imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Imminent Threat is revisionist spin

by Jonah Goldberg Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2003 at 6:10 PM

George W. Bush never said that the threat from Iraq was "imminent." George didn't lie. It's his castigators who are lying.

Jimmy Carter never used the word "malaise" in his "malaise speech." Abraham Lincoln never said, "God must have loved the common people, he made so many of them."

And George W. Bush never said that the threat from Iraq was "imminent."

He never said it. Seriously. Not once.

Teams of rhetoric inspectors have been pouring over Bush's comments, utterances, speeches and gesticulations for about as long as we've been looking for WMD in Iraq and, to date, nobody has found a shred of proof that the president - or anybody in his Cabinet - ever once said Iraq or Saddam Hussein posed an "imminent" threat to the United States.

In fact, one of the only good finds on this score actually says the complete opposite. In President Bush's State of the Union Address last January, he said:

"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late."

This is important because the favorite talking point of Democrats and liberal pundits right now is that the president "lied" when he said that Iraq posed an "imminent threat."

Just the other day Sen. Jay Rockefeller said on Fox News Sunday , "What I keep having to remind myself is that we went to war in Iraq based upon an imminent threat which was being caused by weapons of mass destruction." And New York Times columnist Paul Krugman hyperventilated: "The public was told that Saddam posed an imminent threat. If that claim was fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American political history - worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra."

Ted Kennedy offered the most infamous summary: "There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership, that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud."

It would make things so much easier to say that all of the war's critics are as intellectually dishonest as Kennedy or Krugman. Unfortunately for the war's defenders, but fortunately for the republic, not everyone is willing to stoop to their level.

Indeed, there are quite a few facts on the side of those who say the administration claimed the threat was imminent. In Cincinnati on Oct. 7, 2002, Bush said, "Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists." Bush reiterated the claim from British Intelligence that Saddam could launch a chemical missile attack with 45 minutes. Various Cabinet members referred to this or that threat as "immediate" and "gathering." There was a lot of talk about "reconstituted nuclear programs" and even "mushroom clouds."

On inspection, some of these quotes seem damning, others don't. But none of it supports the case that Bush "lied" or perpetrated a "fraud." It might - and almost surely does - help the case that Bush was wrong about the extent of the Iraqi threat (though even that door isn't completely closed yet). But these statements don't prove deception. Nor, in my opinion do they have much to do with dispelling the case for war.

Regardless, to argue persuasively that Bush lied, you'd have to demonstrate that he knew that our own intelligence agencies, numerous U.N. teams and the intelligence services of Britain, Germany, France and other allies were all wrong. And, by the way, President Clinton - who just last July said, "When I left office, there was a substantial amount of biological and chemical material unaccounted for (in Iraq)" - would have to be wrong, too.

The "made up in Texas" stuff is only possible if you're filming an Oliver Stone movie.

Moreover, while the public debate may have left the impression that the threat was more imminent than it turned out to be, the formal deliberations in Congress and the United Nations had nothing to do with imminence.

That debate was about Iraq's ongoing, globally undisputed and flagrant defiance of U.N. resolutions and the need to be pro-active against anything like another 9-11. Read the actual congressional resolution authorizing force . It's mostly about Iraq's defiance of the United Nations.

Indeed, numerous Democrats, including Senators Kennedy and John Kerry, opposed the resolution authorizing the use of force precisely because it wasn't hinged to an imminent threat from Iraq (Kerry ultimately flip-flopped and voted for the resolution anyway). Senator Robert Byrd even offered an amendment requiring that imminence become the standard for war. After a debate, he lost.

In other words, Kennedy & Co. objected to the war before it was launched because Bush wouldn't say the threat was imminent and now they're peeved because Bush "lied" when he said the threat was imminent. That's laugh-factory logic.

This spin probably won't stick. After all, as Abraham Lincoln once said, "You cannot fool all the people all the time."

Oh, wait. Lincoln never said that either.

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
I agree Barney Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003 at 12:12 AM
Unfortunately their is a clear Record For the Record Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003 at 1:36 AM
Wait Johnny there's more... For The Record Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003 at 1:48 AM
Wait! You don't mean there is more? You Betcha Johnny - On the Record Thursday, Oct. 23, 2003 at 1:51 AM

Local News

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen D10 6:49PM

Conscientisation anesthésiée D10 4:20PM

Driven to Consumption and Money out of Nothng D10 12:52PM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

Allo, quelqu'un ? Allo, quelqu'une ? D09 9:16AM

deral Government Officials are not allowed to take leaflets nor pick up items in privste D09 4:15AM

Communist Mouthwash Hides Nature of Nations Suffering in Comm Pyramids Ploys D09 12:01AM

Atlanta: metro Pillage, Poison Gas, Pricks D08 9:13PM

Atlanta Metro Suffers Under Pillage, Shame lso Political Poison Gases D08 8:41PM

Fed Says College Students Have More Debt than Previous Generations D07 3:08PM

Paraphysique de l'insurrection et de l'émeute D07 9:55AM

Corruption of USA government D06 4:14AM

"We live in a time of radical counter-enlightenment" D04 1:45AM

Did Woolsey Fire Cause Radioactive Fallout? D03 10:26PM

G20 Discusses Preventing Financial Crisis and Small Island Economies N30 3:10PM

Driver near Campbell San Jose researches Bus Traffic from Northern Mexico N29 4:04AM

The Death of Small Businesses in Big Cities, Explained N28 3:43PM

Felons Shw Ninjasred Heavy Truck Tyres N28 2:28PM

Paraphysique de la consommation/pollution N28 8:08AM

Paraphysique de l'effet spectateur N26 11:13AM

Condominium, terrorisme du capital N24 8:52AM

Debt and Tax Policies Needed to Prevent Crisis Says Finance Watchdog Group N23 2:40PM

Independent Media Crackdown and Global Social Movements N22 9:45PM

Abécédaire du fascisme restreint et général N22 8:41AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen Heads to Portland, Oregon N20 8:39PM

Socialism in American English N20 12:04PM

Noske, noskisme réactualisé N20 11:29AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy