Political Lomcevak (Tumbling the Liberal Mindset)
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
I have been so uninspired for the last few days. The news has been one big blah.
Is this the preliminary preliminary hearing? Who cares? Nobody, except Greta van and a couple of other people. Please, if there is a God, please, no cameras in the courtroom.
Can you believe these people? I haven't even wanted to argue this with any of the liberals I know, since it is obvious that all they want to do is nail Bush desperately. The idea that WMD's were a figment of Carl Rove's political imagination is breathtaking in its audacity. EVERYBODY knew Saddam had WMD's. EVERYBODY. The French, the Russians, the Iranians (Remember, he gassed them) the UN, EVERYBODY. In fact, one the the "smoking guns" eluded to by every liberal that flapped their gums before the war was the apparent indiscretion of the Reagan Administration giving Saddam pre-cursors to WMD.
There is one interesting theory being advanced
"Where Are the WMDs?
Why we may not find them.
By Jim Lacey
After over a month of looking, Coalition forces have not come up with the WMD
smoking gun yet. There are many possible reasons why. Saddam, after 20 years
of practice, has become a master of disbursing and hiding things and it will
take some time to root his WMD program out. Alternatively, it is possible
that just before we invaded, large portions of Iraq's WMD program were sent
to Syria for safekeeping. The nightmare scenario though, particularly for
those who justified the war in terms of finding WMDs, is that WMDs do not
exist and have not since the end of Gulf War I. Unfortunately, with every
day that passes, that possibility looms larger.
It is likely that if Saddam no longer had a WMD program he did not know it.
Why else would he endure over a decade of crippling sanctions? If Saddam had
ended his quest for WMDs, it would have been in his best interest to open
the doors wide and let the world see. By playing as the model citizen he
would have regained control of his oil wealth and quickly been able to make
Iraq a regional superpower again.
Instead, his henchmen did everything possible to obfuscate the true WMD
picture and to thwart any inspection teams. If they had nothing to hide,
they sure worked hard at trying to hide it. What if they were not just
hiding a possible WMD program from inspectors, but also hiding from Saddam
the fact that no such program existed?
Outlandish? Maybe not. Consider, for instance, that a WMD program is
expensive. It has already been proven that the Saddam regime was siphoning
off billions of dollars through black-market oil deals and other
under-the-table methods. However, there were numerous claims on these funds.
Buying the loyalty of the Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard did
not come cheap. Just trying to keep the military in good enough order to
crush internal revolts was already prohibitively expensive. Throw in the
cost of presidential palaces, reconstructing Babylon, paying off Bath-party
loyalists, and it is not long before you would be scraping for nickels. Iraq
was not even able to find money and parts to maintain oil-production levels.
The golden goose was dying.
There are already reports that Saddam's family members had drawn down on the
dictator's overseas wealth to the tune of $6 billion in order to finance
palace construction - they would not have done this if there were other
alternatives available. Consider, too, the system-wide corruption in Iraq.
Saddam and his family may have been the biggest looters of Iraqi wealth, but
they were not alone. At every level there were people with their hands out,
siphoning off funds for their own private use.
On top of all of this, Saddam was making demands, probably on his sons, that
a WMD program remain a top priority. If they loyally followed daddy's wishes
they would have had to overcome a number of serious impediments. First off,
they would have had to rebuild the program almost from scratch, after it was
destroyed or mostly dismantled after Gulf War I. That would have required
overcoming stringent import bans and dealing with a brain drain that
witnessed five million of Iraq's best-educated citizens heading overseas.
All of this would have to be done under the watchful eye of the U.S.
What was in it for Saddam's minions, including his sons, if they were to
scrape up the billions of dollars needed to start and maintain a WMD
program? All such a program did, from their perspective, is drain off funds
they needed for other projects, and draw the unwanted attention of bombers
and cruise missiles. In their corrupt minds, a new "love palace" would
always be a priority over a WMD site that was likely to be turned into dust
as soon as it was discovered. If they shortchanged Saddam on a palace or his
Babylon reconstruction there was a strong chance he might notice. However,
it would be easy enough to hide that he did not have a WMD program.
Saddam was unlikely to be able to tell the difference between nuclear-grade
graphite and pencil lead. What are the chances that the uneducated dictator
could tell a centrifuge from a cow-milking machine? By claiming that the
program was disbursed at hundreds of different sites, it would ensure that
Saddam was never able to visit more then a handful and therefore would not
be able to uncover the fraud.
This would explain both why U.S. intelligence reportedly intercepted orders
from the top, possibly Saddam himself, authorizing local commanders to use
chemical weapons and also why they were not used. Saddam ordered their use
because he was convinced he had them to use. However, commanders never fired
any because they were not really available.
The recent discovery of two possible mobile bio-labs may be the exception
that proves the rule. Of all the WMD programs possible, bio-weapons are by
far the cheapest, and it does not come any cheaper than loading a few petri
dishes into a trailer and driving them around the desert. Such a lab would
have given Saddam's henchmen something to show their leader that was far
above his ability to understand. By being mobile, the labs were unlikely to
be targeted and turned into molten steel. But mobility would also allow
people to tell Saddam the program was more extensive then it actually was.
For all we know Saddam could have thought he had hundreds of such labs. He
was unlikely to be able to differentiate one from another, and therefore
easy to fool. Mostly though, creating a small stock of biological weapons
would not have cost much more than the gold trim in one palace bathroom.
In the event that we do not find the WMD smoking gun this is the only
explanation that would make any sense. Saddam wanted the program and was
willing to endure crippling sanctions to have it. However, his henchmen were
unable to deliver and, unwilling to be on the receiving end of Saddam's
zero-defects program, they faked it. In the process of making Saddam believe
he had a functioning program they could easily have sucked U.S. intelligence
into the deception. In fact, deceiving U.S. intelligence in this way would
have been important to them. It would not have been conducive to a long life
if the United States had come to Saddam and told him they had discovered he
had no WMD program and all of his most trusted advisers were lying.
- Jim Lacey, a New York-based writer, was a war correspondent for Time
magazine embedded with the 101st Airborne Division during Operation Iraqi
The Detainees (BTW, how goes the SARS*?)
So lets get this straight. Pre-9/11 there are millions of illegal immigrants in this country, allowed in by a system that was, and remains, a total disaster. Then 9/11 happened, and the Fed's are forced to move rapidly to ensure that mass terrorism doesn't happen. They only grab 762 of these guys, and the major complaint is that we kept them too long. And for this we have maltreated these illegal aliens? And now the media is blasting the Feds? One word for you guys. Blair.
See why I am uninspired?
*Standard Canadian Insult.