the President's Desk...
Daschle Should Apologize To The American People
For Politicizing America's National Security
Democratic Senate Majority
Leader Tom Daschle was frustrated by former Vice President Al Gore's
attempt to regain the politically spotlight as the leader of the Democratic
party when Gore criticized President Bush's efforts on the war on terrorism
and the threatened attack on Iraq during a speech before the Commonwealth
Club in San Francisco on Monday, September 23, 2002. To compete with
this message and to try to show a leadership stance, Daschle wrongly
lashed out and accused President Bush of politicizing the debate over
war with Iraq on September 25, 2002. The response by the Majority leader
was triggered by a Washington Post story on September 25, that noted
that in the past two days, the President had suggested four times that
Democrats who control the Senate did not care about national security.
At first the White House believed that there had been an honest mistake
on behalf of the Senator and felt when he realized what context the
statement was made by the President, he would recant his earlier statements.
However, later in the afternoon, the Majority leader reaffirmed
his defiance and said on the floor of the Senate, "What context
is there, that legitimizes an accusation of that kind I don't care if
your talking about Homeland Security, I don't think you can talk about
Iraq, you can't talk about war, you can't talk about any context and
justify a political comment like that."
The response of Senator
Daschle as well as several of his colleagues cannot be justified because
the President was right when he said at a political appearance in New
Jersey on September 23, 2002:, "The Senate is more interested in
special interest in Washington and is not interested in Security of
the American people. I will
not except a Department of Homeland Security that does not allow this
President and future Presidents to better keep the American people secure." It was the Senate not the President that has
put unions and workers’ rights ahead of American lives and national
security when it compromised the Homeland Security bill, stripping the
President of the flexibility required to combat terrorism.
The President would have less national security authority in
the Department of Homeland Security than he has currently in any other
department and agency in the federal government under the so-called
Chafee, Breaux, Nelson compromise.
Senator Daschle has
tried and failed to refocus the nation on domestic issues such as blaming
the current economic downturn on President Bush.
But what he fails to realize
as he tries to advance his own political career and starts his
run for the White House is that he makes the nation even more vulnerable
to future terrorists. Tragically,
the Democratic Party as a whole is not unified on the war with Iraq. They, as well as others, are
convinced that the war on terror and Iraq is only to get Republicans
elected. Yet it has been the
Republican's lead by the President, who has been advancing ideas to
best diminish America’s vulnerability to terrorist attack such as removing
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from power.
Many Democrats, as well
as a few Republicans, put the national security of this nation at risk
because they do not take the war on terrorism seriously. One such example was when former Vice-President
Al Gore called Iraq a distraction from the war on terrorism that has
"squandered" international support for the U.S. Mr. Gore does
not realize that if terrorism is to be defeated the current Administration
must continue its vigorous efforts for regime change in Iraq.
Saddam Hussein's regime
thrives on the systematic terrorism against his neighbors, his own people,
and the world. His regime is
a threat to the United States (U.S.) and world safety as he continues
his relentless effort to obtain nuclear weapons of mass destruction. In fact, the London Times reported on
September 25, 2002, that Iraqi procurement agents had visited many African
countries but failed in their attempts to purchase uranium according
to evidence provide by the Cabinet Official's Joint Intelligence Committee
(The JIC is at the heart of the British intelligence machinery). It
is feared that Saddam is secretly trying to import to Iraq natural uranium
where it could be enriched to form the core of a nuclear weapon.
Resorting to terrorism
as an adjunct of foreign policy, Iraq has a long record of supporting
terrorist groups. For example,
the formation of suicide squads to launch broad-based sabotage operations
against the U.S., its friends, and interests have been called for by
an editorial in the September 5, 2002 issue of Iraqi weekly Al-Iqtisadi,
which is owned by Saddam Hussein's eldest son Uday.
Also, a possible series of terrorist attacks against U.S. targets
globally was planned by Baghdad during the 1991 Gulf War. As a result
of U.S. counter-terrorism efforts in cooperation with a number of foreign
governments, these efforts were thwarted.
Below are additional examples of Iraqi involvement in terrorist
A. In April 1993, when former President
George H.W. Bush was visiting Kuwait, Iraqi agents had been apprehended
in an aborted assassination attempt.
B. Furthermore, having strong associations
with the Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and Iraq was Ramzi Yousef
the February 1993 World Trade Center (WTC) bombing mastermind.
C. On a trip originating in Iraq,
infamous terrorist Yousef flew to the U.S. using an Iraqi passport.
