I just heard Tim Russert say that the President claimed Iraq posed an imminent threat. I am so sick of hearing people say that when it is simply not true!
This is the relevant quote from the President's State of the Union speech on January 28, 2003:
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.Clearly, he's saying that we can't wait until the threat is imminent.
Here's another good speech by President Bush, in which he lays out the case for military action against Hussein. All other options had been tried, and failed; Hussein had a brutal history of using weapons of mass destruction; he was harboring terrorists; he had an abiding hatred of the United States.
Here's the thing: Hindsight is 20/20. Now it seems that Hussein didn't yet have WMD (although, truly, we don't know if he'd shipped them out to Syria or somewhere else just before the war). But we didn't know that then. The entire world, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and George W. Bush included, believed that Hussein possessed such weapons (just as he had when he mass-murdered the Kurds). We knew that he was harboring terrorists. We knew he wasn't cooperating with the U.N. and hadn't been for years. We knew he was an evil tyrant who tortured and mass-murdered his own countrymen.
So we had reasonable cause to remove Hussein from power. And no matter what Kerry says now about it, remember that he argued forcefully for going to war based on the evidence that we had at the time. Don't believe it? Go to http://kerryoniraq.com