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Joe Mariani

Whining of Mass Distraction: How To Discredit A President
June 5, 2003

Why is it that Liberals, Bush-haters and most Democrats (for sake of ease, I'll refer to them as the Antis -- they're mostly anti-Bush, most are anti-war, some are anti-American... but NONE of them seem to be FOR anything) seem to miss the point on nearly every issue? You can always spot them. Right now, the Antis are the ones you hear shrilly demanding that weapons of mass destruction have to be found immediately in Iraq to "justify" the removal of a brutal dictator. If Iraq is not wall-to-wall covered in WMD, they argue, then Bush lied, the CIA lied, and America is an evil, imperialist warmongering nation, just as they always "knew" in their hearts. Why don't they ever get it? What's wrong with these people? I can tell you exactly what they're refusing to see.

The Antis are claiming that we need to "prove" that Saddam was hiding weapons of mass destruction, else removing Saddam from power was either a mistake or a big lie. How can they be twisting the issue so badly? As hard as I try, I cannot remember one single speech in which either President Bush or Prime Minister Blair based the case for war on PROVING Saddam had WMD. That has been a foregone conclusion for over a decade. The UN documented it through UNSCOM (the original weapons inspectors). Saddam admitted it, and was charged to surrender it all for destruction. Some was destroyed over the years, but by no means all. Then a defector brought out information on bioweapons, which Saddam admitted having concealed. Some of that was destroyed as well. At no point in time did the amount of material that was known to have been purchased or manufactured by Iraq come close to matching the amount of material that could be proved to be destroyed, as UNSCOM's report from October 1997 (the report that got them thrown out of Iraq) clearly shows. It can be found online at http://www.fas.org/news/un/iraq/s/s1997- 774.htm for those interested in the facts of the matter. Following are a few excerpts.

61. In June 1996, Iraq declared some 550 artillery munitions (155 mm) filled with mustard chemical warfare agent to have been destroyed during the Gulf War. However, Iraq has not been able to provide evidence of destroyed munitions. In August 1997, Iraq was asked to clarify the circumstances related to the declared destruction. Those data have not yet been provided.

74. Not all imports known to the Commission, including growth media for Iraq's biological warfare programme, have been reported by Iraq. Media unaccounted for is sufficient, in quantity, for the production of over three times more of the amount of biological warfare agent - anthrax - stated by Iraq to have been produced. Additionally, amounts of media declared by Iraq as "lost or unilaterally destroyed" is unsupported by Iraq's own documentation and by interview of Iraq's personnel.

126. There is incomprehension of why Iraq is persisting so strongly with both refusing to make the facts known about its biological weapons programme and why it is so insistent on blocking the Commission's own efforts to reach those facts.

The Journal of the American Medical Association expressed a similar concern about what could be done with all Saddam's unaccounted-for botulinim toxin in February 2001:
After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Iraq admitted to the United Nations inspection team to having produced 19 000 L of concentrated botulinum toxin, of which approximately 10 000 L were loaded into military weapons... These 19 000 L of concentrated toxin are not fully accounted for and constitute approximately 3 times the amount needed to kill the entire current human population by inhalation. The lethal dose of botulinum toxin for humans is not known but can be estimated from primate studies. By extrapolation, the lethal amounts of crystalline type A toxin for a 70-kg human would be approximately 0.09-0.15 µg intravenously or intramuscularly, 0.70-0.90 µg inhalationally, and 70 µg orally.
One µg is just one millionth of a gram. The rest of the article can be found at http://jama.a ma-assn.org/cgi/reprint/285/8/1059.pdf. Three times the amount of botulinim needed to kill everyone on Earth missing... personally, I'm kind of glad President Bush wasn't willing to bet my life on Saddam's dubious veracity when he couldn't tell the UN where it went.

For twelve years Saddam endured UN sanctions. For most of that twelve years he endured the presence of UN inspectors constantly asking him what had happened to this or that batch of chemicals. Why did he keep playing games with them, when all he ever had to do was to come clean, show them the stockpiles they sought, and turn over the real documentation concerning them? Instead, time and time again he falsified and omitted documents, and made claims that couldn't be proved, or would have poisoned half the country if true (if some chemicals had been destroyed the way he claimed).

In no way has the existence of Saddam's WMD ever been in doubt... unless the Antis want to claim the United Nations somehow created the proof of their existence in the first place. But since they have not yet been found (despite the fact that only a few hundred of the sites on a predetermined list of a thousand have been searched so far), the Antis have seized on that as "proof" that the WMD was all a lie made up by G.W. Bush. Why do they pretend to "forget" that President Clinton bombed Iraq citing the existence of WMD as the reason, or that he signed the Iraq Liberation Act which made regime change in Iraq the aim of US foreign policy? Ask the dead killed in the Anfal campaign whether Saddam's WMD were real, whether Saddam's intent to use it was real, and whether his aims of genocide were real. The only real question is, where is it? If the intelligence we had was wrong, we should concentrate on fixing the problem, not on attacking the President for acting on what knowledge he had to ensure the safety of his people. The Antis never seem to ask why Saddam never came clean, or where he put the stuff. They don't want to hear that it might have been smuggled to Syria (or through Syria to the Bek'aa Valley in Lebanon, as one Mossad report stated), or buried in hidden places not marked on maps, or possibly destroyed in secret so Saddam wouldn't get caught with it when war became inevitable. They don't want to know what actually happened -- they WANT the President to have lied. They WANT America to look like the bad guy. Does that sound as anti-American to you as it does to me?

And when discrediting the President becomes more important to some people in the Capitol -- yes, Bobby Byrd, I'm talking to you -- than working WITH the President towards rebuilding Iraq as quickly as possible, more important than working with him to ensure our intelligence capabilities improve, it becomes easy to tell which side is right, and which is wrong.



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