Must see debate

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 7, 2004

Since last week this time, there has been a presidential debate and a vice presidential debate that pretty conclusively shows that the Bush/Cheney administration is living in fantasyland.

If having their mistruths revealed before a national audience on two occasions wasn’t enough, Bush’s handpicked weapons inspector released a report yesterday saying Saddam Hussein had been a toothless, clawless tiger since 1991 and posed absolutely no threat to the United States.

Knowing the results of the report, however, on Tuesday night Cheney continued to say they had done the right thing and that knowing all that they know today, they would have done everything the same.

We don’t even have to expand outward from these two debates to see that President Bush and Vice President Cheney need to be retired. They are clearly out of touch with reality, which may explain why they have told or implied so many lies.

Now that even the Bush government has acknowledged what I’ve been telling you for over two years, let’s look once again at why we have troops in Iraq and let’s try to clear up some of the misconceptions that people have formed about the war because they have believed what they were being told.

Bush said we were going to war in Iraq because Saddam was linked to al Quada, possessed weapons of mass destruction, and would surely use them against America. Bush, Cheney and others in the administration also made a point of implying that Iraq had or was on the verge of having nuclear weapons (&uot;mushroom cloud&uot;) and that Saddam was responsible for coordinating or sponsoring the 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S.

All false statements. And all but one (possession of WMDs) deliberate lies. The evidence, much of it directly from the government itself, overwhelmingly proves that Bush, Cheney and the rest of the gang knew Saddam was not importing nuclear technology, was nowhere near close to having a working nuclear bomb, had no close ties with al Quada, and had nothing to do with 9/11.

Bush and Cheney have both said in the past week that knowing what they know today, they would have done exactly the same thing.

If this were some schizophrenic street person, I might get a chuckle out of such outrageous assertions, but these are the two most powerful people on the planet. Scary.

Let’s look at some of the &uot;new&uot; reasons they justify plunging this nation into war. First, that Saddam did have terrorist ties. There were no terrorists in Iraq. Everybody knew that before the war and everybody that hasn’t bought into the lies knows it today. Saddam may have sent the families of Palestinian suicide bombers some money, but so did most Arab countries – with the biggest contributor to terrorist families that attacked Israeli civilians being…can you guess? That’s right, it’s Bush’s best buddies the Saudi Arabian royal family! They used to hold telethons on state-controlled TV to raise money for the families of suicide bombers, but Bush loves that Saudi royal family. Funny, isn’t it?

The other &uot;new&uot; reason to justify going to war against Saddam is because he killed his own people and even used WMDs to do it. Let’s see, he used WMDs against Iranian troops when he invaded Iran in the early ’80s. Oh, by the way, he was our ally at that time. He used WMDs to quell uprisings in Iraq after the 1991 Gulf War – uprising that the United States encouraged but did not actively support (Bush’s daddy was president at the time).

The world is better off without Saddam in power, but the United States is not. He posed no threat to us because he was a toothless, clawless tyrant who was completely bottled up by the economic sanctions we imposed and by the constant fighter patrols we conducted in the &uot;No Fly Zone&uot; established after the Gulf War.

The only thing Saddam could do was brutalize his own people because he had no power outside his own borders. If you want to use this as the reason we went to war and you think we should have a rational and consistent foreign policy, they why haven’t we been invading the several dozen other nations in the world where the tyrants brutalize their own people?

Bush and Cheney are not being honest with the American people. Forget the outright lies they’ve told over the past couple of years and just concentrate on the rationale for sending our brave men and women into Iraq. Why did we do it? None of the answers they have given make any sense because almost all of them are patently false.

Senators Kerry and Edwards have said &uot;Wrong war: Wrong time: Wrong place.&uot; – something Bush and Cheney parrot as demeaning the nobility of our soldiers in Iraq. Nobody’s questioned the nobility of our military forces – they are doing their duty, obeying their orders, and serving honorably in defense of this nation (as determined by the Commander in Chief).

But it is the wrong war, at the wrong time, at the wrong place. We should have sent more troops to Afghanistan to not only capture and kill most of al Quada, but we should have gone town-to-town, mountain-to-mountain, and cave-to-cave until we wiped them from the face of the Earth.

Our military could have accomplished that mission, but Bush took nearly all the troops, weaponry and equipment out of Afghanistan for his war in Iraq. We see on TV what a mess Iraq has become, despite Bush’s statements about progress, but did you know the warlords now control most of Afghanistan, the Taliban has regrouped and is now an insurgent force, and that al Quada continues to thrive there and elsewhere because it has become a symbol of resistance to Arabs and Muslims everywhere. Did you know that Afghanistan is now one of the world’s biggest suppliers of illegal drugs to the rest of the world because the country is close to falling into chaos and lawlessness?

Did you know all that? You’d never imagine it if you listened to what Bush and Cheney have to say.

And to think, foreign policy is Bush’s strong suit. Tomorrow night’s debate should be very interesting.