Rumsfeld goes off-script

The Administration has given many reasons for its decision to invade Iraq. The current re-writing of history has changed the rationale from one of WMD's (threat) to purple fingers (Iraqi freedom) and freedom, in general, marching across the mideast.

This is presented, by both the Administration and certain pundits, as though these reasons were voiced prior to the fighting and were a major driving force behind our policies.

Unfortunately, ending suffering, shutting down "rape-rooms", and stopping torture by Saddam, among other things, are nothing more than talking points as evidenced by the following February 10, 2004 DOD News Briefing with Sec. Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers:

Q: Mr. Secretary, you said in your opening remarks, sir -- you described it as two paths that nations can take, and you noted that Saddam Hussein, had he opened up his country to the U.N. resolutions, there would have been no war.

Rumsfeld: Mm-hmm.

Q: And it intrigues me because about a year ago you said the same thing, he had the choice between war and peace and he had chosen war. If I follow your thought correctly -- and I'm sure you'll tell me if I'm not -- (Laughter.) -- in his case, if he would have opened up the country, let the U.N. come in, the United States come in, whoever, to search for the weapons of mass destruction, he would have still been in power today, correct? Okay. And that would be an acceptable position -- or you chose the word of the "position" -- vis-à-vis no war, Saddam Hussein still in power, with a whole year of us hearing about all the other reasons why it was important to remove him.

Rumsfeld: Mm-hmm. In my view it is -- the world is fortunate, the Iraqi people are fortunate, and the region is fortunate, that he's not there. And I think anyone who has looked at the mass graves and the torture rooms and heard the stories of what took place in that country has to feel the same way. Was what I said today correct? Yes. There would not have been a war. I mean, that's just a fact...

Considering the fact that it was the U.S. that told the inspectors to leave, only one conclusion can be drawn from this fiasco: the Administration was going to war regardless of the reasons given.

Those that are still believers and blame it on "intelligence failures" need look no further than George "Presidential Medal of Honor" Tenet to see that the Administration cannot possibly agree.

Furthermore, those that have Saddam Hussein hopelessly intertwined with Osama Bin Laden should note that when Hussein was shaved after his "beard inspection" he bore no resemblance to Bin Laden- he's still out there somewhere- making videos and recruiting from the families of those that we consider collateral damage.

One is left to wonder about the state of our collective psyche after the web of shifting rationales woven by the Administration breaks under the weight of all the American and Iraqi coffins, casualties, and treasure (in the form of deficits passed on to our children) being dumped on it.

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