For some reason, I’ve found myself caught up in this argument again lately, too

We Bust Buffoon Babs Boxer on Her Blatant Iraq Lie (soon to be renamed, I guess) notes the trouble Sen. Boxer is having with, well, reality:

After Condi had so brilliantly and passionately defended the Iraq war, and the reasoning for it that included cites to reasons other than WMD’s, half-wit Boxer smugly made this astounding statement:
BOXER: Well, you should read what we voted on when we voted to support the war, which I did not, but most of my colleagues did. It was WMD, period. That was the reason and the causation for that, you know, particular vote.

Brilliant reply by the Senator. Dramatic and forceful.

The only missing ingredient is, well, the truth.

Hmm, we might not be California Senators or math majors here at but we think Boxer should “read what they voted on”, because going through the above we found at least 7 reasons (and we could say more, if one counts “enforcing the UN Security Council Resolutions as non-WMD reason, but we won’t), separate and distinct from WMD’s cited in the Resolution.

I’ve somehow ended up debating this again several times in the past week, both online and in conversation. What’s the deal?

Is it better to argue the facts yet again, or to just dismiss what is obviously ignorance when someone says “it was all about the WMDs”?

I fully realize the the WMD situation hasn’t turned out like many (including myself and also including many of the harshest critics of the invasion) expected. I fully realize that our intel was far less reliable than we had reason to expect.

I also realize that the WMD reports say far more than “no WMDs”, even though that’s all that makes the headlines and the evening news.

So is it worth arguing with these folks? They’ve obviously got no interest in the fact of the matter. They’re simply spouting. At the same time, I pride myself on not dismissing positions contrary to mine out of hand.

If a typical American citizen had said what Senator Boxer said, I wouldn’t have been surprised. But the Senator knows what’s in that resolution that she voted on, and she should be held to a higher standard than Joe American.

She’s either mistaken or lying, and I guess I’d hope a Senator wouldn’t be so totally mistaken about something so simple.

And I realize that CrushKerry is a slanted, biased site. Fair enough. If their point is nothing more than biased spin, it should be easy to disprove. Use the comments section.


  1. But there are WMD in Iraq, and there were even more! When our marines were paralleling the river in their initial advance, the water was tainted with Chemical Weapons. The Iraqi’s were dumping it in the rivers to get rid of it. American troops have been hit twice with artillery shells turned into IEDs with sarin gas in them twice. It’s proven and verified. Why isn’t anyone refuting this claim that there were no WMDs. Obviously, there were/are. Syria produces and stores Chemical and Biological weapons. What do all you people think were on all those convoys the last 3 weeks before we invaded? You know, the ones the russian troops were helping with. Syria is the last great Baathist stronghold now. I’m sure if we had a then/now inventory of Syria’s ‘non-existent’ WMD.

  2. Chad: I haven’t dismissed the ‘they moved ’em’ theories myself. But the point is, even if there really *were* no weapons, the ongoing programs and the failure to comply with cease-fire terms and UN resolutions made military action justifiable EVEN IF THE ‘NO WMDs’ CLAIMS TURN OUT TO BE TRUE. Boxer said it was only WMD ‘period’, yet she surely knows that the resolution she voted on said nothing of the sort. Therefore she’s lying. I have run into about five different people over the past week that have been playing the ‘now they’re changing the reasons for war’ game. I really don’t know if it’s worth the energy trying to explain the facts to them or not.

  3. Chad: They just released the report recently that says different. They being the republican led administration and they didn’t find squat. Not only that but they also found that they did not possess any significant amounts over the last several years before the war. I didn’t read the thing, but AFAIK the 2 shells you say they ‘fired’ at us were not. I remember a news report that they did have trace amounts of sarin in them, but were old ass decommissioned shells left over from Gulf I, and our inspectors believed that the Iraqis just lost track them in the dark corner of the warehouse/depot where they found them. Also AFAIK those 2 decommissioned and empty shells were the most damning thing they were able to find in the last year and a half of searching. Murdoc: I just read the Joint Resolution and really I have to agree with Boxer that it’s all basically WMD (and this is what I think she meant

  4. What if: what if a few years back the CIA had reported that it was convinced that Iraq had no significant stockpiles of, nor programs for developing WMDs. Would all these other things still be really enough to justify a hugely expensive elective war? I do seem to recall that Bush would still have gone to war with Iraq even with knowing what we now know. But would congress had authorized the Prez. to use invade Iraq if WMDs had not been a part of the conversation? I don’t know enough to answer this…and must sleep now …zzzzzzzzzzzz

