Eric Alterman submits the following speech that Bush could have delivered on the State of the Union if he had not intended to deceive and mislead the American people:
“Saddam Hussein has no nuclear-weapons program. He has destroyed most of his weapons of mass destruction. He has no ties with al-Qaida, nor, insofar as we can determine, with any other major terrorist group, and even the CIA can’t pin anything on him for at least a decade. He’s a bad guy, to be sure, but one of many in the world, and we’ve used his badness when we thought it convenient. Hell, Don Rumsfeld even paid him a visit as Ronald Reagan’s private emissary and didn’t find time to mention it.
Now, we are about to embark on a war that may never end. Sure, we will cream them in the main combat phase — how could we not? — but after that our troops will remain in Iraq, alone and vulnerable to daily attacks, and increasingly resented by the population, surrounded by murderous chaos. We will pay for this war by increasing the time of service of our enlisted men and women to at least a year in that country, away from their families, while I explode the deficit (robbing future generations), and cut deeply needed services to give enormous tax breaks to the wealthy.