Iraq, WMDs and Big Media
By Carol Devine-Molin
I'm never surprised by the political Left's wanton hypocrisy and attain power-at-any-cost mentality. When recently challenged on her vote for the Iraq War during a debate, Senator Hillary Clinton, who is the Democratic Party's likely 2008 presidential candidate, stated: "You know I made the best judgment that I could make at the time", although she quickly followed that up by skewering President George W. Bush and his administration for all problems associated with Iraq, which, of course, is the modus operandi of Democrats. However, in like fashion, when President Bush states that he made the best decision – ousting Saddam Hussein – based on available information in 2003, he's invariably demonized and dragged though the mud by the Left as an incompetent, a liar, a divider, and even a murderer. This fallacious and mean-spirited characterization was spearheaded by the Leftist elites, which I'll address further in this column.
That being said, the following is undeniable: The CIA and other major intelligence agencies throughout the world believed Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), and was therefore capable of passing them on to terrorist groups. President Bush rightly maintains that he could not afford the risk of leaving Saddam Hussein in power based on what our intelligence experts believed to be true at the time. Let's not forget that instead of being cooperative during the process of inspections as required by UN resolutions, Saddam and his regime were constantly gaming us and failing to be forthright regarding WMDs and their ostensible prior disposal by Iraqi authorities. Given the massive manipulations on Saddam's part, and his history of aggression and possession/use of WMDs, a commander-in-chief responsible for nearly 300 million Americans could not reasonably give the benefit of the doubt to a murderous thug such as Saddam, who, by the way, declared himself to be a sworn enemy of America. President Bush had no other choice but to send in forces to oust Saddam Hussein and his clan. Remember, there weren't any good options available to President Bush simply because Saddam could no longer be contained in "the box": Saddam Hussein's regime was regularly shooting at US and British aircraft, and we had knowledge of WMD precursor elements and equipment, such as chemicals, being shipped into Iraq. Have we forgotten this? Americans have short memories, including those of the conservative realm.
And this notion that somehow the inspectors were able to do an effective job under the awful conditions cited herein is ludicrous. Inspections supervised by that wildly overrated UN apparatchik Hans Blix failed to uncover vital elements tied to WMDs. As noted by renowned investigative journalist and best selling author Richard Miniter in his book Disinformation, there was indeed myriad evidence seized by coalition forces substantiating ongoing WMD activities by Saddam's regime: In June 2004, US forces took possession of 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium. In addition, Department of Energy experts also removed 1,000 radioactive materials in "powdered form, which is easily dispersed" [and] "ideal for a radioactive dirty bomb." In August 2005, "US soldiers stormed into a warehouse in Mosul, Iraq, and were surprised to find 1,500 gallons of chemical agents. It was the largest chemical weapons lab found in Iraq." In May 2004, a roadside bomb that exploded near a US convoy was found to contain the nerve agent sarin. Moreover, according to David Kay, his Iraq Survey Group "discovered dozens of WMD-related activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq had concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002, including chemical, biological, and nuclear experiments." For those interested, there are many more critical citations noted in Disinformation.
That being said, from my own close reading of David Kay's testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in January 2004, which I've written about previously, the media terribly distorted the intent of his words. The liberal mainstream media kept emphasizing that Kay found no large stockpiles of WMDs in Iraq, which was then morphed into the "big lie" that there was no justification for war. In fact, David Kay said quite the opposite before the Senate Armed Services Committee on January 28, 2004: "Senator Warner, I think the world is far safer with the disappearance and the removal of Saddam Hussein. I have said I actually think this may be one of those cases where it (the Iraqi regime) was even more dangerous than we thought."
David Kay further advised the Senate:" Well, it's not that they (the Iraqis) don't have a weapons program – didn't have a weapons program. It is that they had a weapons program but it was a program activity designed to allow future production at some time. And that the missile program was actually moving ahead." Furthermore, Kay described the vital Iraqi weapons-infrastructure that it developed as a stop-gap measure: "So they kept the scientists and they kept the technology, but they came to what I think is a fair conclusion. Why keep the stockpiles of weapons that are vulnerable to inspectors when you've lost your delivery capability? Wait till you have your delivery capability, and then it's a relatively short order." In other words, the Iraqis were poised to promptly move forward in the development of WMDs once they got rid of the sanctions and inspectors, and had their delivery systems in play. The United Nation's "Oil for Food" program, utilized by Saddam Hussein as a vehicle to bribe numerous government officials and to garner influence with the UN Security Council, was ultimately intended to buy political favor for the purpose of halting the Iraqi arms inspections. Then, Saddam's regime could develop their WMD programs unencumbered. Of course, Saddam's elaborate scheming was for naught, given that President Bush toppled his regime.
Let's continue with Miniter's finding in Disinformation regarding pre-1991 WMDs specifically: The author indicates that Polish forces learned that some of this older chemical weapons were being sold on the Iraqi black market. Miniter notes that "Polish military officials bought seventeen chemical-weapons from Iraqis for $5,000 each to keep them from Iraq's so-called insurgents." And don't believe the propaganda being bandied about by media sources who pooh-pooh the saliency of pre-1991 WMDs – Some of that stuff is still potent and usable. As to tests conducted on the Polish-purchased weaponry, author Miniter states there's evidence "that some of the warheads contained cyclosarin, a nerve agent five times more powerful than sarin." Along these same lines, and as relayed in June 2005 by most news outlets such CNS News (directly quoted here), Senator Rick Santorum and Rep.Peter Hoekstra announced "the discovery of more than 500 munitions or weapons of mass destruction, specifically sarin-and mustard-filled projectiles, in Iraq."
True, the pre-1991 chemical weapons are not the ones that we went to war over, as noted by the Pentagon. However, their discovery underscores that our search for other Saddam-era WMDs are still underway, and could very well be found in Iraq or elsewhere. In his book entitled "Saddam's Secrets", former Iraqi General Georges Sada indicates that Saddam's WMDs were smuggled out of Iraq to Syria in 2002 and 2003. A major transfer of WMDs, via land and air, was orchestrated in June 2002 under the guise of providing emergency relief to Syria in the aftermath of a collapsed dam and flood waters that inundated three small villages. According to Sada, one Boeing 747 jumbo jet and a group of Boeing 727s were reconfigured and utilized to move WMDs and contraband technologies to Syria. And who were the prime providers of these technologies to Iraq? Reportedly, Russia and France - no surprises here. In view of the fact that Saddam was always a wily despot who required WMDs to be a power player on the world scene, I find Sada's account to be somewhat credible.
In this post-Vietnam era, military personnel leave in droves under Democrat administrations; and for good reason, they're demoralized by the leadership. In point of fact, the Armed Forces dwindled to approximately half its size under President Bill Clinton's tenure. Forget the mass media spin that's being promulgated. Make no mistake, Clinton did not preside over peaceful times. Importantly, this nation and its assets abroad were targeted by terrorists, time and time again under Bill Clinton, who chose to ignore the growing peril and do nothing substantive regarding these (and other) terror incidents: the Twin Towers, NYC (1993), the Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia (1993), Project Bojinka, which was a plot to bring down American commercial aircraft, and severely damaged a Philippine Airlines aircraft, killing one in a "practice run" (1995), the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (1998), and the USS Cole in Aden, Yemen (2000). That being said, during wartime, any rational person will not want the Left-leaning Democrats in charge considering their abysmal record on national security. Despite the current troubles in Iraq, President Bush has kept the homeland safe, with no new terror attacks since 9/11. And that's no small feat, given the tenacity of Islamo-fascists that try and try again. Success can be attributed to Bush's excellent leadership and a host of effective policies and programs, including NSA surveillance of al-Qaida calls and "social network analysis" of phone records that detects the presence of terrorist interactions.
However, there's no denying that the Leftist elites' constant drumbeat of doom and gloom is having an impact upon the electorate, even the Right-leaning crowd. And the only way that it can be countered is through the conservative message of alternative media, such as talk radio and the Internet. Those that insist Bush has polarized this nation on the war issue have it backwards: It's the political Left and their surrogates in the partisan media that constantly spew venom at Bush and the GOP, causing needless angst and divisiveness among the populace. The Democrats are adept at demagoging issues, and they don't care if they rip this nation apart in order to win elections and empower themselves. Democrats will say, "oh, that's just how politics is played", but anyone with any moral fiber knows that the Left's version of politics – their willingness to lob constant attacks at the commander-in-chief with a view toward undermining the war effort, and proffering no real solutions or plans to address problems – is morally repugnant. According to Pentagon experts, the increase in violence in Iraq is aimed at swaying this current election. The perpetrators of violence in Iraq - the terrorists, the insurgents, the militias creating sectarian violence and the common criminals – are essentially broadcasting to the world that they want the Democrats in Congressional races to win! Yep, their aligning themselves with the Democrats, because they know President Bush is an effective terror warrior and they want him weakened by Democrats who are terrorist enablers and sympathizers.
Lastly, ponder this: Just imagine, if we let Saddam Hussein and his sons remain in power, as the Democrats maintain we should have done. Look at the history in Iraq: These psychopaths were constantly committing violence against neighboring nations and against their own people. Given their inherent nature, it would have continued. And Saddam et al. would certainly be conniving to re-start weapons programs. Moreover, the Democrats, who emphatically attack their political opponents as standard operating practice, would be barking moonbats anyway, howling that Bush should have ousted the Saddam regime when it had the chance. The simple truth is that the political Left will excoriate President Bush and the GOP no matter what they do.
Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.