The good news continues to come out of Iraq. Here’s part of a story posted in USA Today on a lazy Sunday:

The number of truck bombs and other large al-Qaeda-style attacks in Iraq have declined nearly 50% since the United States started increasing troop levels in Iraq about six months ago, according to the U.S. military command in Iraq.

The high-profile attacks generally large bombs hitting markets, mosques or other “soft” targets that produce mass casualties have dropped to about 70 in July from a high during the past year of about 130 in March, according to the Multi-National Force Iraq.

Military officers say the decline reflects progress in damaging al-Qaeda’s networks in Iraq. The military has launched offensives around Baghdad aimed at al-Qaeda sanctuaries and bases.

“The enemy had the initiative and the momentum in ’06,” said Jack Keane, a retired general who is a chief architect of the increase in troop levels and mentor to Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. “We’ve got it now.”

Ed Morrissey of Captain’s Quarters Blog looks at the same USA Today report and lists three reasons why the surge has worked so well:

First, the terrorists have no time to expand and strategize. They have to defend themselves from encirclement by American troops, which means they have to go on the run. Any time they move, they have to get out into the open, which exposes them to more danger. If they don’t run, they have to fight military troops, battles in which they do not have the skillsets to succeed.

Second, terrorist tactics have enraged Iraqis and driven them away from the insurgencies. Even other insurgencies have found it necessary to ally with the US military to stop the inhumanity of al-Qaeda control. The terrorists have had to use these brutal techniques to frighten people into compliance with their leadership — a sure sign of desperation. They’re losing the hearts-and-minds battle.

Third, our tenacity allows the Iraqis to rely on us — and that brings another level of unity. They have responded to our efforts by vastly increasing the intelligence that comes to the military, which allows us more success in tamping down the violence. They have begun to unify amongst themselves for their own protection as well, which helps build political strength for Iraq from the ground up. They feel liberated to participate in self-government.

Betcha you won’t see the nightly news TV shows lead off with this news story tonight.

There are moments of moral clarity in life when the obscuring fog of confusion and doubt are blown away by a blast of information that brings everything into sharp detail. One of these occurred last night as I read the following from a FrontPage Magazine article about the actions of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) (hat tip to Little Green Footballs):

Seven years earlier in November 1999, two Saudi students on an America West flight from Phoenix to Columbus were detained after landing because they had made repeated attempts to enter the cockpit area of the plane during the flight.

In both cases, CAIR rose up to defend the offenders in question and engaged in their now standard grievance theater protest politics. In the most recent case, CAIR has tried to capitalize on the publicity surrounding the incident by backing the “Flying Imams” and supporting their lawsuit against the airlines and passengers for responding to their bizarre behavior. The lawsuit is being handled by a Muslim attorney associated with CAIR.

When it comes to the November 1999 incident, any mention of CAIR’s involvement or defense of the Saudi students has been scrubbed from the organization’s website. It’s no wonder, as the 9/11 Commission Report (page 521, footnote 60) explains that the FBI now considers the incident as a “dry run” for the 9/11 hijackings. And the two men involved? As the 9/11 Commission Report explains, Hamdan al-Shalawi was in Afghanistan in November 2000 training at an Al-Qaeda camp to launch “Khobar Tower”-type attacks against the US in Saudi Arabia, and Mohammad Al-Qadhaieen was arrested in June 2003 as a material witness in the 9/11 attacks. Both men were friends of Al-Qaeda recruiter, Zakaria Mustapha Soubra, who drove them to the airport that day in Qadhaieen’s car. Another friend of Shalawi is Ghassan al-Sharbi, another Al-Qaeda operative that would later be captured in Pakistan with high-level Al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida.

There is a connection between these two incidents, as the leader of the six “Flying Imams” this past November is none other than Omar Shahin, the former imam of the Islamic Center of Tucson, where the two Saudi students from the November 1999 incident attended. Counterterrorism expert Rita Katz told the Washington Post in September 2002 that the mosque served as “basically the first cell of Al-Qaeda in the United States; that is where it all started”. (Len Sherman’s Arizona Monthly November 2004 article, “Al Qaeda among Us”, provides greater detail about the connections between the Saudi pair involved in the November 1999 event and the Al-Qaeda cell that operated in Tucson and Phoenix.)

These links helped me to understand with clarity something I had long suspected: CAIR is an organization of quislings, willingly assisting the Islamic terrorists who labor to kill Americans and overthrow our nation’s rule of law to replace it with Shari’a. CAIR is actively using civil rights lawsuits as a smoke screen for terrorists. Groups like CAIR insist on the current insanity at airports that requires 80-year-old grandmas and a former Vice President to pull off their shoes and receive pat-downs. We mustn’t profile, because that would get airport security sued for racism. But Islam is a religion, not a race.

I refuse to listen to any further grievances voiced by terrorism-tainted CAIR, or by any other group that functions as a support system for those who seek the Islamist overthrow of these United States and the world.

The big news today is that the al-Qaida thug who has been leading the terrorists in Iraq has been killed by a U.S. air strike. Go Air Force! The body of Sheikh Abu Musab al-Zarqawi has been identified by fingerprints and distinguishing body marks. And in even better news, this air strike was a two-fer as it killed Sheik Abdul Rahman at the same time.

I view the death of people with sadness, even the death killers like al-Zarqawi and Saddam’s sons, Odai and Qusai Hussein. The chance to turn their lives around is now gone, but so is the opportunity for additional murders and mayhem. And I can accept that. Michelle Malkin has a good round-up of the current news, and I fully expect this to be top news on all the talk and news shows today.

So, who will spot the first “Yeah, but where’s Osama?” sentence in any of the main stream media’s reporting today?

UPDATE (6/8/2006 9:46:25 AM): Little Green Footballs has the air strike video and my favorite post title for the day.

Did you hear the wonderful news that came out over the weekend? If you actually heard that Iraq now has a permanent government, it was probably buried under reports of road-side bombs exploded and servicemen killed. Ralph Peters wrote up a great summary in his New York Post article of where we are in our war on terror.

* The mainstream media said it couldn’t be done, so the Iraqis did it: Under new Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, they formed a permanent government based on free elections. (Those free elections were supposed to be impossible, too – remember?)

Yes, Iraq could still break into bloody bits. But it hasn’t, despite ceaseless predictions of doom. Now the great danger isn’t from terrorists but from a premature troop draw-down before our midterm elections. We could throw it all away over a few congressional seats.

We are winning. But we can still lose if the cowards gain control and pull our talented service men and women from their assigned posts. Ralph continues with this theme:

* Al Qaeda has been broken. Yes, its remnants remain deadly. Yes, autonomous terror cells pose a growing threat. But the organization behind 9/11 has seen its surviving leaders driven into caves and remote villages where they live in constant fear. Islamist terror may have moved beyond al Qaeda, but our government and our military deserve credit for shattering the greatest international terror ring in history.

We have done incredible damage to al-Qaeda, but we can still lose this fight if our will as a nation to combat this evil is sapped away by negative news and political wimps. He finishes up with the following:

Plenty remains to be done. We must see our Iraq mission through to the end – unless the Iraqis fail themselves. We must restore integrity and common sense to our foreign policy by ceasing to pretend that the Saudis are our friends and by living up to our rhetoric about support for democracy. And we need to take a very hard line on China’s currency manipulation and cheating on trade.

Still, any fair-minded review of the last several years of American engagement abroad would conclude that, despite painful mistakes, we’ve changed the world for the better. The results have been imperfect, as such results always will be. But the bewildering sense of gloom and doom fostered my many in the media is as unjustified as it is corrosive.

Our global report card right now? A for effort. B for results. C for consistency. D for media integrity. And F for domestic political responsibility.

We haven’t been perfect in our fight against the terrorists, but we have achieved great things with our allies. 50 million people now live out from under the thumb of dictators, and a permanent government now sits in Iraq that was freely elected by the people. The nay-sayers said it couldn’t be done, but the Iraqis have shown that they can. Has President Bush handled everything perfectly? No, but he has done a better job than any of the alternatives.

And I can live with that.

“There is no link between Saddam and the attacks on 9/11!” I’ve heard that said over and over again, and my quick response has always been, “Who told you there was a link?” The Left has blasted the Bush administration over claims of Iraq-9/11 connections, but President Bush has repeatedly stated that while there are links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, there aren’t links between Iraq and 9/11.

I ask “Who told you?” because there are some people on the Right who say there is a link. But you won’t hear much in the mainstream media about the links between Iraq, al-Qaeda and 9/11. When an acquaintance told me point-blank that Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism, I responded by asking if she had heard the news stories about Salman Pak. I believed her when she said she had never heard of it, because the media have been collectively guilty when it comes to reporting what we have discovered in Iraq.

