Now that we’ve had a couple of weeks of reaction to the report in The New York Times that further confirmed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, we can see if the left’s “Bush lied” mantra is finally going to cease.
To spoil the ending: The answer is apparently “no” or some other rationalization that refuses to accept truth.
That’s odd, because if ever there was a false statement that people believed just because it was repeated over and over and over, this one has to rank really high in such a deliberate practice.
It’s amazing how quickly the actual reasons for invading Iraq have been lost or ignored in the consciousness of so many. So, let’s review some of them.
Playing the international community as suckers for his strategy of buying time to hide and dispose of WMDs that at least 40 countries were convinced Saddam Hussein had under his control was only the most recent behavior of the vicious dictator.
An eight-year war with Iran that resulted in a million deaths and a poison gas attack that killed more than 5,000 people in his own country were just two of his previous demonstrations of pure evil.
Next was Hussein’s invasion of neighboring Kuwait, resulting in the Persian Gulf War that he lost at the hands of the United States’ successful Operation Desert Storm.
Remaining in power, he then withstood U.S. and British air strikes because of his refusal to cooperate with UN weapons inspectors.
Four years later, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution (among many others that Hussein had ignored) threatening “serious consequences” if he failed to comply with new initiatives to inspect his weapons.
With the backing of those 40-something nations and bipartisan support from Congress, George W. Bush became a wartime president with the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which resulted in the capture of Hussein and the end of his murderous reign of terror.
All along, there were intelligence reports of terrorist-training operations, arms and, at the very least, the harboring of Islamic terrorists connected to the attack on our country on Sept. 11, 2001.
There was something else that Bush and his advisers knew that others then and now want to deny. But history is long settled, and the certainty of it being repeated is as well established as anything in the human experience.
Tyrants and terrorists understand nothing unless it’s the inevitability of their own destruction at the hands of those with superior and terrible military power.
Hussein had to be stopped, and the U.S. was the only force to bring about that outcome.
Bush knew that, and so did significant majorities in Congress, including prominent Democrats who voted to authorize the war — some of whom today help keep the myth of “Bush lied” buzzing.
Casting their votes in favor of mobilizing war in Iraq included now-Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, current Secretary of State John Kerry, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, 25 other Democrats in the Senate and another 82 in the House.
They rightfully determined the necessity and appropriateness of the use of our military to “defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq …”
That any of them would later declare Bush misled them while they possessed the very same intelligence can only be explained as pure demagoguery.
To imagine that one man, even the U.S. president, could fool so many so completely defies all rational comprehension. But then, rational behavior is an alien concept among über-partisans who define today’s political discourse.
Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency. firstname.lastname@example.org