Memo To: Secretary General Kofi Annan & the United Nations General Assembly
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: President Bush’s Indictment of Iraq
Greetings, ladies and gentlemen of the world. President George W. Bush last week came before you to ask for your support in his effort to resolve America’s differences with the Baghdad regime of President Saddam Hussein. In that speech, he reeled off an indictment of Iraq to justify forceful action by the United Nations... and failing that, unilateral action by the United States. The Iraqi Ambassador, Mohammed Aldouri, a man who I know and respect, was quoted in the New York Times as saying the list of charges against his government contained more untruths than any he had heard in any similar speech in his experience. The Times did not ask him to explain and as I see he has not been invited by our press corps to elaborate, I think it incumbent upon me to come to the defense of Iraq. You might consider me a “devil’s advocate,” but in this case I am simply representing my own knowledge of the material covered in the Bush indictment. I’ve not been prompted in any way by Ambassador Aldouri and of course I have received no payment for this defense, from anyone. I mean no disrespect of my President in coming before you in this way and do appreciate his deep concerns for our national security and his willingness to accept renewed weapons inspections of Iraq as an alternative to war.
The President’s charges are in lower case. My defense arguments are in capital letters:
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Twelve years ago, Iraq invaded Kuwait without provocation. (IRAQ BELIEVED IT WAS BEING PROVOKED BY KUWAIT’S CHEATING ON OIL. SADDAM SAID HE WAS TRYING TO RESOLVE THE DISPUTE WITH NEGOTIATIONS, BUT THE EMIR THUMBED HIS NOSE AT SADDAM. IRAQ WAS LED TO BELIEVE THE U.S. WOULD REMAIN NEUTRAL, GIVEN A “GREEN LIGHT” BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT. ) And the regime's forces were poised to continue their march to seize other countries and their resources. (THIS IS NOT TRUE AT ALL. THIS WAS A STORY SUGGESTED IN 1990, THAT HE WAS PLANNING AN INVASION OF SAUDI ARABIA, BUT IN THE YEARS SINCE IT HAS BEEN REVEALED THAT THE SAUDI REGIME ORIGINALLY BELIEVED IRAQ WAS JUSTIFIED IN ITS INVASION OF KUWAIT.) Had Saddam Hussein been appeased instead of stopped, he would have endangered the peace and stability of the world. Yet this aggression was stopped by the might of coalition forces and the will of the United Nations.
To suspend hostilities, to spare himself, Iraq's dictator accepted a series of commitments. The terms were clear to him and to all, and he agreed to prove he is complying with every one of those obligations. He has proven instead only his contempt for the United Nations and for all his pledges. By breaking every pledge, by his deceptions and by his cruelties, Saddam Hussein has made the case against himself. (WHAT PLEDGES? WHAT DECEPTIONS? WHAT CRUELTIES? THIS IS ALL RHETORIC, THE POINTS OF WHICH I WILL ADDRESS BELOW.)
In 1991, Security Council Resolution 688 demanded that the Iraqi regime cease at once the repression of its own people, including the systematic repression of minorities, which the council said threatened international peace and security in the region. This demand goes ignored. (THERE IS NO EVIDENCE IRAQ HAS REPRESSED MINORITIES SINCE 1991. IN THE WAR WITH IRAN, IRAQ REPRESSED THOSE IRAQI MINORITIES THAT SUPPORTED IRAN.)
Last year, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights found that Iraq continues to commit extremely grave violations of human rights and that the regime's repression is all-pervasive. (IRAQ HAS BEEN UNDER ATTACK CONSTANTLY SINCE THE 1998 BOMBING BEGAN AND HAS SUSPENDED CIVIL LIBERTIES UNDER WARTIME CONDITIONS.)
Tens of thousands of political opponents and ordinary citizens have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, summary execution and torture by beating and burning, electric shock, starvation, mutilation and rape. (NONE OF THIS HAS BEEN SUBSTANTIATED. IT IS PROPAGANDA; THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN MISLED.)
Wives are tortured in front of their husbands; children in the presence of their parents; and all of these horrors concealed from the world by the apparatus of a totalitarian state. (THIS IS MORE PROPAGANDA; THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN MISLED.)
In 1991, the U.N. Security Council, through Resolutions 686 and 687, demanded that Iraq return all prisoners from Kuwait and other lands. Iraq's regime agreed. It broke this promise. (IRAQ’S REGIME HAS COMPLIED IN FULL WITH 686 AND 687. THERE IS NO REASON WHY IT WOULD HOLD PRISONERS.)
Last year, the Secretary General's high-level coordinator for this issue reported that Kuwaiti, Saudi, Indian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian, Egyptian, Bahraini and Armeni nationals remain unaccounted for; more than 600 people. One American pilot is among them. (IT IS TRUE THAT THERE ARE MIA’S, BUT NO REASON WHY IRAQ WOULD NOT TURN THEM OVER IF THEY KNEW WHERE THEY WERE.)
In 1991, the U.N. Security Council through Resolution 687 demanded that Iraq renounce all involvement with terrorism and permit no terrorist organizations to operate in Iraq.
Iraq's regime agreed. It broke its promise. (NO TERRORIST ORGANIZATION HAS OPERATED IN IRAQ, EXCEPTING THOSE AL QAEDA CELLS THAT MAY BE OPERATING IN KURDISTAN, WHICH IS OUTSIDE BAGHDAD’S CONTROL.)
In violation of Security Council Resolution 1373, Iraq continues to shelter and support terrorist organizations that direct violence against Iran, Israel and Western governments. Iraqi dissidents abroad are targeted for murder. (THERE IS NOTHING ON THE RECORD TO INDICATE THE VALIDITY OF THIS ASSERTION, NOR HAS THE US BEEN ASKING THE UN TO ENFORCE #1373, WHICH IT COULD DO IF IT HAD EVIDENCE OF VIOLATIONS.)
In 1993, Iraq attempted to assassinate the Amir of Kuwait and a former American president. (THIS IS A RIDICULOUS ASSERTION NEVER PROVEN, PART OF THE GOP WAR PARTY’S PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN AGAINST SADDAM HUSSEIN. IN 1993, WITH A NEW AMERICAN PRESIDENT IN OFFICE, IRAQ HAD EVERY REASON TO BE ON ITS BEST BEHAVIOR. THE ASSASSINATION STORY WAS COOKED UP TO UNDERMINE ANY POSSIBILITY THAT PRESIDENT CLINTON WOULD RETHINK POLICY TOWARD IRAQ.)
Iraq's government openly praised the attacks of September 11. (NOT TRUE. IRAQ HAS EXPRESSED SYMPATHY FOR THE FAMILIES OF THE 9-11 VICTIMS.) And Al Qaeda terrorists escaped from Afghanistan and are known to be in Iraq. (IF THEY ARE IN IRAQ, THEY ARE IN THE KURDISH PROVINCE THAT IS OUTSIDE BAGHDAD’S CONTROL.)
In 1991, the Iraqi regime agreed to destroy and stop developing all weapons of mass destruction and long range missiles and to prove to the world it has done so by complying with rigorous inspections. (IRAQ ESSENTIALLY DESTROYED ALL ITS WMD “WEAPONS” STOCKPILES BY NOVEMBER 1991. WHAT HAS BEEN DESTROYED SINCE ARE THE BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES USED TO MAKE THOSE WEAPONS.)
Iraq has broken every aspect of this fundamental pledge. (NOT TRUE. INDEED, THERE WERE SEVERAL ATTEMPTS BY FRANCE, RUSSIA AND CHINA TO DECLARE IRAQ IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE RESOLUTIONS, BUT EACH TIME THEY WERE VETOED BY THE UNITED STATES AND U.K.)
From 1991 to 1995, the Iraqi regime said it had no biological weapons. After a senior official in its weapons program defected and exposed this lie, the regime admitted to producing tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents for use with scud warheads, aerial bombs and aircraft spray tanks. (IRAQ ADMITTED IT HAD TRIED TO DEVELOP SUCH WEAPONS, BUT FAILED. FROM 1991 TO 1995 IT INDEED WAS TELLING THE TRUTH WHEN IT SAID IT HAD NO SUCH WEAPONS.)
U.N. inspectors believe Iraq has produced two to four times the amount of biological agents it declared and has failed to account for more than three metric tons of material that could be used to produce biological weapons. Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons. (THE MATERIAL USED TO MAKE SUCH WEAPONS ARE ALSO USED FOR AGRICULTURAL PURPOSES. IF IT IS EXPANDING THOSE FACILITIES THAT WERE USED FOR WMD FOR NON-WMD PURPOSES, THESE WILL BE QUICKLY IDENTIFIED AS THE INSPECTORS RETURN. IRAQ IS NOT RESISTING INSPECTION AND DID NOT RESIST INSPECTION IN THE PAST. IT RESISTED MISUSE OF THE U.N. INSPECTION TEAMS TO SPY ON IRAQ’S CONVENTIONAL WEAPONRY, AS HAPPENED IN 1998, ACCORDING TO SCOTT RITTER, THE CHIEF AMERICAN INSPECTOR FROM 1991 TO 1997.)
