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January 24, 2003

Is the lion awakening?

While the anti-Israeli, pro-Saddam lobby has been out in the streets in force, those who oppose appeasement have been silent and side-tracked. This applies in particular to the While House, but also to “the American street” and to Israel’s supporters - no rallies to oppose appeasement, no clergy summoning the press, and no retired generals issuing press releases. All you hear is “where’s the smoking gun”, as though the warheads that have already been found and the Iraqi prohibited equipment that has been unaccounted for, are not enough of a “smoking gun”.

On January 21, the White House released at long last a document related to Saddam’s conduct, 1990-2003. Below, just to whet one’s appetite, is the table of contents:

Crafting Tragedy:
Iraqi Co-Locations of Military and Civilians. Then...And Now.
Case Study: The Amiriyah Bunker-Shelter

Exploiting Suffering
Blaming Sanctions for Regime Failure
Case Study: Baby Funerals
Depleted Uranium Scare

Medical Facts on Iraqi Chemical Weapons Exposure

Exploiting Islam
The Hajj Shakedowns
Oppression of Shi’a Muslims
The Gulf War: Lies About Non-Muslim Militaries in the Middle East

The Gulf War: Lies About Conflicts between Muslim and Western Allies

Corrupting the Public Record
Self-inflicted Damage
False Man-in-the-Street Interview
Covert Placement
Case Study: The Al-Fahd Forgery
The Gulf War: False Claims of Victory

Conclusion: The Lies Continue

Also included are an executive summary and bibliography.

No sooner was this document released, when Condoleezza Rice published her article in the NYT. Among other things, she spelled out these specifics:

[I]nstead of full cooperation and transparency, Iraq has filed a false declaration to the United Nations that amounts to a 12,200-page lie.

For example, the declaration fails to account for or explain Iraq's efforts to get uranium from abroad, its manufacture of specific fuel for ballistic missiles it claims not to have, and the gaps previously identified by the United Nations in Iraq's accounting for more than two tons of the raw materials needed to produce thousands of gallons of anthrax and other biological weapons.

Iraq's declaration even resorted to unabashed plagiarism, with lengthy passages of United Nations reports copied word-for-word (or edited to remove any criticism of Iraq) and presented as original text. Far from informing, the declaration is intended to cloud and confuse the true picture of Iraq's arsenal. It is a reflection of the regime's well-earned reputation for dishonesty and constitutes a material breach of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, which set up the current inspections program.
Unlike other nations that have voluntarily disarmed — and in defiance of Resolution 1441 — Iraq is not allowing inspectors "immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted access" to facilities and people involved in its weapons program. As a recent inspection at the home of an Iraqi nuclear scientist demonstrated, and other sources confirm, material and documents are still being moved around in farcical shell games. The regime has blocked free and unrestricted use of aerial reconnaissance...

The list of people involved with weapons of mass destruction programs, which the United Nations required Iraq to provide, ends with those who worked in 1991 — even though the United Nations had previously established that the programs continued after that date. Interviews with scientists and weapons officials identified by inspectors have taken place only in the watchful presence of the regime's agents. Given the duplicitous record of the regime, its recent promises to do better can only be seen as an attempt to stall for time.

Last week's finding by inspectors of 12 chemical warheads not included in Iraq's declaration was particularly troubling. In the past, Iraq has filled this type of warhead with sarin — a deadly nerve agent used by Japanese terrorists in 1995 to kill 12 Tokyo subway passengers and sicken thousands of others. Richard Butler, the former chief United Nations arms inspector, estimates that if a larger type of warhead that Iraq has made and used in the past were filled with VX (an even deadlier nerve agent) and launched at a major city, it could kill up to one million people. Iraq has also failed to provide United Nations inspectors with documentation of its claim to have destroyed its VX stockpiles.
More of a smoking gun than these?

Let’s hope that the White House document and Rice’s article represents the beginning of a serious US offensive to win over the hearts and minds of the people. And let’s also hope that the Israeli government and Israel’s supporters start a parallel campaign against the creation of a second Palestinian-Arab state.

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland. This piece is cross-posted on IsraPundit and Dawson Speaks.