Thursday, November 25, 2004

Horowitz on why we're in Iraq

Doing some catch-up while stuff is cooking...

David Horowitz sees a conspiracy (unintentional) between the Left and the Islamo-fascists.

If you really think about the issue of "treason," you will realize that it doesn't really end with the label itself, which is why the defensiveness of the left over the use of the term to describe actual traitors is disingenuous and just bad faith. When pressed on the issue, leftists will be the first to point out that our founders, after all, were traitors, too; that it was Benjamin Franklin who famously said, "If this be treason, let's make the most of it." In America, the founding principles form the nation first, and only secondarily the ties of blood and soil. If America is indeed the greatest terrorist state, as Moore and his leftist friends proclaim, if America is an imperialist monster, then America has betrayed its founding principle of liberty. And if that is the case, loyalty to America would demand that a true patriot commit acts of treason in order to keep the American faith. Loyalty to humanity is treason to America. This is the code that leftists like Michael Moore consciously live by. To get a proper perspective on the issue of treason in an American context you have to first decide in your own minds whether this nation has really betrayed its founding and is worthy of destruction. If it is, then you can embrace Michael Moore and join the political left, and be comfortable with your choice. If it isn't, you'd better think twice about what they are up to.

The Left doesn't like any suggestion that what they do might constitute treason. Suggestion: If you don't want to be called a duck, don't quack.

One of the bumper stickers I've seen says, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." There's dissent, though, and then there's dissension.

A large part of the criticism of the war, however, has been made on grounds that have nothing to do with American security. Often, it's voiced in such a way (and to such a reckless degree) as to undermine that security. It was quite another thing, for example, when the war was won, for leftist critics to launch an all-out attack on the Commander-in-Chief by calling him a liar and the war a "fraud." It is quite another thing to make these unfounded charges when our troops are still in Iraq and still in harms way, and Saddam's allies like the French are drumming up world opinion against us. It is quite another thing, in these circumstances, to say that the President lied to the American people and sent our troops to die under false pretenses. When this is done by people who supported the war it is an even more egregious betrayal. Yet that is what leaders of the Democratic Party did within two months of the liberation of Baghdad, most shamefully among them Ted Kennedy and Al Gore, but also John Edwards and Jimmy Carter and John Kerry, and of course Howard Dean. These charges are quite different from legitimate criticism in a time of war. These attacks incite Americans to distrust and hate their own Commander-in-Chief in the middle of a conflict in which the troops under his command -- our troops -- were dying and while our country was under attack. To portray Iraq -- a country which had invaded two sovereign nations and in which a million people had been murdered -- as Michael Moore did in his film Fahrenheit 9/11, as an idyllic place into which American marauders intruded under false pretenses using their advanced technologies to blow innocent and "defenseless" people to bits is no longer criticism. It is an attack that serves to undermine the authority and credibility of the Commander-in-Chief, sabotage the nation's war on terror, and soften us up for the kill. This is no longer criticism, nor is it intended as such. It is intended to as a war within the war, directed at us -- all of us, Democrat and Republican alike, whose security it threatens. In sum, there is criticism whose intention is to help us defend ourselves, and there is criticism whose intention is weaken and ultimately destroy us. The latter is directed at the war effort by leftists like Michael Moore.

But then again, if all dissent from the President is patriotic, then Ken Starr was a Grand Hero Patriotism.

Some people will recklessly exaggerate America's deficiencies -- even in the midst of a war -- in pursuit of political power; others may do it out of habitual complacency. It hasn't really registered to them that we are in the war. Even after 9/11, they continue to think that America cannot be vulnerable. They haven't absorbed what those attacks revealed. In their thinking, America is still a free country and you can say anything you want. And you can. But saying anything you want will have consequences in the midst of a war with terrorists who want to kill you and are convinced that they will go to heaven if they do and have access to weapons of mass murder. It is my mission tonight to remind you of this.

So far, I haven't heard very many voices on the right calling for censorship. However, to those who defend their right to say what they want, I merely want to mention that there are legal rights, and there are real-world consequences to exercising those rights. The fact that something may be legal doesn't mean it's moral, or even smart.

