Wednesday, September 29, 2004

THE NUTS & BOLTS: Why Saddam & Sons ... and not Osama ... First?

Because we are fighting a War on Terror that is far, far more than just revenge for the events of 11 September 2001.

We are fighting a small subset of humanity ... a subset where the Islamofascism of Al Quada is only one of many ideologies and objectives actively seeking to impose their viewpoints on the world. The one common value across this subset is a lack of respect for your and my right to live ... a lack of respect so complete, they use the threat of death to noncombatants as their favorite "tool" to foment political change.

In that context. which was better to do first ... capture Osama. or make sure terrorists (AQ or not) did not have access to Iraq's resources and protection?

Saddam & Sons were terrorists in their own nation, and supported other terrorists inside and outside their borders. Not only did that make them legit targets in this War -- the resources they commanded, their history of opportunistic gambling, and a lack of any credible local deterrent to Iraqi power projection made them a UNIQUE threat to the peace.

Y'all might say that North Korea and Iran are greater threats because of possible nuclear capabilities -- but keep in mind that the certainty of retaliation, given the relatively-tracable efforts needed to build and deploy nukes, is a very effective deterrent to their use.

OTOH, the deployment of chemical weapons, by terrorist surrogates (not necessarily Al Quada) against the West by Saddam & Sons could be achieved with a reasonable hope of plausible deniability ... especially given the way Saddam appeared to play the UN like a Stradivarius. He could have his cake and eat it too.

We KNOW they still had the chem-weapons progams in place, so how long would it have taken them to get them running again after the diplomats declared success and pulled out the (undermanned and underauthorized) inspection teams? Understand that anything less than the national equivalent of a full proctoscopy -- an unacceptible "violation" of Iraq's national soverignty in the eyes of both Saddam and the useful idiots in the diplomatic community who have coddled him over the years -- would have been inadequate for finding stockpiles of WMD, much less the program information that could quickly allow Saddam & Sons to turn elements of the Iraqi petrochemical infrastructure into chem-weapons producers.

Also, Kim Jong Il is crazy -- but he has China right next door to pull his chain. He is not suicidal, like the useful idiots that would come to Saddam for nukes ... and he is not the meglomainiac that Saddam (who has always sought to be the Big Man in the Middle East) is.

As for Iran, the head Ayatollah does not have absolute power over his nation ... there are other, cooler heads that will check and balance him, and vice-versa.

Contrast that with the TOTAL control Saddam had over Iraq ... in Iraq, there were no internal checks-and-balances working against Saddam.

Taking Saddam & Sons out, in the context of fighting terrorism, is the exact equivalent to bombing munitions plants in WWII -- instead of just concentrating on capturing Hitler. Because of our success in doing so, the next terrorist attacks (AQ and otherwise) will be far more likely to be fought with boxcutters, AK's, and car bombs -- than be leveraged with the power of such force multipliers as VX.



Comments:
Of course you have to ignore the facts to reach these conclusions:
1) Saddam had very little ties to terrorists. The "support" for terrorists consisted almost solely in providing financial support to palestinians who had their houses bulldozed because a family member was a suicide bomber.
2) the writer forgets that Saddam considered the fundamentalists enemies of his regime and opposed them. (The palestinians are generally not fundamentalists)
3) Saddam's chemical weapons programs were fragmentary and had little prospect of producing weapons. Even so there is no evidence or reason to believe that saddam would have given such weapons to terrorists. When he had them in the early 90's (thanks to bush senior) he did not give them to terrorists, so why would he now?
 
And you have to ignore the character and reputation of Saddam Huessein ...

... the tie between Iraq and the 1993 WTC bombing

... the presence of Abu Abaas and Abu Nidal in their Iraqi safe haven

... the freedom of Zarqawi to move within Iraq, and even the contacts between Zarqawi and the Iraqi government prior to the invasion as acknowledged by ABC News recently

... the "interview" contacts between Al Quada and Saddam, acknowledged in the 911 Commission report

... the presence of a decent petrochemical infrastructure in Iraq, which would facilitate the production of chemical weapons if Saddam so desired ... and possibly allow him to hide either the percusors or the agents themselves in plain sight.

