You would think something like that would make a difference. You would think something like that would be remembered.
You would think wrong.
Instead what we have is amnesia in both Washington and in the news media.
It turns out that the public was overwhelmingly for the war. Who knew?
Instead, the anti-war protesters do not feel the need to say "I told you so."
The anti-war protesters were wrong. No, not about the war being a huge mistake. They were wrong about just how big of a mistake it was going to be.
At one of the larger protests, one of my friends brought a home-made sign that said "..and then what?"
It's important to remember what things were actually like in those days.
Recall that about 11 years ago the Dixie Chicks made the mistake of saying they were "ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas".
The Dixie Chicks were boycotted from radio and eventually their band was crushed by the conservatives. Being "right" wasn't as important as being "right-wing".
Back in 2002 the Bush Administration spent $200 million with a PR firm to sell the American public in the invasion of Iraq. Can you imagine the response if Obama spent $200 million on a PR firm?
I think now is a good time to remind everyone what was actually said, because the news media certainly doesn't remember.
- minutes taken by Rumsfeld aide, 9/11/01
"Well, the evidence is pretty conclusive that the Iraqis have indeed harbored terrorists."
- Cheney on Meet the Press, 12/09/01
"In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions."
- White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, 1/25/02
"Even fanatical Muslim terrorists don't hate America like liberals do,"
- Ann Coulter, February 2002
"Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out."
- Bush, March 2002
"Condi's enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed…Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions…what happens the morning after?"
- Downing memo, 3/14/02
Saddam "is actively pursuing nuclear weapons at this time."
- Cheney, 3/24/02
"Iraq is a very wealthy country. Enormous oil reserves. They can finance, largely finance, the reconstruction of their own country. And I have no doubt that they will."
—Richard Perle, 7/11/02
"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends…and against us."
"The first sign of a 'smoking gun,' they argue, may be a mushroom cloud."
- Judith Miller, front page NYT, 9/9/02
Tubes "are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs…we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
—Rice on CNN, 9/8/02
"We do know, with absolute certainty, that he is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon."
—Cheney on Meet the Press, 9/8/02
"What's happening, of course, is we're getting additional information that, in fact, Hussein is reconstituting his biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs."
- Cheney tells Rush Limbaugh, 9/13/02
Saddam "has amassed large, clandestine stockpiles of chemical weapons, including VX, sarin, and mustard gas."
- Rumsfeld tells Congress, 9/19/02
"You can't distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror."
link between Iraq and Al Qaeda "accurate and not debatable."
- Rumsfeld, 9/27/02
"The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more, and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given."
- Bush State of the Union Address, 9/28/02
"[A] growing number of military officers, intelligence professionals and diplomats in his own government privately have deep misgivings about the administration's double-time march toward war. These officials charge that administration hawks have exaggerated evidence of the threat that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein poses…'Analysts at the working level in the intelligence community are feeling very strong pressure from the Pentagon to cook the intelligence books,' said one official, speaking on condition of anonymity."
- Knight Ridder, 10/8/02
- Rumsfeld 11/14/02
"It's a slam-dunk case."
- Tenet on WMD's, 12/21/02
- war cost estimates
"The Iraqi regime is a threat to any American."
"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
- Bush, State of the Union, 1/28/03
"Every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence."
- Powell to UN, 2/5/03
"serious planning gaps for postconflict public security and humanitarian assistance…could result in serious human rights abuses, which would undermine an otherwise successful military campaign, and our reputation internationally."
- secret State Department memo, 2/7/03
"what's so damning about the knee-jerk opposition of so many anti-war liberals -- it's based in animus, not logic. Almost every week I have to debate some opponent of the war on CNN or radio, and most of the time, I get the sense that their reasons for opposing Bush are echoed in McGrory's sentiments. They don't like war for vague, emotional reasons."
- Jonah Goldberg, 2/7/03
"President Saddam Hussein's government, apparently emboldened by antiwar sentiment at the U.N. Security Council and in worldwide street protests, has not followed through on its promises of increased cooperation with U.N. arms inspectors, according to inspectors in Iraq."
- actual news headline from Washington Post, February 19, 2003
"UN weapons inspectors are being seriously deceived…It reminds me of the way the Nazis hoodwinked Red Cross officials."
"I am reasonably certain that they will greet us as liberators…the notion of hundreds of thousands of American troops is way off the mark."
- Wolfowitz tells congress, 2/27/03
"We are doing everything we can to avoid war in Iraq."
"We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." Adds, "I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators."
- Cheney on Meet the Press, 3/16/03
"As the Bush administration prepares to attack Iraq this week, it is doing so on the basis of a number of allegations against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that have been challenged—and in some cases disproved—by the United Nations, European governments and even U.S. intelligence reports."
- Washington Post, story on page A13, 3/18/03
"I want to rub it in the anti-war crowd's face so badly. I want to hear the protesters explain why it's a bad thing we released more than 100 children from an Iraqi gulag for underage political prisoners."
- Jonah Goldberg, 4/11/03