(This speech was given at Georgetown University on October 14, 2004 and broadcast on C-Span. It has been edited for inclusion on FrontPagemag.com -- The Editors)
Just before American and British troops entered Iraq to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein, a videotape of Osama bin Laden was aired on Al-Jazeera TV. The tape was aired on February 12, 2003, and in it bin Laden said: “The interests of Muslims and the interests of the socialists coincide in the war against the crusaders.”
Bin Laden was referring to the fact that four weeks earlier, millions of leftists had poured into the streets of European capitals and of Washington, San Francisco and New York to protest the removal of Saddam Hussein. Their goal was to prevent the United States and Britain from toppling Saddam and ending one of the cruelest and most repressive regimes in modern times. The protesters chanted “no blood for oil;” they called the United States “the world's greatest terrorist state;” they called America’s democratic government an “Axis of Evil;” and they compared America’s president to Adolph Hitler.
In America, the demonstrations against the war were organized by two different groups. One of these was International ANSWER, a front group for the Worker’s World Party, which is a Marxist-Leninist sect aligned with the Communist dictatorship in North Korea. The other was the Coalition for Peace and Justice, an organization which was led by Leslie Cagan, a veteran 1960’s leftist and member of the Communist Party until after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Coalition welcomed all factions of the left and was composed of organizations that ranged from the Communist Party to the National Council of Churches to Muslim supporters of the terrorist jihad.
Despite their efforts, the global protesters failed to stop the British and American military effort or save Saddam’s regime, which fell six weeks after the initial assault. This ended the filling of mass graves by the regime, shut down the torture chambers and closed the prison that Saddam had built for four to twelve-year-olds whose parents had earned his disapproval. But Saddam’s forces were not entirely defeated and regrouped to fight a rear-guard guerilla effort against the American “occupiers.” At the same time, the organizers of the anti-war protests had already determined to continue their efforts, this time in the arena of electoral politics. Accordingly, they directed their activists to march into the Democratic presidential primary campaigns and support the candidacies of anti-war Democrats like Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean.
The enormous resources in money and manpower that the activists had mobilized against the war now transformed the campaign of an obscure governor of Vermont, making Howard Dean the immediate front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Dean condemned America’s war in Iraq, and hinted that, if elected, he would make peace at the earliest possible opportunity and withdraw American forces from the Gulf. Electoral politics thus became the left’s rear guard attempt to produce the result their pre-war protests had failed to achieve: an American defeat in Iraq.
With the resources of the left squarely behind him, Howard Dean raced to the front of the presidential pack. In the spring of 2003, just prior to the Iowa caucuses, Dean’s nomination appeared so inevitable that he was endorsed by the titular heads of the Democratic Party, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore. So leftist in its view of America’s world role had the Democratic Party become.
But just as the prospect of this nomination became a reality, Democrats collectively flinched. Verbal gaffes by the candidate, who remarked that the world was not safer because of the capture of Saddam, and a hyper-emotional rhetoric caused many Democrats to wonder if a nominee so overtly radical could carry the party to victory in the national campaign in November. Within a few weeks, this question was decided in the negative as Democrats abandoned Dean and rallied behind John Kerry -- a candidate with a military record who had originally supported the war in Iraq but who recently had turned against it under the pressure of seemingly irresistible Dean tide.
This reversal of views on a matter of war and peace proved to be the most troubling aspect of John Kerry’s candidacy, and eventually sealed his electoral defeat. Having been a prominent Democratic supporter of the war both before and after the fact, he reversed himself on the basis of a trend in public opinion polls among Democratic primary voters. Rather than lose the nomination, he was willing to abandon his position on a matter as grave as war and peace.
This was in stark contrast to the behavior of another Democratic candidate, Senator Joseph Lieberman, whose deportment could not have provided a greater contrast. Having been the Democrats’ vice-presidential nominee in the previous election, Lieberman ought to have been the presidential nominee in this one. But his views on the removal of Saddam Hussein put him at odds with Democratic primary voters and with the activists who had brought their resources into the campaign. Unlike Kerry, Lieberman did not waver in his views of the war even though it meant sacrificing his presidential ambition.
