Where Are the WMD?

Columnist Charles Krauthammer was one of the many war-party conservatives who pounded the drums for war against Iraq because Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.

But for weeks now, he and his friends have been reminded of a little problem. No one can find the weapons.

Don't worry, Krauthammer insists. The real issue isn't the weapons, but those who keep asking for the Bush Administration to produce them. It's all just "hype," says he, to hide their shame.

Actually, Krauthammer and war-party hyped the weapons, and now, they have some explaining to do.

Krauthammer For War

To say Krauthammer and his ilk favored the war is rather an understatement. They were infatuated with it, and weapons of mass destruction were a principal obsession.

"Doomsday has been democratized" he wrote in February. "There is no avoiding the danger any longer."

"We are in a race against time," his alarum continued. "The civilized part of humanity," he averred, must "disarm the barbarians."

Now, he says, critics of the war are "hyping" our inability to find the weapons of mass destruction that justified the war.

The "hype," he wrote last week, is "a way for opponents of the war – deeply embarrassed by the mass graves, torture chambers and grotesque palaces discovered after the war – to change the subject and relieve themselves of the shame of having opposed the liberation of 25 million people."

Weapons And UFOs

How's that? Those of us who opposed the war are neither embarrassed nor ashamed. We do not agree that the "the liberation of 25 million people" is the proper job of the American republic.

If it is, then we must depose the corrupt and murderous African suzerainties. Grotesque palaces and mass graves abound; starving millions await liberation. North Korea with its torture chambers and mass graves, would be next, and after that, China. There, billions await liberation.

Anyhow, we ask about weapons of mass destruction because they were a principal reason this nation went to war. Armageddon, the war party's propagandists said, was at hand.

Yet now the war party says we must cease the questions about the "doomsday" weapons for which American boys have died.

"The idea that our inability to thus far find the weapons proves that the threat was phony and hyped is simply false," Krauthammer protested. Wrote war monger Robert Kagan a few weeks ago: "Today, of course, they and many other known weapons are still unaccounted for. Does it follow, therefore, that they never existed?"

As this writer quipped on the Lew Rockwell Weblog, the logic sounds about like the proof for UFOs: "The Roswell saucer and many other known UFOs are still unaccounted for," the UFOlogists say. "Does it follow, therefore, that they never existed?”

Who Should Be Ashamed

Those who opposed the war, or at least the anti-war conservatives, opposed the war on principle, as anathema to our founders' vision of this Republic's role in the world.

Eventually, an empire is hoist upon its own bloody petard. The Romans found that out. So did the British. In time, so shall we.

We did not believe Iraq was a serious threat to the United States. And we were correct.

Right now, Iraq's weapons of mass destruction are as real as flying saucers. But American fighting men died over them. And still do.

If anyone should be embarrassed and ashamed, it is Krauthammer and the war party. Indeed, they should beg forgiveness.

June 18, 2003

Syndicated columnist R. Cort Kirkwood [send him mail] is managing editor of the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, Va.

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