Monday, February 27, 2006

Why the Left Should Concede that Iraq Had WMDs

The right-of-Bush news site WorldNetDaily is claiming that a recent, private, intelligence summit was targeted by members of the U.S. intelligence community, trying to quiet or discredit news emerging from the summit that Iraq was, in fact, working on WMDs and trying to conceal those programs from U.N. inspectors. The idea, of course, is to rehabilitate George Bush's initial, and most effective, rationale for the war in Iraq -- especially now that support is crumbling from the very pillars of the right. We should let them do so, and help them.

Thanks to the war, Iraq's lack of WMDs can never be positively proven. And yet, for some reason, Bush has jumped onto the no-WMDs bandwagon. Why would have done that, when there way to prove him wrong? Perhaps because his advisors realized that continuing to claim that Iraq had WMDs is a political time bomb that he had to ditch as soon as possible. The left should put it back in his hands, by not only conceding the right's claim that Iraq had WMDs, but shouting it from the rooftops. Here's why.

Prior to now, the left's opposition to the war has, sensibly, centered around the notion that Iraq did not have WMDs and, therefore, President Bush was wrong to wage war with Iraq. The obvious instinctive sense of this argument has pushed President Bush to change (time and again) his war rationale -- ending up lately with the toughest-to-disprove, unrefutable-in-the-short-term argument that the war will, eventually, allow some form of democracy to take root and that, eventually, that democracy will provide for stability which will, eventually, make it tougher for terrorists to operate in Iraq.

There are several advantages to arguing that Iraq had WMDs. One, it protects the left's credibility in the event some shred of evidence turns the tide on public opinion. Two, it reminds people that Bush's rationales have shifted on the war. But, most importantly, it forces people to confront a brand new, and starkly terrifying reason why Bush's war was not only a failure, but proof that he and the Republicans are not only inept at anything but talking about national security, they're actually detrimental to it.

Remember, the war was justified as an attempt not just to deny Saddam the possibility of using WMDs, but to keep those WMDs out of the hands of terrorists. It would be bad enough if the war failed to do so, but what if the war were the very thing that made it possible for terrorists to acquire WMDs? George Bush would have helped the terrorists more directly and undeniably than all the journalists and dissenting Democrats of the last four years combined.

So, in the campaigns for Congress this year, Democratic candidates should stake out very clear ground declaring the war a failure. When Republicans call them on "declaring defeat," Democrats should simply respond that the goal of the war in Iraq was not to triumph over insurgents, but to stop terrorists from getting WMDs. If Bush was wrong and there were none, the war was a failure from the beginning. If Bush was right and there were WMDs, the war itself made it possible for terrorists to get them. And they should quote this concession of the fact that the United States government can not assure us the weapons did not fall into the hands of America's enemies:

They could have been destroyed during the war. Saddam and his henchmen could have destroyed them as we entered into Iraq. They could be hidden. They could have been transported to another country.

That was George W. Bush talking -- admitting, though the mainstream media failed to notice it, that the war may have led to the weapons making their way into some other country, into the hands (since we haven't heard about it) of an enemy. As more time passes, the less likely is the scenario that the weapons were hidden. So let's start conceding the right's point -- Iraq had WMDs. They're gone now. Our enemies have them. And that's George Bush's fault.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, keep hammerin' away at Bush. You're doing so well. Soon, if you keep up your excellent hammerin', you may actually prevent Bush from being elected to a 3rd term.

But, um, when do we start seeing fancy, pretentious, boring posts about who you'd like to see take over the country next? Who's your candidate? And why?

You're very good at bitching and moaning about what is. What are your fixes? What's the left's message about how to make things better?

Or do you exist merely to whine and complain?

Is the left's message simply, "Bush sucks!"? Is THAT what the left has to offer America? "Bush sucks?" Great message. I'm sure it'll help you take back the White House, the senate and the house. I mean, your "Bush sucks!" message did so well for you in the last two presidential elections. Didn't it?

Yeah, you sure do heckle good.

What else can you do?

Anonymous said...

I would like to first write that I am arguing just for the sake of arguing. And that I mean no disrespect in anything I say.

Prior to the War in Iraq, U.N. and U.S. inspectors had been scouring the country for evidence of WMDs. They found no concrete evidence of WMDs.

Bush used the threat of WMDs because that is something that would scare the people into following him. The attacks on 9/11 were only with airplanes, so the people can only imagine what a nuclear blast could do.

You also state that another reason for the invasion of Iraq was to prevent the WMDs from reaching another terrorist or enemy's hands, and that the war did allow them to fall into enemy's hands. First off, Saddam didnt have any WMDs. Enen if he did, he would have no intention of selling these weapons. He didn't even have ties with Al-Qaeda. While bin Laden did want help funding his operations and training of terrorist, Saddam refused to respond. By selling his weapons Saddam would also be selling his power, something he would never do.

