View Full Version : Iraq War Was Necessary

John Ashcroft
01-28-2004, 08:30 AM
It now turns out the U.S. may never find weapons of mass destruction. But that doesn't change the raw calculus for going there in the first place.

Former chief weapons inspector David Kay says WMDs likely won't be found in Iraq, prompting all kinds of I-told-you-so reactions from opponents of the war, ranging from former United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix to leading Democratic presidential contender John Kerry.

Kay's comments, critics say, prove the Iraq war was phony from the start, and that President Bush intentionally used bad intelligence as a thin pretense to wage war on Iraq.

But those assertions are false. And those who call Kay's comments "damning" blithely ignore his clarifying statements.

Kerry, for instance, told Fox News Sunday that "we were misled misled not only in the intelligence, but misled in the way that the president took us to war." His remarks were echoed by others on the stump in New Hampshire.

But that's not what Kay said. In fact, Kay made it clear he thought the error was the CIA's, not Bush's.

And if the WMD intelligence was an error, it's one that has lasted a long time. In 1998, then-President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act, largely based on the same intelligence used by Bush. So much for the "Bush lied" charge. It was a bipartisan policy.

Indeed, as recently as October, the prime minister of Portugal said Clinton told him that "given his years in the White House and the access to privileged information which he had, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction until the end of the Saddam regime."

As for the Democratic candidates, Sens. Kerry, Joe Lieberman and John Edwards voted for war in 2002. Wesley Clark endorsed war too. Their positions were based on the same intelligence Bush used.

What's left unsaid by those twisting Kay's comments beyond recognition is that his other statements truly are damning of Iraq.

For instance, Kay says Iraq tried to restart its nuclear weapons program in 2000 and 2001. He told Britain's Telegraph that he thinks "a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD program." And, prompted by an NPR interviewer, Kay said that knowing what he knows now, he thinks Iraq was an even bigger threat than the U.S. first estimated.

Is he right? It's a matter of common agreement that Iraq had WMDs as recently as 1998. And we know that, early in the 1980s, Saddam used WMDs against Iranian troops. In 1988, he used them again this time against his own people.

Remember, in his 2003 State of the Union address in which he laid out his case for going to war with Iraq, Bush didn't say the threat from Iraq's WMDs was "imminent." He said we couldn't wait until the threat was imminent a big difference.

Indeed, the case for war has always been broader than WMDs.

Saddam waged bloody and destabilizing wars against his neighbors, savagely murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people, repeatedly flouted international law, including more than 15 U.N. resolutions, and provided aid to terrorists, including the first bombers of the World Trade Center in 1993, and possibly al-Qaida.

It's clear Saddam was bent on developing WMDs. It wasn't a question of if, but when. And he would have used them again.

The U.S. did the right thing as Kay's comments show

Link: here (http://newsmax.com/archives/articles/2004/1/27/184601.shtml)