The Press Secretary just delivers the message. I don't think he has that much control over content. But McClellan was a great BS'er. Even today millions of people still have misperceptions based on his spin and misinformation.
I never supported the war from before it started.
1. Taking out a Tyrant isn't necessarily worth the cost. In the case of Iraq 2003, it certainly wasn't. Most experts predicted tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian deaths. No tyrant is worth that much carnage unless they are actively creating that level of carnage. Sure Iraqis were oppressed by a tyrant, but most of their suffering was a result of punitive economic sanctions imposed on Iraq long after they served their intended purpose, not Hussein. The sanctions could have been lifted in a few months if UNMOVIC inspections cleared Iraq of possessing WMDs. In 2003, most Iraqis were safe from the tyrant as long as they didn't challenge Hussein's rule.
2. Saddam USED (note past tense) WMDs and even had the US government support. Hussein hadn't resorted to WMDs since the late 1980's. The time to be upset was at the time, not 15 years later. Some people obviously still have a remnant misperceptions that Iraq pretended to have WMDs as per spin by people like McClellan. Since 1998 Iraq only claimed to be compliant with WMD disarmament requirements in order to get the economic sanctions lifted. Spin doctors like McClellan twisted and distorted information to create misperceptions which persist to this day. Everything which has been found in Iraq since 1998 supports Iraq's claims. Seems to me its obvious who was telling the truth and who was telling lies. I thought the lies were obvious at the time and have since become more obvious.
3. The first Gulf War should have been over as soon as Iraq no longer possessed WMDs. Nothing has been found in Iraq which support weekly/daily US and British raids into Iraq to enforce US/UK approved no-fly zones. (The 1992-2003 Iraq bombing campaign killed hundreds of Iraqis, destroyed civilian and legal military facilities)
4. The Iraq war violated International Law and was the international equivalent of a lynching. Iraq was forced to prove negatives and meet unachievable objectives. They were accused of hiding non-existant WMDS and required to prove their non-existance, which is logically impossible. They were accused of helping the people behind the 9/11 attacks on the flimsiest of circumstancial evidence. Anger over 9/11 was being obviously manipulated to create a mob mentality.
5. Nothing had been found in Iraq by UNMOVIC inspections which supported war. In fact, the US declared war on Iraq just 10 days after UNMOVIC reported that they were making good progress on all disarment issues and would likely resolve all remaining ones within months.
7. A compliant media which failed to ask obvious questions and failed to question obvious lies.
8. The US claimed that previous UNSC Resolutions allowed the US to invade and occupy Iraq, yet couldn't get UNSC approval which specifically approved what the US did in March 2003.
The Iraq war violated international law:
...the Secretary-General had reiterated his well-known position that the military action against Iraq was not in conformity with the UN Charter.
In the interview, Mr. Annan was repeatedly asked whether the war was "illegal." "Yes," he finally said, "I have indicated it is not in conformity with the UN Charter, from our point of view, and from the Charter point of view it was illegal." The Secretary-General said the war in Iraq (external - login to view) and its aftermath had brought home painful lessons about the importance of resolving use-of-force issues jointly through the UN. "I think that in the end everybody is concluding that it is best to work together with allies and through the UN to deal with some of those issues...
www.un.org/apps/news/story.as...53&Cr=iraq&Cr1 (external - login to view)=
Hans Blix - UNMOVIC
7 MARCH 2003Quote has been trimmed
Let me conclude by telling you that UNMOVIC is currently drafting the work programme, which resolution 1284 (1999) requires us to submit this month. It will obviously contain our proposed list of key remaining disarmament tasks; it will describe the reinforced system of ongoing monitoring and verification that the Council has asked us to implement; it will also describe the various subsystems which constitute the programme, e.g. for aerial surveillance, for information from governments and suppliers, for sampling, for the checking of road traffic, etc.
How much time would it take to resolve the key remaining disarmament tasks? While cooperation can and is to be immediate, disarmament and at any rate the verification of it cannot be instant. Even with a proactive Iraqi attitude, induced by continued outside pressure, it would still take some time to verify sites and items, analyse documents, interview relevant persons, and draw conclusions. It would not take years, nor weeks, but months. Neither governments nor inspectors would want disarmament inspection to go on forever. However, it must be remembered that in accordance with the governing resolutions, a sustained inspection and monitoring system is to remain in place after verified disarmament to give confidence and to strike an alarm, if signs were seen of the revival of any proscribed weapons programmes.
Bush's ultimatum speech 10 days later is appropriately titled:
For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 17, 2003
THE PRESIDENT: My fellow citizens, events in Iraq have now reached the final days of decision. For more than a decade, the United States and other nations have pursued patient and honorable efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime without war. That regime pledged to reveal and destroy all its weapons of mass destruction as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War in 1991. Since then, the world has engaged in 12 years of diplomacy. We have passed more than a dozen resolutions in the United Nations Security Council. We have sent hundreds of weapons inspectors to oversee the disarmament of Iraq. Our good faith has not been returned.
The Iraqi regime has used diplomacy as a ploy to gain time and advantage. It has uniformly defied Security Council resolutions demanding full disarmament. Over the years, U.N. weapon inspectors have been threatened by Iraqi officials, electronically bugged, and systematically deceived. Peaceful efforts to disarm the Iraqi regime have failed again and again -- because we are not dealing with peaceful men.
Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised. This regime has already used weapons of mass destruction against Iraq's neighbors and against Iraq's people.
The regime has a history of reckless aggression in the Middle East. It has a deep hatred of America and our friends. And it has aided, trained and harbored terrorists, including operatives of al Qaeda.
The danger is clear: using chemical, biological or, one day, nuclear weapons, obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfill their stated ambitions and kill thousands or hundreds of thousands of innocent people in our country, or any other. ...
Last edited by earth_as_one; May 30th, 2008 at 11:21 PM..