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Here's the Truth: BUSH DIDN'T LIE
Chicago-Sun Times ^ | 07-20-03 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 07/22/2003 8:45:46 PM PDT by onyx

Here's the truth: Bush didn't lie

July 20, 2003

BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

I was on a radio show the other day, and for the umpteenth time in the last week some anti-war type demanded to know how I felt about uranium in Niger. Well, I wouldn't number it with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens among my favorite things. But then I never said I did. And nor did George W. Bush, despite the best efforts of the anti-war crowd to assert that he led us into an ''illegitimate war'' over uranium in Niger. ''BUSH LIED OVER NIGER URANIUM CLAIMS!!!,'' as a good couple dozen e-mails a day scream from my in-box.

I wrote a gazillion pieces urging war with Iraq, and never found the time to let the word Niger pass my lips. But here's what the president had to say, when he ''LIED OVER NIGER URANIUM CLAIMS!!!!!!'' back in the State of the Union address in January:

''The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.''

That's it: 16 words. Where's the lie? The British are standing by it. And it's said in London that they got it from Paris: Niger's uranium operations are under the supervision of the French Atomic Energy Commission.

But, even if you don't think that's true, why is it a lie? The anti-war crowd has been wrong on everything, from hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths to the horrors of the ''brutal Afghan winter'' (now 22 months behind schedule), but on the whole we on the right don't go around shrieking MORE LIES ABOUT AFGHAN WEATHER!!!!!!!!!!!! Could be just a run of bad luck in the old Lefty Predictions Department.

Nonetheless, the Democrats smell blood and don't want to be told that it's their own. ''President Bush deceives the American people,'' roars the Democratic National Committee, headed by Clinton stain-mopper Terry McAuliffe. Bush did not wag his finger and say ''Saddam Hussein did have radioactive relations with that yellowcake, Miss Niger.'' All he did was report that America's closest ally had learned something that it continues to believe to this day. And right now I'd bet on the Brits rather than some CIA tourist who took a bargain-break weekend in Niger and interviewed his bellhop.

Intelligence is a hit-and-miss business. In 1998, when Bill Clinton launched mid-Monica cruise-missile attacks on Afghanistan and the Sudan, he hit a Khartoum aspirin factory and missed Osama bin Laden. The claims that the aspirin factory was producing nerve gas and was an al-Qaida front proved to be untrue. Does that mean Clinton lied to us? I mean, apart from about Gennifer, Monica and which part of the party of the first part's enumerated parts came into contact with part of the party of the second part's enumerated parts, etc. Or was it just that the intelligence was lousy? The intel bureaucracy got the Sudanese aspirin factory wrong, failed to spot 9/11 coming and insisted it was impossible for any American to penetrate bin Laden's network, only to have Johnnie bin Joss-Stick from hippy-dippy Marin County on a self-discovery jaunt round the region stroll into the cave and be sharing the executive latrine with the A-list jihadi within 20 minutes.

So, if you're the president and the same intelligence bureaucrats who got all the above wrong, say the Brits are way off the mark, there's nothing going on with Saddam and Africa, what do you do? Do you say, ''Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day''? Or do you make the reasonable assumption that, given what you've learned about the state of your CIA human intelligence, is it likely they've got much of a clue about what's going on in French Africa? Isn't this one of those deals where the Brits and the shifty French are more plugged in?

But here's a much more pertinent question than whether BUSH LIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!: How loopy are the Democrats? One reason why the president is all but certain to win re-election is the descent into madness of his opponents. They've let post-impeachment, post-chad-dangling bitterness unhinge them to the point where, given a choice between investigating the intelligence lapses that led to 9/11 and the intelligence lapses that led to a victorious war in Iraq, they stampede for the latter. Iraq was a brilliant campaign fought with minimal casualties, Sept. 11 was a humiliating failure by government to fulfill its primary role of national defense. But Democrats who complained that Bush was too slow to act on doubtful intelligence re 9/11 now profess to be horrified that he was too quick to act on doubtful intelligence re Iraq. This is not a serious party.

So now Democratic candidates are carrying on like a bunch of African queens, pretending the entire war hinged on one footnote about some ramshackle French colonial basket-case. ''It's beginning to sound a little like Watergate,'' says Howard Dean. Struggling to keep up with Dean, John Kerry has said that Bush ''misled every one of us,'' even though the senator himself has been warning about Saddam's weapons for years and voted in favor of the Iraq War months before the State of the Union or Colin Powell's UN presentations or anything else. Struggling to keep up with Kerry, Bob Graham wants to impeach the president. Not the president of Niger, the president of America. Seriously.

The trouble with all this bleating about how you feel ''misled'' is that you sound not like a putative commander in chief but like an Arkansas state employee in Bill Clinton's motel room. Conversely, when Dick Gephardt says he's had ''enough of the phony, macho rhetoric'' from Bush, he's missing its salient feature: The ''bring it on'' rhetoric may be macho, but it isn't necessarily phony.

Step back and look at the two years since Sept. 11. In 2001, the Islamists killed thousands of Westerners in New York and Washington. In 2002, they killed hundreds of Westerners, but not in the West itself, only in jurisdictions such as Bali. In 2003, they killed dozens--not Westerners, but their co-religionists in Morocco and Saudi Arabia. The Bush cordon sanitaire has been drawn tighter and tighter. Meanwhile, the allegedly explosive Arab street has been quieter than a suburban cul-de-sac in Westchester County, and I wouldn't bet that blowing up fellow Muslims and destroying the Moroccan tourist industry and Saudi investment will do anything for the recruitment drive. All of this could be set back by a massive terrorist attack on the U.S. mainland, and if John Kerry's banking on disaster, that at least has a certain sick logic about it. But, if he genuinely believes that Bush's war is as disastrous as he says, he's flipped. Bush is doing what the lefties wanted: He's addressing the ''root causes''--by returning the cause to its roots, and fixing it at source.


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: marksteyn; niger; uranium; wmd
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1 posted on 07/22/2003 8:45:46 PM PDT by onyx
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To: onyx; Pokey78
Oh, thanks for posting this. A really good read!
2 posted on 07/22/2003 8:46:38 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: onyx; MJY1288; Miss Marple; William McKinley; backhoe; McGavin999; Amelia; justshe
Good read!
3 posted on 07/22/2003 8:47:42 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: onyx
Whoo HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
4 posted on 07/22/2003 8:47:48 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma (fREE rEPUBLIC iS nOT aDDICTIVE, fREE rEPUBLIC iS nOT aDDICTIVE, fREE rEPUBLIC iS nOT aDDICTIVE, fREE)
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To: PhiKapMom; Dog; Miss Marple; Howlin; MeeknMing; ALOHA RONNIE; Liz
Another blow to the democrats.
5 posted on 07/22/2003 8:48:00 PM PDT by onyx (Name an honest democrat? I can't either!)
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To: Paul Atreides
Ping to myself for later.
6 posted on 07/22/2003 8:51:40 PM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Howlin
Thanks for the ping!

Mark Steyn cuts thru the B.S. with precision again!
7 posted on 07/22/2003 8:51:53 PM PDT by justshe (Educate....not Denigrate !)
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To: onyx
He got the issue exactly right. The democrats are running around pretending that if the 16 words on African Uranium were inaccurate, the entire rationale for the war is gone! That's nuts. Fact is everyone was very focused on Iraqi chemical and biological capability. Nuclear was a distinct runner up, as in Sadaam Hussein had the money and desire to build a nuclear weapon some day, let's not wait until he does. No one was saying he had an atom bomb or anything like it. That was NOT the major rationale for he war.
8 posted on 07/22/2003 8:56:31 PM PDT by Williams
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To: onyx
So now Democratic candidates are carrying on like a bunch of African queens, pretending the entire war hinged on one footnote about some ramshackle French colonial basket-case.

Bwahahahahahaha!

9 posted on 07/22/2003 8:56:36 PM PDT by Carolina
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To: Brad's Gramma
YES!!! Whoooo hoooo! I laughed and laughed again imagining sending it to my favorite liberal. Oh, he'd wet his pants. He'd have a stroke. He'd die. I guess since I like him...hmmm.

Bill Clinton now agreeing with W, and the Dems are not even going to know what hit them.

"ROADKILL R US!"

10 posted on 07/22/2003 9:01:41 PM PDT by ChemistCat (Transformers look just as good by morning light as they did the night before.)
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To: Burkeman1
Maybe this will help, but I doubt it.
11 posted on 07/22/2003 9:03:06 PM PDT by Deb (Do these jeans make my tag look big?)
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To: onyx
Sometimes I don't like Steyn's work, but I do like this one...! Many good quotes, but I'll narrow it to the three best lines:

the Democrats smell blood and don't want to be told that it's their own... One reason why the president is all but certain to win re-election is the descent into madness of his opponents. They've let post-impeachment, post-chad-dangling bitterness unhinge them... So now Democratic candidates are carrying on like a bunch of African queens...

Right ON!!!!


12 posted on 07/22/2003 9:04:55 PM PDT by Capitalist Eric
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To: Treasa
fyi
13 posted on 07/22/2003 9:06:45 PM PDT by jla
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To: onyx
I want to hear more about Hillary Clinton drowning her newborn baby after she was informed that it had Down syndrome back in, oh, 1977.

Or, let's have the whole story about Terry McAuliffe's unhealthy fascination with young Asian boys, and his bizarre basement parties which feature Mexican-produced "snuff" pornography.

See? Anybody can come up with this stuff.
Hey, GOP....let's see some good TV ads.
14 posted on 07/22/2003 9:07:07 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Howlin
A really good read!

I agree Howlin.

It is so frustrating when a purely political crap throwing party like this occurs on the democrat side.

I spoke to a registered rat today about this and he apparently believes all the BS. he is not stupid, but is not a political student either. He does not realize that this is all election driven BS.

I am afraid that the sheeple just don't understand the motives and reality behind this charade.

This fact scares me to death and is the primary reason that Clinton got elected. It is just plain and simple political ignorance.

15 posted on 07/22/2003 9:08:30 PM PDT by Cold Heat (Negotiate!! .............(((Blam!.)))........... "Now who else wants to negotiate?")
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To: Deb
No- Not really- Steyn writes for the Weekly Standard which supported Clinton's Kosovo bombing and whose primary founder (Bill Kristol) threatened to go over to the Democrats if the GOP persisted in their anti Kosovo war rhetoric. He also supported Clinton's impeachment eve bombing of Iraq. "The Weekly Standard" has no credence with me. And anyone who ever wrote for them like Steyn is a liar in my book.
16 posted on 07/22/2003 9:09:26 PM PDT by Burkeman1 (If you see ten troubles comin down the road, Nine will run into the ditch before they reach you.)
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To: Burkeman1
I love Mark Steyn.I've not caught him lying.
17 posted on 07/22/2003 9:14:19 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: Williams
Fact is everyone was very focused on Iraqi chemical and biological capability. Nuclear was a distinct runner up, as in Sadaam Hussein had the money and desire to build a nuclear weapon some day, let's not wait until he does.

I have some knowledge of nuclear weapons. While a high-yield nuclear weapon yields high psychological (and the most destructive) impact, the development of high-yield weapons is a financial exercise requiring outrageous amounts of money, technical expertise, fissile material and time... All of these aspects are required, to develop even one nuclear warhead. Now, considering the enormous investment of resources required, even a bone-head like Saddam Hussein would never entrust someone else to deliver such a weapon within striking-range of the US (much less to a major U.S. city) because the probabilities of being caught with such a weapon are exceedingly high. Such a weapons program attracts a lot of attention, because certain materials- namely the Uranium or Plutonium needed to complete the bomb- are closely monitored world-wide. If non-enriched uranium was obtained, it would take billions of dollars to enrich it to a useful enrichment level to make even a moderately powerful bomb. Again, such efforts attract a great deal of attention. And finally, if such a weapon were developed from stolen uranium or plutonium, it's not terribly difficult to trace (from residue) the origin of the uranium- a very important clue for finding the perpetrator. All in all, an expensive, risky proposition, with a high probability of being caught.

Biological weapons, on the other hand, are more effective from a psychological standpoint- a victim could be contaminated, and spread the wealth to many others before they finally expire from the contamination... Such weapons are cheap and easily made. More, their development is relatively easy to hide. If a good dispersal agent can be used...? Then their "bang for the buck," if you'll excuse the pun, is far greater than a nuke, without the inherent risks of detection...

Consider, for example, a biological weapon could conceivably be inside a bottle of gatorade, taken onboard a plane as carry-on luggage, and flown to a major city without so much as a second glance by security... Drop it into a water-supply, or ventilation system of a skyscraper...? And you won't know what happened until after some of the victims have died...

That is the scary thing...

Knowing what I do know about nuclear weapons, it was never a real concern... The real thing that worried me (and still does) is the biological... Because for this, there's no protection... Except to kill the bad guys on their own turf.

Be well...

18 posted on 07/22/2003 9:25:04 PM PDT by Capitalist Eric
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To: Williams
We can't just sit here and wait for another attack with thousands or more lives lost without doing everything we can to prevent it. Had more been done before 911 it might not have taken place. Water under the bridge now so to speak, but that does not mean that we coddle terrorists until they blow up a few buildings or who knows what else.
The President and his administration believe we will be hit again. That is why he is so focused on doing all he can to root out all of the terrorists and their state sponsors that he possibly can. Saddam was really first on the list. Thank God President Bush takes his oath of office so seriously.
19 posted on 07/22/2003 9:25:04 PM PDT by ladyinred (The left have blood on their hands.)
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To: Williams
I like your reasoning!
20 posted on 07/22/2003 9:25:37 PM PDT by onyx (Name an honest democrat? I can't either!)
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