Alexander's Column

Proof Positive

Mark Alexander · May 21, 2004

As good logicians are wont to note, the existence of a thing is indisputable proof of its possibility. That said, a whole lot of people have a whole lot of ‘splaining to do about their categorical claims that deposed Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein didn’t have weapons of mass destruction and didn’t collude with Jihadi terrorists. Not that we expect them to 'fess up for being wrong – being anti-American means never having to say you’re sorry.

For, lo, we now have demonstrable evidence of Jihadi terrorists and WMD in Iraq. We now have confirmation of the very confluence that President Bush cited a half year before hostilities commenced as the “gravest danger in the war on terror” – which formed the rationale for taking the war with Jihadistan into Iraq. A 155-millimeter howitzer shell, part of an improvised explosive device, exploded Saturday in Iraq. The IED contained 3 to 4 liters of sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent; two U.S. soldiers were exposed while attempting to disarm the bomb and were treated. An IED discovered a couple of weeks ago was confirmed to contain mustard gas. A “perfume factory” also recently exploded, apparently rigged to self-destruct around unauthorized entrants. Other “dual use” chemicals have been uncovered suspiciously near military facilities – calling into serious question whether these were dedicated to peaceful civilian purposes only.

Of course, these small quantities of WMD constitute only what Saddam’s minions failed to hide or export to Syria prior to the Allied invasion. In October 2002, the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraqi WMD estimated that Saddam had from 100 to 500 metric tons of chemical warfare agents.

Our staff analysts remain convinced that unknown quantities of chemical and biological WMD, and components of Saddam’s nuclear WMD, were spirited out of Iraq well in advance of the anticipated Allied invasion. This belief is consistent with our analysis in October of 2002 that the UN Security Council’s foot-dragging provided a large window for Saddam to export some of his biological and nuclear WMD. At that time, this column reported that it would be unlikely Allied Forces would discover Iraq’s WMD stores in Iraq, noting, “There is a substantial body of intelligence supporting our position that Saddam shipped Iraq’s chemical, biological (weapons-grade anthrax) and nuclear WMD stores and components to Syria and into Lebanon’s heavily fortified Bekaa Valley, for points beyond.”

Indeed, as reported here three weeks ago, some of the chemical WMD discovered during the thwarting of a planned al-Qa'ida attack in Jordan appear to have come from Syria. But given that Syria does not possess the technology to produce such chemicals, one can reasonably conclude (unless you are the Demo-nominee for president) that this cache was compliments of Iraq, by way of Syria.

So, that mindless Left-mantra, “Saddam didn’t have WMD,” has, again, been thoroughly discredited. More to the point, though, if these WMD escaped detection and were used against coalition troops, isn’t it very likely there are more?

And last week the world witnessed a masked man, self-identified in a videotape and now confirmed to be al-Qa'ida terror chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, butchering an American citizen (link to the article “Scripting the execution of Nicholas Berg” at https://patriotpost.us/alexander/2004/05/14/scripting-the-execution-of-nicholas-berg/). This Jihadi leader – in Iraq – intended the propaganda snuff film to rally potential allies to jihad, to cow Iraqi fence-sitters into deeper neutrality, and to demoralize those opposing Jihadi objectives. Like the WMD discovered this week, al-Zarqawi was in Iraq long before coalition forces launched Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In his State of the Union Address on September 28, 2003, the President identified “the gravest danger facing America and the world” as “outlaw regimes that seek and possess nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons” and “could also give or sell those weapons to terrorist allies, who would use them without the least hesitation.”

President Bush made the case: “Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks to build and keep weapons of mass destruction. But why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack. … Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and abets terrorists, including members of al-Qa'ida. Secretly, without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own.”

And as for another Left-chant, “The threat wasn’t imminent,” the President explicitly argued that intelligence couldn’t guarantee such finely calibrated assessments: “Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late.”

This week Lt. Gen. Patrick Hughes (Ret.), now with the Department of Homeland Security, offered the analysis that the Jihadis would prefer to attack here within the U.S. using chemical or biological weapons, or possibly a “dirty bomb” laced with nuclear contaminants. He specifically mentioned anthrax, as it was successfully used just after the 9/11 assaults, and ricin, planned for use by terror suspects picked up in other locales.

As far as apologies owed, you may recall the screed mere days ago of Los Angeles Times Editor John Carroll, who disdainfully dismissed non-Leftmedia types as “pseudo-journalists.” Carroll stated, “You may be familiar with a study published last October on the public misconceptions about the war in Iraq. One of those misconceptions was that Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction had been found. Another was that links had been proven between Iraq and al-Qa'ida.”

For Mr. Carroll’s edification: When WMD explode, they most definitely become found. And when al-Qa'ida videotape themselves in Iraq claiming to be at the essential battleground, they most definitely prove a link.

Quote of the week…

“You would have thought that the discovery of an actual weapon of mass destruction in Iraq would be big news, especially since it was aimed at American soldiers. But apparently not in the eyes of most U.S. newspaper editors and network television producers, who chose largely to ignore one of the major stories coming out of Iraq this week.” –Linda Chavez

On cross-examination…

“In discrediting the war, the Democrats have pushed the idea that neither dangerous weapons nor terrorist networks existed in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. How do they explain that terrorists Hussein harbored are beheading American civilians and trying to kill American soldiers with poisons he spread?” –George Neumayr

Open query…

“But I do wonder, did they [conservatives now going weak in the knees over Iraq] ever really think America could transform the Middle East with fewer than 750 American deaths? Did they really think the elites in the chattering classes would sit back passively and be proven wrong again by George Bush, just like they were proven wrong by Ronald Reagan in the Cold War? And did they really think America could bring freedom to the most tyrannical country in the world on the cheap? I hope not, because this war is not about saving American lives or Iraqi lives overseas. This war on terrorism is about saving American lives at home in this war on terror. We’ve got to win this war, liberate Iraq from terror, and make the Middle East and the world unsafe for terrorists wherever they may roam.” –Joe Scarborough