And this under-reporting is still going on. I wrote how President Bush has commanded that many documents seized in Iraq be made public, and information about these documents is beginning to be revealed. A few papers are publishing the information as it is translated, but it appears to me that they they are dragging their heels, reporting this news only grudgingly if at all. ABC reported on some of the documents, but Michelle Malkin points out how the editors have placed disclaimers after each document cited. She finishes with the following question:

Will we see that helpful disclaimer–”this document is of limited evidentiary value”–the next time ABC News or Newsweek or the NYTimes or the Washington Post uses unnamed, uncorroborated informants?

Captain Ed of Captain’s Quarters has posted a long article today about some of the information pulled from the document dump. It is well worth your time to read Ed’s reaction and the whole article by Stephen F. Hayes at the Weekly Standard.

Truth will out, but it will come slowly due to the volume of documents that must be translated, and because of the unwillingness of the mainstream media to make the content of these documents public knowledge.

I’m going to do something that I’ve not done before — I’m going to devote this space to quote extensively someone else’s work. The Marxist Left in this country has long said that there have been no Iraq / Al-Qaeda ties. While I have written about this before, I am going to transcribe a news report from 1999, thanks to Jim Quinn bringing this to light. You can download the mp3 here with Quinn’s commentary, or read my transcription of the report below. Any errors are my own fault.


Quinn: This is a tape from ABC News in 1999, before the attacks of September 11th, talking about Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

ABC Reporter: In Germany, Mandu Salim [phonetic spelling - CM], alleged to be a key military advisor and believed to be privy to bin Laden’s most secret projects is also apprehended. The U.S. government alleges he was under secret orders to procure enriched uranium for the purpose of developing nuclear weapons. [male speaking Arabic in background] These are allegations that bin Laden does not now deny.

Male translation of Arabic: It would be a sin for Muslims not to try to possess the weapons that would prevent the infidels from inflicting harms on Muslims. But how we could use these weapons, if we possess them, is up to us.

Quinn: OK, so here you have an ABC report about Osama bin Laden trying to get nuclear weapons for Al-Qaeda in 1999. Now, keep listening!

ABC Reporter: With an American price on his head, there weren’t many places bin Laden could go, unless he teamed up with another international pariah, one also with an interest in weapons of mass destruction.

Quinn: Now my, my! Who might that be?

Male voice: Osama believes in, uh, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend and is someone I should cooperate with.” That’s certainly the current case with Iraq.

ABC Reporter: Saddam Hussein has a long history of harboring terrorists.

Quinn: You’re kidding! You know, after Bush got elected, nobody in the media would admit that. This is before Bush got elected, and so everybody, including the Democrats in the Senate and the Congress, they didn’t have a problem with tying Osama bin Ladin with Saddam Hussein and terrorism to Iraq. No problemo! As soon as Bush gets elected, it goes right down the memory hole. Well, here’s something — here’s a blast from the past, kids. From the groove-yard of golden goodies.

ABC Reporter: Carlos the Jackal, Abu Nidal, Abu Abbas, the most notorious terrorists of their era, all found shelter and support at one time in Baghdad.

Quinn: Isn’t that amazing! Gee, the media had no problem with that back then, did they?

ABC Reporter: Intelligence sources say bin Laden’s long relationship with the Iraqis began as he helped Sudan’s fundamentalist government in their efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Three weeks after the bombing, on August 31st, bin Laden reaches out to his friends in Iraq and Sudan.

Quinn: Gee, I thought he didn’t have any interaction at all with Iraq and Sudan.

ABC Reporter: Iraq’s Vice-President arrives in Khartoum to show his support for the Sudanese after the U.S. attack. ABC News has learned that during these meetings, senior Sudanese officials, acting on behalf of bin Laden, asked if Saddam Hussein would grant him asylum.

Quinn: Sudanese officials acting on behalf of Osama bin Laden asking the representatives of Saddam Hussein in Iraq for asylum. Gee, it’s funny now. We’ve got this bright line the Democrats have drawn between Iraq and the War on Terror. [Imitating a pompous Democrat] “Why Iraq is just his … it … I would have made Osama bin Laden the target. Why, this is a distraction from the war.” B. S.!

ABC Reporter: Iraq was indeed interested. ABC News has learned that in December an Iraqi intelligence chief, named Faruq Hijazi, now Iraq’s ambassador to Turkey, made a secret trip to Afghanistan to meet with bin Laden.

Quinn: Well, isn’t that interesting?! Now where’s that been, all these years now?

ABC Reporter: Three intelligence agencies tell ABC News they cannot be certain what was discussed, but almost certainly, they say, bin Laden has been told he would be welcome in Baghdad. And intelligence sources say they can only speculate on the purpose of an alliance.

