City of Roses
For those looking for a brief history behind the "WMD" search, here's a review of the rhetoric, spanning from most earliest to most recent:
"He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors." Colin Powell, February 24, 2001
"He's been a menace forever, and we will do, he needs to open his country up for inspection, so we can see whether or not he's developing weapons of mass destruction."
George W. Bush, August 7, 2001
"I don't think it matters if Saddam has been implicated (in September 11th). He has weapons of mass destruction. The lesser risk is in pre-emption. We've got to stop wishing away the problem."
Richard Perle, November 21, 2001
"Saddam Hussein's regime is despicable, he is developing weapons of mass destruction, and we cannot leave him doing so unchecked."
Tony Blair, April 10, 2002
"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
Dick Cheney, August 26, 2002
"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."
Bush, September 12, 2002
"I didn't hear it (the Iraqi Foreign Minster's speech at the U.N.), but let me guess: 'The United States is guilty, the world doesn't understand, we don't have any weapons of mass destruction.' It's the same old song and dance that we've heard for 11 long years."
Bush, September 19, 2002
"Saddam Hussein still has chemical and biological weapons and is increasing his capabilities to make more."
Bush, October 7, 2002.
"He has existing and active military plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, which could be activated within 45 minutes."
Blair, September 24, 2002
"If he declares he has none, then we will know that Saddam Hussein is once again misleading the world."
Ari Fleischer, December 2, 2002
"I took our message of peace and freedom to countries around the world. I want them to understand the nature of the man who runs Iraq is the nature of a man who doesn't tell the truth. He says he won't have weapons of mass destruction; he's got them."
Bush, December 3, 2002
"We know for a fact that there are weapons there."
Fleischer, January 9, 2003
"We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more."
Powell, February 5, 2003
"We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons, the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."
Bush, February 8, 2003
"He has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
Cheney, March 16, 2003
"We are asked now seriously to accept that in the last few years, contrary to all history, contrary to all intelligence, Saddam decided unilaterally to destroy those weapons. I say that such a claim is palpably absurd."
Blair, March 18, 2003
"There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified."
Gen. Tommy Franks, March 22, 2003
"We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad."
Donald Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003
"We did not want this war. But in refusing to give up his weapons of mass destruction, Saddam gave us no choice but to act."
Blair, April 10, 2003
"We'll find them. It'll be a matter of time to do so."
Bush, May 3, 2003
"I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming."
Powell, May 4, 2003
"I never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country."
Rumsfeld, May 4, 2003
"I'm not surprised if we begin to uncover the weapons program of Saddam Hussein, because he had a weapons program."
Bush, May 6, 2003
"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction."
Paul Wolfowitz, May 9, 2003
"They may have had time to destroy them, and I don't know the answer."
Rumsfeld, May 27, 2003
"We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories. We've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."
Bush, May 30, 2003
"I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out that they did have a weapons program."
Bush, June 9, 2003
"I believe that we will find the truth, and I believe that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction."
Rice, July 13, 2003
"Extensive work remains to be done on his biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programs. But these findings already make clear that Saddam Hussein actively deceived the international community."
Bush, October 3, 2003
"We are seeking all the facts. Already the Kay Report identified dozens of weapons of mass destruction-related program activities."
Bush, January 21, 2004
"Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere...nope, no weapons over there...maybe under here..."
Bush, March 24, 2004
So there's your history to date regarding the excuse this administration went with in going into this senseless, immoral war in the first place.
Despite all that, despite revealing the obvious once and for all they and the intelligence were wrong, Bush STILL believes it was "absolutely worth it" to invade.
And all Scott McClellan could say in response was, "Based on what we know today, the president would have taken the same action, because this is about protecting the American people."
Protect America from what? A nation that has never attacked our nation in history?
The hypocrisy astounds me. Here there are many who continue to point their fingers at pacifists and those who don't want to serve in the military, accusing people like us as terrorist sympathizers and murderers, yet honor those now they themselves have never served. They honor Cheney, who never served. They honor Ashcroft, who never served. They honor Rove, who never served. Paul Wolfowitz, Bill Frist, Trent Lott, Tom Delay, Roy Blunt, Richard Perle, the list goes on and on. And then Bush himself went AWOL, something which you'd typically get a dishonorable discharge for, unless you come from a higher stature.
You see, just like a majority of these figures who make up the Bush Administration, I have never served in the military and never will, for I believe we are free to decide as Americans our lives and how to serve our country. I choose to serve America as a working class hero, as a pacifist, as a patriot of peace, as a volunteer special educator for children, as a songwriter, as a defender of civil rights and equalities.
Meanwhile, Bush chooses to sympathize to these many young people who are working their hearts out for America, many of which only chose to join the military so they could earn college tuition or put some job experience on their resume that could help get them get a career later, by saying, "Much more will be asked of you" and "we can't rule out military action in Iran.", without any regret or apology for the crimes he's already put on humanity, from the losses of thousands of innocent civilians to the erosion of civil liberties.
Incredible. Beyond incredible.
I for one still believe in King's vision. A vision of ending this spiritual death of our nation in spending more and more on military defense than on programs of social uplift. A vision of stopping worshipping the god of hate and bowing before the altar of retaliation. A vision of being able to hear the questions and point of view of our enemies and mature in understanding the overall assessment of human nature.
I continue to believe in this vision of peace, and believe you can't have it both ways. It's either peace or war.
"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20