Or Secretary Rice is lying now, which is it?
VIDE: Condoleezza Rice on Meet the Press yesterday (Here's the transcript):
MR. RUSSERT: Let me share with you some attitudes of Americans towards the war in Iraq, and here's our latest Wall Street Journal-NBC poll: 51 percent say removing Saddam Hussein was not worth it; 58 percent said we should reduce the number of U.S. troops; 56 percent feel less confident the war will be successful. Majorities now raising huge anxieties, expressing huge anxieties over the war in Iraq.Let me see if I can clarify the Secretary's words. The "choice," she says, was between deciding that al-qaeda was the "proximate" cause of 9-11 and deal with it as such OR deciding that "the root causes of the kind of terrorism" were threatening enough for the country to take a "bolder approach" and try to change the political landscape of the Middle East (by invading Iraq).
SEC'Y RICE: I'm quite certain, Tim, that when the American people see every day what they see on their screens, which is violence and, of course, the deaths of Americans and coalition forces, it's very difficult to take. We mourn every sacrifice. But the fact of the matter is that when we were attacked on September 11, we had a choice to make. We could decide that the proximate cause was al-Qaeda and the people who flew those planes into buildings and, therefore, we would go after al-Qaeda and perhaps after the Taliban and then our work would be done and we would try to defend ourselves.
Or we could take a bolder approach, which was to say that we had to go after the root causes of the kind of terrorism that was produced there, and that meant a different kind of Middle East. And there is no one who could have imagined a different kind of Middle East with Saddam Hussein still in power. I know it's difficult, but we have ahead of us the prospect, and I think the very good prospect of a foundation for a democratic and prosperous Iraq that can solve its differences by politics and compromise, that becomes an anchor for a Middle East that is changing.[emphasis added]
Ok. But this had nothing to do with what we were told as to why the US invaded Iraq. Doncha remember? Ari Fleischer in April '03:
Q Ari, part of the reason for the war was WMD. Now, well into the war, WMD has not been found. The American public is going to the television every morning, listening to the radio every morning, trying to find out if, indeed, WMD was found. Does the administration feel there's some awkwardness right now with these statements of they're professionals at hiding, and we know it's there? I mean, is there some sort of awkwardness about the fact that this has not been found as of yet?The war was presented as a "no-choice-but-now situation." We had to stop Saddam Hussein from giving WMD (that we knew he had) to al-qaeda (through the channels we also knew he had) in order to stop al-qaeda from attacking us with them. Every day the pre-war weapons inspectors wasted on looking for what we already knew was there was another day for Saddam and Osama Bin-Laden to collectively plan for our destruction. We had no choice in the matter, we were told.
MR. FLEISCHER: No. We know Saddam Hussein is there, but we haven't found him yet, either. The fact of the matter is we are still in a war, and not everything about the war is yet known. But make no mistake -- as I said earlier -- we have high confidence that they have weapons of mass destruction. That is what this war was about and it is about. And we have high confidence it will be found. [emphasis added]
Now Condolezza Rice tells that invading Iraq was a choice - a part of a "bolder approach" to combat international terrorism.
Isn't that edging dangerously close to admitting that bombing Baghdad was a pre-emptive strike?
[Thanks to Crooks and Liars and the HuffingtonPost for the links]
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