Oct. 7, 2004 #01Political Satire/Commentary where satire is always commentary but commentary isn't always satire 
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John Kerry Rewinds, Rewrites and Replays History by Distorting the Charles Duelfer Report; Oil for Food:  Political Nutrition for Saddam Hussein, France, U.N., et al; Inspections, WMD's, and Sanctions.

            John Kerry is using a distortion of the Charles Duelfer Report to rewind, rewrite and replay history skewed by selective-hindsight revisionism to support a naive assertion that we would be better off if George Bush had declined to launch Operation Iraqi Freedom. To test the sensibility of Kerry's claims now, let's re-wind history and operate on the basis of what the Dulfer Report now says we now know and on the basis of Kerry's claim that relying on indigenous Afghan forces rather than commitment of large American military forces "allowed" Usama bin Laden to "escape" in Tora Bora in December, 2001.  Would we today really have Saddam Hussein "boxed in" so he couldn't harm us or covertly help our enemies harm us?  To test "Scenario No. 1," go here; To test "Scenario No. 2," go here; To test "Scenario No. 3," go here.

1.  Hindsight "Replay" of Kerry Scenario No. 1:

This thought experiment rewinds history, re-writes it with "full hindsight" by assuming that on September 12, 2001, we knew everything about Iraq that we now "know" according to the Charles Duelfer Report.  Then it replays history according to what John Kerry now says (with the benefit of hindsight) he would have then known to be the proper course of action beginning on September 12, 2001.

A.  Assumed Retroactive "Knowledge" on September 12, 2001:

(01)  We'd have known reports from Czech Intelligence that Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi Intelligence before 9-11 could never establish a link between Iraq and 9-11.

(02)  We'd have known Saddam Hussein had no stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons.

(03)  We'd have known Saddam Hussein had preserved samples of chemicals and biological agents with which he could restart his chemical/biological weapons.

(04)  We'd have known Saddam Hussein had no active nuclear weapons program.

(05)  We'd have known Saddam Hussein had preserved the intellectual capital and design-work for restarting his nuclear weapons program.

(06)  We'd have known Saddam Hussein had not acquired enriched uranium.

(07)  We'd have known that Saddam Hussein wanted to acquire enriched uranium as soon as feasible without such acquisition being detected or prevented.

(08)  We'd have known that "world opinion" would continue blaming U.S. sanctions for the "thousands" of "Iraqi babies" dying each year.

(09)  We'd have known that our "allies" in the U.N. wanted sanctions to be ended.

(10)  We'd have known that the world considered our maintaining the no-fly zones in the northern and southern portions of Iraq to be an unjustified infringement on Iraq's sovereign dignity.

(11)  We'd have known that our "allies" in the U.N, would want us to cease maintaining the no-fly zones.

(12)  As we planned how to dislodge the Taliban and al Qaeda from Afghanistan, we'd have known that the Muslim world and French "intellectuals" believed the CIA and the Mossad, rather than Usama bin Laden, perpetrated the 9-11 attack and that thus, the Muslim world and French "intellectuals" would consider our threats to topple the Taliban (unless they were to deliver Usama bin Laden, his subordinates and his fighters into U.S. custody) to be an example of an imperialistic, Christian "crusade" against the "Muslim world."

(13)  We'd have known that hundreds of thousands of Russian troops were ultimately unable to maintain control over Afghanistan.

(14)  We'd have known that some Afghan warlords could be trusted to help us defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but we'd have also known that some (many?) could not be so trusted, and we wouldn't have been abe to be certain which ones would be which.

B. Replay of History according to Kerry's Scenario No. 1:

(01)  Kerry would have "known" Saddam Hussein had no WMD's, and on such basis, Kerry would have assumed that Hussein alone, or in collaboration with the enemy of his enemy (i.e., in collaboration with al Qaeda), could not inflict massive casualties on our residual forces in the Persian Gulf.

