by Alan Simpson
to Intel Briefing
letter crossed my desk this morning, and does beg an answer:
Bush and His 10 Ever-Changing Different Positions on Iraq: "A flip
and a flop and now just a flop."
Wednesday 22 September 2004
Dear Mr. Bush,
I am so confused. Where exactly do you stand on the issue of Iraq?
You, your Dad, Rummy, Condi, Colin, and Wolfie -- you have all changed
your minds so many times, I am out of breath just trying to keep up with
Which of these 10 positions that you, your family and your cabinet have
taken over the years represents your current thinking:
1983-88: WE LOVE SADDAM.
On December 19, 1983, Donald Rumsfeld was sent by your dad
and Mr. Reagan to go and have a friendly meeting with Saddam Hussein,
the dictator of Iraq. Rummy looked so happy in the picture. Just twelve
days after this visit, Saddam gassed thousands of Iranian troops. Your
dad and Rummy seemed pretty happy with the results because 'The Donald
R.' went back to have another chummy hang-out with Saddam's right-hand
man, Tariq Aziz, just four months later. All of this resulted in the U.S.
providing credits and loans to Iraq that enabled Saddam to buy billions
of dollars worth of weapons and chemical agents. The Washington Post reported
that your dad and Reagan let it be known to their Arab allies that the
Reagan/Bush administration wanted Iraq to win its war with Iran and anyone
who helped Saddam accomplish this was a friend of ours.
1990: WE HATE SADDAM.
In 1990, when Saddam invaded Kuwait, your dad and his defense
secretary, Dick Cheney, decided they didn't like Saddam anymore so they
attacked Iraq and returned Kuwait to its rightful dictators.
1991: WE WANT SADDAM TO LIVE.
After the war, your dad and Cheney and Colin Powell told the
Shiites to rise up against Saddam and we would support them. So they rose
up. But then we changed our minds. When the Shiites rose up against Saddam,
the Bush inner circle changed its mind and decided NOT to help the Shiites.
Thus, they were massacred by Saddam.
1998: WE WANT SADDAM TO DIE.
In 1998, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and others, as part of the Project
for the New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Clinton
insisting he invade and topple Saddam Hussein.
2000: WE DON'T BELIEVE IN WAR AND NATION BUILDING.
Just three years later, during your debate with Al Gore in the 2000 election,
when asked by the moderator Jim Lehrer where you stood when it came to
using force for regime change, you turned out to be a downright pacifist:
"I--I would take the use of force very seriously. I would
be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people
in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our
troops. The vice president [Al Gore] and I have a disagreement about the
use of troops. He believes in nation building. I--I would be very careful
about using our troops as nation builders. I believe the role of the military
is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in
the first place. And so I take my--I take my--my responsibility seriously."
- October 3, 2000
2001 (early): WE DON'T BELIEVE SADDAM IS A THREAT.
When you took office in 2001, you sent your Secretary of State, Colin
Powell, and your National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, in front
of the cameras to assure the American people they need not worry about
Saddam Hussein. Here is what they said:
Powell: "We should constantly be reviewing our policies,
constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they have directed
that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was 10
years ago when we began it. And frankly, they have worked. He has not
developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction.
He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."
--February 24, 2001
Rice: "But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember
that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern
part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces
have not been rebuilt." --July 29, 2001
2001 (late): WE BELIEVE SADDAM IS GOING TO KILL US!
Just a few months later, in the hours and days after the 9/11 tragedy,
you had no interest in going after Osama bin Laden. You wanted only to
bomb Iraq and kill Saddam and you then told all of America we were under
imminent threat because weapons of mass destruction were coming our way.
You led the American people to believe that Saddam had something to do
with Osama and 9/11. Without the UN's sanction, you broke international
law and invaded Iraq.
2003: WE DON'T BELIEVE SADDAM IS GOING TO KILL US.
After no WMDs were found, you changed your mind about why
you said we needed to invade, coming up with a brand new after-the-fact
reason -- we started this war so we could have regime change, liberate
Iraq and give the Iraqis democracy!
2003: "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"
Yes, everyone saw you say it -- in costume, no less!
2004: OOPS. MISSION NOT ACCOMPLISHED!
Now you call the Iraq invasion a "catastrophic success." That's
what you called it this month. Over a thousand U.S. soldiers have died,
Iraq is in a state of total chaos where no one is safe, and you have no
clue how to get us out of there.
Mr. Bush, please tell us -- when will you change your mind again?
I know you hate the words "flip" and "flop,"
so I won't use them both on you. In fact, I'll use just one: Flop. That
is what you are. A huge, colossal flop. The war is a flop, your advisors
and the "intelligence" they gave you is a flop, and now we are
all a flop to the rest of the world. Flop. Flop. Flop.
And you have the audacity to criticize John Kerry with what you
call the "many positions" he has taken on Iraq. By my count,
he has taken only one: He believed you. That was his position. You told
him and the rest of congress that Saddam had WMDs. So he -- and the vast
majority of Americans, even those who didn't vote for you -- believed
you. You see, Americans, like John Kerry, want to live in a country where
they can believe their president.
That was the one, single position John Kerry took. He didn't support the
war, he supported YOU. And YOU let him and this great country down. And
that is why tens of millions can't wait to get to the polls on Election
Day -- to remove a major, catastrophic flop from our dear, beloved White
House -- to stop all the flipping you and your men have done, flipping
us and the rest of the world off.
We can't take another minute of it.
the media be asking these questions?