- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saddam and chemical weapons

Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, and Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican, are to be commended for uncovering the report showing that hundreds of chemical weapons of mass destruction have indeed been found in Iraq (“Chemical arms found in Iraq, report reveals,” Nation, Thursday.

Anyone thinking these “old” chemical weapons are harmless should remember what was found in the affluent Spring Valley section of the District in 1993 during the excavation for a new sewer line.

The digging in Northwest uncovered live — and still deadly — rounds of toxic mustard gas and poisonous lewisite left over from World War I, when the area was part of a military base. Since then, many more such rounds have been found. No one knows how many more may still be hidden there, all within the boundaries of the capital city of the United States. These weapons — not to mention today’s more potent nerve agents — remain dangerous for a very long time.

Saddam Hussein had them. Saddam Hussein used them. Saddam Hussein hid them. And after we invaded Iraq, we found them.

But maybe not all of them.

President Bush didn’t lie.

ROGER JOHNSON

Kensington

According to two Republican lawmakers, in the face of massive political opposition claiming which cited that the president lied in his primary reason for leading us into a pre-emptive war, the United States has quietly uncovered 500 chemical weapons in Iraq since 2003, and more weapons of mass destruction are likely to be found.

Referring to a now-declassified report from the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit that took over where the Iraq Survey Group left off in 2004, Sen. Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, said: “We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

However, in response to Mr. Santorum’s statement, an anonymous Pentagon official said the weapons found were likely produced before the 1991 Gulf War and were too degraded for their intended use.

Let’s assume for a moment that this non-identifiable source’s information is correct. What does this tell us? It tells us that Saddam Hussein didn’t honor the key provision of the 1991 Gulf War treaty in which he agreed to completely disarm himself of all chemical and biological weapons. And in the spring of 2003, Saddam was in material breach of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441.

It tells us that the U.N. weapons inspectors, who for seven years scoured the Iraqi countryside before they were expelled in 1998, completely missed these hundreds of WMDs. What does that say about the sense of security that they were suppose to provide for us?

And the questions it raises are equally intriguing. If these WMDs are too degraded now, could they still have been in useable condition three years ago when we invaded? After all, why would Saddam keep around all this incriminating evidence if it couldn’t do him any good? And with that in mind, can someone please explain why Gen. Tommy Franks’ forces found chemical weapons suits and antidote syringes on the battlefield outside Baghdad?

With a notorious treaty-breaker like Saddam, who for 12 years acted as if he had something to hide, was it wrong to believe that in light of all the incriminating intelligence against him that he, indeed, had something to hide?

And based on this assertion, does this exonerate the president from the nagging, “Bush lied; he took us to war under false pretenses” charge?

Even if we were to ludicrously put both Mr. Bush and Saddam on equal moral footing — despite this new report, which I feel half implicates Saddam in this WMD charge while half exonerating the president — I still smell a rat with the Butcher of Baghdad. I believe in time that we’re still going to find out that he was, indeed, guilty of this WMD charge. In time more is going to be uncovered about this.

EUGENE R. DUNN

Medford, N.Y.

The truth about global warming

How nice to read a rebuttal by Wesley Pruden to the Ph.D.s. who contribute to the press feeding frenzy on global warming (“Inconvenient truth about global warming,” Pruden on Politics, Nation, Friday).

This period may well be the warmest since the Little Ice Age of some 400 or 500 years ago. Some scientists think we are still emerging from that period by fits and starts.

Back in the mid-1970s, many scientists thought we were entering another severe cooling trend. It’s sort of like the stock market — ups and downs sometimes hide the major trend. As for the melting of the Greenland ice cap, the following may be pertinent: When flying back from Europe during World War II, strong headwinds forced the plane I was on to land at an auxiliary landing strip on the Greenland ice cap. While there a group of P-38 fighter planes was forced down some distance away and the planes were never able to take off again. A few years ago they were located under nearly 300 feet of ice and snow that had accumulated over 50-plus years. After digging down to the planes, one was dismantled and brought to the surface. I believe it is now in a museum in St. Louis.

The point here is that a portion of the ice cap got thicker by some 300 feet in the intervening years — some change from the so-called Medieval Warm Period of 1,000 years ago when the Vikings colonized southern Greenland and grazed their sheep and goats on vegetation thereon. It might be well for someone to point out the advantages of global warming.

And one last point: Who would not prefer global warming to global cooling, which could happen again if we should get a rash of volcano eruptions with dust shutting off solar insulation?

JOSEPH L. HUDSON

Arlington

Our delusional elites

As Diana West notes (“Deluded America,” Op-Ed, Friday), the actions (or lack thereof) by an effete caste of American elites paralyzed by their own “moral superiority” may well spell doom for our civilization.

Unable to cope with the unpleasantness of measures that may be required to win the war against fanatical jihadists, smug but guilt-ridden leaders would rather hamstring our forces with ridiculous rules of engagement (e.g., completely separate jihadists from “innocent civilians” before they have permission to defend themselves) and mandate kid-glove treatment of enemy combatants rather than take steps necessary to win against a brutal and lawless enemy. Their moral smugness is reinforced, as Mrs. West states, by the fact they “don’t … take sides, don’t really believe one culture is … better or worse than the other … [or] even believe one culture is just plain different from the other.”

Her observations could just as easily be applied to immigration as to Iraq. For instance, our elites (business and ethnic interests) don’t believe our borders are worth securing. They regard sovereignty and national identity as antiquated and “uncivilized” notions in an era of globalization, believe in alien “rights,” see walls as inhumane, discount the importance of “citizenship” and are aghast that anyone should be deported. Such elite delusions may make them feel superior to the rest of us, but do not bode well for the longevity of our nation and civilization.

ROBERT BERRY

Montgomery Village, Md

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