Jewish World Review July 16, 2003 / 16 Tamuz, 5763

Edward I. Koch

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Dems, media are making an unforgivable mistake | The Democratic candidates for President -- and many in the media -- are trying to make President Bush seem like a liar. In so doing, they are making an unforgivable mistake. In his State of the Union Address to Congress on January 28, 2003, President Bush said, "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair, defending himself before the House of Commons for making a similar representation, said last week that the representation was true and comes from a different source than the one that was recently discredited by the CIA.

For me, it comes down to this: If Bush actually did lie to the American public -- intentionally stating as the truth that which he knew to be false -- then he should be impeached and removed as President. However, if Bush did not lie, and I do not believe that he did, then Americans of all political persuasions should defend our country's reputation for fair play by displaying their indignation at those who bear false witness.

They can do this by rejecting those candidates and political leaders who have perpetuated that charge and by turning to other TV and radio channels when the unfair and venomous attacks against the President are being aired.

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I am a proud Democrat who generally supports Democratic candidates for office. I have never voted for anyone other than a Democrat for President.

Although I am a Democrat, I am no ideologue. In some local and state elections, I have proudly crossed party lines for candidates I thought were appreciably better. I believe that the most important issue facing the world is international terrorism, and it is my current intention to vote for George W. Bush for reelection. I do not agree with him on many domestic issues, ranging from privatizing Social Security to tax reductions favoring the wealthy. However, because of his leadership and successes in the war against international terrorism, he is my current choice in 2004.

Whether intelligence reports about Iraq were accurate or not, the President had a right to rely on information from Blair, America's most steadfast ally, and his government. If either Bush or Blair knew the reports were false and either is now engaging in a cover-up, that individual should be removed from office.

I believe Democrats and their media allies will fail to bring Bush down because taking on Saddam Hussein was the right course of action for America. National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, on Face the Nation over the weekend cleaned the clocks of her two media interrogators and critics, CBS' Bob Schieffer and Los Angeles Times Washington Bureau Chief, Doyle McManus with her brilliant responses to their questions. I quote her in part:

Bob Schieffer: The question I have for you this morning, who put it into the speech?

Dr. Rice: Well, let's start at the very beginning, as they say. And the president of the United States -- the notion that the president of the United States took the country to war because he was concerned with one sentence about whether Saddam Hussein sought uranium in Africa is purely ludicrous. And this has gotten to that proportion, that people are saying this statement is why the president took the nation to war.

The president took the nation to war to depose a bloody tyrant who had defied the world for 12 years, who was building a weapons of mass destruction program and had weapons of mass destruction, which he had used in the past, who was a threat to American interest in the Middle East and who, now that he is removed, is giving us an opportunity for Middle East that might finally be at peace and that will not create an atmosphere in which you have ideologies of hatred spawning people who slam airplanes into the World Trade Center. So we do have to put this in perspective.

The president's State of the Union said something that was accurate: This is what the British government said in its reporting. The British, I might note, still stand by that statement. It was not based, they say, on a single source, but on other sources."

The lines have been drawn. Let's find out the truth. Congress should hold public hearings on this issue. I also am in favor of public hearings conducted by an independent commission on the performance of the FBI, CIA and all other national security agencies pre- and post-9-11.

Let the chips fall where they may, and hold accountable those who were negligent in failing to prevent the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

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JWR contributor Edward I. Koch, the former mayor of New York, can be heard on Bloomberg Radio (WBBR 1130 AM) every Saturday from 9-10 am. Comment by clicking here.

06/18/03: Keep American troops out of Israel
05/22/03: It's lots of fun to remain relevant
05/14/03: Living up to their mascot's image? Dems attacks on prez are backfiring
05/07/03: Wall Street settlement was not justice
04/16/03: The doves were proven wrong. Instead of conceding defeat, they are throwing another political tantrum
04/09/03: As the world churns
04/03/03: Gulf War II: The misleading media does it again
03/18/03: Have the courage to admit it, Pat: You're a classic anti-Semite who gives conservatives a bad name
03/12/03: "There they go again"? Not quite!
03/05/03: Making the case for war on British TV left some panelists stunned
02/20/03: Death penalty=racism? Don't confuse them with the facts
02/12/03: History is now repeating itself --- why don't the American bashers grasp it?
02/05/03: As the world turns
01/30/03: Why are sports exempt from racial diversity and universities encouraged to engage in racial preferences over individual academic achievement?
01/23/03: We absolutely can't back down
11/13/02: President blunted the Ted Kennedys of Democrat party --- good for him!
10/23/02: New Jersey's bigot laureate is no private citizen and his 'defenses' are idiotic
10/01/02: Congress is not doing its job
09/26/02: Confronting pathetic Americans in a post 9-11 world
09/19/02: Don't be fooled by Saddam
09/05/02: Necessary or not, getting congressional approval for war is common-sense
08/28/02: In defense of terrorism
08/22/02: Saddam Hussein is extremely popular in "Arab street," so why attack him?
08/15/02: My potpourri
08/09/02: Traitors: Journalistic and 'patriotic'
07/31/02: Euros should spend their time analyzing their own country's wartime actions
07/25/02: I may know next to nothing about the stock market, but I'm not getting out
07/18/02: Dems should stop trying to 'Whitewater' the President
07/11/02: Real Americans and the Islamic threat

© 2002, Edward I. Koch