Bush Hoping for Mass Amnesia
by Doug Bandow
Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, is the author of Tripwire: Korea and U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changed World.
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton's commitment to doing the popular thing politically was legendary. He has met his match, however. If anything, President George W. Bush is even more devoted to turning everything to his political advantage.
The day after former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein appeared in the dock in Baghdad, a story appeared in the Washington Times headlined "Bush Backers See Trial Taking Focus Off WMDs (weapons of mass destruction)." White House spokesman Scott McClellan and Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman both publicly pointed to Hussein's brutality. One unnamed source told the newspaper: "Put aside the WMDs, and go look at the mass graves."
The Bush administration's strategy is clear: After taking the United States into war based on a lie, get Americans to forget the lie. Playing the humanitarian card just won't do. The administration was blissfully unconcerned about mass graves before 9/11. There were no plans to oust Hussein and end his tyranny even as his security forces continued to arrest, torture, and murder people.
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