"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Have You Forgotten?

To listen to the left-wing, you’d think President Bush woke up one day and without provocation, without a strategy and without the backing of the U.S. Congress and decided to take the country to war for partisan political advantage or financial gain.

We thought it might be helpful to those painting facts as revisionist spin and calling people habitual liars to be reminded of the history concerning the Global War On Terror and our military operations in Iraq.

A good place to begin is with President Bill Clinton’s address to the nation on December 16, 1998:
The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world.

The best way to end that threat once and for all is with a new Iraqi government -- a government ready to live in peace with its neighbors, a government that respects the rights of its people. Bringing change in Baghdad will take time and effort. We will strengthen our engagement with the full range of Iraqi opposition forces and work with them effectively and prudently.

The decision to use force is never cost-free. Whenever American forces are placed in harm's way, we risk the loss of life. And while our strikes are focused on Iraq's military capabilities, there will be unintended Iraqi casualties.

Indeed, in the past, Saddam has intentionally placed Iraqi civilians in harm's way in a cynical bid to sway international opinion.

Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people.

And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.
The “world” reacted to Clinton’s limited military strikes against Iraq with the same tired rhetoric we hear today. But let us not forget, regime change in Iraq, with the intention of replacing it with a democratic government, was the stated policy of the United States under the Clinton administration. As we know, all of the various good faith diplomatic and military strategies employed by the Clinton administration failed to remove the Saddam Hussein regime from power.

The stalemate between the United States and Iraq continued, prompting President Bush and the Congress to act. It might be helpful to read the text of the Joint Resolution of the Congress (H. J. RES. 114) of October 2002, authorizing the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq and the long list of stated reasons for the military action. The resolution was passed by the Senate 77 to 23 and passed by the House 296 to 133.

Next, it might be helpful to revisit what the American people thought, specifically the people of New Jersey, on the question of going to war with Iraq in 2003. The U.S. began Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 20, 2003. From March 25 - 30 Quinnipiac University conducted a poll of New Jersey voters about their position on the war and here’s what they found.

New Jersey voters supported the U.S. war with Iraq 71 - 25 percent with Republican support for the war at 87 - 10 percent, independents 68 - 26 percent and Democrats 58 - 38 percent.

By a 59 - 32 percent margin, New Jersey voters said there would be "a significant number of U.S. military casualties.”

A majority, 53 - 35 percent, expressed concern that in the short-term the war would increase terrorism in the United States. But a majority, 51 – 41 percent, also said in the long-term terrorism will be decreased by going to war with Iraq.
People understood the goal was to remove Hussein from power in order to bring about a democratic Iraq. A March 2003 CBS poll, conducted prior to the start of the war, found that 54% of the American people felt Bush was more interested in ousting Saddam Hussein, and just 20% thought his goal was to disarm Hussein. So that old saw about Bush’s only annunciated reason for going to war with Iraq was because of weapons of mass destruction is baloney. The American people understood our mission in Iraq was one aspect of Bush’s strategy for fighting the GWOT.

A majority of the American people understand that Al-Qaeda is just one faction of the islamo-terrorists enemies we face. This war is against the various terrorist groups and the states that harbor them, support their efforts and share their goal of destroying the west. The attacks of 9-11 were a wake-up call to confront the problem on all fronts and by all means.

President Bush has developed and implemented a global and long range strategy to defeat enemies that declared war on the United States prior to 9-11. It was Hussein who declared a "jihad" or holy war against the U.S in 1990 and it was Al-Qaeda that followed suit in 1998. An article by Peter Schweizer, Strategies or diversions?, explains the parallels between the strategy President Bush has adopted to win the GWOT and the one pursued by FDR in World War II.

President Bush has been criticized by the left for his strategy on the GWOT from the beginning. The same people who opposed the President’s strategy in October 2001, oppose it now. Four days into Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, the President was being asked if he had led the U.S. into a quagmire. Eight days into Operation Iraqi Freedom, the usual suspects said the military was bogged down and the Vietnam analogies began. Eighteen days later, the U.S. overthrew Saddam Hussein's regime. In December of 2003 we captured Hussein.

It has been non-stop criticism of the President from the left no matter what happens. Every obstacle or set-back in diplomacy or in a military operation is treated as proof the President’s strategy is flawed and should be scrapped. These critics demand perfection and immediate gratification, something that rarely occurs in war.

The President’s political opponents have treated us to all their reasons why the United States should not have taken the fight to Iraq – from Saddam Hussein didn’t attack us on 9-11, Iraq is a diversion from the main task of defeating al-Qaeda, it’s blood for oil, no WMD found, the war is unjust, more lives are being lost than saved and on and on. Now there is a growing chorus from Democrats to abandon military operations in Iraq. Yet, recent votes in the Congress have failed to back up those cut and run calls.

What the critics never supply is an alternate strategy for the GWOT and a plan for removing Saddam Hussein from power without the use of military force. Presumably, Bush should have stayed the failed course that brought us from one enemy front, 9-11 and a Saddam Hussein on another - growing richer by the year from the oil for food scam, harboring and supporting terrorists, while he plotted his next move against the U.S.

We believe the islamo-terrorists and their state sponsors are the ones waging an unjust war and that they are the ones killing people for no good reason. We also believe the actions by the United States and other countries to oppose the terrorist movement is logical and in the best interests of this country and countries around the world.

Disagree with the President’s strategy and execution of the GWOT, but stop trying to rewrite history and calling people liars just because the big picture confuses you.

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13 Comments:

At 8:09 AM, Blogger Dino P. Crocetti said...

Bob Menendez is at the forefront of liberals attempting to rewrite history.

If you look at the answers he gave in the second round of questioning in the Hall Institute virtual debate, they are much like the first round. It seems as though every other word out of Menendez's mouth is Bush. Bush this or Bush that.

He proudly boasts about voting against "Bush's War" and then says that he believes in promoting democracy and fighting terrorism in the Middle East. Does this make any sense to anybody?

Meanwhile, those Democrats who aren't in tune with the far left like Joe Lieberman are being attacked from the left by the Hollywood/MoveOn anti-war liberal Ned Lamont. Oddly enough, they didn't pour money into the campaign of Hillary Clinton's anti-war opponent after she voted for "Bush's War".

Everywhere you look, hypocracy and fraud are running rampant within the Democratic Party. And I'm supposed to think that they're a threat to the Republican majority? Don't make me laugh!

 
At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't forgotten anything. But calling them liars seems to be pretty accurate. Iraq was never about the War on Terror. That only became a selling point, after after other selling points failed to be proven.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/60minutes/main592330.shtml

Here is a comment from the link above, from Bush's own former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill:

“From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go,” says O’Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.

“From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime,” says Suskind. “Day one, these things were laid and sealed.”

So there it is from the horse's mouth. They were going in, even before the election, whether 9-11 happened or not.

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

Anonymous,

Yes, and three years before 9-11 the Clinton Administration was saying “what we can do to change this regime?” What’s your point? The Bush administration should have discarded Clinton’s policy of regime change in Iraq?

It’s crystal clear Clinton thought Saddam had to go and why. It’s also clear the American people knew prior to the Iraq war that it was one facet of the GWOT strategy. It’s well documented in the joint congressional resolution H. J. RES. 114. the reasons for going to war in Iraq. If those were not real reasons,what were they?

And how do you know what the Bush administration would have done about Iraq if 9-11 hadn’t happened? What was the difference between the Bush administration's approach to Iraq as comapred to the Clinton administration's before 9-11?

And what should any administration have done about Iraq post 9-11? Should the events of 9-11 suddenly have made regime change in Iraq unnecessary?

The key reasons for going to war with Iraq are contained in joint resolution H. J. RES. 114 of October 2002. The GWOT was very much a part of the reasons for authorizing military force in Iraq and it was not as you put it “a selling point, after other selling points failed to be proven.”

Here’s a list from H. J. RES. 114 that you can print out and refer to in the future. If you continue to claim Iraq “was never about the War on Terror” we’ll know you are a liar and not just an uninformed person.

1.The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.

2. The President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40).

3. Iraq remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.

4. The Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people.

5. Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region.

6. The current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council.

7. Members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq.

8. Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens.

 
At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again with the "War on Terror/Terrorism" and Iraq links. We didn't go into Iraq because of Al Qaeda, or Bin Laden. Here, read for yourself:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0314/p02s01-woiq.html

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_7980.shtml

http://www.alternet.org/story/16274/

http://www.informationliberation.com/index.php?id=4864

And if this isn't enough, read the 9-11 commission report. BTW, that was headed by Tom Kean, Rep.

So, maybe Bush wanted to go into Iraq because he thought Saddam was dangerous, or because it ruined father's legacy because he didn't finish the job, or whatever personal agenda he had. But please spare us with the lies and crap about "terror" and "terrorism". It was never about that.

 
At 4:13 PM, Blogger taxmaxed said...

Well, anonymous, if you think CBS is the bastion of truth and a source of impartial, unbiased and factual information, then you really are living under a rock! People like you make me fear for our future.

 
At 5:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Taxmaxed, I didn't quote CBS. I quoted Paul O'Neill, his former treasury secretary. Those were direct quotes. I don't care if they came from a right or left wing website. The person who said it was on Bush's cabinet. People like you scare me, because you can't speak for yourself. You have no independent thoughts. Now do yourself a favor, and read all the other links I provided, including the 9-11 report which was head buy a Republican.

 
At 5:58 AM, Blogger Enlighten said...

