Iraqis stopped to remember those slain under Saddam Hussein on May 16th as “Mass Graves Day,” but you didn’t hear about that from the American mainstream media.

Traffic stopped in Baghdad’s main streets and squares Wednesday as Iraqis observed a moment of silence to mark a new national day of remembrance for the victim’s of Saddam Hussein’s regime who were buried in mass graves.

The Iraqi government declared May 16 as Mass Grave Day to commemorate the day when the first such grave was uncovered near the Shiite town of Mahaweel, about 56 kilometers (35 miles) south of Baghdad.

Human rights organizations estimate that more than 300,000 people, mainly Kurds and Shiite Muslims, were killed and buried in mass graves before Saddam was overthrown by U.S. forces in 2003.

Later, Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki tied together the mass graves with current Iraqi events:

During a conference held to commemorate the somber day, al-Maliki described the graves as one of “the ugly crimes” of Saddam’s regime and drew a parallel with the current daily attacks against Iraqis.

“The criminals are the same. In the past, they created the mass graves. Today, they explode, kill and behead innocent people,” he said.

The killing fields of Saddam Hussein are closed down, but the mainstream media doesn’t care to report on this Iraqi remembrance because it would be reporting good news from the war front. And the MSM won’t do that if they can avoid it. I did a quick search for “Mass Graves Day” on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, and Fox News sites, with no results. I got one result from CBS, but that happened only because CBS searched for the individual words and not the phrase.

It is good news that Saddam is gone. It is good news that Iraq is working toward peace and prosperity. It is bad news that murderous thugs “explode, kill and behead innocent people,” but if it bleeds, it leads. This daily drumbeat of bad news is a tool used by the media to bash President Bush and demoralize the American people. Every time the media broadcasts body-count milestones and every bit of bad news, the murderous thugs in Iraq realize they just need to step up the suicide bombings, kidnappings or beheadings to get some media time.

Way to enable the enemy, media!

Hat tip to Gateway Pundit for finding the only media outlet who reported this, and kudos to the International Herald Tribune for not choosing to follow the pack.

If you ever get in a debate argument with a liberal about WMDs at the level of “Bush Lied, people died,” there is a simple question to ask them:

If the U.S. military were to find deadly WMDs in Iraq with a note attached saying “To America with love” and signed by Saddam Hussein, would you support the war in Iraq to remove him?

If you get an answer of NO like I have, stop the conversation right there. There is absolutely no reason to discuss Iraqi WMDs when the presence of WMDs doesn’t matter to the liberal.

If the answer is YES, then you have two options: point out the WMDs that have been found in Iraq, or point out how the entire world, including the Democratic party leaders, were worried about WMDs in the hands of Saddam Hussein. Here is a video put together by the GOP about Democrats and using their own words against them. I bring this up because people are quick to forget what others say unless they are reminded.

Thanks to Instapundit for linking to the video in the first place.

Saddam Hussein is dead. After being found guilty of the deaths of 148 Shi’a Muslims from the Iraqi town of Dujail, the former Iraqi dictator and convicted mass murderer was executed by hanging. I believe in the death penalty, and I have to believe that an execution carried out less than two months after a conviction would act more as a deterrent than our current run of 20+ years on death row. But while I believe in the death penalty, I am also saddened by the death. When Odai and Qusai Hussein and later al-Zarqawi were killed, I didn’t use their deaths as an excuse to rejoice. Rather, I always feel sorrow for the lives that they could have led, and also that they have forever missed the chance to change their lives for the better.

Now that Saddam is dead, I can see Iraq actually changing for the better. Those who have dreamed of a victorious Saddam reclaiming power have had their hopes dashed, but now they can choose to work with the system rather than against it. Those who have had nightmares of Saddam returning to power may now stand up straight in the knowledge that he will never return. But now the Iraqis have no excuse not to take part in their own government. I am reminded of what Benjamin Franklin told a woman who asked him what type of government had been created by the Constitutional Convention. He replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.” The Iraqis have a free country, if they can keep it. And time will tell if they are able to successfully do that, with Sunnis and Shi’as hating and killing each other, and Iran meddling.

Le roi est mort, vive Iraq!

