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Kevin Korenthal: Obama needs to think back on Iraq War

Posted: September 6, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 6, 2013 2:00 a.m.

As President Obama considers retaliating against the Syrian government for the alleged use of chemical weapons against its people, I couldn’t help but think about the lessons we should have learned following the Iraq War.

You’ll recall that in the months and years after the invasion of Iraq, we were told that none of the weapons that the UN, several other nations, and our own intelligence sources were convinced Iraq had were ever found.

Of course, the truth, as it often does, eventually found its way to the surface. One of the interesting parts of the fallout from the release of classified information known as Wikileaks was discovering that despite the hand-wringing and accusations to the contrary, WMD and programs to continue making them were indeed found in Iraq.

Go online and search the terms “Wikileaks” and “WMD found in Iraq.”

It was very clear from anecdotal and testimonial evidence at the time that the bulk of Saddam Hussein’s chemical weapons were moved out of the country in the period preceding the invasion.

We spent months at the UN discussing options to deal with Saddam, followed by lengthy debate in our legislature, and Bush gave Saddam 48 hours to surrender before beginning “shock and awe.”

When you have a minimum of two days to play “hide the WMD” before the bombs start falling and an entire military at your disposal to relocate them, it isn’t hard to do.

Does it really seem likely to you that Saddam did nothing while we were preparing to invade his country? He was murderous and arrogant but he was most definitely not stupid.

Those weapons were his power and he wanted them in his control, as most tyrants do, so he did his best to keep them from being taken and destroyed by invading U.S. forces.

One of the most persistent and credible claims regarding the move of WMD came from one of Saddam’s former military advisers. Gen. Georges Hormuz Sada — who claimed in his book “Saddam’s Secrets” that military planes and ground convoys were loaded up with Saddam’s WMD even as United Nations weapons inspectors combed the country for evidence of the weapons that the UN had catalogued in Saddam’s possession — claims the weapons were then sent to Syria, where they remained hidden.

Hours of recorded meetings between Saddam and his advisers, as well as other government documents, have corroborated much of what Sada has alleged about those weapons and their whereabouts.

For years, the mainstream media and war foes such as then-Senator Barack Obama constantly harangued the Bush administration with calls of “Where’s the WMD?”

This despite the fact that Saddam Hussein had used chemical weapons in the past and refused to explain to even a compliant United Nations Security Council where the weapons were — and despite the evidence that showed there were, in fact, WMD in Iraq.

Fast forward to today. All of the sudden, chemical weapons similar to those that were smuggled out of Iraq have surfaced in Syria with devastating consequences for the people of that nation.

It will take time until the weapons used in Syria are categorically linked to the missing WMD in Iraq but, when that happens, it will become obvious to everyone that a generally necessary invasion of a post-911 tyrant nation was undermined by George W. Bush’s political foes in Democrat leadership and liberal circles for political gain.

Democrat victories in the House and Senate and even the election of Barack Obama to the presidency are owed in part to the disinformation campaign that was waged against the Iraq war — a disinformation campaign that put America’s credibility and ability to fight foreign wars in jeopardy.

It’s both ironic and hypocritical of the Obama administration to cite the use of WMD as the sole reason for attacking a sovereign nation when the last time the U.S. did so, he and his colleagues did everything within their power to disrupt and belittle the process from day 1.

The mainstream media and Democrats are cheering on Obama and pointing out what a tough president this makes him right now.

But, mark my words, when the body count starts adding up and China and Russia decide to retaliate in protection of their client state, Barack Obama will learn what it feels like to wage a war that no one needs or wants.
In the meantime, we all need to pray for the safety of our great nation.

Kevin Korenthal is a Canyon Country resident. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Fridays in The Signal.


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