Friday, June 18, 2004
The Media as a DNC Propaganda Machine.
I am going on a bit of a rant today, specifically on the news media and their reporting. First up is the New York Times and other willing accompices of the DNC. Their reporting of the 9/11 Commission's findings on any Iraq/al Qaeda ties is twisted and distorted at best, if not an out right lie. David Horowitz details this in his article that is posted below. Then on to the media's non coverage of WMD's which in an article by Ben Johnson, goes into the movement of saddam's WMDs. - Sailor
The Big Lie Campaign
By David Horowitz
FrontPageMagazine.com | June 18, 2004
As wars go, the conflict in Iraq was (and is) as good as it gets. A three week military campaign with minimal casualties, 25 million people liberated from one of the most sadistic tyrants of modern times, the establishment of a military and intelligence base in the heart of the terrorist world. What well-meaning person could oppose this? In fact there is none. It was one thing to worry about the war before the fact, as Brent Scowcroft and others did, that a military conflict could lead to eruptions in the Muslim world and a conflagration out of control. This was opposition based on honorable intentions, which events have effectively answered.
But the current opposition to the war after the fact has no such justification in real world events. The war has had enormous beneficial effects with minimal negative consequences. A terrible tyrant was taken down. The filling of mass graves with 300,000 corpses were stopped. Plastic shredders for human beings were deactivated. Prisons for four to twelve year olds were closed. A democratic constitution has been drafted. Two-thirds of al-Qaeda’s leadership is gone. There hasn’t been a terrorist attack in America in more than two and a half years, something no one would have predicted after 9/11. By any objective standard, the Bush war on terror is a triumph.
These real world considerations are why the campaign waged by the Democratic Party and a Democratic press against the Bush war policy is based not on any analysis of the war itself, but on maliciously concocted claims about the prewar justification for military action. For purely political agendas, the Democrats hope attempt to convict the Administration of “misleading the American public” and wasting American lives through deception and fraud, and thus to defeat the President at the polls in November.
This is the campaign of the Big Lie and its success depends on the very fact that it is a big lie. Its aim is to shift the very terms of the argument to a terrain favorable to the critics who have been refuted by the events themselves – a terrain entirely irrelevant to the reality of the war itself. To respond to this campaign would require of its targets candor and courage, because the only way to confront it is to impugn the integrity, honesty and goodwill of those who so maliciously prosecute it. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration does not seem up to this task of calling its critics to account. This is why it is on the defensive and in serious trouble in its political campaign.
How does this Big Lie operate? A look at today’s top headline in the New York Times (whose example is faithfully followed in most of the nation’s press) illustrates it well: “Panel Finds No Qaeda-Iraq Tie.” That is the news of the day – similar in its negative spin for the Bush campaign to the news of the last 30 or 60 days as well. The Times headline refers to the report of the 9/11 commission that Mohammed Atta did not meet with Iraqi government officials in Prague prior to 9/11 and that it could find no evidence that Saddam was involved in the 9/11 plot. The Times “News Analysis” accompanying the account draws this conclusion: “In questioning the extent of any ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda, the commission weakened the already spotty scorecard on Mr. Bush’s justifications for sending the military to topple Saddam Hussein.”
Actually this Times reportage is several lies in one. First, the panel did not conclude that there was no Qaeda-Iraq tie. It concluded that it could not find a Qaeda-Iraq tie in respect to the attacks of 9/11. This is entirely different from the claim that there were no links between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi regime. There are in fact extensive links, which Stephen Hayes and others have detailed.
But that is just the beginning. The bigger lie in this particular claim is that Mohammed Atta’s visit to Prague was one of “Mr. Bush’s justifications for sending the military to topple Saddam Hussein.” Mr. Bush made no such claim, certainly not in connection with a justification for the war in Iraq. (The Times actually prints Bush’s references to Iraq and al-Qaeda links on February 8, 2003, none of which mentions 9/11.) The justification for sending the military to topple Saddam Hussein was the violation of UN Resolution 1441 – and 16 UN resolutions before that. Resolution 1441 authorized the use of force as of December 7, 2002, the deadline that had been set by the Security Council on November 8, 2002.
Anyone doubting that Saddam violated this resolution can consult the recent memoir written by chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix, Disarming Iraq. Blix opposed the military option right to the end. But he states very clearly in his book that Saddam failed to meet the requirements of UN Resolution 1441, that he showed his contempt fo them in fact, and that they were a legal justification for force.
The lie about al-Qaeda is just one of a tissue of lies concocted by Administration critics about the rationale for the war in Iraq, each of which is designed to distract attention from the moral worthiness of the war and the critics’ own unhappiness with the war on terror itself. The Times’ “News Analysis” also cites the failure to find WMDs as a further undermining of the Administration’s rationale for the war. But WMDS were not the rationale for the war. The rationale for the war was Saddam’s violation of UN Resoloution 1441, which called for compliance or “serious consequences.” Saddam did not comply. The consequences followed.
