When United States started lobbying for military action in Iraq sometime last year the message was clear: Iraq has weapons of Mass Destruction and has to be stopped. Now the Bush administration is changing their stance and it is quite clear that the public was knowingly mislead to justify the war.
In a speech held by Vice President Dick Cheney for the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Aug, 26, 2002 he said “Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.”
President George W Bush later said that “Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons,” in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 12, 2002.
As if this was not clear enough a message yet, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer later said in a press briefing on January 9th, 2003 that “we know for a fact that there are weapons there.”
So where are the “500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent” that Bush claimed Saddam Hussein had the potential to make in his state of the Union address?
Apparently not even the administration’s top officials know, or are even sure they ever existed.
National security advisor Condoleeza Rice even went so far as to say in a Reuters interview that the administration never expected “to open garages and find” weapons of mass destruction.
And Paul Wolfowitz recently admitted in his by now infamous Vanity Fair interview, that “for bureaucratic reasons, (they) settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction (as justification for invading Iraq) because it was the one reason everyone could agree on.”
So why was the whole war marketed under the pretense that Saddam Hussein has the doomsday device?
It seems that the administration’s collective mind was set on going into Iraq, no matter what, and that the justification of the military action were only decided on after the fact.
Trying to come up with a justification while aiming for the moving target of public opinion seemed to be trickier than initially expected though, so the administration settled on something that would instill fear into the public: Weapons of mass destruction.
This is the entirely wrong approach though and it is quite understandable that an increasing amount of people in the US, and countries that joined the “coalition of the willing” and helped in Iraq, are calling foul.
As the president is supposed to represent the people of the United States, which he and others knowingly mislead, they have every right to complain.