Patriotism and Treason
Certain issues beneath the surface of the political conversation, carry a charge so great as to shape the conversation itself. Such are the issues of “patriotism,” and “treason,” and the question of what constitutes legitimate criticism of government policy in a time of war.
To listen to the complaints of the left, one would think that conservative officials were standing ready with pre-drawn indictments for opponents of the war, or any criticism of government policy in matters pertaining to Iraq. Yet if any side has deployed the charge of treason to silence opposition on the war issue, it is the Democrats themselves, who have accused the President of taking the country to war under false pretenses, lying to the American people, and getting Americans killed for no reason, except to line the pockets of his Halliburton friends. Al Gore has called the President a traitor; the President has not mentioned Gore’s name.
The reality – for better or worse – is that that no one in America takes treason very seriously anymore, and hasn’t for a long time. No individual has been charged with treason in the United States in fifty years, not since Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally were tried for broadcasting enemy propaganda to American troops during WWII. Not the Rosenbergs, who stole atomic secrets for the Soviet Union; not Jane Fonda, who in the exact manner of the aforementioned traitors appeared on enemy radio in the midst of a war, denounced American soldiers as war criminals and called on them to defect. Fonda also collaborated with the Communist torturers of American POWs. Yet she was not charged with any crime. Nor were spies like Aldrich Ames, or defectors like John Walker Lindh, who joined the Taliban to fight against his own country indicted for treason. So let’s not pretend that there is any real threat in the word “treason” capable of chilling criticism of current foreign policy. If there were, Michael Moore would be in jail instead of on the short list for an Academy Award. When leftists complain that their patriotism is being questioned in an attempt to stifle their criticism, the claim is a red herring designed to prevent others from thinking about issues that affect our national security, or the implications of the positions that some opponents of the war have taken.
Contrary to the impression conveyed by the left, Republicans have been extraordinarily polite in confronting those who in assaulting the war have also Dslandered its supporters. In the first presidential debate President Bush chided his opponent for attacking the war in Iraq as “the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time.” To make that claim “confuses” people, the President said, and is no way to lead a nation engaged in a war.
The president’s statement was certainly correct as far as it went. But coming from a leader of the Demcratic Party who might soon be President, Senator Kerry’s statement actually served to do more than confuse people. If you are nineteen years old and an American marine in Fallujah, and are being fired on by terrorists, and the leader of the Democratic Party who is within a hair’s breadth of being your commander-in-chief says you shouldn’t be there at all, one can surmise that that does more than confuse you. It demoralizes you and it saps your will to fight. It can get you killed. The reckless nature of the Democratic attacks on this war – with the emphasis on reckless – serves to encourage the enemy more than reasonable criticism would require; worse, it probably demoralizes American soldiers on the field of battle and probably gets some of them killed. This is the subject that is suppressed when issues of loyalty and the proper tone of criticism are arbitrarily taken off the table in time of war. But Republicans are too polite to mention this.
Treason itself is not actually that difficult to define. It is when your country is at war and you want the other side to win. (Of course the desire alone would be merely a treason of intention; to meet the legal definition, there would have to be overt acts.) Are there such people in America, active in the nation’s public life? Michael Moore is an obvious example. The following statement by Moore appeared on his website on April 12, 2004 as the United States was struggling to build a post-war democracy in Iraq: “First, can we stop the Orwellian language and start using the proper names for things? Those are not “contractors” in Iraq. They are not there to fix a roof or to pour concrete in a driveway. They are MERCENARIES and SOLDIERS OF FORTUNE. They are there for the money, and the money is very good if you live long enough to spend it. Halliburton is not a ‘company’ doing business in Iraq. It is a WAR PROFITEER, bilking millions from the pockets of average Americans. In past wars they would have been arrested -- or worse.”
While Moore described America’s role in Iraq as that of a predator and criminal he described the Saddam diehards and Zarqawi terrorists, beheading American citizens and killing American troops this way: “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not ‘insurgents’ or ‘terrorists’ or ‘The Enemy.’ They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. Get it, Mr. Bush?”
