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Bush's bogus war

by C/O Diogenes Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 9:30 AM

I thought it would be an interesting comparison to pair together the following two articles. Interesting how the spin changes when the lies become too exposed.


Bush's bogus war


06/25/03: (Globe & Mail) All governments shade the truth. Most resort to deception when the going gets tough. Saddam Hussein is gone and so is his regime. So who cares if George W. Bush fiddled with the facts on Iraq's banned-weapons programs and its reported links to al-Qaeda?

I care. The Bush administration's dissembling about the invasion of Iraq and its self-delusion about the consequences are directly related to the disturbing events now unfolding there. All of us are likely to feel the effects as a confused, angry superpower grows ill at ease with its self-appointed role.

Time magazine reports that in March, 2002, Mr. Bush told a group of senators at the White House: "F -- Saddam, we're taking him out." In public he said no such thing, instead initiating a parade of torqued and misleading statements about Iraq's threat to the United States.

In October, he said Iraq "possesses and produces" chemical and biological weapons and "is reconstituting" its nuclear-weapons program. Yet the Defence Intelligence Agency at that time was reporting no hard evidence of Iraqi possession of banned weapons. He also said Iraq had continuing ties to al-Qaeda, and had trained its operatives in the use of banned munitions. Those statements went much further than the U.S. intelligence consensus, according to an exhaustive report on Sunday in The Washington Post.

At the end of January, in the State of the Union address, Mr. Bush offered a tale of Iraqi attempts to buy yellowcake uranium in Africa. The CIA, and possibly Vice-President Dick Cheney, knew this to be bogus. Last month, Mr. Bush trumpeted the news that U.S. weapons teams had found "biological laboratories" in Iraq. That was another leap into the abyss. It now appears the mobile units either had been deactivated or had nothing to do with germ warfare.

There is, of course, no doubt that Iraq at one time had illegal weapons. The question was whether they were dismantled, lost, buried beyond exhumation and detection or simply too old and decrepit to threaten anyone.

Even before the invasion, the evidence was so dubious that those in favour of war were recasting it as a campaign on behalf of oppressed Iraqi civilians. That is almost unbelievably cynical.

There would have been no quick-exit fantasies if humanitarianism had been driving U.S. Iraq policy. Civilian policing would have been integrated into planning from the start. It would have been tough to avoid the current situation, in which soldiers who thought they'd been sent to take out a death-dealing tyrant find themselves confronting rebellious civilians. But at least the need for a long-term civilian occupation administration would have been acknowledged.

Iraq is not Vietnam, but the resort to deception is common to both campaigns. In 1964, after hearing allegations of attacks on two U.S. destroyers by North Vietnamese patrol boats, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving then president Lyndon Johnson a free hand in pursuing the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong. The first was a trivial incident, and not unprovoked. Mr. Johnson later admitted that he had no idea whether the second attack actually took place. Neither his doubts nor those of a key naval commander were shared with the public.

Sound familiar? Action based on faulty, partial or misleading information is bound to be bad policy and worse strategy. It will come to grief either because it is the wrong thing to do or because it leads to a loss of public trust.

In Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair is accused of manipulating intelligence reports to boost the case for war. His critics include not only former cabinet ministers and senior intelligence officials, but also the leader of the Conservative Party, whose MPs helped him win parliamentary approval for the invasion.

The spectacle of Margaret Thatcher's political heirs rounding on Mr. Blair ought to make self-respecting Republicans sit up and take note. The next time Mr. Bush decides on the basis of proprietary intelligence that the time is ripe for a pre-emptive strike, who will believe him? Deception-driven policy-making is exceptionally dangerous in an age of instantaneous broad-spectrum news. Actions are far more likely to be jeopardized while they are still in progress, instead of merely being criticized after the fact. Iraqis opposed to the U.S. occupation may be emboldened by real-time, televised accounts in their own language of U.S. and British investigations into who knew what, and when.

Official duplicity may be an immutable fact of life. So should be the quest to expose its corrosive effects. The United States is in danger of forgetting the most important lesson it learned in Vietnam. The end may seem to justify the means, but all too often the means deform the end.

© Copyright 2003 Globe & Mail


US Senate leader says weapons of mass destruction not main cause of Iraq war

Thu Jun 26,10:02 AM ET

Add Politics - AFP to My Yahoo!

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Republican leader in the Senate said that Iraq (news - web sites)'s weapons of mass destruction was not the main justification for the US-led invasion of Iraq.

AFP/File Photo


"I'm not sure that's the major reason we went to war," Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist told NBC television's Today Show.

Even without the discovery of alleged chemical and biological weapons, Frist said Americans still welcome the ouster of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites).

"If you talk to most of the American people today, to have Saddam Hussein and his rogue regime out of there is something the American people want, it's something they deserve," the Republican leader said.

"We know he has used weapons of mass destruction to kill thousands and thousands of his own people ... as well as outside of the country," he said.

Frist said Saddam's brutal record as a dictator alone was sufficient justification for his ouster.

"When you have a terrorist and people who harbor terrorists, and they've had weapons of mass destruction which they're used to kill their own people, invade other nations with those weapons ... to have him removed is something the American people want, they need and they feel much more secure with."

Frist added that he was not surprised that weapons of mass destruction have not been found in Iraq.

"The weapons of mass destruction that we're talking about today are new. They're little viruses, they're bacteria, they're chemicals, things you can't see, you can't touch, you can't smell. So intelligence is tough," he said.

"The administration made decisions based on the very best intelligence that we have available today," Frist insisted.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 30 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Translation of the second article's... Diogenes Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 9:32 AM
Holding My Breath Libby Ral Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 9:43 AM
Yes, blue in the face Brian OConnor Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 10:33 AM
BOC t Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 10:57 AM
Selective truth Brian OConnor Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 11:43 AM
WMDs Meyer London Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 12:40 PM
Meyer Your are unequivically wrong fresca Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 12:51 PM
Who knows where they are? Meyer London Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 1:19 PM
They exist only in frescaw's marching orders and spin of the day. Diogenes Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 2:40 PM
ROFL fresca Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 2:53 PM
Summay Diogenes Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 3:23 PM
more parroting fresca Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 3:31 PM
AS you Masters of Logic like to say, daveman Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 3:42 PM
daveman message for daveman Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 4:05 PM
Crime story holmes Friday, Jun. 27, 2003 at 11:58 PM
Then why, coward... daveman Saturday, Jun. 28, 2003 at 1:06 AM
to daveman message for daveman Saturday, Jun. 28, 2003 at 1:54 AM
Does anybody have... daveman Saturday, Jun. 28, 2003 at 5:31 AM
^ faker/KOBE Saturday, Jun. 28, 2003 at 5:33 AM
^ Eric Saturday, Jun. 28, 2003 at 5:46 AM
Where did they go? Meyer London Saturday, Jun. 28, 2003 at 6:07 AM
I'm forced to agree. Eric Saturday, Jun. 28, 2003 at 6:16 AM
logistics Sheepdog Saturday, Jun. 28, 2003 at 6:24 AM
Not a bad point. Eric Saturday, Jun. 28, 2003 at 6:33 AM
gutless coward daveman Saturday, Jun. 28, 2003 at 4:16 PM
Is that your new title daveman? 3200fps Saturday, Jun. 28, 2003 at 6:09 PM
daveman counselor Sunday, Jun. 29, 2003 at 4:51 AM
did i say that? daveman=nonanarchist Sunday, Sep. 28, 2003 at 7:35 PM
I'm betting Syria. nonanarchist Monday, Sep. 29, 2003 at 3:40 AM

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