“WMDs Found in Iraq! President Bush Vindicated!”… Yeah, I Wish.

31Oct14

This was published yesterday on Task and Purpose.

———————–

Earlier this month, C.J. Chivers at the New York Times dropped a bombshell report (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/14/world/middleeast/us-casualties-of-iraq-chemical-weapons.html?_r=0). After we invaded Iraq in 2003, the Pentagon covered up casualties from chemical weapons left behind by Saddam Hussein. The story was immediately seized by many conservatives as proof President George W. Bush was right to launch the Iraq War in order to track down those weapons — weapons which, until now, were thought to have never been found.

Yes, weapons of mass destruction had been in Iraq at one time. I may have encountered one myself. But this “I-told-you so” claim is deeply flawed. And the details that Chivers unearthed do not change the narrative on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

At around 2 a.m. one silent Iraqi morning in the Fall of 2005, I stood by my Humvee waiting to start a mission. My convoy escort team was about to drag 20 empty civilian 18-wheeler trucks from Camp Anaconda all the way south to Tallil, our home base, near the ancient city of Ur. To get there, we’d take an eight-kilometer dirt road to Route Tampa, follow Tampa to Baghdad’s outskirts, weave around the perimeter of the city, hit open highway and head “home.”

Convoys were usually deathly boring. Until something blew up. Or tracers flew by. We’d keep our heads on swivels, scan the highway like mad and tense up at anything unusual. We did our best to spot an IED before it could hit us, but knew we’d probably never see the one that did. The road between Anaconda and Baghdad was a long stretch of blackened craters, evidence of countless attacks on convoys just like ours. Even then, less than three years into the war, hundreds of Americans had been killed by whatever made those craters. Nothing said we wouldn’t be next.

Sometimes we’d see others get hit. If an IED detonated on a convoy or patrol ahead of us, I always had a guilty sense of relief. That was one less that could get us.

That fall night, shortly after we weaved out of Anaconda’s gate, we saw an intense, brief flash in the distance. In the commander’s seat of the Humvee, I couldn’t hear the sound. But I knew what it was. An IED had just detonated several kilometers away on Route Tampa. Over the radio, we heard a patrol report the attack. We kept rolling.

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Read the rest at http://taskandpurpose.com/new-york-times-big-story-chemical-weapons-doesnt-change-narrative-iraq/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=TP-facebook&utm_campaign=new-york-times-big-story-chemical-weapons-doesnt-change-narrative-iraq

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for BreachBangClear.com, Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).

http://www.amazon.com/Line-Valley-Chris-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B00HW1MA2G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=09XSSHABSWPC3FM8K6P4
http://www.amazon.com/Proof-Our-Resolve-Chris-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B0099XMR1E/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0S6AGHBTJZ6JH99D56X7

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12 Responses to ““WMDs Found in Iraq! President Bush Vindicated!”… Yeah, I Wish.”

  1. 1 Redleg

    AS a 13B I knew Saddam had WMD from the get go, we (the US Govt) gave them to him. We gave him chemical munitions that he then used against Iran and later the Kurds. It wouldn’t have been the correct narrative to say that at the time though when droning on and on about Sadddam’s WMD now would it? “Troops, we are sending you into Iraq to take back all of the chemical filled artillery shells that we gave to Saddam years ago.” That doesn’t fit the proper narrative.

    Reporter: “President Bush, how do you know that Saddam has WMD?”

    Pres. Bush: Because we gave him chemical filled artillery shells during the Iran Iraq war to prevent our arch-nemesis [at that time] Iran from getting the upper hand in the region. Iran had Saddam’s troops on the ropes until we stacked the odds in Saddam’s favor. We had to pay Iran back for taking over our embassy.”

    In 2003 the Army Times ran a very small story quite a ways back in the paper about our troops discovering a cache of chemical filled artillery shells…they happened to have US Mil nomenclature on them and I recognized them right away. It was very inconvenient and I never saw anything else on it again until the NYT ran their story. How would it look when we were the ones supplying the WMD to rogue dictators!

    I just hope that you and others don’t suffer any damage from exposure to chemicals that we supplied to Saddam all those years ago. The hypocrisy…it burns!

    • 2 Kirk

      Care to provide citations for your fairy tale? Real ones?

