Thursday, July 24
Bush's Nose is Growing; Nobody Cares
by Antonia Zerbisias, Toronoto Star, July 22, 2003
It has been exactly one week since the Washington Post ran a page one story quoting U.S. President George W. Bush as saying that the reason the U.S., "along with other nations,'' invaded Iraq was because its brutal vicious dictator would not permit any weapons inspections.
Here is the quote, from Bush's news conference with U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan, which CNN ran live last Monday. (The italicized emphasis is mine.)
Asked about those infamous 16 words in his State of the Union Address about Iraq shopping in Niger for yellowcake uranium, the leader of the free world replied: "The larger point is and the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power ..."
So yes kids! We were all hallucinating when we watched news footage of reporters chasing U.N. weapons inspectors around Iraq last winter. Those were but voices in our collective head when we heard pleas from the likes of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and former weapons inspector Scott Ritter to allow the digging around to continue. And we must have all swallowed a giant tab of yellowcake when we read the news of U.N. weapons inspectors scrambling to beat a path out of Baghdad on the eve of the Shock & Awe bombing campaign.
So ask yourself: How come the commander-in-chief shoots from the lip once again and nobody is talking about it?
Even one of the journalists who originally reported Bush's explanation, The Post's Dana Milbank, soft-peddled it in his story co-written a week ago with Dana Priest.
(Again, the emphasis is mine:) "The president's assertion that the war began because Iraq did not admit inspectors appeared to contradict the events leading up to war this spring: Hussein had, in fact, admitted the inspectors and Bush had opposed extending their work because he did not believe them effective."
Appeared? Like, maybe we're not sure? Like the president isn't, oh let's not put too fine a point on it, lying? [...]