You may remember that in 2002, the UN Security Council ordered Iraq to put together a report detailing the entirety of its biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs. In response, Iraqi officials compiled an 11,800-page report on the past and present status of Iraq's weapons programs.
From that report we learned (from the Iraqis) that Iraq once had both chemical and biological weapons, as well as a program to develop nuclear weapons. We also learned that Iraq acquired biological and chemical weapons from the US, and Iraqi nuclear scientists were trained at US government nuclear facilities. Most importantly, though, the Iraqis told us that some of the weapons and nuclear facilities were destroyed in the first Gulf War, and the rest were destroyed under the supervision of UN weapons inspectors.
All of this turned out to be true.
WHAT WE'VE LEARNED
George Bush repeatedly told us that Saddam was lying, that Iraq had WMDs, and that Iraq under Saddam was a "threat to the whole world." So, here we are, years later. What have we learned to be the truth?
The search for WMDs turned up nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.
Everything Hussein said about the weapons has turned out to be true. Everything Bush said about the weapons has turned out to be false.
But, it wasn't "faulty intelligence" as the liars keep telling us. War against Iraq was the product of a witch's brew of disinformation, distortions, spin, and lies given by people interested in the US invasion of Iraq.
The non-existent weapons of mass destruction weren't the only falsehood. There were the phony uranium purchases, lies about Al-Qaeda training camps in Iraq, mobile weapons labs, and drones that were going to attack the East Coast of the US.
Remember the lies about babies being thrown out of incubators? The propaganda started years ago. Even the claims of Saddam's brutality are suspect. Why? Because most of these claims come from the same people that have already discredited themselves.
No one would call you na´ve for distrusting someone who lies to you over and over and over.
NEW REASONS FOR WAR
So, when confronted with the charge that he lied about the reasons to go to war with Iraq, President Bush simply went into spin mode and said, "The defense of freedom is always worth it."
Was it worth it to the thousands of Americans who have been wounded or killed?
Was it worth it to the countless Iraqi men, women and children who have died?
Was it worth it to their families?
The reality of the situation is that the US Government - from Bush Sr., to Bill Clinton, to G.W - decided on its own that Saddam should no longer be the president of Iraq. This is the very thing that the Constitution and International Law were designed to prevent.
America was never threatened by Saddam Hussein. Iraq had absolutely no capability to attack the United States, and never was there indicated a desire to do so.
In short, American "freedom" was never threatened by Iraq, or Saddam Hussein. So how can anyone consider an unprovoked attack on another nation as "defending freedom"? The absurdity of such lies will ring on for centuries.
It's not America's calling to choose who should or should not be in charge of another country. But, obviously, the Iraqi war was worth it to George Bush.
If George wants to donate his own money to revolutionary movements in foreign countries, he has the right as a free person to do so. If he wants to quit his job (wishful thinking) and go fight in one of those countries, he has a right to do so as well.
But, he has absolutely no constitutional authority to use American money and American lives to fight for "freedom" in other countries.
So, in order to continue war, the lies must continue.
TRUTH AND LIES
The result of all this was that the "Butcher of Baghdad" was right and that the "President of the United States" was wrong. Saddam Hussein was given the death penalty for "war crimes," while George Bush and his accomplices in our two-party Congress continue to rule over us.
We're living in sad times, indeed, times when you can trust what Saddam Hussein says more than your own government.
In practice, being honest or lying doesn't matter. It's might that's right.
And that's the sad truth.
Michael Boldin [email@example.com], an outspoken critic of the American political system, is a senior editor and contributing writer for http://www.populistamerica.com.