So why did we go to war? As I and many others have pointed out, WMD is far from the only reason.

A congressional resolution to authorize the use of force was something that Bill Clinton never even sought when he went to war in Kosovo. This was a constitutional oversight that didn't bother Democrats at the time or since, which shows how partisan and indefensible is this aspect of their critique of the war in Iraq. The Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq that President Bush did seek and obtain in October 2002 has a total of 23 clauses. These 23 clauses spell out the rationale for the war. I invite you to go on the web and read the clauses. Out of all 23 clauses, I found only two that even mention stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. What the clauses do stress - twelve of them, by my count - are U.N. resolutions that Saddam ignored or defied.


In their attacks on the President, opponents of the war and even Democratic leaders who once knew better have said that Iraq was "no threat." But if Iraq was no threat, why was Afghanistan a threat? Afghanistan is a much poorer country than Iraq. It doesn't have the oil. It wasn't about to make a deal with North Korea to buy nuclear weapons "off the shelf," as Saddam was when the United States troops crossed his borders. So why was Afghanistan a threat? It was a threat because it gave the terrorists a base, and from that base they were able to deliver a devastating blow to the United States


The Duelfer Report, made after Saddam's removal, concludes that Saddam Hussein had one overriding agenda, which was to remove the UN sanctions, remove the UN inspectors, and resume his programs to build weapons of mass destruction. That is what the war was about. After 9/11, George Bush saw that Iraq was out of control and therefore a menace. He told Saddam, "You are part of an 'Axis of Evil' and you are in defiance of the truce agreements of 1991. You had better comply with the terms of the truce you signed, with the U.N. resolutions, and disarm, and open your borders to UN inspectors and give up your ambitions to acquire weapons of mass destruction -- or else." The first of these ultimatums was delivered to Saddam in the "Axis of Evil" address on the State of the Union in January 2002. That was more than a year before we actually went to war.

And the rush to war? The lack of UN approval?

I have read the Chief UN Weapons Inspector's book, Disarming Iraq. Hans Blix is a Swedish leftist who, by his own admission, was against the war under any circumstances. But in his book he clearly states that UN resolution 1441 was diplomatic language for an ultimatum of war. The deadline for Saddam's compliance was December 7, 2002. On that date, Saddam Hussein delivered a 12,000 page report that was smoke and mirrors. In his book, Hans Blix himself says that it was smoke and mirrors, that the information submitted was from deceptive reports that Saddam had submitted in the past, that thousands of weapons were unaccounted for, and that it did not in fact fulfill the requirements the Security Council had laid down.

Imagine this: A judge issues an arrest warrant for a person. The police find the person, and take him into custody. The defense lawyer gets the case thrown out because the police, having located the person, didn't get the judge's approval to take actual custody. If I'm ever accused of a crime, that's how I want the law enforced against me.

Ultimately, though, we're in Iraq because:

We went to war with Saddam Hussein in 1991 to force him out of Kuwait, which his invading armies had swallowed. At the end of the war, there was no peace treaty, merely a truce that left Saddam in place. The truce was sealed by the first two of the 17 U.N. resolutions that Saddam eventually violated. These were UN resolutions 687 and 689 and they set established the conditions by which we - who were still technically at war with Saddam - would allow him to remain in power. These resolutions instructed Saddam to disarm and to stop his programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. The fifteen subsequent resolutions, which Saddam defied, were to reinforce these two.


Saddam expressed his loathing for the United States in innumerable ways, among them an attempt to assassinate the President and the distinction of being the only head of state to celebrate the destruction of the World Trade Center after 9/11. Despite leftwing claims to the contrary, there were in fact major links between international terrorists, including al-Qaeda and the Saddam regime. You can read about them in Stephen Hayes' book, The Connection, which shows the relations between the government of Iraq, Al Qaeda, and the major world terrorist organizations. Among other gestures to the Islamic jihad, Saddam had inserted into the Iraqi flag the proclamation "Allahu Akhbar." Saddam did not adopt the mantra of Islamic martyrs because he had a religious revelation. He did it because Islamic terrorists had adopted the slogan as their war cry and Saddam wanted to join their war.

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