20/20 Hindsight Aids American Armchair Politicians

The Curse of Saddam Hussein

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I was listening to Hallorin Hilton Hill on the way in to work this morning.  I enjoy his program quite often.  This morning he was discussing the recent articles by Patrick Buchanan (NewsMax) and Paul Krugman (NY Times) discussing 9/11, its 10-year anniversary, and George Bush’s decisions on how to respond to this tragic event.

I typically dismiss Paul Krugman out-of-hand.  His left-wing drivel is rarely worth reading.  Buchanan raises some interesting questions about the Bush’s responses and whether we went too far, etc.  Many of the folks who called in amazed me with their lack of (or perhaps selective) memory of the situation that existed during this period.  The longer I listened to … the angrier I got.  Are these Americans that really fickle, has rampant marijuana use caused collective short-term memory loss, or are they just plain stupid?  You tell me?

A few points:

On WMD:  We know without a doubt that Saddam Hussein had WMD at one time.  He used them (gas attacks) on the Kurds in both Northern and Southern Iraq.  The Israelis (Mossad) did blow up a nuclear reactor the French (Obama’s version of our greatest ally) were building for Saddam Hussein.  Did he actually have nukes … apparently not.  But he could have had nukes.  Saddam Hussein was running a shell game bluff, shuttling “mysterious” convoys around at night between military sites and presidential enclaves.  I guess his bluff got called! 

The fact is that intelligence is like a 1, 000,000 piece jigsaw puzzle that you try to connect pieces of quickly enough to get an accurate picture in time to o what you need to do.  It is always so much easier to look back after the fact and say … Bush should have seen this or seen that.  One caller said Bush should be tried for treason and executed.  If that is the case, then we need to also execute Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi,  Al Gore, Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy, Sandy Berger, Madeline Albright, John Kerry, and about 2/3 of the American population.

There was a video clip on YouTube awhile back that was basically a compilation of democratic leaders comments about Saddam Hussein and WMD, and what America’s response should be.  Here are just a sampling of quotes by these paragon’s of intellectual and political integrity:

  • “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.” Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.
  • “He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.” Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998.
  • “[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.” Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998.
  • “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.
  • “Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.” Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.
  • “There is no doubt that … Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.” Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.
  • “We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandated of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.” Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002.
  • “We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.” Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.
  • “Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.” Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.
  • “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.” Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002.
  • “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 Rockerfeller (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 weapons 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.
  • “[W]ithout 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.

 Of course, now all these folks want to stand up and say “Bush Lied … it is all his fault.”  I remember President Bush, when the American people demanded immediate action, stating that we needed to take the time to understand who was at fault on 9/11, where these terrorists got their support, and what the best response would be.  Patrick Buchanan has at least been consistent in his criticism of George Bush and his administration’s post 9/11 decisions.  The rest of you flip-flopped progressive-liberal minions have no excuse!

I am not a George Bush yes-man!  He made his mistakes. Perhaps ousting Saddam Hussein was a mistake. Time will tell. Bush was also a moderate republican who tried to out-spend the liberal democrats and actually succeeded … at least until Obama came along and blew Bush’s over-spending right out of the galaxy! 

The point is this!  Bush did what he thought, and what most Americans thought (if they will actually be honest with themselves and each other), was the right thing to do … with their understanding of the intelligence data they had in hand at that time.  These holier-than-though, after-the-fact, armchair military strategy experts with the advantage of 20/20 hindsight … need to just sit down and shut up!

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