... and the fact that terrorism, no matter what the cause, is immoral to the degree that it must be ruthlessly opposed, regardless of the cause

to take the position you have, Anon.

Next you'll tell me Saddam had no ties to 911 ... doesn't matter. This is a War on TERROR -- not just a war to avenge 911.
 
Thanks for the link,

Here's the problem with your argument...dubya came to us with the justification as "links to AQ and 9/11" there are none...and i'm not saying we can't take care of Saddam, I think now we're spread too thin and we are not taking care of what we should've already been done with.

The problem with this is OBL is a HERO IN THE MUSLIM WORLD...he got away with attacking us

Mike N.
 
cold hard fact: you can not wage war on an abstract
 
I want to post something I found not too long ago and posted on my own blog. There was very little mention made by the media about this article. As a matter of fact I never saw anything in the media about this. I find that curious and self serving on the part of the media.


"With Carl Limbacher and NewsMax.com Staff
For the story behind the story...


Friday, May 28, 2004 11:39 a.m. EDT
Iraq and 9/11: What the Judge Said

In light of Thursday's Wall Street Journal report detailing new evidence tying Iraq to the 9/11 attacks, it's worth noting that the only time the question of an Iraq-9/11 connection has been legally tested, the verdict was affirmative.

In a woefully underreported decision on May 8, 2003, Manhattan U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baer ruled in favor of two 9/11 victim families who had sued Iraq and others claiming they were culpable in the attacks. The court awarded plaintiffs $104 million based on the Baer's findings.

The ruling by Judge Baer - a Carter appointee, by the way - was quite detailed. In fact, we suspect that the reason for the media's near-blackout on the case is because most Americans would consider his findings to be very persuasive.

Here, in part, is what Judge Baer had to say about the Iraq-9/11 connection:

"The opinion testimony of the plaintiffs' experts is sufficient to meet plaintiffs' burden that Iraq collaborated in or supported bin Laden/al Qaeda's terrorist acts of September 11. . .
"Their opinions, coupled with their qualifications as experts on this issue, provide a sufficient basis for a reasonable jury to draw inferences which could lead to the conclusion that Iraq provided material support to al Qaeda and that it did so with knowledge and intent to further al Qaeda's criminal acts."

Judge Baer continued:
"[Former CIA] Director [James] Woolsey reviewed several facts that tended in his view to show Iraq's involvement in acts of terrorism against the United States in general and likely in the events of September 11 specifically.

"First, Director Woolsey described the existence of a highly secure military facility in Iraq where non-Iraqi fundamentalists [e.g., Egyptians and Saudis] are trained in airplane hijacking and other forms of terrorism. Through satellite imagery and the testimony of three Iraqi defectors, [he] demonstrated the existence of this facility, called Salman Pak, which has an airplane but no runway.
"The defectors also stated that these fundamentalists were taught methods of hijacking using utensils or short knives. Plaintiffs contend it is farfetched to believe that Iraqi agents trained fundamentalists in a top-secret facility for any purpose other than to promote terrorism.

"Second, Director Woolsey mentioned a meeting that allegedly occurred in Prague in April 2001 between Mohammad Atta, the apparent leader of the hijackings, and a high-level Iraqi intelligence agent. According to James Woolsey, the evidence indicates that this was an 'operational meeting' because Atta flew to the Czech Republic and then returned to the United States shortly afterwards. The Minister of Interior of the Czech Republic, Stanislav Gross, stated on October 26, 2001:
"'In this moment we can confirm, that during the next stay of Muhammad Atta in the Czech republic there was the contact with the official of the Iraqi Intelligence, Mr. Al Ani, Ahmed Khalin Ibrahim Samir, who was on 22nd April 2001 expelled from the Czech Republic on the basis of activities which were not compatible with the diplomatic status . . . '

"Third, Director Woolsey noted that his conclusion was also based on 'contacts,' which refer to interactions between Hussein/Iraq and bin Laden/al Qaeda that are described in a letter from George Tenet, the Director of Central Intelligence, to Senator Bob Graham on October 7, 2002. Director Tenet's carefully worded letter included in substance the same allegations, but with less detail, that Secretary of State Colin Powell made before the U.N. Security Counsel on Feb. 5, 2003, in his remarks about 'the potentially much more sinister nexus between Iraq and the al-Qaida terrorist network. . . .'

