Bush didn’t make a good case for invading Iraq – and the liberal, Bush-derangement-syndrome-media certainly didn’t help him. He certainly could have argued his case much more effectively.
It is actually easy to justify invading Iraq just by quoting Democrats:
Truth or Fiction
One could also point out that A) every single Western intelligence service believed that Saddam Hussein was continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction. They only knew for sure that B) Saddam had clearly possessed WMD, as demonstrated that he had repeatedly used such weapons on his own people as well as Iran; C) Saddam Hussein was in fact training and equipping radical Islamic terrorists who could attack the United States and U.S. interests; D) Saddam had thrown out the weapons inspectors for 4 years prior to the 2003 invasion (Saddam ordered inspectors out of the country on November 1, 1997). And no one could know what was going on in Iraq during that period.In August, 1998, absent effective monitoring, U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter remarked that Iraq could:
“reconstitute chemical biological weapons, long-range ballistic missiles to deliver these weapons, and even certain aspects of their nuclear weaponization program.”
Kenneth Pollack, writing in the liberal journal The Atlantic, said the following:
This issue has some personal relevance for me. I began my career as a Persian Gulf military analyst at the CIA, where I saw an earlier generation of technical analysts mistakenly conclude that Saddam Hussein was much further away from having a nuclear weapon than the post-Gulf War inspections revealed. I later moved on to the National Security Council, where I served two tours, in 1995-1996 and 1999-2001. During the latter stint the intelligence community convinced me and the rest of the Clinton Administration that Saddam had reconstituted his WMD programs following the withdrawal of the UN inspectors, in 1998, and was only a matter of years away from having a nuclear weapon.
He cites a number of reasons for the U.S. view (which, again, had been held by the Clinton administration as well) and then adds:
Western intelligence agencies understandably took these actions to mean that nothing in Saddam’s weaponry plans had changed.
And to that we can also add E) There is actually good reason to believe that Bush – and the Democrats quoted in the three sites above – were COMPLETELY CORRECT in believing that Saddam had WMD.
We know that long convoys went to Syria prior to our arrival. Colin Powell displayed satellite photos of a 50-truck convoy en route to Syria. And there is very good reason to believe that Saddam’s WMD materials were in those convoys. And see. And see also here. And here. And here.
Here’s an ABC story reporting on the story:
Part of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein’s secret weapons program was transferred from Iraq to neighbouring Syria, and their status has yet to be resolved, Dr David Kay, the just-resigned head of the Iraq Survey Group, was quoted Sunday as telling a British newspaper.
In what it called an exclusive interview, the Sunday Telegraph said it was told by Dr Kay that he had uncovered evidence that unspecified materials had been moved to Syria shortly before the start of the Iraq war in March last year.
But there was another reason that George Bush decided to make Iraq a central front in the war on terror: he knew he could win there, and he knew that his victory would have a huge impact on the region over time.
Think of it: an Arab and Islamic democracy in the heart of the totalitarian Arab world. Think of other Islamic states, whether Iran or Saudi Arabia, having to explain to its people why their countries shouldn’t be more democratic, just like Iraq. George Bush believed that a democratic Iraq could potentially turn around a poisonous Islamist dynamic that was growing more and more poisonous all the time.
And with that, I introduce an article by Ann Coulter:
October 14, 2009
The question of whether President Obama should send more troops to Afghanistan misses the point.
What Obama really needs to do is: Invent a time machine, go back to the 2008 presidential campaign and not say, over and over and over again, that Afghanistan was a “war of necessity” while the war in Iraq was a “war of choice.” (Oh, and as long as you’re back there, ditch Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett and that gay “school safety” czar.)
The most important part of warfare is picking your battlefield, and President Bush picked Iraq for a reason.
Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan attacked us on 9/11 — or the dozen other times American embassies, barracks and buildings came under jihadist onslaught since Jimmy Carter presided over “regime change” in Iran in 1979. Both countries — and others — gave succor to terrorists who had attacked the U.S. repeatedly, and would do so again.
As liberals endlessly reminded us during the three weeks of war in Afghanistan before the U.S. military swept into Kabul, Afghanistan has all the makings of a military disaster. It is mountainous, cave-pocked, tribal, has no resources worth fighting for and a populace that makes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed look like Alistair Cooke.
By contrast, Iraq had a relatively educated, pro-Western populace, but was ruled by a brutal third-world despot.
It’s always something with the Muslims. You either have mostly sane people governed by a crazy dictator — Iraq, Iran and Syria (also California and Michigan) — or a crazy people governed by relatively sane leaders — Pakistan and Afghanistan, post-U.S. invasion (also Vermont and Minnesota). There are also insane people ruled by insane leaders (but enough about the House Democratic Caucus). Sane people with sane rulers has not been fully tried yet.
