this one's not quite dead yet
t minus 8 hours and counting
Posted: 2003-03-19 09:00
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Author: Phil Gengler
Section: Stuff

As I'm sure you're no doubt aware, President Bush gave a speech the other night giving Saddam and his sons 48 hours to leave Iraq and go into exile, or else the US & UK would commence military operations. The speech itself was more of the same from Bush, consisting mainly of lies and unfounded allegations designed only to stir up support.

Some of the points I wanted to address from the speech:

Bush says: "For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war."
Reality: Iraq was neglected for the most part after the Gulf War, with no 'patient' or 'honorable' effort made to enforce any UN resolutions against Iraq.

Bush says: "We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned."
Reality: However reluctantly, Saddam has been cooperating with every request or demand made by the inspectors.

Bush says: "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."
Reality: I don't know that this isn't true, but at the same time, I've seen no evidence to indicate that it is true. The only source I have heard make this claim is the Bush staff.

Bush says: "The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda."
Reality: Prior to the Gulf War, Iraq was an ally of the US. And there has never been a connection made between al Qaeda and Iraq, though it has been attempted .

Bush says: "The danger is clear: using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country, or any other."
Reality: As with the last few points, there is no evidence to show that Saddam even has such weapons, and if he did, that he has ties to terrorist organizations that could get them from him.

Bush says: "The United States and other nations did nothing to deserve or invite this threat."
Reality: What threat? Iraq has taken no aggressive action towards the US or any of our allies, and in fact, is showing nothing but complicance with our demands for disarmament.

Bush says: "The United States of America has the sovereign authority to use force in assuring its own national security."
Reality: I agree with this part, though it being applied in the wrong way here. I have no problem with us acting against a government after we are attacked by them, or acting to stop a KNOWN threat, but we do not and should never have the 'sovereign authority' to wage war on a country because we simply don't like them, and they have done nothing to provoke any attack.

Bush says: "Under Resolutions 678 and 687 -- both still in effect -- the United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction."
Reality: Neither resolution 678 nor 687 authorizes the use of force against Iraq unless Iraq acts aggressively towards Kuwait. Since it has not done so, these resolutions do not provide authorization to use force against Iraq to enforce disarmament.

Bush says: "Yet, some permanent members of the Security Council have publicly announced they will veto any resolution that compels the disarmament of Iraq."
Reality: Resolution 1440, unanimously approved by the Security Council, compels Iraq to disarm. The countries threatening veto were not doing so to stop Iraq from disarming, but to stop the use of force to effect this disarmamemt.

Bush says: "Should Saddam Hussein choose confrontation, the American people can know that every measure has been taken to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it."
Reality: The US has most certainly not taken every measure to avoid war. Bush, in fact, has been pushing for a war, back since when his staff said he did not need Congressional approval to wage a war with Iraq. When it comes to the Security Council, this same sentiment is reflected by choosing not to propose a new resolution authorizing force, since they knew it would be voted down.

Bush says: "As we enforce the just demands of the world, we will also honor the deepest commitments of our country."
Reality: A measure opposed by France, Germany, Russia, Canada and a whole host of other countries is now the 'just demands of the world'?

Bush's commitment to a war, no matter who supports it, it almost certain to get the US into a bad situation. Whether it be needless troop deaths in Iraq, or increasinly negative foreign opinion, our entire country will pay the price for a single man's failings.

Addition: Check out GNN's take on the speech.


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