WITHOUT A WHIMPER, NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

(01/18/2005)

OPINION AND COMMENT - Bob Weaver

America, we love thee, right or wrong.

There were no sobering statements from the Bush administration last week when the official search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq ended, turning up nothing.

After hundreds of Orwellian sound-bites by President George and his associates looking into the TV camera declaring such mis-information, the issue fades into the history books.

So powerful were the administrations efforts to invade Iraq, that almost half of the country believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for WMD and the terrorism of 9-11.

The embarrassing denouncement came two years after U.S. officials invaded Iraq with assurance that Saddam Hussein was pressing an illicit WMD program in violation of U.N. resolutions.

Colin Powell showed photos and maps before the UN where they were located.

Stringent Bush supporters say WMDs were there, we just couldn't find'em.

Some said questioning the president during the last campaign was being less than patriotic, and would you believe, un-Christian.

What U.S. teams "found" in the past two years closely matches what Hans Blix, the veteran U.N. weapons inspector, told the Security Council before the invasion - that there was no evidence Iraq had WMDs.

Never mind. The US barged ahead, ignoring his assessment and the opposition of international countries who wanted more time for inspectors.

The promotion of false intelligence reached a PR peak unseen in my lifetime of watching American politics.

Now, because Saddam was indeed an evil-monger to his people, we have switched the need for pre-emptive war to liberation and democratization.

The consequences of the miscalculation are sobering: 1,358 U.S. soldiers and thousands of Iraqis have died in the war and at the hands of the insurgency. Thousands of our soldiers have been injured.

Now, it is highly unlikely we can get out of Iraq with accomplishment.

Historically, America has been pulled from the precipice by Presidents surrounding themselves with dissenting voices.

Now it is Bush, his solid appointments and his "mandate," love him or leave'em.


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