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Politics : PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH -- Ignore unavailable to you. Want to Upgrade?

To: J_F_Shepard who wrote (645136)10/14/2004 9:57:31 PM
From: PROLIFE  Respond to of 769658
John Kerry Distorts the Charles Duelfer Report to rewind, rewrite and replay history regarding inspections, WMD's, sanctions and Oil for Food.

John Kerry is using a distortion of the Charles Duelfer Report to rewind, rewrite and replay history skewed by selective-hindsight revisionism to support a naive assertion that we would be better off if George Bush had declined to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom. To test the sensibility of Kerry's claims now, let's re-wind history and operate on the basis of what the Dulfer Report now says we now know and on the basis of Kerry's claim that relying on indigenous Afghan forces rather than commitment of large American military forces "allowed" Usama bin Laden to "escape" in Tora Bora in December, 2001. Would we today really have Saddam Hussein "boxed in" so he couldn't harm us or covertly help our enemies harm us? To test "Scenario No. 1," go here; To test "Scenario No. 2," go here; To test "Scenario No. 3," go here.

Scenario No. 1 is a thought-experiment that rewinds history, re-writes it with "full hindsight" by assuming that on September 12, 2001, we knew everything about Iraq that we now "know" according to the Charles Duelfer Report. Then it replays history according to what John Kerry now says (with the benefit of hindsight) he would have then known to be the proper course of action beginning on September 12, 2001.

Scenario No. 2 is a thought-experiment that rewinds history, re-writes it with hindsight applied according to how Kerry claims he would have handled Afghanistan as well as Iraq. It shows that if a President Kerry were to have handled Afghanistan in a way to avoid needing to rely upon indigenous war lords to "capture" bin Laden, it's highly unlikely he would have been able to deploy to the Persian Gulf a force large enough to: (a) convince our U.N. "allies" that he would invade Iraq unless they were to adopt a resolution demanding that Saddam Hussein readmit, and cooperate with, U.N. inspectors (b) intimidate Saddam Hussein into re-admitting the U.N. inspectors and "cooperating" with them. Thus, under this scenario, Kerry would have been unable to take the steps necessary to enable us to learn what we now "know"-- i.e., that Saddam Hussein no longer had WMD stockpiles or active WMD programs. Under this scenario, the corrupt non-enforcement of the sanctions, the continued diversions of funds from the "oil for food" program to Saddam Hussein, and increasing world-wide pressure to lift the sanctions to stop causing the deaths of thousands of "Iraqi babies" would have continued until Kerry would have placated our "allies" in the U.N. by relaxing the sanctions.

Scenario No. 3 is a thought-experiment rewinds history, re-writes it with "selective hindsight" by assuming that we would not have learned what we now "know" unless and until we were to have allowed inspections to continue until such time as Hans Blix would report that he had found Iraq to be free of WMD stockpiles and programs. It also assumes (unlike Scenario No. 2) that a President Kerry would have handled Afghanistan in the same way as did Bush (rather than in the way Kerry now claims he would have handled it) so that a President Kerry would then have been able to amass 250,000-troops force on Saddam Hussein's border in order to: (a) convince our "allies" that he would invade Iraq unless they were to adopt resolutions authorizing force if Saddam Hussein were to refuse to readmit, and then cooperate with, U.N. inspectors and (b) intimidate Saddam into readmitting the inspectors and "cooperating" with them.

What these three thought-experiments show is that no matter how one were to "rewind, rewrite" and then "replay" history in accordance with what Kerry now claims he would have done if he were to have been president, the result would have been a more dangerous world than the one we now face.

--Jim Wrenn, Editor at PoliSat.Com

To: J_F_Shepard who wrote (645136)10/14/2004 9:58:39 PM
From: PROLIFE  Read Replies (1) | Respond to of 769658
Howard Dean must have been ecstatic as he read the headlines on Oct. 7: "Report Discounts Iraqi Arms Threat" affirmed the Washington Post, while The New York Times, not to be outdone, jubilantly proclaimed that "sanctions worked." The Yale dining halls were abuzz with liberal energy: I could scarcely walk to my table without hearing about "how we had contained Saddam" or how "we never should have invaded Iraq." Democrats were vindicated, Republicans were doomed; with this newfound evidence, John Kerry could "finish Bush off" while the current administration would "lose all remaining credibility." Naturally, I was a bit taken aback (I had thought "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern" was the only drama playing at Yale last weekend): With these supposed "facts," could the Democrats have finally turned the tables on Bush?

Actually, no. The reality presented by the Duelfer report is that Saddam Hussein was working to undermine the regime of sanctions, had the clear intent to develop weapons of mass destruction, and remained a great threat to the United States during his supposed "containment." Duelfer describes a situation where "prohibited goods and weapons were being shipped into Iraq with virtually no problem": Sanctions had failed to neutralize Hussein, and any diplomatic resolution by the international community was tainted by widespread corruption among Iraq, France, Russia and China.

While many liberal activists accuse the president of being "out of touch with reality," I find too many Democrats living in a fantasyland where Bush can do no right. With the election only three weeks away, students must see the facts for what they are. Despite what one may find on (the George Soros spin-room) or on the Kerry election site, Iraq was a critical component of the greater war on terror. Hussein had grown increasingly dangerous as our alleged allies in Europe turned a blind eye (corruption can work in mysterious ways). While Kerry would have waited for their blessing before acting (his lovely "global test" criterion), President Bush refused to let a nuclear threat materialize.

The Duelfer report refutes those who believed that we could have sought a peaceful and international solution to the Saddam Hussein quagmire. During the years in which Kerry argues Saddam was contained, WMD scientists were contacted in Russia and Bulgaria, funding for nuclear programs increased multifold, the number of WMD research projects expanded from 40 to 3,200, more than $11 billion was acquired through illegal trading, and the budget for related military expenditures grew 40 times larger.

The real "coalition of the bribed" was our favorite Security Council triumvirate of France, Russia and China (France clearly being Lepidus within this context), who pushed for the regime of "unjust" sanctions to be lifted. Yet, even though these nations were willing to forgive Hussein in the mid-1990s as he defied the resolutions of the UN, John Kerry believes we could have achieved a global consensus and acted together. John Kerry believes our allies -- who, according to the report, treated the Iraqi oil minister like a "rock star" when he visited their capitals -- would have been willing to forego billions in special-interest money to put pressure on Saddam to capitulate. The facts presented by Duelfer show an impotent United Nations, a reticent global community and a maniacal dictator in Iraq expanding the scope of his WMD programs.

I'll be the first to admit that the president is not beyond criticism. I found his allusion to the Dred Scott case during the last debate puzzling, while his comment about "wanting wood" perplexed me for some time. In rebuilding Iraq, many difficulties have been encountered. Neither this president nor the American people believed in 2003 that rebel terrorists would fight so vociferously against our military forces as we attempted to win the peace; few, if any, predicted that these insurgents, so blinded by their cult of hate, would turn against fellow Iraqis and decimate their country at all costs. The ideology of radical Islam professed by these terrorists is incompatible with our own democratic sensibilities; we cannot reason with these forces of evil. The strength and normative connotation of this word have not been lost on me. To see the world purely in terms of black and white is to be dogmatic and inflexible; to pretend that right and wrong simply do not exist is to commit an egregious mistake.

As shown by the Duelfer Report, our "forward policy of freedom" in Iraq has eliminated a significant global threat, and for this reason, we should not attack the president for making the right decision. We have deposed of a dictator who had the clear intent and technical capabilities to create WMD -- Saddam Hussein was simply biding his time to acquire the necessary material. Had we not liberated Iraq, we would be mired in a North Korea-like conundrum. Had we responded to international pressure and heeded the advice of our allies, we would have permitted Saddam Hussein to become an imminent threat.

By not completing our mission in 1991, we created a situation in 2003 that demanded action. John Kerry made his first mistake by voting against the Persian Gulf War. He made his second mistake by declaring that our current action was "the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time." His third mistake was to believe the international community would have acted against Saddam, when instead, it appeared content to enjoy the spoils of his corruption-laced regime. Mistakes such as these are unacceptable for any U.S. president; fortunately, I believe Kerry will never have the opportunity to make them as such.

To: J_F_Shepard who wrote (645136)10/14/2004 10:00:01 PM
From: PROLIFE  Read Replies (1) | Respond to of 769658
The Duelfer report's case for war in Iraq
By Michael Barone

"U.S. 'Almost All Wrong' on Weapons" read the headline on the October 7 Washington Post. "Report on Iraq Contradicts Bush Administration Claims" read the subhead. But these headlines conceal the real news in the report of Iraq Survey Group head Charles Duelfer. For the report makes it plain that George W. Bush had good reason to go to war in Iraq and end the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Browse through an archive of columns by Michael Barone.

First of all, Saddam retained the capability to manufacture weapons of mass destruction. On chemical weapons, "Saddam sought to sustain the requisite knowledge base to restart the program eventually and, to the extent it did not threaten the Iraqi efforts to get out from under sanctions, to sustain the inherent capability to produce such weapons as circumstances permitted in the future." On nuclear weapons, "Saddam did not abandon his nuclear ambitions. . . . Those around Saddam seemed quite convinced that once sanctions were ended, and all other things being equal, Saddam would renew his efforts in this field." Moreover, Duelfer concluded that Saddam in his missile program was developing missiles that exceeded the range limits set in U.N. Security Council Resolution 687.

Duelfer also reported that Saddam asked subordinates how long it would take to develop chemical weapons once sanctions ended. One Iraqi chemical weapons expert said it would require only a few days to develop mustard gas. Former Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz said that Iraq could have had a WMD capacity within two years after the end of sanctions.

If the weapons inspectors had been given more time to conduct inspections, as John Kerry has on occasion advocated, we now know they would not have found any WMDs. Nor does it seem possible that they would have uncovered Saddam's attempts to maintain WMD capability. There would have been heavy pressure then from France, Russia, and China—whose companies were given kickbacks and windfall profits from the Saddam-administered U.N. Oil for Food program, Duelfer reports—to disband U.S. military forces in the Middle East and to end sanctions. And once sanctions were gone, there would have been nothing to stop Saddam from developing WMDs.

In other words, we were facing a brutal dictator with the capability to develop WMDs and the proven willingness to use them. A dictator whose regime had had, as the 9/11 Commission has documented, frequent contacts with al Qaeda. We have no conclusive evidence that he collaborated with al Qaeda on 9/11—but also no conclusive evidence that he did not. Under those circumstances, George W. Bush acted prudently in deciding to remove this regime. He would have been imprudent not to have done so.

One more thing needs to be said. There was, despite the headlines and charges to the contrary, no "intelligence failure" here. How were U.S. intelligence agencies—or those of other serious countries, who reached the same conclusion—to learn that Saddam was not currently actively developing WMDs? How could they do that when even high officials in Saddam's government did not know whether such programs were ongoing or not? This was a secretive regime, not given to public announcements of its weapons development, not subject to a Freedom of Information Act. Even if we had had human intelligence sources at the top levels of the Saddam regime who assured us WMD programs were not ongoing, how could we have prudently relied on them?

Intelligence is an inexact business. It deals with things that cannot be known for sure. In this case, it dealt with something that even an ideal intelligence agency could not determine for certain. Our intelligence agencies and those of other countries that concluded that Saddam had WMDs turned out to have erred, but they erred on the proper side, on the side of pessimism, as they had to—because the man had a record of developing WMDs and using them. And he had a record, we now know thanks to Charles Duelfer, of maintaining the capability of using WMDs again. The world and the United States are safer with Saddam in prison.

To: J_F_Shepard who wrote (645136)10/14/2004 10:01:38 PM
From: PROLIFE  Read Replies (1) | Respond to of 769658
Duelfer Damns U.N.
With a presidential election less than a month away and the press and the Democrats eager to discredit the Bush administration, most of what we've been hearing about the final report of Charles Duelfer's Iraq Survey Group, issued yesterday, has centered on the question of whether Saddam Hussein's regime possessed stockpiles of mass-destruction weapons. The U.S. and most other world intelligence services believed it did, and this was among the justifications for Iraq's liberation last year. The absence of such stockpiles is supposed to prove that the U.S.-led coalition was wrong to liberate Iraq--that Saddam Hussein did not deserve to be toppled and George W. Bush does not deserve to be re-elected.

It won't surprise anyone to learn that we disagree. This column has long supported the liberation of Iraq, and weapons of mass destruction were in our view at most a secondary part of the case (see here and here). To our mind, the main lesson to be drawn from the ISG report is that the United Nations is ill suited to manage international crises.

Consider where things stood preliberation. As we noted in January 2003, Saddam Hussein had been technically at war with the U.S. and "the world" for more than a decade. There was never a peace agreement to end the Gulf War, only a cease-fire conditional upon Saddam Hussein's compliance with 17 U.N. resolutions. These resolutions required not only that Saddam not possess weapons of mass destruction, but also that he prove to the world that he had destroyed all such weapons programs. Resolution 1441 enumerated his other obligations:

Thursday, October 7, 2004 4:36 p.m. EDT

To: J_F_Shepard who wrote (645136)10/14/2004 10:02:55 PM
From: PROLIFE  Read Replies (1) | Respond to of 769658
a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Oct. 6, Charles Duelfer, an adviser to the CIA, did not rule out Saddam's transfer of Iraqi missiles and weapons of mass destruction to Syria.

Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, pauses during an Senate Armed Services committee on Oct. 6, in Washington. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Duelfer agreed that a large amount of material had been transferred by Iraq to Syria before the March 2003 war. "A lot of materials left Iraq and went to Syria," Duelfer said. "There was certainly a lot of traffic across the border points. We've got a lot of data to support that, including people discussing it. But whether in fact in any of these trucks there was WMD-related materials, I cannot say."

The Iraq Survey Group, headed by Duelfer, said Russia, Syria, Jordan and other arms suppliers were paid from Iraqi oil revenues.

A CIA report, authored by the Iraq Survey Group, identified Russia and Syria atop a list of 12 arms suppliers to Iraq until the U.S.-led war against Baghdad started in March 2003.

The report listed Russia and Syria above North Korea — regarded as the leading missile proliferator to the Middle East — as leading suppliers to Baghdad.

Jordan was the third largest supplier of weapons to Iraq.

Duelfer (left), speaks with General Joseph J. McMenamin, military commander of the Iraq Survey Group, before start of the Senate Armed Services committee meeting. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After Jordan came Belarus, China, India, North Korea, South Korea, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, France, Romania and Turkey. The report said these countries were involved in both "weapons of mass destruction and arms-related procurement." The report said Saddam diverted money from the UN oil-for-food program to pay for both conventional and nonconventional weapons and components.

The report said state-owned companies in Russia and Syria defied UN sanctions and supplied weapons and platforms to Baghdad. The report said Syria also served as the leading route for illegal arms supplies from Europe and other countries.

Several of Iraq's neighbors were said to have joined in the secret military effort to aid Baghdad. The report — based on interviews with senior Iraqi officials and 40 million pages of documents and classified intelligence — cited Jordan and Turkey as leading suppliers to the Saddam regime.

To: J_F_Shepard who wrote (645136)10/14/2004 10:04:07 PM
From: PROLIFE  Read Replies (2) | Respond to of 769658

ISG uncovered information that the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) maintained throughout 1991 to 2003 a set of undeclared covert laboratories to research and test various chemicals and poisons, primarily for intelligence operations. The network of laboratories could have provided an ideal, compartmented platform from which to continue CW agent R&D or small-scale production efforts, but we have no indications this was planned. (See Annex A.)

• ISG has no evidence that IIS Directorate of Criminology (M16) scientists were producing CW or BW agents in these laboratories. However, sources indicate that M16 was planning to produce several CW agents including sulfur mustard, nitrogen mustard, and Sarin.

• Exploitations of IIS laboratories, safe houses, and disposal sites revealed no evidence of CW-related research or production, however many of these sites were either sanitized by the Regime or looted prior to OIF. Interviews with key IIS offi cials within and outside of M16 yielded very little information about the IIS’ activities in this area.

• The existence, function, and purpose of the laboratories were never declared to the UN.

• The IIS program included the use of human subjects for testing purposes.



The IIS had a series of laboratories that conducted biological work including research into BW agents for assassination purposes until the mid-1990s. ISG has not been able to establish the scope and nature of the work at these laboratories or determine whether any of the work was related to military development of BW agent.

• The security services operated a series of laboratories in the Baghdad area. Iraq should have declared these facilities and their equipment to the UN, but they did not. Neither the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM)nor the UN Monitoring, Verifi cation, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) were aware of their existence or inspected them.

• Some of the laboratories possessed equipment capable of supporting research into BW agents for military purposes, but ISG does not know whether this occurred although there is no evidence of it. The laboratories were probably the successors of the Al Salman facility, located three kilometers south of Salman Pak, which was destroyed in 1991, and they carried on many of the same activities, including forensic work.

• Under the aegis of the intelligence service, a secretive team developed assassination instruments using poisons or toxins for the Iraqi state. A small group of scientists, doctors and technicians conducted secret experiments on human beings, resulting in their deaths. The aim was probably the development of poisons, including ricin and afl atoxin to eliminate or debilitate the Regime’s opponents. It appears that testing on humans continued until the mid 1990s. There is no evidence to link these tests with the development of BW agents for military use.

To: J_F_Shepard who wrote (645136)10/14/2004 10:16:13 PM
From: Doug R  Read Replies (2) | Respond to of 769658
The Duelfer report really burns the wingnuts' cookies. Just mention it and they start spinning like short-circuited gyroscopes.

To: J_F_Shepard who wrote (645136)10/15/2004 11:41:15 AM
From: DuckTapeSunroof  Respond to of 769658
No, I don't think it was in the Duelfer Report, Duelfer covered different issues.

IAEA flagged this as a special problem, and issued an 'alert'.

(They have been unable to issue their regularly scheduled reports on Iraq's dual-use nuclear infrastructure that they have been monitoring for years since the Gulf War... because the US Coallition has not filed any of the required reports since the start of the war.)