Mea culpa anyone?

Thursday, March 23, 2006

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As the third anniversary of the start of the Iraq War passes (heck, we’re already approaching the third anniversary of when it was supposed TO END), I thought it might be instructive to revisit some of the more interesting things that were said back in the first half of 2003.

I was fortunate to find in my Inbox an e-mail from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), which provided a series of bold – and wrong – predictions made by a number of American pundits (the full list is much longer than the samples I’ve provided). The other quotes (the Canadian ones) listed below are some that I’ve been saving for just such an occasion.

Without further ado, here are my nominees for the 2006 Mea Culpa Awards. Feel free to pick your own “winner”:

“I will bet you the best dinner in the gaslight district of San Diego that military action will not last more than a week. Are you willing to take that wager?”
Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, January 29, 2003

“Mr. Chairman, I fear the former leader of the official opposition [Stockwell Day, who had just spoken] may have had a peek at my speech.... Should the United Nations fail to accept its responsibility and enforce its resolutions, I believe that this country working with our traditional allies, the United States, Great Britain, Australia and others, should, indeed must, keep its options open in terms of participating in a coalition of like-minded countries to disarm the regime.”
Former Liberal MP David Pratt (Paul Martin’s first choice for Defence Minister), Defence Committee, January 29, 2003

“It won't take weeks. You know that, professor. Our military machine will crush Iraq in a matter of days and there's no question that it will… There's no way. There's absolutely no way. They may bomb for a matter of weeks; try to soften them up as they did in Afghanistan. But once the United States and Britain unleash, it's maybe hours. They're going to fold like that.”
Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, February 10, 2003

“It is inherently dangerous to allow a country such as Iraq to retain weapons of mass destruction, particularly in light of its past aggressive behaviour. If the world community fails to disarm Iraq, we fear that other rogue states will be encouraged to believe that they too can have these most deadly of weapons to systematically defy international resolutions and that the world will do nothing to stop them.”
Stephen Harper, House of Commons, March 20, 2003

“I still think the President is right when he says that Iraq and the world will be better off with Saddam disarmed, even, if necessary, through force.”
Liberal MP (and leadership candidate?) Michael Ignatieff, New York Times, March 31, 2003

“Mr. Speaker, the issue of war requires moral leadership. We believe the government should stand by our troops, our friends and our allies and do everything necessary to support them right through to victory.”
Stephen Harper, House of Commons, April 1, 2003

“Thank you for saying to our friends in the United States of America. You are our ally, our neighbour, and our best friend in the whole wide world. And, when your brave men and women give their lives for freedom and democracy we are not neutral. We do not stand on the sidelines; we're for the disarmament of Saddam and the liberation of the people of Iraq.”
Stephen Harper, Friends of America Rally, April 4, 2003

“What's he [referring to Democrat Howard Dean] going to talk about a year from now, the fact that the war went too well and it's over? I mean, don't these things sort of lose their--Isn't there a fresh date on some of these debate points?”
Chris Matthews, MSNBC, April 9, 2003

“Over the next couple of weeks when we find the chemical weapons this guy was amassing, the fact that this war was attacked by the left and so the right was so vindicated, I think, really means that the left is going to have to hang its head for three or four more years.”
Dick Morris, Fox News, April 9, 2003

“The war was the hard part. The hard part was putting together a coalition, getting 300,000 troops over there and all their equipment and winning. And, it gets easier. I mean, setting up a democracy is hard, but it is not as hard as winning a war.”
Fred Barnes, Fox News, April 10, 2003

“Now that the war in Iraq is all but over, should the people in Hollywood who opposed the president admit they were wrong?”
Alan Colmes, Fox News, April 25, 2003

“It is amazing how thorough the victory in Iraq really was in the broadest context... And the silence, I think, is that it's clear that nobody can do anything about it. There isn't anybody who can stop him. The Democrats can't oppose--cannot oppose him politically.”
Washington Post reporter Jeff Birnbaum, speaking on Fox News, May 2, 2003

“It is ideological claptrap to suppose that the Bush administration made up the risk. Saddam has been a security threat in the Gulf for 20 years. His desire to acquire these weapons was unquestionable; there isn't a serious analyst who doesn't think he'd wanted to have them.”
Liberal MP Michael Ignatieff, Maclean's, June 23, 2003
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  1. Posted by: Brandon Touchie on Apr 28, 2006 @ 10:24am

    I am confused as to the use of several quotes above. For example, those attributed to Mr. Ignatieff do not display some shocking evidence of wrong assumptions. They state facts, and although it is clear that Saddam had no WMD's it does not mean he wasn't pursuiing them, nor does it mean he should still be in power.

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