So here we are at the beginning of the election season. We will all be trying to digest a great deal of information in the coming weeks, as we attempt to choose who will lead us for the next four years. But remember, not all that information will be good information.
A case in point is the current White House incumbent, George W. Bush. He has been more forthcoming lately. But can what he and members of his administration say be trusted? I think not.
President Bush was interviewed on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday morning. Someone watching the interview would have seen the President still claiming that weapons of mass destruction may have been in Iraq.
An Associated Press article about the interview quotes Bush as saying, “They could have been destroyed during the war. Saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into Iraq.” As if that wasn’t enough, Bush also said, “They could be hidden. They could have been transported to another country, and we’ll find out.”
Yet before the war, we were told that there was no doubt at all that Saddam had weapons, and that the U.S. government knew where the weapons were. Saddam posed a danger, and the country could not take the risk of waiting for United Nations arms inspectors to finish their work.
The Bush administration has now had far more time than the United Nations to find the weapons of mass destruction. But where are they?
Many of us want to give the President the benefit of the doubt. They do not want to believe the White House deceived them. If it is any consolation, I am sure the Bush administration believes they are doing the right thing.
Maybe they even believed that the weapons they thought were in Iraq actually were there. But does it matter what the motivations are in a case like this? You decide. Look at the administration’s record and then make your decision.
But keep in mind that this is an administration that now claims they were only reacting to intelligence provided by the CIA and others. Fine. Am I the only one who remembers that there were, at the time, many doubts that Iraq had any of the weapons the Bush administration was claiming they had?
Do you remember Hans Blix? He spent time in Iraq before the war and found about the same amount of weapons of mass destruction as found since the war – next to nothing.
Apparently President Bush forgot Mr. Blix on July 15 when he said during a photo opportunity with U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan, that Saddam Hussein was given a chance to disarm.
“And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn’t let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power…” says the President. This quote comes from the official White House Web site.
Yes, Saddam Hussein was a bad man. But we did not go to war because he was a bad man. We went to war, and more than 500 soldiers died because he had weapons that could threaten the United States. They have yet to be found. I know many of you want to trust your president. I just wish we could.
William Lodge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.