Bush’s actions don’t match the rhetoric
July 17, 2003
The cover story for the war in Iraq seems to be falling apart by the minute. Every day that they don’t find those weapons of mass destruction, more people begin to question the president’s truthfulness.
I can hear some folks out there saying “So what?” We all know that Saddam Hussein is not a nice guy. After all, he used nerve gas against Iran (with the help of U.S. intelligence satellites to help with his aim), he played around with anthrax (supplied by the U.S.) and even gassed his own people (for which the U.S. resisted world pressure to punish him with sanctions).
Even without our help for the last dozen years, he has proved himself to be an ogre the world would be better without. So what if Bush exaggerated a little?
But the real question is, if he was so bad and a real threat, then why would we need to exaggerate? Why would the president need to lie?
Just this weekend, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld sounded a lot like Bill Clinton arguing over the meaning of “is.” He was questioned on the claim he made a couple of months ago, saying they knew where the weapons were.
Now he claims they knew where they “were.”
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But what was more surprising was his admission that all the sites they thought weapons might be had not been searched yet.
And this really gets down to the main issue. It doesn’t matter who said what. Actions, in this case, speak more than words.
Turn back the clock to the before the war. You “know” your enemy has 100-500 tons of chemical weapons, and you know where he is likely hiding them. Wouldn’t you try to secure those sites as quickly as possible? After all, these chemical weapons posed a major threat to our advancing troops, and the big danger, they said, was if these fall into the hands of terrorists.
So why wasn’t this done? Special Forces teams were flown into Iraq to secure the oil fields, but not the weapons. That speaks volumes about what the real reason for the war is.
And those weapons are still missing. Rumsfeld claims they are doing their best to search all those sites, but this is disconcerting. How many days have his 150,000 soldiers had to search the sites they already know about?
And what about the nukes? If Bush and his people really thought that Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program, why did the military wait for more than a week after taking over the region to even visit the country’s main nuclear research facilities at Tuwaitha?
Why did they wait even longer to visit the neighboring Baghdad Nuclear Research Facility? Both sites were heavily looted, so if there were plans for a nuclear bomb or even some weapons-grade material, it would be long gone by now.
These would logically have been among the first facilities to have been secured, unless the people running this war in fact knew there was nothing to this nuclear threat.
If Bush lied about the reasons for war, what else has he and those around him lied about? When he says there is nothing underhanded with giving a multi-billion dollar no-bid contract to Cheney’s former company Halliburton, should we really believe him? How about the assertion that this war isn’t about oil?
Kirk Caraway is editor of the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza in Incline Village.