Express-News Columnist Jonathan Gurwitz has no shame. In his latest column, the right-wing pundit-wannabe demonstrates his lack of shame by accusing critics of the pre-emptive invasion and occupation of Iraq of claiming that Saddam Hussein never had weapons of mass destruction - even though he knows this is not true. Gurwitz is being intentionally deceptive and deceitful in this instance.
“Saddam Hussein not only possessed weapons of mass destruction, but also used them against Iran and his own Kurdish population. There are the pictures of mottled bodies; there is the testimony of scarred survivors. Yet the Iraq inquisitors insist that Saddam never possessed such weapons.”
The argument prior to the war - as Gurwitz well knows - was not whether or not Hussein had WMDs - but whether or not this in and of itself posed such a serious threat to world security that it required such extreme measures as a military invasion which has so far cost the lives of more than 200 U.S. soldiers and seriously injured many more. Opponents of the war said that U.N. sanctions and inspections were adequate to counter and contain any potential threat posed by Hussein.
Critics of the war - at least those with half a brain - were very much aware that Hussein had once possessed WMDs - that was back during the Iran-Iraq war in the late 1980s when the Reagan administration embraced Hussein and his Baathist regime as the antidote to the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran. We know very well that he used WMDs at that time because the Reagan and Bush I administrations helped to pay for them and encouraged him to do so. And when he turned around and used those same weapons against the Kurds, we turned our eyes the other way and ignored it.
What the Kay Report demonstrates very clearly - and what Gurwitz refuses to see because of his own blinding dogmatism - is that the U.N. sanctions and inspections were working. Hussein did not have tons of biological and chemical weapons stockpiled or an active nuclear weapons program as the Bush administration repeatedly claimed. It appears now - as Hans Blix has already noted - that Iraq got rid of most if not all of those stockpiles shortly after the first Gulf War and that Hussein’s efforts to restart a WMD program was being stymied by the U.N. sanctions and inspections. There was no imminent or immediate threat.
By ignoring evidence that showed Hussein was not an imminent threat and forcing the U.S. to go to war in defiance of the U.N. and most of our major allies, President Bush has demonstrated a recklessness that should cause even his most loyal followers to question his judgment.