There is little doubt whose side of this war Michael Moore is on. Michael Moore wants America to lose this war and why shouldn’t he, since he regards the United States as a predatory empire illegally in Iraq, and “terrorism” as a fiction created by Washington to justify its imperialistic ambitions.
I have followed Michael Moore ever since the 1980s, when he was fired from his position as editor of the leftwing magazine Mother Jones. His firing was triggered when he censored an article mildly critical of the Sandinista dictatorship that had been written by the socialist Paul Berman. Moore was too much of a Leninist even for the leftists at Mother Jones. As a Marxist convinced that America is an empire ruled by evil corporations, Michael Moore is a self-conceived enemy. The issue of betraying your country when it is under attack never arises for Moore, because he denies that there is even a terrorist threat in the first place. Of course he does. Because in his eyes, America is an aggressor responsible for the attacks upon itself. American imperialism is the root cause of the War on Terror. This is not his unique view but is one shared by many people on the political left and by most of the people who marched in the “anti-war” demonstrations.
Michael Moore’s hostility to his own country in time of war is a fact, but what are the consequences? Moore has rooted for the enemy all his life, first in the Cold War and now in the War on Terror, but his treasonous sympathies have made a celebrity of him, not a pariah, and rich into the bargain.
A similar observation can made of about the leaders of the anti-war demonstrations, whose careers may not be a well rewarded as Moore’s, but whose commitments and absence of adverse consequences are the same. The national mobilizations against the war in Iraq were organized and led by veteran activists who rooted for the Communist enemy in the Cold War. They did so because, like Moore, they regarded America as an imperialist empire and the Soviet Union as an advocate for its oppressed global subjects. Guided by these radical assumptions they marched in the fall of 2002 and the spring of 2003 to thwart America’s war in Iraq and save Saddam Hussein.
It should be self-evident that these are not people for whom “peace” is a priority. When Saddam was faced with a UN ultimatum on November 8th to disarm “or else,” the opponents of American policy organized no demonstrations at the Iraqi embassy to persuade Saddam to comply. Disarming Saddam was not part of their “anti-war” agenda. In the same illuminating way, there were no demonstrations against the genocide the Communists carried out in Indo-China after America withdrew its forces from Vietnam. In its core, the anti-Vietnam movement was not about bringing peace and justice to Indo-China; it was about defeating America and helping the Communists to win. The goal of the radicals who organized the anti-war demonstrations during the conflict in Vietnam and the confrontation with Iraq are the same: whatever the war, America should lose.
This goal has now been introduced into the electoral mainstream under the auspices of the Democratic Party. In Michael Moore’s notorious film, Farenheit 911, which became a campaign spot for the Democrat Party, Saddam’s Iraq is presented as a peaceful, even idyllic country cruelly invaded by a callous and deceitful invader, which is us. The opening of this anti-American propaganda film was held in the midst of the presidential election campaign. It was attended by the leader of the Democratic Party, Terry McAuliffe, by Senators Clinton, Daschle, Harkin, Boxer and many other celebrating party members. It was an episode that can be said to mark how far we have slipped morally in this country that the leaders of one its two great parties are ready to accept any attack on the sitting commander-in-chief – and through him on the nation itself – as legitimate, and can do so in a time of war, and thus in effect don’t take our enemies seriously.
The matter of “treason” is not finally resolved by applying the term. This reflects the complex allegiances of the citizens a democracy like ours and also underscores the bad faith in the left’s defensive complaints. When they are pressed on the issue, “progressives” will be the first to claim that dissent itself is patriotism, indeed the only self-respecting patriotism (since, for leftists, embracing the positive in the American experience is reserved for right-wing jingoists and yahoos). Leftists will point to the fact that the American founders were themselves accused of treason and will remind us of Benjamin Franklin’s quip to “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 other leftists proclaim, if America is an imperialist monster, then America is actively betraying its founding principles. If this is the case, loyalty to these principles – loyalty to America -- would demand acts of treason as a defense of the constitutional faith. The code that leftists like Michael Moore consciously live by is this: “Loyalty to humanity is treason to America.” In their own minds, they have no country. They are citizens of the world, and America is the enemy of humanity (to employ a phrase Michael Moore’s Sandinista heroes inserted into their national anthem).
Here is how Moore himself defends his disloyalty to his country in the war on terror as a higher loyalty to its founding principles: “What if there is no ‘terrorist threat?’ What if Bush and Co. need, desperately need, that ‘terrorist threat’ more than anything in order to conduct the systematic destruction they have launched against the U.S. Constitution and the good people of this country who believe in the freedoms and liberties it guarantees?” (Stupid White Men, Part One)
To make a judgment on the this issue one has to first decide whether this nation has really violated and abandoned its founding principles and is thus worthy of betrayal in the midst of a war. If so, then Michael Moore is American hero and the left is a progressive force. If not, then Moore and the left are reactionaries allied with the most backward-looking and oppressive forces of our time, as well as self-declared enemies of their native land.
Legitimate Criticism of War Policy
Criticism of government policy is the life-blood of democracy. This includes war policy. But beginning with the founders, everyone understands – or used to understand --that there is a necessary trade-off between liberty and security and that in times of war sacrifices of the former are regularly made in the interests of the latter. “Loose lips sink ships” was a slogan memorialized on posters during World War II. It was an appeal to Americans to voluntarily restrict their own exercise of free speech to save the lives of themselves and their neighbors. It was not regarded as a bid to abrogate the Constitution or the destruction of the First Amendment, which is the way the leftwing is currently mis-characterizing measures to tighten America’s defenses against terror. It was a simple recognition that some speech can weaken a democracy and undermine its self-defense.
In a conflict like the war on terror, where the enemy walks among us and can kill thousands of civilians at a stroke, it is important to recognize the difference between criticism made in support of the war effort and criticism designed to undermine it, even if the actual line between them is not always easy to discern. Some criticism is maliciously intended, and some criticism in itself can constitute an assault on America that weakens our democracy and undermines our defense.
Before the fighting started in Iraq, some critics voiced a concern that an armed intervention would cause the Arab street to erupt and inflame the Muslim world. This was the criticism voiced by former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft. Scowcroft’s remarks were obviously made out of concern for the nation’s security. a substantial amount of the criticism of the war in Iraq is based on similarly legitimate concerns. Scowcroft's attack on the President's policy was a harsh criticism. He said that under no circumstances should the America go to war over Iraq. But it was obviously a criticism based on reasonable concerns about America’s security, that were proved wrong when Saddam was toppled in the swiftest and least costly victory on historical record, and without the immediate consequences that Scowcroft imagined.
A large part of the criticism of the war, however, has been made on grounds that have nothing to do with American security, and in terms that are far removed from the realities. Often, as in the case of Michael Moore’s widely popular rants, these are thinly veiled attempts to portray America as the problem and the outlaw regime of Saddam Hussein regime as the victim. Often, the attacks are voiced in such a way (and to such a reckless degree) as to undermine the security of Americans and their forces in Iraq. It was one thing for Scowcroft to imagine negative consequences of great magnitude resulting from the attempt to remove Saddam and quite another when the initial stage of the war was won without such consequences for critics on the left to launch an all-out attack on credibility and morals of the Commander-in-Chief.
Within two months of the fall of Baghdad, Democratic leaders were assaulting the President as a calculating liar on the basis of 16 reasonable words in a State of the Union Address which have since been confirmed by a bi-partisan Senate Intelligence Committee. As Senator John Edwards, who was one of those leaders attacking the President, pointed out, a President’s credibility is his most important asset. Why then attack him as a liar for saying that British intelligence had reported that Saddam was seeking bomb-making uranium in Niger? Particularly, when the British had done just that. Yet for weeks in June of 2003, Democratic leaders piled on the President as a “liar” for those very words.
