Debra J. Saunders

 In short: Bush lied, and that's the reason America and its many allies went to war. She also opposes U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and told MSNBC's Chris Matthews, Afghanistan "is almost the same thing." Sure, except that Al-Qaida was linked to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, who was hiding behind the Taliban in Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001. It's not even remotely the same thing.

  It feels as if the far left has come down with a case of mass amnesia. To believe this, one would have to forget that, other than Howard Dean, every major Democratic candidate running for president in 2004 -- Dennis Kucinich doesn't count as major -- voted for the resolution authorizing force in Iraq.

 Sen. John Kerry, who began his career denouncing politicians who vote for a mistake of a war, also voted for the war resolution. Like other senators who had served on the Senate Intelligence Committee, he had access to reams of information. His running mate, John Edwards, also on the Intelligence Committee, also voted for the resolution.

  What is more, potential future Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., voted for the resolution. And if she believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, it wasn't because "Bush lied."

 Her own husband, when he was president, explained that he was bombing Iraq in 1998 because "Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons." Bush didn't just utter the word "yellowcake" and magically the Senate was in a trance that made John Kerry and Hillary Clinton dutifully vote yes.

 They looked at the evidence, and they endured years of watching Hussein in action. They knew that he had advanced his nuclear program beyond intelligence estimates before the Persian Gulf War. They then voted for a resolution that said, in part, "in 1998, Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in 'material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations' and urged the president 'to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations'."

 That context is missing in action at Camp Casey.

Debra J. Saunders

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