now know there were no such weapons on any significant scale. I keep arguing on this blog that: 1 There were many other reasons to destroy the Hussein regime and, 2 There were very good reasons for any reasonable person to be misled about the existence of such weapons in Iraq. Mostly, it was that the Hussein regime sabotaged the inspection process to which it had agreed as a condition of peace following the first Gulf War. It would be hard to understand the high risks taken to hide things by one who had in fact nothing to hide! (Read this sentence again.)

The important persons and organization who were fooled into believing in the existence of the non-existent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were numerous and varied. They included several western intelligence services and many important politicians.

In 1998, a prominent member of one of the two main American political parties (prominent then and prominent now) said the following,

Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”

I am not faulting the politician who said this for blindness then but for irresponsible, dishonest amnesia now.

The politician in question is __________________________

(Answer below as a “Comment.”)

The quote is lifted from the Wall Street Journal editorial on 3/20/13.

About Jacques Delacroix

I write short stories, current events comments, and sociopolitical essays, mostly in English, some in French. There are other people with the same first name and same last name on the Internet. I am the one who put up on Amazon in 2014: "I Used to Be French: an Immature Autobiography" and also: "Les pumas de grande-banlieue." To my knowledge, I am the only Jacques Delacroix with American and English scholarly publications. In a previous life, I was a teacher and a scholar in Organizational Theory and in the Sociology of Economic Development. (Go ahead, Google me!) I live in the People’s Green Socialist Republic of Santa Cruz, California.
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42 Responses to Bush’s War – 2

  1. The answer is: Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Representative from San Francisco. Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011 , the last time Democrats had the majority there. According to her Wikipedia entry, Ms Pelosi is the ” highest ranking female politician” in American history.

    Would I make this up? I wish I had the talent!

    J.D.

  2. Terry Amburgey says:

    I see you’re playing another round of political trivial pursuit, a truly fun game.
    Which politician called the Earned Income Tax Credit: “the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress.”?

    • Earned Income Tax credit: Off the top of my head, “Richard Nixon.”

      By the way, I like it too.

      Snydness sticks to the discourse of even well-intentioned liberals like an old herpes scab to the lip of a summer camper returned home.

      There is no particular reason why I should know the answer to your question. I, and my politcal friends don’t go around singing: “tralalalal, earned income tax credit is -__________-,” (Complete the sentence.) the way your friends have been going around for ten years saying stupidly, “Bush’s war Bush’s War.” Or, didn’t you notice?

      My question is motivated by a desire to help some people realize how wrong their perceptions and their recollections are by inducing them to guess wrong. It’s also a way to bring to date the young who have never heard the real story because they weren’t there and they were mind-copulatd by dishonest and ignorant liberal teachers all their lives.

      THe questions behind both Bush War postings are completely, straightforwardly, classically educational. What happened, big boy, did you take the tests and fail both?

      And, by the way: Is it the case that only conservatives weer drawn to those titles? Or does the resounding silence – except for you not speak to the issue of ignoracne and false imputation?

  3. Terry Amburgey says:

    Bush’s war was Bush’s war although Cheney is the ultimate blackguard. Your quote from Ms. Pelosi proves that people should never believe what they’re told by republicans. To repeat an old joke: How do you know when a neocon is lying? His mouth is moving.

  4. So top-ranking Democrats claimed that Iraq possessed WMDs. Therefore, the Bush administration’s illegal invasion, occupation and subsequent failure in Iraq was what? Completely justified? Nice bit of logic you’ve got going on there.

    Russia holds elections all the time. So does Iran. Saddam Hussein held elections all the time. The flimsy glimmer of hope that discredited neoconservatives cling to – the elections of 2010 – were orchestrated under the protection of an imperial occupying force. In that sense alone they weren’t even free.

    Imagine trying to pitch Dr J’s arguments to specialists or intelligent laymen in any field anywhere in the world. You’d never be taken seriously again, and for good reason. One more time: top-ranking Democrats claimed that Iraq had WMDs. Therefore the Bush administration bears no responsibility for the drastic failure of the US to impose democracy upon the Islamic world?

