- The Washington Times - Monday, November 25, 2002

I love the way President Bush mispronounces the Iraqi dictator's name: SAH-dum, not sah-DAM. Whereas the latter pronunciation in Arabic means "One Who Confronts," the former means "Barefoot Beggar." Be assured that when Mr. Bush says SAH-dum in his speeches broadcast to the Arabic world, he is doing it on purpose.
The Barefoot Beggar has finally agreed to let in U.N. inspectors because he is confident he can hide his weapons of mass destruction from them. But if Mr. Bush tells Vice President Dick Cheney to give his former colleagues at Halliburton a call about utilizing oil field discovery technology, that confidence will evaporate.
Sah-dum has hidden his weapons of mass destruction in secret underground tunnels and bunkers, some of which are flooded, underneath his palaces. There are dozens of them. The Baghdad Republican Palace has more than 700 buildings. According to French engineers who worked on the Qasr-Shatt al-Arab Palace, it is bigger than Versailles. A mason who worked on the Maqar-el-Tharthar Palace west of Baghdad, and escaped to the West, says it is "four or five times bigger than the White House."
Many of these palace compounds have artificial lakes. The Tigris River was diverted near Sah-dum's hometown of Tikrit to form a lake at his Baiji Palace. Sah-dum has built weapons of mass destruction storage depots underneath the lakes as well. He knows that the ground-penetrating radar brought by the U.N. inspection teams will not see through steel-reinforced concrete palace and factory floors and the water of the lakes.
That's why Mr. Cheney needs to call his buddies in the "oll bidness," as they say in West Texas, to tell them, "Guys, we want the best doodlebuggers you've got to go to Iraq."
"Doodlebuggers" is the nickname of the folks who search for oil and gas with seismic technology. They are capable of finding oil deposits under thousands of feet of rock and ocean water. Shallow lakes and steel-reinforced concrete slabs in Sah-dum Land will be no problem. They'll use a state-of-the-art technology called 3D seismic, used for extremely accurate mapping of the earth's subsurface. Here's how it will work.
The two basic items the Doodlebugger teams will use are geophones and vibroseis machines. The geophones can float on a lake surface, driven into the ground in a palace compound, or placed on a palace's concrete floor. The vibroseis machines, either in a small truck or towed by a pickup, vibrate the ground surface with a force of 70,000 pounds per square meter. It does no damage to structures, and can be operated up to hundreds of yards away from a specific suspect site.
The geophones get a seismic recording of the vibrations as they penetrate the surrounding area. Data is beamed up to a satellite, together with their precise location via a GPS locator. It is beamed back down and compiled by e.g., Halliburton's or Exxon's supercomputers. The result will be a complete and detailed map of what's under the palaces, factories, and lakes.
A huge contrast will show up in the seismic maps between dirt, sand, water, air, and reinforced concrete. Whatever storage areas, tunnels and bunkers are down there, the maps will show just where they are. Should the Iraqis refuse to disclose the entrances, a device called a fluorine lance ignited by a small thermal charge can burn through more than six feet of steel-reinforced concrete in about 20-40 seconds. A swimming camera can then be inserted in the hole, as is used in inspecting sewers and pipelines.
Once weapons of mass destruction stores are located, we'll know where to drop the thermobaric penetrating bombs. These penetrate below the surface to the underground depots, then detonate with such force and temperature that all nerve gases and biochemical agents (such as anthrax) will be oxidized into carbon dioxide and water.
Of course, it is most likely that Sah-dum's petroleum geologists will explain to him what the Vibroseis units are for, and he will prevent their use. Thus, their introduction in the inspection process will quickly precipitate the violation of the U.N. Resolution, providing the basis for the U.S. military to take care of the problem.
It is vitally necessary that such precipitation happen soon. We cannot wait until next summer when it is far too hot in Iraq for U.S. soldiers to wear chemical protection suits. For the evil of the Barefoot Beggar to be terminated, it must be done quickly. (Note that if the seismic mapping is incomplete when the inspectors are ejected, geophones with GPS transmitters can be airdropped en masse around the palaces, then GPS-guided bomblets to provide seismic sources. In a few days the maps will be done, showing just where to target the thermobarics.)
Given that oil has been the source of this evil's wealth and power, it would be ironic justice for American oil companies to play a heroic role in such termination.

Jack Wheeler is the president of the Freedom Research Foundation.


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