Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly continues to spread the myth:
“In other words, by summer of 2002 Bush had already decided on war regardless of Saddam Hussein’s actions; democracy promotion was not even mentioned in passing as a reason for the war”
Instapundit already debunked that falsehood weeks ago.
Now, if by “democracy promotion was not even mentioned in passing as a reason for the war” Drum means only that it wasn’t mentioned in the particular excerpt that he posted, then that’s just really, really lame. Or perhaps he just posted out of ignorance, and will now correct the record.
As for Drum’s assertion that:
“by summer of 2002 Bush had already decided on war regardless of Saddam Hussein’s actions”
That’s simply the same tired nonsense the anti-liberation crowd has been peddling since before the liberation of Iraq. “Regardless of Saddam Hussein’s actions”? Hussein’s actions weren’t in serious dispute before the war.
The information that President Bush was getting from the intelligence agencies indicated Hussein was continuing to pursue his WMD programs, and it is well known that Iraq’s government was a supporter of terrorism. That was the bipartisan, consensus view at the time.
As Senator Joe Lieberman wrote in October 2002:
“…we have evidence of meetings between Iraqi officials and leaders of al Qaeda, and testimony that Iraqi agents helped train al Qaeda operatives to use chemical and biological weapons. We also know that al Qaeda leaders have been, and are now, harbored in Iraq.
Saddam’s is the only regime that combines growing stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and a record of using them with regional hegemonic ambitions and a record of supporting terrorists.”
What was in dispute was what to do about the threat, not whether there was a threat. That some of the intelligence information later turned out to be incorrect is a reflection on the intelligence-gatherers, not on the president or on the decisions made given the information available at the time.
Did it ever occur to any of these revisionists that if they can’t come up with any honest arguments, maybe they’re wrong about the issue? No, hating President Bush still trumps all other considerations apparently.