Chris's Rants

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Another Set of Scare Tactics

E.J. Dionne writes in Another Set of Scare Tactics (emphasis mine):
There is a great missing element in the argument over whether the administration manipulated the facts. Neither side wants to talk about the context in which Bush won a blank check from Congress to invade Iraq. He doesn't want us to remember that he injected the war debate into the 2002 midterm election campaign for partisan purposes, and he doesn't want to acknowledge that he used the post-Sept. 11 mood to do all he could to intimidate Democrats from raising questions more of them should have raised.

The big difference between our current president and his father is that the first President Bush put off the debate over the Persian Gulf War until after the 1990 midterm elections. The result was one of most substantive and honest foreign policy debates Congress has ever seen, and a unified nation. The first President Bush was scrupulous about keeping petty partisanship out of the discussion.

The current President Bush did the opposite. He pressured Congress for a vote before the 2002 election, and the war resolution passed in October.
This is an important point that is often lost. It is something that is even raised in the Downing Street Memos (emphasis mine):
The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.
The political class will never admit to this, though.

This tactic was something that, at the time, sickened me. With the current administration of war criminals, politics always trumps national interest.

The results have been disasterous.


  • To claim that Bush lied or mislead the country or Congress is more a commentary about the people of this country and our elected legislators than it is about the president. Nothing said by Bush or Cheney in 2002 differed from what Clinton and Gore were saying as early as 1998. The only difference was that by 2002, Saddam had ignored 13 UN Security Council Resolutions since 1991 instead of the 8 he had ignored by 1998. That Saddam had WMD by 2002 was pretty well the consensus of the international community and intelligence services of several close American allies and some not so close (Russia). Dionne's article simply tracts a different attack upon Bush for using possible war in the 2002 midterm elections. May I remind him and the other liberal media that WE WERE ALREADY AT WAR in 2002 and had been since Sept 11, 2001. It would have been irresponsible for any President, according to Clinton, to ignore the threat Saddam's WMD would have posed had he shared it with bin Laden. Bush had two choices...continue the "talk-fest" at the UN or act decisively upon our new strategy of pre-emption. He chose the latter and every current Democratic Senator considering a run for the Democratic nomination for President in '08 voted for the war. Now, they claim thay were mislead or didn't have enough info to make an educated decision. That's the purest form of BS there is and every time they make that argument, they lose more and more credibility for having "blindly" voted to approve a war they claim they didn't know enough about. Give me a bleeping break! Being a high school teacher for 30 years, I've heard better BS from 17 and 18 year olds! War against Saddam was the right thing to do, I just wish we had not screwed it up from the git-go. Had we not, most American forces would be out of that hell-hole by now, but that's another story for another time.

    By Anonymous Greg, at November 15, 2005 10:15 AM  

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