Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Bush and the U.N.

Today George Bush is to give a speech at the United Nations General Assembly. I thought it would be interesting to check out the last speech Bush gave at the U.N. which was in 2002 prior to the Iraq War. He was making the case that the U.N. had to do something about Iraq. Here are a few excerpts from that 2002 speech.

Bush, "In 1991, the Iraqi regime agreed to destroy and stop developing all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, and to prove to the world it has done so by complying with rigorous inspections. Iraq has broken every aspect of this fundamental pledge."

(Iraq had inspectors in their country through 1998 until President Clinton warned them out before a bombing attack.)

Bush, "From 1991 to 1995, the Iraqi regime said it had no biological weapons. After a senior official in its weapons program defected and exposed this lie, the regime admitted to producing tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents for use with Scud warheads, aerial bombs, and aircraft spray tanks. U.N. inspectors believe Iraq has produced two to four times the amount of biological agents it declared, and has failed to account for more than three metric tons of material that could be used to produce biological weapons. Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."

(It turned out the "senior official" was lieing and the truth was that nothing was being developed. Bush of course ignored information pertaining to later than 1995.)

Bush, "United Nations' inspections also revealed that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons."

(Wrong again. In fact American Scott Ritter of the UN inspection team insisted that at least 95% of all WMD and facilities were found and probably all of it.)

Bush, "And in 1995, after four years of deception, Iraq finally admitted it had a crash nuclear weapons program prior to the Gulf War. We know now, were it not for that war, the regime in Iraq would likely have possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993."

(This was true, but... "prior to the Gulf War" which was over a decade before, not in 2002.)

Bush, "Iraq employs capable nuclear scientists and technicians. It retains physical infrastructure needed to build a nuclear weapon. Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon. Should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year."

(The aluminum tubes, that turned out to be false and was known to be false prior to attacking Iraq. And they did not have the ability to have a nuclear weapon in a year and probably many years.)

Bush, "We know that Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass murder even when inspectors were in his country. Are we to assume that he stopped when they left? The history, the logic, and the facts lead to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein's regime is a grave and gathering danger. To suggest otherwise is to hope against the evidence. To assume this regime's good faith is to bet the lives of millions and the peace of the world in a reckless gamble."

(Wrong, didn't pursue "weapons of mass murder" while inspectors were in Iraq. Wrong, not a "grave and gathering danger" actually a weak and feeble military. "Reckless gamble," the Bush fear factor.)

Bush, "The first time we may be completely certain he has a -- nuclear weapons is when, God forbids, he uses one. We owe it to all our citizens to do everything in our power to prevent that day from coming."

(The old mushroom cloud fear cliche, invented by Condelezza Rice.)

Bush, "If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose, and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles, and all related material."

(Tough to do. Prove you have nothing. Show us your pile of nothing. The weapons inspectors had already had Iraq vanquish WMDs so now Bush was insisting that Iraq destroy nothing.)

Bush, "His regime once ordered the killing of every person between the ages of 15 and 70 in certain Kurdish villages in northern Iraq. He has gassed many Iranians, and 40 Iraqi villages."

(During the Reagan administration, Donald Rumsfeld at the time shook the hand of Saddam Hussein in Iraq even knowing that the gassing occured. Seemed to be acceptable back then.)

Bush, "Saddam Hussein attacked Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990."

(True and the U.S. actually didn't mind the Iran War as this was against the regime that took hostages from our embassy in the Ayatollah Khomeini days. During those years we traded arms for hostages (remember Irangate?) and as well helped supply Hussein with weapons to use against Iran. The attack on Kuwait may have been signaled as a green light by our ambassador to Iraq, April Gillespie, google her name. At any rate Bush didn't bother to mention any of this, but many in the U.N. knew the history.)

Bush, "With every step the Iraqi regime takes toward gaining and deploying the most terrible weapons, our own options to confront that regime will narrow. And if an emboldened regime were to supply these weapons to terrorist allies, then the attacks of September the 11th would be a prelude to far greater horrors."

(Wrong, Iraq was taking no steps toward terrible weapons and of course had nothing to give "terrorist allies" to have a greater horror than 9/11. Very scary stuff, but it was all a lie.)

I wonder what Bush might say today. I wonder how wrong he might be this time. I'm inclined to wonder why should I believe him.

The full 2002 speech...


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