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The War of Words

Members of the Kerry-Edwards campaign are reportedly frustrated by their inability to score points on the Iraq war issue with voters. This according to the New York Times, the newspaper of record, so it must be true.
See? I get my points made for me. I write about our need to focus solely on the issues to claim victory and the liberals immediately start complaining about their inability to win on the issues.
The problem with the Kerry-Edwards team is that, in an age when every public statement is recorded for perpetuity, their waffling is coming back to bite them. Vietnam, social issues, economic issues, even Iraq. Whatever the issue, they say something one day and then say the opposite the next.
Eventually, it comes back to bite you in the behind.
Liberals still like to say that the war in Iraq was a false war, a war waged under false pretenses, and that President Bush lied to us about the weapons of mass destruction so that they would be suckered into voting for it. The problem with that argument, however, is that liberals were the first ones to bring up the issue of WMDs in Iraq.
Here are some quotes that were conveniently relayed to me yesterday:

“One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”

— President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

“If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”

— President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

“Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”

— Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Feb. 18, 1998
“He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has 10 times since 1983.”
— Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb. 18, 1998
“We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
— Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI),Tom Daschle (D-SD), John Kerry (D-MA) and others, Oct. 9,1998
“Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
— Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Dec. 16, 1998
“Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”
— Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999
Are you starting to get the point yet? Long before the September 11 terrorist attacks, liberal Democrats were trumpeting the charge for war to rid Iraq, not of its despotic leader Saddam Hussein, but of its weapons of mass destruction program.
There are still more quotes, though:
“There is no doubt that… Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. Inaddition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of alicit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.”
— Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) and others, Dec. 5, 2001
“We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandated of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.”
— Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Sept. 19, 2002
“We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”
— Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
“Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
— Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
“We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”
— Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Sept. 27, 2002
“The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…”
— Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), Oct. 3, 2002
“I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in hishands is a real and grave threat to our security.”
— Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA), Oct. 9, 2002
“There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”
— Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Oct. 10, 2002
“He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do”
— Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), Oct. 10, 2002
“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members… It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons”
— Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Oct. 10, 2002
“We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.”
— Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL), Dec. 8, 2002
“Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime… He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation… And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction… So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of massdestruction is real”
— Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA), Jan. 23, 2003