With all the “gotcha” hypotheticals tossed by the media into the paths of some presidential candidates, I thought it might be a good idea to look at facts instead of imagined scenarios.
The topic, of course, is the saga of Iraq — should there have been war, should President Barack Obama have abandoned it, and what should we do now?
The answers can be found in the records of the actions of Congress. We’ll take a look at those in a minute or two.
It may be interesting to speculate about these things and to revise history for political purposes, but doing so is an injustice to truth and lives lost to keep us safe. We need to remind ourselves of what took place instead of the fiction promoted by partisans.
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The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward spent 18 months doing just that. Famous for his role in bringing down Richard Nixon, Woodward’s investigation into what has become popular fiction should finally settle questions about the beginning of our war in Iraq.
It probably won’t. Liberal Democrats won’t let go of the fiction no matter what, because the White House is at stake.
Last week Woodward put to rest the mantra of President Bush lying the country into war — “…there was no lie in this that I could find.”
The famous journalist also pointed out that Bush told then-CIA Director George Tenet to “not let anyone stretch the case of WMD” and that Bush was the one skeptical of WMD being the sole purpose of military action in Iraq.
Woodward’s conclusions are entirely backed up by those stubborn facts to be found in the documents supporting our country’s decisions to keep us and the rest of the world secure from terrorism.
Let’s be reminded of what our Congress, with the full support of leading Democrats, said in its resolution authorizing the use of our country’s awesome forces to deal with the mass murderer in control of Iraq.
First, “the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack the United States ...”
Next, “Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations that threaten the lives and safety of United States citizens.”
Next, “Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism … to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations.”
The media’s attempt to discredit presidential candidates who say they wouldn’t have supported such a resolution will serve to identify those unsuited for the role of commander in chief.
As he promised he would do, President Obama removed our troops from Iraq and now finds himself at an impasse of monumental proportions, with a revived terrorist organization occupying Iraq and threatening the rest of the world.
A new authorization from Congress to use our military power was given to him in February. It acknowledges the Islamic State as a grave threat to the national security interests of the United States.
We went to war in 2003 to win the peace and keep us safe. That outcome was achieved and now, as a result of abandoning the gains made at great cost, we are again at risk.
A really better question for the candidates who want to take Obama’s place is to ask, “Would you have withdrawn all our military from Iraq and exposed us to the new terrorist threat we now face, and are you now prepared to take all actions necessary to destroy our enemies before they can carry out their vow to destroy us?”
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