Monday July 21, 2003
There is a major discussion going on right now in America about the War in Iraq - as well there should be. After a war that was much easier than expected, maintaining the peace has been tougher than expected. We ought to be talking about how to fix that problem. But, nope! - we're talking about whether the President of the United States lied to build support for the war.
Most of the talk is coming from the Hard Left and from a lackluster group of Democrats seeking their party's presidential nomination. As they continue to pound the President on this issue, a question must be asked about them: In their quest to tear down the Bush presidency for their own political aspirations, have they crossed the line into outright anti-Americanism?
The flap is over a little excerpt from the State of the Union in which President Bush quoted British Intelligence regarding a report that Iraq had tried to import uranium from Africa. It turns out that the report might be wrong. On the other hand, it might be right, too. British Prime Minister Tony Blair is standing by it. Assume for the moment that Bush and Blair are wrong. What of it?
The new Un-Americans would have us all believe that this single piece of evidence formed the crux of our entire case against Iraq.
The argument seems to be that if Bush hadn't lied about this, we wouldn't have gone. That couldn't be more preposterous. There were many reasons for going to Iraq with the most prominent being weapons of mass destruction.
You may recall that WMD's come in three categories - nuclear, chemical, and biological - and we know for a fact that Saddam had gassed the Kurds. What else do we know?
We know that Muslim radicals attacked us on September 11, 2001, and that the United States no longer has the luxury of sitting back and waiting while those who hate us plot our destruction.
We know that there are several "rogue states" with extremist leaders that would like to bloody the nose of the United States. Mr. Bush named three in his State of the Union address. The accuracy of Mr. Bush's "Axis of Evil" statement is not arguable.
We know that Saddam fanned the flames of terrorism by making payments to families of Palestinian suicide bombers. We donít know the extent of any relationship with al Qaeda, but there was almost certainly some involvement.
And finally, we know that, after agreeing to a cease-fire in 1991, Saddam Hussein moved missiles into the southern no-fly zone, moved troops toward Kuwait again, repeatedly failed to grant access to weapons inspectors, and finally, on October 31, 1998, ceased all cooperation with the United Nations.
With all these facts, the President of the United States and the British Prime Minister hardly needed to juice up the evidence.
If you'll go back a few months and read pre-war clippings, you wonít find many people or nations opposing the war on the grounds that Saddam had no WMD's and was not developing any. Indeed, much opposition to the war at that time was based on political philosophy. Some were opposed to war for any reason, and others hated to spend money that might be used for social spending.
Had it been a serious organization, the United Nations would have moved to depose Saddam. But the U.N. did not step up to the plate, and so George W. Bush and Tony Blair led the charge to rid the world of a madman who - at some future time - would present a major threat if left to his own devices.
None of these facts seem to matter to those who would undermine the entire Iraq War in order to further their own political ambitions, or to bring down George W. Bush. In the War on Terrorism, of which the invasion of Iraq was a component, Americans of both political parties should stand united.
If he's still alive, Saddam Hussein must be excited about at least one development in the war. If he couldn't tear the United States apart with the Iraqi military, it appears that he can count on the new Un-Americans to tear it apart politically.
Lynn Woolley's new book, Clear Moral Objectives will be available soon from Eakin Press. E-mail Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org