Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, a really bad guy.
Following a brutal rise to power in 1979, Saddam Hussein would become one of the most evil men on the planet, devastating Iraq and repressing all dissent. Saddam would use chemical weapons against his own people; start an awful war with Iran that would kill hundreds of thousands of people on both sides, before invading the peaceful, oil rich nation of Kuwait in August of 1990.
Following the invasion of our ally, President George Bush declared that, “This will not stand; this aggression against Kuwait.”
The president was not joking.
In January of 1991 President Bush lead a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and return it to her rightful inhabitants, addressing the American People from the Oval Office, Bush said, “Five months ago Saddam Hussein started this brutal war against Kuwait, tonight the battle is joined.”
The mission, known as Operation Desert Storm, was a resounding success. Saddam’s forces were removed from Kuwait by the end of February. “Kuwait is liberated. Iraq’s army is defeated. Our military objectives are met,” said the president, “We declared that the aggression against Kuwait would not stand. And tonight, America and the world have kept their word.”
Some have criticized the Bush administration for not invading Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein, right then and there, however, President Bush, the coalition, the United Nations, and the Congress authorized a mission to liberate Kuwait, not Iraq. The mission was over, we had won, and Bush brought the troops home.
Saddam Hussein remained a bad guy, a really bad guy.
Following the war there were uprisings opposing Saddam, all of which ended in the deaths of thousands of Iraqi’s. To make matters worse, our intelligence agencies learned that Saddam’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs were far more advanced than previously known.
Throughout the 1990’s Saddam ignored UN resolutions, he would violate no-fly zones that the UN had put in place, he would not disclose his weapons programs, he was a state sponsor of terrorism, and attempted to assassinate former President Bush.
Saddam Hussein had become an even more dangerous man.
It had become so difficult to deal with Saddam that in 1998 the Congress passed, and President Bill Clinton signed the “Iraq Liberation Act,” making the removal of Saddam Hussein and a democratic Iraq the official policy of the United States.
On February 17, 1998 President Clinton said, “…there is clear evidence of weapons of mass destruction program. Iraq admitted, among other things, an offensive biological warfare capability, notably, 5,000 gallons of botulinum, which causes botulism; 2,000 gallons of anthrax; 25 biological-filled Scud warheads; and 157 aerial bombs. And I might say UNSCOM inspectors believe that Iraq has actually greatly understated its production….
Over the past few months, as [the weapons inspectors] have come closer and closer to rooting out Iraq’s remaining nuclear capacity, Saddam has undertaken yet another gambit to thwart their ambitions by imposing debilitating conditions on the inspectors and declaring key sites which have still not been inspected off limits…Now, let’s imagine the future. What if he fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some day, some way, I guarantee you he’ll use the arsenal….”
Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, America could no longer afford to allow Saddam Hussein to remain in power. The world believed he had weapons of mass destruction, (WMDs). President’s Bush, Clinton, and Bush all believed he had WMDs. In fact, the evidence was so overwhelming, that when President George W. Bush asked congress for permission to remove Saddam, it was an overwhelming bi-partisan vote, passing the Democrat controlled US Senate 77-23. (Democrats voting to remove Saddam included Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Joe Biden, and Herb Kohl.)
The Iraq War got off to a quick and successful start. Iraq was liberated and Saddam’s government was toppled in short order.
Unexpectedly, a brutal insurgency from Al Qaeda was succeeding in Iraq, until Bush instituted the “surge” strategy. The surge worked, Al Qaeda was defeated, Iraq was given back to Iraqi’s, and President Obama inherited a peaceful stable Iraq.
Obama, a critic of the war, along with a Democratic Party that, again abandoned a war effort for political purposes. He has squandered this military success, by perpetrating the lie that, “Bush lied,” or “we rushed to war,” both started as anti-war slogans, repeated by Democrat politicians, liberal media outlets, and never properly responded to by Bush. So much so, that this lie has sunk into the popular culture as “truth.”
It’s the lie about the truth that’s become “the truth,” and it helped to turn the American people against the “War on Terror.”
This is incredibly dangerous because this “new truth” clouds our judgment as a county. We used the “new truth” as an excuse to elect Barack Obama and abandon our efforts in the Middle East.
Liberating Iraqis from Saddam Hussein wasn’t a mistake, electing Barack Obama and quitting on Iraq was. Iraq had a relatively stable pro-America government on Obama’s first day; all he needed was a “status of forces” agreement, easy to do, if he wanted to. But Obama was determined to leave zero American presence in Iraq, and today much of Iraq has fallen to ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. ISIS would like to use Iraq as a base of operations to launch a new caliphate, and terrorize people into joining the “religion of peace.” While at the same time Iran, also a state sponsor of terror ,negotiates with John Kerry about obtaining nuclear capabilities.
Under the leadership of President Obama the Middle East is leading us toward a world war. ISIS beheads Christians, murders gays, treats women as slaves, and threatens the existence of Israel.
All made possible because Americans believe a lie about a truth that’s become “the truth.”
Rohn W. Bishop is a monthly contributor to the Scene. Bishop, a former Waupun City Council member, currently serves as treasurer for the Republican Party of Fond du Lac County
Contact Rohn: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @RohnWBishop