Who said this:
Saddam Hussein’s regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal. Iraq has continued to seek nuclear weapons and develop its arsenal in defiance of the collective will of the international community, as expressed through the United Nations Security Council.
It is violating the terms of the 1991 cease-fire that ended the Gulf war and as many as 16 Security Council resolutions, including 11 resolutions concerning Iraq’s efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. By ignoring these resolutions, Saddam Hussein is undermining the credibility of the United Nations, openly violating international law, and making a mockery of the very idea of collective action that is so important to the United States and its allies. We cannot allow Saddam Hussein to get nuclear weapons in violation of his own commitments, our commitments, and the world’s commitments.
This resolution will send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction… Almost no one disagrees with these basic facts: that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a menace; that he has weapons of mass destruction and that he is doing everything in his power to get nuclear weapons; that he has supported terrorists; that he is a grave threat to the region, to vital allies like Israel, and to the United States; and that he is thwarting the will of the international community and undermining the United Nations’ credibility.
That stirring defense of the war, helpfully provided by deputy assistant to the President Peter Wehner here, was made by none other than former Senator John Edwards. So not only did he vote to authorize the war in Iraq, he actually tried to convince others to do the same with the exact same arguments used by the Bush administration. I’m not sure a simple “I was wrong” should be sufficient for the anti-war left to embrace Edwards, but apparently it is.
Edwards calls the global war on terror a bumper-sticker slogan. You can deride the terminology, dismiss it as a useless Bush formulation, and disapprove of Bush’s handling of foreign policy. But no matter what you call it, the threat of Islamic extremism leading to terrorist activity is real, and we need to be proactive in dealing with that threat. John Edwards is doing what he has to do to keep his base on his side, even if that means saying things that the rest of the country does not agree with. This may win him a few netroots fans, but it’s no way to win a Democratic primary or general election.