The Left, who have apparently never met a dictator they haven’t liked, are upset over the guilty verdict in Saddam Hussein’s trial. Specifically, Human Rights Watch is announcing that Saddam’s trial is “indefensible.”

The U.S.-based rights group said the court had shortcomings in the timely disclosure of incriminating evidence, that the defendants were not allowed to properly confront witnesses, and that the judges at times did not maintain an impartial demeanor.

“The court’s conduct, as documented in this report, reflects a basic lack of understanding of fundamental fair trial principles, and how to uphold them in the conduct of a relatively complex trial,” the report said. “The result is a trial that did not meet key fair trial standards. Under such circumstances, the soundness of the verdict is questionable.”

If this trial had been held in the United States and were subject to our laws and judges, Human Rights Watch might have a case. But the trial was held in Iraq, under their set of laws and as a purely internal matter, so the group’s whining about it not being up to international standards sounds a little hollow. And I immediately discounted Human Rights Watch’s analysis of the case when I read the following paragraph:

The group, which is against the death penalty in general, also said the death sentence against Saddam is “an inherently cruel and inhumane punishment,” and “in the wake of an unfair trial is indefensible.”

[These guys have a great future on the comedy circuit if watching human rights doesn't pan out. Saddam fed people into wood chippers, maintained rape rooms, and gassed Kurds by the hundreds, and they're worrying about "cruel and inhumane punishment" for the thug? It is to laugh. --TPK]

That position–that any death penalty is indefensible–is what drives this announcement from Human Rights Watch. Any verdict that would call for Saddam’s death would automatically be seen as questionable to them. But if we believe that Iraq is a sovereign nation, then the Iraqis can run their own courts by their own standards. And American buttinskies should butt out.

The dump of Saddam’s captured documents has revealed a nifty nugget of news. Not that you will likely see this in the mainstream media. Here is paragraph as translated by Joseph Shahda:

The top secret letter 2205 of the Military Branch of Al Qadisya on 4/3/2001 announced by the top secret letter 246 from the Command of the military sector of Zi Kar on 8/3/2001 announced to us by the top secret letter 154 from the Command of Ali Military Division on 10/3/2001 we ask to provide that Division with the names of those who desire to volunteer for Suicide Mission to liberate Palestine and to strike American Interests and according what is shown below to please review and inform us. (emphasis mine)

So Saddam was calling for suicide bombers many months before 9/11 and years before we invaded, and his target included American interests. Those could be both local or abroad. Captain Ed of Captain’s Quarters Blog paid for two independent translations of the above paragraph from the original Arabic, and they came back with “and strike American interests” and “and to strike the American interests.” Captain Ed summarized the information this way:

This confirms that Saddam Hussein and his regime had every intention of attacking the US, either here or abroad or both, using members of their own military for terrorist attacks. That puts an end to all of the arguments about whether we should have attacked Iraq, we now know that Saddam and his military planned to attack us. This one document demonstrates that had we not acted to topple Saddam Hussein, he would have acted to kill Americans around the world.

UPDATE: Why “case closed”? Because this shows that Saddam had recruited suicide bombers to attack American interests — showing that destroying Saddam’s regime is an integral part of the war on terror, not a distraction.

Now knowing that the translation is correct, and that Saddam was serious in wanting to kill Americans, Captain Ed continues to connect some dots in his next post. Well worth reading it all.

“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.

Investors Business Daily ran a very interesting article on February 24th, 2006, but I’m sure you’ve heard all about it on the nightly news for days now, right? Oh, who am I kidding? The liberal news shows have no desire to air any information that would show that President Bush was right to stop Saddam Hussein and his WMDs. This article, and the underlying information it brings us, is news, but not anything you’d expect to hear in the mainstream press anytime soon.

So, on with the article.

Yes, the linchpin of opposition to the Iraq War — never really strong to begin with — has taken some real hits in recent weeks. And Bush lied — the anti-war mantra about the president, Saddam Hussein and weapons of mass destruction — looks the most battered.

Inconveniently for critics of the war, Saddam made tapes in his version of the Oval Office. These tapes landed in the hands of American intelligence and were recently aired publicly.

The first 12 hours of the tapes — there are hundreds more waiting to be translated — are damning, to say the least. They show conclusively that Bush didn’t lie when he cited Saddam’s WMD plans as one of the big reasons for taking the dictator out.

