June 5, 2003
front page
more news
ad information
contact information



Finding a reason to go to war

In the run up to the Iraqi war, President Bush and other administration officials tried to justify the need to attack by citing the threat Saddam Hussein posed to the West. Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, the administration said, and it’s just a matter of time before he would use them on us. It’s been weeks since the war ended and the U.S. still has not uncovered these weapons, and the president’s PR machine is starting to look hollow. Weapons of mass destruction may still turn up. Just as Saddam may turn up.

But it is reasonable, perhaps even necessary, to question the Bush team’s justification for the war and what, at least as of now, appears to be an effort by the administration to exaggerate intelligence about Iraq’s WMD’s. An independent examination seems appropriate, though calls for that exercise may miss the point: the Bush administration wanted to go to war, so it drummed up reason after reason to attack Iraq. Indeed, in the months leading up to the war, President Bush’s justification for an attack seemed to change weekly. Calling Iraq a threat to the U.S. was a strong selling point for the administration, and Iraq’s weapons were trumpeted loudly.

At this point, it is not too far of a stretch to wonder whether the public was manipulated into fighting this war. After all, the Bush administration has a bad track record when it comes to being upfront on political issues, including taxes.

It has become clear, as the electricity remains out in much of Iraq and Saddam loyalists continue to fight and kill U.S. troops, that the Bush administration poorly planned how to rebuild Iraq. It is not clear yet whether the administration conned us into war. But no matter how President Bush answers this latest round of criticism, one must wonder whether we should believe the response.

—Robert Mihalek