| By Roger Propst|
America is at war, troops are in harms way far from home fighting to liberate 25 million people in Iraq, but politics go on as usual. The liberal left wing continues to wail shrilly about what they say were lies and deception of the Bush administration in a rush to war. If we were not discussing such serious matters, these accusations would be laughable. Apparently, when a Republican leader and a Democrat leader make the same statement, the Republican is a liar, but the Democrat gets a pass. The liberal contributor to this web page has written numerous articles accusing the Bush administration of lies and deception in the lead-up to the Battle of Iraq in the War on Terror. He and others who write such nonsense must think we all have very short memories, or at the least, are very uninformed. I offer the following statements by Democratic leaders as evidence of this obvious tactic of deception these writers are trying to inflict on the rest of us.
* "If Saddam Hussein rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." President Clinton, 2/17/1998.
* "Iraq is a long way from here, but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." Madeline Albright, Secretary of State, 2/18/1998.
* "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), 12/16/1998. Current House of Representatives Minority Leader.
* "We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." Al Gore, 9/23/2002.
* "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." Senator Ted Kennedy (D, MA), 9/27/2002.
* "Saddam Hussein has shown repeatedly that he cannot be trusted. He has crossed the diplomatic line in the sand again and again and then reneged on his promises.
"The administration (Clinton), with its several military buildups, has threatened, 'Wolf! Wolf!' too often and then backed off; this time the wolf should show its claws and teeth.
"The U.S. should strike, strike hard, and strike decisively. In this instance, the administration needs to act sooner rather than later." Senator Robert C. Byrd (D, WV), 11/13/1998. What, no U.N. authorization?
* "The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities." Senator Robert C. Byrd (D, WV), 10/3/2002.
* "There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in developing weapons of mass destruction." Senator Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), 10/10/2002.
* "Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator . . . his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real …" Senator John Kerry (D, MA), 1/23/2003. Kerry is a Democratic candidate for President in 2004.
* "In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." Senator Hillary Clinton (D, NY), 10/10/2002.
There are many more quotes such as these that could be listed, but you get the point. All of these prominent Democrats, including former President Clinton, knew of the danger of Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction. Many of these folks have conveniently developed amnesia relating to their former statements, but they have been preserved. Please note the absence of any mention of seeking UN approval of any military action.
Ironically, I believe all of these people were speaking the truth as they knew it at the time, and had only the best interests of protecting America and its allies in mind when recommending interdiction in Iraq. I do not accuse them of lies and deception, and if the intelligence they had received was not good, it was simply the best available then, just as today's intelligence is the best available now.
The idea that an American President, whatever party affiliation he or she may have, would lie and deceive the American people, and put its soldiers in harms way for political gain is ludicrous. Every President has written or stated that sending troops into situations that might cause their deaths is the toughest decision they have ever had to make. Call me uninformed, stupid, naïve, or any other descriptor you like, but I have faith that those who aspire to the highest, most powerful office in the world understand the difference in protecting the American people, and playing politics. Sadly, many on the extreme left and right do not.