United States weapons inspector Charles Duelfer released his extensive report last week, and confirmed that Saddam Hussein had shut down Iraq’s chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons programs following the first Iraq war in 1991. His report also showed that Saddam had no stockpiles of WMDs after that year. With that said, it is interesting to look back at how the Democrats, like Bush, lied to the American public, and inflated Saddam’s supposed threat to our national security. The mendacity was undoubtedly universal. Here are a few of the choice quotes:
or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons
of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom
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
stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his
neighbors with weapons of mass destruction."
use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since
"[W]e urge you, after
consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and
laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile
strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed
by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction
technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a
mockery of the weapons inspection process."
has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction
and palaces for his cronies."
begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to
the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the
United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of
that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons
throughout his country."
search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we
should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons
of mass destruction."
last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident
that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological
weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his
chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate
that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use
force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a
deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and
grave threat to our security."
is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to
develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next
five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the
progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
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 ... It is
clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to
increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep
trying to develop nuclear weapons."
in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein
has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the
production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and
the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United
wait for the [Iraq] danger to become clear, it could be too late.”
both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States
and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and 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.”
question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous
dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly
grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ...
And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and
his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of
Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."
Joshua Frank is a contributor to CounterPunch's new election book, A Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils, and is author of the forthcoming book, Left Out! How Liberals Did Bush's Work for Him, to be published by Common Courage Press. He welcomes comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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