And Now, Back to Our Useful Idiot
I have dealt with the smaller points in Sean's monotonous, machine generated leftie speak here. I will cover the idiocy of the "it's-all-about-oil" meme in a future posts and as I've already said, I will deal with the WMD issue in a separate post, as well, but some of it has to be discussed here, because it is relevant. What I want to deal with in this post is Sean's ridiculous assertion that Saddam Hussein's tyranny - you know, his flouting of those international rules and conventions - had nothing to do with the decision to invade. The case has been made over and over again both here on my blog (see my Epistles to Foud, starting here, for a recent example.) and on dozens of others, not to mention by legions of knowledgeable folks using the entire panoply of media available today.
What Sean is asserting is that the decision to invade was not motivated by Hussein's record as an incorrigible tyrant, he is revealing himself to be a pathetic fool. It was precisely because of Saddam Hussein's record that the showdown took place. His very long record on the issue is why he could not be trusted, no matter what he said or did with respect to UN resolution 1441 or with any other previous attempt to make him come clean on his WDM. The two were absolutely inseparable. Want proof? Read on.
I'll start with statements from the mouth of that man so hated and maligned by the left, George W. Bush:
August 10, 2002:
"I have constantly said that we owe it to our children and our children's children to free the world from weapons of mass destruction in the hands of those who hate freedom. This is a man who has poisoned his own people, I mean he's had a history of tyranny."November 8, 2002:
"All patriotic Iraqis should embrace this resolution as an opportunity for Iraq to avoid war and end its isolation. Saddam Hussein cannot hide his weapons of mass destruction from international inspectors without the cooperation of hundreds and thousands of Iraqis -- those who work in the weapons program and those who are responsible for concealing the weapons. We call on those Iraqis to convey whatever information they have to inspectors, the United States, or other countries, in whatever manner they can. By helping the process of disarmament, they help their country.January 31, 2003: (Press conference with Tony Blair.)
Americans recognize what is at stake. In fighting a war on terror, we are determined to oppose every source of catastrophic harm that threatens our country, our friends, and our allies. We are actively pursuing dangerous terror networks across the world. And we oppose a uniquely dangerous regime -- a regime that has harbored terrorists and can supply terrorists with weapons of mass destruction; a regime that has built such terrible weapons and has used them to kill thousands; a brutal regime with a history of both reckless ambition and reckless miscalculation.
The United States of America will not live at the mercy of any group or regime that has the motive and seeks the power to murder Americans on a massive scale. The threat to America also threatens peace and security in the Middle East and far beyond. If Iraq's dictator is permitted to acquire nuclear weapons, he could resume his pattern of intimidation and conquest and dictate the future of a vital region."
Bush: "Saddam Hussein is not disarming. He is a danger to the world. He must disarm. And that's why I have constantly said and the Prime Minister has constantly said this issue will come to a head in a matter of weeks, not months."Blair: "The whole point about the present situation is that when President Bush made his speech to the United Nations, when we went down the United Nations route, we passed Resolution 1441. And I think it really repays reading that, because we said very clearly that Saddam had what we said was a final opportunity to disarm, and that he had to cooperate fully in every respect with the U.N. weapons inspectors. As Dr. Blix said in his report to the Security Council earlier this week, he's not doing that. And therefore, what is important is that the international community comes together again and makes it absolutely clear that this is unacceptable. And the reason why I believe that it will do that is precisely because in the original Resolution 1441, we made it clear that failure to disarm would lead to serious consequences. So this is a test for the international community. It's not just a test for the United States or for Britain. It's a test for the international community, too. [Read: for the United Nations] And the judgment has to be, at the present time, that Saddam Hussein is not cooperating with the inspectors, and therefore is in breach of the U.N. resolution. And that's why time is running out."
February 6, 2003: The World Can Rise to the Moment. The whole thing is relevant, as it further elaborates on Hussein's infamous and nefarious cat and mouse game, which he continued to play, right up until the invasion, but I will quote only two passages, again by Bush:
"This is the situation as we find it. Twelve years after Saddam Hussein agreed to disarm, and 90 days after the Security Council passed Resolution 1441 by a unanimous vote, Saddam Hussein was required to make a full declaration of his weapons programs. He has not done so. Saddam Hussein was required to fully cooperate in the disarmament of his regime; he has not done so. Saddam Hussein was given a final chance; he is throwing that chance away."
