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Is Obama Doing with Iran What Bush Did with Iraq?

Ten years after the Iraq debacle, are we -- mind-bogglingly -- headed to war with Iran? Signs increasingly point to yes.
 
 
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A gold star if you can guess who made the following four statements without clicking on the links. Hint: Two were by an aggressive, hawkish, Republican, one of which was famously said over 10 years ago. Two others are by the more erudite, constitutionally savvy, liberal, moderate, current president. You remember him: He’s the one  Hillary Clinton taunted in 2008 as not being tough enough to  answer the phone at 3 a.m. At this point, it’s safe to say that we no longer need to worry about that.

1) “I have made the position of the United States of America clear:  Iran must not get a nuclear weapon. This is not a danger that can be contained. As President, I have said to the world that all options are on the table for achieving our objectives. America will do what we must to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”

2) “One thing is certain. The  United States should never allow Iran to threaten the world with a nuclear bomb.”

3) “ Indeed, the entire world has an interest in preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.  A nuclear-armed Iran would thoroughly undermine the non-proliferation regime that we’ve done so much to build. There are risks that an Iranian nuclear weapon could fall into the hands of a terrorist organization. It is almost certain that others in the region would feel compelled to get their own nuclear weapon, triggering an arms race in one of the world’s most volatile regions. It would embolden a regime that has brutalized its own people, and it would embolden Iran’s proxies, who have carried out terrorist attacks from the Levant to southwest Asia.”

4) “Iran  aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.”

The rumblings of invading and “punishing” Iran have been in existence at least since President G.W. Bush’s famous 2002 “We Will Save the World From the Bad Guys”  speech, which framed American foreign policy objectives for the foreseeable future. After confirming the U.S. “partnership with Afghanistan” to fight the terrorists, he named future conquests (in reverse chronological order?):

North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.

Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people’s hope for freedom.

Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax and nerve gas and nuclear weapons for over a decade. This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens, leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children. This is a regime that agreed to international inspections then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an  axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.

We will work closely with our coalition to deny terrorists and their state sponsors the materials, technology and expertise to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction.

Bush’s speech was untroubled by facts, including those so meticulously gathered by Hans Blix, the United Nations’ chief weapons inspector, who searched for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) all over Iraq, and found virtually nothing of note. Blix, as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency from 1981 to 1997, knew whereof he spoke. As he  said in a 2004 interview about the invasion of Iraq:

 
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