Terry McAuliffe on War & Peace

Democratic nominee for Governor; previously DNC Chair


Iraq War case built by scaring the daylights out of people

Blair's support gave Bush cover--but Blair was on his own, exposed to withering criticism at home for supporting a war on a false pretext, as the infamous Downing Street Memo later demonstrated.

The same month that Cheney and Rice hit the talk-show circuit to scare the daylights out of the American people, I happened to be over in Spain attending the wedding of Prime Minister Jose Aznar's daughter, Ana. We were joined by Blair and his charming, outspoken wife, Cherie.

Cherie Blair had a question for me. "Terry, what do people in America think of my husband on this issue?," she asked coyly.

I decided what the heck, I'd tell them the truth.

"With all due respect, Mr. Prime Minister, most people think you're a lapdog for George Bush," I said "No offense, sir."

At that point Cherie slapped her husband on the shoulder and said, "See, I told you so, Tony."

Source: What A Party!, by Terry McAuliffe, p.334 , Jan 23, 2007

2003: Where are WMDs? Still asking today!

By May 2003 the American people could see that the Iraq War was none of these things Bush had said it would be. He rushed off to war under false pretenses and set off a chain of events that has made this country far less safe. Ask yourself: Are you safer now than when George W. Bush was inaugurated in January 2001? Do you FEEL safer? Instead of sticking with the tough job of fighting the war on terror, Bush pulled most US troops out of Afghanistan well before long-term stability had been established.

The questions, I had on June 17, 2003, speaking in Oklahoma, were: "Where are the weapons of mass destruction?" and "Where is Osama bin Laden?" I'm still asking those questions today--along with millions of other outraged Americans.

The following month, we started getting a clearer picture of just how far Bush had gone to distort reality in his push for war.

Source: What A Party!, by Terry McAuliffe, p.336-337 , Jan 23, 2007

Acted as back channel between Yasir Arafat and Bill Clinton

When Yasir Arafat arrived, we talked about what was happening in the Middle East and Arafat had all kinds of questions about US politics and of course about Bill Clinton. Arafat wanted to establish a back channel to Bill Clinton. During the Camp David Summit in July 2000, [an Arafat aide] called me from Camp David to ask me to relay a message directly to the President, saying that Arafat wanted a few minutes alone with Clinton outside of the group talks. I called the President right up and passed on the request that he meet with Arafat one-on-one. "And I did," Clinton remembers.

Arafat was under pressure from other Arab leaders not to accept a deal just for the sake of a deal, but to fight hard for the best deal possible. Through Clinton's efforts [the Israelis and Palestinians] were also able to resolve most of the territorial and neighborhood issues as well as questions relating to holy sites.

Source: What A Party!, by Terry McAuliffe, p.251-252 , Jan 23, 2007

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