Jewish World Review Jan. 22, 2004/ 28 Teves, 5764
On WMDS what did the Dems say?
Did Saddam Hussein and his interest in weapons of mass destruction pose a threat to the
United States? Just ask the Democrats.
Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean (D), appearing on "Face the Nation" in September
2002, said, "There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the United States and to
our allies." In February 2003, during an address at Drake University, Dean said, "I agree with
President Bush he has said that Saddam Hussein is evil. And he is. (Hussein) is a vicious
dictator and a documented deceiver. He has invaded his neighbors, used chemical arms and failed
to account for all the chemical and biological weapons he had before the Gulf War. He has
murdered dissidents and refused to comply with his obligations under U.N. Security Council
Resolutions. And he has tried to build a nuclear bomb. Anyone who believes in the importance of
limiting the spread of weapons of mass killing, the value of democracy, and the centrality of
human rights must agree that Saddam Hussein is a menace. The world would be a better place if
he were in a different place other than the seat of power in Baghdad or any other country. So I
want to be clear. Saddam Hussein must disarm. This is not a debate; it is a given."
Dean, on "Meet the Press" in March 2003, said he believed that Iraq "is automatically
an imminent threat to the countries that surround it because of the possession of these
weapons." Yet, in his now familiar flip-flop style, candidate Dean later declared, "I never
said Saddam was a danger to the United States."
In the left-leaning New Republic, Ryan Lizza wrote: "Did Howard Dean actually support a
war resolution giving Bush authority to attack Iraq? The answer is: pretty much.
. . . Dean himself admitted . . . that he did indeed support (the Biden-Lugar resolution). . .
. According to Biden-Lugar, all Bush had to do was 'make available to the speaker of the House
of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate his determination that the
threat to the United States or allied nations posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
program and prohibited ballistic missile program is so grave that the use of force is
necessary, notwithstanding the failure of the Security Council to approve a resolution.' Isn't
this exactly what happened?"
Gen. Wesley Clark, before he became an anti-war Democratic presidential candidate,
testified on Sept. 26, 2002, before the House Armed Services Committee: "There's no requirement
to have any doctrine here. I mean this is simply a longstanding right of the United States and
other nations to take the actions they deem necessary in their self-defense. . . . Every
president has deployed forces as necessary to take action. He's done so without multilateral
support if necessary. He's done so in advance of conflict if necessary. . . . When we took
action in Kosovo, we did not have United Nations approval. . . . There's no question that
Saddam Hussein is a threat. . . . Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. . . . He is, as
far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads
yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face
greatly increased risks as would we.
". . . I want to underscore that I think the United States should not categorize this
action as pre-emptive. . . . This is a problem that's longstanding. It's been a decade in the
making. It needs to be dealt with and the clock is ticking on this. . . . There's no question
that . . . there have been such contacts (between Iraq and al Qaeda). It's normal. It's
natural. These are a lot of bad actors in the same region together. They are going to bump into
each other. They are going to exchange information. They're going to feel each other out and
see whether there are opportunities to cooperate. That's inevitable in this region, and I think
it's clear that, regardless of whether or not such evidence is produced of these connections,
that Saddam Hussein is a threat."
Former President Bill Clinton, more recently, visited Portuguese Prime Minister Jose
Manuel Durao Barroso in October 2003. The prime minister said, "When Clinton was here recently
he told me he was absolutely convinced, given his years in the White House and the access to
privileged information which he had, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction until the
end of the Saddam regime."
John Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), ranking minority member of the Intelligence Committee,
said on Oct. 10, 2002, "There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working
aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next
five years. . . . We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has
made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
So, forget President Bush, Vice President Cheney and the pro-war "neo-cons." Just
listen to the Democrats. On the issue of the "unilateral" invasion of Iraq, they make a pretty
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© 2002, Creators Syndicate
JWR contributor Larry Elder is the author of, most recently, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America."
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