Bush Lied (for a change)


Bush Lied and Soldiers Died
by Wayne Francis
t r u t h o u t | Opinion

Saturday 31 May 2003

     In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Deputy
Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz revealed that weapons
of mass destruction were the "diplomatic" reason for
the War on Iraq. This statement simultaneously
explains why the Bush administration is so horrible at
diplomacy, (they don't even know the definition) and
why every country in the world except the U.S. and
Israel had public majorities that opposed the war.
Legions of foreign intelligence agencies, from China
to France to Russia to Germany, reported that Iraq was
no threat, had no terrorists, and most importantly had
no weapons of mass destruction. Understandably, the
leaders of these countries opposed the war, and the
citizens protested in the streets.

     It appears the Bush administration was well aware
of these facts, but proceeded to use "diplomacy" to
convince the American people, and anyone else without
shouting distance, that Iraq was an imminent threat to
the U.S. and its allies. Unfortunately for Mr. Bush,
this deception left a trail.

     Before the war and in his address to the United
Nations, Colin Powell asserted in no uncertain terms
that Saddam Hussein had stockpiled massive amounts of
chemical and biological weapons and was prepared to
use them at the first available opportunity.
Vice-President Dick Cheney went so far as to say that,
"he (Saddam) has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear
weapons." Ari Fleischer also promised reporters on
multiple occasions that weapons of mass destruction
are "what this war is about." And in an interview
with Al Jazeera, Donald Rumsfeld plainly stated that
the war, "is about weapons of mass destruction. It is
unquestionably about that."

     Somewhere along the line, this rhetoric came to a
grinding halt. Several weeks have now passed since the
end of the war, and WMD's have yet to be found in
Iraq. Specialized teams of engineers, scientists, and
intelligence agents have been searching for these
weapons since the outbreak of war, yet have been
unable to locate even the slightest trace of chemical
and biological weapons. (Nuclear weapons were
essentially dismissed as a possibility sometime before
the war.)

     In the greater scheme of things, the War on Iraq
was assumed to be part of the much larger "War on
Terrorism." It is disappointing, then, to learn that
the U.S. military occupying Iraq has not found any
terrorists, weapons for terrorists, money for
terrorists, or any possible connection between Al
Qaeda and the now dissipated government of Iraq. If
the War on Iraq was a remedy for the growing threat of
terrorism to the U.S., one could easily conclude our
mission was a dismal failure.

     Moreover, Saddam Hussein's military provided
hardly any resistance to US forces when the invasion
began, thus proving that Iraq posed no danger to the
U.S. or any of its allies. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV)
stated, "What has become painfully clear in the
aftermath of war is that Iraq was no immediate threat
to the U.S. Ravaged by years of sanctions, Iraq did
not even lift an airplane against us. Iraq's
threatening fleet of unmanned drones about which we
heard so much morphed into one prototype made of
plywood and string. Their missiles proved to be
outdated and of limited range. Their army was quickly
overwhelmed by our technology and our well trained

     The rebuilding of Iraq is also developing into a
significant embarrassment for the Bush administration.
In a Senate meeting with Paul Wolfowitz, Sen.
Christopher Dodd, (D-CN) said, "It is very hard to
fathom what the administration's strategy is with
respect to the immediate stabilization of the
situation, let alone the longer-term reconstruction of
Iraq." Sen. Richard Lugar, (R-IN) head of Senate
Foreign Relations Committee, stated, "The planning for
peace was much less developed than the planning for
war." Sen. Chuck Hagel, (R-NE) also remarked, "we may
have underestimated or mischaracterized the challenges
of establishing security and rebuilding Iraq."

     A great deal of animosity is also evolving out of
a disastrous situation in Afghanistan, where the last
few weeks have yielded a great deal of unfortunate
news. A British aid worker recently reported that,
"The country is on its knees: roads, bridges, tunnels,
schools, homes, hospitals, and farmlands are reduced
to rubble and dust. Only 5% of the rural population
have access to clean water, 17% have access to medical
services, 13% have
access to education, 25% of all children are dead by
the age of five."

     Inaddition, Afghanistan has now regained its
title as the world's largest opium producer. Opium,
according to the Bush administration, provided
enormous funding for some of the terrorist
organizations responsible for 9/11. The Taliban have
also recently taken responsibility for several
killings involving U.S. soldiers, Afghan soldiers, and
Afghan civilians. Amazingly, as of today, the United
States military controls just one city.

