Tony Blankley

Let's be clear what the news media and political charge is against President Bush: He "hyped" the facts, he politicized classified intelligence, he misled the world, he stated facts he had reason to know weren't true. To have accomplished such a thing he didn't have to merely fool a gullible public. He also had to fool his own government bureaucracy, because in Washington a classified government secret is the common knowledge of every 27-year-old cable news producer by about 11 a.m. Remember, last August, field grade officers were leaking Pentagon war plans to The New York Times and The Washington Post on a regular basis. If these same war-averse men had information to contradict President Bush over the last six months when he was talking about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, does anyone doubt they would have leaked such information before their morning coffee breaks? To have accomplished both such manipulation of his government and of world opinion would seem inconsistent with the media's portrayal of him as a Forrest Gump type. Now they would have us see George Bush as possessing all the skills and instincts of Niccolo Machiavelli and Joseph Goebbels.

It is now necessary to un-rewrite recent history. In 1998, President Clinton called for, and Congress passed into law, the official U.S. government policy on Iraq: regime change due to their possession of weapons of mass destruction. In January 2002, in his State of the Union Address, President Bush identified Iraq as part of the Axis of Evil because they were a rogue state that supported terrorists. As 2002 and 2003 progressed, he identified several reasons for going to war with Iraq: regime change, humanitarian relief, Saddam's support of terrorism, his failure to obey the terms of surrender in the 1991 war and the U.N resolutions over the past 12 years, his possession of weapons of mass destruction and the imperative for democracy in the Middle East and peace between Israel and the Palestinians. During that time, British Premier Tony Blair emphasized humanitarian concerns and WMD. But the world was indifferent to the suffering of the Iraqi people. The only reason that was of interest to the world was WMD, which thus became the focus point of U.N. negotiations and press coverage. The president has, at all times, honestly and sincerely placed all his cards on the table.

The real question the world should be asking is not why Bush went to war, but why Saddam did. For what was Saddam willing to risk his regime and life? Consider, up to the moment of the war, if he had agreed to cooperate with the U.N. weapons inspectors, war could have been avoided. That Saddam chose to fight answers all rational questions. But even now, a deranged world and a Bush-hating Democratic Party (and their media auxiliary) insist on putting our good president in the dock, rather than the evil Saddam -- the greatest killer of Muslims in history.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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