Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Serious WMD stuff...

Austin Bay reminds everyone that the United States takes weapons of mass destruction seriously. Here's the reason why, which he didn't quite touch on:

The policy of the United States is that we will respond in kind if weapons of mass destruction are used against the United States. Here's something to consider: We joined the Biological Warfare Convention in 1972. We got rid of our bioweapons. We joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1997. Guess where our chemical weapons (including the non-lethal agent BZ) went? Yep, they're gone, too. What WMD does the United States have? They operate on principles of physics as opposed to biology or chemistry - they're nuclear weapons.

Think this through carefully, folks. If we get hit with a chemical weapons attack in Madison Square Garden, we'll be responding with nukes once we identify the culprit. We have to, because if we don't, then there is no chance of deterring future attacks. Restraint would not be an option.

This is why we get very touchy when we hear someone nasty is trying to get weapons of mass destruction - and we also get information that they may provide them to terrorists. This is why Saddam Hussein's regime was taken down. He was clearly trying to get weapons of mass destruction, and at least one recovered memo indicates that there was a relationship with al-Qaeda. Also, one of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay was supposed to work with an officer of the Mukhabarat (the Iraqi intelligence service) to carry out a chemical mortar attack against the American embassies in Pakistan. Had that attack been carried out, we would have traced it to Iraq and al-Qaeda - and shortly after that, there's a very good chance that parts of Iraq would not be pleasant places to be. The resulting death toll would be well over the 100,000 that opponents of the liberation of Iraq cite at present.

Think that over the next time you see a news report of how bad things in Iraq are. It could have been worse. A lot worse.

EDIT: I wanted to add one more thought to all of this. The decision made by President Bush to liberate Iraq needs to be viewed with our policy concerning attacks with weapons of mass destruction in mind. I know that knowing what he knew at the time he made the decision to go into Iraq, that I would have made that decision - not just to save the lives of Americans, but also to save the lives of the tens of thousands of Iraqis (at a minimum) who would have died had we been forced to retaliate to a WMD attack that Saddam Hussein was complicit in.

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