OH YEAH … AND THERE WERE NO TERRORISTS IN IRAQ BEFORE WE GOT THERE
Posted by Andrew Roman on December 29, 2009
From the “If I Say It Enough, It Will Magically Become True” file …
Perhaps more germane than the age-old question, “How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie-roll center of a tootsie pop?” is the ever-perplexing, “How many times does one have to say something before it becomes true?”
Admittedly, it isn’t easy adding ingredients to the stew of conventional wisdom, but once they hit the pot, it is nearly impossible to flush them out.
These days, a compliant media complex is essential in giving credence to falsehoods, frauds and other fairy tales. (See “Global Warming.”)
Mike Bates at NewsBusters reports on a delicious quote from CNN’s Rick Sanchez illustrating this point. Sanchez was speaking with Octavia Nasr, CNN senior editor for Arab Affairs, about terrorism.
Nasr was commenting on how much of a “hot zone” the border between Yemen and Saudi Arabia is. She talked about how the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack on Northwest Flight 253 was a response to what terrorists believe is ongoing United States assistance to the Yemeni government in fighting Al Qaeda and the Houthis.
Rich Sanchez, in his most matter-of-fact demeanor, seized the opportunity to reinforce his “article of faith”:
SANCHEZ: And good, good, good, good, good, good. You see, this is a point that I’m trying to make, Octavia.
The terrorists weren’t in Iraq. We know that now. There was really a small band of them along with the mujahedeen which became al Qaeda in Afghanistan, as we know. But we have known for 10 years now that these really bad terrorists, the guys we really should have been going after a long time ago, are in Yemen. We knew that a long time ago.
So, the fact that we are now seemingly or the U.S. government seemingly now is putting an emphasis on there and that some of these folks are mad at us for putting an emphasis there, I can’t help but see that finally as the United States maybe going militarily in the right direction in this war on terror.
NASR: You’re right about al Qaeda being everywhere, Rick. It’s very true.
Let’s think about what Sanchez is saying here. (It is the default position of the vast majority of the mainstream media).
His claim is the nation of Iraq, headed by the murderous dictator, Saddam Hussein, was essentially a terrorist-free zone until the United States came along. Terrorism existed in every corner of the world except Iraq. Hussein was minding his own business, bothering no one, until the war mongers from the West swooped in to turn that nation into a terrorist breeding ground. Iraq was a wonderland of fuzzy bunnies, swaying daisies and frolicking kittens until Uncle Sam’s baby-killing machine came a-callin’. If not for the United States, the nation of Iraq would have been free to pursue a life of peace and religious fulfillment.
The problem with the Sanchez argument is … there is not a stitch of evidence anywhere to suggest that Iraq was not a terrorist state. The evidence is overwhelming that Iraq was a steadfast supporter of terrorist activity and a protector of terrorist groups.
Bates quotes from the Clinton State Department’s Patterns of Global Terrorism 1999 report:
Iraq continued to plan and sponsor international terrorism in 1999. Although Baghdad focused primarily on the anti-regime opposition both at home and abroad, it continued to provide safehaven and support to various terrorist groups. . .
Iraq continued to provide safehaven to a variety of Palestinian rejectionist groups, including the Abu Nidal organization, the Arab Liberation Front(ALF), and the former head of the now defunct 15 May Organization, Abu Ibrahim, who masterminded several bombings of US aircraft. Iraq provided bases, weapons, and protection to the MEK, an Iranian terrorist group that opposes the current Iranian regime. In 1999, MEK cadre based in Iraq assassinated or attempted to assassinate several high-ranking Iranian Government officials, including Brigadier General Ali Sayyad Shirazi, Deputy Chief of Iran’s Joint Staff, who was killed in Tehran on 10 April.
Let’s not forget every Democrat who went on record declaring Hussein’s Iraq as a genuine threat:
“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.
“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 have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction.” – Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 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.
“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.
“We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.” – Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002.
The invasion happened because following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Iraq was considered, at the time, by almost everyone on both sides of the political aisle, to be the greatest threat to national security as well as to peace in the Middle East and around the world. There is simply no doubt that Saddam Hussein was linked to a host of terrorist organizations. His nation was an undeniable sponsor of terrorism. How could any of that be ignored?
This is not to say that he or Iraq had anything to do with 9/11. No one has ever made such a claim. It was never the position of the Bush administration. But this was a country that violated seventeen UN resolutions. It was a country that had used weapons of mass destruction before. It was a country that repeatedly fired upon American military aircraft. It was a country that had already harbored known terrorists. On those grounds alone, an attack was completely justified.
Think of all things that didn’t work up to that point (the crown jewels of the liberal foreign policy playbook): negotiations, no-fly zones, UN sanctions, pat-a-cake, etc.
The United States no longer had the luxury of simply reacting to Saddam Hussein. Iraq was a nation deemed by both Republicans and Democrats to be a genuine threat – and rightly so. President Bush could not just sit idly by and wait. He warned Hussein. He gave Hussein opportunity after opportunity to comply with the UN resolutions. Hussein scoffed. America took action.
No Commander-In-Chief worth his weight in gold, with his nation at war, presented with the very same intelligence and evidence President Bush was, could do nothing.
President Bush was smart enough to realize that “safe haven” was not just an Afghani phenomenon.
Six years later, our success in Iraq has, indeed, made America safer.
(H/T to Weasel Zippers)