Okay, let’s see if we understand your position on Iraq and your logic behind it. The Global War on Terrorism, (GWOT) does not refer to our country’s world-wide efforts to eliminate international terrorism and to prevent states from harboring and sponsoring terrorist organizations.

There are not at least major 40 terrorists groups operating around the world posing a potential threat to innocent civilians, including Americans. Terrorists groups never join forces or work cooperatively. Countries, with the exception of perhaps the former Taliban regime in Afghanistan, do not share the same goals, of say al Qaeda, Abu Nidal, Abu Sayyaf, etc. and are highly unlikely to provide a safe haven and/or support for terrostist operations. There is a very low probability that a country, or elements within a state, would help a terrorist group obtain, develop or deploy WMD.

The United States is not employing its full range of capabilities - diplomatic, intelligence, financial, law enforcement, military etc. to identify, disrupt and eliminate terrorists groups and their benefactors throughout the world. It is doubtful there were ever more than a few hundred people engaged in international terrorism before we entered Iraq.

Bush has done nothing to fight terrorism beyond creating two wars of choice, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq. There was nothing strategic about taking out these two terrorist sponsoring regimes because there’s only Iran between the two countries. There’s no side benefit militarily or otherwise with those choices. Besides, Hussein was never engaged in sponsoring terrorism or other activates that might pose a threat to the U.S. or any other country.

You believe we are not fighting or should not be fighting a GWOT. Rather we should limit our activities to a HFB (Hunt for Bin Laden) or perhaps a HFB&AQ (Hunt for Bin Laden & al Qaeda). Anything beyond these limited activities has nothing to do with preventing terrorism and especially with preventing attacks in the United States.

The reasons Congress cited for authorizing military action in Iraq weren’t the real ones.- Saddam Hussein’s demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, his well known efforts in supporting and harboring terrorist organizations etc. You don’t know the real reasons, but you are certain the ones Congress and the President told the world are not the true reasons.

Regime change in Iraq may have been the policy of the U.S. under President Clinton, but it should not have been continued under President Bush. It’s totally shocking to learn that even former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill was aware of this policy and of the President’s concerns over Iraq. The events of 9-11 should have rendered that nutty idea obsolete, if not before.

President Bush should have dismissed as nonsense the Clinton Justice Department’s indictment of bin Laden in 1998 that included: “Al Qaeda reached an understanding with the government of Iraq that al Qaeda would not work against that government and that on particular projects, specifically including weapons development, al Qaeda would work cooperatively with the Government of Iraq."

You are convinced the wing-nut spin doctors began their propaganda for a war with Iraq well before Bush was “selected” President. (My how times have changed from the days when the left was losing its collective mind over Joe Lieberman not becoming Vice President of the United States.) Joe must have been in cahoots with Clinton and Bush for this article to have appeared in the U.K. Guardian – Feb 9, 1999:

“Saddam Hussein's regime has opened talks with Osama bin Laden, bringing closer the threat of a terrorist attack using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, according to US intelligence sources and Iraqi opposition officials.”

Then again, maybe it Karl Rove doing advance work for Dick Cheney, the real power behind the throne, who managed to get the Guardian, the Washington Post, CNN and others to come up with this report in 1999: “Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has offered asylum to bin Laden, who openly supports Iraq against the Western powers.”

You are convinced the Clinton State Department was clearly under the influence of Bush neocons after reading the April 2000 report - Patterns of Global Terrorism: 1999. “Iraq continued to plan and sponsor international terrorism in 1999. Iraq continued to provide safe haven to a variety of Palestinian rejectionist groups, including the Abu Nidal organization, the Arab Liberation Front (ALF), and the former head of the now-defunct 15 May Organization, Abu Ibrahim, who masterminded several bombings of U.S. aircraft. “

You think Senator Clinton was off her rocker in 2002 when she explained, that although Saddam Hussein had not conspired with bin Laden on the 9-11 attacks, she was concerned with that “thorny dilemma” of what we should do about Hussein.

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001.”

You think, what the hell would Hillary know beyond the “twisted” information and “lies” the Bush administration was spoon feeding the public and Congress. After all, her husband was only President of the United States for eight years before Bush.

You believe the 9-11 Report, released in July, 2004, provides dire warnings about taking military actions against countries sponsoring terrorism, especially Iraq. You’ll of course be providing relevant quotes from the report to back up your theory.

The independent thinker that you are, it was your novel idea that military actions in Iraq had nothing to do with the GWOT. And you were the person who decided President Bush, along with anyone who says that it does, is a liar. And of course you know that’s true because you said so.

 
At 8:03 AM, Blogger Dino P. Crocetti said...

Checkmate, Anonymous.

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger Jack said...

Enlighten, some of your points make sense, but your assertion that it had nothing to do with WMD is way off base. If that was true, the president wouldn't have felt the need to lie about Sadam's purchase of arms from Africa.

Bush, like every other president, was thinking in the historic sense. He would oust Sadam Hussein, turn the middle east into a bastion of democracy, and get the oil pumping. Obviously, he didn't plan well.

- BlueWaveNJ

 
At 3:18 PM, Blogger Enlighten said...

Jack, please explain or point to quotes in this post or in our comments where we asserted the GWOT or military operations in Iraq “had nothing to do with WMD”. Also please provide information concerning your statement “the president wouldn't have felt the need to lie about Sadam's purchase of arms from Africa.”

Here is what President Bush said "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Either the British government believed Hussein had sought uranium in Africa and communicated that information to the U.S. or it didn’t.

As both the British government Butler Review and the Senate Select Committee Report on Pre War Iraq Intelligence make clear, the British Government most certainly did communicate to the U.S. that Hussein sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Bush clearly didn’t pull this information out from thin air and his statement on the subject is certainly not a lie.

President also said this in that same speech:
“Different threats require different strategies. In Iran we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction and supports terror.

On the Korean Peninsula, an oppressive regime rules a people living in fear and starvation.

Throughout the 1990s, the United States relied on a negotiated framework to keep North Korea from gaining nuclear weapons. We now know that that regime was deceiving the world and developing those weapons all along.

And today the North Korean regime is using its nuclear program to incite fear and seek concessions.

America and the world will not be blackmailed.

Our nation and the world must learn the lessons of the Korean Peninsula and not allow an even greater threat to rise up in Iraq. A brutal dictator, with a history of reckless aggression, with ties to terrorism, with great potential wealth will not be permitted to dominate a vital region and threaten the United States.

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?

If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option. “

You wrote: “Bush, like every other president, was thinking in the historic sense. He would oust Sadam Hussein, turn the middle east into a bastion of democracy, and get the oil pumping. Obviously, he didn't plan well.”

Shocking isn’t it? It’s been nearly four years and the Middle East has not been completely transformed and the world-wide terrorist movement has been completely eliminated. What were the alternate strategies and plans for solving the Saddam Hussein problem, the Middle East problem, and the threat from the international terrorism movement?

Are you sure “the Bush Doctrine”, if perused over time, will not turn out to be successful or are you just hoping it won’t?

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Jack said...

"We know Iraq has weapons of mass destruction"

--Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld

No, it doesn't look like Iraq is going to be a success. And no, I would like it to be successful because even if I'm as cynical as you assume I am, I think Iraq would make a great winter vacation spot and I would like to pay $1.50 for gas again.

Even the guy who was writing the freedom fries legislation said that voting for the war was a mistake.

- BlueWaveNJ

 
At 12:07 AM, Blogger Enlighten said...

Jack,

So you have conceded we did not assert the GWOT or military operations in Iraq “had nothing to do with WMD" as you claimed in your first comment.

You now concede the President didn't lie in his State of the Union speech as you suggested and you now know the President never said Saddam "purchased arms from Africa" as you claimed in your first comment.

You've moved on from President Bush and now provide a quote from Donald Rumsfeld. What’s your point?

You wrote: " I would like it to be successful" How could we be successful in Iraq if we surrender and leave the country before conditions are stable? Perahps that's not what you recommned, but what are you suggesting we do?

You wrote: “I think Iraq would make a great winter vacation spot and I would like to pay $1.50 for gas again.” To the first point, why? And to the second, what does anything we’ve been discussing have to do with paying $1.50 for gas? If you’re interested in leaning about the world-wide supply and demand for oil you might want to read this report.

You wrote: “Even the guy who was writing the freedom fries legislation said that voting for the war was a mistake.” The guy must be a major political leader and military strategist – even you didn’t know his name or provide a link.

You offer no alternate strategies and plans for solving the Saddam Hussein problem, the Middle East problem, and the threat from the international terrorism movement. We’ll never know what would have happened if we didn’t go into to Iraq, but President Clinton gave us his prediction:

“The hard fact is that so long as Saddam remains in power, he threatens the well-being of his people, the peace of his region, the security of the world. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors. He will make war on his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them.”

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger Jack said...

The freedom fries guy is Walter Jones (R-NC). I thought everyone knew about that story. Bob Ney was a co-sponsor. Ironically, Ney just forfeited his race and Jones is in a tough re-election battle. But that's a story for another day.. Rumsfeld is the president's rep on defense issues, what he says should count.

Iraq has a warm, dry climate with an interesting Arab culture. Oil prices are not merely governed by supply and demand. Any turbulence in the middle east causes prices to rise, and a stable, oil producing iraq would cause prices to drop. Not to 1.50 probably, but whatever.

What congressional district do you live in? What do you think about 06 and 08?

- BlueWaveNJ

 

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