It is one thing to make dire predictions in advance of a war, and quite another to make dire and unsubstantiated claims after the war is under way and our troops are still under fire in Iraq. In these circumstances, to say that the President lied to the American people and sent our troops to die under false pretenses is more than criticism, particularly when there is absolutely no evidence to substantiate the charge. When this is done by political leaders who supported the war in the first place, the betrayal is an even more egregious. Yet that is precisely 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, John Kerry, and Howard Dean.
Even the charges which followed the failure to locate stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction are reckless and baseless given the fact that there is no evidence the President lied about these weapons in advance of the war, and indeed the evidence would lead to the opposite conclusion, since all national intelligence agencies, including those of the Muslim countries of Pakistan and Jordan were saying the same thing.
The vitriolic and personal attacks on the President’s integrity and morality, while the war was only months old went beyond legitimate criticism and amounted to an effort to sabotage the war itself in the hopes that a failed war would unseat the President in the elections in November. These personal attacks were incitements to the American public to distrust and hate their President in the middle of a war. To go a step further, and portray Iraq -- a country whose dictator had invaded two sovereign nations and murdered a million people -- as an idyllic place into which American marauders intruded under false pretenses using their advanced technologies to blow innocent and “defenseless” people to bits (as Farenheit 9/11 did) is no longer criticism. It is an effort to 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, and is directed at all of us -- Democrats and Republicans alike.
In the real world, of course, matters like these are not always so easily resolved. There is often an irreducible gray area, which makes distinctions difficult. Thus, there are incidents common to all wars that are regrettable and need to be regretted, but which can be exploited by one’s enemies. The criminal offenses at Abu Ghraib are one example. As war atrocities go -- as the atrocities committed by our enemies in this war go -- the incidents at Abu Ghraib were minor. They were an isolated series of indefensible but unrepresentative acts by low-level operatives. Still, we hold ourselves to higher standards than our enemies (and most of our friends) and concern was therefore in order. But when Abu Ghraib is inflated into a major atrocity and appears on the front page of the New York Times for more than sixty days running and is compared by a leading Senator to Saddam Hussein's own torture chambers, something else was going on. This may have been just an atrociously irresponsible effort to topple a sitting President. But its clear effect was to conduct psychological warfare for the enemy camp, to undermine American leadership and to sabotage the war itself. The New York Times and Senator Kennedy expressed more outrage about Abu Ghraib in one day than Imam Ali Sistani the leader of Iraq’s Shi’ite population did throughout the entire episode, about which he said nothing.
Some people will recklessly exaggerate America's deficiencies -- even in the midst of a war – in pursuit of political power. Others, however, may do it out of habitual complacency. It hasn’t really registered on them that we are at war. Even after 9/11, they continue to think that America cannot be vulnerable. They haven't absorbed what the 9/11 attacks revealed. In their thinking, America is still a free country and people can say what they want. But saying some things still has consequences, and we ignore them at our peril.
The War Was Not About WMDs
The attacks on the President in the first year of the war in Iraq were entirely about the rationale for the war. This is odd in itself. If we were to discover say that Abraham Lincoln had contrived to send a secret Union force to attack Fort Sumter and blame it on the Confederacy would that change our view of whether the Civil War was worth fighting? Yet that seems to be the logic of the opponents of the Iraq War for whom “missing WMDs” and other elements of the original argument in behalf of the war have been crucial to rejecting the war itself.
Yet this is a war whose aims and purposes make it very hard to understand how anyone who is a supporter of human rights, or who believes in freedom, could be against it. In four years, George Bush has liberated nearly 50 million people in two Islamic countries. He has stopped the filling of mass graves and closed down the torture chambers of an oppressive regime. He has encouraged the Iraqis and the people of Afghanistan to begin a political process that give them rights they have not enjoyed in 5,000 years. How can one not support this war?
The rationale for this war was not, as critics claim, stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. This is a misunderstanding that was the product of political arguments during a Democratic primary season that were intended to unseat a sitting president, but they had grave fallout for the credibility and security of the nation itself. The resultant misunderstanding about WMDS is the basis for most of the attacks on the war in Iraq.
In addressing this issue, it is important to remember that the Democrats who are now in full-throated opposition to the war, actually authorized it in the first place. The “Authorization for the Use of Force in Iraq” is the title of a resolution passed by both the House and the Senate, with Democratic as well as Republican majorities.
Since Bush has been accused of acting willfully and imperially and “dividing the nation,” it should be pointed out that not only did he request and secure a resolution for using force in Iraq from both political parties, but that this is more than his Democratic predecessor did in launching his own war in Kosovo. Bill Clinton neither sought to obtained a congressional resolution to use force in the Balkans. In gauging the sincerity of the Democratic attacks on Bush’s war-making decisions in Iraq, as “illegal” and “unilateral,” it is worth remembering that Bill Clinton never even sought congressional approval (or UN approval) when he went to war in Kosovo. This didn’t seem to bother Democrats at the time.
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. Out of all 23 clauses, there are only two that even mention stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. If this was the principal argument for the war, the resolution surely didn’t make much of it. What the resolution did stress – in twelve separate clauses – were 16 UN resolutions that that Saddam had ignored or defied.
These Security Council resolutions, were more than mere expressions of UN opinion. The first two of them 687 and 689 constituted the terms of the truce in the first Gulf War, whose violation was a legal cause of war itself. The other fourteen, were failed attempts to enforce them. This is why we went to war: to enforce the UN resolutions and international law.
Saddam Hussein had invaded two countries - Iran and then Kuwait, and used chemical weapons on his own people. 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 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.
How do we know he had programs for developing weapons of mass destruction? Because he had gassed the Kurds. Because his own brother-in-law who was in charge of his nuclear weapons program defected and told us he did. Because we sent UN inspectors into Iraq under the UN Resolutions and they located his weapons of mass destruction and destroyed the ones they found. The UN resolutions -- backed by the armed power of the United States – partially worked. But only partially, and only for awhile. Saddam was forced to stop the programs the UN inspectors discovered, and he was forced to stop repressing the ethnic and religious minorities in Iraq, as the UN resolutions required. But without an occupying army in Iraq, the UN proved unable to hold him to the terms of its resolutions and he remained an internationally recognized menace. With the help of his allies on the UN Security Council -- France, Russia and China, Saddam circumvented the sanctions placed on him, obstructed the inspectors and evaded the terms of the resolutions until finally, in 1998, he threw the UN inspectors out of Iraq altogether.
This constituted an act of war in itself, though Clinton Administration did not have the will to prosecute one. Saddam had broken the truce. When Saddam threw the UN weapons inspectors out, Bill Clinton fired 450 missiles into Iraq (more than the United States had fired into Iraq during the entire Gulf War) and got Congress to authorize an Iraqi Liberation Act, which passed by an overwhelming majority from both parties. But despite its name, the Iraqi Liberation Act only asked for authorization to provide military help to Iraqis trying to overthrow Saddam. It didn't call for an American Army to do the job. Bill Clinton understood the grave threat that Saddam Hussein presented to international peace and thought Saddam should be removed and said so, because Saddam had broken the truce. But Bill Clinton didn’t send an army to do the job, because in 1998 he was too busy with an intern and was unable to perform his duties as Commander-in-Chief.
In 1998, Bill Clinton at least understood, as John Kerry and Tom Daschle and Al Gore also did at the time, that Saddam Hussein had violated international law and was a threat to the peace. He was an aggressor twice over. He had shown that he was determined to circumvent the UN inspections and the arms control agreements he had signed. It was clear to all –to every intelligence agency in the world -- that Saddam was determined to break the UN sanctions and to develop weapons of mass destruction if he could. Why would Saddam throw the U.N. inspectors out if it weren’t his intention to build weapons of mass destruction and use them? (The famous Duelfer report says that in fact that he was.)
Saddam was a self-declared enemy of the United States who expressed his loathing for America in innumerable ways, among them an attempt to assassinate an American 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. These are documented in in Stephen Hayes’ book, The Connection, which describes 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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