Monday, October 11, 2004

The real threat

If ever there was any doubt as to which countries pose the most eminent threat to U.S. sovereignty those questions were answered today. An agreement has almost been reached between Iran and Russia wherein nuclear technology and resources would be sent to Tehran for the construction of a nuclear reactor. As part of this agreement the Iranian government has promised to send all spent nuclear fuel back to Russia. Iran wants the proposed reactor up and running by 2006 as a matter of national pride. The U.S. has been staunchly opposed to Iran gaining such technology. The construction of this plant is seen by many world wide as a stepping stone to Iran launching a full fledged nuclear weapons manufacturing program. The reactor could potentially produce the enriched uranium needed to make nuclear weapons.

North Korea already has a small nuclear arsenal and a leader that could only be described as a crack pot and a tyrannical despot. Kim Yung Il has already tested ICBM’s and has the capability of hitting Japan, Australia, The Philippines, and nearly the entire Pacific Rim with a volley of nuclear missiles. It is speculated that N. Korea may have the technology to reach Hawaii with a nuclear salvo. Where did Kim get his missiles? The very country we’ve allied ourselves with in the hunt for Osama bin Laden…Pakistan. Along with China, Pakistan has provided N. Korea with weapons technology for years. And now Kim is in a desperate search to procure the types of missiles that could strike mainland America. Pakistan has a store of ICBM’s and has already stated publicly that they wouldn’t hesitate in the slightest to use them against it’s bitter enemy to the south…India. The continuing tensions in the Cashmere region make the threat of a nuclear exchange between Pakistan and India a conceivable scenario.

We invaded Iraq on the premise that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD and was not afraid to use them. Iraq was seen by the Bush administration as the most eminent threat to the U.S. and so the invasion was ordered. In our search for the vast stockpiles of WMD we have found a couple hundred gas-filled shells, rolling labs, and we’ve supposedly discovered small amounts of uranium and plutonium on the bottom of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. In ten years, head U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix found nothing and now the Duelfer report issued Thursday, October 7 stated that Iraq had no stockpiles and that, “the former regime had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMD after the sanctions”. The Duelfer Report cited the fact that 1700 investigators inspected 1200 sites and came up empty handed. The 9/11 Commission Report also found that there was no connection between Iraq and al Qaeda before the World Trade Center went down.

The Bush administration is true in that Saddam was covetous of WMD and that he was undermining the sanctions that were in place through billions siphoned off the U.N. oil-for-food program. But the sanctions were working in isolating and mitigating Iraq’s ability to actively shop for WMD. And yes, Saddam did gas thousands of Kurds and invade Kuwait but his military capability was all but destroyed in the Gulf War and his economy was crippled by twelve years of U.N. sanctions.

No one is saying that Saddam was not a dangerous thug or that he wasn’t a threat. The problem is that Iraq in no way constituted the most serious or eminent threat to the U.S. Iran has nukes and is attempting to get a nuclear program off the ground. N. Korea has WMD and an unpredictable dictator. Kim has ICBM’s armed with nuclear war heads and may soon have the capability to hit California, Washington state, and Oregon. Using their logic the Bush war machine should have taken out Iran & N. Korea first. Now we have two regimes armed to the teeth and 120,000 troops occupying a piece of real estate that the Bush administration acknowledges did not have WMD. So now what?