      The sheer ignorance and failure to pay attention to reality around this issue is mind-boggling. The US never provided “chemical filled artillery shells” to the Iraqis–Our European “allies” and the Soviets did that, sort of. The Europeans provided US-design 155mm M110 carrier shells that the Iraqis filled themselves. The Soviets apparently shipped some of their own stuff in, in the form of rockets and 152mm artillery shells. The most you can lay at the doorstep of the US is that we got involved with that war at the behest of our Arab and European allies to prevent Iran from taking over the Gulf Arab oil industry. Y’know… Keeping things stable, and ticking over, during the Cold War? In service of that, we provided just enough intelligence and dual-use industrial equipment that the Iraqis just barely managed to keep themselves from being defeated in a war that they started.

      What M110 shells were found in Iraq came from empty cases provided to the Iraqis from Italy and Belgium, who sold those US-pattern shells to them. The factory forging marks indicated production in those countries. How do I know that? Gee, maybe because I paid attention to all the demilitarization effort reports that came across the network. Those reports made very interesting reading, because they all showed routine discoveries of chemical munitions being made, as we went through the demil process at all those massive Iraqi ammo dumps. None of which were particularly secret, by the way–We often invited journalists and other observers out to watch the work being done. Oddly, none of them ever wanted to go look. Like, ever. One of my old bosses ran that program in 101st ABN’s sector, and he had a standing invitation out there to take people out to look at what we were doing. Nobody from the media ever took him up on it, despite numerous offers. We weren’t hiding shit, in that regard.

      Hell, we contracted with former regime EOD techs, and European-based EOD companies to come to Iraq and work with that program. None of whom had a chance in hell of getting a goddamn clearance. Some secret, huh?

      I doubt that any of those making these absurd charges against the Bush administration was paying attention to the reality of the times, back during the great clean-up after Jimmy Carter’s destruction of a major ally. None of this crap was very secret, and there were news articles galore about the whole situation. Hell, the timelines don’t even match up, very well–Carter was in office when the Iraqis invaded Iran, and Reagan’s administration was predominantly responsible for what happened after Carter. By the time Bush, H.W. was in office, the war was winding down, anyway. You can find pictures of Rumsfeld with Saddam, but I can also show you pictures of Jacques Chirac with him, right after he sold them the reactor that the Israelis blew up. The whole thing was a stability operation, on our part: Do just enough to keep the Iranians out of the Saudi and Gulf oil fields. Which we did, and managed to finesse things so that both sides came out of the war more-or-less worn down and equally damaged.

      After the fall of the Shah, and the Iranian radicalization, support of Iraq was almost mandatory. We did it to serve stability in the region, and keep the oil flowing from the Gulf States into Europe, Asia, and the Third World. We didn’t really have much of a choice, given the Realpolitik of the times. The Soviets were still a threat for much of the time this was going on, and we could not afford to move forces out of Europe to deal with someone trying to take over the oil in the Middle East–Which was what the Iranians were striving for.

      Hell, I remember watching a 60 Minutes expose going over how Gerald Bull scammed old friends of his to get computer time at US research facilities, so that he could model liquid behaviors in Scud missile fuel tanks and warheads. Why’d he do that? Well, he wanted to launch satellites with guns, and the Iraqis were the only people willing to fund him for that, so he went with them. Google that shit up–There’s a reason Bull got raided by the FBI and a bunch of other people back in the 1980s/1990s, and why he was unable to return to the US or Canada. Also, why he was selling his technology to every “flexibly moral” regime from the Austrians to the South Africans. Saddam bought several full artillery parks from Noricum in Austria and Denel in South Africa. Don’t any of you remember all the hand-wringing done by the media, about how his artillery out-ranged all of ours before Desert Storm? Which it did, by the way. Fortunately, they never figured out how to use that advantage.

      The technology transfers of actual weapons weren’t done legally by any US entities–All involved in what few cases of that were actually prosecuted quite heavily by the US government. Dual-use equipment, like computers and other items were transferred, but there were restrictions we did try to reinforce. And, yes, the CDC did ship various disease organisms to the Iraqis, but under the presumption that they were for defensive research uses only. Foolish? Probably, knowing what we know now. At the time, we were worried about the likely results if the Iranians used such weapons,and were trying to build up the Iraqi bio-defenses.

      Our European allies, on the other hand? They treated Saddam and his Gulf Arab paymasters like slot machines, and kept going back for more. The vast majority of Iraqi chemical and biological warfare production equipment was sold to him by European concerns on both sides of the Iron Curtain. If you go digging through the records, you can find dozens of instances where we complained about this to them, going back to the Carter years. None of the Euros cut back on their sales, right up until the time of the invasion of Kuwait. Then, with their cheap oil threatened, they suddenly got religion, and started policing the trade.

