As I was flying into Minneapolis last week, the lady sitting next to me mentioned that while people often drive five miles over the speed limit in the northwest, they commonly drive 10-15 over the limit in Minneapolis. Not having driven in Minneapolis, I couldn’t vouch for the validity of her statement, but I’ll accept it at face value. But either situation is an example of pushing at a declared boundary.

In Washington state, the highway speed limits are typically 60 or 70 miles an hour. I know from past experience that the flow of traffic often clicks along above this speed, and the police do nothing to stop it. 65 and 75 have become the new boundaries for highway speed. If the Washington state troopers announced that they wouldn’t stop anyone doing 10 miles an hour over the speed limit or less, the new boundaries would become 70 and 80 miles an hour.

It’s not surprising that people often test and push at the boundaries placed on us. Anyone who has raised a child knows that they push at every boundary paced on them. They don’t do it to be bad, but because it is human nature to want to know our limits. And speaking of limits, President Obama will announce today a limit on the use of our nuclear weapons.

President Obama will today announce that he is to dramatically narrow the conditions under which the United States will use nuclear weapons, even for self-defence.

In an interview with The New York Times ahead of the unveiling of his much anticipated revamped nuclear policy, Mr Obama said an exception would be made for “outliers like Iran and North Korea” that have violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

But in a striking departure from the position taken by his predecessors, he said that the US would explicitly commit for the first time to not using nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states that adhere to the nuclear treaty, even if they attack with biological or chemical weapons.

What is the blindingly obvious response to this by terrorists and rogue states, including Iran and North Korea? If you say that they will test these new boundaries, you understand basic human nature. If they don’t already have plans in place for developing and deploying chemical and biological weapons against the U.S., they will be as soon as they read the news.

Terrorists and rogue states are anti-social children with rage issues, so of course they will push at any boundary given them. Since President Obama has two little girls of his own, I’m surprised that he doesn’t understand this aspect of human nature already.

UPDATE (4/9/2010 6:43:19 AM): And once again Michael Ramirez nails it:

Beware of Dog...   No more.

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.

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.