July 24, 2015
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(ANTIMEDIA) In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Pittsburgh, President Obama cast critics of the recent nuclear agreement with Iran as the same people who rushed the U.S. to war with Iraq, a move that had disastrous consequences. As Politico reported, Obama said that:
“Some of the same politicians and pundits that are so quick to reject the possibility of a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program are the same folks who were so quick to go to war in Iraq and said it would take a few months…We know the consequences of that choice, and what it cost us in blood and treasure. So I believe there’s a smarter, more responsible way to protect our national security…Instead of chest-beating that rejects the idea of even talking to our adversaries, which sometimes sounds good in sound bites but accomplishes nothing, we’re seeing that strong and principled diplomacy can give hope of actually resolving a problem peacefully.”
The president is perfectly correct on this issue. Those who decry the Iran nuclear deal are indeed the same people who cheered the U.S. into war with Iraq. The war was a strategic blunder that the U.S. and the Middle East continues to pay for today.
The biggest cheerleader for war with Iraq was neoconservative magazine, The Weekly Standard. As early as April 29, 2002, it reported the following: “Saddam has been moving ahead into a new era, a new age of horrors where terrorists don’t commandeer jumbo jets and fly them into our skyscrapers. They plant nuclear bombs in our cities.” We now know that none of that was correct. As Bush admitted on national television on February 7, 2004, Iraq had no WMDs.
The same co-author of 2002 article recently published another piece condemning the nuclear agreement with Iran. As William Kristol—the magazine’s editor—wrote, “Barack Obama has chosen dishonor. If his choice is ratified by Congress, the United States will have chosen dishonor. We are also more likely to have war than if we were simply to leave in place the sanctions regime and various diplomatic, economic, political, and sabotage efforts against the Iranian regime. National dishonor and an unnecessary risk of war.”
Another architect of the U.S. invasion of Iraq was Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz. In a 2003 testimony before a House subcommittee in Congress he said the following: “There is a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be US taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people. We are talking about a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”
His prediction of Iraqi assets paying for war and reconstruction turned out to be totally wrong. According to economists Joseph E. Stiglitz and Linda J. Bilmes, the cost of the war could be as high as $3 trillion to the U.S. The Bush administration estimated the cost to be $50-60 billion.
The same Paul Wolfowitz is now telling us that no deal is better than a bad deal, which he evidently believes the current deal to be. This comes from a man who was part of an administration that got the cost of the Iraq War monumentally wrong.
Another war hawk who was brutally incorrect on the Iraq War is Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In 2002, he testified to a congressional committee between his stints as Israeli Prime Minister, billed a “foreign policy expert.” In his testimony, he said, “…there is no question whatsoever that Saddam is seeking and is working and is advancing toward the development of nuclear weapons — no question whatsoever…Saddam is hell-bent on achieving nuclear capabilities as soon as he can.”
As we now know, not a word of what Netanyahu uttered was correct. As the 2006 Senate Intelligence Committee Report noted—start reading on page 52 for the conclusions— Iraq was not working on nuclear weapons and Saddam was not hell-bent on achieving nuclear capabilities.
Today, Netanyahu is leading the charge against the nuclear deal with Iran, calling it “a bad mistake of historic proportions.” This is the same person who in 2002 wrongly accused Iraq of building a nuclear weapon and heavily lobbied the U.S. Congress to use force against Iraq. In his testimony before Congress, he said,”If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region.” He was wrong then—and he is wrong now.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney also condemned the U.S. nuclear deal with Iran. As Politico reported, he said,
“What Obama has done has, in effect, sanctioned the acquisition by Iran of nuclear capability. And it can be a few years down the road. It doesn’t make any difference. It’s a matter of months until we’re going to see a situation where other people feel they have to defend themselves by acquiring their own capability…and that will, in fact, I think put us closer to use — actual use of nuclear weapons than we’ve been at any time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II.”
Once again, this is the same Dick Cheney who stated on September 14, 2003 that U.S. soldiers invading Iraq would be “greeted as liberators.” 4,493 American dead soldiers and more than 100,00 American wounded soldiers later, this statement could not be more inaccurate.
Further, Cheney also said that Saddam was pursuing chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons. In an interview with CNN on March 24, 2002 he said,
“The issue is that he has chemical weapons…The issue is that he’s developing and has biological weapons. The issue is that he’s pursuing nuclear weapons.”
As noted by the September 2006 Senate Intelligence Committee report, all of Cheney’s assertions were wrong. Iraq did not have functional chemical weapons, it was not developing biological weapons, and it was not pursuing nuclear weapons.
Former President George Bush also joined in criticizing the current Iran nuclear deal. As the New York Times reported,
“Mr. Bush voiced skepticism about the Obama administration’s pursuit of a nuclear deal with Iran…Mr. Bush questioned whether it was wise to lift sanctions against Tehran when the Islamic government seemed to be caving in, and suggested that the United States risked losing leverage if it did so.”
Lest we forget, this is the president who stood in the General Assembly of the United Nations and flat out lied about Iraq using aluminium tubes to enrich uranium in order to build a nuclear weapon. It turned out that the aluminium tubes were not fit to be used as centrifuges to enrich uranium and Iraq was not building a nuclear weapon.
Former Defense Secretary in the Bush Administration Donald Rumsfeld was also a critic of the Iran nuclear deal even though he admitted to not reading the actual document. As the Las Vegas Journal-Review reported,
“he said the lifting of sanctions would free up billions of dollars for terrorism around the world, given Iran‘s role as a leading state sponsor of terrorism. Meanwhile, he said, the standard for inspections of Iranian nuclear sites aren‘t tight enough to avoid cheating by Tehran.”
Back in September 18, 2002, Rumsfeld testified before Congress saying,
“His regime has an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons…But we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons. They’re simpler to deliver and even more readily transferred to terrorist networks, who could allow Iraq to deliver them without Iraq’s fingerprints.”
In a radio interview on November 15, 2002, Donald Rumsfeld opined on how long the Iraq war would last. He said: “The idea that it’s going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990. Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that.”
Donald Rumsfeld was of course wrong. Iraq did not have an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons and did not have biological weapons. This was clearly outlined in the 2006 Senate Intelligence Committee report conclusion 1 (page 52) and conclusion 4 (page 54). It was also the finding of the Iraq Survey Group inspectors who searched for WMDs in post-invasion Iraq. Furthermore, the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq lasted until December 2011 when president Obama withdrew all U.S. troops from Iraq.
The American public has a very short attention span. Because of that, it seldom asks a vital question: If William Kristol and the Weekly Standard, former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former President Bush, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld were so wrong about the invasion of Iraq in 2003, why should any American listen to them about the Iran nuclear deal in 2015?
This article (Here Are the Liars That Want War With Iran) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Naji Dahi and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email email@example.com.
Naji Dahi joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in June of 2015. His topics of interest include American politics, Middle East politics, foreign policy, electric cars, electric gadgets, and yoga. Born in Syria, he currently resides in Long Beach, California. Learn more about Dahi here!