We keep hearing from the right-wing that everyone thought that Sadam had weapons of mass destruction and that given the information available at the time, the invasion of Iraq was the right thing to do. How often have you heard that lately?
Back in September 2002, with the Bush administration and much of the Beltway media rushing to embrace war with Iraq, Senator Ted Kennedy delivered a passionate, provocative, and newsworthy speech raising all sorts of doubts about a possible invasion. Some key passages from the Kennedy speech:
[T]he Administration has not made a convincing case that we face such an imminent threat to our national security that a unilateral, pre-emptive American strike and an immediate war are necessary.
[T]he Administration has not explicitly acknowledged, let alone explained to the American people, the immense post-war commitment that will be required to create a stable Iraq.
A largely unilateral American war that is widely perceived in the Muslim world as untimely or unjust could worsen not lessen the threat of terrorism.
War with Iraq before a genuine attempt at inspection and disarmament, or without genuine international support — could swell the ranks of Al Qaeda sympathizers and trigger an escalation in terrorist acts.
[I]nformation from the intelligence community over the past six months does not point to Iraq as an imminent threat to the United States or a major proliferator of weapons of mass destruction.
[T]here is no clear and convincing pattern of Iraqi relations with either Al Qaeda or the Taliban.
Talk about a greatest-hits performance. Kennedy nailed virtually every major problem and shortfall that emerged in the wake of the invasion. Why didn’t we listen to Senator Kennedy? Because the media gave nearly no coverage of his speech, so most of us never heard it.
So, the right wing is trying to convince us of what should be in our memories. They think that if they say it often and loud enough, we will think it actually happened that way. Senator Kennedy figured out what was going on. I suspect many of you did also.
I remember sitting at work listening to the live coverage of Colin Powell at the UN showing the so-called “proof” of Sadam’s weapons programs, hoping that this would be just like when JKF showed the photos of the Soviet missiles headed for Cuba. But after hearing Powell, my hopes were dashed and I said to my cubicle mate at work, “We’ve got nothing.” My friend agreed. There did not seem to be any convincing evidence. I also remember thinking each time I heard Bush say that he was trying to avoid war that, actually, he had already decided to invade. His stories didn’t seem to agree with each other, with his actions, or the external facts. If you need it, here’s a timeline of events leading up to the invasion.
Clear your mind of the talking points and think back. Do this before the constant drone of the right wing alters your memory. Until his recent illness, they tried to convince us that Senator Kennedy is a drunken, old, far-left wacko. And much of the media helps them do it, by what they report, and by what they don’t report. Maybe Senator Kennedy is much smarter than they want you to think. Maybe you’re much smarter than they want you to think.