      I hate to say this, but the level of sheer ignorance displayed so far is just stunning. Were you all asleep from 1976 until 2008? Did you not pay basic attention to what the hell was going on in a region you were very likely to be deployed to? Did none of the issues interest any of you? None of this crap was some deep, dark, conspiratorial secret, just like the utter disablement of the security and counterintelligence efforts under the Clinton administration was an openly known and discussed fact of life.

      The predictions of likely disaster were all there, easily available for the reading. You just had to bloody well look–Hell, the New York Times published a story describing the puzzlement of the intelligence analysts over the circa-1997 or so movement of a damaged Boeing passenger jet airframe from BIAP out to the terrorist training facility at Salman Pak, where they were known to be practicing how to take over aircraft with “innocent” items they could get through Western airport security. Everybody just laughed–What the hell could they do, with hijacked airplanes, and no weapons? The security forces would be on them the moment they landed… Or, so everyone in the security world thought. Which was why we didn’t take the threat very seriously. So what if they get an airplane, or two… We can always send in GSG-9, or Delta Force, and then get them back from the terrorists.

      Anyone seriously claiming they were “shocked and surprised” after 9/11 really ought not be let out in public without a minder. None of us who were paying attention to what was done by Jamie Gorelick were particularly surprised, and that goes from people I know who were working the intel side of the house to people like me, who just kept up on their professional reading.

      Suddenly acting like none of this extensive prior history happened, or claiming it was all “in the shadows” is pure ignorance in action–The Iraqis were buying tons of gear from European sources starting back in the 1960s, and had no issues doing it. Hell, the British even let the sale of Matrix Churchill, a major producer of high-tech steel castings and machine work, go through so that the Iraqis could build the Project Babylon guns, and that was after both the US and the Israelis warned them about the Iraqi company making the purchase. Why do you think Gerald Bull was assassinated in Belgium? Hell, given what he was selling the Iraqis, and where he’d gotten some of it, we’re probably the ones who did it. Us, or the Israelis.

      More than likely, the real explanation for the Bush administration not publicizing this crap goes more to a desire not to embarrass the various parties in Europe and elsewhere who’d sold them that stuff. Had everything come out that we knew, I suspect several of our allies would have had a lot of egg on their faces, not the least of which would have been Great Britain. Governments would have been thrown out of power, causing significant disruption to the whole war effort. So, we politely didn’t apply a lot of effort to emphasizing that whole issue. Plus that, it wasn’t like the media was doing much to tell the truth in the first place. I strongly suspect that the only thing they’d have accepted as “proof of WMD” would have been if the Iraqis managed to set off a nuke at CNN headquarters in Atlanta. And, then they’d have blamed the administration for “not doing enough to prevent it…”.

      What’s really fucking ridiculous is hearing people claim that there was some attempt at covering up all the crap involving this stuff in Iraq. I was there from late 2005 to late 2006, in the 101st Airborne Division HQ. In that time frame, I know we had a complete listing of all chemical munitions available down at the CENTCOM website there in the Green Zone. Hell, I sat in the damn Operations Center right in front of the Division PAO, who went nuts on several occasions trying to get our damn embeds down to the Green Zone to attend the multiple press briefings where all of those incidents were laid out and discussed. Not one of them could be bothered.

      Additionally, I want to know how the hell it is that the route clearance teams and EOD my unit ran all were briefed on this shit ahead of time, and were supposed to be taking countermeasures? This wasn’t anything secret, either–It was supposed to be done before every mission. I know we passed it on to units coming in-country, and that it was briefed to the 25th ID when they took over.

      And, if this was some damn secret, cover-up BS, how is it that we had standard spot reports that I know I heard transmitted over the nets on multiple occasions? If your units didn’t know, or failed to take precautions, it’s because your leadership didn’t pay attention or do their damn jobs. Not a huge fucking surprise, given the amateur hour a lot of units displayed when they encountered IEDs. Nothing like moving through another unit’s sectors without coordination, and then making fucking reports of IED strikes 48 hours later, which happened a lot more than it should have. I did one damn incident where we got a couple of our guys on route clearance seriously injured and lost equipment, only to find out that there were something like five or six previous strikes at that same location that the idiots doing logistics never bothered to report to us or make sure got into the databases. Gave the insurgents five times to get it right, and then we got hit, not knowing that there was anyone active in the AO. The units who had experienced the prior attacks were logistics outfits based out of Baghdad, and never bothered to report to us what they’d hit–Until it was too damn late for our guys.