  5. Here’s an excerpt from Bush’s Sept. ’02 speech to the UN General Assembly [emphasis and numbers added]: If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will [1] immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose, and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles, and all related material. If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will [2] immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it, as all states are required to do by U.N. Security Council resolutions. If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will [3] cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi’a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans, and others, again as required by Security Council resolutions. If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will [4] release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown. It will return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait, and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues, as required by Security Council resolutions. If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will [5] immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept U.N. administration of funds from that program, to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people. If all these steps are taken, it will signal a new openness and accountability in Iraq. And it could open the prospect of the United Nations helping to build a government that represents all Iraqis — a government based on respect for human rights, economic liberty, and internationally supervised elections. Five points and only one mention of WMD. So maybe that wasn’t the focal point. Add that to the 700 tons of yellow cake uranium found, along with the sarin gas found by the Poles, the MIGs found buried in the desert, etc, etc. I think we had a pretty good position. Then factor in the fact that the press was screaming ‘no WMD’ all during the election and Bush was still reelected. Yeah, I think we would have gone to war anyway.

  6. I think it’s a fair question about whether or not Congress would have approved it. I’d like to think they would have, but I’m not certainly not certain that they would have. I would have supported it. As Drew clearly points out, WMD was but a part of the reasoning. I’ll admit that it was the most critical short-term reason, but the regime change and democracy in Iraq were the overriding long-term reasons and a HUGE part of Bush’s vision for the waging of the war. As for Enchilada’s response, ‘I have to agree with Boxer that it’s all basically WMD (and this is what I think she meant

  7. Boxer also said: ‘You never even mention indirectly the 1,366 American troops that have died. . . . And 25 percent of those dead are from my home state.’ According to, the number of California servicemen who’ve died is 157, which is about 11.5% of the total, less than half the proportion Boxer claimed. This was researched by the guys on the For Your Eyes Only discussion group. Obviously her staff didn’t do a good job of getting their facts straight.

  8. Enchilada: Yes, they were old shells, but ask the two soldiers that were nearly killed by the first one how inconsequential the sarin gas in them was. The baathist government had expert help in helping to move weapons, money and resources/personnel to Syria in particular just before the invasion. They may not have been currently developing more WMD, but if you read the entire report (which I have) you know that Saddam Hussein would’ve gladly added them to his arsenal again, were he not afraid of U.S. retaliation. He kept enough of an apparatus in place that he could’ve used his ‘oil for food’ money, and easily begun production again. Maybe there weren’t the warehouses full of barrels we all pictured, but don’t discount the reports of the marines when they found it in the water. Notice how no mention of that occurs again. Somebody was dumping some pretty large quantities of agent in the Tigris and Euphrates. Don’t say, I never heard about that, cause you know the (now) proven bias of most of our Mainstream Media. Do you think that maybe there could be more buried in the sand? Or that maybe most of what Saddam had could’ve been sent to Syria? We gave him plenty of warning. Doesn’t this seem realistic to you? I’ve seen photos of convoys headed from Iraq to Syria (high altitude recon), and I can tell you that large shipments of something went ‘over the border’. I’m not saying it was chemical weapons, I just think that’s a good possibility. Saddam Hussein had WMD before, and I’m pretty sure that he had at least a few not long before ‘the sherrif’ came to town. I’m not saying that was our only justification for going either, and I’ve made that very clear in the other comments I’ve made (Murdoc). It’s just that everybody says there were ‘NO’ WMD in Iraq, and that’s patently incorrect. What should be reported is that there are no longer substantial amounts of WMDs that could be located in Iraq. How much Sarin do you think could be scraped together from 100 old 152mm artillery shells, or how much of an area could be covered by the exploding of 15-20 of these shells together? I’m in a Chem unit, it’s what I’ve been trained for, and let me tell you, if they find a bunch of ‘decommissioned’ shells, and wire them to blow, you don’t want to be downwind. Luckily, they’ve only used them 1 at a time so far. Let’s hope they don’t get smart.

  9. Oh BTW Enchilada, do you really think that the government wants to scare the average civilian with how easy it is to make WMDs? Saddam could’ve started production again. I have to know what it takes to make this stuff, it’s part of my job with my reserve unit. He had most of the stuff, and what he didn’t have he could’ve easily gotten. Any time you can make pesticides, or even higher grades of medicines, you can make WMDs. He had the knowledge, and the equipment(spread around the country) to make WMDs. He just hadn’t located it all at the same site. Does the government want us all to be terrified that somebody had the ability to make this stuff, and have ties to individuals crazy and able to deliver it? No, but I reccomend having a good 3m gas mask in your home. Lots of Duct tape, plastic sheeting, hepa filtration for your home, etc……….. I’m not saying terrorists have this stuff now, but it’s just a matter of time. Sorry, I got a little ‘off’ there, not much sleep last night, but what I’m saying is true. They pay me to know this stuff, and I’m telling you, he could’ve been producing if he wanted to. Does the government want everyone worried about it, no.