These outright fabrications or, at the very least, matters that demanded vigorous debate were not challenged. The mainstream media largely served as an echo chamber for the war hawks, and most leading politicians were shy to criticize.  

In advance of the February 2003 meeting of the Democratic National Committee, Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. and I submitted a resolution to encourage debate on the impending war. Using temperate and respectful language, it called on our party to urge the Bush administration “to pursue diplomatic efforts to achieve the disarmament of Iraq, to clearly define for the American people and Congress the objectives, costs, consequences, terms and length of commitment envisioned by any U.S. engagement or action in Iraq, and to continue to operate in the context of and seek the full support of the United Nations in any effort to resolve the current crisis in Iraq.”

Polling indicated that the majority of Americans and a supermajority of Democrats supported these positions. And we knew that if Democrats failed to challenge the rush to war, we would not only risk losing the support of voters but also shirk our responsibility to avert a war that would prove devastating to our country and the Middle East region.