United Nations' inspections also reviewed that Iraq maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons. (THERE ARE NO STOCKPILES OF VX OR OTHER CHEMICAL AGENTS, AS RITTER HAS INDICATED THEY WOULD HAVE SPOILED OVER TIME. TO RECONSTITUTE WOULD MEAN THE EXPENDITURE OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS THE REGIME DOES NOT HAVE AND WOULD BE READILY DISCOVERED IF THE INSPECTORS RETURNED.)
And in 1995, after four years of deception, Iraq finally admitted it had a crash nuclear weapons program prior to the Gulf War. (IRAQ UNDERTOOK A NUCLEAR PROGRAM AFTER ITS NUCLEAR POWER PLANT WAS DESTROYED BY THE ISRAELI AIR FORCE IN 1981. IT NEVER GOT BEYOND THE LABORATORY AND WAS NON-EXISTENT AT THE TIME OF THE GULF WAR, ACCORDING TO IRAQI SCIENTISTS WHO DEFECTED.)
We know now, were it not for that war, the regime in Iraq would likely have possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993. (THERE IS NO REASON TO BELIEVE THIS. IT IS PURE CONJECTURE, AS IRAQ WOULD HAVE HAD TO ACQUIRE THE FISSILE MATERIAL FOR A WEAPON AND CERTAINLY COULD NOT HAVE ACQUIRED THE MATERIAL FOR MORE THAN ONE OR TWO TINY BOMBS THAT WOULD ONLY SERVE AS A DETERRENT. ISRAEL IS SAID TO POSSESS SEVERAL HUNDRED NUCLEAR WEAPONS, AS IT HAS NEVER SUBMITTED TO INTERNATIONAL INSPECTIONS OR SIGNED THE NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY AS IRAQ HAS.)
Today, Iraq continues to withhold important information about its nuclear program, weapons design, procurement logs, experiment data, and accounting of nuclear materials and documentation of foreign assistance. Iraq employs capable nuclear scientists and technicians. It retains physical infrastructure needed to build a nuclear weapon. (IT COULD NOT TAKE THE NECESSARY STEPS TO BUILD A NUCLEAR WEAPON WITHOUT BEING OBSERVED BY SATELLITE, AS ANY FACILITY WOULD HAVE TO HAVE MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF ELECTRIC POWER TO RUN THE CYCLOTRONS. THE SATELLITES WOULD SPOT THE POWER SOURCES.)
Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon. Should Iraq acquire fissile material, it would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year. (HIGH-STRENGTH ALUMINUM TUBING IS USED FOR MANY PURPOSES. IF IT WERE OBSERVED GOING TO AN AREA WHERE THERE WERE OTHER SIGNS OF NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT, THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY COULD ASK THE GOVERNMENT TO INSPECT THE FACILITY. THE GOVERNMENT NOW TAKES JOURNALISTS ON INSPECTION TOURS WHENEVER IT IS CHARGED WITH DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT, AND ALWAYS THE JOURNALISTS REPORT NOTHING UNTOWARD. PROFESSIONAL INSPECTORS WOULD BE EVEN MORE CERTAIN THAT DUAL-USE MATERIALS ARE NOT GOING TO WMD PURPOSES.)
And Iraq's state-controlled media has reported numerous meetings between Saddam Hussein and his nuclear scientists, leaving little doubt about his continued appetite for these weapons. (MEETING WITH SCIENTISTS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE EVIDENCE OF AN “APPETITE” FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS.)
Iraq also possesses a force of SCUD type missiles with ranges beyond the 150 kilometers permitted by the U.N. Work at testing and production facilities shows that Iraq is building more long range missiles that can inflict mass death throughout the region. (THE UNSCOM INSPECTORS ACCOUNTED FOR ALL THE SCUD MISSILES IRAQ WAS KNOWN TO HAVE ACQUIRED IN THE 1980'S. THE PRESIDENT IS MISINFORMED.)
In 1990, after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the world imposed economic sanctions on Iraq. Those sanctions were maintained after the war to compel the regime's compliance with Security Council Resolutions. (THE US GOVERNMENT NEVER INTENDED THE SANCTIONS TO BE LIFTED, NO MATTER WHAT LEVEL OF COMPLIANCE IRAQ ACHIEVED. THIS POLICY HAS BEEN VOICED REPEATEDLY OVER THE YEARS BY OFFICIALS OF THE US GOVERNMENT, IN 1991 BY SECRETARY OF STATE JAMES BAKER III AND IN 1998 BY SECRETARY OF STATE MADELEINE ALBRIGHT.)