"Both Director Tenet and Secretary Powell mentioned 'senior level contacts' between Iraq and al Qaeda going back to the early 1990s [although both acknowledged that part of the interactions in the early to mid-1990s pertained to achieving a mutual non-aggression understanding]; both mentioned that al Qaeda sought to acquire poison gas and training in its use from Iraq; both mentioned that al Qaeda members have been in Iraq, including Baghdad, after September 2001. . . .

"Finally, plaintiffs also place considerable weight on an article that appeared in a regional Iraqi newspaper in July 2001, two months before the disaster of September 11. This article, a paean to bin Laden, mentions that bin Laden

1] 'will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House,'
2] 'is insisting very convincingly that he will strike America on the arm that is already hurting,' and
3] 'will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs.'
See Exs. 16-18, Naeem Abd Muhalhal, America, An Obsession Called Osama Bin Ladin, Al-Nasiriya, July 21, 2001 [original, translation, and certificate of accuracy of translation].

"Because, according to Director Woolsey, 'all publications in Iraq really appear at the sufferance of and with a full vetting by the Iraqi regime,' see Tr. 158, and because of the coincidences and the fact that '[t]here is a certain propensity, I think, on bin Laden's part and on Saddam's part ... to try to communicate in somewhat vague terms,' Director Woolsey concluded that there is a probability of a vague foreknowledge of what was contemplated. See Tr. 159." [End of Excerpt]

Judge Baer also found the testimony of terrorism expert Dr. Laurie Mylroie persuasive, writing:

"Dr. Mylroie described Iraq's covert involvement in acts of terrorism against the United States in the past, including the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. Dr. Mylroie testified to at least four events that served as the basis for her conclusion that Iraq played a role in the September 11 tragedy:

"First, she claimed that Iraq provided and continues to provide support to two of the main perpetrators of the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993. Specifically, Abdul Rahman Yasin returned to Baghdad after the bombing and Iraq has provided him safe haven ever since. See Tr. 175-76. Also, Ramsey Yusef arrived in the United States on an Iraqi passport in his own name but left on false documentation - a passport of a Pakistani who was living in Kuwait and whom the Kuwaiti government kept a file on at the time that Iraq invaded Kuwait. See Tr. 174.

"Second, she noted bin Laden's fatwah against the United States, which was motivated by the presence of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia to fight the Gulf War against Iraq. See Tr. 177.

"Third, she noted that threats by bin Laden in late 1997 and early 1998 which led up to the bombing of the U.S. embassies [on August 7, 1998] were 'in lockstep' with Hussein's threats about ousting the U.N. weapons inspectors, which he eventually did on August 5, 1998. See Tr. 178-79.

"Dr. Mylroie concluded that 'Iraq, I believe, did provide support and resources for the September 11 attacks. I agree with [Iraqi defector] Captain [Sabah] Khodada when he said that ... it took a state like Iraq to carry out an attack as really sophisticated, massive and deadly as what happened on September 11.' See Tr. 182." [End of Excerpt]

To be sure, Judge Baer also noted that the case for Iraq's involvement in 9/11 is far from a slam dunk,concluding,

"Plaintiffs have shown, albeit barely, 'by evidence satisfactory to the court' that Iraq provided material support to bin Laden and al Qaeda."

Nevertheless, that's a far cry from media claims - not to mention President Bush's incredibly ill-advised statement last fall - that there's no evidence tying Iraq to 9/11."


[Well with the evidence of our intelligence aencies, I can understand the President's remarks. As far as the media goes, they seem to be in another world not based on reality...devildog6771]
 
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