Paranoia is being too kind and we need to call it exactly what it is; pure political calculations...and Democrats like Schumer, Peloisi, Dodd, Reid, H. Clinton, B. Clinton, Gore, Carter and a cast of others invite you to relieve yourself of the burden of logic in what is turning out to be a conspiracy to re-write history.
How else can one explain the 'collective amenisa' we are invited into when you consider the efforts and lengths the Clinton adminstration went to against Saddam, as exquisitely detailed and sourced in The Clinton Administration's Public Case Against Saddam Hussein?
Here's a sample (btw, the Sandy Berger referred to is the same Sandy Berger from 'Stuff-the-classified-documents-in-your-pants-gate'):
On October 31, 1998, Iraq ceased all cooperation with UNSCOM.37 The same day President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act, which declared that "[i]t should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."38 In signing the Act, the President stated that the U.S. "looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life."39
Two week[s] later, November 14, Iraq resumed cooperation with UNSCOM, averting U.S and British air strikes.40
On December 8, National Security Advisor Berger delivered an address at Stanford University on U.S. policy on Iraq. He stated:"As long as Saddam remains in power and in confrontation with the world, the positive evolution we and so many would like to see in the Middle East is less likely to occur. His Iraq remains a source of potential conflict in the region, a source of inspiration for those who equate violence with power and compromise with surrender, a source of uncertainty for those who would like to see a stable region in which to invest.
"Change inside Iraq is necessary not least because it would help free the Middle East from its preoccupation with security and struggle and survival, and make it easier for its people to focus their energies on commerce and cooperation.
"For the last eight years, American policy toward Iraq has been based on the tangible threat Saddam poses to our security. That threat is clear. Saddam's history of aggression, and his recent record of deception and defiance, leave no doubt that he would resume his drive for regional domination if he had the chance. Year after year, in conflict after conflict, Saddam has proven that he seeks weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, in order to use them."
"We will continue to contain the threat Iraq poses to its region and the world. But for all the reasons I have mentioned, President Clinton has said that over the long-term, the best way to address the challenge Iraq poses is 'through a government in Baghdad - a new government - that is committed to represent and respect its people, not repress them; that is committed to peace in the region.' Our policy toward Iraq today is to contain Saddam, but also to oppose him."41
And there's this from the Weekly Standard Stephen Hayes' Democrats for Regime Change:
THE PRESIDENT mulls a strike against Iraq, which he calls an "outlaw nation" in league with an "unholy axis of terrorists, drug traffickers and organized international criminals." The talk among world leaders, however, focuses on diplomacy. France, Russia, China, and most Arab nations oppose military action. The Saudis balk at giving us overflight rights. U.N. secretary general Kofi Annan prepares a last-ditch attempt to convince Saddam Hussein to abide by the U.N. resolutions he agreed to at the end of the Gulf War.
Administration rhetoric could hardly be stronger. The president asks the nation to consider this question: What if Saddam Hussein
"fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop his program of weapons of mass destruction and continue to press for the release of the sanctions and continue to ignore the solemn commitments that he made? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction."
The president's warnings are firm. "If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." The stakes, he says, could not be higher. "Some day, some way, I guarantee you, he'll use the arsenal."
These are the words not of President George W. Bush in September 2002 but of President Bill Clinton on February 18, 1998. Clinton was speaking at the Pentagon, after the Joint Chiefs and other top national security advisers had briefed him on U.S. military readiness. The televised speech followed a month-long build-up of U.S. troops and equipment in the Persian Gulf. And it won applause from leading Democrats on Capitol Hill...
Related: Former President Carter has convenient amnesia