Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Iraqi Uranium Not An Urban Legend

To all those who have been whining for years that there was no yellowcake uranium in Iraq and therefore no danger of Saddam Hussein reconstituting his nuclear weapons program at the time, try this one on for size.

In a recently announced 3-month secret mission, the U.S. military removed 550 metric tons of yellowcake from the defunct Tuwaitha nuclear complex just 12 miles south of Baghdad. The U.S. brokered a sale of the uranium (worth tens of millions of dollars) on behalf of the Iraqi government to Canada for their nuclear power program.

Yellowcake is concentrated natural uranium that can be transmuted into nuclear weapons grade material through an enrichment process in gas centrifuges. In 2003, the CIA recovered two large barrels of parts and blueprints for the same type of centrifuges from an Iraqi rose garden owned by nuclear scientist Dr. Mahdi Obeidi.

These documents included information on how to conceal evidence of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program from U.N. inspectors and others. Obeidi, who was one of many scientists ordered by Saddam to hide such materials, has since been quoted as saying that the Iraqi dictator could have restarted his nuclear weapons program “at the snap of a finger.”

The liberal media has long raked President Bush over the coals for “lying” about Saddam’s pursuit of yellowcake uranium mined in Niger to build nuclear weapons. The accusations center on 16 fateful words spoken at Bush’s January 28, 2003 State of the Union address:

“The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” Two months later, we went to war.

While some of the evidence pointing to collusion between Saddam and the government of Niger was forged, the bogus evidence didn’t prove to be the only evidence. The clear evidence being made public, President Bush has now been vindicated in that his assessment of Saddam’s nuclear intentions was not only reasonable, but accurate.

Had we not invaded Iraq two months later on March 19, 2003, what would Saddam now be doing with all that yellowcake uranium? If we hadn’t stayed the course after Saddam was deposed, would insurgents now be selling tons of yellowcake on the black market to interested parties that don’t have U.S. interests in mind?

President Bush should be applauded for not giving the weapons inspection dodging Saddam Hussein the benefit of the doubt.

I think the biggest mistake Bush made was not asking Congress for a formal Declaration of War the way the Constitution mandates. The result is that he opened himself up to accusations of warmongering by a critical Congress who acted like rabid dogs who have smelled blood. This has been no small matter and voters should hold any and all turncoat politicians accountable.

The U.S. operation to remove the deadly yellowcake was also no small matter either. The secret operation included transport by ship and two weeks of airlifts. The secrecy was due to concerns that those transporting the yellowcake would be vulnerable to insurgents and we could not risk taking the chance of uranium falling into the wrong hands.

So here we are, again involved in a civil war clear around the other side of the world. While that has made us look bad to some of our allies, such as the French, it doesn’t take much to realize that the oft-repeated mantram that this war is all about oil doesn’t have any teeth.

This war is not just about our economic security; it is about the physical security of the United States and our allies, including the French who are now experiencing their own epidemic of Islamic extremism.

Yes, the 4116 American lives that have been lost to date in Iraq is a painful price to pay, but as wars go, the loss of life has been minimal.

In comparison, in one day we lost 4,498 at Pearl Harbor and another 4,900 on D-Day. While the war in Iraq has seemed to drag-on for over five years, our U.S. military should be congratulated for a job well done, not castigated for allowing American blood to be spilled overseas in defense of our interests. Just wars are almost always about economic and physical security.

In contrast, our war at home against drunk drivers has cost over 13,000 American casualties per year. This doesn’t get nearly as much play in the media because it is easier to exploit the deaths of American soldiers and the insurgents disguised as innocent non-combatants that kill them — just blame it on the commander in chief.

Some will surely dig their naive peace activist heels into the ground and argue that Saddam didn’t have the resources to build a nuclear weapon. To those I would say this. Utilizing 1945 technology and resources, the U.S. created and dropped two atomic bombs — one on Hiroshima and the other on Nagasaki. Approximately 67,000 people died the first day and an additional 36,000 died over the next four months.

Now imagine what Saddam or the insurgent terrorists could have done with 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium at their disposal. Imagine the modern nuclear technologies and resources anyone controlling billions of dollars in Iraqi oil revenue could purchase.

Had it not been for George W. Bush, we could have found ourselves in the middle of a disaster far greater than the one experienced on September 11th and maybe even greater than the 100,000 deaths in Japan. Thank God that was a risk President Bush wasn’t willing to take.

It is important to not only show support for our troops, but to also know why you support them.

Lance Hunter Voorhees is a political columnist and former radio co-host of “A.M. Big Country.” Feel free to email Lance@TheLanceReports.com or visit his new Blog at www.TheLanceReports.com © 2008 Lance Hunter Voorhees

1 comment:

Sean said...

Sure they found yellowcake. Probably just some rocks that were spraypainted. Just like we actually landed on the moon. C'mon, it's all fabricated on a Hollywood soundstage.

Or if it was actually there why did it take 8 years to find it? Did Saddam's dog bury it along with some bones and they couldn't find it to use against us?