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Monday, October 11, 2004

Let's remember what they told us

The type of rhetoric that led to the war in Iraq:
But for all our promise, all our opportunity, people in this room know very well that this is not a time free from peril, especially as a result of reckless acts of outlaw nations and an unholy axis of terrorists, drug traffickers and organized international criminals.

We have to defend our future from these predators of the 21st century. They feed on the free flow of information and technology. They actually take advantage of the freer movement of people, information and ideas.

And they will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. We simply cannot allow that to happen.

There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His regime threatens the safety of his people, the stability of his region and the security of all the rest of us.

I want the American people to understand first the past how did this crisis come about?

And I want them to understand what we must do to protect the national interest, and indeed the interest of all freedom-loving people in the world.

Remember, as a condition of the cease-fire after the Gulf War, the United Nations demanded not the United States the United Nations demanded, and Saddam Hussein agreed to declare within 15 days this is way back in 1991 within 15 days his nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them, to make a total declaration. That's what he promised to do.
In 1995, Hussein Kamal, Saddam's son-in-law, and the chief organizer of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program, defected to Jordan. He revealed that Iraq was continuing to conceal weapons and missiles and the capacity to build many more.

Then and only then did Iraq admit to developing numbers of weapons in significant quantities and weapon stocks. Previously, it had vehemently denied the very thing it just simply admitted once Saddam Hussein's son-in-law defected to Jordan and told the truth. Now listen to this, what did it admit?

It admitted, among other things, an offensive biological warfare capability notably 5,000 gallons of botulinum, which causes botulism; 2,000 gallons of anthrax; 25 biological-filled Scud warheads; and 157 aerial bombs.

And I might say UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq has actually greatly understated its production.
Now, let's imagine the future. What if he fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made?

Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction.

And some day, some way, I guarantee you, he'll use the arsenal. And I think every one of you who's really worked on this for any length of time believes that, too.
We now know that most of this was lies. The Duefler report concludes that Iraq's WMD's were destroyed by 1991, and its capabilities for making them were destroyed by 1995. And Hussein Kamal had told that to the CIA. And while he "might say" that "UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq has actually greatly understated its production," we "might say" that he was lying. Just like when he said he didn't have sex with "that woman." Because all of the above is from a speech given by President Bill Clinton on February 17, 1998.

In February, 2004, after David Kay's report came out, Seth Ackerman wrote in Mother Jones about how Clinton, just as much as Bush, deceived and flat-out lied about what he knew about Iraq's non-existent weapons. Bush let the cat out of the bag the other night in the debate when he said that sanctions had failed because they hadn't removed Saddam Hussein. That was the real but hidden goal of the brutal sanctions from 1991 until 2003, and it was the goal for Clinton just as much as Bush. And I have little doubt that John Kerry knew it was all lies as well.

Still think we have a two-party system?

Thanks to Jonathan at A Tiny Revolution for the link to the Ackerman article. The Scott Ritter article that I linked to earlier today fits right in with this post as well.

American imperialists, Republican and Democratic, demanded a compliant puppet regime in Baghdad. They waited impatiently while sanctions killed some one million Iraqis, hoping they'd get regime change on the cheap. In 2002, they decided that the waiting was over. Two bloody years later, they've got their compliant puppet regime.

I stand by my frequent observation that Bill Clinton has to be the favorite president ever among the real powers of the Republican party, no matter how hated he may be among the ignorant base. All the nonsense about Monica and the attacks on Hillary and the rumors about Vince Foster--all smokescreen for carrying out brutal policies: the attacks on Iraq, Sudan, and Yugoslavia; the sanctions; welfare reform; NAFTA; hundreds of thousands added to the US prison population. Clinton even provided the rhetoric his more linguistically-challenged successor would use to promote the illegal invasion of a defenseless nation. And the Repugs in power enjoyed the delicious satisfaction of watching Clinton do their every bidding while they picked on him the whole time. Maybe that's why they seem to be turning on W now. Not only will Kerry carry out their agenda more competently, but they'll have much more fun attacking him than they're having now trying to defend the current idiot-in-chief. They've got to keep the election close so their base won't figure out what's happening (yeah, like that's going to happen!).

I tell you, once you abandon the notion that the leaders of either major party have any good intentions whatsoever, things make much more sense!