Quinn: Hah!

ABC Reporter: What could bin Laden offer Saddam Hussein? Only days after he meets Iraqi officials, bin Laden tells ABC News that his network is wide, and there are people prepared to commit terror in his name who he does not even control.

Male voice translating Arabic: It is our job to incite and to instigate. By the grace of God, we did that, and certain people responded to this instigation.

Quinn: Uh-hmm. So the next time someone tells you there is a bright line between Iraq and Osama bin Laden and the War on Terror, tell them to go pound salt!

There is an old Russian joke, dating back to the Soviet Union’s heyday when the two government newspapers were called Izvestia and Pravda. Izvestia means “news,” and Pravda means “truth,” leading to the joke, “There’s no news in the Truth, and no truth in the News.” At times I look at the major media here in the United States, and I wonder if we could say the same thing.

On June 16th, the 9-11 Commission held meetings and, as the New York Times put it, “Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie“. Here is a quote from that Times article: “However, the commission said in a staff report, ‘We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States.’” Oddly, the quoted phrase shown in the Times does not appear in any of the pdf files released by the 9-11 Commission on June 16th. The Times article says in its first paragraph, “[T]here did not appear to have been a ‘collaborative relationship’ between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.” It is again interesting that the phrase “collaborative relationship” does not appear in a search of the four pdf files released on Wednesday.

But here is a quote from another New York Times article: “Both indictments offer new information about Mr. Bin Laden’s operations, including one deal he is said to have struck with Iraq to cooperate in the development of weapons in return for Mr. Bin Laden’s agreeing not to work against that country. No details were given about whether the alleged deal with Iraq led to the development of actual weapons for Mr. Bin Laden’s group, which is called Al-Qaeda.” This article was published on November 5, 1998, and it certainly reads as a “collaborative relationship” to me.

Here is what former Illinois governor and 9-11 commissioner James Thompson said the next day on CNN with Soledad O’Brien:

In fact, the report says that President Bush and Vice President Cheney are correct. It’s a little mystifying to me why some elements of the press have tried to stir this up as a big controversy and a big point of contradiction because there is none. We said there’s no evidence to support the notion that Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein collaborated together to produce 9/11. President Bush said that weeks ago. He said it again yesterday. The vice president said it again yesterday. I said it again yesterday in television interviews. What we did I say was there were contacts between Al-Qaeda and the Iraqi administration of Saddam Hussein, and the president has said there were contacts. The vice president has said there were contacts. They may be in possession of information about contacts beyond those that we found, I don’t know. That wasn’t any of our business. Our business was 9/11. So there is no controversy; there’s no contradiction, and this is not an issue.

But it is an issue, because the liberal media has spun the story to convey information quite different from the commission’s actual findings. Vice President Cheney met on CNBC’s “Capitol Report” show with Alan Murray and Gloria Borger. The following is a transcript of this show:

BORGER: But obviously first the news of the week is the 9-11 Commission report. And as you know, the report found, quote, “No credible evidence that al-Qaida collaborated with Iraq or Saddam Hussein.” Do you disagree with its findings?

Vice Pres. CHENEY: I disagree with the way their findings have been portrayed. This has been enormous confusion over the Iraq-al-Qaida connection, Gloria. First of all, on the question of whether or not there was any kind of a relationship, there clearly was a relationship. It’s been testified to. The evidence is overwhelming. It goes back to the early ’90s.

It involves a whole series of contacts, high-level contacts between Osama bin Laden and Iraqi intelligence officials. It involves a senior official, a brigadier general in the Iraqi intelligence service going to the Sudan before bin Laden ever went to Afghanistan to train them in bomb-making, helping teach them how to forge documents. Mr. Zarqawi, who’s in Baghdad today, is an al-Qaida associate who took refuge in Baghdad, found sanctuary and safe harbor there before we ever launched into Iraq. There’s a Mr. Yasin, who was a World Trade Center bomber in ’93, who fled to Iraq after that and we found since when we got into Baghdad, documents showing that he was put on the payroll and given housing by Saddam Hussein after the ’93 attack; in other words, provided safe harbor and sanctuary. There’s clearly been a relationship.

But after a clear answer like that, Gloria Borger continued to harangue the Vice-President about this issue. Clearly, some liberal leftists in the media are creating a political mountain out of a non-existent molehill. Why are they doing this? Quite simply, because they disagree with the President’s agenda.

