Bush rewrites history about how war began
President Bush has accused critics of the war in Iraq of distorting how the war originated.
HIS credibility and approval ratings crumbling, President Bush used Veterans Day to launch an attack on critics of his Iraq policy, claiming they are trying to "rewrite history of how that war began." In doing so, he has twisted the road to war and the breadth of his support in taking military action.
In a Veterans Day speech in Pennsylvania, Bush correctly recalled the broad, although mistaken, consensus that Saddam Hussein had "a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hand" and was "a grave threat to our security." He said, "That's why more than a hundred Democrats in the House and the Senate, who had access to the same intelligence, voted to support removing Saddam Hussein from power."
Not quite. That reference was to a congressional resolution in September 2002 providing Bush the flexibility to take action against Iraq. The measure was to be used as leverage on the United Nations' Security Council to find that Iraq was in "material breach" of international law and authorize military action. The president told members of Congress that he did not plan immediate action.
"He made it repeatedly clear that this resolution is not intended as a declaration of war; it is not intended as an immediate prior step to aggression," Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., said after he and eight other lawmakers met with Bush prior to the vote.
The resolution failed to turn the Security Council. With U.N. weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq in March 2003 looking for heinous weapons, Saddam posed no imminent threat to other nations. The Star-Bulletin urged that those inspections continue and America keep its guns cocked. Instead, Bush used the authority provided by the resolution to go to war.
The United States now finds itself in a predicament that it should not abandon. That does not justify distorting its origins.
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