Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Case of Hypocrisy

December 16, 1998:

Bill Clinton is President and he is in the midst of the Monica Lewinski scandal. Whether it is a legitimate necessity or just a way to take the public eye off his infidelity, Clinton decides that the US needs to take on Saddam Hussein.

Intelligence has shown that despite UN sanctions, Saddam has continued in his quest for weapons of mass destruction. This is not in dispute. The Democrats and the Republicans are all aware of the threat that Saddam poses to not only the people in his own country, but to surrounding countries as well.

Nancy Pelosi, despite some reluctance, backs President Clinton’s choice to initiate a military strike against Iraq. Here is her statement:
As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam 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.

The responsibility of the United States in this conflict is to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, to minimize the danger to our troops and to diminish the suffering of the Iraqi people. The citizens of Iraq have suffered the most for Saddam Hussein's activities; sadly, those same citizens now stand to suffer more. I have supported efforts to ease the humanitarian situation in Iraq and my thoughts and prayers are with the innocent Iraqi civilians, as well as with the families of U.S. troops participating in the current action.

I believe in negotiated solutions to international conflict. This is, unfortunately, not going to be the case in this situation where Saddam Hussein has been a repeat offender, ignoring the international community's requirement that he come clean with his weapons program. While I support the President, I hope and pray that this conflict can be resolved quickly and that the international community can find a lasting solution through diplomatic means.(1)
Beginning with the resolutions of 1998 #1153 through the final resolution #1483 in May of 2003, Saddam continued with illegal weapons activities as well as becoming a profiteer in the Oil for Food campaign that was meant to feed the Iraqi people. This is what was decided at the end of the resolution line:
The Security Council formally ended all sanctions, except those related to the sale or supply to Iraq of arms and related materiel, other than those required by the occupying powers to serve the purposes of Security Council resolutions, in Resolution 1483 (2003), which was adopted on 22 May 2003 by a vote of 14-0 with one country not participating in the vote.

The resolution states that, with the exception of the arms prohibitions noted above, all other sanctions established by Resolution 661 and subsequent resolutions "shall no longer apply."

It also requests that the Secretary-General will continue the exercise of his responsibilities under Resolutions 1472 and 1476 for a period of six months, and will terminate within this time period, in the most cost effective manner, the ongoing operations of the "Oil-for-Food" Programme.(2)

January 28, 2003:

President Bush gives an intense State of the Union address. He speaks of the issues of the economy, health care, etc. But the pivotal point of his speech and what is being thrown around today is his proposal for Iraq. Here is the relevant part of his speech (emphasis on the infamous “16 words”):
The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed in the 1990s that Saddam Hussein had an advanced nuclear weapons development program, had a design for a nuclear weapon and was working on five different methods of enriching uranium for a bomb. The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production. Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.

The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary; he is deceiving. From intelligence sources we know, for instance, that thousands of Iraqi security personnel are at work hiding documents and materials from the U.N. inspectors, sanitizing inspection sites and monitoring the inspectors themselves. Iraqi officials accompany the inspectors in order to intimidate witnesses.(3)
President Bush knows that there is descent about the decision to go to war in Iraq, so he addresses this as well:
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.

The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages -- leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind, or disfigured. Iraqi refugees tell us how forced confessions are obtained -- by torturing children while their parents are made to watch. International human rights groups have catalogued other methods used in the torture chambers of Iraq: electric shock, burning with hot irons, dripping acid on the skin, mutilation with electric drills, cutting out tongues, and rape. If this is not evil, then evil has no meaning. (3)
The democrats back President Clinton fully in his decision to attack Iraq just over four years before. Saddam has not stopped lying about his weapons and ignoring the UN resolutions and sanctions not for any amount of time between 1998 and 2003 when President Bush made his State of the Union address.

Why, then have the Democrats changed their minds about the threat from Iraq? Nancy Pelosi has a statement regarding President Bush’s State of the Union address and it is completely different in tone than her approval of President Clinton’s statement. Here is a part of that statement:
"President Bush’s words tonight were polished and his tone resolute. But that is precisely the problem. His rhetoric bears little resemblance to the harsh reality of his real agenda. That agenda will be reflected in the federal budget that he submits next week, which must outline our national priorities and values.

"Americans tuned in tonight in the hope of getting straight answers to their most urgent questions -- what is the justification for putting American lives at risk in Iraq now? What are the next steps in the war against terrorism? How can we jump start the economy and make the American Dream real for all our people?

"President Bush used strong words, demonstrating once again that Saddam Hussein is a menace, and made a convincing case for disarming Iraq. But he did not make a convincing case that the use of force now is the only way to disarm Iraq, or that removing Saddam from power would guarantee that a new regime would not pursue the same policies. The clear and present danger that our country faces is terrorism, and the President did not explain how a war with Iraq would not compromise our efforts against terrorists.(4)
Because Bush is a Republican, one that has dealt well with all that our country had been through since 9/11; he is intensely disliked by the Democrats. The party that claims they are all inclusive, that they have the best interest of the American people in mind, has shown their true colors. They are actually a party acting in such a partisan way that they cannot see that Saddam is no less evil, no less dangerous because it is not a Democratic president in the White House.

In the years since President Bush led us into Iraq and gave Iraq freedom from Saddam, the Democrats have not stopped in their vitriolic mantra of “Bush Lied.” It does not matter what they said in 1998, that doesn’t count, that doesn’t exist, it is all Bush’s fault and he lied to the American people in order to attack Iraq. Why can they not take responsibility for their own words and deeds?

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