MOYERS: President Bush's recent speech to the American Enterprise Institute, he said, let me quote it to you. "The danger posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons cannot be ignored or wished away." You agree with that?
WILSON: I agree with that. Sure. I…
MOYERS: "The danger must be confronted." You agree with that? "We would hope that the Iraqi regime will meet the demands of the United Nations and disarm fully and peacefully. If it does not, we are prepared to disarm Iraq by force. Either way, this danger will be removed. The safety of the American people depends on ending this direct and growing threat." You agree with that?
WILSON: I agree with that. Sure. The President goes on to say in that speech as he did in the State of the Union Address is we will liberate Iraq from a brutal dictator. All of which is true.That was February 28, 2003. A month after George Bush uttered his famous sixteen words in the State of the Union speech, that Joe Wilson just told Wolf Blitzer were so important.
Odd that seemed so unimportant then. And shortly thereafter Wilson was predicting war:
MOYERS: You think war is inevitable?
WILSON: I think war is inevitable. Essentially, the speech that the President gave at the American Enterprise Institute was so much on the overthrow of the regime and the liberation of the Iraqi people that I suspect that Saddam understands that this is not about disarmament.And later still:
WILSON: But I think disarmament is only one of the objectives. And the President has touched repeatedly and more openly on the other objectives in recent speeches including this idea of liberating Iraq and liberating its people from a brutal dictator. And I agree that Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator.
And I agree along with everybody else that the Iraqi people could — would well be far better off without Saddam Hussein. The problem really is a war which has us invading, conquering and then subsequently occupying Iraq may not achieve that liberation that we're talking about.
MOYERS: So this is not just about weapons of mass destruction.
WILSON: Oh, no, I think it's far more about re-growing the political map of the Middle East.