There have been many attacks against our president involving the war in Iraq. I have listened to these attacks during countless Democratic debates and even more campaign speeches, but I’m having a hard time understanding these accusations that many democratic leaders are making against President Bush. Here are the main ones:
1. Bush lied to the American people about Saddam’s WMDs (weapons of mass destruction): This is absolutely absurd for two reasons. First, Bush conveyed to the American people the intelligence that he received. This is the same intelligence that was given to the U.S. Congress that voted to give the President the authority to use force in Iraq. This was the same intelligence available to the United Nations and the rest of the world. Even before Bush came into office, top Democrats believed in the danger posed by Saddam.
“If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.” – President Clinton, 1998.
“Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein… The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real.” – John Kerry, 2003.
Second, this argument fails to answer the question, “Why?” If Bush knew that Iraq didn’t have WMDs then why did he say they did, knowing he would be in the position he is in now? In poker you don’t bluff if you’re certain your bluff is going to be called.
Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich could not even answer this question when asked in the recent Wisconsin presidential debate. He said, “Well, you know what, I can’t speak for the president.”
The usually articulate Al Sharpton made a less than eloquent response to the same question.
“You can only assume that [the Bush administration] had to know if they said that they knew where the weapons were, that they knew they didn’t know where they were.”
2. Bush carried out the war in Iraq for political gain: Political gain? What did he have to gain by going into Iraq? Bush still had incredible popularity from his leadership during 9/11, and with the certainty of an economic turn on the horizon, a second term seemed inevitable. This war could have been and still could be Bush’s political downfall. He had absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose. Even if the Iraqi war and the country’s reconstruction were executed flawlessly, many Americans would still disagree with the President’s pre-emptive strike policy. And if the war played out poorly, then Bush’s political career would surely be over. But Bush took it upon himself to protect this country, and in doing so he was willing to risk a political blunder and his political future so that this country will remain safe and secure.
David Abroms can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.