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Monday, February 20, 2006

Ostrich in a Battlefield

How safe is an ostrich in a battlefield? Would hiding one's head in the sand make the bombs go away?

These questions have been nagging me since the Hate Bush crowd first crowed about missing WMD's – just a few weeks after the end of major combat operations in Iraq. Don't get me wrong. I know the answer to these questions. What puzzles me is the ease with which the Hate Bushers are willing to stick their collective heads in the Iraqi Desert.

Truth, logic, and reason are missing in their discourse.

For example. Because we have not found stockpiles of WMD's or materials, they claim that Saddam never had them. Yet, they claim the Osama bin Laden exists. How can he. We haven't found him. Is this not conclusive evidence that he doesn't and never has existed?

We shouldn't be fooled by the pictures and video of some tall guy who claims to be Osama. We have pictures and video of WMD materials and of thousands who were killed by them. These pictures are not enough to prove existence. After all, we have spent the past few years looking for both WMD's and Osama bin Laden, yet found neither – clearly they never existed. Did they?

Feel safer now? If so, pop out of the sand for few minutes and follow along.
  • We know that Saddam once had WMDs – specifically biological and chemical. He used them on his own people.
  • We know that he once had a nuclear WMD program. After Desert Storm, we discovered that it was far more advanced than previously thought.
  • We know that Iraq was hiding something from weapons inspectors. We have tapes of communications between facilities were officials discussed moving materials.
  • We know that Saddam was bribing U.N, France, and Russian officials to circumvent the Oil for Food Program. Saddam was stockpiling money and attempting to curry favor among these nations to lift the sanctions – presumably to resume his nuclear WMD program.
  • We know that Iraqi soldiers were prepared for Bio-Chem warfare. Thousands of chemical suits and nerve gas antidote syringes were found in mosques during the early phases of the war.
  • We know that Saddam had ample opportunity to hide or get rid of WMD materials during the months and weeks preceding the war.
Given what we know, is it really safe to conclude that WMDs and materials never existed? Or, is it safer to wonder where they went?

Recently, two former Iraqi Generals claim that Saddam shipped the WMDs to Syria. Last week, while most of the media was obsessed with being dissed by the Vice-President, ABC News aired portions of the "Saddam Tapes" in which he discusses his WMD programs with other Iraqi officials. (More info about these tapes can be found here.)

Saddam has clearly demonstrated a proficiency for hiding things. He hid materials from weapons inspectors. He hid a dozen MiG jets in the sand. He had ample opportunity to ship weapons to friendly states before the war began. Moreover, it was in Saddam's best interest that stockpiles NOT be found. Only then could he claim the invasion to be an illegal war – and embarrass the United States.

Is it safe to risk underestimating Saddam's ability to hide WMDs as we once underestimated his nuclear weapons program?

As we approach another election year, consider this. Which U.S. Senate and Congressional candidates are better suited to handle issues of national security – those with their heads buried deep in the Iraqi Desert or those willing to pursue the question "where did they go?"

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