Friday, August 12, 2005

OP ED: Who is lying about Iraq?

War protestors and a sympathetic news media are promulgating the notion that the war in Iraq was declared unilaterally by George Bush based on the "big lie" -- the presence of weapons of mass destruction.

That very contention, however, IS the "big lie." Any simple review of the history clearly shows that George Bush never lied to the American public. No parsing of words. No deceptions. No contorted language. George Bush NEVER lied about Iraq.

Bush's statements on the probability of the existence of WMDs were based on U.S. intelligence reports ... British Intelligence reports ... Israeli intelligence reports. There was a general supposition of their existence, or planned development. Virtually every nation, as well as the U.N. shared that opinion ... as did our U.S. Congress, based on the many of the same reports that were provided to Bush.

At worst, Bush's belief's and statements were unintentionally erroneous. At best, there were unproven truths.

There is some evidence that WMDs were part of the Iraqi military and scientific activities. Did WMDs exist, but were shuttled out of Iraq on the eve of war? Were contingency plans in place for their development? Those are unanswered questions. Given the treachery of Saddam Hussein, however, they cannot be totally discounted as the protestors would like to do. Hussein's history of lies, covert activities, defiance of arms inspectors and ruthless belligerence make all such possibilities reasonable.

The WMD issue is not the only lie being promulgated by the anti-Bush crowd.

Another "big lie" is that the presence of WMDs was the SOLE reason for the Iraqi invasion. This was not at all the case. It was well established that Hussein was rogue leader. He was, without question, promoting international terrorism on a grand scale, including providing safe harbor and training to international terrorists and offering rewards for terrorist attacks. He had already invaded a neighboring nation. He was behind efforts to topple pro-western Arab regimes. His rule was marked by the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of his own Muslim citizens. The need for regime change was widely supported by the world community.

A third "big lie" is that Bush acted alone, in defiance of the international community and the American Congress. Have we forgotten that the overthrow of Hussein was called for by virtually every civilized nation on earth, including those that shirked their duty when it came time to send in the troops? The United States invasion, specifically, was supported by resolutions of the U.N. In addition, President Bush was given the go ahead to invade by the Congress in a bipartisan vote -- that included the likes of John Kerry. The battle was joined by a coalition of nations. Bush did not go it alone.

A fourth "big lie" is that the Iraq war is an isolated battle. Frankly, I cannot understand the silence from the protesting left with regard to Afghanistan. Bush clearly advised the American public that Iraq was a critical part of the overall war on terrorism. It is not possible to address terrorism on a localized level. It does not represent a nation, but a network that spreads across client states.

A fifth "big lie" is that Bush said the war would be won in a short time. To the contrary, the Bush administration constantly warned the public that the war on terrorism will be long and painful -- and that it would not be waged or won with out human loss and devastation on our side. Bush was correct in congratulating our troops for the impressively swift manner in which they secured the fall of the Hussein regime. It was never said that the struggle to ferret out resistant terrorists and establish democracy would be easy. Bush's shipboard praise of our troops was never the end of hostilities, but only the reflection of a significant milestone, the fall of Hussein.

A sixth "big lie" is that the invasion of Iraq provoked the terrorist response in recent years. Terrorism was a fact of life throughout the world prior to the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq. Munich, Lockerbie, the Cole, etc., etc., etc. Was the attack on the World Trade Towers provoked? Those who think Muslim extremism would end if we were complacent are delusional. The fact that we have engaged an increasingly more dangerous enemy will create heightened hostility. It is a painful and necessary operation to remove the ever deadly cancer.

It does not seem credible that the perpetrators of these "big lies" are simply misinformed. The active protestors are too well informed to have missed all the historic facts, and even a cursory check of old media reports will put the lie to the lies. The media most certainly should know better. Their willingness to propagandize is unprofessional, at best.

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