From a CNN report, March 22, 2004:
Rice said looking at Iraq made sense. "Iraq, given our history, given the fact they tried to kill a former president, was a likely suspect," she said.
In his just released book, Richard Clarke, the former antiterrorism chief for the United States, claims that the Bush administration’s blind focus on Iraq blinded it to the dangers posed by al Qaeda and that the Administration used 9/11 as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq. If you’ve been reading the blogs and opinions on this website, then you know I said all along that the invasion of Iraq was driven by a personal Bush agenda; and I felt this was a family affair. Now, Clarke has just validated those statements as has Condoleeza Rice in her statement above, albeit unknowingly. I maintain that people always give themselves away; one just has to listen closely enough to hear them.
The press is viewing this as an isolated event triggered by the release of Clarke’s book, but it is not. Take this along with similar revelations by former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neill just a few months before, and now you have two people from inside the Bush Administration saying the same thing, i.e., Bush had an agenda when he came into office, the facts be damned. Add in the admissions of former weapons inspector David Kay that we were frankly wrong about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and any reasonable person looking at the facts must question the Bush Administration’s credibility on Iraq.
That said, the true outcome of our invasion of Iraq is ?TBD? (To Be Determined). In the next decade we will get a feel for whether we opened the door to democracy and whether we helped improve or deteriorate the conditions in the Middle East and the rest of the world. It is possible that even if Bush did act out of a purely personal agenda, and I believe he did, that the invasion might still turn out to be a good thing. One thing is for sure; the terrorists now know that America will fight if she is hurt; and our retaliation will be swift and powerful. In the end, the terrorists have no more hope of winning than America does of rooting terrorism out of the world. Terrorism will die when it collapses under its own weight, which sooner or later it will.
Meanwhile, the Bush administration is trying to deflect all the furor by dismissing it as politically motivated. Of course, it is! They are in the business of politics. Everything they do...or anyone in Washington does...is political. It’s a strange example of calling the kettle black...