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Wednesday, July 09, 2003

There's no doubt in his mind...
PRESIDENT BUSH: The first question is, look, there is no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the world peace. And there's no doubt in my mind that the United States, along with allies and friends, did the right thing in removing him from power. And there's no doubt in my mind, when it's all said and done, the facts will show the world the truth. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind. And so there's going to be a lot of attempts to try to rewrite history, and I can understand that. But I am absolutely confident in the decision I made.

Q Do you still believe they were trying to buy nuclear materials in Africa?


Q No, were they? The statement you made --

PRESIDENT BUSH: One thing is for certain, he's not trying to buy anything right now. If he's alive, he's on the run. And that's to the benefit of the Iraqi people. But, look, I am confident that Saddam Hussein had a weapons of mass destruction program. In 1991, I will remind you, we underestimated how close he was to having a nuclear weapon. Imagine a world in which this tyrant had a nuclear weapon. In 1998, my predecessor raided Iraq, based upon the very same intelligence. And in 2003, after the world had demanded he disarm, we decided to disarm him. And I'm convinced the world is a much more peaceful and secure place as a result of the actions.
from the White House web site.

There's no doubt in his mind--there never is. That's the problem.

And now Bush is using Clinton's actions to defend himself. I've been digging through Google trying to find a "wag the dog" comment from Governor George W. Bush, ca. 1998, without luck, so far (please send me a link if you find it--but don't fabricate anything; I am not Dick Cheney!). I did, however, find a very interesting article from July 2000. It has a lot to say about Scott Ritter, the former UN inspector (and former marine and Bush voter) who was saying a year ago that Iraq couldn't possibly have any WMD's:

Ritter, previously demonized by the Iraqis as American arrogance incarnate a man who wanted to "kick down doors" to get the goods on Iraq's alleged weapons stockpile has done a complete about-face since stepping down from his official duties. Here is a man who was at the very core of the American effort to disarm Saddam Hussein saying that it is time to not only lift the sanctions, but to rethink our entire policy toward Iraq's disarmament, and his recent article in Arms Control Today has caused a sensation. Ritter exposes how the US-British insistence on Iraq's complete and utter prostration has led, ironically, to a period of completely unmonitored Iraqi rearmament setting up Saddam for another round of attacks. This is the self-perpetuating fraud at the very heart of the US-British policy: Iraq is a convenient punching bag, which is being pummeled more or less constantly, the punches coming faster and harder as Election Day 2000 approaches. As Ritter put it to the Independent:

"The ironic thing is that the longer the inspectors stay away from Iraq, the more time the hardliners there have to rebuild their weaponry. The intelligence services of the US, Britain and Israel realise, but there is nothing they can do while the US Administration wants to keep Iraq as the whipping boy they can
wheel out at times of domestic difficulties."
Ritter makes a convincing and technically detailed argument that Iraqi weapons facilities have not only been largely destroyed but are beyond the possibility of regeneration any time in the foreseeable future. In the face of Ritter's inside knowledge of the subject, combined with a heroic determination to get the truth out, the US State Department is stepping up its propaganda campaign, whipping up a war scare over renewed accusations of Iraqi rearmament. While not disputing the perfect legality of Iraq testing short-range missiles allowed under the terms of the UN's disarmament mandate Washington clouds the issue with murky accusations about possible military applications of ordinary materials that have civilian uses. As long as the Americans reserve the unilateral right to invade Iraqi territory at will, and insist on utterly destroying not only Saddam but a whole generation of Iraqis who are being devastated by the murderous sanctions, then no arms inspection regime is possible. Ritter and his Unscom colleagues succeeded in defusing the threat of another war in Iraq as long as they had access but American and British arrogance has prevented any resumption of the process begun by Ritter. This enables the US to maintain a cloud of mystery and suspicion over Iraq as a potential repository of biological, chemical and even nuclear weapons. As a recent wire story put it: "The State Department . . . said that in the absence of United Nations inspectors on the ground in Iraq, uncertainties about the significance of these activities will persist," said the US State Department in a written response to a New York Times report about Iraqi rearmament. "As time passes our concerns will increase."
(interesting article">entire article; the author appears to be a Buchananite anti-war type.)

Remember, this is from July 2000. So Ritter was discrediting Clinton's "evidence" that was used to justify the Desert Fox bombings--and Bush, in desperation, is now grasping at Clinton's illegal bombing as justification for his illegal war.

Boy, I REALLY want to find a Governor G. W. Bush "wag the dog" quote from '98! Please send the link to if you find one!