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February 15, 2016

Buzzfeed: Trump Wrote of Threat Posed by Iraq WMDs in 2000; There Is No Contemporaneous Evidence That Trump Opposed Iraq War Before 2004

Say what you want about Buzzfeed (and I'll join you), but a quote from one of Trump's own books is pretty solid.

So is the absolute lack of evidence of Trump's opposition to Iraq before 2004. We all "know" he opposed the Iraq War before it began because he keeps telling us so, now; but no one has actually been able to locate a quote of his, from the critical period of 2002-2004, when he actually said so at the time.

Here's what Trump wrote (or Trump's ghostwriter wrote) in 2000's The America We Deserve.

Consider Iraq. After each pounding from U.S . warplanes, Iraq has dusted itself off and gone right back to work developing a nuclear arsenal. Six years of tough talk and U.S. fireworks in Baghdad have done little to slow Iraq's crash program to become a nuclear power. The'íve got missiles capable of flying nine hundred kilometers--more than enough to reach Tel Aviv. They've got enriched uranium. All they need is the material for nuclear fission to complete the job, and, according to the Rumsfeld report, we donít even know for sure if theyíve laid their hands on that yet. Thatís what our last aerial assault on Iraq in 1999 was about. Saddam Hussein wouldnít let UN weapons inspectors examine certain sites where that material might be stored. The result when our bombing was over? We still donít know what Iraq is up to or whether it has the material to build nuclear weapons. I'm no warmonger. But the fact is, if we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion. When we don't, we have the worst of all worlds: Iraq remains a threat, and now has more incentive than ever to attack us.

This was during the period when Clinton was conducting what was derided as "maintenance bombing" on Iraq, bombing a site here or there. Many people, including myself, found this unsatisfactory; we didn't want to just maintenance-bomb him forever. We saw him as a threat, and thought if he was a threat, he should be put out of power.

Apparently Trump agreed in 2000.

Now, one could say "Well, they lied to Trump, too."

Well you could say that. Until you realize that Trump was writing before Bush was president, so, I have to insist once again: It was not Bush that lied. It was conventional wisdom under Clinton that Saddam Hussein had WMDs. Clinton said so himself in the run-up to the War in Iraq, and that's why his wife voted in favor of it.

We've been through all this. Every single person here has. Every single person here knows that the reason we all thought Saddam Hussein had WMDs is that we heard it from four different presidents, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and then Bush the Younger, and in fact we know he actually used them during Reagan's term (against Iran) and the Elder Bush's term (against his own people, or, rather, the Kurds, whom he ruled, but considered to be subhuman).

There was a 60 Minutes episode about the after-effects of a Hussein bombing of a Kurdish town with VX nerve agent. It was pretty horrifying to see young men, hopping around, palsied, scorched by permanent nerve damage, now turned into shambling, quivering spastics by Hussein's VX.

For life. For life. This was years after the actual attack. This wasn't something that was going away after a period of healing.

The idea that Bush schemed with neo-cons to lie is... Lord we used to be smarter than this. Are we really now adopting the 2003 MoveOn.org theory of the war?

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posted by Ace at 04:27 PM

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