Mark Alexander / December 13, 2002

The ‘Axis of Evil’ Never Rests

The “Axis of Evil” never rests. On Saturday, Iraqi officials turned over 12,000 pages of “information” on their weapons of mass destruction programs, some 2,100 pages devoted to Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program before 1991, and another 300 pages in Arabic detailing Iraq’s current nuclear programs. The UN-mandated declaration asserts that Iraq no longer has any WMDs, and if they did, they certainly would not share things like information from their “radiation bomb project” with al-Qa'ida or other Jihadi operatives targeting the U.S. Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman called the declaration “A 12,000-page, 100-pound lie.” Former weapons inspector David Albright said the table of contents confirms “that on the nuclear side, the declaration has been recycled. A lot of this is pre-1991,” he said.

Saddam’s lap dog, Lt. Gen. Amir al-Saadi, held a press conference to bolster the massive report as “entirely accurate” in denying any violations of barred WMD weapons or research. “We haven’t reached the final assembly of a bomb nor tested it,” claimed Amir.

Just in case Saddam and Amir have not been totally forthcoming, military and intelligence analysts are poring over the report evaluating the extent of incongruity between what the Iraqi documents assert and what U.S. intelligence knows about Iraq’s continuing WMD efforts. Meanwhile, UN weapons inspectors continued scurrying about Iraq, on their hunt for that needle-in-a-haystack of proof of WMD elements contrary to the documents just handed over. Under the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 1441, false statements or omissions in the declaration constitute a “material breach” of Iraq’s obligations – AKA Saddam’s death warrant.

To clear up any questions about Iraq’s willingness to cooperate with the UN, the Iraqi parliament urged fellow Arabs to martyr themselves by attacking U.S. military forces based in neighboring Kuwait.

Elsewhere in the Persian Gulf region, a suspiciously unflagged vessel traversing the Arabian Sea was boarded by Spanish Royal Navy sailors and “discovered” to be a North Korean ship carrying 15 Scud missiles. After a flurry of exchanges, the government of Yemen acknowledged purchasing the weapons; the Yemen-bound ship was released to proceed to its destination.

The interdiction of this shipment was planned months ago. The Scuds were tagged before they were even constructed, and the purpose of the interdiction was to let the Axis of Evil know how wide and deep is the reach of U.S. intelligence resources. Remarked Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, “North Korea …[is] the single largest proliferator of ballistic missile technology on the face of the earth.” And not just ballistic missiles – the North Korean government stated Thursday its intent to restart the nuclear plant capable of producing weapons-grade uranium. Pyongyang officially announced its withdrawal from the 1994 Agreed Framework brokered by the Clinton administration.

And that other member of the Axis triad, Iran, was also put on notice this week. Sources inside the CIA confirmed that Iran has at least two covert nuclear projects – and International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors have been denied access to both. Senate Intelligence Committee’s Sen. Richard Shelby said, “The fact that they are seemingly pursuing an avenue to build nuclear weapons should be disturbing to everybody.” An understatement, indeed.

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