Has Bill Clinton gone mad?

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chemisttree
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Bill Clinton’s remarks this week in Iowa are at odds with reality. It is such an easy thing to check, one has to ask “Why are you telling this obvious lie?”

The lie:
"Even though I approved of Afghanistan and opposed Iraq from the beginning, I still resent that I was not asked or given the opportunity to support those soldiers."
The truth:
"I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over," Clinton said in a Time magazine interview that will hit newsstands Monday, a day before the publication of his book "My Life."
Clinton, who was interviewed Thursday, said he did not believe that Bush went to war in Iraq over oil or for imperialist reasons but out of a genuine belief that large quantities of weapons of mass destruction remained unaccounted for.
Noting that Bush had to be "reeling" in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush's first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining "chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material."
"That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for," Clinton said in reference to Iraq and the fact that U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in 1998.
"So I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, 'Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.' You couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks," Clinton said.
http://edition.cnn.com/2004/US/06/19/clinton.iraq/index.html
The ”[PLAIN]http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101040628-655388,00.html”[/URL] [Broken]
You know, I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over. I don't believe he went in there for oil. We didn't go in there for imperialist or financial reasons. We went in there because he bought the Wolfowitz-Cheney analysis that the Iraqis would be better off, we could shake up the authoritarian Arab regimes in the Middle East, and our leverage to make peace between the Palestinians and Israelis would be increased.
At the moment the U.N. inspectors were kicked out in '98, this is the proper language: there were substantial quantities of botulinum and aflatoxin, as I recall, some bioagents, I believe there were those, and VX and ricin, chemical agents, unaccounted for. Keep in mind, that's all we ever had to work on. We also thought there were a few missiles, some warheads, and maybe a very limited amount of nuclear laboratory capacity.
After 9/11, let's be fair here, if you had been President, you'd think, Well, this fellow bin Laden just turned these three airplanes full of fuel into weapons of mass destruction, right? Arguably they were super-powerful chemical weapons. Think about it that way. So, you're sitting there as President, you're reeling in the aftermath of this, so, yeah, you want to go get bin Laden and do Afghanistan and all that. But you also have to say, Well, my first responsibility now is to try everything possible to make sure that this terrorist network and other terrorist networks cannot reach chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material. I've got to do that.
That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for. So I thought the President had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, "Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process." You couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks. I never really thought he'd [use them]. What I was far more worried about was that he'd sell this stuff or give it away. Same thing I've always been worried about North Korea's nuclear and missile capacity. I don't expect North Korea to bomb South Korea, because they know it would be the end of their country. But if you can't feed yourself, the temptation to sell this stuff is overwhelming. So that's why I thought Bush did the right thing to go back. When you're the President, and your country has just been through what we had, you want everything to be accounted for.
He even contradicts himself in the same interview! (We went in there because He bought the Wolfowitz-Cheney analysis…” vs. “You couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks.”)
Well, this coming from Bill Clinton’s mouth, perhaps ‘truth’ is too strong a word…
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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By the Iraq thing I take it to mean all the pressure to get the inspectors back in (including UN and Congressional resolutions) and does not refer to Bush pulling the inspectors so he could attack without any proof of WMD's.

Just my take, what do you think?

Some fine lines being drawn here, might have to put on those reading glasses.
 
  • #3
chemisttree
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By the Iraq thing I take it to mean all the pressure to get the inspectors back in (including UN and Congressional resolutions) and does not refer to Bush pulling the inspectors so he could attack without any proof of WMD's.

Just my take, what do you think?
Are you serious? Do you think he is referring to inspectors?
Even if he is, he contradicted that statement as well!
 
  • #4
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I added some brackets (like this) to clarify how I've read what Bill said.

Bill Quote:
"So I (Bill) thought the president (GWB) had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, 'Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.'

Bill Quote:
I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over

Bill Quote:
That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for. So I thought the President had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say,

Bill Quote:
So that's why I thought Bush did the right thing to go back (to inspections). When you're the President, and your country has just been through what we had, you want everything (WMD's) to be accounted for.

They didn't call him slick Willy for nothing.:cool:
 
  • #5
russ_watters
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Bill Clinton hasn't gone mad, he's just a politician. I honestly believe that successful politicians play both sides so much that they honestly don't know what their own opinions are. And Clinton was a highly successful politician.
 
  • #6
Astronuc
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Bill Clinton hasn't gone mad, he's just a politician. I honestly believe that successful politicians play both sides so much that they honestly don't know what their own opinions are. And Clinton was a highly successful politician.
I would agree that Clinton is a master of duplicity.
 
  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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I would agree that Clinton is a master of duplicity.
That depends on what you mean by "is".
 
  • #8
drankin
I would agree that Clinton is a master of duplicity.
Yep, he's a master... something. I think he'd have done equally well as car salesman.
 
  • #9
turbo
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Clinton will be remembered as one of our most intelligent presidents, though certainly not the smartest. There IS a difference.
 
  • #10
Ivan Seeking
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Clinton will be remembered as one of our most intelligent presidents, though certainly not the smartest. There IS a difference.
He will certainly be remembered for his intellect and popularity, globally. It is really too bad that he couldn't keep his zipper up... or really that he didn't just fess-up and deal with it. He could have been great.

Alan Greenspan said recently that Clinton was one of the only people [politicians?] that he ever met who could not only keep up with him, but could even get ahead of him at times.
 
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