But what about the claims that General Zinni has made? Is it true that, as he says, there was no real reason to go to war with Iraq? Hmm, let's see what he had to say before the Senate Armed Services Committee in February 2000, 11 months before President Bush took office:
• Iraq remains the most significant near-term threat to U.S. interests in the Arabian Gulf region. This is primarily due to its large conventional military force, pursuit of WMD [emphasis added], oppressive treatment of Iraqi citizens, refusal to comply with United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) …
• Despite claims that WMD efforts have ceased, Iraq probably is continuing clandestine nuclear research, retains stocks of chemical and biological munitions, … Even if Baghdad reversed its course and surrendered all WMD capabilities, it retains the scientific, technical, and industrial infrastructure to replace agents and munitions within weeks or months. [Emphasis added]
• The Iraqi regime’s high regard for WMD and long-range missiles is our best indicator that a peaceful regime under Saddam Hussein is unlikely.
• … extremists may turn to WMD in an effort to …overcome improved U.S. defenses against conventional attack. Detecting plans for a specific WMD attack is extremely difficult, making it likely such an event would occur without warning. [Emphasis added]
Lefties won't mind the inconsistency. To them, inconsistency isn't a bug, it's a feature!