      Y’all can claim that there’s some huge conspiracy, but I’ll tell you the real deal: The information was out there. It was just ignored, especially by the media. Hell, that friggin’ spreadsheet detailing all five-fucking-hundred incidents to date that was put up in May or so of 2006 was on the open-source unclassified site for CENTCOM for about two bloody years, gentlemen. The only way that this shit should have surprised anyone is if you lived under a rock, and only learned to read after 2008.

      And, as another aside to the idiots who didn’t read the news, or actually, like, y’know… Pay fucking attention to it? The justification for going to war was never this ever-moving-goalpost of some hypothetical Dr. Doom WMD program–It was because Saddam never came clean about the destruction of the weapons he had after the peace negotiations of Desert Storm.

      And, oh-by-the-way, the “WMD” defined in those UN resolutions? That included the missiles he launched in the early days of the war. Remember those? The ones he hit the Souq Sharq mall in Kuwait with? Which were launched from deep enough in Iraq to make it blindingly obvious that they’d violated that particular resolution, limiting range of rocket and missile programs? The fact that they had developed a missile capable of doing that after Desert Storm was justification enough for the entire war, based on the sanctions.

      Of course, none of that “counts”, does it? Just keep right on moving those goalposts, folks…

  2. 3 Ken

    That’s right. Move along, nothing to see here. It’s sad the way those who really need Bush to have lied lie so thoroughly to themselves. Every instance of WMD’s found in Iraq are met with the same way: yawn. As if posing with a yawn means the yawn is meaningful and the yawner is right. You’re not now, nor are those who’ve been yawning for the last 11 years. Simply affecting an air of aloofness to information that contradicts your preferred vision of the world only means you’re close minded. Don’t bother me with details; I’ve all ready made up my mind. I’ve seen this mindset for a decade now.

    And acting as if the only,or even the primary, justification for the Iraqi invasion was WMD’s, rather than this being one of many reasons, is quite simply disingenuous.

    • I don’t think Bush lied, I think he was tricked. The basic issue is that there was no active WMD program in Iraq when we invaded. True or not?

      • 5 Kirk

        Chris, you’ve obviously got a lot invested in the idea that Bush was an idiot who led us into an unnecessary war–Which means you’ve accepted the attendant distortions put out by our media as being valid. You’re not going to change your mind without deprogramming, which is a pity. Your writing and work that I’ve seen is better than this.

        Point one–What does it matter whether Bush lied or “was tricked”? The stuff was still there.

        And, to pretend that there was no massive movement of materials out of Iraq before the war is purest fantasy. We know for a fact that convoy after convoy staged outside all the sites that the UN inspection teams were blocked from effectively inspecting, and then moved north to the Syrian border. One incident that tells us this actually happened (meaning “evidence of actual moved weapons) goes back to one of those “non-existent” chemical weapons finds we put on that spreadsheet back in 2006. That incident involved us discovering a semi-trailer buried in the desert right alongside one of those routes up to Syria, and I believe it was the one going from al Muthanna. Backtracking on that one indicated that we’d observed a broken-down Iraqi truck at that site during those convoys in 2002-03, and then the truck had disappeared the next time the satellite was overhead. Apparently, the Iraqis had decided that burying the damn thing was a better option than trying to move it.

        Couple of questions follow from that–One, how’d they know when the satellite was there? The source was, as I remember it, a classified military satellite whose orbits aren’t right out there for all to see on the internet. Which, if you do the math, means that someone was providing them with that information on satellite coverage. Russians? French? You tell me–Who was the number-one guy doing his best to prevent any action from being taken? Was his name Chirac, and was he the same guy who sold the Iraqis the nuclear power plant the Israelis blew up, along with a bunch of other French-made weapons? Hmmm?

        Point two is this: The idea that the justification for invasion was this “active WMD program” is totally specious. I used to have this stuff at my fingertips for discussions like this, but it’s been so long since I bothered trying to educate people on the issue that I’ve forgotten precise details. In any event, it would be better for you to go find the information yourself, so that you can believe the sources. One, examine precisely what the definitions of “WMD” were in the UN documents relating to the cease-fire at the end of Desert Storm, along with all the other sanctions and other UN resolutions cited by the Bush administration.

