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imperialism & war

Days After Scathing Report, Bush Defends War on Iraq

Bush says more pre-emptive strikes justified in future. How crazy is this guy?????
Days After Scathing Report, Bush Defends War on Iraq

Published: July 12, 2004

ASHINGTON, July 12 President Bush vigorously defended his strategy against terrorism today, asserting that the war against Iraq was right and that the United States, while relying heavily on firm diplomacy, would not shrink from future pre-emptive strikes in defending itself.

"Although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, we were right to go into Iraq," Mr. Bush said in a speech at the Oak Ridge nuclear installation in Tennessee. "We removed a declared enemy of America who had the capability of producing weapons of mass murder and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring them."

"In the world after Sept. 11, that was a risk we could not afford to take," the president said.

Moments later, Mr. Bush again embraced the doctrine of self-defense through pre-emptive strikes when necessary. "To overcome the dangers of our time, America is also taking a new approach in the world," he said. "We're determined to challenge new threats, not ignore them or simply wait for future tragedy."

Mr. Bush has made similar remarks many times before. But today's speech was significant in view of the Senate Intelligence Committee's scathing report, issued last week, concluding that the road to war in Iraq was paved with faulty intelligence that greatly exaggerated the danger from deadly weapons in the hands of Saddam Hussein.

The president alluded to the panel's findings, declaring that they would "help us in the work of reform." He also reminded his listeners that previous presidents regarded Saddam Hussein as a menace, and that there was international concern about Mr. Hussein's possession or development of chemical, biological and even nuclear weapons.

"In 2002, the United Nations Security Council yet again demanded a full accounting of Saddam Hussein's weapons programs," Mr. Bush recalled. "As he had for over a decade, Saddam Hussein refused to comply."

Mr. Bush also defended the Central Intelligence Agency, whose data-gathering and analysis were harshly criticized by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Mr. Bush said "outstanding work done by the C.I.A." had helped to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. He also said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose performance has been criticized in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, has been transformed into an effective terrorism-fighting unit.

Trying to dispel the notion that the United States has become an arrogant, go-it-alone nation on his watch, Mr. Bush said, "We are protecting the peace by working with friends and allies and international institutions to isolate and confront terrorists and outlaw regimes."

Senator John Kerry, the president's presumptive Democratic opponent, dismissed Mr. Bush's speech. "The gravest threat we face is terrorists or hostile states getting their hands on a nuclear weapon," Mr. Kerry said in a statement. "Since that dark day in September, have we reached out to our allies and forged an urgent global effort to ensure that nuclear weapons and materials are secured? Have we taken every step we should to stop North Korea and Iran's nuclear programs? Have we restructured our intelligence agencies and given them the resources they need to keep our country safe?

"The honest answer, in each of these areas, is that we have done too little, often too late, and even cut back our efforts. It's not enough to give speeches America will only be safer when we achieve results."

Mr. Bush chose the Oak Ridge nuclear site as a backdrop at least in part because it houses components of Libya's now-abandoned nuclear program. "These materials voluntarily turned over by the Libyan government are also encouraging evidence that nations can abandon these ambitions and choose a better way," he said. "Libya is dismantling its weapons of mass destruction and long-range missile programs."

Mr. Bush said the kind of resolve that led to Libya's renunciation of nuclear ambitions could work with other countries. "We're working with responsible governments and international institutions to convince the leaders of North Korea and Iran that their nuclear weapons ambitions are deeply contrary to their own interests," he said.

Mr. Bush reiterated his stance that a free Iraq can be an incubator for democracy in the Middle East rather than a spawning ground for terrorists. "Iraq, which once had the worst government in the Middle East, is now becoming an example of reform to the region," he said. "And Iraqi security forces are fighting beside coalition troops to defeat the terrorists and foreign fighters who threaten their nation and the world."

The president seemed to be trying to show that he is not bothered by reports that the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has found no close working relationship between Saddam Hussein's government and Al Qaeda terrorists who carried out the attacks.

"America must remember the lessons of Sept. 11," he said. "We must confront serious dangers before they fully materialize. And so my administration looked at the intelligence on Iraq, and we saw a threat."

Administration critics have repeatedly accused Mr. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney of implying strong ties between the old Baghdad regime and Al Qaeda, and even encouraging a public misperception that Saddam Hussein might have played a part in the Sept. 11 attacks.

Those accusations, and rebuttals from the administration that it acted based on what it knew at the time and that the Iraq war will stand the test of history, are already paramount themes in the contest between Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry.

In any event, Mr. Bush said today that the campaigns in Iraq and Aghanistan, where the United States led a campaign that overthrew the Taliban government that had sheltered terrorists, have been worth the costs. "Delivering these nations from tyranny has required sacrifice and loss," he said. "We will honor that sacrifice by finishing the great work we have begun."

homepage: homepage: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/12/international/middleeast/12CND-BUSH.htm

never forget 12.Jul.2004 17:53

the words of Hitler

We will do whatever is in our strength to resist our enemies. A spirit has arisen in this land that the world has never conquered! A faithful sense of community has seized our people! No people in the world will take from us what we gained after so long a detour of domestic strife, and that makes us so proud over against other peoples.

If Providence preserves me, my pride will be to return to the great work of peace that I still intend! But because I believe that Providence wants this battle to be fought according to its mysterious will, I ask only that Providence entrust me with the burden of this struggle.