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January 27, 2004
Kerry: We Should Have Waited For Saddam Attack

Senator John Kerry continues to make odd statements about the Iraq war, trying to reconcile his vote authorizing it with his current anti-war platform:

Kerry said that the administration had promised to go through the United Nations first, and then didn’t do it, but he added that at the time Saddam Hussein constituted a threat.

“From 1991 to 1998, we had inspectors in Iraq blowing up weapons of mass destruction,” Kerry said. “A lot of people seem to have forgotten that. We destroyed plenty of weapons of mass destruction in those 7½ years. We found more weapons than we thought Saddam had, and evidence of a nuclear program. "

Kerry is either lying or being deliberately obtuse. Bush went to the UN twice. In December, he pushed through UNSC resolution 1441, demanding immediate and full compliance from Saddam Hussein with the previous 16 UNSC resolutions. Inspectors were supposed to report on full compliance, not become detectives conducting search warrants for the entirety of Iraq. When UNSCOM inspectors found evidence of evasion and banned weapons, Bush went back to the UN to get them to finally recognize, after a dozen years, that Saddam was in material breach of the resolutions and the cease-fire that left him in power.

Note that Kerry, in attempting to bolster his vote, acknowledges that Saddam had WMDs until 1998, when he threw UNSCOM inspectors out of Iraq. Any reasonable interpretation would not include that Iraq was complying but were too shy to do so while UN inspectors were around. Certainly the Clinton administration and Congress in 1998 didn't take that interpretation.

And then Kerry said something truly bizarre, in the next breath:

“I voted for the process,” Kerry said. “Go to the UN, build a coalition, and go to war as a last resort. George Bush broke his promise and went around us. He set the date for the war, not Saddam Hussein [emph. mine].”

So what Kerry proposes is to wait until we're attacked before taking any action? Maybe in a non-proliferated era we had the luxury of trusting the wide oceans to act as a buffer for any attack, but 9/11 should have taught everyone the folly of that philosophy. An attack from Saddam would not have begun with an invasion of Kuwait or missile attacks on American troops in the Persian Gulf -- it would have begun on our soil, especially if Saddam retained WMD capability. Such a statement indicates why John Kerry and the Democrats cannot be trusted on national security; they're living in the past.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at January 27, 2004 5:52 AM

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