Unless you believe that Saddam and others spent hours faking up tapes just to vindicate President Bush, this is a major news story. And these tapes show that Saddam was active in procuring and using WMDs after Operation Desert Storm kicked him out of Kuwait in 1991. Here is a comment by Saddam’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, talking about how Iraq fooled the U.N. inspectors:

We did not reveal all that we have, he says. Not the type of weapons, not the volume of the materials we imported, not the volume of the production we told them about, not the volume of use. None of this was correct.

Boy, sure sounds like the International Atomic Energy Agency and Mohamed ElBaradei were effective in stopping Iraq. But nothing will make liberals stand up and clap like a failure, and so both the IAEA and ElBaradei were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. See also President Carter getting the Nobel Peace Prize for drafting the Agreed Framework with North Korea (among other acts) only to have North Korea announce five days later that it never lived by the Agreed Framework.

But I guess it’s the intent that counts with liberals.

OK, so I’m getting off the topic at hand. Two parts of Hussein Kamel’s comment really jumped out at me. The first was not the volume of the materials we imported. Imported? Imported from where? The article doesn’t say, but based solely on the three nations who were most vocal against taking down Saddam, I would hazard a guess at France, Germany, and Russia. The second phrase that jumped out at me and chilled me to the bone was not the volume of use. We know Iraq used WMDs on the Iraqi city of Halabja and against Iran, but what else don’t we know? What exactly was the volume of chemical and biological weapons used by Iraq?

And don’t think that Saddam didn’t have his finger in nuclear plans. I wrote back in May 2004 about 408 Iraqi scientists working on a nuclear bomb in Libya. More from the IBD article:

Indeed, as late as 2000, Saddam can be heard in his office talking with Iraqi scientists about his ongoing plans to build a nuclear device. At one point, he discusses Iraq’s plasma uranium program — something that was missed entirely by U.N. weapons inspectors combing Iraq for WMD.

The more I find out about what Iraq, North Korea and Libya have done to hide their WMD works, the more I see the IAEA as the U.N. equivalent of the Keystone Cops. If you gave them a map, Sherpas, and the use of both hands, I doubt the IAEA inspectors could find their own butts.

So if Saddam had WMDs, where are they now? It’s a fair question. Multiple people have come forward to say that Saddam moved them out of Iraq.

The short answer to the question of where the WMD Saddam bought from the Russians went was that they went to Syria and Lebanon, said John Shaw, former deputy undersecretary of defense, in comments made at an intelligence summit Feb. 17-20 in Arlington, Va.

They were moved by Russian Spetsnaz (special ops) units out of uniform that were specifically sent to Iraq to move the weaponry and eradicate any evidence of its existence, he said.

Thanks to the very long ramp-up it took to get the U.S. Legislature and the U.N. behind taking Saddam down, Saddam had plenty of time to move any incriminating evidence out of the country. If I had many months to hide metric tons of materials in a area the size of California, or I could smuggle some of it into neighboring Nevada, how easy do you think it would be to find my stashes without assistance? But this news will not convince the liberals who chant Bush lied — People died at candlelight vigils that Iraq was indeed a threat and certainly did have WMD plans and programs. At this point, I don’t think videos of Saddam digging up WMDs in Iraq with his own two hands would convince the Left.

Read the whole article. And if you are still interested, here are some previous articles I’ve written about WMDs.

Weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) are in the news again. If you believe the subject of WMDs is a dead horse that doesn’t need to be flogged any more, then I suggest you read some things in a lighter vein. But for the two of you who plan on reading this, break out your whips. This here dead horse is getting a good whuppin’!

On March 31st, 2005, the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction issued a report to President Bush saying that the intelligence agencies were “dead wrong” about Iraq and WMDs and that “this was a major intelligence failure.” Aha! This is vindication for all those people who said we were wrong to go into Iraq, right? Wrong. Mike Talley expressed his opinion that we had reasons to go into Iraq other than WMDs. Talley wrote “Oh Crap, My Intelligence Sucks!” just before the Iraqi elections:

I believe that the Iraq war was the right thing to do for the following reasons: the perceived threat of Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD’s), Saddam’s willingness to work/fund terrorism, the oppression of the Iraqi people, the hope that a democratic Iraq would help change the region and the eroding support for continuing sanctions. I also believe that the world is a better place and that the Iraqi people are better off with Saddam out of power and in prison.

