Darn, but those weapons of mass destruction keep turning up in the wrong places.
Forward air bases, Army infantry units, a hospital ship and docile yet combat-trained reporters are all being readied for a “regime change” war against Iraq promoted as a way to rid the world of an arsenal Saddam Hussein doesn’t seem to have.
That United Nations inspectors, even after American intelligence briefings, are coming up empty-handed is embarrassing enough, but then North Korea had to steal the show by taking the wraps off its far more advanced nuclear weapons program.
That’s pretty scary because American intelligence agencies believe that bizarre, unpredictable North Korea already has enough plutonium and tested bomb technology for one or two functioning nuclear warheads that can easily be lobbed at our ally South Korea, home base of 37,000 US soldiers. Pyongyang in 1998 fired one of its long-range Taepodong missiles over Japanese territory. American intelligence officials believe that the regime is working on missiles capable of reaching Hawaii and beyond.
Yet we have made it clear we are not planning to go to war with North Korea.
“We have no hostile intent toward North Korea, and we hope they will come to their senses,” Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday. He later added that “nobody is mobilizing armies, nobody is threatening each other yet.”
Powell went on to say: “Let’s take this patiently. Let’s take it with deliberation. Let’s work with our friends and allies.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s the one proven warrior in the Bush White House who seems to understand that peace is worth fighting for and that diplomatic finesse is not a sign of weakness; war is.
Were it not for Powell, the chicken hawks in the Administration–warmongers who have not themselves experienced battle–already would have us invading Iraq without giving U.N. inspectors a chance.
Led by Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, these strident cheerleaders for so-called preemptive action are obviously disappointed that the Iraq inspections have turned up nothing more then the rusting remnants of a deadly weapons programs originated–and used–with the full knowledge of the US government to punish fundamentalist Iran.
Now, however, Iran, still in Bush’s putative “axis of evil” along with Iraq and North Korea, may have a much more advanced nuclear weapons program than Iraq.