The President’s rationale for the war was contained in his September 12, 2002 address to the United Nations General Assembly. He did not refer to an al-Qaeda link. He did not refer to an “imminent threat” (the third malicious falsification put forward by proponents of the Big Lie). What the President said was this: “The conduct of the Iraqi regime is a threat to the authority of the United Nations and a threat to peace. Iraq has answered a decade of U.N. demands with a decade of defiance. All the world now faces a test, and the United Nations a difficult and defining moment. Are Security Council resolutions to be honored and enforced, or cast aside without consequence? Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding, or will it be irrelevant?”
The UN resolutions that Saddam had defied were constituent elements of the truce that Saddam had signed at the end of the Gulf War and the condition under which the allied forces allowed him to remain in power. Saddam violated that truce. The 2003 Iraq war was in fact the resumption of the hostilities of 1991 that had been interrupted to allow Saddam the chance to comply. (In fact, they were only partially interrupted since the United States and Britain flew continuous sorties over Iraq throughout the decade of the 1990s). Many critics of the war argue that Saddam should have been appeased once more, and given more time to comply. That it is a reasonable (if morally distasteful) argument. To claim that the Bush Administration misled the American people and waged the war under false pretenses is not.
The critics of the Bush Administration have used their lies about the rationale for the war to call the President a liar, a fraud, a deceiver and a traitor. These are terms that apply to the critics themselves. But the Bush Administration has not had the gumption to use them (or their political equivalents). The Bush Administration had better rethink this reluctance if it intends on retaining power in November. American voters are not going to be able to sort out these lies for themselves in the absence of a strong case by the Bush team.
Prior to the inception of hostilities in Iraq in March 2003, the Democratic Party with honorable exceptions like Senator Lieberman and Minority Leader Gephardt was a party of appeasers, demanding more time and more offerings to the Baghdad butcher to avoid a military conflict. From the day Baghdad was liberated in April 2003 and continuously through the present, the Democratic Party and its willing press have constituted a chorus of saboteurs, attacking the credibility, integrity and decency of the commander in chief, exaggerating, sensationalizing and magnifying every American setback or fault -- with the guilt orgy over Abu Ghraib the most egregious example – effectively tying the hands of American forces in the field and encouraging the enemy’s resistance. The hard left actually celebrates this resistance. The soft and cowardly left merely encourages it while pretending not to notice what is doing.
In either case – and in both cases – what we are confronting in this spectacle is an unprecedented event in American political life. In the midst of a good war and a noble enterprise, a major American party is engaged in effort to stab its own country in the back for short term political gain, and is willing to do to so by the most underhanded and unscrupulous means.
David Horowitz is the author of numerous books including an autobiography, Radical Son, which has been described as “the first great autobiography of his generation,” and which chronicles his odyssey from radical activism to the current positions he holds. Among his other books are The Politics of Bad Faith and The Art of Political War. The Art of Political War was described by White House political strategist Karl Rove as “the perfect guide to winning on the political battlefield.” Horowitz’s latest book, Uncivil Wars, was published in January this year, and chronicles his crusade against intolerance and racial McCarthyism on college campuses last spring.
Exporting Saddam's WMDs
By Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | June 18, 2004
The assertion that Saddam Hussein had no Weapons of Mass Destruction prior to last year’s liberation has been rendered absurd – by United Nations weapons inspectors.
Demetrius Perricos, acting chairman of UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), recently disclosed that his inspectors have been busily tracking shipments of illicit Iraqi WMD components around the world.
The Associated Press announced that UNMOVIC inspectors have found dozens of engines from banned al-Samoud 2 (SA2) missiles, which were shipped out of Iraq as “scrap metal.” Most recently, UNMOVIC agents found 20 SA-2 engines in Jordan, along with a great deal of other WMD materials. Officials discovered an identical engine in a Rotterdam port in the Netherlands and believe as many as a dozen extra SA-2 missile engines alone have been transported out of Iraq and remain unaccounted for. Inspectors believe at least some of these engines have also reached Turkey and hope to search Turkish ports in the near future.
UNMOVIC estimates as much as 1,000 tons of scrap metal a day are leaving Iraq bound for foreign shores.
Besides the SA-2 engines, inspectors also found Iraqi “dual use” technology in Jordan, items purportedly employed in civilian affairs that can be used to create or enhance deadly weapons systems. The New York Times noted that among those items were “fermenters, a freeze drier, distillation columns, parts of missiles and a reactor vessel - all tools suitable for making biological or chemical weapons.”
UN spokesman Ewen Buchanan put the threat of “dual use” technology into perspective. “You can make all kinds of pharmaceutical and medicinal products with a fermenter,” Buchanan said. “You can also use it to breed anthrax.”
