Bush, the dishonest salesman
Dishonest salesmanship has been the standard operating procedure of the Bush administration’s approach to foreign policy since day one. I shall confine my remarks to the past seven months,
Mr. Bush’s false statement in his State of the Union speech in January about uranium ore from Africa has been adequately covered by the news media.
We were repeatedly warned that Iraq had nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction. Neither the U.N. inspectors nor the American armed forces have found any evidence of nuclear weapons or the means of manufacturing them. As for biological and chemical weapons, we were told about the two trailers loaded with equipment and materials for biological and chemical warfare which were photographed by satellite and which a spokesman called a “smoking gun.” The trailers were found shortly after the official end of the war by American troops and contained no evidence of biological or chemical equipment.
For weeks preceding the war, Bush tried to link Saddam Hussein with al-Qaeda and the attack on the World Trade Center, but he never offered any proof of it. Captured al-Qaeda leaders have denied any connection with Saddam. The 42-page U.N. report on terrorism made no mention of any such linkage.
During this entire period, Bush kept telling the world at large and the American public in particular that he had positive proof that Iraq had a cache of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction that posed a real and urgent threat to the United States. (He never offered an explanation of why this threat was real and imminent.) He used this threat as the reason to justify a war on Iraq with most of the world, including many Americans, opposed to it.
Just before and during the war questions were raised in many quarters concerning the plans for the post-war occupation, the reconstruction and the bringing of law and order to a country devastated by the war. We were assured that plans were well in hand and that 50,000 troops would be able to handle it and that the cost would be no more than $2 billion per month. There are now 145,000 American troops in Iraq, with the generals calling for more, and the cost to American taxpayers has risen to $4 billion per month.
At best, one might say that, in his efforts to justify the war, Mr. Bush handled the truth rather carelessly, or, to put it more bluntly, he just plain lied to the American people and to the world at large.
Would you buy a used car from this man?
David RC Brown
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