        When you do that, you’re going to find that the definition of WMD as used by the UN is not the one that the media invented for itself, and that the justification was not that there were “active WMD programs”. In the first case, you’d be bloody well astonished how wide the term “WMD” actually was in those documents. I alluded to the missiles used to attack Kuwait in my earlier post–Those qualified, and the fact that those missiles were developed after Desert Storm sort of puts the lie to “No active WMD programs” thing.

        Additionally, the Iraqis never complied with the original post-Desert Storm requirement to account for any and all chemical munitions, and in fact, conducted a very well-organized effort to conceal all that they could. There were facilities that were never inspected by the UN until after the 2003 invasion, which were stripped down to bare concrete sometime immediately prior to the invasion. How is that known? Based, again, on all those convoys, and evidence found at the locations which were inspected. Additionally, there were all those chemical munitions left in the various ammo dumps we spent about five years emptying. How’s that for them complying with the terms of the cease-fire?

        Sweet Jesus, how about the failure to do anything about all those missing Kuwaitis from the war, whose remains we found carefully stored in that warehouse? Remember that? That was one of the cease-fire conditions and later UN resolutions that were ignored by the Iraqis. Are a couple of thousand murdered civilians enough justification for the war, along with the continuing willful failure to comply with accounting for them? Think it was a good idea to leave a regime like that in place, while watching the sanctions regime break down under “international pressure”?

        Basically, you’ve bought into the entire disinformation package the media put out. They started the distortions right at the very beginning, when they did not fully publicize the entire set of justifications for the war. Don’t believe me? Go back and look. WMD were only a small portion of the justifications for the invasion and destruction of the regime.

        It’s almost like someone knew that most of the weapons would be gone, and coordinated ahead of time to make sure that that was the only thing the general public remembered about the “why we went to war”. And, then our media went right ahead with the whole thing, on not just a national level, but international. Jornolist, anyone? Remember that? Care to take odds that there isn’t another such mailing list shared between like minds, all over the world? I won’t take bets against it, because the evidence is right there before us, on how quickly they all turned on a dime, and how consistent they were in broadcasting the same stories. CNN and their happy little “relationship” with the regime, which continued even after we eliminated it? Probably nine-tenths of the Mukhabarat “minders” that worked for the Iraqi government slipped right on over to being stringers and “local correspondents” for the international media. Remember the election workers who were executed back in 2005, and the “local photographer” just happened to be in the right place, at the right time, to catch Pulitzer-prize winning pictures of the murders? Yeah, him: We caught his ass in an al Qaeda safe house, with explosives residue on his hands, circa 2006. Along with some of the people who were identified as being the men who killed those election workers.

        You don’t see that shit in the papers, or a rescinded Pulitzer. Huh. Wonder why?

        I suppose I should be shocked, but the fact is that these assholes have been in the ideological pockets of the Soviets and then the rest of the international left for so long that they probably didn’t even need any real persuasion to do what they did. At some point, it’s going to come out that the entire thing was probably a part of the maskirovka effort put on by the successors to the GRU and KGB. And, we fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. It’s really rather sad, how credulous so many of us are. Don’t believe me? Go back and look in the primary sources.

        • Kirk,

          I actually have a lot invested in the opposite of what you think. As a soldier who risked quite a bit to serve in Iraq, I’d actually prefer to see evidence of WMDs. I voted for Bush twice, and don’t regret doing so.

          You and Ken are assigning beliefs to me that I don’t have.

          My essay didn’t say “There were no WMDs in Iraq”. It said, “The old shells the NYT article talks about aren’t proof of an active WMD program”. That’s the extent of my point.

          Maybe there was an active WMD program in Iraq just before we invaded. I know Hussein dodged, evaded and interfered with UN inspectors at suspected WMD sites. I’ve also heard the possibility that weapons were sent to Syria, although I’ve never personally seen proof of that (and I recently read that the Syrian Baathists were enemies of the Iraqi Baathists). I don’t have any firsthand information about that. I do know that from January to November 2005, when IEDs and VBIEDs were the primary threat to my convoy escort team, I was never once briefed about the possibility of encountering chemical munitions.

          Your 78,000-word comment is covering everything about everything involving Iraq and WMDs. My very short essay is saying “This old WMD shit in the NYT article doesn’t justify the entire war”. The essay doesn’t say WMDs were the only justification for the war. It doesn’t say there could not possibly have been an active WMD program. It doesn’t say the media is wonderful and no foreign governments had a hand in reporting. All that is outside the scope of my essay.

