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General Albert Gore

By Jeff Brewer | Bio
jbrewer@politicalusa.com

10/20/2002

 

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"If you allow someone like Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, chemical weapons, biological weapons, how many people is he going to kill with such weapons? He’s already demonstrated a willingness to use these weapons; he poison gassed his own people. He used poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction against his neighbors. This man has no compunctions about killing lots and lots of people. So this is a way to save lives and to save the safety and peace of a region of the world that is important to the peace and security of the entire world."

One could be forgiven for assuming this powerful rationalization for ridding the Middle East of Saddam Hussein came from President Bush or one of his more ‘hawkish’ foreign policy advisors, but actually, Al Gore said this on "Larry King Live" in December 1998. In response to Mr. King’s inquiry into the justification for a decision to bomb Iraq, the vice president presented the case for acting preemptively to prevent Saddam from obtaining and presumably using weapons of mass destruction.

Fast forward to September 23, 2002. In a bizarre, though not surprising flip-flop, Al Gore skewered President Bush and the impending move into Iraq as risky and dangerous. In Gore’s estimation, a military invasion to oust Saddam Hussein would "severely damage" America’s war on terrorism and "weaken" U.S. leadership around the globe. Implicit in Gore’s rebuke was the fallacious belief that American action in Iraq must necessarily come at the expense of our stabilizing efforts in a defeated Afghanistan. In his own words, "I am deeply concerned that the course of action that we are presently embarking upon in respect to Iraq has the potential to seriously damage our ability to win the war against terrorism." In effect, Iraq should not even be a consideration until the war on terror is completed, as if the two are mutually exclusive.

This sentiment contradicts sharply with Al Gore’s remarks last February. In an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations, Gore asserted the fundamental tenet of the Bush Doctrine—preemptively confronting those states that aid or abet terrorists. Gore said, "Even if we give first priority to the destruction of terrorist networks, and even if we succeed, there are still governments that could bring us harm. And there is a clear case that one of these governments in particular represents a virulent threat in a class by itself: Iraq. As far as I am concerned, a final reckoning with that government should be on the table." It seems that only seven months ago, Al Gore placed Iraq on the same threat level as Alqaeda terrorist cells—as a clear and present danger.

Why, then, would Al Gore now oppose the same sort of preemptive action he once promoted as vice president and then as a private citizen? At various points, President Bush and Vice President Cheney have stated identical rationale for attacking Iraq, but now Gore is going wobbly.

Actually, Gore’s latest flip-flop is more of the same from a man known more for his capricious rhetoric than action. When your Iraqi/anti-terrorist legacy consists of burying your head and a few tomahawk cruisers in the sand, it takes chutzpa to come out swinging against the President who’s decided to engage the enemy rather than repeatedly sacrifice American security at the altar of international approval, as the Clinton Administration was wont to do.

Moreover, considering the eight years of Clinton failure, accusing a former executive—Clinton/Gore predecessor George H.W. Bush--of not disposing of Saddam Hussein is worse, especially when such criticism is heretofore unheard of from Gore. In his recent San Francisco rant, an indignant Gore bragged, "back in 1991…I felt betrayed by the first Bush administration’s hasty departure from the battlefield, even as Saddam began to renew his persecution of the Shiites and Kurds, groups that we had after all encouraged to rise up against Saddam." The attendees were no doubt compelled to believe Gore’s claim; in hindsight everyone agrees we should have crowned the rout with the deposing of Hussein.

Nevertheless, in April 1991, Senator Al Gore had reflected entirely differently on the decision to abstain from going to Baghdad at the end of the Gulf War to take out Hussein. "President Bush should not be blamed for Saddam Hussein’s survival to this point. There was throughout the Gulf War a clear consensus that the United States should not include the conquest of Iraq among its objectives. On the contrary, it was universally accepted that our objective was to push Iraq out of Kuwait, and…when this was accomplished combat should stop."

Besides taking political shots at the man who beat him in 2000, Gore is renewing his efforts as a revisionist historian. Lobbing baseless salvos aimed squarely at President Bush, George Bush Sr., the ongoing campaign in Afghanistan and the impending action in Iraq, while conveniently glazing over the Democratic party’s well-chronicled failures, is what Al Gore is all about and while he will lose again in two years. The American people are on to this pathological liar.

  

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