Friday, January 21, 2005

It was all about the WMD stockpile?

The smirking continues about our not finding a stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Attempting to psychoanalyze Bush voters, Atrios says:
We went to war with Iraq because they had weapons of mass destruction. In the aftermath of 9/11 a lot of otherwise semi-sensible people were too easily led down the path of supporting the endeavor. When weapons were not found, ex post it became a humanitarian mission about spreading freeance.
As I documented earlier, the administration was clear that there were many reasons for removing Saddam by force in addition to an Iraqi WMD stockpile.

Now, let's take a look at why Congress authorized force. The resolution passed by both houses was H. J. Res. 114, Joint Resolution To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq. The resolution contains 23 "Wheras" paragraphs. In a Congressional resolution, the "Wheras" paragraphs supply historical background and reasoning behind the resolution. In HJ Res 114, the "Wheras" paragraphs break down as follows (sum exceeds 23 since some paragraphs have multiple categories):
  • 12 General information or history (Kuwait invasion/liberation, 9/11 attacks, etc.)
  • 6 Previous acts of Congress (most double categorized as historical)
  • 5 Findings of Iraq's support for or harboring of terrorists
  • 3 Findings of Iraqi violations of cease fire agreements or UN Security Council Resolutions, many of which were concerned with humanitarian issues
  • 3 Findings of Iraqi WMD use or capability (but not currently existing stockpiles of WMDs), all of which were combined with concerns about Iraq's connection to terrorists
  • 1 Mention of direct Iraqi attacks on American and Coalition forces enforcing UN-mandated no-fly zones
  • 1 Finding that Iraq posessed a stockpile of WMDs
Yes, the stockpile justification got the most airtime in the media, especially when the stockpile didn't turn up right away after the war. But it was hardly the only reason. And humanitarian concerns were hardly added "ex post."

Some of our friends on the left are fond of calling themselves members of the "reality-based community" (a snark at President Bush's Faith-Based Community Initiatives). But one wonders how they can be "reality-based" when they are so unfamiliar with the record?

(To find lots more information about the resolution, go to the Library of Congress Thomas Search page, select the Summary and Bill Number radio buttons, type "hj res 114 eh" in the search box, select 107th Congress and click Search.)