WMDs were never the reason put forward by President Bush for removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq; they were merely a reason. But because the idea of an Iraqi nuke going off in New York or some chemical or biological attack at the Super Bowl was so easy to grasp, the press pushed the idea of WMDs as the single best reason to remove Hussein from Iraq. WMDs became such a good reason to invade Iraq because everyone could agree on it. Let me say that again: everyone agreed that Saddam Hussein had plans for WMDs.

My brother, who is in a position to follow and understand numerous governmental issues, doesn’t like the fact that we invaded Iraq and removed Hussein because we haven’t yet found any WMDs there. In his eyes, President Bush is an idiot. Well, if Bush is such an idiot for believing the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies, then so are all the other leaders of the world, who likewise were being told by their intelligence agencies about Hussein’s plans for WMDs. Years before President Bush was elected, President Clinton used Hussein’s WMDs as a reason to go before Congress and ask for authorization to enforce the U.N. resolutions passed after Hussein’s defeat in 1991.

So it seems the U.S. intelligence was mistaken, and Hussein didn’t have any WMDs when we invaded. Talley agrees with others that Hussein may not have had WMDs since 1991, but no one on his staff was willing to tell Mr. H that his beloved WMDs were gone. “It seems his scientists and weapons manufacturers feared telling Saddam that they no longer had the capability to produce WMD’s. After all, if you spill the beans that you can no longer do your job, well then, your position is no longer needed,” wrote Talley. Let’s assume for the nonce that Talley is correct, and Hussein was WMD-less when we booted him out of power in 2003. Does that change the need to remove him from power? I say no. Let’s go over the reasoning:

  • Hussein had WMDs.
  • Hussein used WMDs. Truckloads of dead Kurds and Iranians, some caught on videotape, attest to this fact.
  • Hussein wanted more WMDs.
  • Hussein couldn’t be allowed to get more WMDs.

Steven Den Beste wrote extensively about the need to remove Hussein from power during the run-up to the war. He listed four reasons why he believed Hussein should be removed from power, any one of which would be a sufficient reason by itself:

First, we are moved to urgency by the fact that Iraq may be close to developing nuclear weapons. We cannot permit that to happen because of the unacceptably high likelihood that such weapons will eventually be used against us, or that they will support a threat against us. If Iraq has nukes, it won’t be possible for us to apply sufficient influence within that part of the world to begin the process of reform we require to be safe.

Second, we need to conquer Iraq so that we can rebuild it and make it more prosperous so that all the other Arabs around it will see that it isn’t just heathen Americans who can become successful, and that Arabs can do it too. We need to make Iraq a better place, with people who are happier, more free, and more prosperous while still being Arab and Muslim. And in particular, we must free the women of Iraq, to show the women in neighboring nations that they don’t have to be treated as animals.

Third, we need to conquer Iraq to put the “fear of God” (as it were) into governments of all the neighboring Arab nations where the traditionalists still hold sway, so that they will be much more likely to permit the few initial reforms we require from them which will start the process of cultural change moving. When we have substantial military forces right on their borders, it will be much harder for them to say “no” to our demands.

Fourth, we need to conquer Iraq because the “Arab Street” only respects power. We have to prove to them that we actually can do it and that we’re willing to do so. That’s their culture and it’s different than ours, but that is how they think and we have to take it into account. (That, by the way, is the reason there was no rising of the “Arab Street” after Afghanistan; it’s because we won convincingly.)

So although the commission said that Hussein didn’t have WMDs, that doesn’t change the necessity of not allowing Hussein to gather more. The second reason is coming true now, as Iraq has had free elections and women were free to vote in those same elections. Likewise, the “fear of God” has been effective in convincing Libya to change, and it can be seen in how Syria is retreating from Lebanon. And the Arab Street has seen the Taliban spanked out of Afghanistan and the strongest military might in the region crushed within three weeks. The fears of an uprising in the Arab Street have gone unfulfilled.

