Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bush Lied

Ten years ago it was all one heard: "Bush Lied, People Died." "The Iraq war was a war to steal Iraq's oil." I argued on VP at the time that both claims were manifestly false, and that they cast doubt on the integrity and/or good sense of anyone who made them.

The "lie" allegation was manifestly absurd since every intelligence service in the world thought that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) or was working to get them. Not only that, but he acted as though he had them, and had a history of using WMD (chemical weapons) on both his own people and on the Iranians. Bush may have been understandably mistaken that Saddam had WMD, but being mistaken is not lying.

The "oil" allegation was even more absurd. If we wanted to steal oil we could have just taken it from any of a host of countries which would have offered far less cost and risk than invading Iraq posed. Moreover, our subsequent refusal to take Iraqi oil proved that the charge was baseless.

Now Donald Trump has resurrected the old canards and used them to libel George W. Bush all over again. The fact that it's Trump making the charges gives us considerable reason to doubt their accuracy a priori, but nevertheless, the charge is so egregious that it needs to be answered. Judith Miller, former journalist at the New York Times, does just that in this video. Miller was a key reporter of these events at the time, and she was no Bush supporter. Even so, she evidently does care that a generation of Americans who knew not Bush but does know Trump hear the facts from someone who knows the truth: