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.

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?

“My message to you concerns inciting and continuing to urge for jihad to repulse the grand plots that have been hatched against our nation, especially since some of them have appeared clearly, such as the occupation of the Crusaders, with the help of the apostates, of Baghdad, the house of the caliphate, under the trick of weapons of mass destruction. There is also the fierce attempt to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque and destroy jihad and the mujahideen in beloved Palestine by employing the trick of the road map and the Geneva peace initiative.”

What we have here is yet another tape from Osama bin Laden. In this case, it came out early in January. Let me give you a quick summary of the message: blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Have you ever noticed that the pedantic tone of Osama’s taped messages sounds similar to Hitler’s Mein Kampf? Oh, no! I’ve invoked Godwin’s Law by mentioning Hitler; therefore, this message is over.

 

 

 

 

 

Still with me? Good. There are some pretty striking similarities between the two. Both have a hatred for Jews, and both went blah blah blah. Let’s look at some of what Osama said in that paragraph.

“…grand plots that have been hatched against our nation…” What nation would that be, Osama? The nation of Iraq? The nation of Afghanistan? But you are neither Iraqi nor Afghani, Osama. Could it be that you are talking about the whole Islamic nation? Who selected you as the spokesman for the billion Muslims on Earth? As President Bush has made clear, this is not a war against Islam; this is a war against cowardly thugs like you who hide behind the robes of Mohammed and pollute the words of Allah on their lying lips.

Why do Osama bin Laden and other terrorists hate America so? We would have been content to ignore his wide-eyed rantings in the Afghani mountains if he had not raised his hand against others. So why does he hate America? Steve Den Beste has written a fantastic treatise on why these terrorists hate America on his site:

It’s really difficult to exactly delineate who our enemies are, but they number in millions. They’re Arab and Muslim, but not every Arab is among them, and most Muslims are not….

[O]ur enemy is trying to compete in the 21st century footrace with both feet cast into buckets of concrete. They are profoundly handicapped by the very values that they hold most dear and that they believe make them what they are.

The nations and the peoples within the zone of our enemy’s culture are complete failures. Their economies are disasters. They make no contribution to the advance of science or engineering. They make no contribution to art or culture. They have no important diplomatic power. They are not respected. Most of their people are impoverished and miserable and filled with resentment, and those who are not impoverished are living a lie.

They hate us. They hate us because our culture is everything theirs is not. Our culture is vibrant and fecund; our economies are successful. Our achievements are magnificent. Our engineering and science are advancing at breathtaking speed. Our people are fat and happy (relatively speaking). We are influential, we are powerful, we are wealthy. “We” are the western democracies, but in particular “we” are the United States, which is the most successful of the western democracies by a long margin. America is the most successful nation in the history of the world, economically and technologically and militarily and even culturally….

We’re everything that they think they should be, everything they once were, and by our power and success we throw their modern failure into stark contrast, especially because we’ve gotten to where we are by doing everything their religion says is wrong. We’ve deeply sinned, and yet we’ve won. They are forced to compare their own accomplishments to ours because we are the standard of success, and in every important way they come up badly short. In most of the contests it’s not just that our score is higher, it’s that their score is zero.

They have nothing whatever they can point to that can save face and preserve their egos. In every practical objective way we are better than they are, and they know it.

Steve points out that these militant groups have three options: 1) they can stagnate, ceasing to wield power and influence in the world, 2) they can reform and turn their backs on militant Islamic ideas, or 3) they can lash out against America specifically and Western culture in general.

If they chose either of the first two options, we would not lift a hand to harm them. But since they have chosen to lash out in anger against us, America cannot allow them to stand, and their days are numbered. Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, and al Qaeda have already learned this lesson.

I strongly suggest visiting Steve Den Beste’s site. While I don’t agree with everything he writes, he is one of the best-thought-out writers I have encountered in a long time. In addition to the article above, I suggest reading the following articles: