web counter Media Lies: Why we went to war in Iraq

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

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Why we went to war in Iraq

Sometimes the press fails to ask the obvious questions. If you read the text of the Joint Resolution of Congress link (House Joint Resolution 114), you discover that, according to Congress, the reasons we went to war with Iraq are:

  • weapons of mass destruction

  • material violation of UN resolutions

  • repressing the Iraqi people

  • refusing to account for missing foreign nationals, including a US serviceman

  • failing to return Kuwaiti property wrongly seized

  • hostility toward and willingness to attack the US

  • harboring and aiding al Qaeda terrorists as well as other terrorists

James Woolsey, during a Nighline interview, (link) put it this way:

"Well, I think the heart of the matter was really in the strategy statement that the Administration put out late last summer/early fall, which essentially said that it's the nexus of the brutality of a dictatorship, the relationship to weapons of mass destruction that it has or is working on, and its support for terrorism, that leads to the necessity, sometimes, to preempt or to take action before there is a smoking gun. How many countries in the world have chemical weapons?

Well, it's probably a couple of dozen. And you're not going to go attack all of them. That's not entirely right. State craft is a matter of judgment. It's not a matter of litmus tests. And I think the Administration, although different parts of it have emphasized different aspects of this from time to time, I think it's those three things together. Brutal dictatorships, rogue states, weapons of mass destruction, and ties of one kind or another to terrorist groups."

Ted Koppel then responded with this question:

"There seems to be a certain convenience factor, however, to the fact that as we no longer are able to make quite as much of a case for the weapons of mass destruction, they haven't been found yet, maybe they still will be, this new argument now is surfacing. Why not make that argument before? If this was to be an object lesson, and again, I stress that. Why couldn't you make that argument beforehand?"

Apparently, Koppel either didn't do his homework or conveniently ignored the fact that, at one time, a solid majority of Congress agreed on these points. (House - 296-133, Senate - 77-23) Now that's it's an election year, the Democrats suddenly have amnesia. Yet the press has a duty to point this out, do they not? When Democrats make these claims, shouldn't the press be questioning them on their sudden change of heart?

So why do we continue to hear that weapons of mass destruction were the raison d'etre behind the war and the press remains silent?