One of the dumbest arguments about the Iraq War is "Bush lie, people died". When people use children's bumper sticker slogan in place of rational arguments, I tend to treat them accordingly. The medias and their meme is that Bush intentionally lied by listening to all the intelligence agencies in the world saying the same things: that Saddam had WMD's. And because one line in a 30 minute speech mentioned one of the many justifications for war as WMD's, that it invalidates everything else. But all that argument proves is that they're not yet ready to join the rational adult conversations on the topic.
|Bush lied and people died
|The left pretends that Bush ignored intelligence agencies who were warning him that Saddam did NOT have WMD's, and pressured them to tell him what he wanted to hear. Then he had Colin Powell deceive the public, so Bush could be a puppet of the NeoCons, and attack Saddam for no reason (since Saddam wasn't responsible for 9/11).
|The intelligence agencies of the U.S. and World's intelligence agencies were all saying the same thing as George Tenet summed it up, "WMD's are a slam dunk". Bush listened to them, and the Democrats screaming for Saddam's head, because Saddam had sponsored and shielded terrorists, was a brutal regime that was killing ≈100K people per year, and Iraq had violate the terms of the cease fire that ended the first Gulf War. Afterwards we did find WMD and illegal facilities, but production was mostly dormant. The reason for Saddam's boldness was that the U.N., Russia, Germany and France had been illegally trading weapons for oil, and had promised the U.S. wouldn't attack as long as the oil kept flowing.
The left pretends that Bush ignored intelligence agencies who were warning him that Saddam didn't have WMD's, and pressured them to tell him what they wanted. Quite the opposite. Bush believed the intelligence, and the vast majority said that we should go to war because as George Tenet summed up, "WMD's were a slam dunk", and Iraq was a threat to us, the region, they sponsor terrorism and harbored our enemies, they were a brutal regime (killing 100K people per year, averaged), they were corrupt and evil, and “he's trying to get WMD's which is a threat to us”, and he'd violated the terms of the cease fire dozens of times. All of those were truth.
Some people see the U.S. as defrauding the world about Iraq, in order to go after them. What they forget is:
- French Intelligence (not exactly war hawks) said Iraq had WMD's
- English Intelligence said Iraq had WMD's
- Russian Intelligence said Iraq had WMD's
- German Intelligence said Iraq had WMD's
- The U.S. Intelligence said they had WMD’s
- Iraq had used WMD's
- Saddam refused to account for their stockpiles, as was required by prior U.N. resolutions
- Iraq refused to allow full and open inspection (part of the terms for the cease fire)
- Iraq had tried to acquire more WMD’s
- The Clinton administration, 97% of the congress (including the Democrats), and the world was saying Iraq had WMD’s, as they had been for years before the Bush administration
Now there was the fog of war, and many of those agencies also questioned one or two of the other agencies sources, items or reports as well. "This document was forged", and "that source wasn't reliable", but despite disagreements on various pieces of evidence, all their resulting conclusions were that Saddam had WMD's and was going for more, and was a threat to the Middle East.
George Bush had a choice; to ignore what what all common sense was telling him and put his faith in Saddam, or to believe the overwhelming circumstantial evidence and all the intelligence agencies of the world -- then sell that to the public and the world. He chose the latter, and no one has ever shown a single piece of evidence that he knowingly and intentionally deceived anyone.
There’s was 27 minute speech that mentioned WMD’s in one line, and had many other reasons for our actions over there. The press focused on WMD's because it was the most sensational claim, so they spun it as the reason go to war -- the President had many reasons, and it is debatable whether that was the most important, just because that's what the Press focused on. But it doesn't matter. Saddam was trying to get WMD's, and he would have. So present tense, future tense, in the big picture, it doesn't change the outcome. He was a threat to us, the region, and the world, and had to be stopped.
In January 2003 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush had this rather long speech that discussed national security, 9/11, many rationale's for attacking terrorism and ultimately going after terror-sponsoring nations like Iraq.
