Donald Trump stood on the stage of the Republican debate and after discussing George W. Bush, Trump said, “You do whatever you want. You call it whatever you want. I will tell you. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction and there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.”
President Bush made the following plea prior to invading Iraq:
America wants the U.N. to be an effective organization that helps keep the peace. And that is why we are urging the Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough, immediate requirements. Among those requirements: the Iraqi regime must reveal and destroy, under U.N. supervision, all existing weapons of mass destruction. To ensure that we learn the truth, the regime must allow witnesses to its illegal activities to be interviewed outside the country — and these witnesses must be free to bring their families with them so they all beyond the reach of Saddam Hussein’s terror and murder. And inspectors must have access to any site, at any time, without pre-clearance, without delay, without exceptions.
Mr. Trump, You are not too young to remember the years before the war in Iraq. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, the United Nations Security Council passed sixteen resolutions (UNSCRs) designed to make Saddam Hussein accountable. Two of these gave him an opportunity to convince the world that his regime was not involved in the development, storage or use of weapons of mass destruction. The two resolutions that would have protected Hussein and his people from war, were they innocent of making, storing, or using WMDs, were:
- “Deplores” Iraq’s refusal to allow access to UN inspectors and Iraq’s “clear violations” of previous UN resolutions.
- Iraq must cooperate fully with UN weapons inspectors and allow immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access.
President George Bush was by no means the only official who believed there were WMDs there. Along with former President Bill Clinton the following said:
Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, February 5, 2003
We know that Saddam Hussein is determined to keep his weapons of mass destruction, is determined to make more.
Colin Powell February 5, 2003
I’m well aware of the role I played. My role has been very, very straightforward. I wanted to avoid a war. The president agreed with me. We tried to do that. We couldn’t get it through the U.N. and when the president made the decision, I supported that decision. And I’ve never blinked from that. I’ve never said I didn’t support a decision to go to war.
There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them.
Gen. Tommy Franks March 22, 2003
I have no doubt we’re going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.
Kenneth Adelman, Defense Policy Board , March 23, 2003
One of our top objectives is to find and destroy the WMD. There are a number of sites.
Pentagon Spokeswoman Victoria Clark March 22, 2003
We know where they are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad.
Donald Rumsfeld March 30, 2003
Saddam’s removal is necessary to eradicate the threat from his weapons of mass destruction
Foreign Secretary 2 April, 2003
Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-CT, September 4, 2002
If we wait for the danger to become clear, it could be too late.
Sen. Joseph Biden D-Del., September 4, 2002
We know for a fact that there are weapons there.
Ari Fleischer January 9, 2003
Saddam and the world knew that he would be facing an invasion UNLESS he allowed inspectors to do their jobs. He still refused. This certainly caused the world to believe he had something to hide. He also had time to move the weapons to Syria, but for some reason he still did not allow the inspectors inside the country. Democrats and liberals who want to say “Bush lied and people died” are either evil or ill-informed. Wouldn’t you agree?
Mr. Trump, I must ask: would a true Republican/conservative appear in a Republican debate and say what you said, especially knowing the above? I feel you owe President Bush, the Republican Party whose banner you claim to carry, and all conservatives an apology. It appears to me you are doing harm to the cause of conservatism and to Republicans.
A Concerned Conservative
On this issue, I agree with Marco Rubio: