Engel recalls the Democratic hysteria--the questioning of "What Bush knew and when he knew it" about 9/11--all of which was based on a single Presidential Daily Briefing from August 6, 2001. Engel then turns to Iraq:
Now comes early 2003. Saddam Hussein has failed to comply with his 17th United Nations resolution by, as even Hans Blix agreed, not providing a complete and detailed list of all WMD and ballistic missile capabilities (remember: it was up to him to come clean, not up to us to seek and find the weapons). The resolution (1441) has threatened "serious consequences" for failure to comply, but the French and Russians, their Security Council palms greased by oil-for-food bribes, are whispering in Saddam's ear that they won't go along with any military action and that, in fact, there's a good chance they can get the 12-year-old sanctions against him lifted. Indeed, this reflects a growing consensus of world opinion.
Back in Washington, the president and Congress have access to bales full of intelligence from around the world stating that Hussein has an active WMD program, including biological, chemical, and probably nuclear capabilities. Even the Egyptians are warning the president that Iraq is well-armed and dangerous. The Senate, having viewed that intelligence and consulted with international leaders, is on the record, both verbally and with a vote, as supporting the notion that Saddam Hussein needs to go before he attacks America. . . .
Think about this from the president's point of view: Much of the country is calling for your head regarding your alleged failure to prevent 9/11 when no firm intelligence predicted such a thing. Do you really have any choice but to act on the overwhelming amount of clear evidence that says bad things are happening beneath hidden bunkers in Iraq? No. You have no other way out than to fight preemptively. If you don't, well, heaven forbid another attack is made on American soil--with grotesque weapons that came out of Iraq after sanctions were lifted and Saddam's WMD program was reconstituted (as the Duelfur Report later extrapolated).
I'm only summarizing, as with everything Engel writes, this deserves to be read in full.