Well, both the House and the Senate have voted for defeat in Iraq, calling for our troops to leave October 1st. Make no mistake, if we pull out because of some arbitrary time limit, we will have lost in Iraq. Then the thousands of lives lost there really would have been lost in vain. President Bush has promised to veto the bill when it reaches his desk, and I believe that would make it the second veto of his Presidency. I am dismayed at how much the Democratic party leadership is mirroring the desires of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. Here is a quick breakdown of what these three groups want:

What do these groups want?
Republicans Democrats Terrorists
U.S. to win in Iraq U.S. to lose in Iraq U.S. to lose in Iraq
Troops to stay Troops to leave Troops to leave
Fight terrorism Negotiate with terrorism Islam to take over U.S.

There is a common phrase that says, “American politics end at the water’s edge.” We can argue and debate our issues and goals within the U.S., but when we go overseas, we ought to be united. But this doesn’t hold true for the Democrats. Speaker Pelosi wanders overseas and actively undermines our sitting President. And now we see that the Democrats are ready to surrender Iraq to the very terrorists who explode IEDs in public markets. Way to stand on your principles, Dems!

I have a dream of an alternate reality in which Democrats support our war on terror. I imagine the Democratic party leadership standing next to President Bush and telling the world in word and deed that all America stands firmly behind our President and our soldiers fighting terrorists around the world. In this imaginary world, I see the terrorists realizing that they cannot succeed against a united America, they lose their morale, and they disband and go away. But in the world in which we live, every time a Democrat demands we leave Iraq or claims we have already lost, the terrorists’ morale improves and the morale of our own soldiers sinks. I would define that as aiding and abetting our enemies, wouldn’t you?

As Rush Limbaugh says, the Democrats own defeat.

It’s 6:40pm PDT as I start to type this. And there is news being reported that should be 72 point font in size and above the fold, if people actually read newspapers any more. Let’s take a look at the cover web pages of the major news outlets. Here are screenshots taken seconds ago of ABC News (266k), MSNBC News (254k), CBS News (342k), and CNN (271k). None of them feature the key international news story reported today. But here is the front page of Fox News (355k). The news story in question is right there in the top left corner, just under the Fox News logo.

Report: WMDs Found in Iraq

Here are the first three paragraphs of the news story on Fox News.

The United States has found 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be uncovered, two Republican lawmakers said Wednesday.

“We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons,” Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said in a quickly called press conference late Wednesday afternoon.

Reading from a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit, Santorum said: “Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq’s pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist.”

That’s 500 weapons of mass destruction, boys and girls. But it’s not press-stopping headline news to ABC, NBC, CBS or CNN. I believe they are not all over this report and trumpeting it to the world because it validates the Bush administration’s decision to wage war in Iraq, and that has to be a bitter pill for the liberals in the mainstream media. I guess they will eventually find their “happy place” and publish the news on the front page, but not before giving it their own spin.

Want to see the liberal spin on this news? Here’s the first three paragraphs of the story as written by Liz Sidoti and published buried on the ABC News website.

Less than five months before congressional elections, Republicans and Democrats maneuvered for political advantage Wednesday as the Senate debated the Iraq war and the future of 127,000 U.S. troops in the war zone.

“Drawdowns must be based on conditions in country, not an arbitrary deadline rooted in our domestic politics,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said, deriding Democratic calls for redeployments.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., countered by saying, “It is time to choose what is more important, a strategy to win in Iraq or a strategy for Republicans to win elections here at home.” She accused Republicans in charge of Congress of “blindly following” President Bush.

Not until the eleventh paragraph does one get the news about WMDs announced by Sen. Santorum and Rep. Hoekstra.

Santorum and Hoekstra released a newly declassified military intelligence report that said coalition forces have found 500 munitions in Iraq that contained degraded sarin or mustard nerve agents, produced before the 1991 Gulf War.

Here’s my liberal media impression as borne out by the media itself: “WMDs in Iraq? Ho-hum. *yawn* Next topic.”

It’s now 7:24, and I’m going back to my dinner that was interrupted by this post. Oh, and the four news outlets still haven’t put this news story on their front pages.

I wrote about how liberals are betting on defeat in Iraq. If the U.S. suffers defeat in the Middle East, the Democrats get to benefit politically. But this puts them in the place of hoping that the U.S. fails. It’s not a good place to stand. Nevertheless, three-fourths of the Democrats in the House voted against House Resolution 861 on June 16th, 2006, which states that the U.S. will win in our war on terror. The final vote was 256 yeas to 153 nays.

Here is the text of the resolution. It will take you a few minutes to read through — but consider, as you read it, that three-fourths of the Democrats in the House could not support this resolution.

RESOLUTION

Declaring that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

Whereas the United States and its allies are engaged in a Global War on Terror, a long and demanding struggle against an adversary that is driven by hatred of American values and that is committed to imposing, by the use of terror, its repressive ideology throughout the world;

Whereas for the past two decades, terrorists have used violence in a futile attempt to intimidate the United States;

Whereas it is essential to the security of the American people and to world security that the United States, together with its allies, take the battle to the terrorists and to those who provide them assistance;

Whereas the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other terrorists failed to stop free elections in Afghanistan and the first popularly-elected President in that nation’s history has taken office;

Whereas the continued determination of Afghanistan, the United States, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization will be required to sustain a sovereign, free, and secure Afghanistan;

Whereas the steadfast resolve of the United States and its partners since September 11, 2001, helped persuade the government of Libya to surrender its weapons of mass destruction;

Whereas by early 2003 Saddam Hussein and his criminal, Ba’athist regime in Iraq, which had supported terrorists, constituted a threat against global peace and security and was in violation of mandatory United Nations Security Council Resolutions;

Whereas the mission of the United States and its Coalition partners, having removed Saddam Hussein and his regime from power, is to establish a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq at peace with its neighbors;

Whereas the terrorists have declared Iraq to be the central front in their war against all who oppose their ideology;

Whereas the Iraqi people, with the help of the United States and other Coalition partners, have formed a permanent, representative government under a newly ratified constitution;

Whereas the terrorists seek to destroy the new unity government because it threatens the terrorists’ aspirations for Iraq and the broader Middle East;

Whereas United States Armed Forces, in coordination with Iraqi security forces and Coalition and other friendly forces, have scored impressive victories in Iraq including finding and killing the terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi;

Whereas Iraqi security forces are, over time, taking over from United States and Coalition forces a growing proportion of independent operations and increasingly lead the fight to secure Iraq;

Whereas the United States and Coalition servicemembers and civilians and the members of the Iraqi security forces and those assisting them who have made the ultimate sacrifice or been wounded in Iraq have done so nobly, in the cause of freedom; and

Whereas the United States and its Coalition partners will continue to support Iraq as part of the Global War on Terror: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives–
(1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles;
(2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;
(3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;
(4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;
(5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq’s new constitution;
(6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom; and
(7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

I’d say I’ve enlisted in the 101st Fighting Keyboardists, but I’m a Captain, dangit, so you will respect my authoritah! The 101st Fighting KeeBees are comprised of bloggers who are using their keyboards to fight in the war against terrorism. This group is the brainchild of Captain Ed of Captain’s Quarters, Frank J of IMAO, and Derek Brigham of Freedom Dogs. Derek did a bang-up job of designing the logo for the outfit, which incorporates a stylized chicken hawk. Frank J put together a great FAQ about the 101st and chicken hawks in general.

To your left, you will see the logo of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists and a blogroll of its current members. I should be showing up as soon as the list is updated. The blogs marked “Deployed!” have been recently updated, so go read them.

The next time someone calls me a chicken hawk, I will hold my head up proudly and say, “Why yes, I am a proud member of the 101st Fighting KeeBees.”

101st Fighting Keyboardists

The first time I kissed my sweetheart and wife-to-be, she responded by saying, “Finally!” I guess she had been waiting a while for me to smooch her.

[Darn tootin' I had. --TPK]

Now that President Bush has decided to release many of the documents captured from Iraq and Afghanistan, I responded by saying, “Finally!” I’ve been waiting for the Bush administration to release the documents we have uncovered that have supported our decision to fight. Interestingly enough, Stephen Hayes of The Daily Standard titled his response to this move with the same word.

It’s about time that the U.S. declassify and release documents seized from al-Qaeda and Iraqi sources. I still maintain that we were justified in taking out Saddam Hussein because of his WMD plans, and these documents tend to suggest that Iraq did indeed have WMD. I already wrote about the tapes Saddam made that support the administration’s WMD argument. And as others have pointed out, since the world’s intelligence agencies were all in agreement about Saddam’s WMDs, it’s more likely that they were correct than that they were all wrong.

So far, the tapes suggest that they were right. And these documents will do likewise. Not that the mainstream media will choose to report such news.

Ohhh, war, I despise
Because it means destruction
Of innocent lives

War means tears
To thousands of mothers’ eyes
When their sons go to fight
And lose their lives

I said, war, huh
Good God, y’all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again

War, whoa, Lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me

– Edwin Star, War

I took a two-hour trip to the city recently, and I spotted three cars with bumper stickers that jumped out at me. The first car had “Anti-Bush” on the left, and “Anti-War” on the right. The second car had “War is never the answer.” And the third had “Wage peace, not war!” I wish I could have stopped them to ask them more about the bumper stickers and their thoughts behind them. They were obviously excited enough about the subject to put something on their cars to proclaim their points, so they should be willing to discuss the issue with me. However, people on a highway are not usually willing to stop and chat about politics. And since I had an appointment that I couldn’t miss, I couldn’t stop and chat with them even if they were willing.

If I could have talked to these people, I would have asked more about their anti-war beliefs. Is there anything they would be willing to fight for? Would they fight if someone wanted to take their wallet? Would they fight if someone broke into their home? Would they fight if someone were raping their spouse or child? Would they fight if someone were actively trying to murder them?

I can easily imagine one possible response: “I wouldn’t fight. I’d call the police!” This basically means that they want someone else to do the fighting for them. Being willing to have the police fight their battles means that they would be willing to have someone else do the work to keep themselves safe. But it is also possible that someone who is devoutly anti-war would react to the above hypothetical situations without fighting or calling on someone else to fight in his or her place. The technical term for this type of person is “victim.”

Over two thousand years ago, there were people who were willing to die at the hands of their murderers rather than raise a hand against them. These people had been a bloodthirsty and murderous group, but after their conversion, they turned from their former ways and buried all their weapons as a sign that they would no longer take up arms against anyone else, not even to defend themselves. They stood by their convictions and did not resist an invading force, even though the attackers killed 1,005 of them in one attack, and an untold number in a second attack. The people of peace eventually fled their homes for a new land, protected by the people there, and they never broke their promise to never take up arms again.

About a decade later, the question of war came up again. Moroni, the head captain of the people — their Commander-in-Chief, if you will — had a difficult decision to make. The people’s liberties were being threatened, and he could either submit or lead his people into war. Moroni took his coat and wrote on it, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” He placed these words, his “Title of Liberty,” on a pole to rally the people to him. For Moroni, these things were too precious to lose without a fight. He did not make the decision lightly, and the people ended up fighting for their freedoms for the next thirteen years. It was a bloody fight, with many dead on both sides, but in the end Moroni and his forces won and maintained their freedoms.

I believe that there are some things that are worth fighting, and yes, even dying for. I believe this way because the loss of these freedoms would be worse to me than the loss of my life. Christ said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” He was speaking of Himself and His upcoming death, but the sentiment holds true for the rest of us. And if a man is willing to lay down his life for a friend, is it not nobler to lay down his life for someone he doesn’t know? I am saddened at the thought of each and every serviceman and woman who dies in the line of duty, particularly the dangerous duty in the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. But I also recognize why they do what they do.

On Tuesday, June 28th, President Bush addressed the nation to explain the nature of the heroic service of the Armed Forces in Iraq. This address should never have been necessary, but the media has reported practically every American death with breathless glee: “See?! We told you it was a quagmire over there, just like Vietnam!” The primary rule of the media is “If it bleeds, it leads.” It is very rare that anything positive is reported from Iraq or Afghanistan, but this lack of reporting comes not because there is nothing positive happening there, but because the nature of news doesn’t lend itself to reporting good news. So one American’s death by some roadside bomb is a top story, but a discussion of how many other roadside bombs were successfully neutralized is never mentioned on-screen or in print. But laying aside the nature of reporting, the media would not report good things about the War on Terror because they hate President Bush, and they can’t force themselves to say anything positive about him. If you have never noticed this bias before in the media, the way the media and the Democrats seemed to respond to the President’s speech in near-lockstep should dispel any lingering doubts you may have about media bias. And it is no wonder when members of the media voted between 70-80% for anyone other than President Bush.

Here’s an example of the lockstep response I witnessed. President Bush outlined why we cannot announce a specific end-date for our forces to leave Iraq:

I recognize that Americans want our troops to come home as quickly as possible. So do I. Some contend that we should set a deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces. Let me explain why that would be a serious mistake. Setting an artificial timetable would send the wrong message to the Iraqis, who need to know that America will not leave before the job is done. It would send the wrong message to our troops, who need to know that we are serious about completing the mission they are risking their lives to achieve. And it would send the wrong message to the enemy, who would know that all they have to do is to wait us out. We will stay in Iraq as long as we are needed, and not a day longer.

I listened to this speech as I was driving across the state. For hours after the speech, I heard commentator after commentator on the Leftist talk-radio circuit criticize President Bush for not giving an exact date when we would leave Iraq. This is one situation when I regret not having a cell phone. If I could have called in, I would have repeated the paragraph above and asked the commentators what part of it they didn’t grasp. I would have asked how many years it took after the rebuilding of Germany after World War II before the U.S. pulled its forces out of that nation. This is, of course, a trick question because U.S. forces are still stationed in Germany.

Calling for a specific withdrawal date shows both a lack of understanding of human nature and of history, if the desire for withdrawal is genuine, or it underlines the depths to which American Leftists will go in their attempt to harm President Bush. Few things would make Iraq a failure like announcing a withdrawal date before we are good and ready. The military didn’t lose the war in Vietnam; the media won the fight by changing public opinion about the war and pushing for an announced withdrawal.

Jim Quinn of the Warroom radio show finds it interesting and telling how the Leftists in this country are aligning themselves with the very terrorists we are fighting. Who wants an immediate withdrawal of Coalition forces from Iraq? The Leftists and the terrorists. Who points out every death in Iraq as an American failure? The Leftists and the terrorists. And who wants the U.S. to fail in its goal of helping to create a free and peaceful Iraq? The Leftists and the terrorists. I can safely state that Leftist want the U.S. cause to fail because that is the way they have aligned themselves. They have not stood up for the fight, and there will be no political benefit from their opposition views if Iraq becomes a free nation. The only way the Leftists will get any political benefit from this war is if the U.S. suffers another Vietnam-like defeat. That is why they are yammering for a withdrawal plan — because they wish to make this war into another Vietnam.

Whether you agreed with or argued with the reasons that led up to the liberation of the people of Iraq, you have to agree that it has become a very successful hornet trap for terrorists. They cannot allow a free and successful nation to exist in the Middle East because that would erode their power base and show the bankrupt state of their philosophy. That is why terrorists from all over the surrounding nations are pouring into Iraq. It is far better for the terrorists to fight trained military forces in Iraq than to launch their attacks against civilians here at home. Since the devastating attacks of September 11th, there have been no other massive attacks here in the States. In this, President Bush has been successful in drawing the terrorists to Iraq in concentrated numbers where they may be captured and killed.

We are at war, and it is a war to preserve our way of life, our freedoms, and our families. These things are worth fighting for. And it is far better to fight and defeat our enemies away from our shores. Or would you prefer to hunt these murderers house to house, Fallujah-style, in your own downtown?

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.

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.

One of the things you will hear in the news, most often from someone on the liberal end of the political spectrum, is the need for an international response to one crisis or another. Our Democrat leaders in the U.S. House and Senate have called for a multinational response to Iraq, Afghanistan, and the War on Terror. Without the blessing of the United Nations, these leaders were not willing to proceed in any of these actions.

But what is it about the United Nations that makes its involvement necessary as part of the American President’s sworn duty to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”? If America must protect itself, does it need the permission of Angola, Benin or Chile? This would be like appealing to your neighbors for permission to stop the armed thug breaking though your front door in the middle of the night. It makes more sense for the head of the household to arm himself and repel the intruder than to waste time on the phone with all the people on the block, asking if it were all right with them if he confronted the trespasser.

You could respond to the example above that the most logical action would be calling the police. While that would be an excellent choice in such a situation, calling the police does not adequately defend you against the armed assailant who is in your house now. Besides, there is no international equivalent of the police department. Regardless of what some people may think, the United Nations has no more power and authority than what the individual member nations choose to give it. And typically, if the United States doesn’t want something to happen in the United Nations, it normally doesn’t happen.

So what benefit is there actually in having the United Nations? The organization will celebrate its 59th anniversary this October, so perhaps it’s time to ask: what tangible benefit does the United States derive from continued membership in the United Nations that it could not achieve on its own? Cannot the U.S. get together with other nations as it sees fit, to create treaties or hold meetings? Certainly it can, and it did so last week during the G8 summit. The eight member states that gathered were Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The United Nations did not need to be present for the world’s eight most economically influential nations to congregate and discuss their goals, needs and plans.

When President Clinton wanted to enter the fighting in Kosovo, he didn’t bother going to the United Nations to get permission. He side-stepped the United Nations completely and started the bombing on his own. President Clinton’s actions in this regard showed how immaterial the United Nations is if the United States chooses to make it so.

But as immaterial as the United Nations is in all practical matters, this does not stop some people from wanting to give the United Nations sufficient power to make it a world government in deed, not just word. I wrote how the laws of thermodynamics work both in biology and sociology. With each level feeding off the level below it, only a small fraction of the energy passed up the food chain actually does any good. Since we already have city, county, state, and federal bureaucracies, do we really need to add another layer of world government and its attendant bureaucracy?

We certainly do not need the United Nations if Rwanda is any indication of how things normally work. In 1993, the United Nations dithered for five months trying to raise a few thousand troops to keep an eye on the warring Tutsi and Hutu peoples. When the larger Hutu population started the outright slaughter of the minority Tutsis, the United Nations stepped right in to stop the massacre. Well, maybe in an alternate universe, but certainly not in this one. In reality, the UN spent the next six months dithering in an attempt to get from 3,000 troops to 5,500. Endless resolutions were passed, and these stern pronouncements were predictably impotent, while over 800,000 Rwandans were hacked to death by machetes.

You may recall that the UN passed 17 such resolutions about Iraq over 12 years; apparently Saddam felt no pressure to comply with them. Only the projection of power supplied by the United States gave these resolutions any teeth. But when the United States decided it was time for Saddam to comply in full with the UN Security Council’s resolutions, the bureaucrats in the United Nations wrung their hands and moaned about the United States acting unilaterally. It was almost as though these bureaucrats were more concerned with keeping control of the situation–even if it were in name only–than they were of making their resolutions stick.

Afghanistan and Iraq are no longer governed by tyrannical and oppressive governments, while Rwanda saw 10% of its population floating down the river in hacked-up chunks. There is a reason why the fates of these two nations are so different. At the beginning of this new century, the United States has a President who is prepared to do the right thing regardless of what the other nations of the world may think or say, and Iraq and Afghanistan are free because President Bush is such a leader. But at the closing of the last century, the United States had a President who was willing to work with the United Nations and too often shared in the slow-acting, ineffectual hand-wringing that typifies an entrenched bureaucracy. Rwanda became a genocidal bloodbath because President Clinton wanted to gather consensus rather than to lead.

It was President Clinton’s brief moments away from the United Nations that led to military victory in Kosovo. But this same President and his minions are now raising their blood-drenched hands to President Bush, demanding that he work not with the nations who willingly joined our coalition, but with the sluggish, ineffectual United Nations bureaucracy. President Bush should give them all the finger and proceed to do his job in the ongoing war, just as President Clinton did in Kosovo.