Sunday, June 08, 2003

Enquirer Editorial: “Iraq's weapons: Threat was there”The title of this editorial should be “Iraq’s weapons: Ends Justify the Means.” The Editorial Board of the Enquirer cares little about lying. They care little that everyone of consequence in the Bush Administration stated Iraq possessed WMD and were trying to gain more, using this claim as the main and most immediate rationale that war against Iraq was for National Security reasons. That claim was either an out right lie, faith in bad intelligence, or miracle brilliance on the part of the Iraqis to destroy or hide their WMD.

I don’t doubt Iraq was trying to gain more WMD, but there was no concrete evidence that Iraq had weapons ready to be used on short notice, thus creating a threat. They might have possessed machines with dual use. They likely had unprocessed materials that could have been used to create WMD. There are many many countries that have the same thing: Syria, Iran, and North Korea being three of the most well known. If there was no immediate threat, then justification for an invasion lies back on the other reasons given: violation of the UN, and deposing of a dictator.

Does this possibility mean war was justified? On the threat of WMD alone, no. Do the other reasons given for going to war justify it, yes, but lying about the only reason involving a threat to the USA does nothing to support it after the fact. Playing bait and switch does not fly. It will fly with Bush loyalists and apathetic idiots, but not to anyone who cares about simple truth.

Do Bush’s remaining reasons for war support his value of leadership? At this point HELL NO! His rationale for war now could and should be used in a dozen plus other countries, but it is clear Bush cannot and will not seek to take military action anywhere in Africa or Southeast Asia, against countries with just as horrible governments as Iraq had. He may look to invade Iran or Syria, killing thousands of American soldiers in the process. That possibility sounds far fetched I know. Invading Iraq sounded just as far fetched to me back in 2001 and early 2002. I believed Bush on the WMD, that although they could likely not be used to hit American soil directly, they could be used to hit Israel or other US allies or International US targets. I believed that Bush would not exaggerate, not rely on weak evidence, and not lie like a dog as a means to justify a war. I do not like Bush as president at all, but I supported the president and assumed he was being mostly honest about going to war. I did not trust Bush, but I honestly believed he would not spin a war like he spun his tax cut. I was wrong. I was a sucker. I expected that the US Military would find munitions loaded with chemical weapons ready to go in some kind of bunker or complex in Baghdad or Tekrit. At this point, none have been found. I assume we are correctly looking for them, but I don’t trust the Bush Administration to be looking for them. If they find anything now, it will be difficult to trust what they find. They may still find something. All they may find now is either traces of materials used to make WMD, or if they are lucky, large amounts of materials used to make WMD. I doubt they will find much any of anything supporting a viable capability to use or easily produce WMD.

Will Bush suffer for misleading the country? Only a little bit, assuming he does not get “lucky” and find something consequential. Bush supporters will allow the man do anything he wants with little or no response. Those who opposed Bush before will still oppose Bush. The rest, well, that is where it remains to be seen. If the mainstream media does its job and finds the truth on the WMD, and asks about it constantly right up to November 2004, then Bush on paper should be defeated. If the media slacks off, or lets Bush off, then little will change based on this issue alone. The media so far has slowly been working on the story. The true test will be how they react to the campaign of denials and revisionism from the Bush Gang. As long as the media does not let Bush and company try and claim that the presence of WMD did not matter and the ends are all that matters, then the truth may come out. If the media instead follows Bush like a lemming, as the Enquirer has done, then I am afraid Bush will have been allowed to wage war on false pretenses.

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