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David P. Kronmiller, Editor-In-Chief
Notes from the Jungle
Matthew Tullman, Current Events Editor
On current events.
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J Lampinen
Our resident comic strip, Congo & Steve
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Blogging on life, art and spirituality.
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On things musical.
Nicky Schildkraut
On poetry.

Plus guest writers and past staff, including Zach Fehst, Amy Reynolds, Aaron Vaccaro, Jae Day, Sarah Jawaid, Scott Martin, and Bronson Picket.
April 4, 2009, at 12:00 pm — Audio | audio podcast | Blogs / / / / / / /

The Iraq and Afghanistan Wars

Listen to this post as a podcast.

As is the case with every Avocado Jungle topic, this week’s topic begins with the familiar four words, “Searching for the truth…”. Considering the given subject includes the Iraq War, those four words are particularly significant, because, the truth is readily available for those willing to listen. However, for many, the truth is no match for an oft-repeated lie. Despite this sad and lazy irony, I will continue to fight this uphill battle against those willing to ignore facts in favor of their hearts beginning with:

“Bush Lied, People Died”

This popular rallying cry of the Left purported the despicable notion that President George W. Bush lied when he said he believed Saddam Hussein was in possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD); a major impetus for the American war in Iraq.  The problem with this statement is that it is a lie. Here are the facts:

•Almost every Western intelligence agency believed Hussein had WMD

•Hussein would not allow inspectors full access to make a determination, as was required by UN mandate

•The aforementioned UN mandate came as a result of WMD Hussein had previously used against his own people

•Following the first Gulf War, despite Hussein’s claims to the contrary, large stockpiles of WMD, in addition to an ongoing WMD program, were discovered, following the defection of his son-in-law, Hussein Kamel. It should be noted, this discovery was made after the U.N. had declared Iraq WMD free.

•Hussein had actively pursued a nuclear weapons program, as outlined by Khidhir Hamza in the book “Saddam’s Bombmaker”, which Hamza, was forced to lead, until his escape from Iraq.

•Hussein was the major foreign sponsor of Palestinian terror

Considering the facts, especially the consensus amongst intelligence agencies worldwide that Hussein had WMD, why would President Bush believe otherwise? Because Jon Stewart said so? Now bear in mind, I am not making the case for going to war with Iraq. I believe reasonable people could disagree as to whether we should have. However, it is neither reasonable, nor honorable, to categorically state the president lied about WMD when there was there was so much supporting evidence to the contrary. If one believes he lied, so be it, that is a matter of opinion. However, to say so as an assertion of fact is in itself a a lie, which does nothing for the credibility of the individual or group behind the claim.

Interestingly, for all the heartfelt pleas of the left to “Get out of Iraq now!”, most of the rank and file are virtually silent on this issue right now. Other than the president, what’s changed? We’re still in Iraq… have things gotten better? Double edged sword, that one, because if things have gotten better, the Left would have to admit some good came from a war they opposed. On the other hand, if things are just as bad now as they were before, there is no excuse for their letting President Obama off the hook for remaining in a country they so vehemently insisted President Bush abandon.

Next lie… “The idiots on the right think Saddam Hussein attacked the World Trade Center”

I live 12 blocks from where the towers used to stand, and was here on the day we were attacked. I, along with countless others in the neighborhood watched people jumping to their deaths to avoid the flames behind them, and saw the rush of men and women covered in the ashes of the South Tower after it collapsed. I vividly remember the smell of electric and fire charred rubble that permeated the neighborhood for the month that followed. Many people over the last eight years, both on the left and the right, have asked me about that day and NOT ONE of them ever claimed or implied we were attacked by Iraq. Nor have I, in listening to Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Prager, watching Fox News, C-Span, or any other media outlet including conservative opinions, ever heard  such an obviously fatuous statement made or implied by any prominent member of the Right. Yet, the Left continued to promote a straw man that conservative support of the war in Iraq was due to this phony accusation no one ever made. This was made embarrassingly clear during the 2004 presidential election when during a debate, Senator John Kerry made the oh-so-clever observation to President Bush that, we were attacked by Osama Bin Laden, not Saddam Hussein. The eruption of applause from Kerry supporters only put an exclamation point on his ignorance that any serious person on the Right would believe otherwise. The reason the Bush administration acknowledged September 11th in the context of Iraq was to give perspective to the global situation we were in.

•America is under attack by Islamo-fascist terrorists and a mad man in Iraq is in possession of weaponry with which we believe he is willing to arm those terrorists.

I can imagine Senator John Kerry debating with FDR that it wasn’t Hitler who bombed Pearl Harbor, and that we “took our eye off the ball” by fighting Germany and not focusing our efforts on Japan to get Tojo!

Since our invasion of Iraq, were new WMD found? No. Does that mean they were never there? Not necessarily, but without categorical proof they were hidden or moved, I am not going to pretend I know for certain one way or the other, no matter how much I may believe otherwise. There have been many other lies regarding the Iraq War including horrific accusations of “Blood for Oil”, or Bush and Cheney were looking to enrich their oil buddies, or It was a scheme to raise the stock price of Haliburton, or September 11th was an inside job to promote a war in the Middle East, amongst a few grisly others. I can debunk any and all of these disgusting allegations with fact after specific fact, but it won’t make a difference coming from a conservative unless the Left is willing to hear it. As such, I hope I can count on truthful liberals, of which I believe there are many, to speak against these lies when they hear them. No matter your opinion on the war, the onus is upon us both to tell the truth, not as we assume it, but as it is. To be honorable, one is not required to believe our war in Iraq was just, but one is required to be honest in his dissent.

Look Right, Look Left, Look Right again, if All Clear, Quick March!

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