(02)  Kerry would have "known" that reliance upon Afghan "warlords" to oust the Taliban would pose a serious risk that some of them would pretend to help us while actively seeking to help the Taliban, al Qaeda or both.

(03)  Kerry, wanting to minimize the risks of being judged harshly in hindsight, would have ordered the military to plan operations in Afghanistan to minimize possibility of 1-B(02) (above) even though the means to do so would:  (a) require massive numbers of U.S. "boots on the ground" in Afghanistan, (b) require a much-longer logistical preparation time, which would thereby give the Taliban and al Qaeda more than enough time to prepare to resist and/or escape, (c) dramatically increase the probably U.S. casualties, (d) make it dramatically harder for Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf to politically cooperate with, rather than to actively oppose, what would appear to be a massive U.S. invasion of Afghanistan rather than relatively limited assistance to indigenous forces opposing the Taliban and al Qaeda.

(04)  Kerry would somehow persuade Musharraf to cooperate with a massive invasion of Afghanistan by a U.S. military force large enough to avoid the risks of needing to rely upon indigenous war-lords to topple the Taliban and/or capture bin Laden-- i.e., a force comparable in size to the one we amassed in the 1991 Persian Gulf War for the relatively easier task of evicting Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.  (Keep in mind that the size of our military in 2001 was approximately half the size of our military at the time of the Persian Gulf War in 1991.)

(05)  By late December, 2001, at the earliest, or late Spring, 2002, at the latest, the massive invasion of Afghanistan ordered by Kerry would commence.  (Here, I'm giving Kerry the benefit of the doubt in even assuming that one who voted against the 1991 Persian Gulf War, which the U.N. formally supported, would have invaded Afghanistan at all-- frankly, I seriously doubt it.)  By this time, Usama bin Laden would have moved from Afghanistan into the no-man's-land portion of Pakistan knowing that Pakistan would not allow any massive invasion of those areas by U.S. military forces.  In departing Afghanistan, bin Laden and his supporters would have had ample time to avoid leaving information, video-tapes, etc. behind-- Consequently, that video-tape in which bin Laden bragged about masterminding 9-11 would not have been discovered and would not have been played for the world as it was in reality in October, 2001, when we discovered it.  [Don't forget that even long after worldwide broadcast of this tape, large portions of the Muslim world and French "intellectuals" viewed it as something "made up" by the CIA and still adhered to the view that the CIA and/or the Mossad, rather than bin Laden, had masterminded 9-11 to give the U.S. an "excuse" to invade Afghanistan-- For example, see the February 26, 2002, installment at PoliSat.Com (here)].

(06)  Our massive invasion of Afghanistan would lead most war-lords to distrust us and oppose us (just as they opposed the Russians) rather than joining forces with us.  We would become "bogged down" in dangerous mountainous warfare with the same war-lord armies that inflicted massive casualties on the Russians.  We would not "capture" bin Laden.

(07)  Continuing worldwide propaganda by fanatical Muslims would continue inflaming the Muslim world against the U.S. for trying to "conquer" a Muslim country as retaliation for the 9-11 attack, which Muslims and French "intellectuals" would still claim to have been perpetrated by the CIA and/or the Mossad and/or "heroic" Saudis as "revenge" for Saudi Arabia being "desecrated" by the presence of U.S. bases and residual military forces following the Persian Gulf War.  Additional world-wide propaganda would persuade Muslims that the real purpose of the massive military invasion of Afghanistan by the U.S. would be to control a trans-Afghanistan "oil pipeline."  

(08)  Pressure on Musharraf to cease "collaborating" with the U.S. "invasion" of a Muslim country would continue intensifying.

(09)  Saddam Hussein, seeing our flanks and rear dangerously exposed would recognize the tactical and strategic advantages for him to covertly collaborate with our enemies while intensifying demands that the U.N. terminate the sanctions against him.  

