“This has pretty much been known for years, but not reported in the mainstream media for the reason you cite: it would have made the Democrats (and the mainstream media) look like partisan liars.”
If this is true, the question is why didn’t Bush and Cheney make this information public and go into Syria to eradicate these weapons? After all, the rationale given by President Bush and Colin Powell for invading Iraq was to capture and eliminate Sadaam’s weapons of mass destruction. If Bush knew the weapons had been moved to Syria, he lied to the American people. No different than Obama.
It is interesting Bush changed the mission almost immediately after the invasion from looking for weapons of mass destruction to nation building.
Assad and Syria were allies of Iran. Iran has always been the big threat to the US, not Iraq. Why did George Bush invade Iraq when the weapons were gone? Why didn’t he invade Iran and take out Iran’s nuclear program? It was (and is) a much more credible threat to the homeland.
Our leaders from both parties have been dishonest with the American people in committing troops to war. Our founding fathers cautioned us to stay out of foreign entanglements. After WWII if we had followed their advice we would have saved over 100,000 lives of US servicemen in Korea and Vietnam. We would have saved trillions of taxpayer dollars by forcing western Europe to man and pay for its own defense against the Soviet Union.
If we had followed the advice of the founders we would not have incurred the wrath of the Muslim world by entangling ourselves in the affairs of the sovereign nations of the Middle East. 9/11 resulted from decades of covert and overt involvement in Middle Eastern affairs over several decades. If we had not involved ourselves in propping up corrupt regimes in the region (from the Shah to Mubarak), sending arms in the 1980’s to the Afghan “freedom” fighters, trying to force peace negotiations between Israel and Middle Eastern nations, or putting ground troops in the region these people would not have any reason to launch terror attacks against us. Note Al Qaeda is not targeting China with suicide airline attacks. China is also not putting troops on the ground in the Middle East, overtly trying to manage diplomatic relations between Middle Eastern nations, or funding the militaries of dictatorships in the region.
The Middle East has been a conflict ridden sewer since Biblical times. In hindsight if after WWII we had stood back and let the Soviet Union get sucked fully into the quagmire of the Middle East, including trying to govern Afghanistan, the Soviet Empire might have fallen quicker than it did. Our involvement in Middle Eastern affairs since 1945 has done nothing for our national security.
Our leaders never seem to consider that if we stopped trying to influence events in a region, other nations would act in their own interest to bring a balance of power. India sits as a counter to both communist China and Pakistan. Iran and the Saudi’s are enemies. Turkey does not want to see either Iran or Saudi Arabia dominate the Middle East. The Europeans depend much more on Middle East oil than we do and if we butted out, they’d have to get involved in order to protect their oil supplies. In very recent times our interference is directly responsible for the turmoil in Egypt today and the reimposition of military rule. Had we not backed the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt would be more stable. If we weren’t funding the Egyptian military, the oil producing states would have to fund it in order to keep the Iranians from influencing Egypt.
The founders understood that it is foolhardy to be involved in the affairs of nations far from our shores. The average American citizen today is more likely to be killed by an drunken illegal immigrant driver from Mexico, El Salvador, or Honduras than an Al Qaeda terrorist. Had this nation spent the last 70 years securing our borders instead of fighting wars in other nations, our country would not be bankrupt and our nation would not be drowning in the social problems caused by open borders. Had we stayed out of Vietnam, the marxist leftists might not have taken over the Democrat Party. If our leaders had focused on American interests instead of globalism we would have maintained our historical tariff structure and still have a manufacturing infrastructure serving the domestic market and providing middle class jobs.
Bring our military home, build a missile defense system, secure the borders, throw out the criminal illegals and focus on rebuilding our nation including achieving energy independence. Let the Europeans deal with protecting their oil supplies or deal with the consequences of not doing so. It isn’t the responsibility of the US taxpayer. Let Israel form its own alliances and sink or swim. The US cannot protect Israel forever. After 60 years it needs to find a way, on its own, to protect itself. If it cannot stand on its own, it will ultimately fail anyway. Let India, Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, and Australia counter the Chinese. In fact if we pull back to the Western Hemisphere, Russia will have to focus its attention on Chinese expansion.
This nation has many geographic advantages. Two oceans protect us from land invasion from Asia and Europe. The Mississippi river system provides low cost water transportation to support an advanced manufacturing infrastructure in the heartland as well as move agricultural products. We have abundant natural resources that give us the capability of being self sufficient. We have the population size to create consumer and industrial markets with manufacturing scale and therefore be self sufficient in manufacturing as we were until the 1960’s. By trying to influence the affairs of nations outside our hemisphere we have only wasted lives and economic resources.
Maybe because (a) it was a war and making that kind of information public could harm your war effort (b) they really didn't want to inform several other insane governments exactly where those weapons were, and (c) they were men enough not to change their strategies just because some Democrats were squealing like little girls?
Thoughtful post by the way; thank you for writing it!