The Episcopalians are flaming out. Californians dissed their governor and now Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared an economic emergency. Rush Limbaugh broke bad. D.C.-area snipers Muhammad and Malvo have been convicted. Jacko, the self-styled King of Pop, faces trial on seven counts of child molestation. Martha Stewart is headed to trial, too. Perhaps 30,000 Iranians have died in an earthquake. It's Code Orange. And oh, yes - Saddam Hussein is cooling his heels in the slammer.
Still, peacenik Howard Dean - pulling away from the pack - seems headed toward the Democratic presidential nomination. And Democrats generally, from presidential wannabes on down, are saying, "President Bush misled us into war against Saddam on the basis of insufficient information about his possession of, or his efforts to acquire, weapons of mass destruction."
Consider, please, the following - drawn from a September piece on the editorial page of Investor's Business Daily - wherein many of the Usual Suspects are quoted regarding the existence of, and the need to remove, Saddam's WMDs...
- President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998: "One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop WMDs and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line."
- Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998: "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's WMD program."
- Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Feb. 18, 1998: "What happens in (Iraq) matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
- Letter to Clinton signed by Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, etc., Oct. 9, 1998: "We urge you ... to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspected Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its WMD programs."
- Congressman (now House Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi, Dec. 16, 1998: "Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
- Sen. Bob Graham and other Democratic senators in a letter to President Bush, Dec. 5, 2001: "There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status."
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
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