Tuesday, September 25, 2007

WMD Control

There were no WMD! None! So Bush lied. Boo! Boo Bush!! Bush lied and stupid soldiers died! Uh huh. ... You say what what? There's a but? Oh. Well, then. Never mind.

Y'see, WMD were found. Some number of times, actually. And we've actually heard about it, if we have. Makes you wonder how many times it needs to happen, before they get it. It's not as if we didn't have cause to worry. And was there something especially law-abiding and honorable in Hussein’s character, that would make anyone think that in this one particular he would honor his surrender treaty, his agreements and the sanctions? He’d bribe officials, harbor terrorists and blast away at our planes on a daily basis, but he made sure to get rid of all the WMD?

Most recently, five hundred shells, with “degraded” mustard or sarin nerve agent. Oh, but look! Degraded! Well, yes, they were old. But they were kept, too. They don’t rise to Baathist-FDA standards for quality and effectiveness? I’m sure Saddam would have fired off a very stern memo about that scandal. But it has been reported that he made sure that fresher supplies were on hand. These of course wouldn’t count, because they weren’t already mixed together. Precursors don’t count. ... Shut up.

Sarin and mustard gas are not the WMD we were so afraid of? Well, I wasn’t afraid at all, so I’m not sure which “we” is meant. Must be the same “we” that Bush lied to about there being WMD. Oh. No, must be the same “we” whose fears Bush played on. And it is true that these are not, like, um, James Bond nuclear bombs-n-stuff … giant Soviet-style arsenals with millions of missiles all lined up and pointing at Wichita Falls. I don’t suppose Dr. No was a Baathist. No, these crappy old mustard gas bombs are not impressive at all -- like World War One stuff -- and hardly anyone died in that war, as I recall. Oh. Well, I might be misremembering myself, but even so, we wanted something that made a big explosion or something. Not just some sneaky little gas that only kills Kurds.

And after all it’s only 500 shells-n-stuff. We went to war over 500 measly shells-n-stuff? What harm could 500 crappy little shells-er-something do? Ah. A math question. So let’s look at it. Let’s extrapolate from one little factoid at my disposal -- that Saddam killed five thousand Kurds with two such shells. Oh. Well, considering how many people there are in the world, the fact that 500 Baathist WMD shells could kill only one and a quarter million people -- that’s nothing. That’s fewer than the abortionists get in the good ol’ USA every year. A drop in the bucket. And who would they kill? Just some Jews. And of course more Kurds. Maybe those dirty Iranians. Hardly any Americans -- just the ones who don’t belong in Iraq anyway -- the stupid ones, who joined the militaristic military. Boo! Boo on America and it’s imperialist militaristic military! Hurrah for Kerry and Gore and, um, Dean and Murtha! And, uh, Hillary? -- I can't quite tell. But hurrah fer them other guys!

Oh, excuse me while I wipe myself off. In my enthusiasm I seem to have lost control of my bladder, and I have also inadvertently evacuated various other sacs in my body. It must be that I love truth so much.

So that’s one thing. The fact that there most certainly were WMD. But that’s not the main things. The main thing is that it never was about WMD. It was always about the enemy who would use WMD if he had them, and would use something else if he didn’t. We recognize their argument as a typically Liberal one. Gun control. There are no bad people, only bad weapons. Or something -- I’ve never quite followed their reasoning. If Saddam had no weapons of such and such a description, then he could not have been a threat. If Americans owned no guns, then violent crime would virtually disappear. That’s their logic, insofar as I can puzzle it out.

My logic is that if you get into a fight, you have to win it. I don’t mean some ridiculous ego-driven shoving match. I mean something that’s real and serious, where the lives of your sons are at stake. Do not engage, unless you’re there to win. And to me, the holiday from history that we luxuriated in during the hopefully-past clinton years was just an extended Act break in the drama that Bush I co-authored -- an over-long intermission in a distant theatre of war. It was an oddly attenuated Phony War, where we let the monster gambol across his northern hills, lopping Kurdish heads as a child cuts down dandelions. For shame.

So the Iraq War was just unfinished business. WMD had nothing, nothing to do with the necessity of finishing it. Terrorism was far more relevant, but even that wasn’t quite it. Vietnam was more relevant still, with its bastard children of Lebanon and Sudan -- where we cut and ran. But even this, for all its bad example and invitation to contempt, isn’t the real reason. The real reason is that if you leave a blood-enemy free, he will find a way to kill you. Or rather, kill your children.

We own guns, if we do, for a reason. Self-defense. We use them against people only to preserve our lives and what is ours. But if we have no guns, we will use whatever comes to our hands, to protect ourselves. Knives and stones and sticks. The world is the horror that it is not because of weapons, but people. Hussein was just such a horrifying person, and to imagine that he would not use his petrowealth for violence, just as he used it for bribes, is irresponsible. Just as the islamists attacked the Towers two times, and learned from their mistakes, so did Hussein once hire an attack on the very person of an American president. Would he not try again? And as he attacked some number of times his neighbors, would he not try again? -- seeing the cowardice and venality of Europe, and the irresolution of America?

But perhaps you disagree. Perhaps you’ve never had an enemy. Maybe you’ve never been assaulted. Your life might have been particularly blessed. Odd, how our life experiences can lead us in just different directions. Because I look at the violence of the world, and believe evil people are the cause. Others may think it is only a particular type of WMD -- of sufficiently recent manufacture, of sufficiently explosive power -- that is the great and sole peril. I believe this is a view that lacks congruence with reality. I fear that the only corrective to this failure of insight is that some saddam comes up behind you and stabs you in the back, or hits you on top of your head with a big stone.

Hard lesson. Let’s resolve to learn from past mistakes, rather than only from future ones.


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