April 28, 2003
The Search for Weapons of Mass Destruction: Will the World Ever Know the Truth?
by The Angry Liberal
Remember the 2000 election? Remember the confidence that Bush would prevail in Florida during the recount that the Bush team projected? Why do you suppose that these guys were so confident? I'm glad you asked. The B Team was confident that he would prevail because they controlled the recount process. Florida's secretary of state, Katherine Harris, was campaign co-chair of the Bush election committee in Florida. An insanely partisan Republican state legislature was ready to nullify the entire election and hand it to Bush on the off-chance that Gore might pull ahead in a recount. And, of course, the governor of the state was, uh, some guy who also had an interest in Bush winning. Must have been the similarity in last names. Anyway, even though all complete statewide recount scenarios, save one, would have given the election to Al Gore, it turns out that nobody in control of Florida's election had any interest in who the people of their state wished to elect. Consequently, second-place finisher Bush assumed the presidency.
Before I lose my temper and discuss which of the traitors involved in that election would be in my deck of "America's Most Wanted" playing cards, let's fast-forward to last Tuesday's press conference, hosted by the Joseph Goebbels of this administration and a funny, funny guy, Ari Fleischer:
Q: You indicated earlier that the U.S. wishes to have the coalition -- that would be mainly us -- look for weapons of mass destruction. Do you see no role for the United Nations weapons inspection teams in a postwar Iraq?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the President is looking forward, not backward. And we will reassess the framework designed to disarm the Iraqi regime given the new facts on the ground and the fact that the Iraqi regime that created the environment for the inspectors previously to go in no longer exists. We'll work with Security Council members, the United Nations, and our friends and allies on the issue of the post-Saddam Iraq and how best to achieve our mutual goals. But make no mistake about it; the United States and the coalition have taken on the responsibility for dismantling Iraq's WMD.
Does anybody else recognize a pattern here? Why would the Bush administration want to keep the U.N. out of the hunt for weapons of mass destruction? Wouldn't it be good to have help in this difficult search? Wouldn't having experts with extensive experience with the Iraq hunt be a good idea? Of course it would. The problem for the Bush administration is that U.N. involvement in the hunt for weapons in Iraq, much like a complete recount in Florida, might produce a fair result. That's a chance that George W. Bush can't afford to take.
I know that beating the crap out of a weakling nation with old weapons and poorly trained soldiers is a lot of fun, but that's not why Bush said we went to war. Bush and his band of chicken hawks justified the entire war in Iraq on disarming Saddam Hussein. So far, the search for WMD hasn't produced so much as a used handkerchief containing flu virus. Now, I would argue that WMD, which Hussein refused to use against Americans even to save his own life, were never a threat to America in the first place. Despite the complete irrelevance of the existence of these weapons, Bush is aware that he has to find something dangerous in Iraq or history will label him the most reckless, irresponsible, and dumbest president in U.S. history. (As usual, leave it to the Angry Liberal to lead the way in this realization.) But, of course, historical notoriety doesn't win elections. Besides, I'm sure that Bush slept through most of his history courses, and who really cares what those eggheads in their ivory towers think, anyway? The only concern Bush has is whether he can convince enough Americans that "we dun good over thar in I-rack" so he can get enough votes to steal the next election.
So, why isn't Bush worried about the weapons search in Iraq? Simple. As with the 2000 election, the machinery is in place to rig the outcome. Don't get me wrong. I'm not cynical enough to believe that Bush knew that no weapons existed. I think that Bush, like the rest of the world, wasn't sure. He was banking on the existence of a secret weapons program somewhere in Iraq to eventually substantiate his premise for the war. As for the search, we'll have a good look around and hope to find something. But if public opinion starts to go south and the United States is running out of places to look, you can bet your ass that a small stockpile of goodies will conveniently show up. Of course, these weapons would have "Property of the U.S. Military" crossed out and "Saddam's Clandestine Weapons of Mass Destruction" written in crayon on the crates. But, hey, with nobody from the international community present to see this, how will the world ever know? The stockpile will be photographed from a safe distance, destroyed, and Bush will head to New Hampshire for pancakes with Joe Sixpack.
Team Bush proved in the 2000 election that ignoring the will of the U.S. voters and subverting democracy itself is a useful tool for achieving his goals. They showed in March that they were willing to introduce into evidence forged documents in an attempt to link Iraq to weapons of mass destruction. And now, with Team Bush firmly in control of Iraq and the search for WMD, do you really think that the outcome of the search is in doubt? Not a chance. If it looks like Americans have forgotten that we were going to war to disarm Saddam Hussein and we can't find any stashed weapons, then Bush may eventually admit as much. (My guess is that story would break on election eve, 2004.) On the other hand, if the public suddenly remembers that Bush told us we had to tear the heads off of women and children in Iraq because Saddam was a threat to America, the need to find something, anything, will increase dramatically. Bush isn't worried, though. If it comes down to it, he knows he can produce whatever proof the American public demands. Who could question such proof? If Bush has his way, it won't be the U.N.
otherwise noted, all original