Tuesday, June 14, 2005


If Bush's Plan Had Worked, Saddam Hussein Would Still Be In Power

Bush stated on June 13, 2002 that "there are no war plans on my desk", while the Downing Street Memo (DSM) describing a July 23, 2002 meeting between US and British intelligence stated that:
Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action
In a joint press conference with Bush and Blair last week (June 7, 2005) Blair responded to a question about the DSM as follows:
And the fact is, we decided to go to the United Nations and went through that process, which resulted in the November 2002 United Nations resolution to give a final chance to Saddam Hussein to comply with international law. He didn't do so. And that was the reason why we had to take military action. But, all the way through that period of time, we were trying to look for a way of managing to resolve this without conflict. As it happened, we weren't able to do that because, as I think was very clear, there was no way that Saddam Hussein was ever going to change the way that he worked or the way that he acted.
If you believe this characterization by Blair, with which Bush agreed, then you must also believe that Bush and Blair would have been content to leave a UN-disarmed Saddam Hussein in power.

If you believe that, then I offer you these quotes from Bush during the second presidential debate on October 8, 2004:
BUSH: He was trying to get rid of sanctions for a reason: He wanted to restart his weapons programs. We all thought there was weapons there, Robin. My opponent thought there was weapons there. That's why he called him a grave threat. I wasn't happy when we found out there wasn't weapons, and we've got an intelligence group together to figure out why. But Saddam Hussein was a unique threat. And the world is better off without him in power. And my opponent's plans lead me to conclude that Saddam Hussein would still be in power, and the world would be more dangerous. Thank you, sir.

BUSH: You remember the last debate? My opponent said that America must pass a global test before we used force to protect ourselves. That's the kind of mindset that says sanctions were working. That's the kind of mindset that said, "Let's keep it at the United Nations and hope things go well." Saddam Hussein was a threat because he could have given weapons of mass destruction to terrorist enemies. Sanctions were not working. The United Nations was not effective at removing Saddam Hussein.
These statements make it clear that Bush's policy was regime change, not disarmament.

So if you believe Bush and Blair's denials about the validity of the DSM, then you must also believe that Bush would have been willing to leave Hussein in power. Pretty simple.

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