From Life and Deatherage:
A few weeks ago, I said I was disturbed by the Bush administration’s blatant lying leading up to the war in Iraq. While this is not exactly what I had in mind at the time (I was thinking more of the continually shifting justification, claiming evidence that was easily disproven and then shrugging it off and making more up), Kos has some of the best coverage of a story the major media only now is picking up: the administration simply did not care if there were weapons of mass destruction or not.
As with tax cuts, the administration decided on the end result first. Whatever they had to do or say to make it happen, that’s fine, because the ends justify the means. With tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, first it was that we had to give back the surplus, but when Bush’s budget eliminated the entire surplus in one year and started deficits, now we have to have more of the same to stimulate the economy. Given the largest budget deficits in US history and an as-yet-untotaled cost for war, all Bush can say is “more tax cuts.” No matter what the justification, the end is always the same.
Similarly, with Iraq, it was terrorism, or al Qaeda ties, or repression of his own people – whatever it took to get support for a war that had already been decided upon. Absolutely no one believed Bush’s repeated insistence that he “hadn’t decided” whether or not to attack Iraq, and for good reason: it’s obvious this decision was made almost a year ago. Reports from February were that several world leaders (including, I believe, France) said to the White House, “Show us one piece of evidence we can verify that what you’re saying is true, and we’re with you.” Bush couldn’t do it then and can’t do it now, despite having run of the Iraq for three weeks. Now they’re finally starting to admit that maybe there weren’t any WMDs after all. Or maybe they were moved or destroyed without any evidence or any satellite photos of it. Or perhaps Saddam’s dog ate them. We may never know.
This rank hypocrisy is the new GOP SOP because the party apparently can’t have honest discussions anymore. The GOP backs tax cuts because the party is composed of two distinct wings: really wealthy people who don’t want to pay big tax bills, and social conservatives who don’t want the government to have money to run things like public schools that don’t teach Christianity or health clinics that led drug addicts and unwed mothers get health care. But no one will vote for a tax cut because the rich aren’t rich enough or the social structure should unravel, so there’s this constant inventing of new reasons: it’s the good economy, it’s the bad economy, it’s unfair to small business (like the estate tax, a laugher if ever there was one), on and on they go. You know these reasons are false because when the circumstances change – like the surplus vanishing – the answer remains the same.
So it was and is with Iraq. The intent all along, as any number of reports are now showing, was to try to establish American-style democracy in the Middle East, to get a more US-friendly government over there, and to show the rest of the world we can kick their asses if we want. Neocons like Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Perle signed their name recommending that policy to President Clinton back in 1998, but admitted they couldn’t get the public behind it without some dramatic event like a new Pearl Harbor. Bob Woodward reported last year that on the afternoon of September 11, 2001, Rumsfeld was trying to figure out how to blame it on Saddam Hussein.
There are people who think that fighting a war for those reasons is justified, even at the cost of billions of dollars, hundreds of US soldiers killed or wounded, and thousands of Iraqis killed or wounded. That would have been a good debate, but the neocons know they would have lost it. Americans don’t start wars to make a point, and the public would not have supported this one. So they made up terrorism links, they made up weapons of mass destruction, they repeatedly talked about Saddam gassing his own people (under previous US administration tacit acceptance) because these issues resonate.
They’re just false.
Now that Bush and company have been exposed lying to get more than one goal, it really puts the Clinton impeachment in perspective. They told us over and over again that it wasn’t about sex, it was about lying. He lied to everyone and probably lied under oath. Bush, on the other hand, has lied to Congress time and time again, and I’m not sure what the last honest thing he told the American people was. Why aren’t these same people calling for his impeachment, or at the very least publicly repudiating him? Instead, they attack dissenters as “unpatriotic” and “treasonous,” a ten-year-old play right out of Newt Gingrich’s divisve playbook.
Damn, I miss Barry Goldwater.