Bush's Lies about Iraq
Scheer, Christopher, Scheer, Robert, Chaudhry, Lakshmi, The Nation
As we mark the first anniversary of the beginning of Bush's war with Iraq, the five pillars of argument upon which the President based his Iraq adventure are crumbling into dust in a rather dramatic fashion. Yet the Bush Administration continues to brazenly invent new rationales for its foreign policy, shamelessly twisting the facts to support it. Let's review the five big lies Bush used as justification for his actions.
Lie #1--They Attacked Us: Iraq Supported Al Qaeda. Astonishingly, President Bush, in a rare moment of candor, finally admitted half a year after the invasion that there was no evidence Saddam Hussein's Iraq had any links to the 9/11 attacks, undermining eighteen months of implying the exact opposite. Yet in both of his recent big speeches--a brief and rather reserved statement after Saddam's capture and his macho 2004 State of the Union address--Bush again dished out the fundamental lie that the war and occupation of Iraq can reasonably be linked to the "war on terror," even as a new book by ex-Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill described the Bush foreign policy team's consistent obsession with Iraq from the first days of the Administration.
Lies #2 and #3--Imminent Threats: Iraq's Bio-Chem and Nuclear Weapons Programs. A year after using his 2003 State of the Union address to paint Iraq's allegedly vast arsenal of WMD as a grave threat to the United States and the world, Bush wisely avoided mentioning anything about uranium there--though he did spend a great deal of his latest SOTU defending the war on the grounds that "had we failed to act, the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programs would continue to this day." Dick Cheney, in interviews with USA Today and the Los Angeles Times, echoed this fudging--last year "weapons," this year "programs"--declaring that "the jury's still out" on whether Iraq had WMD and that "I am a long way at this stage from concluding that somehow there was some fundamental flaw in our intelligence."
Only days later, chief US weapons inspector David Kay quit and began telling the world what the Bush Administration had been denying since taking office: that Saddam Hussein's regime was but a weak shadow of the semi-fearsome military force it had been at the time of the first Gulf War thirteen years ago; that it had no significant chemical, biological or nuclear weapons programs or stockpiles still in place; and that the UN inspections and allied bombing runs in the 1990s had been much more effective than their critics had believed at eroding these programs.
Lie #4--It Will Be Easy: Iraq as a "Cakewalk." "The capture of Saddam Hussein does not mean the end of violence in Iraq," Bush admitted, putting the lie to the idiotic and arrogant statements by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and others that policing Iraq would be a simple matter that could be quickly delegated to Iraqis as soon as they stopped celebrating the US military's arrival and cleaned up all those flowers they were going to throw. …