    • Ooops I almost forgot to remind the unicorn gazers in the room: there were no WMDs.

      Looks like Nancy Pelosi was as wrong as Dubya.

      And, of course, Dr J does not want to get in a discussion about where Iraq bought their WMDs from because that would poo-poo on his dream of the United States as a benevolent imperial hegemon.

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  6. More indirection. Terry I honestly admire your willingness to engage. That makes you exceptional among the liberals I know or I have heard of. Yet, you don’t do it with complete clarity: What are you saying about my Pelosi quote? (Leading Democrat, ex -Speaker of the House.)

    Its’ real or it’s a fake? There isn’t much daylight between the two assessments. Which is yours ? Is it a fake? Yes/ No.

    If it’s real, does it matter?

  7. Terry Amburgey says:

    “What are you saying about my Pelosi quote?”

    That she believed the pack of lies that the Bush admistration put out. She was not alone by any means.

    • Terry: top-ranking Democrats had been peddling the WMD story loooong before the Bush administration came to power.

      That’s why they enforced the harsh economic sanctions that led to the deaths of half a million Iraqis (mostly children). That’s also why most top-ranking Democrats supported the Bush invasion and occupation of Iraq.

      This is also why I have trouble believing that you were a libertarian Republican prior to 2004. Most libertarians figured, after the illegal war in Iraq, that if Democrats and Republicans could not be counted on for a sane foreign policy then it would be better to go it alone or ally with the party out of power.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        “This is also why I have trouble believing that you were a libertarian Republican prior to 2004.”
        I voted for Ron Paul for president when he ran as a libertarian. I won’t claim to be a libertarian. I was always more of a ‘Rockefeller republican’. I just had to leave when the theocrats & neocons took over. Thank god I missed the teapublicans.

  8. Prof Terry: The stubbornness is amazing! Are you doing it to make me look good? Readers are going to believe again that I invented you!

    The intelligence services of Germany, the UK, Italy, Russia and France (both of the latter 2 were loudly opposed to military intervention) also believed Bush’s alleged “lies”? That’s in addition to almost the whole Democratic Party upper layer, right? What power of persuasion! You make me miss Pres. Bush even more.

    I often don’t know what you know so, excuse me if am stating the obvious: The French don’t have to listen to the Bush administration. They have their own intelligence service. They are often very well informed about Arab matter, better informed than the US. In part, it’s because there are hundreds of thousands of French citizens who have Arabic as a first language.

    If you did not know that, it would be appropriate to thank me. If you knew it and buried that knowledge somewhere for the sake of argument, shame would be appropriate

    • Terry Amburgey says:

      “To take just one example, in the fall of 2002, the administration leaked a story to The New York Times’ Judith Miller claiming that Iraq had purchased aluminum tubes clearly intended for use in centrifuges to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons.

      The truth, as we later found out, was that there was no Iraqi nuclear program, and the tubes in question would have been virtually useless for one. They were meant for conventional rockets. But the administration knew the exclusive would be too juicy for Miller to pass up. Her credulous account, passing all the administration’s false claims on as a “scoop,” appeared on the Times front page on September 8.

      Vice President Dick Cheney then went on “Meet the Press” that very day and said, “It’s now public that in fact he has been seeking to acquire, and we have been able to intercept and prevent him from acquiring, through this particular channel, the kinds of tubes that are necessary to build a centrifuge.” So the administration planted a false story in the Times, then cited the false story on NBC, using the Times’ imprimatur to bolster its credibility.”

      What did the French intelligence services have to say about the tubes Jacques? What intel did they have about yellow-cake uranium?

      • Terry: More confusion. I did not say that French Intel was right about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction – obviously.

        I said that its mistake of fact was not traceable to the Bush administration. That’s because the French had good reasons to believe that their sources in the Arab world were better than American sources. They usually are.

        The idea here is that: Even the French were wrong. They were deceived by Hussein’ unaccountable behavior in spite of the fact that their sources were unusually good and in spite of the fact that the French political establishment did not wish to go to war over Iraq, and did not wish the US to do so.

