Patterico notices that the LA Times up their usual tricks today. This time they are alleging that Bush never said a word about bringing Democracy to Iraq and the region prior to finding no WMD’s in Iraq:
In the lead-up to the war, Bush presented the invasion of Iraq primarily as a means of preventing the Iraqi dictator from providing nuclear, biological or chemical weapons to terrorists.
After coalition forces failed to find evidence of such weapons, and several investigations did not uncover meaningful links between Hussein and Al Qaeda, the president increasingly stressed the possibility that creating a democracy in Iraq could encourage democratic reform across the Middle East.
Hmmm, guess the writer didn’t look far enough. From the Resolution to authorize force against Iraq, written in Oct 2002:
Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;
Or how about this transcript from Feb, 2003: (PBS Newshour)
MARGARET WARNER: Last night, Pres. Bush laid out his argument that a post-Saddam Iraq could become a flourishing democracy.
PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: There was a time when many said that the cultures of Japan and Germany were incapable of sustaining democratic values. Well, they were wrong. Some say the same of Iraq today. They are mistaken. (Applause) The nation of Iraq, with its proud heritage, abundant resources and skilled and educated people, is fully capable of moving toward democracy and living in freedom. (Applause)
MARGARET WARNER: The president further asserted that a democratic Iraq could transform the entire region in a similar way.
PRES. GEORGE W. BUSH: There are hopeful signs of the desire for freedom in the Middle East. Arab intellectuals have called on Arab governments to address the freedom gap, so their peoples can fully share in the progress of our times. From Morocco to Bahrain and beyond, nations are taking genuine steps toward political reform. A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region. (Applause) It is presumptuous and insulting to suggest that a whole region of the world, or the one-fifth of humanity that is Muslim, is somehow untouched by the most basic aspirations of life.
President Bush speaking to the UN in 2002:
The United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people; they’ve suffered too long in silent captivity. Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause, and a great strategic goal. The people of Iraq deserve it; the security of all nations requires it. Free societies do not intimidate through cruelty and conquest, and open societies do not threaten the world with mass murder. The United States supports political and economic liberty in a unified Iraq.
2003 State Of The Union Address:
Different threats require different strategies. In Iran we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction and supports terror.
We also see Iranian citizens risking intimidation and death as they speak out for liberty and human rights and democracy. Iranians, like all people, have a right to choose their own government, and determine their own destiny, and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom. . . .
And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country, your enemy is ruling your country.
And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation. . . .
Americans are a free people, who know that freedom is the right of every person and the future of every nation. The liberty we prize is not America’s gift to the world; it is God’s gift to humanity.
Then to top it off the writer makes this statement:
several investigations did not uncover meaningful links between Hussein and Al Qaeda
Whoa boy, is this guy dense or playing the biased card? Probably a little of both. There are quite a few meaningful links between Saddam and Al-Qaeda…I’ve blogged about it on several occasions:
Patterico blogged about the fact that the 9/11 commission said there were connections, lots of connections actually. Just nothing to tie 9/11 to Saddam:
Now let?s hear from Lee Hamilton, the Democrat Vice Chairman of the commission:
I must say I have trouble understanding the flack over this. The Vice President is saying, I think, that there were connections between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein?s government. We don?t disagree with that. What we have said is [that] we don?t have any evidence of a cooperative, or a corroborative relationship between Saddam Hussein?s government and these al Qaeda operatives with regard to the attacks on the United States. So it seems to me the sharp differences that the press has drawn, the media has drawn, are not that apparent to me.
Here?s Lee Hamilton reinforcing the point on Chris Matthews?s Hardball:
There are all kinds of ties. There are all kinds of connections. And it may very well have been that Osama bin Laden or some of his lieutenants met at some time with Saddam Hussein lieutenants.
They had contacts, but what we did not find was any operational tie with respect to attacks on the United States.
These statements echo what the Republican chairman of the commission, Thomas Kean, said recently: ?What we have found is, were there contacts between al-Qaeda and Iraq? Yes. Some of them were shadowy – but they were there.?
In the end, this is just the same ole crapola from the liberal MSM. They are twisting the truth to suit their opinions, plain and simple.