[I] went back to the microfilm today to February 1998, when the Clinton adminstration was making the case for attacking Iraq. How things change. Clinton was arguing that Saddam not only had WMD, but that one day he might want to make more WMD, and this wasn't acceptable. Interesting to read between the lines - the Clinton administration seemed to be arguing that the potential for future production was itself a valid reason to strike. Military force is never 'the first answer,' Clinton said, "but sometimes itis the only answer." "[If] Saddam isn't stopped now," the AP story said, quoting Clinton, "'He will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And someday, someway, I guarantee you, he'll use that arsenal.'" Thus spake Clinton in 1998. He went on to note that the strikes planned could not possibly destroy Saddam's arsenal, because A) they didn't know where everything was, and B) they didn't want to kill Iraqis by unleashing clouds of toxins. And it gets better: a sidebar noted that this war plan - Desert Thunder - had been prepared weeks before, in case Saddam stiffed in the inspectors.Interesting. And to follow up, yesterday on Michael Medved's radio program he talked with a caller who was rather incensed at the Bush administration for taking us into Iraq 'under lying pretenses for WMD that were never there.' Medved reversed the question, as the primary concern was the lack of WMD, and asked him (and I paraphrase):
Bill Clinton had a plan to go to war before the crisis flared! What does that tell you? Obviously, he was looking for any excuse! Halliburton! We all know about the ties between Clinton and Halliburton - he gave them a sweet no-bid contract after his Balkans war, you know.
"If WMD were found tomorrow in Iraq, would your opinion of the war change?"Medved went on to explain (before, during, and after the caller) that this war wasn't 'all about' WMD, that it was about what the Clinton administration and the Bush administration both called a 'gathering threat,' and that even if fully constructed WMD weren't discovered (though the production facilities were there) it would still be a worthy effort, as Saddam and his Baathist regime were no longer in power - and that makes for a safer America.
Silence. A bit of stuttering. A repeat of the question.
"Well, I don't think that WMD are going to..."
"No, that's not the question - the question is: if WMD were found tomorrow, would that change your opinion of the war?"
"Well you can't ask that because..."
"Yes or no, sir."
"Yes or no?"
"Yes or no."
"But you can't -"
"See? It's not about the WMD for you. It's about Bush and his administration. Even if they were right, and WMD were found, you'd still oppose this war, because you hate Bush."
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