Sunday, November 13, 2005

Bush Criticizes Revisionists

President Bush lashed out at revisionists that are attempting to rewrite the reasons for going to war with Iraq. In a Veterans Day speech, the President said, "It is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began. These baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will." (Washington Post: Bush Spars With Critics Of the War).

Indeed, it seems that the majority of the country has forgotten the reasons for this war. For the record, we did not go to war with Iraq because of any assertion by the US government that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. Rather, we went to war with Iraq because Hussein's government refused to comply with 17 separate UN resolutions that required him to 1) prove he did not possess weapons of mass destruction, and 2) account for all biological, chemical, and nuclear materials that his government previously documented as being in their possession. Hussein failed to comply with either of those UN requirements, and under the authority of UN resolution 1441 we dealt his government the promised "serious consequences." Any attempt to spin our reasons for war in another direction is pure political bull.

Even without UN resolution 1441, war was justified and actually required. The unilateral cease fire declared by the United States that put the first Gulf War on hold required Iraq to meet certain conditions. Those conditions were not met by Iraq and we endured 12 years of stalling tactics before we finally held Hussein accountable.

Iraq was required to provide unfettered access to UN weapons inspectors. Iraq did not. Rather, they played a twelve year shell game with the inspectors, stalling and thwarting efforts to inspect many facilities including so-called presidential palaces. Satellite photos show a significant amount of cargo movement around those contested facilities before inspectors were allowed into the sites.

Iraq was required to destroy all chemical and biological weapons in their possession and to account for every bit of material. In fact, the overwhelming amount of chemicals they declared following the Gulf War was never accounted for. Their claims of having destroyed those chemicals rang false when inspections of their alleged dump revealed only traces of the compounds.

Throughout the twelve years following the Gulf War, Iraq repeatedly violated the no-fly zones established in the north to protect the Kurds and in the south to protect the Shiites. They repeatedly fired on coalition aircraft patrolling the no-fly zones. That provocation alone was sufficient to end the cease-fire, yet we showed remarkable restraint for over a decade.

Iraq also orchestrated an attempted assassination on former President Bush while he was in Kuwait. That alone was an act of war and should have drawn a far heavier response than the three days of precision bombing ordered by President Clinton.

But now the revisionists would have you think that we were unjustified in going to war with Iraq for the second time. They would have you forget that we did so under the full authority of UN resolution 1441. They would have you forget that congress overwhelmingly approved the use of force against Iraq. They would have you forget the twelve years Iraq spent thumbing their collective noses at the UN and at 17 separate resolutions.

Don't be the revisionism. War with Iraq was twelve years overdue. The justifications were there, the justifications were made, and both the UN and the US congress authorized the use of force. The facts are clear. Don't let the left play political sleight of hand to convince you otherwise.


1 comment :

Jeremy Pierce said...

There was also the rescuing of the people of Iraq from Saddam Hussein, which was a motivation from the very beginning and a component of many of Bush's speeches all along, despite those who claim otherwise. I would have thought that to be a legitimate enough reason even absent of any other, at least if you accept the same sort of reasoning for Kosovo under Clinton, which most of our Congress does.