Simple problems, difficult solutions
Why can’t Chief Inspector Hans “Clouseau” Blix find Saddam’s weapons? Because they belong to the Iraqi military and Blix isn’t authorized to search military compounds. Duh.
Confused about what is else happening with Iraq, NATO and South Korea? It is all rather simple.
France, Germany and Belgium do not want the U.S. to capture Saddam’s business ledgers showing how much illegal business they have been doing with the Iraqi dictator.
Also, the French have a problem with their main battle tank. It has five speeds backward and one speed forward. The forward speed is in case they are attacked from the rear. Contrast the French with William Barret Travis at the Alamo who said, "I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country."
The honor of France died with General Charles de Gaulle, the man who led the French government-in-exile while the French government-in-residence opposed our forces on the beaches of Normandy. De Gaulle should be a hero to the Belgians as well. When President De Gaulle asked NATO Headquarters to leave France, we moved it to Brussels and breathed the financial breath of life into the moribund post-colonial Belgian economy.
Since we defeated the USSR in the Cold War, the ingrate Germans are preoccupied with the enormous infrastructure repair costs of the Soviet-pillaged former East Germany. Moreover, instead of becoming the driving force within a reorganized NATO, the Germans see their role diminished by the new, and more vibrant, NATO members to their East. Their churlish threats to veto a NATO defense of Turkey will come back to haunt Germany and Belgium.
Mark my words: after Gulf War II turns out as well or better than Gulf War I, the French, Germans and Belgians are going to pay for their treachery. Colin Powell and this observer were classmates for a year at Ft. Benning. I can tell you that Colin is....... You supply the word.
Meanwhile, the North Koreans just re-validated our need for a strategic missile defense or SDI. President Reagan’s critics lampooned SDI as “Star Wars.” But, now that we are about to field a workable SDI, you don’t hear that disparaging term much anymore. Especially, in the coffee houses of San Francisco and Seattle which are now in range of Kim Chong-il’s nuclear-tipped missiles.
Saddam is the low-hanging fruit. Just as soon as he is harvested, the U.S. will deal with the nuclear threat posed by North Korea – either through a Chinese, Japanese, South Korean, Russian coalition or by a solo U.S. preemptive strike.
What to do in case of nuclear attack? At. Ft. Benning, where we were certified as Prefix 5-Nuclear Weapons Employment Officers, we learned the prevailing winds flow across the U.S. from West to East. So, if there is a nuclear blast to your West and you are not wiped out by the blast or heat effects, avoid the almond-shaped downwind fall-out pattern by moving smartly to your North or South. Do you know someone to your North or South who would provide temporary shelter? Something to think about now, not tomorrow.
But, if you have to relocate, take your important papers with you. The half-life of nuclear radiation lasts for centuries and you might not be allowed back home -- ever.
Ironically, a free society will always be better able to deal with military threats abroad than it can with the prevention of 9/11-type attacks at home. We must walk a tightrope between draconian security measures and constitutional freedoms.
While we should be presenting a united front to the world, but we are not. Success in Gulf War II will keep the Left out of power beyond the 2004 elections. Their only hope is for another 9/11-type attack so they can make the claim that the Bush Administration didn’t do enough to protect us.
William Hamilton, a nationally syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy by William Penn – a novel about a terrorist attack on Colorado’s high country.
©2003. William Hamilton