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Someone Should Tell Bush Why We Went to War

Someone Should Tell Bush Why We Went to War

By Scott Galindez
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Wednesday 22 March 2006

After yesterday's presidential news conference, I am beginning to wonder if George W. Bush knows why we went to war with Iraq. He should just come clean and admit that we went to war because Dick, Wolfie, and Rummy told him to.

Three years into the war and the President still can't answer the question of why we went to war in the first place. It is perfectly clear now why he can't meet with Cindy Sheehan. Imagine him saying to Cindy, "after September 11th, we realized killers could destroy innocent life." Hmmmm, we have a president who didn't know that prior to 9/11?

Imagine him telling Cindy that we invaded Iraq because "the Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained...." Someone also needs to tell George that the Taliban probably wanted Saddam out of power too; bin Laden did. Of course he knows the Taliban were in Afghanistan, doesn't he?

When he finally got to Iraq, he rewrote history again. "We worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it" said Bush.

The world didn't agree, that's why there was no vote at the UN authorizing the war. I seem to remember inspectors in Iraq until we warned them that it wouldn't be safe for them to remain. I also want to know what Iraq was supposed to disclose if they had no WMD?

Please, one of you neo-cons, brief the President on the real reason for the war in Iraq, so the next time a reporter asks him a real question he doesn't embarrass us again.


Excerpted from the transcript of yesterday's press conference:

Helen Thomas: I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet - your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth - what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil - quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

The President: I think your premise - in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist - is that - I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect -

Helen Thomas: Everything -

The President: Hold on for a second, please.

Helen Thomas: - everything I've heard -

The President: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We - when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq - hold on for a second -

Helen Thomas: They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.

The President: Look - excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained -

Helen Thomas: I'm talking about Iraq -

The President: Helen, excuse me. That's where - Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where they trained. That's where they plotted. That's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.

I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences -

Helen Thomas: - go to war -

The President: - and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.


Scott Galindez is the Managing Editor of

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