Mark Alexander / September 19, 2003

Progress and Setbacks on the War Front with Jihadistan…

The first full week of the third year in the war against Jihadistan has proved full of promise, progress and setbacks. The campaign to build an Iraqi republic – in the heart of the Middle East – continues to progress with measured success, despite much Leftmedia hand-wringing and Leftpolitico Monday-morning quarterbacking.

There are additional intelligence reports this week supporting previous evidence The Federalist reported in November of ‘02 that Iraq shipped some of its chemical, biological and nuclear WMD stores and components to Syria and the Bekaa Valley. This comes on top of last week’s assessment from Israel’s Mossad that Syrian strongman Bashar Assad allowed Saddam’s primitive nuke components to transit through Syria to a protected site in Lebanon’s heavily fortified Bekaa Valley.

Former Iraqi Gen. Sultan Hashim Ahmad, defense minister under Saddam’s Ba'athist regime, surrendered yesterday to Maj. Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the 101st Airborne Division. After weeks of negotiations, Ahmad turned himself in on the condition that his name be removed from the U.S. military’s “55 most-wanted” list, meaning he will not be subject to indefinite confinement and will possibly be shielded from prosecution. The move to accept the former minister’s surrender on these terms is hoped to quell some of the guerilla violence that continues to threaten U.S. troops on the ground in Iraq.

For the record, on Wednesday President George Bush reiterated the administration’s position that Saddam Hussein is not known to have directly conspired with al-Qa'ida in the commission of the September 11 terrorist attacks, though the former Iraqi regime’s ties with the terrorist group were strong: “We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with…September 11,” said President Bush, adding, “There’s no question that Saddam Hussein had al-Qa'ida ties.”

National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice remarked that the administration has “never claimed that Saddam Hussein had either direction or control of 9/11.” Dr. Rice went on to say, “What we have said is that [Saddam] supported terrorists, helped to train them, but most importantly that this is someone who, with his animus toward the United States, with his penchant for and capability to gain weapons of mass destruction, and his obvious willingness to use them, was a threat in this region that we were not prepared to tolerate.”

While Saddam did not leave a paper trail sufficient to suggest he personally vetted al-Qa'ida’s 9/11 attack on our countrymen, here is just a bit of what we do know about Saddam’s coddling of al-Qa'ida terrorists. Under Saddam’s reign of terror, Iraq provided chemical and biological weapons training for al-Qa'ida terrorists and in 2002 provided medical care for senior al-Qa'ida operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and safe haven for two dozen al-Qa'ida terrorists travelling with him. Facilities in northern Iraq run by Zarqawi and terrorist network Ansar al-Islam included al-Qa'ida poisons/toxins laboratories and planning centers for attacks against France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Germany and Russia.

For the record, The Federalist reiterates its standing position: The United States deposed Saddam Hussein and his Ba'athist regime in order to prevent – if not too late – the transfer of nuclear and biological WMD intent for use against the U.S. and its allies by al-Qa'ida or other terrorist surrogates. The primary objective of al-Qa'ida and their collaborators remains to disable the U.S. economy permanently, and thus disrupt its political, economic and equally important, cultural influence around the world.

Regarding the prosecution of our war with al-Qa'ida Jihadis, a Spanish judge issued an indictment against 35 members of al-Qa'ida, followed by the arrest of five of them the following day in southern Spain. Ten of those listed in the indictment are charged with direct involvement in the September 11 terrorist attacks, while others listed are connected with the vehemently anti-Western Al-Jazeera Arab television network.

While our Spanish allies continue to combat terrorism at home, France, again offered the opportunity to participate in Iraq’s reconstruction and movement to autonomy, continues to reject a U.S.-drafted UNSC resolution to that effect. No longer a recalcitrant ally, France is morphing into an outright enemy of U.S. security, democratization and global stabilization. At first demanding UN control of Iraq, the French are – literally within a matter of days – now insisting on immediate Iraqi self-rule. Prior to this, the French government prevented the UNSC from fulfilling its own resolution to use force against Hussein’s Iraq – which owed the French billions in IOUs, not to mention France’s lucrative oil contracts with the Ba'athist regime (also in violation of UNSC resolutions).

The latest UN draft resolution for assistance in the reconstruction of Iraq employs the precise language and rationale used by the French themselves to justify their incursion into the Ivory Coast earlier this year, according to the UNSC resolution they obtained for the purpose. If the French reject this, their anti-Americanism will be laid barer than it already is, and Franco-American relations will have reached yet another historic low.

Quote of the week…

“Since America put out the fires of September the 11th, and mourned our dead, and went to war, history has taken a different turn. We have carried the fight to the enemy. We are rolling back the terrorist threat to civilization, not on the fringes of its influence, but at the heart of its power.” –George W. Bush

Open query…

“Do images of those fighting on the peaks of Afghanistan or in the desert of Iraq, when juxtaposed to the rallies on our elite campuses, suggest that a populist military is doing a better or worse job than our privileged universities in training our youth to be educated, well-spoken, and rational?” –Victor Davis Hanson

The BIG lie…

“There was no imminent threat. This was made up in Texas, announced in January to the Republican leadership that war was going to take place and was going to be good politically. This whole thing was a fraud.” –Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-UI) **That whole 9/11 thing was also cooked up to “be good politically.”

On cross-examination…

“Modern Democrats insist on confronting thugs and tyrants with tea and sympathy. This approach was expressed indelibly by Michael Dukakis in 1988, who, when asked during the debates with George H.W. Bush how he would deal with a rapist in his wife’s bedroom, offered to set up a blue-ribbon commission to study the root causes of crime. Poor Kitty Dukakis was to be left in her nightie to deal with the brute while the little Duke hurried off in search of ribbons.” –Wesley Pruden

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