D. During the 1990-1991 Iraqi occupation
of Kuwait, it appears that Yousef acquired a false identity with the
assistance of Iraqi authorities who adulterated his personal file.
E. Also, it is believed that another
suspect Abdul Yasin of the 1993 WTC bombing later returned to Iraq and
is currently living in Baghdad.
If this is not enough
evidence to convince the biggest skeptic that Iraq has been engaged
in a stealth war with the U.S. since it has violated the cease-fire
agreement that ended the 1991 Gulf War, there are reports of several
Iraqi contacts with Osama bin Laden and his terrorist subordinates
For example, shortly prior to the September 11, 2002 airline
hijackings, Osama bin Laden was in contact with Iraqi government agents
according to U.S. intelligence officials.
Also, in 1998 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, bin Laden had a meeting
with Farouk Hijazi, a senior Iraqi intelligence officer.
Early in 2001 in Europe, U.S. intelligence officials indicated
that the ringleader of the 19 terrorists that hijacked four U.S. airliners
on September 11, Mohamed Atta, reportedly met with an Iraqi intelligence
officer. This was further confirmed by Czech officials publicly who indicated
that Atta and Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir Al-Ani met in the Prague. In Europe, Prague has long been suspected to be a hub for Iraqi
intelligence by Western intelligence agencies.
Saddam More Dangerous Than Ever
Since the expulsion of
the United Nations monitors in 1998 the Iraqi clandestine programs to
build nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons of mass destruction
and missiles that can deliver them have proceeded without outside intervention. In its war against Iran and against Iraq's
Kurdish opposition, the Iraqi dictator has already used chemical weapons. Also, intercepts of Iraqi military communications
during the Gulf War indicated that Saddam had authorized front-line
commanders to use chemical weapons at their discretion as soon as Coalition
forces began their ground offensive reported the London Sunday Times
on February 3, 1991. Furthermore,
it is also believed that Iraq has enough fissile material for the production
of two atomic bombs that will soon be completed.
Finally, on September 25, 2002, President Bush’s National Security
Advisor Condoleeza Rice accused Hussein’s regime of sheltering members
of the al-Qaida terrorist network in Baghdad and helping Osama bin Laden's
operatives in developing chemical weapons.
Those who believe that
Saddam is not a clear and present danger truly do not have an understanding
of the issues at hand and hope that by hiding their heads in the sand,
as ostriches do, that the problem will disappear. They truly believe the ideology that man is
basically good and somehow Saddam will realize that he is wrong and
change from his evil ways and become a moral and righteous leader. As long as the Saddam terrorist regime remains
in power, the U.S. and its allies will remain even more vulnerable to
terrorist attacks. The skeptics
fail to accept the fact that Osama bin Laden is less a threat to U.S.
national security than Iraq. Contrary
to what many may say, the al-Qaida terrorist network is not sophisticated
enough to be able to launch a terrorist attack like they did on September
11, without the assistance of a nation(s) state.
Covertly Saddam has been providing assistance to terrorists that
want to see America and its way of life destroyed.
How can anyone doubt that if Saddam is not stopped immediately
he will provide the resources and material necessary for terrorists
to launch attacks on the U.S. and its allies using chemical, biological
and nuclear weapons of mass destruction? Senate Majority leader Daschle may be trying
to refocus America's attention on domestic issues so the Democrats can
remain in power in the Senate and win a few more seats in the House
of Representatives but what is the cost?
Former Vice-President Al Gore, Senator Daschle and others can
argue that “it is the economy, stupid” but how soon do they forget that
one reason for the current economic downturn was the September 11th
terrorist attack. If Senator Daschle was a true leader he would
have laughed at President Bush's comments and would energize the Democrats
to set-forth an agenda to provide better ways to enhance the security
of America from terrorist attacks instead of succumbing to special interest
groups. Instead the Majority
leader is doing what all good liberals so often do when they are caught
in their subterfuge, they accuse the one who has uncovered their deception
and true intentions. The Majority
Leader in the coming days might be able in the short-term to win a few
political victories and cause the President to rephrase his statements. But he must realize that as more attention is taken off Saddam more
time will be given to the Iraqi dictator to empower the terrorists with
the weapons of mass destruction. There
is no doubt that domestic issues like the economy are important, but
America cannot continue to undergo attacks like September 11. If Saddam is not dealt with in the near future, there will be no
need to focus our attention on domestic issues because the nation will
be in utter chaos as terrorists such as al-Qaida will be able to inflict
massive causalities with their weapons of mass destruction on the American
citizenry provided by terrorist nations such as Iraq.