        “In spite of,” is the key here. The implication is that anyone would have been deceived, without needing to be helped by America to be wrong. Others were wrong on their own.

        Excuse me but your assumption of American omnipotence implicit in the position you take sounds childish. It also sounds vaguely right-wing, N. S. !

        America is not the only big boy in town. There are other big boys quite capable of being wrong (and right) on their own.

        In general, when an elected official says something false and persists in making the same false statement, do you think he is always lying or is it only George Bush?

        Mr Obama told us several times that health insurance premiums would go down as a result of Obamacare. We are told by the insurance industry itself that they are going up steeply instead. The quantitative projections were always there to suggest that they would rise. Does this mean that Mr Obama was lying all along? Or is it more reasonable to assume that he mistook his desires for reality?

        I suspect your hatred of Pres. Bush is blind, immune to facts and based on something that would be interesting if I had the time to dissect it. (And maybe, I will do it.)

        You will end up giving Freudism a good name!

  9. Terry Amburgey says:

    I love this game of political trivia. Here’s another one. What worthless-piece-of-shit gave the following interview on Meet the Press, March 16, 2003″

    “MR. RUSSERT: If your analysis is not correct, and we’re not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

    VICE PRES. ________: Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators. I’ve talked with a lot of Iraqis in the last several months myself, had them to the White House. The president and I have met with them, various groups and individuals, people who have devoted their lives from the outside to trying to change things inside Iraq. And like Kanan Makiya who’s a professor at Brandeis, but an Iraqi, he’s written great books about the subject, knows the country intimately, and is a part of the democratic opposition and resistance. The read we get on the people of Iraq is there is no question but what they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that.”

    • “they want to the get rid of Saddam Hussein and they will welcome as liberators the United States when we come to do that.”

      The first part of the sentence is true, the second mostly true at the beginning. It’s still absolutely true in the northern third of Iraq.

      As is usual, with you Terry, a declaration meant to be devastatingly , 100% smashingly true turns out to be less than that.

      People like you are endlessly playing little games, avoiding the main issues:

      If there were a referendum to return the Hussein regime to power, would the Iraqi people decide to do so?

      Do you miss him?

      I don’t know who said that quote. It does not matter. There were a lot of delusions, including among high-ranking Democrats – as I keep showing.

      The fact is that there was not much world experience about how to administer a conquered country whose army has not been destroyed. Try to imagine administering Germany in 1945 when the German army had vanished into the population instead of fighting.

      As usual. Americans demonstrated too much optimism.

      Please, don’t use that language.

  10. Terry Amburgey says:

    “Please, don’t use that language.”

    My apologies. That worthless-piece-of-excrement.

  11. Terry Amburgey says:

    “If there were a referendum to return the Hussein regime to power, would the Iraqi people decide to do so?”
    There was a referendum. It was on the American conquest of Iraq. It lasted years, costed us billions of dollars, and thousands of lives.

    • David says:

      Be nice to VP Quayle, he had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq! He’s had a hard enough time speling potatoe!

      The last 5 years has cost us trillions of dollars (plus interest!) and i suspect more people have died of non-natural causes (probably from bullets too…) than have died in the Iraq war. War sucks. It’s expensive, but the overall cost pales in comparison to the over-spending for the last five years. If Bush’s spending was unpatriotic (according to then Senator Obama, quite rightly I might add), then Obama’s spending is damn near treasonous. I’m still waiting for a Prospectus on all the investments that the government is making on my future income; however, I’m not holding my breath.

      • David: I don’t know why you say (agree) that the Iraq war was expensive. I have dealt with this previously. I used the figures of my liberal opponents to conclude it was an expense of magnitude comparable to the direct costs of my smoking (the direct costs of buying tobacco only.)

        If you don’t like eliminating threats and sending blood-thirsty tyrants to their graves, everything looks expensive. With this kind of attitude, one might find getting rid of rats too expensive.

        Speaking of rats: What was really, really expensive for America was the long campaign to destroy Hitler’s regime. It succeeded in helping me survive and lead a normal life.

        Thanks again.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        “David: I don’t know why yo say that the Iraq war was expensive. I have dealt with this previously. I used the figures of my liberal opponents to conclude it was an expense of magnitude comparable to the direct costs of my smoking (the direct costs of buying tobacco only.)”

        Damn, you were a heavier smoker than I realized!

      • I was not. Don’t be so sophisticated, Terry, do the obvious; do the math. Or, do it with your past beer consumption. You will be amazed by how much you learn.

        And you are still avoiding my obvious questions. Too obvious? Not sophisticated enough?

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        You might find this interesting. It’s a working paper, not a peer reviewed article yet. But those Harvard pukes seem to always get their stuff published. From the Kennedy School…

        The Financial Legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan: How Wartime Spending Decisions Will Constrain Future National Security Budgets
        Bilmes, Linda J. “The Financial Legacy of Iraq and Afghanistan: How Wartime Spending Decisions Will Constrain Future National Security Budgets.” HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP13-006, March 2013.

        Abstract
        The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, taken together, will be the most expensive wars in US history – totaling somewhere between $4 to $6 trillion. This includes long-term medical care and disability compensation for service members, veterans and families, military replenishment and social and economic costs. The largest portion of that bill is yet to be paid. Since 2001, the US has expanded the quality, quantity, availability and eligibility of benefits for military personnel and veterans. This has led to unprecedented growth in the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense budgets. These benefits will increase further over the next 40 years. Additional funds are committed to replacing large quantities of basic equipment used in the wars and to support ongoing diplomatic presence and military assistance in the Iraq and Afghanistan region. The large sums borrowed to finance operations in Iraq and Afghanistan will also impose substantial long-term debt servicing costs. As a consequence of these wartime spending choices, the United States will face constraints in funding investments in personnel and diplomacy, research and development and new military initiatives. The legacy of decisions taken during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will dominate future federal budgets for decades to come.

    • Terry:

      And the Iraqi people’s answer to the question was?

      And your answer to the question is?

      • Dr J asks:

        If there were a referendum to return the Hussein regime to power, would the Iraqi people decide to do so?

        Depends on how you frame the question. If there were a referendum on being invaded and occupied by the US military, as well as being targeted for inhumane and totally ineffective economic sanctions, would the Iraqi people decide in favor of it?

        What if we were to extend this referendum to the rest of the region?

      • Brandon: Slippery.

        If you don’t want to discuss the obvious, we don’t have to.
        I think there is no advantage to anyone in discussing this matter between us.

        I feel as if I were talking with a person whose deep religious conviction trumps his intelligence:

        “Do you really believe that Christ resurrected and just walked away from the tomb or is it likely that something else happened that gave rise to the myth?

        “But Jesus loves you even if you don’t believe in him.”

        It’s tiring because it’s pointless and it’s more pointless, the more tiring it becomes.

      • I think the discussion between us has tremendous advantage for others. Can you answer my simple question or not:

        If there were a referendum on being invaded and occupied by the US military, as well as being targeted for inhumane and totally ineffective economic sanctions, would the Iraqi people decide in favor of it?

        Your inability to acknowledge the tremendous costs of the war – economic, social and political – speaks volumes about the continued irrelevance of the GOP as a national political party.

        Answering this question honestly would go a long towards sorting out right from wrong, zealot from free man.

      • Brandon: I cannot answer your “simple questions” because they hide drawers within drawers. Mine don’t, like this:

        Knowing what they know, would Iraqis vote in a referendum to go back to the Hussein regime?

        Obviously, this means: “and thus avoid what happened during and since the American invasion.”

        In the interest of helping others understand, Try this question: Is there any kind of evidence you can imagine (IMAGINE) that would make you say, ” Perhaps the American invasion was a good thing overall” ?

        Of course, this is a trap: You are a closet pacifist. Like nearly all pacifists, you are morally blind.

        !939 pacifists would have let Hitler win. We know the rest of that alternative history.

      • Brandon: I cannot answer your “simple questions” because they hide drawers within drawers. Mine don’t

        Yes of course. I’m sure others reading this feel the same way. Readers will likely remember that this is the same attitude Washington displayed in the decade-long run up to the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq in the first place.