          • 7 Danny

            One of the biggest problems during the war in Iraq was the torture and murder of civilians by the army, while I saw several videos on how the soldiers treated the population in one unit of the British Army beat children while one the soldier was laughing recorded and the other was a soldier holding a small dog and tossed it into the air, maybe’re disagreeing with my opinion but what we see in Iraq are actulmente consecuensias who left the Bush administraccion.

      • 8 Ken

        The basic issue is that there was no active WMD program in Iraq when we invaded. True or not?

        Not.

        Yet, more proof.

        Also, I’m not sure who you think “tricked” Bush. What I think is that the MSM absolutely hated Bush and sank it’s teeth into that narrative. Then used a media blackout for any story that didn’t back up the idea that Bush was an evil liar or the one that you’re promoting, that he was “tricked”.

        • Ken,

          I mean that HUMINT sources deliberately lied to American Intel in order to get American forces to invade Iraq. It’s no different from our sources in Afghanistan and Pakistan who make stuff up to get us to kill people they have a feud with. From what I know of the HUMINT world, I think I can safely say that every source is a liar, every source is working an angle, and every source is trying to get us to do their work for them.

          I think HUMINT sources fed bad information to our Intel agencies, who then repeated that bad information to President Bush, who believed it.

          No argument that the MSM hated Bush. They didn’t bother trying to hide it.

  3. Danny;

    Your entire comment is one long run-on sentence that I cannot parse for the life of me. Try again, please.

    Are you saying that American and British Soldiers acted terribly because you have proof that one American soldier threw a puppy? And that because he threw a puppy, that George Bush, and the rest of the US Army are a bad guys? I really am having trouble understanding what you’re saying.

    As for Brits beating kids, let’s try to be a little more accurate in our reporting. How about a specific incident? Time, date? Maybe the names of the victims? Because “I heard once that the British Army beat children” is kind of vague and hard to prove or disprove. And it’s a hell of an accusation…

    • 11 Danny

      I did not say that all soldiers in general are bad guys, is that within the military there are good people and bad, and I am sorry if you misinterpreted me message, Bush administration if you can say that if it was a big disaster, and also was one of the worst presidents of all history, what the puppy, after reviewing in internet find out it was a Marine, not a soldier as I said earlier mind what I say ?, proof only seeks US soldier Throws puppy Off Cliff, there you will see what I mean.

      What the British soldiers beating children, look online the exact date of the incident, but only gave me the year 2006, as said before just buscalo on YouTube.

      Maybe not agree’re my opinions, but that’s what I think.

  4. As for the actual article, I think we’re failing to draw a clear distinction between what Chris wrote and what the responses are saying he wrote.

    I do not think that it is news to anyone that we found WMDs in Iraq. I think it’s pretty much accepted that this happened. Widely.

    I also don’t think that it is very strenuously contested that Iraq didn’t have an ACTIVE WMD program at the time of the invasion. Or if one did exist, evidence for it was never found.

    Both of those are true statements. I think all commenters and Chris all agree with that.

    Now that we’ve found common ground, the bone of contention is whether finding the WMDs, but NOT an active WMD program vindicates W or not.

    My vote is that he doesn’t need to be vindicated. He stated his case, got approval from congress, and built a coalition of nations larger than any of the much-touted coalitions that Obama has built in any of his “scope limited incursions”, despite claims to the contrary. Those are the things he’s required to do in order to persecute a just war.

    Would I have done it? No. But that doesn’t mean that Bush needs to be “vindicated” for having done so.

    WMDs were not the only reason we went in. We went in because of a long list of violated UN requirements that the UN was unwilling to enforce. We went in out of fear that there was an acive WMD program, and with the spectre of terrorists operating on AMerican soil, that was dangerous as hell. Imagine a mustard gas attack on a major sports stadium if you want to stay up all night in a cold sweat.

    We went in because of material support lent to these terrorist networks.

    And finally, we went in so that we could have a theater of war where we could fight the terrorists, who all flocked to Iraq after the invasion, on foreign soil rather than our own.

    I still don’t think it was a good idea, but since I wouldn’t want to put Saddam back in office in excahnge for undoing all that we’ve done “over there”, I guess I supported the war, in hindsight.

    I’d have never done it if I had been in charge, but the overall outcome hasn’t been totally awful.

    I’d even mention that it is heartening to me to see Obama digging in his heels a bit and telling the Iraqis that we aren’t going to come over and bail them out every time they get in trouble, and if they don’t want to be an ISIS-owned theocracy, they’d better figure out how to counter attack and kick ISIS out.

    And they’re doing it, as we speak.


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