Originally Posted by @_@ Artman
I know, this has become a worthless waste of time with you.
End of thread...for me at least.
It has become that. You are absolutely convinced that the Administration lied to take us to war. But the evidence does not bear that out.
1. It's already been demonstrated that intelligence analysts were not pressured.
2. It has not been proven to any degree of satisfaction that Bush and company knowingly presented false information.
3. The collective judgment of the US and world intelligence communities was that Saddam had WMD.
4. Other high profile government officials, seeing the exact same intelligence Bush did,
thought Saddam had WMD as well. I point you again to this.
So that's the end of the "lying" point. Let's address the "cherry picking" point. Of course they selected certain pieces of intel to present to the public.
Should they have presented all of it? None of it? Are you honestly pretending that members of Congress were duped? It's pure absurdity to think that.
Let me tell you what actually happened: Bush and company knew Saddam was a shithead from the day they took office. Within his administration, there were those that believed Saddam could only be contained for so long, and that we was going to have to be dealt with decisively. We had been selectively attacking him for violating the ceasefire and UN resolutions for some time. In addition, they felt the projection of American power for the purpose of installing a Democracy in that part of the world would be a good thing. These were the "neocons" if you will. Their motives were not as sinister as you'd like to think, but they did want to get rid of Saddam.
Then 9/11 happened. Those at the highest levels of government decided we were no longer going to take our chances with people like Saddam Hussein. Given the horror of 9/11, it occurred to both Bush and others in the government that given Saddam's use and development of WMD in the past, he might decide to use AQ or another terrorist organization as a proxy to attack us. After all, Saddam openly praised 9/11. To my knowledge he was the only world leader to do so. Even Libya condemned the attacks. So did North Korea. And Cuba. And every other "enemy" of the United States.
In any case, the decision was made that we simply were not going to fool with Saddam anymore...not with what had happened. Consider for a moment how things looked from Bush's chair:
1. There was overwhelming evidence Saddam possessed and was developing WMD.
2. There was evidence that Saddam had some ties to AQ.
3. There was unmistakable evidence that Saddam had other terror ties, such as his payments to Palestinian suicide bombers. In the least, he tolerated terrorism and tacitly encouraged it.
4. Saddam violated the 1991 ceasefire almost daily.
5. Saddam had disobeyed over a dozen UN resolutions.
6. Saddam had used WMD on his own people.
7. Saddam openly praised 9/11
8. Saddam tortured, raped and murdered his own people.
9. The United States had just suffered the worst terror attack in history, and Bush was committed to not letting something like it happen again.
10. There were those in the administration that believed we were going to have to deal with Saddam at some point anyway, and that the projection of American military power in that region of the world would lead to a transformation of the middle east.
Really...what would you
have done in his position? Ignore Saddam? As I've said many times, prior to 9/11 that was a fine option. But after?