On Sunday, the New York Times featured a political ad counseling defeatism in Iraq – a counsel that has become commonplace in its pages. It was sponsored by an organization called "Church Folks for A Better America," and based in Princeton. The signatories included the same "church folks" – among them William Sloane Coffin Jr., Robert Drinan, and Robert Edgar (National Council of Churches) who counseled defeat in Indo-China, aided the torturers of American POWS in North Vietnam, and fronted for the Soviet dictatorship’s "nuclear freeze" campaign. (If successful, this campaign would have consolidated a Soviet missile advantage and prolonged the Cold War.) Robert Edgar was a leader of the campaign to force Elian Gonzalez into the clutches of Fidel Castro, a sadistic dictator who has made his nation an island prison.
The church folks ad is called "A Call to Recover America's Moral Character" and rehashes the many lies the Left is currently using to demoralize Americans' resistance to terror and thus to soften us up for the kill. "Supposedly we went to war to eliminate weapons of mass destruction,” the ad declaims. “But there were no weapons of mass destruction."
In the current campaign to undermine the War on Terror, this is the really Big Lie. It is never backed up with statements from the president because there were no such statements. One can read in vain the State of the Union address given one month before our troops entered Iraq for example.
Before September 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans—this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that day never comes.
The President continued:
Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.
This is why we went to war in the spring of 2003.
We did not go to war to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, but to prevent Saddam from retaining the ability to produce weapons of mass destruction and provide them to his terrorist allies: Abu Nidal, Abu Abas, Abu al-Zarqawi, Yasser Arafat. The joint congressional resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq and passed by majorities in both political parties, Democrats as well as Republicans and John Kerry and John Edwards in particular, has 23 "whereas" clauses articulating the rationale for the use of force. Only one of the 23 focuses on weapons of mass destruction – that is on actual stockpiles of WMDs rather than the programs to develop them (once the UN inspectors were gone).
However, twelve of the clauses refer to Saddam's violation of 16 UN resolutions – resolutions which constituted the terms of the truce in the 1991 Gulf War, and which most commentators on the war seem to have forgotten. For those who have indeed forgotten, these are the facts: We have been continuously at war with Saddam Hussein since 1990. The conflict in 1990 was caused by Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait and was ended by a ceasefire, not a peace. The terms of the truce were embodied in UN resolutions 687 and 689. Fourteen subsequent UN resolutions were designed to compel Saddam to adhere to the terms of this truce which he continually violated but which the UN and the Clinton administration failed to enforce.
Thus, it was Saddam Hussein's violation of these 16 resolutions and a 17th – Resolution 1441, a final ultimatum – that caused us to go to war. The presentation to the UN by Colin Powell about laboratories for producing weapons of mass destruction, which was the only significant White House presentation of such a case – took place after the decision to go to war was made. The presentation was made to satisfy Tony Blair, who was under attack from his own anti-American appeasers. The equivalent of 4 million American leftists – most from his own party – had recently poured into the streets of London in an attempt to save the Iraqi dictatorship. Powell's presentation to the UN was not the justification for the war. It was a misguided attempt to sway the UN Security Council, which couldn’t be swayed because France and Russia, two Saddam allies, had vetos on the Council. The justification for the war is contained in the 23 clauses in the congressional authorization and even more specifically in UN resolution 1441.
UN Resolution 1441 called on Saddam Hussein to disarm and to provide an accounting for the disposition of all weapons of mass destruction that the UN inspectors had already identified. A deadline of December 7 was given for Iraq to comply with resolution or face "serious consequences." In his book Disarming Iraq, chief UN inspector Hans Blix declares that this resolution was diplomatic language for a war ultimatum and that Saddam failed to meet the terms of the ultimatum. That was why we went to war.
We went to war because we could not maintain 200,000 troops in the desert indefinitely while Saddam played games with the UN inspectors. We went to war because 17 defied UN resolutions had made the word of the UN and the United States meaningless – an extremely dangerous situation in itself. Here is how Bill Clinton justified the use of force to remove Saddam in 1998, when he expelled the UN inspectors: “If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council, and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program.” Unfortunately in 1998 Bill Clinton was pre-occupied with an intern named Monica Lewinsky and was unable to respond to this threat except by firing 450 futile missiles into Iraq, more than the first President Bush had used in the entire Gulf War.
We went to war against Saddam Hussein in the spring of 2003, because to withdraw the 200,000 troops without a war and without Saddam’s capitulation to the UN demands would be a catastrophic defeat for the forces of freedom and peace. It would mean with absolute certainty that Saddam would reactivate the weapons programs he had launched and spent more than 40 billion dollars to implement before the United States obstructed them. Saddam was in the process of negotiating an off-the-shelf purchase of nuclear weapons from North Korea, in fact, when the United States entered Iraq to remove him.
The leaders of the Democratic Party have betrayed the war they signed onto and in the process have misled the American people about the nature of the war and of the post-war struggle. That is, they have misled the American people about the War on Terror. In doing so they have gravely damaged our efforts to fight this war, sapped our will to resist, and softened us up for the kill.
