This is a strange world. People want to see and hear only what they want to. Iraq today is a prime example. The division between the liberal leftists, who never accepted the morality of this war and the rest of the world is staggering. The liberals, who have been predicting only gloom and doom throughout the course of this war, still see nothing positive in this campaign. Even the liberation of a suppressed mass of people from a hostile, murderous dictator and all the celebration on the streets of Baghdad have not convinced them that this was a just war.
The hypocrisy of the French, Russians and the Syrians is evident in their bizarre behavior in the post-Saddam Iraq. These three countries had fought the U.S. every step of the way, in the nineties, against imposing the sanctions on Saddam Hussein's regime for non-compliance. The argument then was that the Iraqi people suffered enormously with any kind of sanctions, while the regime did not. Now that the regime has toppled, these three countries are preventing the lifting of the sanctions in the Security Council! Now they want confirmation that Iraq does not possess weapons of mass destruction that could threaten the world. The cynicism and duplicity are laughable, especially since they think they can get away with the betrayal.
Then we find out that the French, Russians and the Syrians, with the blessing of the United Nations, were the main deliverers of the so-called oil-for-food program. Sixty-seven billion dollar worth of oil had been sold since 1996 and the U. N. managed to keep two billion of the money for its own purposes. The auditing done is not open to public scrutiny. The three countries made a handsome profit in the bargain. The oil-for food program filled Saddam's coffers and no food ever reached the people. As long as these countries made their profit, the United Nations turned a blind eye. In addition, these three countries acted as Saddam's facilitators for his illegal trade of oil, thus corrupting the embargo imposed on Iraq.
Now the liberals do not want to see the happy Iraqi faces. All their predictions have been wrong. A long protracted war, massive civilian casualties, significant U.S. losses, an environmental disaster, and danger to neighboring countries like Israel, Kuwait and Jordan have not happened. Complaints about a bungled war plan, botched by the defense department, fizzled out quickly. Instead, the war has gone very well, even by a cynic's standards. The success of the U.S. is something the war protestors cannot stand. What is surprising is that the liberals in the U.S. are in the same category as the people of the Arab nations, around Iraq. The Arabs are fed images from the likes of Al-Jazeera television showing the war in a negative mode. That is all the Arabs are allowed to see and hear. But the liberals in the U. S. have free media that is reporting the true reactions of the Iraqi people. Yet, they ignore the fact that Iraqis are better off today than under the dictator. One could see the glee and jubilation of the liberals, when the Iraqis started looting in the aftermath of the fall of Baghdad. They were quick to blame the U.S. armed forces for not protecting the civilians and not acting as a police force, while the Marines were still fighting sporadic resistance from forces loyal to Saddam Hussein. Now that calm is returning to Baghdad and normal life is returning, we do not hear anything from these people any more.
Now that the people of Iraq are free, the true nature of the brutal regime is out in the open for all to see. Gut-wrenching pictures of Iraqis visiting gravesites, marked only with numbers, without names, digging and unearthing the skeletal remains of their family members, are emerging. The inefficient regime of Saddam Hussein seems to have been very efficient in keeping count of the people they had killed. A master list of more than thousand names of the deceased, and the matching numbers on the graves, was found in one of the government building abandoned by the fleeing government officials. Now the tearful relatives are looking for the bodies of their loved ones in the graves, matching the names with the numbers. At least the Iraqis knew that the American invasion was the only means of supplanting the despot and no embargo (or appeasement) could achieve the same result. But the liberals and leftists refuse to act to end the horror of Saddam's regime.
The Democrats are mad. They are mad because liberation of Iraq has gone without a hitch. They are also worried that President Bush has nearly 70% approval rating among Americans. This bodes them ill in the next election, which is only about eighteen months away. They desperately are hoping now that the economy tanks further, causing more suffering among Americans. This could give them some fodder for the election next year. They will delay passage of the tax cut package as long as possible because they do not want to hand another victory to the president in the domestic front. Yet, they do not have a solution other than being critical of whatever the president proposes. They have become a reactive party rather than pro-active one.
The administration was careful in not painting a rosy scenario in post-Saddam Iraq. Winning the peace was going to be more difficult than winning the war, they have repeatedly said. The recent Iran-inspired demonstration by Shiites in Southern Iraq brought another wave of glee to 'see I told you so' liberals. Though only about ten thousand sword waving Shiites, demonstrated their unpleasantness towards Americans as the occupying force, the event was billed as the beginning of the end.
The liberals have another mantra that they keep repeating now. Where are the weapons of mass destruction? The administration is confident that they will be found in due course. They did not expect to find them easily as these are mobile units and hidden very well by the crafty Saddam Hussein. The mobile units could even be transferred to a neighboring country, like Syria.
We cannot forget the fact that when the inspectors left Iraq in the year 1998, they knew Saddam had stockpiles of VX gas, Sarin, Mustard gas, Anthrax as well as botulin toxin. He did not account for it when he was forced to declare his weapons by the Security Council resolution 1441, last December. Where are these weapons? The inspectors could not find them with their pace and style of inspections. It will take a lot more diligent and concerted effort to find them.
I have a question for the skeptics and doubters (the European socialists and American liberals). When the Iraqi soldiers abandoned their posts in several cities, as the U.S. and British forces were advancing, many chemical-suits and gas masks as well as antidote vials were found. If Saddam Hussein did not have chemical weapons, why were the Iraqi soldiers armed with protective suits and antidotes?