In a world where the enemies of this nation have cut off the heads of American noncombatants simply because they are Americans, we need to be united in our response to terrorist murderers. Instead the liberal press portrays to the world, and to al-Qaeda, a weak and divided America. The media will fill up the papers and airwaves with outrage over the mistreatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib Prison for months, but when truly horrific events such as the September 11 attacks and the decapitation of Paul Johnson and Nicholas Berg occur, they will hold off publishing the evidence. Why? Because such information would put steel in the backbone of Americans, and we would unite behind our President as he directs the war against this evil. And the press can’t allow that to happen.

Steven Den Beste has written an article about the misuse of antibiotics to treat infectious diseases. Tuberculosis is one of those diseases that can require many months of treatment to cure, while many more common ills only need a few weeks of antibiotic treatment. When I had a strep or ear infection, I only needed to be on antibiotics for about two weeks to be cured, but tuberculosis cannot be treated that quickly. One problem with tuberculosis and other infectious diseases is how some people stop taking antibiotics mid-way through the cure. Too often people will discontinue the drugs before the treatment is complete because they start feeling better and think they no longer need treatment.

When people stop taking antibiotics too early, the initial drug treatment starts to kill off the bugs in their system, but there hasn’t been enough time to complete the removal of the disease. The bugs most susceptible to antibiotic treatment have died, but the strongest bugs are still around, and if they aren’t killed off they will breed and pass on their antibiotic resistance. As Nietzsche said, “What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” The over-prescription and misuse of antibiotics has generated strains of “superbugs” that are resistant to our modern medicines. Since tuberculosis is difficult enough to treat as it is, being infected with a highly resistant strain of tuberculosis is in effect a death warrant. And if you land in this most unfortunate circumstance, you may blame those who failed to follow their doctors’ direction and stopped taking their antibiotics before it was time.

This brings me to my main point: we are at war. You may not recognize this based on what you hear in the press and what the liberals in government are saying, but our nation is at war. Arguably, the first blow by terrorists against the U.S. came when Ramzi Ahmed Yousef plotted the bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993. Since that time, terrorists have continued to attack Americans both at home and abroad, but the fact that these terrorists had declared war on the U.S., the West, and all non-Muslims around the world didn’t ring loud and clear until Mohammed Atta slammed the first jet into the World Trade Center on a September morning in 2001. At this point, we could no longer ignore the existence of a wide-ranging body of people who hate the West and who want to see us dead.

Recognizing that we had been attacked, President Bush set out to deny a secure base of operations to these terrorists. This is why the U.S. removed the Taliban government from Afghanistan because the Taliban actively supported al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. The nation of Afghanistan supports them no more. This is why the U.S. removed Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq because Saddam actively supported al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. The nation of Iraq supports them no more.

This nation is at war, and as such there will be battles. People will die. As much as we value human life in the United States, there are those who do not feel this way. Omar Bakri Muhammad on April 18th: “We don’t make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity.” This comes from a cleric in the “Religion of Peace.”

There will be more attacks by terrorists. You can bank on it. We have been blessed with almost three years of no 9/11-type attacks on American soil, but we cannot assume this peace will last forever. In the three years since the attack in September, al-Qaeda has been busy attacking here, here, here, here, here, and here. Will al-Qaeda hit America again? It is not a question of if, it is a question of when. And it will happen this year. Count on it. Since the terrorists were so successful in terrorizing the Spaniards just before their elections, you can take it to the bank that they will strike the U.S. before our national elections in November.

What will be our response to the next big strike? Will we bury our dead, roll up our sleeves, and proceed to clean out the human cesspool that is terrorism? Or will we follow Spain’s lead? After the March 11th bombings, Spaniards marched in the streets shouting their anger and will to fight. But mere days later, they crawled to the voting booth and voted for a Socialist leader who pulled them out of Iraq and cried, “Don’t hurt us!” First they stood tall, then they rolled over on their backs and pissed themselves in fear. If this wasn’t a victory for the terrorists, what would be?

So when we get hit before the election, will we as a nation grit our teeth and strengthen our resolve to rid the world of this menace? Or will we give up and let the terrorists win? Having started the world-wide anti-terrorist medicine, will we see it through to the end when the terrorists are destroyed, or will we stop our treatment early and breed ourselves a group of “super-terrorists” who have survived our first wave of attacks and are that much stronger?

I guess you must ask yourself a simple question: will you stand up and fight, or will you die screaming as they cut off your head?

On May 23rd, American author E. L. Doctorow was booed while he gave the commencement address at Hofstra University. Rather than using this opportunity to talk to the graduating class about their accomplishments or what they could expect in the near future, Doctorow used his time to bash President Bush and call him a liar.

