Iraq is a sanctuary among sanctuaries. Losing this war would guarantee Iraq out does Afghanistan under the Taliban as a recruiting and training center, exporting terror worldwide. There is no turning back. This is what too many critics refuse to see. They indulge in fantasies like "Bush lied" about weapons of mass destruction and began the war under false pretenses.
In the December issue of Commentary magazine, Norman Podhoretz - in an article entitled "Who Is Lying About Iraq?" - demolishes that myth. He lists the numerous individuals, nations and intelligence agencies worldwide that reached identical conclusions about Saddam Hussein's weapons. They include Hans Blix, who headed the UN weapons inspection team that tried to learn whether Saddam had complied with Security Council demands that he destroy weapons of mass destruction he was known to have had and used in the past. A few months before the invasion, Blix wrote of a "relatively new bunker" of 122-mm chemical rocket warheads 170 km southwest of Baghdad. He said, "They could be . the tip of a submerged iceberg." Blix noted the discovery of those rockets "does not resolve but rather points to the issue of several thousands of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for."
President Clinton's National Security Adviser, Sandy Berger, stated flatly, "(Saddam) will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has 10 times since 1983." Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, said the "risk" that a "rogue state will use nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face." President Clinton, who now keeps company with war critics, said in 1998, "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
The Podhoretz article is full of quotes from Democrats and others who were once gung-ho to topple Saddam. It also contains facts from bipartisan investigations that have looked into WMD and the run-up to the invasion. It exposes some liars, but President Bush and Vice President Cheney are not among them.
The Bush administration has finally started to reply to these modern "summer soldiers and sunshine patriots." They had better persuade more of the public, or risk losing a war that we must win.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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