President Clinton addressed the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Pentagon staff 10 years ago on the dangers of Iraq. He insisted that he was ready to act.
What a difference 10 years make.
Today Saddam is gone and a young democracy is celebrating success and freedom instead.
Here is Bill Clinton on February 17, 1998:
Thanks to PitytheFool for sending this reminder of the democratic plan for regime change in Iraq– 10 years ago yesterday.
Here’s part of the transcript of Bill Clinton on Iraq:
But there is no better example, again I say, than the U.N. weapons inspection system itself. Yes, he has tried to thwart it in every conceivable way, but the discipline, determination, year-in-year-out effort of these weapons inspectors is doing the job. And we seek to finish the job. Let there be no doubt, we are prepared to act.
But Saddam Hussein could end this crisis tomorrow simply by letting the weapons inspectors complete their mission. He made a solemn commitment to the international community to do that and to give up his weapons of mass destruction a long time ago now. One way or the other, we are determined to see that he makes good on his own promise.
Saddam Hussein’s Iraq reminds us of what we learned in the 20th century and warns us of what we must know about the 21st. In this century, we learned through harsh experience that the only answer to aggression and illegal behavior is firmness, determination, and when necessary action.
In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more the very kind of threat Iraq poses now a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed.
If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program.
But if we act as one, we can safeguard our interests and send a clear message to every would-be tyrant and terrorist that the international community does have the wisdom and the will and the way to protect peace and security in a new era. That is the future I ask you all to imagine. That is the future I ask our allies to imagine.
If we look at the past and imagine that future, we will act as one together. And we still have, God willing, a chance to find a diplomatic resolution to this, and if not, God willing, the chance to do the right thing for our children and grandchildren.
Thank you very much.
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Today Bill Clinton says that he never supported the Bush Administration’s decision to go to war although he actually did support the Bush dministration’s decision to go to war.
This is just a reminder of the empty words from the last Democratic president.
UPDATE: Al Gore gave the introduction that day- “There’s no doubt Saddam’s weapons pose a grave threat.”
Don’t expect to hear that in the news today.