Saturday, July 17, 2004

President Bush is Still Right

Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York and life long Democrat, and Representative Pete King have written an op-ed in today's New York Post that outlines why, after the release of the Senate Intelligence report, the Report on September 11, and Britain's Roberts and Butler Reports that the President was still right to go into Iraq.  They also remind us what other politicians were saying about Iraq not so long ago:

We strongly believe that these critics are wrong on both counts. First: The committee unanimously concluded that it "did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence, or pressure analysts to change their judgments." Second: Based on the facts as they were known at that time — and, indeed, based on what we know today — President Bush acted properly in going to war against Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein. Indeed, to have done otherwise in the post-9/11 world would have been irresponsible.

To see all this in proper perspective, consider the reaction if Iraq had attacked Americans with chemical or biological weapons in the Middle East, in Europe or in our cities here at home — or if terrorists carried out these attacks using Iraq's WMD — and the president tried to explain away the attacks by claiming there was no "hard" intelligence that Iraq possessed WMD or had any formal relationship with al Qaeda or other terrorist groups.

They continue, citing the statements made by prominent Democrats, including the current nominees for President and Vice President, regarding Iraq before they found it politically convenient to be "anti-war" candidates:

No wonder that, in 2002, Al Gore said, "We know Saddam has stored away many supplies of chemical and biological weapons throughout his country"; John Kerry said, "The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real"; and John Edwards said, "Iraq and Saddam Hussein provide the most severe and imminent threat."

A president cannot disregard the daily warning of the CIA director, George Tenet, not when the latter refers to the existence of weapons of mass destruction as a "slam dunk."

As to Saddam's relationship with al Qaeda, the Senate report acknowledges numerous contacts between the two but said these "did not add up to an established formal relationship." In this post-9/11 world, did anyone actually expect to see Saddam and al Qaeda enter into a formal Hitler-Stalin type accord?

No, we could not have expected that they would have entered into such a pact, and the fact that two sworn enemies of the United States had numerous proven contacts is enough to warrant the overthrow of the Iraqi dictator. President Bush understood the danger that Saddam Hussein posed and he accepted the burden of getting Saddam out of power. It would have been very easy for him to pass the buck to the next administration, hoping that Saddam Hussein would not hand his deadly weapons to terrorists. Yet he and Tony Blair, along with dozens of other countries, took action in the face of tremedous opposition, and forever removed from power one of the worlds worst dictators and the sons that would have followed him to power.

For this effort, Mayor Koch and Rep. King state that "President Bush is entitled to thanks from those with common sense".

Thank you indeed, President Bush.