This morning’s Washington Post features a profile of Senator Robert Byrd (D, WV), who rails against the war in Iraq, among other things:
Our nation is in peril, he says, threatened not by foreigners but by the Bush administration, which he describes as warlike, arrogant and elitist — “an administration of the wealthy, by the wealthy, for the wealthy.”
… “We just fought a war that didn’t need to be fought,” he says, sitting on a white armchair in his Senate office. “There was no real justification for sending those 300,000 men and women to Iraq to fight. Contrary to what Mr. Bush tried to convince this nation of, Saddam Hussein did not constitute an imminent danger to this nation. . . . We’ve lost 145 men and women killed — not a great number but too great a number. We didn’t need to lose any of them. And we killed thousands of men and women and children in Iraq! Thousands of ’em! That was needless slaughter.”
He pauses, but only long enough to draw sufficient breath to launch another verbal fusillade. “We have an administration that has projected this new doctrine of preemptive strike — totally foreign, totally alien to our way of life — and we’re contemplating attacking other nations without provocation.”
… “The run-up to our invasion of Iraq,” he said, “featured the president and members of his Cabinet invoking every frightening image they could conjure — from mushroom clouds, to buried caches of germ warfare, to drones poised to deliver germ-laden death in our major cities.”
But none of those threats was true, he said. No weapons of mass destruction have been found. Nor has any connection been established between Saddam Hussein and the Sept. 11 attacks. And both Saddam and Osama are still missing.
“The Bush team’s extensive hype of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as a justification for a preemptive invasion has become more than embarrassing,” he said. “It has raised serious questions about prevarication and the reckless use of power. Were our troops needlessly put at risk? Were countless Iraqi civilians killed and maimed when war was not really necessary? Was the American public deliberately misled? Was the world?”