FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

When Bush First Vowed to Take Out Saddam

Hopefully, by now, most Americans will agree that President Bush’s war mongering against Iraq is purely personal. To prove this point, go back to December 1999 when Bush was still governor of Texas and wasn’t even the Republican candidate for President yet. Back then, Bush Jr. had said that if elected President of the United States he would use military force to “take out” Hussein and Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Bush said publicly last year that Saddam Hussein tried to kill his father, George Bush, Sr., when he was President a decade ago as if that should be reason enough to attack Iraq. But Bush still can’t prove that Iraq poses a threat to the United States.

Back in 1999, just as today, there was no evidence that Iraq concealed any such weapons. Bush was governor of Texas at the time and the presidential race was still one year away. Bush couldn’t have possibly had any intelligence information, which he claims he presently has but refuses to make public, that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. Still, Bush knew exactly what he would do first when he got to office: bomb Iraq.

“Gov. George W. Bush of Texas talks about contingencies in which he would use American military power to ”take out” Iraq’s illegal weapons” if elected president, according to a Dec. 12, 1999 editorial in the New York Times. The Times editorial was headlined Rhetoric and Reality on Iraq and it too presumed that Iraq still had weapons of mass destruction but the editorial offered no evidence.

“More than eight years after American-led military forces triumphed in the Persian Gulf war, Saddam Hussein still rules Iraq and continues to cheat on the surrender terms that require him to eliminate all biological, chemical and nuclear weapons and missiles capable of delivering them. His galling defiance and America’s frustrations in dealing with him have again made Iraq an issue in a United States presidential campaign,” the editorial says.

But then, two years later, the terrorist attacks of September 11 took place. Bush war plans for Iraq were sidelined while he dealt with this new war. Americans forgot about those statements he made pre-9/11, but Bush uses that date to push his war and wants the public to believe we are in grave danger if our troops don’t topple Iraq. Hussein is a tyrant and he has done despicable acts against his own people, but that is no reason for the United States to attack. This is Bush’s war. He made that clear as far back as 1999.

But asking Bush not to go to war is like, unfortunately, asking Bush when he was governor of Texas to put a moratorium on the death penalty. That request also fell on deaf ears.

“As far as I’m concerned there has not been one innocent person executed since I’ve become governor,” Bush said in June 2000 during a presidential campaign trail visit to Los Angeles.

While Bush was governor, there were 134 executions in Texas, despite the fact that many activists and lawyers said that some executed prisoners may not have received fair trials.

One particular death penalty case that celebrities including the Reverend Jesse Jackson and Amnesty International activist Bianca Jagger have called on Bush to stay was the execution of Gary Graham, who was for shooting to death a Houston man during a supermarket holdup in 1981.

Graham was convicted on the basis of testimony from one eyewitness. But that witness also gave police a statement saying the shooter she saw had darker skin and a narrower face than Graham.

Graham’s lawyer at the time slept through parts of the trial and failed to call six other witnesses who either were not able to identify Graham as the suspect or described the killer differently.

“I’ve thought about it. We don’t need a moratorium,” Bush said about the Graham case. “I’m going to continue to uphold the laws of the land. I believe the system is fair and just.”

Now, some of those same celebrities now oppose the possibility of a war in Iraq and are asking Bush not to use military force in the region. But Bush won’t listen.

JASON LEOPOLD can be reached at: jasonleopold@hotmail.com

 

More articles by:

JASON LEOPOLD is the former Los Angeles bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires where he spent two years covering the energy crisis and the Enron bankruptcy. He just finished writing a book about the crisis, due out in December through Rowman & Littlefield. He can be reached at: jasonleopold@hotmail.com

January 21, 2019
W. T. Whitney
New US Economic Attack Against Cuba, Long Threatened, May Hit Soon
Jérôme Duval
Macronist Repression Against the People in Yellow Vests
Dean Baker
The Next Recession: What It Could Look Like
Eric Mann
All Hail the Revolutionary King: Martin Luther King and the Black Revolutionary Tradition
Binoy Kampmark
Spy Theories and the White House: Donald Trump as Russian Agent
Edward Curtin
We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth
Bill Fried
Jeff Sessions and the Federalists
Ed Corcoran
Central America Needs a Marshall Plan
Colin Todhunter
Complaint Lodged with European Ombudsman: Regulatory Authorities Colluding with Agrochemicals Industry
Manuel E. Yepe
The US War Against the Weak
Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail