... democracy is unfolding. And the reason why that's important is, is that we've had a -- we had a policy that just said, let the dictator stay there, don't worry about it.Lie #1: This is the most flagrant of the two Bush lies -- that the policy that preceeded Bush's "just said, let [Saddam] stay there ..." And Bush knows it's a lie.
In late 2003, a Newsweek article reported that after Clinton signed the Iraqi Liberation Act into law, the U.S. government "convened a conference with the [Iraqi National Congress] and other opposition groups in London to discuss 'regime change."
Even the ultra-conservative web portal NewsMax.com would have to agree that Bush is not telling the truth. In 2004, referring to a Wall Street Journal article on Clinton administration policy toward Iraq, NewsMax.com wrote, "What the Journal didn't note was how bold Clinton officials were about their plans to topple Saddam. "
... as a result of dictatorship, and as a result of tyranny, resentment, hopelessness began to develop in that part of the world, which became the -- gave the terrorists capacity to recruit. We just cannot tolerate the status quo. We're at war. And so this is a hopeful moment.Lie #2: Again, Bush tries to play the game that he played so well in the days leading up to the Iraq war -- confuse people by using words like "dictatorship" and "terrorists" without making it clear to which country or group you're referring. Is it Iraq? Is it al Qaeda? Is it Syria? Saudi Arabia?
Bush's statement might be true for Saudi Arabia and some other Middle East countries. But, since the context here is Iraq, Bush's words falsely suggest that Saddam Hussein's dictatorship "gave the terrorists capacity to recruit." That's utter nonsense. It was the U.S. invasion and occupation that truly gave al Qaeda and its offshoot cells the capacity to round up new recruits.
Bush may not have intended for that to happen, but a wide array of experts on terrorism and the Middle East are in agreement: the U.S. occupation has been a boon for "jihad" recruitment in and around Iraq.