But I’m still not all that sure that Hussein was completely without WMDs in 2003. There remained enough WMDs for thugs in Iraq to detonate IEDs created from their remains — shells with mustard gas and Sarin in them. Plus there was the foiled bomb plot that came out of Syria, that other nation controlled by the Ba’athist party. I think we may yet find more of Hussein’s WMDs. I just hope that they don’t fall into the hands of people who are willing to use them. But whether he had WMDs in his possession or only thought he did, Hussein had to be removed as a necessary step in President Bush’s War on Terror. Again, Steven Den Beste does a grand job of summing up why:

I can’t explain the reasons for attacking Iraq in a vacuum because Iraq is part of a bigger picture, and the attack there will be one battle in a much longer war. Trying to understand one particular battle without the context of the larger war is an exercise in futility. (By analogy: what excuse is there in 1942 for the US to attack Vichy France in Morocco? Vichy France wasn’t our enemy; Germany and Italy were. Taken out of the context of the larger war, the Torch landings in Africa make little sense. It’s only when you look at the bigger picture of the whole war that you can understand them.)

We must attack Iraq. We must totally conquer the nation. Saddam must be removed from power, and killed if possible, and the Ba’ath party must be shattered.”

Four out of five ain’t bad.

Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Korea.

If you had held a gun to my head five years ago and demanded that I list the leading terrorism-sponsoring nations, I would have rattled off the list above. (What you wouldn’t have heard was my mental swear-thoughts directed at you for holding a gun to my head. I can’t believe you’d do that to me. I thought we were friends.)

Much has happened since a certain fateful day in September 2001. Since then, Pakistan has become an ally in the war–not a staunch ally like the British or Australians have been, but they have made an impressive change. Another ally of the same “uh, I guess it’s nice to have you” variety is Libya. Qadhafi could see the handwriting on the wall and started to cooperate with the United States by turning over Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program which he was housing.

Now Iraq and Afghanistan have been changed from the Rule of Thug to the Rule of Law. Sadly, this required military action, and many lives were lost. But the end result is fifty million people who are no longer under the cruel thumb of dictators, and these nations have had both public and free elections. Score two big successes in President Bush’s column.

This leaves three nations in the list unchanged. Of these, North Korea is run by a loon. Jon Herskovitz sums up the “Dear Leader” well:

In the cult of personality in North Korea, Kim, a short, pudgy man with a pompadour and platform shoes, is king.

After all, this is a man who pilots jet fighters — even though he always travels by land for his infrequent trips abroad. He has penned operas, produced movies and accomplished a feat unmatched in the annals of professional golf, shooting 11 holes-in-one on the first round he ever played.

If we can believe Kim Jong Il–and why not believe such a skilled golfer?–then North Korea already has nuclear weapons. Presumably, these were being worked on while former President Jimmy Carter was leading North Korea into the Agreed Framework, a negotiated agreement to prevent the North Koreans from doing exactly what they claim to have done. Cox and Forkum explain easily how Kim could have lied to President Carter. Frankly, it is in the nature of a communist dictator to say what he wants. The decades of lies issuing from the Soviet Union should provide ample proof.

In a National Review Online article in 2002, John O’Sullivan put North Korea and Iraq together with the disaster of President Carter’s negotiations on behalf of then-President Clinton:

We now know, of course, that though presidential candidate George Bush was mocked by the “experts” two years ago when he criticized the Washington-Pyongyang agreement as dangerously lacking in “transparency,” he was absolutely right. Apply the lessons of North Korea to Iraq. North Korea and Iraq are both dangerous because they are both secretive totalitarian regimes bent upon maximizing their power through the possession of nuclear weapons. Those who ignored these transparent facts in the case of North Korea — including Bill Clinton, the U.S. State Department, the New York Times, Jimmy Carter (and not forgetting the Nobel Prize Committee) — should humbly observe a vow of silence on Iraq. Instead they are observing a vow of silence of North Korea.

“But we didn’t find any WMDs in Iraq!” I hear the doubters cry. While it is true that we haven’t found masses of WMDs in Iraq, there is evidence that 1) Iraq had manufactured/procured WMDs–witness Hussein’s gassing of the Kurds, and the terrorists’ use of Iraqi mortar shells containing mustard gas and Sarin in their IEDs, 2) Iraq passed a large supply of WMDs to Syria that were later caught as they crossed from Syria into Jordan, and 3) Saddam Hussein was most interested in getting his hands on working nuclear weapons. That is what his nuclear scientists were doing in Libya; when Saddam fell from power, Qadhafi didn’t want the presence of those scientists in his country to attract American ire.

