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America's Just War
by Murray Soupcoff, The Iconoclast
06 October 2003George W. Bush

The New York Times' treatment of David Kay's preliminary report to Congress reveals the depths of their disdain of the Bush administration. 

Talk about dissembling. The once revered New York Times -- America's "newspaper of record" -- has turned into the New York Spin, capable of more misleading headlines, sleight-of-hand spinning -- er, reporting -- and verbal hairsplitting than Bill Clinton's much-celebrated spin room.

In the 21st century, the Times' principal editorial mission no longer appears to be reporting the news, but creating it (and out of thin air, if need be). No wonder the dissembling Jayson Blair flourished in this liberal-propaganda hothouse.

These days, in fact, the New York Times' primary journalistic goal appears set on unseating a sitting American president by publishing misleading news reports reflecting badly on his administration and daily filling its front page with truth-distorting headlines that cast this leader in the worst light possible. Not to mention unleashing an editorial barrage of paranoid invective against George W. Bush the likes of which hasn't been seen since the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC) discovered Hollywood in the early 1950's.

Case in point, the New York Times' headline blurb on arms-expert David Kay's preliminary report to the U.S. Congress, summarizing the current findings of his investigation of Saddam's WMD program in Iraq: NO ILLICIT ARMS FOUND IN IRAQ, U.S. INSPECTOR TELLS CONGRESS.

Excuse me! No illicit arms found in Iraq? What about the following observation by David Kay in his report: 

We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002. The discovery of these deliberate concealment efforts have come about both through the admissions of Iraqi scientists and officials concerning information they deliberately withheld and through physical evidence of equipment and activities that ISG [Iraq Survey Group] has discovered that should have been declared to the UN.

And just what kind of efforts at concealment of "non-existent illicit arms" (as the Times would likely refer to them) did Saddam and his cohorts engage in? According to Mr. Kay, they included the following:

1. A clandestine network of unmonitored laboratories and safehouses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service that contained equipment suitable for continuing CBW research.

2. A prison laboratory complex, possibly used in human testing of BW agents, that Iraqi officials, who were working to prepare for UN inspections, were explicitly ordered not to declare to the UN.

3. Reference strains of biological organisms concealed in a scientist's home, one of which can be used to produce biological weapons.

4. New research on BW-applicable agents Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin, were not declared to the UN.

5. Documents and equipment were hidden in scientists' homes that would have been useful in resuming uranium enrichment by centrifuge and electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS).

6. Continuing covert capability to manufacture fuel propellant useful only for prohibited SCUD variant missiles, a capability that was maintained at least until the end of 2001 and that cooperating Iraqi scientists have said they were told to conceal from the UN.

7. Plans and advanced design work for new long-range missiles with ranges up to at least 1000 km -- well beyond the 150 km range limit imposed by the UN. These missiles, with a 1000 km range, would have allowed Iraq to threaten targets throughout the Middle East, including Ankara, Cairo, and Abu Dhabi.

8. Clandestine attempts between late 1999 and 2002 to obtain, from North Korea, technology related to 1,300 km range ballistic missiles, 300 km range anti-ship cruise missiles, and other prohibited military equipment.

 But wait, Mr Kay wasn't quite finished: "In addition to the discovery of extensive concealment efforts," he continued, "we have been faced with a systematic sanitization of documentary and computer evidence in a wide range of offices, laboratories, and companies suspected of WMD work. The pattern of these efforts to erase evidence -- hard drives destroyed, specific files burned, equipment cleaned of all traces of use -- are ones of deliberate, rather than random, acts."

Of course, this preliminary evidence is probably the tip of the iceberg. Certainly, many intelligence sources (including the Israelis and British) believe that a year of pre-invasion haggling in the UN (as well an initial lack of vigilance by invading Allied forces) gave Saddam and his minions plenty of time to ship any particularly visible WMD materiel to Syria and other destinations. And others believe that Saddam's primary pre-war intent was simply to retain a scientific and informational infrastructure sufficient to renew his quest to finalize various weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear and biochemical -- just as soon as international pressure abated (with perhaps the election of another Democratic president). 

And now, here's yet another rebuttal to the wishful-thinking fantasy of liberals that the Bush administration simply lied about the existence of biological and other WMDs in Iraq. Take note of the following AP news report from the Hindustan Times on October 2, 2003:

KUWAIT CITY -- Kuwaiti security authorities have foiled an attempt to smuggle $60 million worth of chemical weapons and biological warheads from Iraq to an unnamed European country, a Kuwaiti newspaper said on Wednesday.

The pro-Government Al-Siyassah, quoting an unnamed security source, said the suspects had been watched by security since they arrived in Kuwait and were arrested "in due time." It did not say when or how the smugglers entered Kuwait or when they were arrested.

Chemical weapons and biological warheads from Iraq? They must have been planted there by the CIA. Or perhaps they're an example of past Iraqi entrepreneurial initiative, now discouraged by the mean Kuwaitis and Americans. But a product of the pre-war regime of Saddam Hussein? Impossible! Anyone who reads the New York Times, Newsweek or The Nation knows that Saddam Hussein was a good-natured, peace-loving dictator who hated war -- an amiable man of simple wants who just wanted to be left alone to use stolen oil money to build more opulent palaces, prisons and torture chambers for his family's enjoyment.

The moral of this entire story, then? Contrary to what the New York Times and liberal Democrats would have you believe, the Bush administration's war against Saddam was a just one. It was based on the assumption that Saddam had breached several UN resolutions warning him against creating WMDs that potentially could threaten Iraq's many neighbors, or end up in the hands of terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda (which would use them to strike at American cities). And it hinged on a realistic policy that assumed that unless Saddam himself were overthrown, this autocratic megalomaniac would inevitably return to the task of creating fearsome biological and nuclear weapons (no doubt with the assistance of German and French commercial interests) once the United Nations was put off the scent.

After the events of 9/11, President George W. Bush could not put the lives of thousands (if not millions) more Americans at risk, by letting this happen.

Murray Soupcoff is the author of Canada 1984 and a former radio and television producer with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He  is the Managing Editor of The Iconoclast

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