A new book hit the stands just recently by Ron Suskind. A long time detractor of the Bush administration, Suskind puts forth certain tired claims that Bush led us into the Iraq war under false pretence. Almost like a broken record this stuff comes out regularly, but each time the press jumps upon it like its some great revelation from on high. Study after study has come up empty however. Even the democrats own grand attempt to bring the heat on Mr. Bush failed to do so (even though to listen to his detractors one would think they had presented the goods).
Washington Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt gives the following look at one such report from the Democrats on the Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence. In part it says: “…dive into [Sen. Jay] Rockefeller’s report, in search of where exactly President Bush lied about what his intelligence agencies were telling him about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, and you may be surprised by what you find.
On Iraq’s nuclear weapons program? The president’s statements “were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates.”
On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president’s statements “were substantiated by intelligence information.”
On chemical weapons, then? “Substantiated by intelligence information.”
On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.” Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? “Generally substantiated by available intelligence.” Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? “Generally substantiated by intelligence information.”
As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you’ve mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush’s claims about Saddam Hussein’s alleged ties to terrorism.
But statements regarding Iraq’s support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.” Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda “were substantiated by the intelligence assessments,” and statements regarding Iraq’s contacts with al-Qaeda “were substantiated by intelligence information.” The report is left to complain about “implications” and statements that “left the impression” that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.” *
Suskind gives us a view that Bush was determined to invade Iraq no matter what, claiming even the forging of documents to support the invasion. What should also be noted is the fact that Bush tried to end the invasion before it ever started with missile attacks on at least two occasions meant to remove Hussein from the scene. And also there was the offer of safe passage to Syria for he and his sons, where Saddam could be living today and enjoying his ill gotten fortune in comfortable surroundings. Any of these, had they been successful, would have prevented the invasion. So much for bound and determined.
Several reasons for the implied want of Bush to invade range from retaliation for the assassination plot against his father to some kind of misguided support for Israel. One theory which many want badly to believe is the lust for Iraqi oil. However easy this is to believe by those that hate Bush, it falls face down when logic and facts come to play. If we wanted Iraq’s oil, instead of wasting precious American lives and the fortune this war has cost, it would have only been a simple matter to declare that Iraq had “done enough” for us to at least allow the general sale of oil by them. Indeed, that could have been accomplished with the stroke of a pen to paper.
In truth however, it all boiled down to what Clinton’s Secretary of State said a few years before Bush was ever President. “Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”
– Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998
It wasn’t that there were WMD’s, but the threat of what could be if they did… which was a risk we could not afford to run. We (99.9% of all of us) firmly believed that they were there. There or not, Saddam STILL had the capability to build them. That is fact. The pertinent question was whether or not he would use one, or supply one to someone who would.
There is still so much wistful hatred for Bush among the democrats. Literally months before he leaves office they still search high and low for reasons to criticize… some even still cry to impeach. All basically still wearing their feelings on their sleeve first from Gore’s loss, than Kerry’s failure to win the presidency. Still searching out the conspiracy that cost Gore his Florida victory (a recount by the press showed Bush the winner anyway). Still complaining that the several hundred veterans that served with Kerry and refused to support him, calling themselves the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, were somehow less believable and less trustworthy than the eight or ten or twelve that came out in support of him. About Bush many are willing to believe any and everything, facts having no baring.
“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four; calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” — Abraham Lincoln