John Kerrys War on Error
After finally taking Bill Clinton’s advice to knock off the Vietnam hero bit (that was being unraveled anyway by the Swift Vets and POWs for Truth), John Kerry is now waging a War on Error.
John Kerry contends the Bush Administration erred twice: (1) By not giving the United Nations more time to use economic sanctions to induce Saddam Hussein to stop seeking weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and (2) by not getting the French, Germans and Russians to provide ground troops should an invasion of Iraq become necessary.
Oops. The recent Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) by the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) found:“Saddam Hussein so dominated the Iraqi Regime that its strategic intent was his alone. He wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted.”
The ISG also found: “The…Oil for Food Program (OFF) was a turning point for the Regime…The Regime quickly came to see that OFF could be corrupted to acquire foreign exchange both to further undermine sanctions and to provide the means to enhance dual-use infrastructure and potential WMD-related development.”
The ISG report undercuts Kerry’s War on Error in two ways: (1) It shows that three of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security council (France, Russia and China) and one non-permanent member (Germany), were a Coalition of the Bribed working toward the end of sanctions and to prevent a U.S.-U.K.-led Coalition of the Willing from invading Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power and (2) The troops from France, Germany and Russia that John Kerry feels should have been included in the Coalition of the Willing would not have joined the invasion of Iraq because they were already members of the Coalition of the Bribed.
Bottom line: What John Kerry claims he would have done if he had been Commander-in-Chief in 2002-2003 would not have been possible. The full report of the ISG can be found at: www.cia.gov, and readers are encouraged to read its key findings.
The ISG found Saddam was working hard to further develop the chemical weapons he had used in the Iraq-Iran War and had used against the Iraqi Kurds. Moreover, Saddam had a vigorous program to develop both biological and nuclear weapons. He wanted to possess these weapons of mass destruction in order to become the dominant political figure of the Middle East.
The ISG found Saddam was well on his way to becoming a major WMD power until he lost the Gulf War in 1991, and economic sanctions were imposed.
Between 1991 and 2003, efforts by the United States and Great Britain produced 17 U.N. Security Council Resolutions ordering Saddam to stop the further development of WMD and to permit U.N. weapons inspection teams full and unfettered access to the whole of Iraq.
Knowing he had three permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (each with a veto) on his Oil for Food payroll, Saddam felt he could ignore the U.N. Security Council Resolutions with impunity and, at the same time, wear down world public opinion until sanctions were lifted following which he could resume his pursuit of the WMD that would make him master of the Middle East and impervious to attack by the United States and its allies.
Meanwhile, Saddam was harboring terrorist groups and using Oil for Food funds to make $25,000 payments to Palestinian families for producing suicide bombers against Israel.
Saddam tried to have it both ways: Denying possession of WMD on the one hand while doing all in his power to convince his regional neighbors that he was, secretly, the region’s major WMD power. He convinced the U.S.-U.K.-led Coalition of the Willing, and ended up in jail.
Now we know the Coalition of the Bribed would never have joined the Coalition of the Willing. So, John Kerry’s War on Error just lost its rationale.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2004. William Hamilton.