Before the war, Saddam’s regime cast its possession of “dual use” materials in the most innocent light, a ruse familiar to students of the Cold War. UNMOVIC wisely rejected his sunny assessment.
Today, UNMOVIC inspectors are deeply concerned about the possibility of WMD proliferation. A Reuters news story captures their distress:
‘A number of sites which contained dual-use equipment that was previously monitored by UN inspectors has [sic.] been systematically taken apart,’ said Ewen Buchanan, spokesman for the New York-based inspectors. ‘The question this raises is what happened to equipment known to have been there.
‘Where is it now? It's a concern,’ Buchanan asked.
‘The existence of missile engines originating in Iraq among scrap in Europe may affect the accounting of proscribed engines known to have been in Iraq's possession,’ UNMOVIC said.
The report said the U.N. inspectors also found papers showing illegal contracts by Iraq for a missile guidance system, laser ring gyroscopes and a variety of production and testing equipment not previously disclosed.
Many of the “dual use” components UNMOVIC found in foreign ports had been previous tagged by UN inspectors in Iraq before the war. And transfers are taking place rapidly. During his presentation, Perricos showed the Security Council a picture of a fully developed missile site in May 2003 that had been entirely torn down by February of this year.
Perricos’ June 9 testimony is made all the more credible by the fact that he is hardly a neo-con stalwart. USA Today described his mindset just three months ago: “Demetrius Perricos, acting head of the United Nations weapons inspection program, can't disguise his satisfaction that almost a year after the invasion of Iraq, U.S. inspectors have found the same thing that their much-maligned UN counterparts did before the war: no banned weapons.” Today, Perricos’ smile has disappeared.
(It should be noted that Perricos was honest enough to say the Iraqis were dragging their feet in destroying banned missiles just a month before Operation Iraqi Freedom began. He said at the time that Saddam viewed a partial and halting disarmament as a “way by which the possibility of war is being further avoided.” He added: “I cannot tell whether he genuinely believes in the inspection process or not.” Evidently, the fact that Saddam expelled all UN inspectors during the Clinton administration wasn’t a clue to the UN’s Sherlock Holmes.)
These revelations came during a closed meeting of the UN Security Council held last Wednesday, June 9. However, the investigations are not new. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) launched its own probe into Iraqi WMD transfers a full six months ago, when a Dutch scrap metal company discovered five pounds of yellowcake uranium ore in Rotterdam. The sample was shipped from Jordan but Jordanian officials said the metal originated in Iraq. (Perhaps this is the yellowcake that atomic sleuth Amb. Joe Wilson insisted Iraq never purchased from Niger.) IAEA Director Mohammed El Baradei warned two months ago that evidence of Saddam’s WMDs is being shipped abroad.
Jordan has been the recipient of Iraqi WMDs in the past. Most recently, Jordan seized 20 tons of chemical weapons while foiling an al-Qaeda plot to kill 80,000 people. The stockpile they uncovered contained 70 different kinds of chemical agents, including Sarin and VX gas. (Remember, last month Iraqi insurgents lobbed two chemical weapons at U.S. troops armed with Sarin and mustard gas.)
On April 17, Jordanian King Abdallah claimed these poisons came from Syria – but experts say Syria only has the capacity to produce small amounts of these weapons, not the 20 tons al-Qaeda possessed. Significantly, David Kay and others have said Syria acted as a depository for Saddam’s WMDs. Former Justice Department official John Loftus has made a compelling case that even more WMDs are presently buried in Syria. And these are merely the latest in a long line of WMD discoveries, inside Iraq and out.
You may be forgiven if this is news to you: The mainstream media have chosen to ignore or downplay the significance of the UN’s vindication of President Bush’s policies. In fact, the predictably left-leaning Reuters news service blamed these WMD shipments…on America. Reuters wrote that “the U.S.-led occupation force” had not adequately “protected sites or items that inspectors tagged before the war because of their potential use in weapons of mass destruction.”
Apparently, one must live in Australia to get the truth. The Sunday Times’ headline? “UN uncovers banned weapons.”
The discovery of banned WMD engines should forever silence those who believe Saddam had no stockpile of weapons, or that all such stockpiles were destroyed before the war. Saddam gassed his own people. He had WMDs that miraculously ended up in the hands of Jordanian al-Qaeda terrorists. And now we find his pre-war armory of chemical and biological weapons, including anthrax agents, is being shipped around the world. The fact that these transfers have taken place in an independent Iraq should only reinforce the righteousness of toppling Saddam. In a post-Saddam Iraq, these weapons are being found in shipyards in the Netherlands and Jordan; had Saddam stayed in power, more and more of them may have ended up in the hands of Osama bin Laden. UNMOVIC’s finding is simply further evidence that Operation Iraqi Freedom was justified – and the opposition was willfully ignorant of the threat Saddam Hussein posed to American security.
Ben Johnson is Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine.