Well, at least one is. I have to say, I’m floored….literally floored that an editor of The New Republic has the courage to admit something most of the readers of FA already knew. Bush DID NOT lie us into war.
He begins the piece with an earlier example of the flip-flop by Mitt Romney’s father. He had supported the Vietnam war prior to his campaign for President. Once that began he claimed to have brainwashed:
“When I came back from Vietnam, I had just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get,” Romney told a Detroit TV reporter who asked the candidate how he reconciled his shifting views.
Romney (father of Mitt) had visited Vietnam with nine other governors, all of whom denied that they had been duped by their government. With this one remark, his presidential hopes were dashed.
Sounds familiar? It does to James Kirchick:
The memory of this gaffe reverberates in the contemporary rhetoric of many Democrats, who, when attacking the Bush administration’s case for war against Saddam Hussein, employ essentially the same argument. In 2006, John F. Kerry explained the Senate’s 77-23 passage of the Iraq war resolution this way: “We were misled. We were given evidence that was not true.” On the campaign trail, Hillary Rodham Clinton dodged blame for her pro-war vote by claiming that “the mistakes were made by this president, who misled this country and this Congress.”
The problem is that these critics will screech and wail about being duped but when asked for evidence all we hear is crickets:
Yet in spite of all the accusations of White House “manipulation” — that it pressured intelligence analysts into connecting Hussein and Al Qaeda and concocted evidence about weapons of mass destruction — administration critics continually demonstrate an inability to distinguish making claims based on flawed intelligence from knowingly propagating falsehoods.
He doesn’t stop there. He calls out Rockefeller for his partisan report on Iraqi war claims:
Yet Rockefeller’s highly partisan report does not substantiate its most explosive claims. Rockefeller, for instance, charges that “top administration officials made repeated statements that falsely linked Iraq and Al Qaeda as a single threat and insinuated that Iraq played a role in 9/11.” Yet what did his report actually find? That Iraq-Al Qaeda links were “substantiated by intelligence information.” The same goes for claims about Hussein’s possession of biological and chemical weapons, as well as his alleged operation of a nuclear weapons program.
And then takes them to task for the flip-flopping::
In 2003, top Senate Democrats — not just Rockefeller but also Carl Levin, Clinton, Kerry and others — sounded just as alarmist. Conveniently, this month’s report, titled “Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq by U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated by Intelligence Information,” includes only statements by the executive branch. Had it scrutinized public statements of Democrats on the Intelligence, Foreign Relations and Armed Services committees — who have access to the same intelligence information as the president and his chief advisors — many senators would be unable to distinguish their own words from what they today characterize as warmongering.
While this editorial is nice to see it’s a bit late don’t you think?
As Wordsmith noted, Scott Malensek has done more work on the dozens of reports that have come out over the years on Iraq then any reporter I know of. Hell, he has actually read the reports while the politicians have not. For some great background on the reasons we went to war with Iraq check out some of his posts:
- KEY Points Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Phase II investigation report on pre-war Iraq Intel
- Senators Remove Their Own Statements from Report on Pre War Iraq Intelligence
- Senators Caught Distorting and Misleading Intelligence Report
- Why America Went to Iraq and What Comes Next
- Democrats Admit: Saddam’s Regime Harbored Al Queda
- How President Clinton Marketed the Invasion of Iraq
- Senate Intell Committee Releases Another Report to Show Bush LIED about Saddam
Meanwhile, guess who is jumping on the “we’re winning in Iraq” bandwagon several years too late. Mr. Obama:
Obama, who secured the Democratic party nomination earlier this month and will run in November against Republican John McCain, said he spoke about improved security conditions in Iraq during a telephone conversation with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari.
“I emphasized to him how encouraged I was by the reductions in violence in Iraq but also insisted that it is important for us to begin the process of withdrawing U.S. troops, making it clear that we have no interest in permanent bases in Iraq,” Obama told reporters at the airport in Flint, where he had just arrived for an event on the economy…
Obama says he would begin a pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq shortly after taking office. His plan calls for the removal of one or two brigades a month which would allow a pullout of combat troops to be completed within 16 months.
The first-term Illinois senator said he told Zebari that if he wins the White House, “an Obama administration will make sure that we continue with the progress that’s been made in Iraq, that we won’t act precipitously.”
So, does that mean if he were to pull out a few brigades and we started losing some of the progress made he would stop the withdrawal? I don’t think so. He has the nomination pretty much locked up now so the most liberal Senator in Congress is trying to move to the center a bit.
Obama isn’t the only one jumping on the bandwagon. The AP, that news organization famous for printing anything negative about Iraq whether its true or not, is jumping on:
Signs are emerging that Iraq has reached a turning point. Violence is down, armed extremists are in disarray, government confidence is rising and sectarian communities are gearing up for a battle at the polls rather than slaughter in the streets.
Those positive signs are attracting little attention in the United States, where the war-weary public is focused on the American presidential contest and skeptical of talk of success after so many years of unfounded optimism by the war’s supporters…
A new sense of confidence has emerged after recent Iraqi-run military operations against Sunni extremists, including al-Qaida, in the northern city of Mosul and against Shiite militiamen in Basra and Baghdad.
Attracting little attention because the MSM stopped reporting on the war once it became clear it was turning around. How else to sell the Bush lied, Bush was wrong meme?
In a short sighted way, you’d be right. However, that’s like saying a man convicted of multiple murders (all using a .45cal pistol) is innocent despite the fact that he’s:
1) telling you he’s going to kill you
2) has a .45cal pistol in front of him
3) has a bag of powder, a box of shells, and a pile of .45cal bullets on the table in front of you
-Saddam threatened the US almost every day-often w chemical or biological attack
-Saddam had plenty of delivery means available (including, and most dangerously, his ties to Al Queda groups)
-UN inspectors found all the materials, equipment, and personnel ready to restart wmd programs at a moment’s notice (and Saddam himself said he was preparing to restart his programs).
Another analogy…if you like to smoke a little weed, and every few months for the past 12yrs cops come into your house w dogs and they take your weed….wouldn’t it be smart to find a way to get a little MJ w/out having it stockpiled around your house? How about if you could grow it in 2hrs? That’d sure get rid of the problem posed by dogs/inspectors. That’s what Saddam did w his wmd. He converted his programs to go from making stockpiles to making rapid restart stuff. It’s not complicated or crazy. It’s purely logical. Someone does something to you again and again for 12yrs, you find a way around it.
Oh, and the bit about “illegal”…nope. Sorry. It would only have been illegal if the invasion was done unilaterally, solely for regime change purposes, and under a UN resolution that didn’t authorize force (like UN1441), BUT it was done under UN 678 and 687 which did authorize force, were still in effect, and if the UNSC objected…they’d have at least put out a statement of objection. They didn’t.
The occupation (of course) is completely legal under UN1483sec1-4 which not only authorize the US and Coalition presence and use of force, but specifically mandate it.
To supplement Salvage’s abbreviated versions of the truth, here’s the entire bit from the July 12th, 2004 speech at the Oak Ridge Nat’l Laboratory.
Only a limited mentality like Salvage and the Knoxville reporter to whom’s article he linked, could read “we have not found” and interpret it as there were “no” WMD.
Then again, Salvage is the type of guy who could show up late to an Easter egg hunt, and declare there never were any hidden eggs because he didn’t find any.
Sadly, there are people who prefer to politicize the war by playing gotcha games with half quotes, misquotes, and misrepresentations. The US govt (D and R) needed to promote a war with Saddam when the leaders saw a threat and authorized the war. However, numerous investigations have found that President Bush and the Bush Admin did not DELIBERATELY mislead America or the world. Those people actually believed what they said. On the opposite side of the coin, we have Democrats who in equal or greater fervor promoted, authorized, supported, funded, and demanded invasion, but when it became politically expensive, they opposed the war using lies, distortions, half quotes, misquotes, and mischaracterizations. For example…
opponents of the war say that the Bush Admin deliberately misled people into thinking the invasion would be fast, pay for itself, and almost bloodless. That’s been investigated, and no bi-partisan investigation has found that any misleading was done intentionally. BUT opponents of the war who have time and again demanded investigations of the Bush Admin have never been investigated themselves despite they’re deliberate exaggeration of the war’s duration, it’s dollar cost, and its cost in blood. They tell us we’ll be in Iraq forever so as to colonize it for oil, yet, the Bush Admin has been withdrawing forces since last September. They tell us that 2-3million Iraqis have died, but the number is barely 100,000 over 5yrs, with most of those casualties coming not from Americans, but from Al Queda suicide bombers, insurgents, criminals, and fmr regime loyalists. They tell us the war has cost 2-3 trillion dollars, and never fail to add the cost of the war in Afghanistan AND the war on terror into the cost of the Iraq War (DNC ads recently admitted it’s been about $500bn over 5yrs/$100bn yr). We’re told that the Bush Admin exaggereated claims of WMD (which were almost identical or less than the UN’s claims as late as 3/6/03), and that there were no ties at all to Al Queda. Both of those accusations have been found false: the ISG found there was a WMD threat-just not in the form of stockpiles, and the latest IPP report shows (as did the 1998 UBL indictment) that Iraq and Al Queda formed an alliance and cooperated on several occasions starting in 1993.
SO, why believe the proven lies from the left rather than the proven truths? Again…
Why do you ignore the pictures? What kind of evidence are you looking for?
-captured audio tapes
-opinions from Democrats who saw the same or more intelligence?
What are you looking for?
What’s it gonna take to get opponents of the war to open their mind to the idea that they’ve been more misled from the DNC than from the Bush Admin?
He’s not looking for truth, he’s looking for attention, good or bad, it’s attention and he obviously craves it. Classic troll. But, I appreciated all the info you all refreshed us with.
I am a democrat. However, unlike many, I appreciate discussions like this, and am open to truth, wherever it my come from. I have found many of the comments here convincing and will leave feeling more informed.
The only argument that I have ever made against the war, was the timing. I have always felt that it was a bad time to thin US forces, by spreading them out over 2 fronts. History has proven this to be a bad idea. Many of the greatest wars in human history, where lost by leaders who made similar decisions.
However, I myself, am not a military analyst. Nore am I any type of brilliant military tactician. So, admittedly, my opinion is not of the highest caliber.