Monday, August 9, 2004

The Terror of Living in Saddam's Iraq

This is such a sad story and it's even sadder when one realizes that it's only one of perhaps thousands of such stories coming out of the horrifying nightmare that was Iraq under Saddam.

Read the story at Iraq The Model and then ask whether Iraq and the world are not better off now than if the United States and Britain had, like France, Germany, and Russia, done nothing.

In Their Own Words

Here's a series of quotes from Democrat leaders about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction that's making the rounds on the internet. I don't vouch for the accuracy of all of them, but interested readers should be able to verify them easily enough:

"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

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program." - President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." "The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons...." - Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years .. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do." - Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapon stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." - Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation .. And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real." - Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

Now these very same people are insisting that President Bush lied about WMD. They are scoffing at any suggestion that there ever were any such weapons, and that Bush took us to war unnecessarily. The Democrats are either inveterately dishonest or they are disconnected from reality. Either way they do not deserve to wield political power nor can the American people afford to give it to them.

The 2002, 2003 quotes are interesting, in that they support a theory of mine, which, though I can't prove it, nevertheless makes sense out of the last couple of years' politics. The Democrats seem to have been trying to turn up the heat on Bush to do something about Iraq, being fully convinced that he would do nothing significant. They doubtless thought that they would then be able to use his dithering against him politically.

When Bush called for congressional approval to use force they still thought he would do nothing decisive, despite his success in Afghanistan, so they voted for it, thinking that they'd be able to portray themselves to the public as tough and Bush as wimpish, afraid to tackle the world's fourth largest army.

When it became clear that Bush actually intended to undertake something historic they were aghast. This wasn't the way it was supposed to work out. They were then forced to resort to their fallback plan which was to do everything they could to find fault with how he did it, and hope that the voters would forget their earlier hawkishness. If this is indeed what happened it's pretty hypocritical, but that shouldn't surprise anyone.