One story he [Bush] told was that the country of Iraq had nuclear and biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction and was intending shortly to use them on us. That was an exciting story all right, it was designed to send shivers up our spines. But it was not true.

Another story was that the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, was in league with the terrorists of al-Qaida, And that turned out to be not true. But anyway we went off to war on the basis of these stories.

Loud boos erupted at these words. At one point, Doctorow stopped speaking and just stood there at the podium. Hofstra president Stuart Rabinowitz stepped up to the mike and asked that the crowd allow Doctorow to continue, but some people continued to boo the author nevertheless. While this is one of the latest examples of commonly-held leftist ideas about the war in Iraq, this certainly won’t be the last time they are brought up. So let’s look at the “stories” that Doctorow claims Bush told.

Weapons of Mass Destruction

A common claim by the liberal left is that President Bush lied to us about Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. Leftists often claim (as does Doctorow) that President Bush said that “Iraq had nuclear and biological and chemical weapons,” but what President Bush really said was that “[Iraq] possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.” That is what President Bush said on Oct. 7, 2002. The President also didn’t claim that the threat was imminent:

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

What did we know before we toppled Saddam’s regime? We knew that Saddam had both biological and chemical WMDs. How did we know this? Because Saddam had used them. This is not conjecture, nor is it speculation. This is a historical fact. Saddam had such weapons, and he was willing to use them. Since Saddam couldn’t account for these WMDs, nor would he allow inspectors to verify their destruction, the only logical conclusion is that Saddam still had them.

Fast forward a year after the overthrow of Saddam, and liberals are calling out, “Where are the WMDs? Bush lied!” But let’s look at a little bit of what has come out in the news recently. In May 2004, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said, “The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found.” This round of (all together now, kids) sarin nerve agent was hooked up as an improvised explosive device, or IED. But this wasn’t an isolated event — two weeks earlier, terrorists had exploded an IED that contained mustard gas. The servicemen were fortunate in that the shell had been stored improperly, making the mustard gas ineffective; the sarin shell was exploded incorrectly, reducing the threat from it as well.

But when you find two dead cockroaches, it is foolishness to claim that is the extent of the infestation.

“Gazi George, a former Iraqi nuclear scientist under Saddam’s regime, told Fox News he believes many similar weapons stockpiled by the former regime were either buried underground or transported to Syria. He noted that the airport where the device was detonated is on the way to Baghdad from the Syrian border.” (Fox News)

In April, Jordan broke news of a planned bomb plot that could have killed tens of thousands of people in the city of Amman. At least three trucks came over the border from Syria laden down with detonators, explosives and the raw materials to create more explosives. Amid these “raw materials” were VX, sarin and 70 other chemicals. Could Syria have created the VX and sarin? Sure, but only Iraq had the facilities to create them in the quantities that were found. Is it a coincidence that military convoys were seen heading from Iraq into Syria before the war, and now we are capturing terrorists leaving Syria with chemical WMDs? Not according to Jaffar Jaffar, regarded as the father of Iraq’s nuclear program, who recently surrendered to American forces.

But what about Iraq’s nuclear program? On Sunday, May 23rd, 2004, former Justice Department prosecutor John Loftus talked about the nuclear program in the Middle East. This is transcribed from my recording of his interview:

“Now the British discoveries date back to just after September 11th, when British intelligence wiretapped a frantic phone call from North Korea to Libya. The North Koreans were saying, ‘Oh my God! If the Americans do go into Iraq, they’re going to find all the documents about our nuclear weapons program.’ ‘And who’s going to pay,’ the Libyans inquired, ‘all the nuclear scientists from Iraq in Libya once Saddam falls?’”

We now know that Libya had an ongoing nuclear program, but why was Iraq paying Libya to house nuclear scientists there? The simplest answer is that Libya’s nuclear program was really Saddam’s nuclear program outsourced. Loftus continued:

“Well, that tape was played to the North Koreans. They said, ‘Yeah, we have a nuclear program. So what? Bribe us.’ We played that tape to Kaddafi and he said, ‘Let’s make a deal.’ So Kaddafi has secretly confirmed that there was this Arab consortium on nuclear weapons. That Saddam decided because he knew where the blind spots were in Hans Blix’s staff to move his key nuclear scientists into Libya. 408 were transferred into that country. Kaddafi provided a hollowed-out mountain…. Some of these guys were actively working on Saddam’s payroll. He knew where the blind spots were. That’s how they knew to hide the entire weapons of mass destruction program. Blix is going to go down in history as a bloated bureaucrat whose arrogance was only exceeded by his incompetence. The spread of nuclear weapons took place right under his nose.”

