Wednesday, October 06, 2004

A Coaltition of the "Coerced and the Bribed"

The main stream media jumped on the release of the Duelfer report to broadcast what the entire country already knew, we did not find stockpiles of WMD. Not surprisingly, the media has not touched the much more relevant information in the report. Although there were no stockpiles of weapons, Saddam Hussein maintained the desire and the capability to manufacture weapons. Saddam Hussein used a complex web of bribery and pay-offs from the UN oil for food program to replenish his war chest. From an AP report:

But Duelfer also supports Bush’s argument that Saddam remained a threat. Interviews with the toppled leader and other former Iraqi officials made clear that Saddam had not lost his ambition to pursue weapons of mass destruction and hoped to revive his weapons program if U.N. sanctions were lifted, his report said.

“What is clear is that Saddam retained his notions of use of force, and had experiences that demonstrated the utility of WMD,” Duelfer told Congress.

Campaigning in Pennsylvania, Bush defended the decision to invade.

“There was a risk, a real risk, that Saddam Hussein would pass weapons or materials or information to terrorist networks,” Bush said in a speech in Wilkes Barre, Pa. “In the world after Sept. 11, that was a risk we could not afford to take.”

But a top Democrat in Congress, Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, said Duelfer’s findings undercut the two main arguments for war: that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and that he would share them with terrorists like al-Qaida.

“We did not go to war because Saddam had future intentions to obtain weapons of mass destruction,” said Levin, ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee

The statement by Carl Levin is of course ignorant, but it is an example of the Democrats willingness to say anything in an election year. The Democrats aren't a serious party when it comes to national defense.

Charles Duelfer stated that Saddam Hussein intended to reconstitute his weapons program as soon as the sanstions on his country collapsed. He was actively working to ensure that they collapsed by bribing members of foreign governments with oil "vouchers". From The Scotsman:

Saddam was convinced that the UN sanctions - which stopped him acquiring weapons - were on the brink of collapse and he bankrolled several foreign activists who were campaigning for their abolition. He personally approved every one.

To keep America at bay, he focusing on Russia, France and China - three of the five UN Security Council members with the power to veto war. Politicians, journalists and diplomats were all given lavish gifts and oil-for-food vouchers.

Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister, told the ISG that the "primary motive for French co-operation" was to secure lucrative oil deals when UN sanctions were lifted. Total, the French oil giant, had been promised exploration rights.

Iraqi intelligence officials then "targeted a number of French individuals that Iraq thought had a close relationship to French President Chirac," it said, including two of his "counsellors" and spokesman for his re-election campaign.

Saddam not only used bribery to get the sanctions lifted, he also used bribes to convince officials of foreign governments to actively undermine the United States efforts in the UN before the war. Again from the Scotsman:

A memo sent to Saddam dated in May last year from his intelligence corps said they met with a "French parliamentarian" who "assured Iraq that France would use its veto in the UN Security Council against any American decision to attack Iraq."

Late this afternoon the CIA released a list of individuals and governments bribed by Saddam Hussein. A few of the coerced and the bribed:

Among the alleged recipients of oil vouchers were Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, Russian ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky and his Liberal Democratic Party, the Russian presidential office, the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Ukraine Community Party, the Ukraine Socialist Party, the son of Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and the Peoples Liberation Front of Palestine. There are also many others.

The only U.N. official on the list is Benon Sevan, the head of the humanitarian program for Iraq, who has been accused previously of receiving an oil voucher and has denied it several times. He is list as a Mr. Sifan, a U.N. official.

An interesting list topped by the head of the UN humanitarian program for Iraq.

Saddam Hussein was a butcher. He had used weapons of mass destruction. He invaded two countries. He broke the peace agreement he signed after his defeat in the first Gulf War on a daily basis. He defied 17 UN resolutions, actively decieved the inspectors, supported terrorists in Israel, had a relationship with Al-Queda, harbored terrorists, had never accounted for stockpiles of weapons, had murdered millions of his pwn people and fully intended to reconstitute his weapons programs. Despite all of that the head of the UN humanitarian program for Iraq and countless other government officials from around the world were willing to accept bribes and actively undermine the United States as they worked to enforce the resolutions of institution that many of these individuals claimed was the moral authority of the world.

Saddam Hussein fooled the world intelligence community into believing that he had stockpiles of weapons. In fact the Duelfer Report does not rule out the possibility that Saddam shipped stockpiles out of the country before the invasion. What is sure is that he had convinced his military commanders that he possessed weapons and he actively worked to convince the owrld that he possessed the weapons again from The Scotsman:

Saddam, it says, even fooled his own military chiefs into believing that he had WMD. This was designed to deter uprising from rebel Iraqis, on whom he deployed mustard gas in 1988, and aggressors in the Middle East.

If he did not have weapons of mass destruction, it is no surprise that he was able to fool the world intelligence community when even his military commanders believed he had the weapons.

In one respect John Kerry was right about the war in Iraq, there is a coalition of the "coerced and the bribed". They are not the countries fighting in Iraq however. they are the countries and the officials, including the UN officials, who were willing to allow the continued subjugation of the the Iraqi people to prop up one of the most brutal dictators in history, even as he planned to manufacture weapons that could kill tens of thousands of Americans. These are the same governments and individuals who John Kerry would allow to have a voice in decisions of the United States national security through his "global test".

Despite what many in the world believe, including millions of Americans, the United States is not the root of all evil. Today's reports show that many countries are willing to sell out the safety of the world and the freedom of millions for an oil coupon. Because of this, the President of the United States must have the confidence in America and the moral courage to act even when his actions are unpopular around the world. There is only one candidate in this election that has proven he has the courage to do that and that candidate is George W. Bush.

Be sure to check the current posts for updates.