(10)  With so many forces committed to Afghanistan and world opinion against us intensifying, Kerry would display his promised spirit of cooperation with our "allies" (France, Germany, Russia, et al) by agreeing to their demands to end U.N. sanctions against Iraq and end the no-fly zones.  After all, under this set of assumptions, the world would have already "known" that Saddam Hussein no longer possessed stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons and did not have an active nuclear-weapons program.

(11)  Immediately upon the termination of sanctions (sometime in early 2002), Saddam Hussein would have re-started his programs for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.  Iraq's Lybia would have been eager to share with Saddam Hussein the WMD programs that we now know Lybia then possessed.

(12)  Within a relatively short period of time, Saddam Hussein would have been able to produce chemical and biological agents to be covertly delivered to the enemy of his enemy (i.e., al Qaeda) to be used in Afghanistan against our troops and to be used in the United States.  Saddam's having long been able to use terror to suppress Islamic fanatics in Iraq would have prevented him from worrying that helping al Qaeda attack U.S. interests would ultimately jeopardize his internal power base.

C. Conclusion.

It seems readily apparent that the outcome "I-B(12)" would be far more dangerous than what we now face in Iraq and Afghanistan.  To think otherwise would be to engage in highly selective, and highly unrealistic retroactive application of what we now know in "hindsight."  One of the ways we avoided the mistakes of the Russians in Afghanistan was that our willingness to deployed limited forces to collaborate with the warlords (and thereby risk being betrayed by some of them as may have occurred in Tora Bora) was a major factor in convincing the warlords that we wanted Afghans, not us, to control Afghanistan and in enabling Musharraf to take the extreme political risks of cooperating with the U.S. in ousting the Taliban and crippling al Qaeda.  Thus, it's Bush's strategy that's rooted in the real world and Kerry's that would have been rooted in Fantasyland.  It would be living in Fantasyland to believe Saddam Hussein would not by now be actively collaborating with al Qaeda against the United States, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.  Saddam Hussein's long successful history of using terror to suppress Islamic fanatics in Iraq would have given him the confidence that his collaboration with al Qaeda would not jeopardize his own power base.  

II.  Hindsight "Replay" of Kerry Scenario No. 2:

This thought experiment shows that if a President Kerry were to have handled Afghanistan in a way to avoid needing to rely upon indigenous war lords to "capture" bin Laden, it's highly unlikely he would have been able to deploy to the Persian Gulf a force large enough to:  (a) convince our U.N. "allies" that he would invade Iraq unless they were to adopt a resolution demanding that Saddam Hussein readmit, and cooperate with, U.N. inspectors (b) intimidate Saddam Hussein into re-admitting the U.N. inspectors and "cooperating" with them.  Thus, under this scenario, Kerry would have been unable to take the steps necessary to enable us to learn what we now "know"-- i.e., that Saddam Hussein no longer had WMD stockpiles or active WMD programs.   Under this scenario, the corrupt non-enforcement of the sanctions, the continued diversions of funds from the "oil for food" program to Saddam Hussein, and increasing world-wide pressure to lift the sanctions to stop causing the deaths of thousands of "Iraqi babies" would have continued until Kerry would have placated our "allies" in the U.N. by relaxing the sanctions.  The likely result is that the situation we'd be facing today would be comparable to 1-B(12) under Scenario No. 1 above.

III.  Hindsight "Replay" of Kerry Scenario No. 3:  

This thought experiment rewinds history, re-writes it with "selective hindsight" by assuming that we would not have learned what we now "know" unless and until we were to have allowed inspections to continue until such time as Hans Blix would report that he had found Iraq to be free of WMD stockpiles and programs.  It also assumes (unlike Scenario No. 2) that a President Kerry would have handled Afghanistan in the same way as did Bush (rather than in the way Kerry now claims he would have handled it) so that a President Kerry would then have been able to amass 250,000-troops force on Saddam Hussein's border in order to:  (a) convince our "allies" that he would invade Iraq unless they were to adopt resolutions authorizing force if Saddam Hussein were to refuse to readmit, and then cooperate with, U.N. inspectors and (b) intimidate Saddam into readmitting the inspectors and "cooperating" with them.

A.  The "Inspections" Phase:

(01)  By mid-2002, Inspector Blix would have reported to the U.N. that Iraq was "free" of WMD stockpiles and programs.

(02)  Our "allies" would have treated such report as requiring:  (a) repeal of the sanctions, (b) withdrawal of our massive force from the Persian Gulf, and (c) cessation of the non-fly zones.

(03)  Even if Kerry were to have vetoed any resolution to end sanctions, our "allies" would have begun overtly (rather than merely covertly) ignoring them, in which case they would have become even less meaningful than previously, so it's really irrelevant whether he would have vetoed any such resolution or ultimately abstained to allow its passage.

(04)  Even if Kerry were to have vetoed any resolution calling for cessation of the no-fly zone, and even if he were to have continued the no-fly zones over vigorous international criticism as being "unfair" to Hussein whom the inspections would have "proven" to have complied with the WMD resolutions, his doing so would have continued further inflaming the Muslim world against us and inspiring sympathizers to join al Qaeda all over the world to resist what they would characterize as our "illegal" military operations over the air space of a sovereign Arab/Muslim country.

(05)  Nevertheless, most Arabs in the Middle East (including most Arab governments) would believe that Saddam Hussein had merely successfully hidden his WMD's rather than seriously believing a pronouncement by Blix that Hussein no longer possessed them, so his power to intimidate his neighbors would have thus been increased by the de-facto (if not de jure) dissolution of sanctions.

(06)  Our "allies" in the U.N. and the entire Muslim world would demand that we immediately withdraw from the Persian Gulf the military forces we had positioned there to coerce Saddam into "complying" with U.N. resolutions.  There is no way Kerry would have resisted such pressure, so he would have withdrawn all but token forces comparable to those that were in the Persian Gulf region on Sept. 10, 2001 (whose presence, by the way, was part of the motivation for 9-11).

(07)  We would have the illusion of having Saddam "in a box," but the de-facto (if not de jure) dissolution of the sanctions would have freed Saddam to resume his production of chemical and biological weapons and re-start his nuclear-weapons program.

(08)  Libya's Kaddafi would not have surrendered his WMD programs to the U.S. and Britain-- instead, he would have offered assistance to Saddam Hussein and/or al Qaeda.

(09)  By now, Saddam Hussein would have easily re-created his chemical/biological stockpiles as well as re-starting his nuclear-weapons program.

(10)  By now, Saddam Hussein would be perceived among Arabs and non-Arab Muslims as the undisputed leader of the Middle East.

(11)  By now, Saddam Hussein, sociopathic megalomaniac that he is, would have perceived it to be in his interest to covertly collaborate with the enemy of his enemy-- i.e., with al Qaeda against the United States.  His having successfully used unspeakable terror to suppress the Kurds and Shiites for decades would have caused him to believe that his helping al Qaeda attack the U.S. would not pose a serious threat to his power base in Iraq, so he would have done it.  Remember, he had no compunction against ordering an attempted assassination of former President Bush.

(12)  By now, a President Kerry would have no way to effectively or reliably determine whatever might be precisely the last moment in time at which we could preemptively strike Iraq to prevent catastrophic collaboration with al Qaeda.

B.  Conclusion:

It seems readily apparent that the outcome "III-B(12)" would be far more dangerous than what we now face in Iraq and Afghanistan.  To think otherwise would be to engage in highly selective, and highly unrealistic retroactive application of what we now know in "hindsight."

Overall Conclusion:

To "rewind, rewrite" and then "replay" history in accordance with what Kerry now claims he would have done if he were to have been president amply demonstrates that our situation would be far more dangerous than it is today.

--Jim Wrenn, Editor at PoliSat.Com


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