November 14, 2005

Democratic Revisionist History

President Bush gave many rationales for the invasion of Iraq (including enforcement of violated U.N. resolutions, spreading of democracy, putting an end to human rights atrocities commited daily in Iraq, etc.). Although it was not President Bush's only reason given for going to war, the threat of weapons of mass destruction was clearly one of the most heavily touted administration rationales for war.

Many Democrats have been developing an acute case of amnesia when it comes to the Iraq war. Lately, the main Democratic theme is that President Bush "lied" to Congress and the American people by telling us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was developing nuclear weapons.

One problem with this: the Democrats also believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was developing nuclear weapons and was a clear threat to the United States.
In 1998, the Democrats sponsored the Iraqi Liberation Act, which made regime change in Iraq official governmental policy.

Even though they may attempt to remember it differently, the Iraqi war resolution, which urged that "the President to take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs", was a very bipartisan resolution. In fact, such democrats as Tom Daschle, Max Cleland, John Kerry, Robert Byrd and Patrick Leahy co-sponsored the resolution.

If President Bush "lied", then didn't a large number of Democrats do so as well? If you want to be intellectually honest, then look at the following:

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. 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." -- Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons." - Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va.

"The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as (Saddam Hussein) is in power." - Sen. Carl Levin

"Saddam Hussein, in effect, has thumbed his nose at the world community. And I think that the president's approaching this in the right fashion." - Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid"

"Under Saddam's rule, Iraq has engaged in far-reaching human rights abuses, been a state sponsor of terrorism and has long sought to obtain and develop weapons of mass destruction." — Statement from the Web site of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in 2002.

"Those who doubted whether Iraq or the world would be better off without Saddam Hussein and those who believe today that we are not safer with his capture don't have the judgment to be president or the credibility to be elected president." -- John Kerry 12/20/03

"The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last four years ... he has continued to build those weapons." -— Sen. John Kerry, Congressional Record, Oct. 9, 2002

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." -- From a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998

"This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer- range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." -- From a December 6, 2001 letter signed by Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford, & Tom Lantos among others

"Whereas Iraq has consistently breached its cease-fire agreement between Iraq and the United States, entered into on March 3, 1991, by failing to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction program, and refusing to permit monitoring and verification by United Nations inspections; Whereas Iraq has developed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological capabilities, and has made positive progress toward developing nuclear weapons capabilities" -- From a joint resolution submitted by Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter on July 18, 2002

"Saddam's goal ... is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed." -- Madeline Albright, 1998

"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." -- Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002

"Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." -- Al Gore, 2002

"I share the administration's goals in dealing with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction." -- Dick Gephardt in September of 2002

"Saddam Hussein's regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal." -- John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

"I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out." -- Clinton's Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

"Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement." -- Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002

"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." -- Bill Clinton in 1998

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained 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 capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability." -- Robert Byrd, October 2002

"(Iraq) 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 might I say, UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq has actually greatly understated its production." -— Text of President Clinton's address to Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pentagon staff, Feb. 17, 1998
Now, who's being honest and who is being dishonest?
I took the quotes listed in this post from here and here.
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