More on Iraqi WMDs and Responses


Mike Sullivan sends me this:

"These are statements attributed to Democrats (and verified) on threats of WMDs and Saddam's regime": "If you really believe that President BUSH lied - - THAT THERE NEVER WERE ANY WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION IN IRAQ AND HE TOOK US TO WAR SOLELY FOR HIS OIL BUDDIES -- then read this.

One way 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 line."
- President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

Then follows a long series of similar quotes from Clinton and members of his administration. RH: As in the UK, this issue is being used to topple the administration, which is fighting back. Now in both countries commissions are to be named to investigate allegedly faulty intelligence. In both countries there will be pressure to nominate members favorable to one side or the other, It is reminiscent of the fights over judicial appointments in the US. Instead of thinking about steps to be taken now, each side is intent on hauling the other over the coals, a totally unpleasant and unconstructive activity.

Mike Sullivan sent a list of quotes by President Clinton and co showing that the Democrats were convinced that Saddam Hussein had WMD. From France, Christoper Jones comments: "The statement by President Clinton is interesting as an illustration of the similarity between the Democrats and the Republicans. From this European vantage point, there is no real difference, only a blur. Thank God that Europeans have finally realized that only show biz separates Clinton, Bush or (Dem: Kerry, Dean, Edwards and Clark) These gentlemen are only interested in their re-election, only possible thanks to the financial and moral support of the Jewish/Israeli/Zionist lobby. Of course President Bush did us all a favor to overthrow Saddam, (with no coherent plan for postwar Iraq to facilitate the quick return of the US expeditionary force) but I am not sure that the people who run the Western powers will continue to think so when his trial starts" RH:The reaction of the Europeans to the political struggle in the US is understandable. The Democratic primaries have been a series of pep rallies. Wesley Clark is probably the most intelligent candidate, but even his pep rally was silly. In Oklahoma he said "The strength of America is its diversity", at which point the crowd started chanting "Go,Wes, go!" like a collection of synchronized automatons. Some diversity!

Phyllis Gardner comments on the list sent by Mike Sullivan of statements by President Clinton showing that he was convinced that Saddam Hussein had WMD:

"First, Clinton did not go to war. There were ways to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons, including international sanctions and UN inspections, which were working apparently. What does General Sullivan think we should do about Pakistan, which has clearly not only been making WMDs but exporting the technology to Syria, Libya, Iran? Do we go to war against Pakistan, Iran and Syria now (I left out Libya, which fortunately appears to be coming clean without a war). Also, while I think it is important to think of post-war Iraq, and I laud Bush for belatedly calling on the UN in a position of authority, it is also important to hold administrations accountable for what they articulate as reasons to start a preemptive war"

I did not post the long list of Clinton quotes sent in by Mike Sullivan because, as Phyllis Gardner said, they were not used as a pretext for preventive war. Mike now says: "I wish you'd posted the entire list of what Democrats had to say about Iraq and WMDs as that same tone was reinforced in the Bush Administration. To answer Phyllis' question about Pakistan, I can only hope Musharraff is not assassinated as he has been a great ally in the war against the Taliban even though he is facing strong opposition in Pakistan. It's a new era since 9/11 and the US strong reaction to the attacks has had profound effects around the world. For a nation demonstrating it is willingness to spill its own blood and spend its national treasury on stamping out Islamic international terrorism makes a huge statement to the world. Terrorist organizations and many Muslims nations never thought the US would react as belligerantly as it did. Except for the Israeli and Palestinian confrontation, I believe our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq have made a huge impact on the thinking and future policies of Arab and Muslim nations. As I said in earlier e-mails, Syria is turning over insurgents trying to cross their border into Iraq, Iran is trying to work something out to get a favorable reaction from the US, Yemen is no longer a threat, Saudi Arabia's House of Saud needs US support to stay in power, Libya is getting rid of their WMDs, Iraq is moving toward being able to govern itself and the UN is going back in to assist in that goal and North Korea, as of a few days ago, decided it wants to have talks. Most importantly the US is sitting in a strategic location in the Mid East and is capable of acting swiftly. The US foreign policy is to act forcefully and pre-emptively, when required, and it is in the interest of keeping the US free from attack..

Phyllis questions, "Do we go to war with Pakistan, Syria, or Iran?" I'd take out Pakistan as they are an ally at present even though they've had scientists reported to have passed on nuclear secrets. I would substitute North Korea for Pakistan. I don't think the US will start any more wars unless it had proof these nation had the weapons developed and were a credible threat to use them. The US, after its actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and its allies now believe it may be possible to diplomatically stop the spread of nuclear weapons. I'm hoping Libya is leading the way in ridding itself of nuclear weapons. I don't see any immediate changes if a Democratic President is elected this November, so US policy is going to continue on its present course as nothing can change until Iraq is self governing and Afghanistan is stabilized. I can only hope and pray for a peaceful solution, but it's going to take a long time coming to fruition".

General Mike Sullivan says:

"That was not a long list of Clinton quotes, it was also a list of Democratic quotes from Berger, Albright, Gore, Kerry, Kennedy, Byrd etc. Preventive war has nothing to do with it and that's a qualifier that you put forward. It's the level of threat that matters and after 9/11 the threat level was at the bursting point and the US could not afford to be wrong. The Democratic quotes were very similar to the Bush administration quotes but there was more at stake after 9/11 as so much intelligence was being gathered on our enemies. The Bush Administration comments were made in context to what they believed the threat to be just as the Democratic comments were made. I find nothing wrong with the comments made by either the Clinton or Bush Administration as I believe the threat is there and it's still there. It seems now that the Democratic Presidential candidate are castigating the Bush Administration for the war in Iraq but they have dismissed that fact that they had said basically the same things about Saddam and his WMDs and voted to give Bush the power that he used"

RH:

I said Clinton and co, rather than giving the whole list. The Republicans spoke much more frequently of the threat than the Democrats did.. The issue of preventive war is very much involved, as the present debate shows. That the threat is real cannot be denied. The question is how to deal with it.

Phyllis Gardner writes:

"I do agree with everything that General Sullivan has said with regard to future goals and actions, including the fact that if a Democrat wins the presidential election, we will not change course now. I still disagree with the need for the preemptive war with Iraq, but now that we are there, we must work for an optimal completion".