Not only could regime change in Iraq work, but Iraq’s countryside was susceptible to America’s overwhelming air power. Also, Iraq has fabulous natural resources. Once the U.S. got control of Iraq’s oil fields, the Shia, Sunni and Kurds could decide to either prosper together or starve together. (And it’s not just oil: They’re basically sitting on top of most of the world’s proven reserves of cab drivers.)
By contrast, there aren’t a lot of sticks that can be used in a wasteland like Afghanistan, where the people live in caves and scratch out a living in the dirt. The only “carrot” we might be able to offer them would be actual carrots.
But Democrats couldn’t care less about military strategy — at least any “strategy” that doesn’t involve allowing soldiers to date one another. To the extent you can get liberals to focus on national security at all, you will find they are rooting against their own country.
Liberals sneered at Bush’s description of Iraq as the “central front of the war on terror” and a step toward the “democratization of the Middle East” — as Mark Danner did in the Sept. 11, 2005, New York Times — because sneering was all they could do. By design, Iraq was the central front in the war on terrorism.
Any fanatic who hated the Great Satan, owned an overnight bag and was not already working for The New York Times was lured across the border into Iraq … to be met by the awesome force of the U.S. military. Bush chose the battlefield that made the best flytrap for Islamic crazies and also that was most amenable to regime change.
Now nearly all denizens of the Middle East want the U.S. to invade them, so they can live in democracy, too. As Thomas Friedman inadvertently admitted, Lebanese voters credit their recent free election, in which the voters threw out Hezbollah, to President Bush. (American liberals, naturally, gave the credit to Obama, who they also believe is responsible for the sun rising every morning.)
Brave Iranian students who protested the tyrant Ahmadinejad did so because of Iraq — and then they stopped because of Obama’s indifference. Sadly for them, America’s foreign policy will now be based on a calculus of political correctness, not national security.
During the campaign, Obama prattled on about Iraq being a “war of choice” and Afghanistan a “war of necessity” for no more thoughtful reason than a desire to win standing ovations from treasonous liberals.
But lo and behold, those very liberals who were champing at the bit to fight in Afghanistan are suddenly full of objections to the war there, too. As Frank Rich points out: “Afghanistan is not Iraq. It is poorer, even larger and more populous, more fragmented and less historically susceptible to foreign intervention.”
Now they notice.
Afghanistan is a brutal battlefield, largely invulnerable to modern warfare — something the British and Russians learned. But as our military under Bush showed the world in 21 days, scimitar-wielding savages are no match for the voluntary civilian troops of a free people.
Bush removed the Taliban from power, captured or killed the lunatics and, for the next seven years, about the only news we heard out of Afghanistan were occasional announcements of parliamentary elections, new schools, water and electricity plants.
The difficult choice Obama faces in Afghanistan is entirely of his own making, not his generals’ and certainly not Bush’s. It was Obama’s meaningless blather about Afghanistan being a “war of necessity” during the campaign that has moved the central front in the war on terrorism from Iraq — a good battleground for the U.S. — to Afghanistan — a lousy battlefront for the U.S.
And it was Obama’s idea to treat war as if it’s an ordinary drug bust, reading suspects their Miranda rights and taking care not to put civilians in harm’s way.
A Democrat is president and, once again, America finds itself in an “unwinnable war.” I know Democrats will never learn, but I wish the voters would.
Ann Coulter does an excellent job depicting why Iraq was a place where we could win, and Afghanistan was a place where we could fall into an abyss. Iraq – with its flat terrain and its conventional military dynamic, was a place where American technological might could completely dominate.
In making Iraq the central front, Bush chose a war that he knew America could win.
In demanding that Afghanistan be the central front, Democrats – and in particular Barack Obama – may well have chosen a war that we can’t win.
And Democrats now have a well-known history of losing wars since 1950.
Hence her title, Natural born losers.
And allow me to take that concept of the people now leading our country being “natural born losers,” and turn it to the even greater threat of Iran.
I’m going to close by pointing out that George Bush faced a similar dilemma in Iraq that Barack Obama will face in Iran: the utter uselessness and in fact counter-productiveness of the United Nations.
Russia, China, and France all had permanent member veto power, and all three had no intention of allowing any kind of meaningful sanction, resolution, or threat of military force to be passed by the United Nations. While France has since joined the United States’ side, China and Russia will continue to be a thorn in the side of any effort to thwart Iran’s ultimate nuclear weapons ambitions (which merely continues a pattern that had ben going on for years).
Just today, Russian leader Vladimir Putin has put the kibosh on sanctions on Iran.
If Barack Obama still believes that he will be able to woo these countries – or for that matter Western Europe – to his side, he is a naive fool. Just as he was always a naive fool for trusting in such patent nonsense.
And, so, just as with Bush and Iraq, Barack Obama will be largely forced to go it alone if he wants to prevent the terribly dangerous development of an Iranian nuclear bomb.
Nearly a year-and-a-half ago, I pointed out that a Democrat president who demonized the war in Iraq would be unable to justify a war to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb. And absolutely nothing has since happened to change that conclusion one iota.