…and they don’t seem to fade away, either. Tom Raum of the Associated Press revives the myth, debunked countless times here and elsewhere, that President Bush has shifted the rationale for the Iraq war over time:
President Bush keeps revising his explanation for why the U.S. is in Iraq, moving from narrow military objectives at first to history-of-civilization stakes now.
Initially, the rationale was specific: to stop Saddam Hussein from using what Bush claimed were the Iraqi leader’s weapons of mass destruction or from selling them to al-Qaida or other terrorist groups.
But 3 1/2 years later, with no weapons found, still no end in sight and the war a liability for nearly all Republicans on the ballot Nov. 7, the justification has become far broader and now includes the expansive “struggle between good and evil.”
Raum continues to expand on this theme, but without citing any evidence whatsoever. In fact, as we have often noted, if you listened to any of the speeches President Bush gave on Iraq in 2003 or read the Congressional authorization on the war, every rationale that has ever been discussed is there. And, as I have often said, bringing reform and democracy to the Arab world was perceived by me, and by many if not most of the war’s early supporters, as the most important goal.
It’s hard to know what to make of a news service that persistently retails fables as facts, or of a reporter who writes about President Bush “revising his explanation for why the U.S. is in Iraq” without, apparently, having bothered to read Congress’s Authorization for the Use of Military Force. But maybe it’s not worth commenting on what is in reality, like a lot of AP stories these days, a campaign ad for the Democratic Party.