Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Who is lying about Iraq?

Thanks to Kira for tipping me off to this great Cal Thomas column:
The Bush administration is partly responsible for declining poll numbers and the growing public disapproval of the war in Iraq.

Instead of responding immediately to questions concerning the reasons for the war and the honesty of top-level members of the administration, it allowed these allegations to fester until they became accepted, in many quarters, as fact.
Amen to that. I understand that Bush isn't guided by polls, which I greatly respect. However, this conviction does not shield him from criticism, nor does it lessen the need for him to explain to the public what is really happening in Iraq. Simply believing you're right and refusing to explain your position is foolish at best, and arrogant at worst. Continuing:
Terrorists are also winning the psychological warfare, partly because the jihadists are unified behind a goal and we often are not. They want territory and they want to kill "infidels." American leftists want "peace," without realizing that peace is a byproduct of defeating evil. The left also wants to use the war for partisan political gain and will seek to deprive President Bush of any credit for victory because it could benefit him politically. How sick is that?

Terrorists also gain because too many of us do not agree on which side is good and which is evil. Specifically, the left has reversed the political polarity: it sees the United States as evil and if it does not necessarily see the jihadists as good, it views "evil America" as the cause of jihadism.
Sick indeed. Our soldiers see this, too, and they will not forget who their friends really are. Any wonder they don't vote for Democrats? Oh, yeah...the "lying" part:
In the December issue of Commentary magazine, Norman Podhoretz - in an article entitled "Who Is Lying About Iraq?" - demolishes that myth. He lists the numerous individuals, nations and intelligence agencies worldwide that reached identical conclusions about Saddam Hussein's weapons. They include Hans Blix, who headed the UN weapons inspection team that tried to learn whether Saddam had complied with Security Council demands that he destroy weapons of mass destruction he was known to have had and used in the past. A few months before the invasion, Blix wrote of a "relatively new bunker" of 122-mm chemical rocket warheads 170 km southwest of Baghdad. He said, "They could be . the tip of a submerged iceberg." Blix noted the discovery of those rockets "does not resolve but rather points to the issue of several thousands of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for."

President Clinton's National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, stated flatly, "(Saddam) will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has 10 times since 1983." Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, said the "risk" that a "rogue state will use nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." President Clinton, who now keeps company with war critics, said in 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."

The Podhoretz article is full of quotes from Democrats and others who were once gung-ho to topple Saddam. It also contains facts from bipartisan investigations that have looked into WMD and the run-up to the invasion. It exposes some liars, but President Bush and Vice President Cheney are not among them.
How patently unfair to quote critics in order to expose their hypocrisy!

Thomas' conclusion is accurate: The Bush administration has finally started to reply to these modern "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots." They had better persuade more of the public, or risk losing a war that we must win.

Fortunately, the MSM is losing influence faster than France and Cindy Sheehan combined, so there is great hope that despite the left's and MSM's (pardon the redundancy) best efforts, Iraq will turn into a flourishing democracy.