        Since you cannot answer my simple question, and since you obstinately refuse to acknowledge the economic, social and political costs of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, I cannot persuade you. Luckily, I think this dialogue has gone a long way toward persuading others of the dangers associated with government planning.

        There is lots of evidence that could be used to persuade me to invade and occupy another state. In the decade preceding the Bush administration’s illegal invasion of Iraq, none was ever presented in a convincing manor. I think the results speak for themselves: no WMDs, no connection to al-Qaeda, no threat posed to the US whatsoever, and millions of innocent people suffering under crippling sanctions.

        To defend Washington’s barbarity, on the account of ignorance and omnipotence, is truly shameful. To slander the opponents of Washington’s barbarity as unpatriotic or ill-informed is telling. The decay of the republic and what it stood for is well nigh.

      • “Since you cannot answer my simple question, and since you obstinately refuse to acknowledge the economic, social and political costs of the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, …”

        Brandon: This is untrue. I have taken your own version of costs without questioning them and I have put them in perspective. You just don’t like what I did for your own reasons (which are left to the privacy of your heart).

        When you mix true statement with falsehoods, the joint product is false. It’s not my choice but a basic rule of logic since Aristotle, I think. That stops me dead in my tracks.

        We would have more productive discussions if you said less, like this:

        In your opinion, would Iraqis vote today to go back to the Hussein days if it could save them the horrors of invasion and occupation you denounce?

        PS Did you know that the Allies did big collateral damage when they liberated France in 1944? The American army, in particular, destroyed the historic city of Saint Malo, for no good military reason, it turned out. This seems hard for you to believe but there was hardly a voice of protest in France at the time (or since).

        There is a hardness of heart lurking under what you present as political realism that is disturbing. It is the hardness of true believers (See Eric Hoffer.)

        The US did not intervene in the primitive genocide massacre with bricks and machetes in Rwanda. Was it the right policy? Any answer that does not begin with a yes or not is weaseling, I believe.

        You see, it’s possible to answer simple questions simply.

      • Once again, I am arguing about the real color of a unicorn’s horn.

        Just so everybody is clear about what Dr J is actually saying here: the Iraq war was 1) inexpensive, 2) created a safer world, and 3) was supported by Nancy Pelosi and faulty French intelligence reports.

        The Arab world should be thanking us, but instead they distrust us even more so (it’s because of their religion, of course).

        Unicorns have pink horns, Dr J, not orange ones.

        Incidentally, we’ve already had the Rwanda debate. Dr J claimed that bombing a single radio station would have prevented most of the killings from happening. I complicated things immensely.

        In the meantime, the GOP remains as irrelevant as ever. I can’t imagine why…

  12. Terry Amburgey says:

    “And you are still avoiding my obvious questions. Too obvious? Not sophisticated enough?”

    A trick I’ve learned from you. The other, of course, is to introduce a complete no sequitur. Did you know that the Norse in Greenland only ate beef for a short period of time?

    “Excavations of midden or garbage heaps from the Viking farms in both Greenland and Iceland show the shift from the bones of cows and pigs to those of sheep and goats. As the winters lengthened, and the springs and summers shortened, there must have been less and less time for Greenlanders to grow hay. By the mid-14th century deposits from a chieftain’s farm showed a large number of cattle and caribou remains, whereas, a poorer farm only several kilometers away had no trace of domestic animal remains, only seal. Bone samples from Greenland Norse cemeteries confirm that the typical Greenlander diet had increased by this time from 20% sea animals to 80%”

    • Terry: You have lost me. You avoid answering straightforward questions.

      According to my source, a reactionary, anti-environment, nature-hating assassin, the Norse of Greenland ate beef for a very long time.

      Even if it had been for only twenty years, a certain consequence would follow about the climate circa 1100: It was warmer than it is today.

      • Terry Amburgey says:

        Wow. Not only was it warmer in Greenland a thousand years ago….wait….wait…. THE WHOLE WORLD WAS WARMER 40 MILLION YEARS AGO!!!! For millions of years!!!!

