Published DateTo the editor,
The Bush administration devised a carefully constructed mechanism to lead the U.S. to war with Iraq.
First they manufactured a problem, declaring that Iraq was a grave danger to the United States. They argued that Iraq was a threat to America and to the peace of the world, through its alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and growing danger from Iraq, thus there was an urgency to act. Cultivating widespread anxiety by propagating fear stories about enemies seeking to do the American people great harm? Demonizing Hussein as someone so evil and irrational that there was a moral imperative for action.
They next had to dismiss other policy options that could have avoided war. Arguing that containment, an effective strategy during the cold war — couldn't work. They continued by attacking the efficacy of the U.N. weapons inspectors (which, ironically, had successfully disarmed Iraq from 1991-1998). Ultimately declaring that there would be no negotiations or discussions with Iraq.
Finally, the administration stated "we have no choice" — The U.S. did not want war but was being forced to act. It was Saddam's choice to go to war. The administration argued that Hussein must disarm. If he did not comply by turning over his weapons of mass destruction, he was choosing war and if the U.N. refused to act, then the U.S. would have to act. The Bush administration argued that was is our last option, even though the U.S. actively blocked every other viable policy. In this way, the administration made war the only option.
Subjected to this sustained campaign, Congress and a majority of Americans came to support this war of deception orchestrated by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Co.
As early as 2002, while in the office of Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, then President Bush stated, "(expletive) Saddam, we're taking him out." A year later he commented that, "Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly ... all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes."
The evidence is conclusive that the Bush administration fabricated evidence and ignored repeated warnings that what was being reported were false.
Governments of coalition forces had to buy into these lies in order to justify sending troops from their respective countries. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted that he would have invaded Iraq even if he knew from the start that it didn't have weapons of mass destruction.
Our Senate Intelligence Committee released a 200-page report on how Bush and his officials deliberately misrepresented secret intelligence to make a case to invade Iraq. The report is a direct rebuke of the Bush administration's continued claims that it was the intelligence that was faulty and that Bush and company were simply presenting what the CIA had given them. The report doesn't use the word, but we all know what it's called when someone presents something as fact that's directly contradicted by the evidence: a lie. Not a mistake. A lie.
Further U.S. Senate reports revealed that the Bush administration could not find links it claimed existed between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. It tried, in best Soviet style, to torture its captives to admit that such a link did in fact exist. That, of course, would have been much better excuse for invading Iraq than the lies about weapons of mass destruction pointed at America.
Conservatives maligned the United Nations because this organization is not an arm of the United States and told the truth about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. U.N. reports submitted to the Security Council before the was by Hans Blix, former chief U.N. Arms Inspector, and largely validated by U.S. weapons teams, found that Iraq's nuclear weapons program was dormant. No evidence was found to suggest Iraq possessed chemical or biological weapons.
While we would all agree that Hussein would never be voted Man of the Year, if we were to follow Bush's logic, our next preemptive strike to protect the U.S. from attack and "evil dictators" should be on North Korea, Cuba, Ethiopia, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Burma and ... the list goes on.
Why is it that Mr. Earle and other conservatives are quick to hold Obama accountable for all the ills of the United States, but fail to recognize possibly the greatest fraud perpetrated on the American people? Apparently they only believe and repeat what they hear on their "fair and balanced" network.
I'm certainly not opposed to defending our country and way of life, but I am opposed to dumb, rash wars based on passion and politics.
L. J. Siden