Democrats believed Saddam had WMDs, so they favored regime change

This may feel like ancient history, but in the campaign season, it is useful to remember another side to the build-up to the Iraq War in 2003.

This short post of direct quotations from key Democrats will refresh your memory … or maybe you’ll learn something new.

Here are the direct quotations:

“Together we must also confront the new hazards of chemical and biological weapons, and the outlaw states, terrorists and organized criminals seeking to acquire them. Saddam Hussein has spent the better part of this decade, and much of his nation’s wealth, not on providing for the Iraqi people, but on developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them.”
President Clinton, Jan. 27, 1998;

“One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998;

Fateful decisions will be made in the days and weeks ahead. At issue is nothing less than the fundamental question of whether or not we can keep the most lethal weapons known to mankind out of the hands of an unreconstructed tyrant and aggressor who is in the same league as the most brutal dictators of this century.”
Sen. Joe Biden (D, DE), Feb. 12, 1998;

“It is essential that a dictator like Saddam not be allowed to evade international strictures and wield frightening weapons of mass destruction. As long as UNSCOM is prevented from carrying out its mission, the effort to monitor Iraqi compliance with Resolution 687 becomes a dangerous shell game. Neither the United States nor the global community can afford to allow Saddam Hussein to continue on this path.”
Sen. Tom Daschle (D, SD), Feb. 12, 1998;

“We urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998;

“Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”
Madeleine Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999;

“We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.”
Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept. 19, 2002;

“Nevertheless, all Americans should acknowledge that Iraq does, indeed, pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf region, and we should be about the business of organizing an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter, and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
Former Clinton Vice President, Al Gore Sept. 23, 2002;

“My position is very clear: The time has come for decisive action to eliminate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. I’m a co-sponsor of the bipartisan resolution that’s presently under consideration in the Senate. Saddam Hussein’s regime is a grave threat to America and our allies…”
John Edwards (D, NC), Oct. 7, 2002;

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members…. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct. 10, 2002;

“Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime …. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction …. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ….”
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003;

Sources: One and Two and Three;

In Nov. 2015, candidate for the democrat nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders, blames the chaos in Iraq and Syria in 2015 on Bush. But the evidence cited above says that’s politically convenient and misleading.

I checked all of the links at the time of the post, but if any go dead, just copy and paste some key words from an excerpt in a search engine.

Related:

United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) tracks Saddam’s WMDs;

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