"It is too often forgotten, not least by historians, that George W. Bush did not invent the idea of deposing the Iraqi tyrant. For years before he came on the scene, removing Saddam Hussein had been a priority embraced by the Democratic administration of Bill Clinton and by Clinton’s most vocal supporters in the Senate:Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas, or biological weapons. . . . Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: he has used them. Not once, but repeatedly. . . . I have no doubt today that, left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will use these terrible weapons again.
These were the words of President Clinton on the night of December 16, 1998 as he announced a four-day bombing campaign over Iraq. Only six weeks earlier, Clinton had signed the Iraq Liberation Act authorizing Saddam’s overthrow—an initiative supported unanimously in the Senate and by a margin of 360 to 38 in the House. “Iraqis deserve and desire freedom,” Clinton had declared. On the evening the bombs began to drop, Vice President Al Gore told CNN’s Larry King:You allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons. How many people is he going to kill with such weapons? . . . We are not going to allow him to succeed. [emphasis added]
What these and other such statements remind us is that, by the time George Bush entered the White House in January 2001, the United States was already at war with Iraq, and in fact had been at war for a decade, ever since the first Gulf war in the early 1990’s. (This was literally the case, the end of hostilities in 1991 being merely a cease-fire and not a formal surrender followed by a peace treaty.) Not only that, but the diplomatic and military framework Bush inherited for neutralizing the Middle East’s most fearsome dictator had been approved by the United Nations. It consisted of (a) regular UN inspections to track and dispose of weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s) remaining in Saddam’s arsenal since the first Gulf war; (b) UN-monitored sanctions to prevent Saddam from acquiring the means to make more WMD’s; and (c) the creation of so-called “no-fly zones” over large sections of southern and northern Iraq to deter Saddam from sending the remnants of his air force against resisting Kurds and Shiite Muslims."
Liberals who scream that George Bush, Dick Cheney, et al. are war criminals, seem to forget the following:
1. Saddam violated several UN resolutions calling for full transparency of his weapons program, with military force the ultimate consequence.
2. Democrats such as Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, who also were both Democratic presidential candidates, looked at the same intelligence that the Bush Administration looked at; they ALL drew the same conclusion.
3. Bill Clinton referred to predatory, rogue nations looking to acquire WMD as an "unholy axis." Yet, Bush has taken endless heat over the term, "axis of evil."
I hate to break it you (actually I don't; anything to wipe that smug, latte-creamed, smile off your elitist face), but your accusations of an illegal war are wholly and absurdly ungrounded.