Friday, January 28, 2005

 

WMD's only, Take II

I'd like to add my two cents to what Liberal Avenger wrote about below.

It is an interesting question to consider just what Senator Boxer was talking about when she made her "WMD's only" comment. To be certain, as you can read in the link LA provided, the text that went before Congress to authorize the action listed far more than WMD's. I fear this comment by the Senator was her one real misstep politically.

However, it does warrant some examining. The Senator was questioning Dr. Rice on her role in publicly selling the war, not the reasons Congress approved it, and the method by which the Administration convinced the public WAS, virtually, "WMD only". Now we know there weren't any there, but just how much we knew then is unclear. Regardless if Congress was sold on this one thing only, the American people were. Is it possible the Senator brought up this issue so that it would be top of mind for the American people? If so, why?

In the LoyOpp article, it is mentioned that one possible reason is that she was gearing up for a future Bush Impeachment proceeding. This is interesting and intriguing, but I find it unlikely, if only for the obvious minority party roadblocks. It seems much more likely to me that this is an attempt to keep the PR patterns of this administration in full view of the public. There are some parts of the Iraq story that we've forgotten. After the President's acceptance speech at the Republican Convention, I wrote this:
We talk about the buildup to the war in Iraq, and often people mention the 17 words, or Weapons of Mass Destruction, but we, as a nation, seem to have forgotten one crucial moment. The President told Saddam Hussein that he had until a certain date to let weapons inspectors back into his country. He began to build up troops to add weight to his threat. And what did Saddam do? He let the inspectors in! The diplomacy worked. For the first time in 10 years, the country of Iraq had an international presence within its borders.

Now, facing the prospect of his successful diplomatic maneuver, did the President then trumpet his victory, and use the new found access into Iraq to begin the process of dismantling the supposed capability of weapon's programs? No. The President and his administration began a 4 month long process of discrediting the U.N. Inspectors, namely Hans Blix, as people with ulterior agendas and a history of inadequate performance.
This is the part that people forget. Diplomacy actually worked. Would it have achieved what we wanted? Perhaps not. But the military option would have still been in front of us, as well as several other diplomatic options. It was because of these actions that many Democrats felt we were rushing into war. At least for me, the Senator's speech served as a reminder of this.

So, the Senator reminded the American people of this in her speech on the Senate floor, but why? Lets quote the Senator herself, in her letter to the Kos community that MK linked to below:
Two weeks ago, who would have thought that Condoleezza Rice's nomination would allow us to have a full debate about our policy in Iraq? Who would have thought that we'd have the chance to truly expose all of the misstatements and misjudgments that led us into that conflict and continue to plague this Administration to this very day?
To be sure, this is the reason. By bringing these issues to bear in front of Dr. Rice herself during the hearings in front of the Foreign Relations Committee, she created an ACTUAL debate on the Iraq war, perhaps the first real one on the Senate floor. And in light of Sy Hersch's recent uncovering of covert operations in Iran, she has made it a lot more difficult for the Administration to repeat such a behavior.

Which, of course, is what has gotten the Righties up in arms. Senator Boxer has made things more difficult on the Administration. It's about time someone did.

Comments:
Several news commentators featured guests shortly after Boxer's confirmation confortation with Rice claiming WMD's were only part of the reason they supported this war. For myself, it was the only reason. And it wasn't gas or bio weapons I was worried about. It was the combo of Nukes and Al Qaeda that had me worked into a frenzied lather. Had I known then what I know now ...
 
Good point, DarkSyde. Interestingly enough, some have theorized that is why Chimpy McWarHardon rushed to war. Once the UN inspections were finsihed and had shown there were no WMD then Bush's fig leaf for Operation Iraqi Liberation disappeared.
 
I feel a bit late, but I just found the site. I'm trying to find a site online where I can print up "President Boxer" bumpstickers. :)

Blogrolled to ya.

Keep up the good work!
 
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