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Old 06-11-2003, 06:11 PM
RACooper RACooper is offline
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Location: Calgary, Alberta - Canada
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Follow-up to Iraq War

Okay.... some time has passed, and hopefully emotions have died down enough that people can debate the issue intelligently.

Please read the following:

Bush's weapons of mass deception

Only one good reason exists for not describing President George W. Bush and all the officials around him who urged on the invasion of Iraq in order to rid the country of its weapons of mass destruction, as outright liars.
One powerful factor would always have inhibited these leaders, including Britain's Tony Blair, from engaging in an explicit lie when they claimed, at the United Nations and before the world, to be certain that these weapons existed:
They would have known back then that they would be exposed eventually.
As, indeed, has now happened. After two months of intensive searching, not a scrap of evidence has been uncovered of any weapons at all, let alone of any battle-ready ones that might have constituted, as claimed, an "imminent threat."
We are dealing with something less than lying but also something a good deal more than an honest mistake.
At best, Bush and aides such as Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell may have been guilty of believing what they wanted to believe.
They wanted to depose Saddam Hussein and believed, genuinely, that his downfall could lead to a fundamental transformation of the Middle East. It would include the negotiation of a peace settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians and the development of democracy in Iraq that could function as an alternative regional role model to Islamic militancy and terrorism.
These visionary goals may never be achieved. But that in no way invalidates the ambition and imagination of this vision.
To achieve it, Bush seized on the issue of weapons of mass destruction because it was politically saleable to the U.N. and to the American public. At the same time, officials, in agencies like the CIA, tailored analyses, as bureaucrats often do, to suit the needs of their superiors.
This is the best-case analysis of what has happened.
The worst-case analysis is a lot worse. This is that there has been sustained deception, exaggeration and manipulation.
Moreover even if one omits those at the top like Bush and Blair it is clear that quite a few officials in Washington have long been aware that the justification for war was extremely suspect, if not outright spurious.
For instance, it turns out that senior Al Qaeda officials, who were captured in Afghanistan and then interrogated in Guantanamo, Cuba, had long ago stated unequivocally that there were no ties between their organization and Saddam Hussein. Osama bin Laden, they said, wanted to have nothing to do with the Iraqi strongman.
This evidence was suppressed and Powell, in his presentation to the U.N. last February, repeated the allegation of Al Qaeda-Saddam ties.
It turns out, as well, that last year the defence department's own intelligence unit (set up by Rumsfeld and so hawkish in its assessments) concluded that there was no concrete evidence of any continuing weapons of mass destruction programs in Iraq.
Since the war's end, senior Iraqi scientists who have been interrogated insisted that all the programs to develop these weapons and the raw chemical and biological materials were destroyed in the mid-'90s.
Bush keeps insisting the proof will still be found. Scraps of evidence, like two so-called mobile laboratories are paraded excitedly and then quietly dropped. (It appears that these trailers were used for pumping up balloons for scientific experiments.)
The embarrassing and bitter truth is that Saddam was not lying. (Saddam was a monumental fool, perhaps out of pride, not to have welcomed in the U.N. inspectors).
The far more bitter truth is that Bush and many around him were, if not lying exactly, either victims of intelligence written to suit their political needs, or were knowing participants in a huge fraud.
That the casus belli was either fraudulent or substantially erroneous doesn't mean that the war was unjustified. Iraqis have been freed from their jail and their madhouse. Reconstruction is going badly at present, but for the first time ever, a possibility exists of Iraqis living a more or less normal, decent life.
It means, instead, that Bush and his administration have lost their credibility in international affairs. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
On North Korea, on Iran, on every kind of major international issue.
Bush can no longer claim the benefit of the doubt. He won't always be wrong. He won't always be crying wolf.
But he was party to a massive deception. He didn't trust others the U.N., world opinion enough to tell them the full truth. It's going to take him quite a while to win back the trust of others.
Toronto Star, June 11th

Do you agree with this article? If so why?
Do you dis-agree with this article? If so why?

All right then- now the can is open, and hopefully we can discuss this intelligently, and may share our opinions with an open-mind.
I don't want to see the foundless name-calling again, if you think the person is a moron, back it up with facts and opinions.
University of Toronto Alum

"Cave ab homine unius libri"
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