And so we come to Syria. Another Ba’athist party-run nation, as Iraq was under Hussein, Syria has some very strong political ties with the deposed Iraqi regime. As mentioned above, Syria has been a long-time supporter of terrorism, and it has been controlling the disaster that is Lebanon for the past two decades. As the ever-so-lovely wife pointed out, “Lebanon is a NINO: a nation in name only.” But this NINO is starting to shake off its Syrian-forged chains. When I first started to write this article, those chains were still firmly in place, but things are changing in Lebanon. Syrian-backed Prime Minister Omar Karami said that he and his government are resigning: “Out of concern that the government does not become an obstacle to the good of the country, I announce the resignation of the government I had the honor to lead.” They are resigning because of the pressure being put to bear on them by the Lebanese people rising up and calling for Syria to leave Lebanon, which it has pledged to do.

Why is Syria reacting this way? It could swarm into Lebanon and put down the uprising, just as the Soviet Union quashed the Hungarian uprising in 1956. But so far it has not. Why? Could it be the armed masses of coalition forces parked right next door? Could it be that these armed masses of coalition forces parked right next door are increasingly not being tied down in Iraq? Could it be the armed masses of coalition forces parked right next door that are increasingly not being tied down in Iraq were also the force that destroyed the strongest military force in the Arab world in three weeks, and could squish Syria like a grape? Could be. And it could also have something to do with 8 million Iraqi people giving Syria the purple finger.

I’m becoming hopeful that Syria will see the changing tide in the Middle East and will change itself. It is showing this change in how it is reacting to the changes in Lebanon, by its choice to turn over to Iraqi custody Saddam Hussein’s half-brother and 29 other high-level people. I can practically hear Syria saying, “What Iraqi Ba’athists? Oh, you mean these Iraqi Ba’athists. Gosh, how did that ever happen? Here, you have ‘em.”

Finally, there is Iran. I saved this nation for last, because it is both the most populous and, arguably, the most dangerous of the seven nations. Iran has been the most active state-sponsored terrorist nation for decades. It has been led since the 1970s by religious leaders who have taught the Iranian people to hate the U.S with a passion. Don’t believe me? Recently, Iranians in the United States wanted to hold an anti-American celebration in the Marriott hotel in Bethesda, Maryland. While this Washington Post article explains that the event was shut down, it doesn’t report the planned event’s full name: “Twenty-Sixth Anniversary of the Glorious Victory of the Islamic Revolution and Death to America Day.”

Iran is currently at work on its own nuclear program. Yep. This nation, possessed of vast oil reserves, ostensibly needs nuclear plants to provide power for its people. But we don’t have to worry about Iran creating nuclear weapons because their plans are completely peaceful. You can trust them. Really.

France, Germany, and Britain have entered into an agreement with Iran to supply the bits and pieces necessary to get the country’s nuclear reactors up and running, and Iran in turn has promised not to enrich the uranium into bomb-capable material. At the same time, the three countries are recognizing that Iran has the right to go ahead and enrich the uranium. In other words, these three nations have become tools to the Iranians. Why shouldn’t Iran enter into nuclear negotiations with the West when it has learned from the way the West has treated North Korea? Daniel Eisenberg explained this in a article which has since disappeared from CNN’s website, but is still accessible via the Google cache:

Meanwhile, the IAEA has discovered that despite its agreement to temporarily suspend all activities related to uranium enrichment, Iran was continuing to do maintenance work on a uranium-enrichment plant in southern Iran.

At the same time, the Iranians have allegedly finished designing a prototype of a detonator for a nuclear bomb, according to an opposition group based in Paris. Taking their cue from North Korea, the Iranians have seen “that you can extend a negotiating process and still build nukes,” says Bruno Tertrais, senior research fellow at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris.

Thank you, President Carter, for setting Iranian expectations about negotiations, thanks to your Agreed Framework failure with North Korea.

Europeans are concerned about a possible military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities as a “mistake.” This is understandable when one considers that several European countries have a financial stake in Iran, providing the country’s nuclear reactor parts. This is strikingly similar to the “oil for peace” buyoffs that France, Germany, and Russia were receiving from Saddam Hussein. No wonder these three countries were so loud in denouncing President Bush’s plan to remove Hussein from power. They could see their gravy train leaving the station once Hussein fell.