In time, Iraq was allowed to use oil revenues to buy food. Saddam Hussein has subverted this program, working around the sanctions to buy missile technology and military materials. He blames the suffering of Iraq's people on the United Nations, even as he uses his oil wealth to build lavish palaces for himself and to buy arms for his country. (PRESIDENT BUSH IS COMPLETELY MISINFORMED. ALL OIL REVENUES FROM THE SALE OF IRAQI OIL IS SPENT BY A UNITED NATIONS TEAM AND DELIVERED DIRECTLY TO THE IRAQI MARKETS, NOT THROUGH THE HANDS OF THE GOVERNMENT.)
By refusing to comply with his own agreements, he bears full guilt for the hunger and misery of innocent Iraqi citizens. In 1991, Iraq promised U.N. inspectors immediate and unrestricted access to verify Iraq's commitment to rid itself of weapons of mass destruction and long range missiles. Iraq broke this promise, spending seven years deceiving, evading and harassing U.N. inspectors before ceasing cooperation entirely. (THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR RAISING THE BARRIERS FOR COMPLIANCE TO PREVENT LIFTING OF THE SANCTIONS. THE ARAB/ISLAMIC WORLD KNOWS FULL WELL THAT THE 1.5 MILLION INNOCENT IRAQI CIVILIANS WHO HAVE DIED OF DISEASE AND STARVATION SINCE 1991 WERE THE RESULT OF AMERICAN POLICY – A POLICY SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO INCREASE THE LEVEL OF SUFFERING OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE TO A POINT WHERE THEY WOULD OVERTHROW THE REGIME.)
Just months after the 1991 cease-fire, the Security Council twice renewed its demand that the Iraqi regime cooperate fully with inspectors, condemning Iraq's serious violations of its obligations. The Security Council again renewed that demand in 1994, and twice more in 1996, deploring Iraq's clear violations of its obligations. The Security Council renewed its demand three more times in 1997, citing flagrant violations, and three more times in 1998, calling Iraq's behavior totally unacceptable. And in 1999, the demand was renewed yet again. IF THE IRAQIS WERE SO THOROUGHLY IN VIOLATION OF THESE RESOLUTIONS, HOW COULD UNSCOM SAY IN 1997 THAT IRAQ WAS FUNDAMENTALLY DISARMED?
As we meet today, it's been almost four years since the last U.N. inspector set foot in Iraq -- four years for the Iraqi regime to plan and to build and to test behind the cloak of secrecy. We know that Saddam Hussein pursued weapons of mass murder even when inspectors were in his country. Are we to assume that he stopped when they left? (WE DO NOT KNOW THAT SADDAM HUSSEIN PURSUED WEAPONS OF MASS MURDER WHEN INSPECTORS WERE IN HIS COUNTRY. THERE HAVE NEVER BEEN SUCH ALLEGATIONS BY THE UN INSPECTORS, FROM FIRST TO LAST. THE PRESIDENT IS MISINFORMED.)
The history, the logic and the facts lead to one conclusion: Saddam Hussein regime is a grave and gathering danger. (THE IRAQI REGIME OF SADDAM HUSSEIN HAS NEVER BEEN LESS A THREAT TO ITS NEIGHBORS OR THE WORLD.).........
We can harbor no illusions, and that's important today to remember. Saddam Hussein attacked Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990. He's fired ballistic missiles at Iran and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Israel. His regime once ordered the killing of every person between the ages of 15 and 70 in certain Kurdish villages in northern Iraq. (THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN MISLED. THERE WAS NO SUCH ORDER AND NO SUCH KILLINGS. NO BODIES HAVE EVER BEEN DISCOVERED, ACCORDING TO THE EXPERTS AT THE U.S. ARMY WAR COLLEGE, WHICH DISMISSED THE CHARGES WHEN THEY WERE FIRST RAISED.)
He has gassed many Iranians and 40 Iraqi villages. (HE GASSED MANY IRANIANS, WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. HE GASSED NO IRAQI VILLAGES, EXCEPT FOR THE USE OF TEAR GAS TO DISPERSE RESIDENTS WHO REFUSED TO LEAVE THE WAR ZONE IN THE LAST YEAR OF THE CONFLICT WITH IRAN.)
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IN CONCLUSION, MR. GENERAL SECRETARY AND MEMBERS OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, I PROPOSE YOU DRAFT A SPECIAL RESOLUTION URGING THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO PERMIT ITS AMBASSADOR TO THIS BODY TO SPEAK TO IRAQ’S AMBASSADOR. PRESIDENT BUSH WOULD NOT BE AS MISINFORMED IF HE COMMUNICATED DIRECTLY WITH IRAQ’S LEGALLY CONSTITUTED GOVERNMENT.
THANK YOU, AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL