Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"Now there are some who would like to rewrite history---revisionist historians is what I like to call them."

Josh Marshall points out a whopper. In the midst of a blistering exchange with a relentless Helen Thomas, we receive a lesson in "truthiness" from President Bush. (hat tip, Steven Colbert).

Basically, it seems that we went to war because President Bush didn't read any of the newspapers or watch any of the TV showing weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq. Or, all of that video of them being forced to leave due to the fact that we were invading. Or the pleas to let them continue working.

Ridiculous:

I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences ... and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.

As Josh notes:
Of course, that's not what happened. We were there. We remember. It wasn't a century ago. We got the resolution passed. Saddam called our bluff and allowed the inspectors in. President Bush pressed ahead with the invasion.

Indeed, there is a historical record, available on "the internets" (hat tip, Bush):
• U.N. personnel, including about 60 weapons inspectors, 75 support staff and nearly 200 humanitarian workers, began leaving Iraq early Tuesday.

. . .

• An Arab League ambassador said, "It's a very grave day. This is the day that international law has been shoveled away. War will not solve this problem. Unfortunately those who are going to war will find it will be very difficult to get out of it."

• U.N. Security Council members France, Russia, China and Germany are among the nations that insist Iraq can be disarmed peacefully. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, speaking to Europe 1 radio, said: "One country can win a war, but it takes more than one country to win peace." (Full story) Russian President Vladimir Putin said a possible war in Iraq would be "a mistake fraught with the gravest consequences which may result in casualties and destabilize the international situation in general." Li Zhaoxing, the Chinese foreign minister, said, "We appeal for a political settlement to the Iraq question within the framework of the United Nations and urge all efforts to avoid war."

• U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan reiterated his stance that, should military action occur in the region without the blessing of the world body, "its legitimacy would be questioned."

• The 15-member U.N. Security Council met Monday behind closed doors, after which council President Mamady Traore said members decided to return Wednesday morning to discuss the weapons inspectors' work program, even though they are being withdrawn from Iraq.

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