Can anyone tell me what H.J.Res. 114(107th) is? It’s the authorization for use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. In other words it was the Congressional vote on whether to invade Iraq or not. The resolution passed 296-133. 214 Republicans supported it along with 81 Democrats. Everyone had access to the same intelligence that indicated Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
According to tomnichols.net, President Clinton, in a speech at the Pentagon, made the assertion that not acting against Saddam Hussein was tantamount to allowing him to gain, and therefore to use, weapons of mass destruction. Clinton went on to say, “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 say, I guarantee you, he’ll use the arsenal. And I think everyone of you who’s really worked on this for any length of time believes that too.”
By year’s end, Clinton made good on this threat to attack Iraq with U.S. and British forces engaging in a three-day bombing campaign, Operation Desert Fox, aimed at degrading Saddam Hussein’s presumed WMD capabilities. “Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles,” Clinton said as the bombing started. “With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them…and I have no doubt today, that left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.”
Weeks before Desert Fox, on October 31, 1998, Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act. In a statement, the President said the following: “Today I am signing into law, the ‘Iraq Liberation Act if 1998.’ This Act makes clear that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should support those elements of the Iraqi opposition that advocate a very different future for Iraq than the bitter reality of internal repression and external aggression that the current regime in Baghdad now offers.
Let me be clear on what the U.S. objectives are:
- The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.
- The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq’s history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else.
- The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.
- My administration has pursued, and will continue to pursue, these objectives through active application of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The evidence is overwhelming that such change will not happen under the current Iraqi leadership.
- In the meantime, while the United States continues to look to the Security Council’s efforts to keep the current regime’s behavior in check, we look forward to new leadership in Iraq that has the support of the Iraqi people. The United States is providing support to opposition groups from all sectors of the Iraqi community that could lead to a popularly supported government.”
Tomnichols.net goes on to indicate that the act only supported such efforts by the Iraqi opposition and was notably silent on the question of the use of American force. Regime change was never the stated goal of Desert Fox. Mr. Nichols, on his website, opines that what is most interesting about the 1998 almost-war against Iraq is the way that Clinton and others argued that opponents like Saddam Hussein could not be turned back. Also, in 1998, Clinton’s senior advisors debated whether to strike a Sudanese factory they suspected was making chemical weapons. In August 1998, the United States launched Operation Infinite Reach, a series of cruise missile attacks against the Sudanese facility as well as several al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.
In all of their pontifications and emotional tirades, liberals have convinced themselves and a lot of others that until the Bush administration began no one was linking Saddam Hussein to weapons of mass destruction and that the reason Bush took us to war in Iraq was to get revenge on Saddam Hussein for the assignation attempt on this father, former President George H. W. Bush.
What a selective memory liberals have? There were actions by the Clinton administration in the late nineties that were in response to problems in that region. President George W. Bush didn’t just dream this up as liberals still indicate. If you don’t believe me, just visit some of your favorite liberal websites and search on the Iraqi war.
Note: The purpose of this post was not to only outline the events that took place during the Clinton Administration that led up to the Iraq war which was started during the Bush administration, it is to demonstrate the disingenuousness of liberals when they yell such things as “Bush lied, people died.” I’ve said many times that liberals don’t care about facts, they don’t care about having reasonable dialogs; they only care about hurling false insults with no bases at those who disagree with them. NOW THAT’S TOLERANCE, ISN’T IT?
Also, thanks goes to fas.org for the information cited above on the Iraqi Liberation Act of 1998.