evidence of Saddam's repeated efforts to acquire biological
and chemical weapons is overwhelming, so it's hardly a leap
to imagine that he might have shared that expertise with his
like-minded friends in al Qaeda. The famous meeting in Prague
between Mohammed Atta and an Iraqi agent is unlikely to be
the sole connection between al Qaeda and Saddam."
AS A SPORT
a leap of Olympic athleticism, one likely to set a world record.
There is not a scintilla of evidence that the "famous" meeting
in Prague ever happened, as
Bob Novak points out. Yet this urban myth – which seems
restricted to certain pundits, who repeat it endlessly and
then quote each other – persists, in spite of the
flimsiness of the evidence. And of course an "effort to
acquire biological and chemical weapons" is not the same as
a successful effort to do so.
for the alleged like-mindedness of Saddam and Osama: the savagery
of the former is secular, while the latter's is almost purely
theo-pathological. Their actions are equally monstrous, but
like-minded is precisely what these two monsters are
not. Failure to understand this is to confess complete ignorance
of the war bin Laden is waging. 9/11 was a declaration of
religious war, or jihad, against the West. To the bin
Ladenite – still
smarting over the loss of Andalusia the enemy is modernity.
from bin Laden's theological perspective, the Ba'athist
form of secular
socialism espoused by Saddam and his clan – that owes
more to Marxism than Mohammedanism is as much to be
despised by the radical Islamist as anything produced in the
West. Indeed, by these lights, Saddam could be configured
as even more of a threat, since Ba'athism and fundamentalism
are competing for the same constituency: the Arab "street."
Peter Bergen points out in his excellent book, Holy
War, Inc., the catalyst of bin Laden's jihad against the
US was the profanation of the holy territory of Saudi Arabia
by the presence of American "infidels," unbelievers whose
physical proximity to the sacred cities of Mecca and Medina
was impermissible. To forestall that, bin Laden offered to
defend the Kingdom against Saddam after the invasion of Kuwait
– on the condition that the Americans were to stay out.
offer was not accepted – a bad move on Riyadh's part. For
just imagine if the Saudis had set their mad dog renegades
on Saddam: instead of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon,
all 30 or so of Saddam's palaces might have been reduced to
rubble in very short order and we would not now be awaiting
the first shots of Gulf War II.
SLOPPY CONSPIRACY THEORY
meandering conspiracy theory proffered by the Journal
is pure fiction, from beginning to end. There is no evidence
of anthrax production in Afghanistan. USA
Today reports that some components of a production system
were found, but essential elements were missing:
laboratory was apparently under construction and did not have
all the equipment necessary to produce anthrax. Also, no trace
of any biological agent was found, nor did troops find chemicals
necessary to 'weaponize' anthrax.
five other locations in Afghanistan, tests have discovered
traces of anthrax and another biotoxin, ricin, Myers said.
But the anthrax traces were so small that they could have
been residue of naturally occurring anthrax carried by diseased
animals. The faint traces of ricin could have been residue
from stores of castor beans, from which the toxin is extracted."
[UK] Observer quotes a Pentagon official denying
the whole thing:
Pentagon official told The Observer there was no intelligence
to support claims from London that al-Qaeda was developing
biological weapons in the Shah-e-Kot area. 'I don't know what
they're saying in London but we have received no specific
intelligence on that kind of development or capability in
the Shah-e-Kot valley region I mean a chemical or biological
weapons facility,' said an official in the Army department
the purported discovery of a bioterrorist facility was used
to justify – after the fact the recent dispatch of
some 1700 more British troops to Afghanistan, this has caused
quite a stir in the House of Commons, which is up in arms
over an obvious ploy. Lies, lies, and more lies – that is
the method they're utilizing to sell a policy of perpetual
war, and it isn't a smart one. For the backlash is already
upon them, first in Europe, and eventually, as war in the
Middle East draws closer, on the home front as well.
alleged connection between the hijackers and the anthrax letters
is equally bogus. To begin with, the anthrax strain sent in
letters to Daschle, Brokaw, and the others originated not
in Iraq, but
in Ft. Detrick, Maryland, at the US government's own bio-terror
research facility – a fact omitted from the WSJ's
editorial. Furthermore, as the editorial points out, at this
stage law enforcement's "work is aimed at ensuring that any
evidence they bring forth will survive challenge in a courtroom."
FBI isn't buying the alleged hijacker connection
already know who did it.
security at Ft. Detrick had been a problem, and when it was
discovered that a number of specimens – including anthrax
– had gone missing, an investigation was conducted, in 1992,
by the then chief officer in charge of the lab, Lt. Col. Michael
the Hartford Courant reports:
from the inquiry show that one unauthorized person who was
observed entering the lab building at night was Langford's
predecessor, Lt. Col. Philip Zack, who at the time no longer
worked at Fort Detrick. A surveillance camera recorded Zack
being let in at 8:40 p.m. on Jan. 23, 1992, apparently by
Dr. Marian Rippy, a lab pathologist and close friend of Zack's,
according to a report filed by a security guard."
SECRET HISTORY OF FT. DETRICK
no longer worked at the lab because he had been involved in
campaign of harassment directed at one of the other scientists,
Dr. Ayaad Assaad, an Egyptian, by a
vicious clique at Ft. Detrick. Obscene poems were dropped
in Assaad's office mailbox, and, from the content of these,
the motivation of the group appears to have been ethnic hatred.
Assaad left Ft. Detrick, but, in the wake of 9/11, was visited
by FBI agents who brandished an anonymous letter accusing
him of being a "bio-terrorist." It was soon determined that
he was nothing of the kind, but the letter – mailed before
the anthrax letters became public knowledge – was clearly
an attempt to frame him for the crime.
none of this is mentioned by the Wall Street Journal.
Which raises the question: just how stupid do they think their
readers are? It would be hard enough to swallow their amalgam
of lies on its own terms: but, in view of the widely-reported
story of Dr. Assaad's victimization, one has to ask: whom
do they think they're fooling?
BETTER THAN THAT – AREN'T WE?
War Party is getting sloppy. They don't even care if their
story hangs together. They think they can coast along on the
anger generated by 9/11, confident that the public will go
along with any excuse to lash out – and the anger, they hope,
can be manipulated by crude propaganda and pointed in any
direction. But the American people are better, and smarter,
than that. The price, in troops and treasure, of conquering
Iraq is going to be very high. Is it worth it?
answer, from an American perspective, has got to be an emphatic
no. When the US electorate wakes up and realizes that
the War Party is not arguing from an American perspective,
there is going to be hell to pay at the polls. I just hope
and pray that we don't have to wade through rivers of blood
before getting to that point.
the authorities deal with the anthrax case can be taken as
a barometer of just how corrupted is our system of justice.
It is clear that the identity of at least one guilty party
is known: if this person is not arrested, then we have to
ask why he or she merits special immunity. The feds, we are
told, are busy building a case that will stand up in a court
of law. But how long will we have to wait before another incident
involving anthrax – or something far worse?
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