T Nation

Iraq War Unjustified

“Retiring GOP Rep.: Iraq War Unjustified”
Retiring GOP House Intelligence Vice Chairman Says War in Iraq Unjustified and a ‘Costly Mess’

Associated Press
LINCOLN, Neb.
Aug. 18, 2004

A top Republican congressman has broken from his party in the final days of his House career, saying he believes the U.S. military assault on Iraq was unjustified and the situation there has deteriorated into “a dangerous, costly mess.”

“I’ve reached the conclusion, retrospectively, now that the inadequate intelligence and faulty conclusions are being revealed, that all things being considered, it was a mistake to launch that military action,” Rep. Doug Bereuter wrote in a letter to his constituents.

“Left unresolved for now is whether intelligence was intentionally misconstrued to justify military action,” he said.

Bereuter is a senior member of the House International Relations Committee and vice chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He is stepping down after 13 terms to become the president of the Asia Foundation effective Sept. 1.

The letter, sent to constituents who have contacted him about the war, was reported by the Lincoln Journal Star in its Wednesday editions.

In 2002, Bereuter had spoken out in support of a House resolution authorizing the president to go to war.

President Bush has continued to argue the war was justified because Saddam represented a threat to the United States, his neighbors and the people of Iraq.

In addition to “a massive failure or misinterpretation of intelligence,” Bereuter said the Bush administration made several other errors in going to war despite warnings about the consequences.

“From the beginning of the conflict, it was doubtful that we for long would be seen as liberators, but instead increasingly as an occupying force,” he said. “Now we are immersed in a dangerous, costly mess, and there is no easy and quick way to end our responsibilities in Iraq without creating bigger future problems in the region and, in general, in the Muslim world.”

Bereuter said as a result of the war, “our country’s reputation around the world has never been lower and our alliances are weakened.”

Lincoln City Council member Jeff Fortenberry, a Republican, is facing off against Democratic state Sen. Matt Connealy to replace Bereuter said.

http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/ap20040818_1087.html

I heard on Charlie Reese, William F. Buckley Jr. said that had he known there were no WMD’s he would have been against the war. You can argue wether Buckley is being honest or not but it is significant that he confessed it on TV.

The fact is that numerous sources were telling the Bush administration that Iraq had WMD’s, of whom both the french and russians who opposed the invasion, were included in those nations.
Whether or not there was the phenom of group think, not much unlike what JFK went through in the bay of pigs invasion, was to blame for this faulty intelligence (some still believe the weapons were smuggled into Iran and Syria) , is really the only issue.
Based on the information that this administration was believing, they had very little choice but to act on Iraq.
Try to think of it this way, let’s just say that Iraq did undoubtly have WMD’s. And in order for saddam to pay for another golden toilet handle, he sold some of those weapons to terroists. If that theoretical bomb was to go off in the washington mall, or times square and it was later found that this administration had the information that it did, not only would it be considered a completely impeachable offense by President Bush, it would also be criminal negligence.
On a personal note, I am not even voting for President Bush, our religious values are too different. However, I don’t buy into this Michael Moore view that our president is a modern day Nero, who sits on his ranch and happily fiddles, while american troops are dying. Just because President Bush chooses not to “Hollywood” his relationships with our fallen troops families, does not make him any more sincere.
mike cruickshank

sorry… i meant any more or less sincere.
mike cruickshank

[quote]Zeppelin795 wrote:
I heard on Charlie Reese, William F. Buckley Jr. said that had he known there were no WMD’s he would have been against the war. You can argue wether Buckley is being honest or not but it is significant that he confessed it on TV.[/quote]

That isn’t what Buckley said. He said if he knew then what we know now, he would not have vote to go in. There is a world of difference.

Lumpy:

Does the fact that some minor congressman from Nebraska has decided to change his mind mean anything other than that?

Heh, I’m not lumpy, but whenever a partisan politician crosses party lines it means quite a bit.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Heh, I’m not lumpy, but whenever a partisan politician crosses party lines it means quite a bit.[/quote]

vroom,

so then clearly it must mean more when a senator does it rather than a little old congressman? right? Go see Zell Miller, Democrat, and listen to what he says at the Republican Convention, or what he has recently written about the democratic convention. Surely this is more important since he is of a higher position. I love liberal logic. Run along now. Go read up.

Thanks,
Me

[quote]MikeShank wrote:
The fact is that numerous sources were telling the Bush administration that Iraq had WMD’s, of whom both the french and russians who opposed the invasion, were included in those nations. [/quote]

SINCE WHEN DO WE RELY ON FRENCH AND RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE?

The US is supposed to have the best intelligence in the world, we NEVER defer to foriegn intelligence, even the Brits’ intelligence.

In 2000, Colin Powell said Saddam’s miltary was gutted, and he was unable to project even conventional weapons against his neighbors (let alone project WMDs against us!)

The whole WMD question can be explained by this principle: It’s easier to do something and ask for forgiveness later, than it is to ask for permission first.

Rather than be honest with the public about why they wanted to go to war, Team Bush played the WMD card, because even if there were no WMDs, later they could always say “Oops! I guess we were wrong!”

That approach was easier for them, than trying to debate the pros and cons with the American taxpayers.

bostonb: He said WMD’s along with “what we know now”. What is the world of difference you are referring to?

many say the WMD’s were sent to Iran, but even if there were no WMD’s there were 20 other reasons that were justified. In fact, the first ? and last ? rationale presented for the war by the Bush administration in every formal government statement about the war was not the destruction of WMDs but the removal of Saddam Hussein, or regime change. It was Saddams continual violations of the arms control agreement re: Gulf War Truce that was the basis for sending in troops.

[quote]Lycan wrote:
many say the WMD’s were sent to Iran, but even if there were no WMD’s there were 20 other reasons that were justified. In fact, the first ? and last ? rationale presented for the war by the Bush administration in every formal government statement about the war was not the destruction of WMDs but the removal of Saddam Hussein, or regime change. It was Saddams continual violations of the arms control agreement re: Gulf War Truce that was the basis for sending in troops. [/quote]

Not sure why you bumped this old one but I agree. This stuff is pretty obvious but most don’t want to hear it.

Welcome to the forum.

[quote]Zeppelin795 wrote:
I heard on Charlie Reese, William F. Buckley Jr. said that had he known there were no WMD’s he would have been against the war. You can argue wether Buckley is being honest or not but it is significant that he confessed it on TV.[/quote]

Well, Powell, who was getting heat about it, but then turned into a credible figure as soon as he endorsed Obama.

He gave a convincing arguement to the world. It was not ALL about WMD. Saddam was paying Palesinians to bomb Isreal, murdered whole tribes with poison gas… tortured families, tortured the olympic teams for not winning, etc.
For me, it was not WMD but the humanitarian effort to change regime in a dangerous area where we had interest in resources like oil.

Hindsight is 20-20.

thanks Zap!

The arguments against the war was never truely about the war. It was about Bush, and getting him out of office at all costs.

In other words they were against the war only for the purpose of getting a Democrat into office.

Oh, hey. It worked.

Along a similar line was the whole flack about the Patriot act. Democrats were supposed to be against it, yet when they were in charge of Congress, and the act would have expired without any action, they renewed it.

And now I am reminiscing about all those discussions with that nut job Lumpy. (I think it’s JTF now.)