And this year’s Neville Chamberlain Cluelessness Award goes to… *envelope opening* the Democrat Senator from Delaware, Joseph Biden! An article in the Boston Globe states: “Biden said that even if Iran was a full democracy like India, it would want nuclear capability, like India. What the world needed to address was Iran’s emotional needs, he said, with a nonaggression pact.”

The most recent notable non-aggression pact was between Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union. It didn’t last very long. But Neville Chamberlain is remembered now for a document he signed just before the beginning of hostilities by Nazi Germany. Chamberlain, the British prime minister, visited Hitler and signed a negotiated non-aggression pact. As he stepped off his plane back from Germany, he waved a printed statement that was “symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.” He announced later, “I believe it is peace for our time.”

Prime Minister Chamberlain learned, to his sorrow, that signing papers and entering negotiations with dictators is pointless. President Carter has hopefully learned this lesson after finding out that his negotiations with North Korea were likewise meaningless. But Senator Biden still holds faith in a non-aggression pact.

Here’s your Chamberlain Cluelessness Award, Senator. I hope you don’t come to regret your words as much as Chamberlain did.

Addendum (3/7/2005): Still doubt that President Bush’s action against Saddam Hussein has had an effect on the people of the region? Here is a quote from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Turkish Press:

At the end of the interview, which was conducted last week, Assad said: “Please send this message: I am not Saddam Hussein. I want to cooperate.”

It might have been the photos of a grubby Saddam Hussein being pulled out of his rat hole.

I like David Brin’s writing, and many of his novels and short stories sit on my bookshelf to be read and reread. The first of Brin’s novels that I read was The Postman, a post-apocalyptic story of a wanderer who found a postman’s uniform, and how that uniform changed the people he met. The book is a fast read, and I recommend it highly.

The movie version of this story, however, stinks like yesterday’s diapers. I do understand that movies and novels are different media, and while an author may have hundreds of pages in which to tell his story, the film director has only 90 to 180 minutes. However, it never ceases to amaze me when a screenwriter rewrites a million-copy-selling novel to “make the story better.”

*movie spoiler warning*

The 1997 movie The Postman stars Kevin Costner. It shares the character of a postman, some names, and the post-apocalyptic setting with the book. Pretty much everything else comes from the brain of someone other than David Brin.

At the end of the movie, there is a major mounted attack by postmen (not in the book) against General Bethlehem (not in the book) and his survivalist troops. It ends with a one-on-one fight between the Postman and the General (not in the book) for command of the troops, ending with the Postman choking the General (not in the book – I think you get the point). Rather than finishing the General and gaining control of the troops, thus stopping the attacks on the remaining people, the Postman stops and declares, “The killing stops here.” While this sounds good and “touchy-feely,” it bears no resemblance to reality. You can’t attack a vicious killer and, after hitting him a few times, tell him that his reign of power and slaying is over – particularly when your enemy doesn’t believe in peace. The people of Oregon didn’t have peace by giving up to the survivalist troops. They didn’t have peace by negotiating with the survivalist troops. They had peace when the troops were defeated and when General Bethlehem was killed. That is what you must do when you are at war.

And we are at war.

We didn’t realize it for years, but a group of Muslim fanatics had declared war on the United States. During the many attacks on America preceding the events on September 11th, 2001, we ignored what these zealots were doing, but seeing the World Trade Towers collapse was hard to ignore.

So here we are at war – the War on Terror – and there are three basic reactions to these attacks:

We Should Give Up

Osama bin Laden has said that America could avoid any further bloodshed if we were to give up our evil ways, renounce Israel, and become good Muslims. There’s just one problem with surrendering to a bully: once you have given in to him, what will stop you from giving up when the next bully comes around? Once a band of thugs realize that you are willing to roll over and piddle on yourself whenever they threaten you, just how much respect will you have in their eyes? And what will stop them from raining down all the horrors they choose upon you? Saudi Arabia is a Muslim nation, but al-Qaeda doesn’t have a problem with killing Saudis. Indonesia has a very large and faithful Muslim population, but this didn’t stop al-Qaeda from detonating a bomb in Bali.

