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Jewish World Review Dec. 24, 2002 / 19 Teves, 5763

Dennis Byrne

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Consumer Reports

Hussein's wacked Wonderland | Let's just forget about this Iraq thing.

Let's forget about the 3.9 tons of missing VX chemical agent. The Iraqis say the documentation proving that it was destroyed has itself been lost or destroyed. Kind of like Gov. George Ryan's campaign records, I guess. Shoot, 3.9 tons of VX chemicals would take only a century to lose its punch--about the same amount of time that those hateful Styrofoam cups take to disintegrate.

Let's forget about the 17 tons of "media" for growing enough biological weapons to kill millions. Or that Iraq may have misplaced hundreds of missiles. They can't go all that far anyway, weighed down by the nuclear weapons Saddam Hussein isn't building.

Never mind that:

  • The Iraqi scientists who could tell the world the intimate details of Iraq's weapons programs can't be found.

  • The UN chief arms inspector, Hans Blix, says he isn't looking particularly hard for them, because he's not "a defection agency."

  • Hussein's son-in-law, Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel Hassan, defected seven years ago and revealed that the old man had been pulling the wool over the eyes of previous inspectors. For telling such a fib he deserved to be murdered when he returned to Hussein's loving arms.

  • It took 12,000 pages for Iraq to deny that it has weapons of mass destruction, something that even Blix found incredible. Proving a negative can't be done.

Put aside the idea of a dangerous Iraq because we don't like President/Cowboy Bush. Don't bother with Iraq because the Bush administration is doing a lousy job marketing its Iraq-as-a-danger idea.

And while we're at it, let's lift the no-fly zone over Iraq so that Hussein can nicely unite his country by slaughtering the uncooperative citizens who live in the north and south. Let's high-tail it out of the Middle East altogether, so our presence doesn't insult some religious sensibilities. When Hussein marches back into Kuwait, who cares? After all, he didn't really yank those infants out of their incubators during his last visit, so he's not as mad as we thought.

Let's not assume that without the U.S. presence, Hussein would attack his other neighbors. Even if he does, their quality of life wasn't all that hot. Besides, none of them are democracies. If Hussein then pushes the Israelis into the sea, well, they'll just have to learn how to swim. When Hussein gets control over about one-third of the world's oil supply, why sweat it? After all, none of this should "be about" oil. When the expanded NATO and European Union find their flank, not to mention its oil supplier, has become a tad hostile, we'll be glad not to be involved, because it is none of our business. Because, as we're told repeatedly, the Europeans don't like us meddling. And we'll have all the extra money we've been spending on defense to sink into a restored and expanded welfare program.

So what if an aggressor now is in control of so much petroleum that it sends the U.S. economy into a recession, just as it did in the 1970s and 1980s? We shouldn't be driving around so much anyway. It'll make us use more solar power and walk more. It'll be good for us, as the nuns used to say. I mean, why should we believe Bush when he says Iraq has weapons of mass destruction? After the Gulf War, all those missiles that bulldozers flattened, all the chemical agents that we burned, all the nasty bio-agents that were destroyed, all the people who died from Hussein's toxins--none of it happened. Hussein never had those weapons to begin with; those tapes of the weapons destruction were made in a studio. Besides, President Bush can't prove that Iraq has anything to do with Al Qaeda, and everyone knows that there can't be more than one threat to American security at a time. And if two threats did exist, we can deal with only one at a time.

But, hey, we'll be a lot better off by ignoring Hussein. By pretending he is disarmed, that he is no threat to his neighbors or world peace, we will have restored our credibility with Europe. As in Alice's Wonderland, where you prove your credibility by pretending that what's there isn't.

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JWR contributor Dennis Byrne is a Chicago-area writer and public affairs consultant. Comment by clicking here.

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04/16/02: Callous parents deaf to calls of common sense
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01/25/02: The unreliable crystal balls of analysts
01/17/02: The curse of 'do-something' pols
01/09/02: Political moderation is for the indifferent, uninformed or undecided

© 2002, Dennis Byrne