Last night Mr.3 and I were given the oppurtunity to go and see Ambassador Joe Wilson speak in front of the Salt Lake Chapter of the Council on Foreign Relations. Actually we got to sit at his table, which including a brief 10 minutes of star-struckedness on my part which faded quickly.
For those of you who don't know who he is, Joe Wilson has lately been known as Mr. Valerie Plame (who was "outed" as a CIA employee), but before that he was known as the last American Diplomat to speak with Saddam Hussein in Gulf War 1. But I believe that when the Gulf War broke out he was "acting" Ambassador as the real Ambassador was in the US warning about the possibility of war breaking out at the time war did break out.
Impressions of him: Nice guy when he doesn't talk politics. Fantastic hair, and I would say 95% of the female population in that room would have slept with him if he was willing. He is a self-promoter to the point of being incredibly vain and arrogant. Mr.3 asked him a question privately after the talk and in answering that question told him 3 times to buy his book. Call me crazy but when someone asks you a direct question about 500 tons of yellow-cake uranium that was found in Iraq, the response to that question should not be "buy my book".
What he said that evening: He has a lot of anger about the war in Iraq, as many US democrats do, however it is obvious that his anger is focused on the fact that the current administration did not listen and follow his recommendations. His bush-bashing is completely personal, I do not wish to really discuss the whole issue of his wife being "outed" but he used that in his speech (and probably his book as well) as a further reasoning why he must have been right...it was a case of "I was injured personally, I am a victim, and therefore my opinion is the most correct one", which logically is a load of crap. He wasn't listened to in matters about the Middle East because his knowledge is severely lacking, he may be great and wonderful with Africa, but the Middle East is a completely different animal...here is why:
His definition of weapons of mass destruction: is limited to strictly Nuclear weapons because they alter society and civilization. Biological weapons are weapons of terror and do not affect society in the long term. Anyone who knows about the atrocities Saddam carried out on the Kurdish populations in Iraq can tell you that biological warfare effects you on a systemic level...hum...let's see birth defects, a skewed population demographic, low birth rate, high infant mortalitiy rate, and don't forget little things like the increase in the snake population as all of the birds in the region were killed and there was no natural predators for the snakes. But apparently those are only side effects of "terror weapons".
His lack of knowledge on terrorism in general: Apparently he is under the impression that Ansar el Islam was a pro-Kurdish group rather than a group that was killing Kurds. He also stated that "25 million ethnic people" is no reason to not support our NATO allies. First, where did he get his numbers, secondly the Kurdish situation in Iraq and in Turkey are vastly different and you can't lump them together...but then again he seems to think that Kurds=terrorists. Oddly enough two seconds after he made that statement about the Kurds he stated that HAMAS and Hizbullah were doing things the "right way" in regards to elections, but he failed to mention the whole terrorist bombings which killed innocents. He classifies himself in the lines of a "Progressive" but he isn't really, just another diplomat/pseudo celebrity that believes in the cause that is most popular at the moment. But can you expect anymore from someone who prides himself on delveloping the US stragey in the Rwanda genocide, because we all know how well that turned out.