“The truth is, the president misled America when he sent us into war.”
–DNC Chairman Howard Dean
Allow me to begin by admitting that I may not be smart enough to writethis column.
I thought I was doing a pretty good job of staying on top of the “war on terror.” I’ve listened to Cindy Sheehan, I’ve attended anti-Bush/anti-war rallies. I even paid good money to watch Michael Moore’s movie about it.
And yet, I remain unenlightened. Could somebody please tell me precisely what it is that George W. Bush lied about? Where is the lie?
I have been asking this question for two years now, so slow am I on the uptake. And every day for the past two years, the mainstream media have reported some version of the story that President Bush lied to the American people to trick us into going to war. Therefore, it is argued, the war was a mistake and troops need to come home right now. After all, as John Kerry said when he was still looking for his first rich wife, “Who wants to be the last person to die for a mistake?”
And yet, here’s dopey me asking, “What mistake?”
What can I say? Stick me on the back of the short bus. I’m the slow learner here.
I must be, because everybody — everybody — knows Bush lied. Prominent politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean say so at every press conference. A new poll shows that a majority of Americans think the president is neither honest nor trustworthy. And why should we?
Bush lied. People died!
So why is it so hard for me to get someone to name just one of his lies? If the gang at CNN is right, the guy tells more lies than a married man at happy hour. There should be thousands of them. All I need is for someone to name one. Just one statement the president made about toppling Saddam that he knew wasn’t true.
Weapons of mass destruction? Well, I suppose it’s possible that he made the whole WMD thing up, that he knew all along the precise status of Saddam’s secret weapons program, and just threw out lies about how “Hussein had biological weapons materials sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax … and materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin.”
Those statements might have been lies when he said them in 2003, but the president was quoting directly from the United Nations. Bush’s statements about Saddam’s nuclear program came from the International Atomic Energy Agency, and his conclusions about Iraq seeking to buy uranium in Africa came from both British intelligence and New York Times hero Joe Wilson.
Did President Bush lie about Iraq being responsible for the 9/11 attacks, as Howard Dean alleged last week? Well, he would have if he ever said Saddam was behind the attacks, but he never has. Dean says Bush must have been lying because 65 percent of the country at one time believed Saddam was responsible.
Well, Mr. Dean, at one time 65 percent of the American people thought Bill Clinton was doing a great job as president, even as terrorists attacked American targets with impunity and the Clinton administration repeatedly missed opportunities to take out Osama bin Laden. Who was lying to them, Howard?
Opponents of the war need to realize that, yes, there was a failure of intelligence: yours.
Your intellect and ideology failed you. If they hadn’t, you would have come up with a different solution to the problem of international terrorism’s constant threat to us. You would have presented your plan, one that didn’t involve war, that would have ended the War of Terror declared against us by the Islamo-fascists years ago.
But you didn’t. In fact, you still haven’t. The reason you love going back and arguing over who knew what about aluminum tubes and yellowcake is that it keeps the question of “How are you going to solve this problem?” off the table.
Meanwhile, what you call a “lie” is beginning to look more and more like a “plan,” a “strategy.” Every day, the Bush Doctrine appears to be working better and better. Conditions in Iraq continue to improve, more Iraqi battalions winning more battles, while the insurgents have yet to win one. They are reduced to blowing up wedding parties at hotels in Jordan.
Even the Sunnis, who Bush “lied” about supposedly wanting democracy, have given up resistance, choosing instead to actively participate in the December elections. These will be the third free, open, and successful elections since we went into Iraq — by the way, three more than in the history of the country.
If you want to hear some real lies about Iraq, wait ten years and then talk to a Democrat. In 2015, with a democratic Iraq as an ally of the West, with democratic reforms sweeping the entire region, and with the number of terror-sponsoring regimes at or near zero, I predict you won’t be able to find a Democrat who opposed the war in Iraq.
“Why, everyone was for the war, of course we were,” folks like John Kerry and Dick Durbin will say. “We just disagreed about the details, that’s all.”
How do I know? Because that’s what senate Democrats say today about the first Gulf War, though more than 40 voted against it.
Of course Democrats were all really for the first Gulf War at the time. They knew Saddam was dangerous and couldn’t be allowed to invade and threaten its neighbors. They knew they had to stand up and do the right thing. Their vote against the war was just, you know, a question of, er, well, strategy and stuff like that.
What — are you calling them liars? Stay cool. Support City Paper. City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.
Stay cool. Support City Paper.
City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.