There seems to be some confusion on the part of Democrats, liberals, and/or liberal Democrats, and/or “progressives”… oh, now I’m confused. Many mainstream Democrats are confused about ownership of the war.
“I think it’s particularly important to point out this is George Bush’s war. He is responsible for this war. He started the war,” Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., proclaimed during the CNN Democratic debate Sunday night.
Many extremely liberal groups are also confused about whose war we are fighting in Iraq.
Despite the November 2006 vote to end the Iraq war, Congress is poised to approve another $93 billion, and then yet another $145 billion, for war. We have launched a broad and exciting Don’t Buy Bush’s War Campaign to stop them from making this terrible mistake
I can understand why so many are confused about whose war it is. It seems that at least once a day I hear the war in Iraq referred to as Bush’s War, the president’s war, Republican’s War, Cheney’s war, Iraq War, War on Terror or even the Oil company’s war. It’s confusing.
My concern with this all is that by assigning ownership of the war to any one person or group other than Iraq we lose the actual facts about the war. For instance, President Bush didn’t start the war, nor did he initiate the regime change plan in Iraq. A lot of people are caught off guard with those facts. The fact is that Iraq attacked us and all other members of the UN when they invaded Kuwait, a member nation of the UN. That was almost 17 years ago and we have been in continuous armed conflict with them ever since. First, our military helped push Iraq back out of Kuwait. Then our military spent almost the next decade enforcing Iraq’s containment within their borders while the UN tried to work with Saddam to peacefully disarm. He didn’t peacefully disarm at any time during that decade long phase of the war and in the period was marked by several military actions. Most of the facts are listed in a little reference document called the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. I’ve included a section of it here and also a link.
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Iraq Liberation Act of 1998’’.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The Congress makes the following findings:
(1) On September 22, 1980, Iraq invaded Iran, starting an 8 year war in which Iraq employed chemical weapons against Iranian troops and ballistic missiles against Iranian cities.(2) In February 1988, Iraq forcibly relocated Kurdish civilians from their home villages in the Anfal campaign, killing an estimated 50,000 to 180,000 Kurds.
3) On March 16, 1988, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iraqi Kurdish civilian opponents in the town of Halabja, killing an estimated 5,000 Kurds and causing numerous birth defects that affect the town today.
(4) On August 2, 1990, Iraq invaded and began a 7 month occupation of Kuwait, killing and committing numerous abuses against Kuwaiti civilians, and setting Kuwait’s oil wells ablaze upon retreat.
(5) Hostilities in Operation Desert Storm ended on February 28, 1991, and Iraq subsequently accepted the ceasefire conditions specified in United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 (April 3, 1991) requiring Iraq, among other things, to disclose fully and permit the dismantlement of its weapons of mass destruction programs and submit to long-term monitoring and verification of such dismantlement.
(6) In April 1993, Iraq orchestrated a failed plot to assassinate former President George Bush during his April 14–16, 1993, visit to Kuwait.
(7) In October 1994, Iraq moved 80,000 troops to areas near the border with Kuwait, posing an imminent threat of a renewed invasion of or attack against Kuwait.
(8) On August 31, 1996, Iraq suppressed many of its opponents by helping one Kurdish faction capture Irbil, the seat of the Kurdish regional government.
(9) Since March 1996, Iraq has systematically sought to deny weapons inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) access to key facilities and documents, has on several occasions endangered the safe operation of UNSCOM helicopters transporting UNSCOM personnel in Iraq, and has persisted in a pattern of deception and concealment regarding the history of its weapons of mass destruction
(10) On August 5, 1998, Iraq ceased all cooperation with UNSCOM, and subsequently threatened to end long-term monitoring activities by the International Atomic Energy Agency and UNSCOM.
(11) On August 14, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105–235, which declared that ‘‘the Government of Iraq is in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations’’ and urged the President ‘‘to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations.’’.
(12) On May 1, 1998, President Clinton signed Public Law 105–174, which made $5,000,000 available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition for such activities as organization, training, communication and dissemination of information, developing and implementing agreements among opposition groups, compiling information to support the indictment of Iraqi officials for war crimes, and for related purposes.
SEC. 3. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS REGARDING UNITED STATES POLICY
It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime.
It should be noted that this took place in 1998. Long before President Bush took office. And it is also worth noting the following from Wikipedia
The Act declared that it was the Policy of the United States to support “regime change.” The Act was passed 360-38 in the U.S. House of Representatives and by unanimous consent in the Senate. US President Bill Clinton signed the bill into law on October 31, 1998.
In 1998, the President and all of congress recognized that Saddam was a threat to peaceful nations, that he was uncooperative in the extreme and that we needed to do something. Again long before George W. took office.
In 2001, even as we were still in a war with Iraq, we were attacked by Islamic extremist from the Middle East. Many nations worked with us to try and track down the perpetrators. Some like Iraq didn’t, and by 2003 it was time for us to finish the war in Iraq. We invaded their nation in an attempt to find out where their WMD’s had ended up and to make sure that Iraq was not a direct threat or harboring a direct threat to our nation.
So if you want to call this war “Bush’s War” in an attempt to blame him for something that Saddam started then I say you’re full of bologna.
But if you want to call this war “Bush’s War” to honor him as the President who sought to ensure our safety by putting an end a decade long war that was started by Iraq, then I am with you.