But as much as al-Qaeda would like to see America give up, surrendering just isn’t part of our nature.

We Should Negotiate

“They attacked us! We must start some negotiations with them right away! If we could just talk with them and understand why they are so upset, we could get down to the root of the problem and make everything OK again. Why, with just a bit of work at the negotiation table, we could have peace in our time!”

The Democrat party is a leading proponent of going all Neville Chamberlain on these terrorists. The Democrats are as eager to solve things diplomatically as the former Prime Minister of England was to negotiate with Hitler, and they will have as much success. After all, how can you find common ground with people who want you dead? Do you think you could successfully negotiate them down to only a light maiming? Do you seriously think you can negotiate with evil people? I can just imagine the discussion:

Liberals: We must have done something terrible to make you hate us so. What was it?
Evil: We will kill you.
Liberals: I’m sure you suffered from a poor childhood. Let’s get you on
Oprah so you can talk about it.
Evil: We will kill you.
Liberals: Even though you have lots of oil money, I’m sure poverty is the root problem. Have some money.
Evil: We will kill you.

Oh, yeah, negotiating is the way to go here.

We Must Defeat Them

The only way to stop evil is to defeat it. If you must negotiate, do so after you have removed the evil from power. While the threat and use of violence can be powerful in overthrowing evil, there is something better: the word of God. When the Lamanite people were under attack by the al-Qaeda of their day, they “did hunt the band of robbers of Gadianton; and they did preach the word of God among the more wicked part of them, insomuch that this band of robbers was utterly destroyed from among the Lamanites.”[link] Isn’t it interesting that preaching the word of God has a stronger effect on people than the sword, and that this type of proselyting is specifically forbidden in Muslim countries? Since we are blocked from using the word of God, we are left with the less-powerful tool of defeat – the sword – and it is with the sword that we must now defeat the evil that is in the Earth.

The War on Terror is a war against evil. Too many liberals deny that we can or should look at the world in terms of black and white – but when your opponents are willing to behead innocent people whose only fault was being alive, non-Muslim, and available, what else can you call it? Can you really consider the beheading of Paul Johnson, Nicholas Berg, and now Kim Sun-il as anything but deliberately evil acts?

So after September 11th, President Bush looked over the world and saw the greatest threat of evil to the U.S. came from al-Qaeda, and Afghanistan was guilty of harboring Osama bin Laden and his organization. President Bush realized it was time to deny this evil the nation-state that protected it, and so he launched an offensive to remove the Taliban from power. Thanks to his vision, 24 million people are no longer under that oppressive government, and they are working toward a lasting freedom they have not known for years.

Once the Taliban had been overthrown and al-Qaeda scattered to the hills, what was the next place to go in our War on Terror? President Bush had identified an Axis of Evil that actively supported terrorism, and Iraq was specifically mentioned as part of this Axis. Liberals claim that President Bush led a “rush to war,” but this “rush” took over a year to gather up and execute. Thanks to his vision, 26 million people are no longer under that oppressive government, and they are working toward a lasting freedom they have not known for years.

Iraq had ties with al-Qaeda and funded other terrorists. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said that after September 11th, 2001, the Russian intelligence agency passed information to the United States that Iraq was “preparing terrorist acts on the territory of the United States and beyond its borders, at U.S. military and civilian locations.”

So let’s review what we know about Iraq, folks:

  • Iraq certainly had weapons of mass destruction; it used them against its own people and Iran.
  • Iraq had twice launched major wars against its neighbors in recent history.
  • Iraq was funding terrorism and training terrorists.
  • Iraq had plans to attack America and Americans.

It’s pretty clear that removing Saddam was a fundamental part of the War on Terror. Twice now President Bush has been successful in major operations in this war. Notwithstanding these successes, the liberal left is certainly fully capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory if they have their way. Their continual harping on President Bush and the War on Terror can succeed in distracting us and sapping from this nation the resolve we need to win against this evil. As they keep demanding that we either give up or negotiate, they are pulling us away from the only option that will truly give us peace in our time: defeating the terrorists completely.

Addendum (6/27/2004): I added the discussion about The Postman to the beginning of this editorial. And speaking of the movie, I threw it out after watching it.