Paging Sen. Roberts
When we made the decision to go into Iraq, many intelligence agencies around the world judged that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction. This judgment was shared by the intelligence agencies of governments who did not support my decision to remove Saddam. And it is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong. As President, I'm responsible for the decision to go into Iraq -- and I'm also responsible for fixing what went wrong by reforming our intelligence capabilities...
The constant headlines about car bombings and killings have led some to ask whether our presence in Iraq has made America less secure. This view presumes that if we were not in Iraq, the terrorists would be leaving us alone. The reality is that the terrorists have been targeting America for years, long before we ever set foot in Iraq.
We were not in Iraq in 1993, when the terrorists tried to blow up the World Trade Center in New York. We were not in Iraq in 1998, when the terrorists bombed our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. We were not in Iraq in 2000, when the terrorists killed 17 American sailors aboard the USS Cole. There wasn't a single American soldier in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001, when the terrorists murdered nearly 3,000 people in the worst attack on our home since Pearl Harbor...
One of the blessings of our free society is that we can debate these issues openly, even in a time of war. Most of the debate has been a credit to our democracy, but some have launched irresponsible charges. They say that we act because of oil, that we act in Iraq because of Israel, or because we misled the American people. Some of the most irresponsible comments about manipulating intelligence have come from politicians who saw the same intelligence we saw, and then voted to authorize the use of force against Saddam Hussein. These charges are pure politics. They hurt the morale of our troops. Whatever our differences in Washington, our men and women in uniform deserve to know that once our politicians vote to send them into harm's way, our support will be with them in good days and bad, and we will settle for nothing less than complete victory.
A few questions
- How the hell would Bush know what might possibly affect the morale of troops at war? He skipped his war, remember?
- Does he really think that American troops are such stupid, sensitive flowers that they can't distinguish truth from fiction and their morale depends on the phrases of politicians?
- Did the Congress really get the same intelligence? If that's true, then why won't Bush hand over his PDB's to Sen. Kennedy like he's asked?
- While we're on the subject, where the hell is the Phase II report we were promised by Pat Roberts?
- Wasn't there a bunch of evidence never mentioned before the war which was at odds with the evidence given to support the war?
- Why does Bush keep forgetting terrorist and/or "Islamofascist" acts like the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon? Why doesn't he mention that while, yes, we were attacked before we went into Iraq, that during the first full year we spent in the country, major terror attacks worldwide more than tripled?
- What, once and for all, does he actually mean by victory? He lists three things which would mean victory in this speech--the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy; the Iraqi security forces can protect their own people; Iraq is not a safe haven for terrorists to plot attacks against our country--but these seem nearly impossible goals to meet. Haven't long established democracies been threatened and, even, torn down? Didn't we have one of the largest security infrastructures in the world when we were attacked on 9/11? Wasn't 9/11 planned in Germany, in Las Vegas and Florida strip clubs? So how will we measure these things?