“A Matter of National Importance”
I watched Bush’s speech last night, but all I kept thinking about was another time he was on TV: March 19, 2003. That’s when he started a war that has, to date, caused the deaths of “at least 2,448” US troops. And I thought about why he told us the war was so necessary: It was to save us from “an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder.” And, of course, that got me to thinking about the findings of the Iraq Survey Group:
Nuclear: Saddam Husayn ended the nuclear program in 1991 following the Gulf war. ISG found no evidence to suggest concerted efforts to restart the program (p. 11).
Chemical: While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered (p. 13).
Biological: In practical terms, with the destruction of the Al Hakam facility, Iraq abandoned its ambition to obtain advanced BW weapons quickly. ISG found no direct evidence that Iraq, after 1996, had plans for a new BW program or was conducting BW-specific work for military purposes (p. 18).
And then I thought: Immigration reform?!?! Fuck that. George Bush can claim that the subject is “a matter of national importance” all he wants, but I think his lying—or, if it makes anyone feel better, his being horribly, tragically, undeniably wrong—is a matter far, far more worthy of our national concern.