So Saddam had and used biological and chemical weapons, and these weapons have turned up in Iraq and surrounding countries. While it appears that Saddam may not have been active inside Iraq with a nuclear program, he had outsourced such a program into Libya with the assistance of North Korea. President Bush’s claims were true when he said that “[Iraq] possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.”

Any liberal who tells you otherwise either has his head buried in the sand, or is outright lying to you for his political gain.

Iraqi ties to al-Qaeda

So is Doctorow correct when he claims there is no connection between Saddam and al-Qaeda? Well, let’s look at what we know.

Czech intelligence reported in October 2001 that Mohammad Atta, the terrorist who flew the first plane into the World Trade Center, met with Iraqi Counsel Ahmad Al-Ani. Why would Atta break his cover a few months before the September attack to meet with an Iraqi in Prague? Could this meeting have been related to the plane hijacking training provided by the Salman Pak training camp in Iraq? According to Sabah Khalifa Khodada Alami, an Iraqi military officer who defected from Iraq in 1999, Salman Pak was a training site for the Fedayeen Saddam in airline hijacking and sabotage. Also training in this camp were non-Iraqi groups, who received similar hijacking training using the Boeing 707 plane parked in the camp.

But there is another link between Iraq and al-Qaeda. The Jordanian bomb plot mentioned above was planned by Abu-Musab al-Zaqawi, a close follower of al-Qaeda. The people captured in this plot confessed on Jordanian television that the plot was hatched by al-Zaqawi in 1999, while he was in Iraq, as an al-Qaeda attack. The attack was attempted with Iraqi WMD supplies, but fortunately was stopped before thousands died.

Does the name al-Zaqawi ring a bell? He’s one of the ghouls who chopped off Nick Berg’s head. Know where he is right now? If you say Iraq, go to the head of the class. So here we have al-Qaeda: trained in Iraq, supplied with weapons from Iraq, plotting attacks in Iraq, launching attacks now in Iraq and, thanks to the corruption of the U.N.’s “oil for food” program, funded by Iraq. But if you listen to people like Doctorow, there is no connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq.

Yeah, right.

Addendum (5/26/2004): Al Gore has stepped forward and bloviated about the war in Iraq. He is calling for the resignation of the Secretary of Defense, two deputies, the intelligence chief, the National Security Advisor, and the head of the CIA. If a bomb were to claim the lives of these six people, it would be a terrible blow to the American government. But Gore is calling for them to fall on their own swords. He is also calling for the removal of President Bush at the ballot box this November. Yep, Al Gore, the sore loser, is calling on America to cringe and crawl before the terrorists and piss on themselves, much as Spain did after the March 11th bombings in Madrid. Thanks, Al.

Lemme clear up one simple thing that Gore missed when he said “[Bush] decided not to honor the Geneva Convention.” The GC specifies how soldiers, prisoners and civilians are to be treated. But there are three basic caveats to the GC. First, the GC only applies to the nations who sign it. Second, if a signatory nation violates the rules of the GC, the other nation(s) are no longer bound by it. Third, the rules about treatment of soldiers apply only to people wearing uniforms, insignia or other clear indications of military membership. Clearly, al-Qaeda does not fit the last category since they are not a clearly identified military. Nor have they shown that they will honor the GC, setting off IEDs with mustard and sarin gas in them. And they are not signatory members of the GC. So how exactly do al-Qaeda and the other terrorist rabble attacking Coalition soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan fit with the Geneva Convention? They don’t, but this won’t stop liberals like Al Gore from beating their breasts over it.

This speech by Al Gore will be translated and broadcast throughout the Muslim world, and it will strengthen the resolve of those who delight in the shedding of American blood. With this speech, Al Gore is giving real aid and comfort to the enemy. This is treason. But because Gore is a Democrat, nothing will happen to him.

In a previous article, I wrote how the 9/11 Commission is following the political road map laid out in a leaked Democrat memo plotting to use “non-partisan” investigations to attack President Bush. While the Commission is being blatantly partisan, it is also illustrating how not to investigate an issue. Jonathan Rauch wrote up “The 9/11 Commission could learn more if it talked less” for the National Journal. He sums up how the commission has gone wrong and what it should do to make things right. His tagline for the article is “The most important job of the 9/11 commission is not to fix blame for past wrongdoing but to identify and correct continuing problems.” Needless to say, this is not happening.