"All the world can rise to this moment. The community of free nations can show that it is strong and confident and determined to keep the peace. The United Nations can renew its purpose and be a source of stability and security in the world. The Security Council can affirm that it is able and prepared to meet future challenges and other dangers. And we can give the Iraqi people their chance to live in freedom and choose their own government.
Saddam Hussein has made Iraq into a prison, a poison factory, and a torture chamber for patriots and dissidents. Saddam Hussein has the motive and the means and the recklessness and the hatred to threaten the American people. Saddam Hussein will be stopped."
(Press conference at The Azores with Bush, together with Blair, Spanish Prime Minister Aznar, and Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Bassaro : video available at link, top right corner)
President Bassaro: "We have joined this initiative and we organized it here in the Azores because we thought this was the last opportunity for a political solution -- and this is how we see it, this is the last possibility for a political solution to the problem. Maybe it's a small chance, a small possibility, but even if it's one in one million, it's always worthwhile fighting for a political solution. And I think this is the message that we can get from this Atlantic summit.
President Anzar: "We are committed on a day-to-day fight against new threats, such as terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and tyrannic regimes that do not comply with international law. They threaten all of us, and we must all act, consequently."
Listen to the video and listen especially to Tony Blair's remarks. His oratory skills are far superior to Bush's and he explains it much, much better.
So you see, Sean, it wasn't about whether he had WDM, per se. It was Saddam Hussein's continual cat and mouse game with UN resolutions pertaining to them and to various other aspects of his tyrannical rule for more than a decade. The man was dangerous and he could not be trusted.
There is also the US State Department's background brief, A Decade of Deception and Defiance, published in September, 2002, which contains considerable detail under the following headings:
Saddam Hussein's Repression of the Iraqi People
Refusal to Admit Human Rights Monitors
Violence Against Women
Executions and Repression of Political Opposition
Saddam Hussein's Abuse of Children
Basic Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Information
Withholding of Food
Crimes Against Muslims
Saddam Hussein's Support for International Terrorism
Saddam Hussein's Refusal to Account for Gulf War Prisoners
Saddam Hussein's Refusal to Return Stolen Property
Saddam Hussein's Efforts to Circumvent Economic Sanctions
The details under these headings are worth reading, by the way, as they provide a lot of information that may cause you and Captain Taliban to rethink your position on a few things, the sanctity and usefulness of the United Nations, being one, but certainly the fools argument that the humanitarian angle had nothing to do with the decision to invade. Foud, you should, too, since your notions about pre-war Iraq are grotesquely off-base, to say the least.
And lets not forget who it was that signed the Iraq Liberation Act into law, way back in 1998, and what the man then sitting in the Oval Office had to say about Iraq and the justification for authorizing Saddam Hussein's removal.
There's also the passage of the Joint Resolution to Authorize the use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq, passed by both houses of Congress in October, 2002, just months before the invasion. Here are some relevant passages from that resolution:
"Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region..."[snip]
"Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;..."It's worth reading in its entirety, Sean, sweetheart, as it blows apart every one of the naive and bankrupt assumptions from Taliban Jack's Little Red Book that you just repeat ad nauseam.
And finally, three days before Baghdad fell, this was posted on White House's website: Life Under Saddam Hussein
None of this is to say that oil was not a large factor, but as I said, I'll return to that argument in a later post. But for you to make the claim that the US lead coalition's motivation had nothing to do with Saddam's human rights record and his previous history as a "bad guy" is to admit to being either a cad or a blithering idiot. Take. Your. Pick.
Oh. And my father fought in Europe in World War II to protect your sorry ass, and I'm glad he did. He signed up the day war broke out in 1939. Canada had not been attacked, nor had Great Britain. Indeed, Canada was in very little danger of being attacked. He just did the right thing, because it was the right thing.
Just curious. Do you hate Jews, too, or is it just brutally oppressed Arabs that you don't give a damn about?