“Barbara Walters: This was our main reason for going in. So now when we read, ‘Okay, the search is over,’ what do you feel?
“President Bush: Well, like you, I felt like we’d find weapons of mass destruction. Or like many, many here in the United States, many around the world, the United Nations thought he had weapons of mass destruction, and so therefore, one, we need to find out what went wrong in the intelligence gathering. Saddam was dangerous. And . . . the world was safer without him in power.
“Walters: But was it worth it if there were no weapons of mass destruction? Now that we know that that was wrong? Was it worth it?
“Bush: Oh, absolutely.”
In January of 2003 I, along with millions of others in the U.S. and around the world, protested the coming war against Iraq. I did not believe that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. My memory is that many in the UN did not believe that there were WMD. My memory is that many millions of the world believed Iraq to be a country greatly weakened by more than a decade of economic sanctions. Many millions believed that Iraq and Saddam posed no threat to America. Many millions did and do believe that George Bush lied repeatedly about evidence and that he waged a war of aggression against a country that could not defend itself.
In January 2003 I was fairly certain that Bush was lying about his evidence and that no weapons would be found. What do you know about the evidence? If you are certain Bush was telling the truth, I ask: What do you really know about the evidence? I want to know why anyone would support this man and his evidence. For those that may be new to this blog I’ll add for a sense of context that I also protested Bill Clinton and many of his policies many times. I’m an equal opportunity anarchist. I detest not just the Republicans but the Democrats as well.
Quote via Juan Cole who had this to say:
When is someone going to call him on this inanity? The Belgians didn’t have intelligence assets inside Iraq that could have given them an independent view of the question. Whatever the world believed, it mostly believed because the United States disseminated the information.
Moreover, it is not true that there were no dissenters. The State Department’s own Intelligence and Research Division dissented. French military intelligence dissented. What Bush is saying is either untrue or meaningless.
As I have pointed out before, Saddam without weapons of mass destruction could not have been “dangerous” to the United States. Just parroting “dangerous” doesn’t create real danger. Danger has to come from an intent and ability to strike the US. Saddam had neither. He wasn’t dangerous to the US. It is absurd that this poor, weak, ramshackle 3rd world state should have been seen as “dangerous” to a superpower. That is just propaganda.
Calling Saddam “dangerous” as an existential element without regard to the evidence falls under the propaganda techniques of name-calling and stirring irrational fear.
I could not agree more.