So before this partisan commission steps up Dick Clark, a counter-terrorism chief in both the Clinton and Bush administrations. His book, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror, and his appearance before the 9/11 Commission catapulted him into his 15 minutes of fame. But what exactly is he saying in his book? In a glowing article of praise, Slate author Fred Kaplan sums up Clark’s claims this way:

In the summer of 2001, Bush did almost nothing to deal with mounting evidence of an impending al-Qaida attack. Then, after 9/11, his main response was to attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11. This move not only distracted us from the real war on terrorism, it fed into Osama Bin Laden’s propaganda—that the United States would invade and occupy an oil-rich Arab country—and thus served as the rallying cry for new terrorist recruits.

But does this claim stand up to the facts? Supposedly President Bush’s main response to 9/11 was attacking Iraq. Really? Let’s see, from September 2001 to March 2003 seems to be a long time to start a “main response,” don’t you think? And we know the U.S. was completely focused on attacking Iraq during these eighteen months. After all, nothing else made the major news other than gearing up for the war in Iraq. Oh, wait. I guess something else happened first. Seems Dick Clark completely forgot the removal of the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. I guess the main response wasn’t going after Iraq, but going after al-Qaeda.

So what about his other claim that the Bush administration did almost nothing about an impending al-Qaeda attack? According to Clark’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission, he mentioned al-Qaeda to Dr. Condoleezza Rice and her expression said she didn’t even recognize the name. But Dr. Rice had made public statements over a year before September 11th about the threat from bin Laden. So did the Bush administration really drop the ball with al-Qaeda, as Clark states in his book? Not at all, if we are to believe his own words in a 2002 briefing to reporters. In this briefing, Clark stated that the Bush administration in early 2001 had “changed the strategy from one of rollback with al-Qaeda over the course [of] five years, which it had been, to a new strategy that called for the rapid elimination of al-Qaeda.” Clark’s book says that the Clinton administration was clearly focused on terrorism and had extensive plans to combat it. All of these he says the Bush administration failed to carry out. But again, in his own words before reporters in 2002, Clark said, “I think the overall point is, there was no plan on al-Qaeda that was passed from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration.”

So Clark basically said one thing in his book and something completely different in 2002. As 9/11 Commission member Jim Thompson asked of Clark, “We have your book and we have your press briefing of August 2002. Which is true?” Clark responded that both are true, but this is impossible since the two statements are completely contradictory. Vice President Dick Cheney sums it up when he said of Dick Clark:

“So I guess, the other thing I would say about Dick Clark is that he was here throughout those eight years, going back to 1993, and the first attack on the World Trade Center; and ’98, when the embassies were hit in East Africa; in 2000, when the USS Cole was hit. And the question that ought to be asked is, what were they doing in those days when he was in charge of counterterrorism efforts?”

Since Dick Clark’s book has now been exposed as a load of tripe, it’s time to move onto the other bit of pig offal sitting on the 9/11 Commission. I am speaking of Jamie Gorelick, Deputy Attorney General under President Clinton. Since she was directly responsible for the “wall of separation” between the Justice Department and the CIA that prevented the two agencies from communicating with each other, she ought to be a witness called before the Commission, not sitting on it. Scott Jordan wrote “The Gorelick Rosetta Stone”, linking the Chinagate scandal of the Clinton administration with the tragedy that is the September 11th attacks:

To set the stage, recall that Bill Clinton ensured his loyal minions populated the US Attorneys’ offices nationwide when he fired every last US Attorney at the dawn of his Administration, then appointed his own. Next, as we have seen through Jamie Gorelick’s startling memo, he saw to it that domestic law enforcement was blinded to foreign intelligence information. He then methodically offered up White House access and key strategic technologies to the highest bidder: China, and Indonesian/Chinese billionaire donors with close ties to China’s dictatorial regime.

Thanks to Ms. Gorelick’s actions, the FBI and CIA were unable to share information with each other. Many people wonder why these agencies were able to gather information about the September 11th murderers so quickly but were unable to stop the attacks. The answer is that the dots were all there, but thanks to “Gorelick’s Wall” no one was in a position to connect them.

So who is ultimately to blame for the September 11th attacks? It was al-Qaeda specifically, and radical Islam generally. Don’t believe that radical Islam was behind this? Let me share with you this little quote offered up by Omar Bakri Muhammad on April 18th: “We don’t make a distinction between civilians and non-civilians, innocents and non-innocents. Only between Muslims and unbelievers. And the life of an unbeliever has no value. It has no sanctity.”

“Religion of Peace,” my eye.