Did anybody but me notice that on Meet the Press today, Tim Russert called Fidel Castro a madman, and implied that the rulers of Iran, North Korea, and Burma are madmen as well?
Did anybody notice that Bush claimed we had to fight a preemptive war (against a country he now admits was not an imminent threat) because dimplomacy had failed?
From the transcript:
Bush: ...He could have developed a nuclear weapon over time I'm not saying immediately, but over time which would then have put us in what position? We would have been in a position of blackmail.
In other words, you can't rely upon a madman, and he was a madman. You can't rely upon him making rational decisions when it comes to war and peace, and it's too late, in my judgment, when a madman who has got terrorist connections is able to act.
Russert: But there are lots of madmen in the world, Fidel Castro …
Russert: … in Iran, in North Korea, in Burma, and yet we don't go in and take down those governments.
Bush: Correct, and I could that's a legitimate question as to why we like felt we needed to use force in Iraq and not in North Korea. And the reason why I felt like we needed to use force in Iraq and not in North Korea, because we had run the diplomatic string in Iraq.
The facts say otherwise. Since the war, it has come to light that Saddam tried desperately, before the invasion, to reach a diplomatic solution. He offered to let the US bring in its own inspectors, and to give them free access to anything they wanted to see.
Bush knew there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. If he didn't already know it, he knew when Saddam offered to meet whatever terms Bush wanted to impose in order to avoid war.
Dubya's response was similar to the one Mel Gibson, as William Wallace in Braveheart, gave to the commander of the British army he was about to fight:
"Scotland's terms: Lower your flags, march straight back to England stopping at every home you pass by to beg forgiveness for one hundred years of theft rape and murder...before we let you leave, your commander must cross that field, present himself before this army, put his head between his legs, and kiss his own arse."
This is one of Bush's favorite ways of "negotiating": demand terms so outrageous that you know they will not be accepted, so that you can claim you tried diplomacy before rushing to war.
There were many more lies in the Meet the Press interview, and I'm sure we'll see many of them pointed out in the coming days and weeks. From September 11, 2001 to the present, the Bush League has used the so-called "war on terrorism" to rationalize the taking away of Americans' freedom of speech, freedom of peaceable assembly, freedom of association, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure--and there's little or no evidence that this all-too-dear price has bought anything but increased profits for the administration's corporate cronies.
So here's another Braveheart quote, one the President should hear repeatedly--from his challenger, from the press, and from the American people--between now and November: "You think the people of this land exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it."