William Sloane Coffin, Robert Drinan and the other "folks" in the church of anti-American defeatism, needed no such misleading to come to their conclusions. But they have certainly capitalized on it to mislead others: "Supposedly we went to war to sever the connections between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. But there were no connections to sever." This is two lies to make one argument. The administration did not justify the war in terms of a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. Here is the only reference to al-Qaeda out of 23 clauses justifying the war in the congressional authorization for the use of force, which was supported by a majority of Democrats and Republicans:
Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq.
Perhaps the "folks" at the chuch of defeatism know something that we don't – for example that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was not in Iraq or that the al-Qaeda faction “Ansar al-Islam” did not have a base in Iraq, or that Abdul Rahman Yasin (one of perpetrators of the World Trade Center attack of 1993) did not escape to find refuge in Iraq. But until they provide evidence to convince the rest of us, we will continue to take statements like this as confirmation of what we already knew – that the Left doesn't care about the facts of the war, or about defending America against its Islamic enemies – because for the Left America is guilty before the facts. It is guilty in its very nature as the Great Satan himself.
"Supposedly we went to war to remove a brutal regime, but we allowed torture cells to exist, including sexual humiliation – and shamelessly photographed the results." This lie comes from the New York Times/Ted Kennedy school of American betrayal – morally equating us with Saddam Hussein in an effort to undermine the war on terror in Iraq. We did not "allow torture cells to exist" at Abu Ghraib. As all the world knows, as soon as we discovered the humiliation games played by some low-level prison guards we prosecuted them. Abu Ghraib was a minor incident blown up to major significance by forces in this country who are conducting psychological warfare operations against our efforts to prosecute the war on terror in Iraq, and who are thus doing the work of al-Jazeera and al-Qaeda for them. The only purpose of putting such incidents front and center to the American public at a time when America has liberated 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq is to sap our will to continue the battle and soften us up for the kill.
Conducting psychological warfare for the enemy is exactly what William Sloane Coffin, Robert Drinan, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Howard Dean did during the Vietnam War. They slandered our troops as “war criminals,” in the case of John Kerry and went to Hanoi and covered for the torturers of our POWs in the case of William Sloane Coffin. All of them worked to get America to cut and run, and eventually they succeeded. The result was the slaughter of two and a half million peasants in Indo-China by the Communists, whom this "anti-war" Left helped to win. If we cut and run this time – as Terry McAuliffe and the church folks advocate – this time there will be a bloodbath in Iraq that will spill into the streets of Washington and New York.
"Supposedly we went to war to establish democracy. But in truth we have still done little to grant 'full sovereignty' to Iraq, and much to keep the country under our control." First, the Iraqi people have more sovereignty now than they did under Saddam Hussein or any regime in Iraq of the last 5,000 years. Second, we have already shown our good intentions in Afghanistan by holding the first real elections there since the beginning of time. Anyone who does not believe that America is guilty before the fact understands this. There is only one alternative to American authority in Iraq and that is the authority of Muqtada al-Sadr and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Since America is the only authority in the world with the ability and the will to oppose them, to call for “full sovereignty” now is to invite the rule of the beheaders and the torturers.
The church folks want us out ("a clear timetable to end the occupation, not perpetuate it by other means") and suggest that this can be achieved by replacing American forces with “a truly international peacekeeping force to be established by the United Nations.”
This solution reveals the true nihilism of the church folks and of all the attacks on George Bush and present American policy from the “multilateral” point of view. The UN has done nothing positive in its entire history in regard to peace or peacekeeping that the United States has not done for it. When the United States (under Bill Clinton) was absent from the massacres in Rwanda, the UN could not raise 5,000 troops to save the lives of a million Tutsis. The UN is a moral cesspool. Its Human Rights Commission is run by Libya. Ten days before 9/11 its Human Rights Commissioner, Mary Robinson, hosted a hate-fest in South Africa, whose agenda was drawn up in Iran and whose targets of opportunity were the world’s most humane and tolerant democracies: the United States, Britain and Israel.
In Iraq, the UN secretariat has colluded in the theft of $10 billion earmarked to feed Iraqi children. Instead, the UN officials fed the dictator in Baghdad, and the French, Russian and British political figures he needed to bribe. And, of course, themselves. The UN fled Iraq the first time a bomb blew up in its face. The call for the UN to preside over the Iraqi future without the United States to provide it with moral judgment and military means is simply a call to return Iraq to the control of the Islamic predators who have already raped Iraq and want to destroy us.
By destroying the tradition of bipartisanship in war, by betraying a war policy they signed onto, and by conducting a scorched earth campaign against their own commander-in-chief, the Democratic Party has opened the public square to a political zoo of America hating radicals. Personified in such figures as Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore, their agenda is exactly the same as it was during the Cold War and the war in Vietnam: to demoralize our troops, to sap the will of our citizenry, to weaken our ability to stay the course and resist, and to soften us up for the kill.