It was an ultimatum to Saddam, that he was either going to comply with the U.N. resolutions, or else. Basically that we seek peace, but U.N. laws must be followed, and because Saddam's words and actions have successfully convinced us that he is our enemy and a threat to our nation, that we will act accordingly; he either comply with the resolutions or suffer the consequences.
Out of all that, and few anti-Bush-Administration fanatics locked on to those 16 words, and ignored the rest.
They claim that the only rationale for war was the WMD's, and the only justification for WMD's was the Uranium from Africa. Thus if they could prove that was false, then the whole justification for war was eliminated (in their little pea brains). Then they claimed that the only rationale for WMD's was the British Intelligence report (also not true, that was a small factoid among dozens disclosed and hundreds not cited). But they made that into the story, and ignored the rest of the State of the Union, U.N. reports, other Intelligence Agencies views, all the laws Saddam was violating, and so on. They focused on that one statement as proof of bias and distortion by Bush for his agenda, and attacked. And that's what this has all been about. This is the basis of the whole, "he lied about WMD's" stuff.
Of course WMD’s were a significant reason; just not the only one. Let’s face it, a nuke or biological agent could cost 3,000,000 lives or more in the U.S. This is by someone who had used them in the past (multiple times), was working on them, and was stated as our enemy, and was sponsoring terrorists and using them to murder innocents he disagreed with. So it's kinda a bit deal. If GWB, or any President had ignored that threat and anything happened, they would have been crucified for ignoring all the evidence. But the root problem was always the intent, sponsorship of terrorism, and that Saddam would have gotten more WMD’s if we had not gone in. It was only an issue of time; was he going to get WMD’s in a year, did he already have them, and what would he develop in a few years after the Europeans had lifted sanctions and sold them the technology?
But the myth that the justification for the war rested on any one aspect, requires you shut your eyes and minds to all the other crimes and issues that were at place. Bush mentioned dozens of other reasons as well, for good reasons, and any one was justification -- thus no one could eliminate the justification of the rest. But when you're talking about Bush or Iraq, many folks brains stop working.
Did they exist?
As for whether the WMD's existed or not?
- We have photos of hundreds of trucks leaving for Syria in the 15 month run-up to the war (while France was stalling and aiding them), and we don't know what was in them -- but multiple witnesses claim they carried WMD's.
- We know he had tons of Uranium (just not weapons grade), and left over materials to make chemical weapons.
- He was developing and manufacturing missiles that exceeded those allowed by the U.N.
- Saddam had many illegal facilities that the U.N. did not know of and had never inspected (and violated multiple resolutions and the cease fire)
- We found chemical suits and nerve agent syringes that were against the U.N. restrictions and you wouldn’t have unless you had the WMD’s that require them
- After the war, we uncovered lots of WMD's (chemical and nuclear) that were outside what was allowed by the U.N. and had not been properly accounted for, and/or destroyed. That would be legal justification for the war, even if the weapons were degraded and not in a usable state. (The anti-Bush crowd pretends that this doesn't count because they were not new weapons, but those with a clue know that it still proves that Saddam was in non-compliance with the law, and Bush was technically correct -- even if that was below the threshold we expected to find).
- For some, there will never be enough evidence to justify war. But if this was a criminal case, and you were found with bomb making materials that were against the law, it doesn't usually matter if the warrant was for Plastic Explosives and you only had TNT.
Even pretending the far-left fanatics belief that the weapons never existed, it wouldn't matter. Why? Because we know that Saddam was intentionally misleading the world on the opposite, because he was told by the French/Russians that they would block us from invading, and the perception that he had them gave him leverage/influence. That would mean Bush never lied, at worst the U.S. (and all the other intelligence agencies) were suckered into believe the most plausible scenario, which was Saddam had them and was not complying with either the U.N. or the terms for the cease fire from the first war. And either way, that means the war was justified.