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Sen Byrd: Gulf War illegal

by AP/AFP Friday, May. 23, 2003 at 2:32 PM

"There is ample evidence that the horrific events of Sept. 11 have been carefully manipulated to switch public focus from Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, who masterminded the Sept. 11th attacks, to Saddam Hussein who did not.

Sen Byrd: Gulf War i...
bush_hitler.jpg, image/jpeg, 500x375

AP and AFP. 21 May 2003.Byrd: Americans Lured Into Illegal War.

WASHINGTON -- US Senator Robert Byrd -- a senior Democrat -- issued a scathing denunciation of White House military and diplomatic policy, particularly of the recently-concluded war in Iraq which he said may have been waged in violation of international law.

"The American people may have been lured into accepting the unprovoked invasion of a sovereign nation, in violation of long-standing international law, under false premises," Byrd said, in offering some of the most unvarnished criticism yet by Democrats of the US-led war on Iraq.

"Our costly and destructive bunker-busting attack on Iraq seems to have proven, in the main, precisely the opposite of what was the urgent reason to go in.

"This house of cards built of deceit will fall," said Byrd in comments delivered from the Senate floor.

The George W. Bush administration, Byrd charged, "assiduously worked to alarm the public and to blur the faces of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, until they virtually become one.

"There is ample evidence that the horrific events of Sept. 11 have been carefully manipulated to switch public focus from Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, who masterminded the Sept. 11th attacks, to Saddam Hussein who did not.

"What has become painfully clear in the aftermath of war is that Iraq was no immediate threat to the United States, and many of us here said so before the war," Byrd said.

After the war, the search for banned nuclear, biological and chemical weapons has come up empty, Byrd noted.

"The Bush team's extensive hype of (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq as justification for a preemptive invasion war has become more than embarrassing -- it has raised serious questions about prevarication and the reckless use of power," Byrd said.

"We did not complete the war in Afghanistan because we were so eager to attack Iraq. Now it appears that al-Qaeda is back with a vengeance ... and we may well have destabilized the Mideast region, a region we have never fully understood."

"If the situation in Iraq is the result of liberation, we may have set the cause of freedom back 200 years."

He said the administration's talk of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction to justify the war "has become more than embarrassing."

"It has raised serious questions about prevarication and the reckless use of power," he said. "Were our troops needlessly put at risk?

"Were countless Iraqi civilians killed and maimed when war was not really necessary? Was the American public deliberately misled? Was the world?"

He said the United States "appears to be pushing off Iraq's clamor for self-government."

"It is becoming all too clear that the smiling face of the U.S. as liberator is quickly assuming the scowl of an occupier," he said.

"The image of the boot on the throat has replaced the beckoning hand of freedom."

The West Virginia Democrat also criticized as "spineless" his colleagues in Congress for voting to authorize the war.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 13 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Refusing to go along with the program Meyer London Friday, May. 23, 2003 at 3:11 PM
The Bush Junta... Diogenes Friday, May. 23, 2003 at 3:15 PM
hmmmm fresca Friday, May. 23, 2003 at 7:48 PM
Oh, Really... Diogenes Friday, May. 23, 2003 at 7:54 PM
Anyone who gives that bastard fat racist... Eric Friday, May. 23, 2003 at 8:55 PM
Senator Byrdbrain Bush Admirer Friday, May. 23, 2003 at 11:49 PM
Byrd Rocks wavemaster Saturday, May. 24, 2003 at 12:58 AM
I'm sorry... Diogenes Saturday, May. 24, 2003 at 2:36 AM
People changing Meyer London Saturday, May. 24, 2003 at 3:45 PM
Meyer London Ronald Reagan Saturday, May. 24, 2003 at 3:47 PM
KOBE KOBE SMB Saturday, May. 24, 2003 at 5:19 PM
Raging hypocrisy. daveman Saturday, May. 24, 2003 at 10:16 PM
Byrd a Progressive? me.. Sunday, May. 25, 2003 at 12:52 AM

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