     In the interim, the Al Qaeda terrorist network
has reorganized its command structure and is
flagrantly boasting that it is stronger than ever
before. Jonathan Stevenson, senior fellow for
counter-terrorism at London's International Institute
for Strategic Studies said, "The US war on Iraq gave
Al Qaeda the opportunity to reinvigorate its weakened
terrorist network with new recruits and more funding.
The Iraq war clearly increased the terrorist impulse."
Paul Wilkinson, head of the Center for the Study of
Terrorism and Political Violence also stated, "The
political masters in the US and Europe underestimated
the extent to which bin Laden would use the war in
Iraq as a propaganda weapon to rejuvenate the movement
and attract more funds. As far as the war against Al
Qaeda goes, it possibly has been counterproductive. We
face turbulent times ahead."

     Recent events suggest this line of reasoning is
legitimate. Saudi Arabia and Morocco were rocked by
terrorist bombings last week, and the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict is continuing to produce
incessant terrorism from each side. The Pentagon has
also reported that Al Qaeda leaders are coordinating
terrorist attacks from Iran; regime change is now
under consideration. Furthermore, Osama bin Laden
continues to traverse the world as a free man. Saddam
Hussein, the anthrax killer, and the senior leadership
of Al Qaeda are also evading the "resolve" of Mr.
Bush. And for whatever reason, the Homeland Security
Department has recently raised the America's terror
alert to "high."

     When considering present circumstances, it
appears that the U.S. is, by any logical standard of
measurement, losing the War on Terrorism. Just a
brief review of events from the world stage should
provide even the most credulous American with
incontrovertible proof that the world is not a safer
place since Mr. Bush took office. The international
community, and specifically the Arab world, has never
been more candid about their contempt for US policy.

     Clearly, it is an incontestable fact that the
gigantic chore undertaken by the United States
Military, the State Department, the Pentagon, and U.S.
intelligence agencies to invade and occupy Iraq has
not yielded one single victory in the War on
Terrorism. Mr. Bush's strategy to combat terror was
undoubtedly doomed to fail from the beginning.
Military force was his one and only answer to the
events of 9/11, and despite massive increases in
defense spending and a budget-busting war in Iraq,
America has nothing to show for its efforts in the War
on Terrorism. These immense costs, coupled with Mr.
Bush's trillion-dollar tax cut package, are directly
responsible for what is now the biggest budget deficit
in United States history.

     As America's economy continues to nosedive, the
gap between the haves and have-nots will most
assuredly widen. Concurrently, less and less funding
will be delivered to places like Afghanistan and Iraq,
where our failure to establish a structured government
system is producing harsh criticism from the United
Nations. As these countries and the surrounding areas
continue to suffer, Al Qaeda will assuredly prosper.
Fueled by disdain for U.S. international policy, new
recruits for the terrorist networks of the world will
join the fight against what they believe is an
ungodly, aggressor nation. Our government, and
specifically the Bush administration, bears
responsibility for this upheaval, and should begin
taking immediate steps to ameliorate the suffering
caused by U.S. led military combat.

The problem with opinion columns like this one is that they are so full of
holes that the pro-war people can tear them apart factually, making the
author's main point (that Iraq was not a threat to the U.S.) seem

First, WMDS actually HAVE been found in Iraq, just in small amounts (none of
the tons of VX gas Powell claimed). But since the author says "unable to
locate even the slightest trace", he is simply factually wrong. The Bill
O'Reillys of the world love to latch on to stuff like that to "prove" their

Similarly, terrorist training camps HAVE been located (one of them is where
they found the traces of chemical weapons), but they simply look like they
haven't been used for a long while. Again, the main point that Iraq was no
real threat is overshadowed by the author's twisting of the truth.

Finally, as for the complaint about Afghanistan becoming the biggest opium
producer, I can't say as a Libertarian that I have any problem whatsoever
with that fact.

Anyway, this is proof again that anti-war Libertarians have to be careful
who we ally ourselves with, because some people in the anti-war camp tend to
exaggerate or even lie in their arguments against the war. There's no sense
in giving the pro-war people rhetorical ammunition to use against us.