Surprise at extent of Iraqi arms

Something of terrifying proportions is beginning to emerge that may threaten the planet. You can read all about it in a report dated Feb. 10, written by Yosef Bodansky for the House Committee on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and published by Israeli & Global News.

The report tells of Saddam Hussein planning for the future even before the Gulf War. For some years, Saddam has been moving large segments of his unconventional-weapons capability to other Arab countries for safekeeping.

This should not be news for the world's intelligence agencies. The Middle East has been under intense scrutiny since oil became king and the Arabs ramped up their appetite for greater and more deadly weapons reserves. America's CIA and its National Security Agency (NSA), with their electronic ears that hear virtually everything across the face of the planet, had to know. Yet we are taken by surprise that a pathological killer has used his peculiar intelligence to set up a manufacturing/attack industry in countries we already consider radical and dangerous.

Libya, Sudan, Yemen and possibly Algeria are the countries named, but clearly there are more. Syria and Iran have been building their own weapons of mass destruction, but our presidents and our intelligence agencies have always known that. You may wonder why we have waited to the eleventh hour, until just moments before what may be the greatest challenge facing the human race. Your question will remain unanswered if our political-industrial complex has its way.

Consider this: We, the West, have made it possible for nations like Iraq to buy weapons of enormous power, and then we sold the technology to build them. Iraq became the most profitable market for advanced weapons in the world. Those who sold Saddam the weapons want him back as a profit center.

But Saddam and Iraq are merely one piece of an explosive puzzle that has been in the making for years and ignored.

For example, do you remember when Egypt's Col. Nasser employed Nazi scientists to develop missiles with the first target to be Israel? Later it was Anwar Sadat who partnered with Argentina to make the Condor Missile intended to target Israel. Other than Israel, the major nations showed little interest.

When Libya, with German and Japanese technology, began to build its vast chemical complex at Rabta, America showed short-term interest with a demonstration bombing run that destroyed nothing — reminiscent of the Gulf War bombing. The complex has since been expanded and other vast facilities were built underground with Iraqi equipment and scientists.

Why do we always understate and ignore growing danger? We overlooked the build-up of Hitler's army and even pretended that it was not our concern as he advanced across Europe. We were surprised at Pearl Harbor.

We seem to always be surprised. I really believe that we are not so much surprised but rather moved by overriding political and commercial considerations which are seemingly more important than dealing with impending catastrophe.

The region we are now concerned with is the Middle East. Washington is just now going through its "surprised" phase. Tonnage of information gleaned by our intelligence agencies poured into the Oval Office about each of the Middle East nations. We knew that Germany, France and England were shipping into Iraq the makings for weapons of mass destruction.

During George Bush's presidency the United States not only winked at Saddam's purchases, we also encouraged it — thinking it would take one pathological killer to stop another: namely, Iran.

The report by the Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare disturbed White House officials. The report exposes the fact that the Arabs' secret was being kept by our own leaders over many years.

I suppose none of this will make any difference when the various Arab nations pull together and the mass goes critical.

Will American soldiers be killed by equipment and technology that the West sold to crazy acting dictators? You bet! Will we, here in America, see some of our cities dusted with anthrax bacteria or other deadly substances? It's a reasonable expectation.

So — now that we have sold for hard cash the means to kill us, what do we do? Ask Saddam to give up his horror weapons and those transferred to Libya and Sudan? Do we ask Syria to close down its chemical complex or Iran to cease all its plans for nuclear development? Do we ask our allies to stop selling the stuff that wipes out civilization?

There are solutions. Boris Yeltsin stated that our bombing Iraq could lead to a world war. His interest is to resume a superpower status and sell weapons, including nuclear, in the Middle East.

Once these nations link up and improve their delivery systems, the free nations of the world, in order to protect their populations, will be forced to accept the radical Islamic Fundamentalists' hegemony and dominance.

We, the West, literally made these Frankenstein monsters. If we rightfully take responsibility for our grand mistake, then we must blow it apart — and right now — before it grows beyond our capability or is exported to our country.

The civilized world must destroy the Arabs' stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. The problem is that we cannot find these stockpiles with accuracy.

The realization we have been avoiding is that people are needed to make the weapons and fire those weapons. Therefore, if we cannot find the weapons then we must stop those who fire the weapons. That is called "war" and we have no choice — at least, not if we wish the world to survive.

We do not threaten the world with world war. Saddam and the other radical Islamic states do, or have promised alliance with those who do. If we wait for their first move, we may not have the opportunity for our second move.

Pre-emption is the only deterrence to World War III.