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'Bush-Haters:' Mistaken Or Lying?

Bush loyalists continue to point to Bush-haters' accusations of WMD 'lies' as evidence of their hate.
 
 
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Bush-haters: neo-conservative put-down of patriotic critics of the current administration's policy decisions. The usage of the term says more about the sensitivity of our fellow citizens who lob it like a grenade whenever legitimate dissent is raised than it does about the dissenter.

Example: The neocon reaction to the reality-based comments uttered by ''Bush-haters'' at the Coretta Scott King funeral.

Here's a woman who was home with the four children she practically raised by herself when it was bombed by truly hateful people; a woman who replaced her husband's front-line marching position within days after he was assassinated; a woman who, along with her husband (America's greatest apostle of nonviolence) was spied on by her own government, which led to the FISA Act the Bush administration now says is irrelevant because they say so.

Coretta institutionalized the nonviolent legacy of a preacher whose desire to be Christ-like led him to raise his voice in objection to the machinations of the military-industrial complex. I can't think of a more fitting place to speak truth to power than Coretta's funeral.

Mistaken intelligence: Fabricated intelligence used as a false pretext for ''preemptive'' invasion.

Bush loyalists continue to point to ''Bush-haters'' accusations of WMD ''lies'' as evidence of their hate. After all, ''everyone,'' including Democrats, believed Saddam had WMD.

Let's go over this again. When UNSCOM, the first weapons inspection team in Iraq (1991-98), realized that Iraqi officials had been lying about its weapons program, former UNSCOM Chief Inspector Scott Ritter was the expert they called in to find what Saddam was hiding, and where, and then to destroy it. I interviewed Ritter several times three years before the U.S. invasion.

''I bear personal witness through seven years as a chief weapons inspector in Iraq to both the scope of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs and the effectiveness of the U.N. weapons inspectors in ultimately eliminating them,'' Ritter explained, adding that given the lack of infrastructure in Iraq after the Gulf War, coupled with the sanctions, it was impossible for Iraq to reconstitute a viable WMD program from 1998 forward.

By the time UNSCOM ended its work in 1998, it had stripped Iraq of 90 to 95 percent of its WMD. The missing 5 to 10 percent, Ritter said, was likely destroyed in the 1991 Gulf War, making 100 percent quantitative compliance with the U.N. disarmament mandate an impossible benchmark.

''A lot of information we were given was provided to us by the Americans. It was either out of date, incorrect or it was completely false and designed to take us down the wrong path,'' explained Australian UNSCOM inspector Roger Hill.

Ritter, a former Marine captain and Republican who voted for Bush in 2000, resigned in frustration, and when he traveled the country trying to educate the public, the ''liberal'' media paid more attention to the neocons trying to discredit him; ignoring what he was actually saying.

When I first started writing about this, even Democrats were saying I had been duped, which is why I have long considered the Democratic and Republican parties to be mere factions of a single party.

Now that we know Ritter was exactly right, honesty compels us to reach one of two conclusions: either the Bush administration didn't want to hear the truth or they didn't have the intelligence to call in real experts. Either way, it doesn't inspire much confidence and is one of many reasons why America has no credibility in the world today.

To say that ''everyone'' was ''mistaken'' is a dishonest denial of the historical record. And calling someone a ''hater'' for speaking the truth is like accusing a parent of hating their children for calling out misbehavior. Just plain ridiculous.

Sean Gonsalves is a Cape Cod Times staff reporter and a syndicated columnist.