        Which means nothing. I sometimes wonder if you actually read what you write.

      • David says:

        Seeing how the world was in fact warmer at a recent time in history (geologically speaking) (or even millions of years ago) that was not even remotely associated with the industrial revolution, it would put into perspective people being doubtful about the causes of the planet warming. Maybe they’re not like the flat-earthers of yore; maybe they have reasonable objections. Perhaps the collective wisdom of climate scientists is wrong about the causation of the planet growing warmer. (and the associated doomsday after effects.) I suspect it means something closer to that than nothing.

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    • I don’t know what this comment says except that the author calls me a hawk and that he puts me in bed with Nancy Pelosi. I am not sure which is the worst.

      I suspect the commentator is a pacifist. I don’t have time for pacifists. They lost all credibility in 1939.

  14. Terry Amburgey says:

    “Maybe they’re not like the flat-earthers of yore; maybe they have reasonable objections. Perhaps the collective wisdom of climate scientists is wrong about the causation of the planet growing warmer.”

    The essence of science is gathering data to try to falsify tentative explanations. Do you and Jacques actually believe that the same science that generated evidence of fluctuations in global temperatures is somehow unaware of those fluctuations?

    Let me put it this way. On the one hand there is a global collection of scientists in different disciplines that gather and analyze data of various kinds. And you’re right – they’ve reached a collective judgement. The world’s climate is growing warmer and it’s due to human activity changing the composition of the atmosphere.

    What’s on the other hand? Jacques’ collection of teapublican conspiracy theorists. The data is false. Christian creationists. The data is not relevant because the bible says so. The occaisional mouthpiece of energy companies.

    I await the ‘reasonable objections’. I hope at least one is better than the ‘it used to be warmer so global warming can’t be happening’ non sequitor that our host is so fond of.

    • David says:

      What caused the prior warming?

      • David says:

        Please keep in mind I never said it wasn’t warming. I just have doubts about the cause. IF it has been warmer than it currently is in the past, before human’s could have caused it, then there must be other mechanisms that cause the planetary temperature to fluctuate, IF there are other mechanisms that are independent of human interaction, could it be possible that these are the primary causes of the warming?

  15. Terry Amburgey says:

    “…IF there are other mechanisms that are independent of human interaction, could it be possible that these are the primary causes of the warming?”

    Absolutely. That’s why it’s important to try to dis-entangle different processes. One example below.

    “We know that natural global warming or cooling on time scales of 1 – 11 years can be caused by changes in the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle, dust from volcanic eruptions, and changes in solar energy. For example, a study published in March 2013 in Geophysical Research Letters found that dust in the stratosphere has increased by 4 – 10% since 2000 due to volcanic eruptions, keeping the level of global warming up to 25% lower than might be expected. So, it is good to remove these natural causes of global temperature change over the past 34 years for which we have satellite data, to see what the human influence might have been during that time span. The three major surface temperature data sets (NCDC, GISS, and HadCRU) all show global temperatures have warmed by 0.16 – 0.17°C (0.28 – 0.30°F) per decade since satellite measurements began in 1979. The two satellite-based data sets of the lower atmosphere (UAH and RSS) give slightly less warming, about 0.14 – 0.15°C (.25 – .27°F) per decade (keep in mind that satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere temperature are affected much more strongly by volcanic eruptions and the El Niño phenomena than are surface-based measurements taken by weather stations.) A 2011 paper published by Grant Foster and Stefan Rahmstorf, “Global temperature evolution 1979- 2010″, took the five major global temperature data sets and adjusted them to remove the influences of natural variations in sunlight, volcanic dust, and the El Niño/La Niña cycle. The researchers found that adjusting for these natural effects did not change the observed trend in global temperatures, which remained between 0.14 – 0.17°C (0.25 – 0.31°F) per decade in all five data sets. The warmest years since 1979 were 2010 and 2009 in all five adjusted data sets. Since the known natural causes of global warming have little to do with the observed increase in global temperatures over the past 34 years, either human activity or some unknown natural source is responsible for the global warming during that time period.”

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