Next time someone poses the question, "Why do people hate Bush?", they should start with this article.
Remember 'Weapons of Mass Destruction'? For Bush, They Are a Nonissue
WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 — In the debate over the necessity for the war in Iraq, few issues have been more contentious than whether Saddam Hussein possessed arsenals of banned weapons, as the Bush administration repeatedly said, or instead was pursuing weapons programs that might one day constitute a threat.
On Tuesday, with Mr. Hussein in American custody and polls showing support for the White House's Iraq policy rebounding, Mr. Bush suggested that he no longer saw much distinction between the possibilities.
"So what's the difference?" he responded at one point as he was pressed on the topic during an interview by Diane Sawyer of ABC News.
To critics of the war, there is a big difference. They say that the administration's statements that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons that it could use on the battlefield or turn over to terrorists added an urgency to the case for immediate military action that would have been lacking if Mr. Hussein were portrayed as just developing the banned weapons.
"This was a pre-emptive war, and the rationale was that there was an imminent threat," said Senator Bob Graham of Florida, a Democrat who has said that by elevating Iraq to the most dangerous menace facing the United States, the administration unwisely diverted resources from fighting Al Qaeda and other terrorists.