First, let me say that I like George W. Bush. I did not agree with all his policies or decisions, but I believe him to be an honest and honorable man.
The Iraq incursion was the defining moment of Bush’s administration. Most Americans supported that action at the time, including leaders of both political parties. Since then, most have turned against it and condemn it. They also condemn President Bush.
I have very serious criticisms of the way we waged the Iraq War, but I certainly understand why Bush forged a coalition and started the conflict. Sadaam Hussein continuously violated provisions of the peace agreement ending the First Iraq War, and he was forever spewing vile threats against the United States and its allies. Of far greater concern, however, was the belief of American, British, and Israeli intelligence experts that Sadaam was building a huge stockpile of biological and chemical weapons with which to overwhelm the Middle East and threaten the United States. He was also thought to be well on his way to constructing a nuclear bomb.
George Tenet was the highly respected chief of the CIA in 2003. He had been appointed by President Clinton in 1997, and he continued to serve under President Bush. Tenet was convinced that Hussein had developed a massive inventory of biochemical weapons, possibly had a nuclear device, and every day posed a greater threat to the United States. Many foreign intelligence agencies appeared to agree with Tenet’s assessment. Only after the invasion did we learn that the intelligence experts were wrong.
If you had been President in early 2003, what would you have done in response to the intelligence that was being fed to you?
When you hear people criticizing Bush’s decision, ask them what they would have done.