With all of our advanced satalite imagery, dont you think we would have found signs of WMDs? We have been in that country for years and still no signs of them, which can only mean one thing, they never existed. While Saddam did have biological and chemical weapons programs, his nuclear program was dormant. He didn't have the resources to build a weapon that powerful. Had the war never started then maybe he could have created them, and then who knows what could have happened.

Now I agree that Bush did lie about Iraq having WMDs. Being the president, he should never lie to his people, but we know how that worked out. He needed something that the whole country could unite together about, and we did, up until it was proven wrong. I also acknowlage those who say that there are WMDs in Iraq or the countries surrounding Iraq that are harboring weapons. It is possible that Saddam's mobile labs have yet to be found.

dah14

ceej said...

dah14, I think you made a few mistakes.

First, "Prior to the War in Iraq, U.N. and U.S. inspectors had been scouring the country for evidence of WMDs. They found no concrete evidence of WMDs."

Not exactly -- we forget that we had inspectors in the early nineties who found nothing, and Saddam claimed not to have any WMD. Then there were a couple of defectors who told us where to find bio-weapons. This demonstrated a couple of things -- i) inspectors not finding things doesn't mean much; ii) Saddam denying he had WMD doesn't mean much.

Second, "First off, Saddam didnt have any WMDs. Enen if he did, he would have no intention of selling these weapons. He didn't even have ties with Al-Qaeda. While bin Laden did want help funding his operations and training of terrorist, Saddam refused to respond. By selling his weapons Saddam would also be selling his power, something he would never do."

I think this is just an argument that Saddam wouldn't sell all his weapons, not an argument that he wouldn't sell one weapon, or that someone else in Iraq wouldn't sell one weapon.

"With all of our advanced satalite imagery, dont you think we would have found signs of WMDs?"

No, just like in the early nineties. They would be hidden from satellites, not too difficult to put them indoors or underground.

"Had the war never started then maybe [Saddam] could have created them, and then who knows what could have happened."

This is an argument for the invasion only if our only choices were to invade then or never invade.

"[Bush] needed something that the whole country could unite together about, and we did, up until it was proven wrong."

I think you mean "wanted" instead of "needed". And, yes, typically people lie in order to get something they want. Not sure what your point is here exactly.

Anonymous said...

One thing we do know: stockpiles of artillery shells fell into the hands of the insurgency and our troops have been suffering ever since. If they failed to secure the obvious then how can Bush claim that they were competent to secure the most dangerous?

Anonymous said...

I think it would be a serious mistake to concede the existence of WMDs that are actually imaginary, as it now seems that they mostly are, except where America supplied the weapons and kept the receipts. It would be dishonest, it would encourage the right to pound home other lies until they stick, it would create the fear that the WMDs are now in another country with oil reserves (looks like the Iranian nuclear programme is grounds for the 2006 election-campaign war, and 2008 for Syria, which supposedly is where the WMDs went... no hurry, and weren't they deadly enemies of Saddam? So you tell me he made them a present of his nasty war chest?), and of course it means that Saddam got those WMDs during President Clinton's term, which is a bigger mistake than invading a country that -isn't- a threat, although a smaller one than Mr. Rumsfeld personally selling the bad stuff to President Saddam.

And, I mean, we could wake up one morning and find that the President pushed the button and Iran is now a sea of glowing radioactive glass, but only when it buys the best advantage in those midterms.

I am in fact not an American and I think that America currently is a detriment and a threat to world civilisation, and I would prefer to see a collapse of American society from failures of the education system, health care, inward investment, religious restrictions on science, and industrial productive capacity, ideally with only limited loss of life - just quietly ceasing to be a huge problem for people living elsewhere, who admittedly aren't saints either. Even when you guys -don't- vote Republican I don't trust you. But by all means try to save your society from itself before that collapse happens. Only don't try to float your lifeboat on lies.

Anonymous said...

Um, previous anonymous comment by Robert Carnegie, rja.carnegie@excite.com . Did I press the wrong button?

GuerrillaScholar said...

FYI, I was in attendance at the intelligence summit you referred to, and actually had breakfast on the last day of the event with the gentleman who gave the presentation about the "evidence" that Saddam had WMDs but had smuggled them into Syria before the war.

The evidence was a recorded conversation between Saddam and Tariq Aziz and a few others. Some things were said that were suggestive of something like this, and that something was sent off to Syria, but WMDs were not explicitly mentioned, nor was there any other clear indication as to what was under discussion.

So, I asked this analyst point-blank if he thought WMDs were involved, and he said he couldn't commit to that conclusion (which, to his credit was pretty much what he said during his presentation).

Apparently the reason why there was pressure put on the summit was because the tapes were being released through the Pentagon instead of the CIA. Basically, it amounted to a turf battle.

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