Secretary Powell’s UN Report: The Big Lesson We Failed to Learn

From the March-April 2003 Trumpet Print Edition

For 12 years, Saddam Hussein has made a mockery of the U.S. and the United Nations. After Secretary of State Colin Powell’s report to the UN on February 5, many people still say there is no smoking gun. Those people probably wouldn’t see a smoking gun unless Saddam shot them personally.

Webster’s Dictionary defines smoking gun as “Something that serves as conclusive evidence or proof, esp. of a crime.” How long will it take people to see Saddam’s crime? We have the smoking gun, the shooter and many victims. People still refuse to see the smoking gun, even though one is not even required in UN Resolution 1441.

Most people also refuse to see a connection between Saddam and the al-Qaeda terrorist network. Saddam attacked Iran and Kuwait. He used chemical warfare against Iran and his own people in Iraq. He tried to assassinate former U.S. President George H.W. Bush (reason enough for America to declare war against him). Still people refuse to believe he is connected to al-Qaeda!

Where is our common sense? That is the most glaring defect in this whole process. Most people are lost in dangerous and trivial human reasoning.

Notice this statement by Secretary Powell to the UN: “A source said that 1,600 death row prisoners [in Iraq] were transferred in 1995 to a special unit for such experiments [to perfect Iraq’s biological or chemical weapons]. An eyewitness saw prisoners tied down to beds, experiments conducted on them, blood oozing around the victims’ mouths and autopsies performed to confirm the effects on the prisoners. Saddam Hussein’s humanity—inhumanity—has no limits.”

This is so similar to the decade of the 1930s. Adolf Hitler was rising to power, but nobody would believe reports about how he persecuted and even killed Jews and opposition leaders. Britain’s Neville Chamberlain even thought he could make peace with Hitler, only to be humiliated before the whole world. Almost all of the British press and politicians supported him totally—until it was almost too late. Today the same dangerous thinking grips our leaders and our media.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw even used the example of Hitler when speaking to the UN—how Britain thought the Hitler problem wasn’t big enough to challenge during the early 1930s. But Germany kept growing in power. Soon he was too powerful for anybody to stop.

We have learned virtually nothing from that history.

Iraq is estimated to have between “100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent” (ibid.). Here is another statement from Secretary Powell’s report: “[W]hen Iraq finally admitted having these weapons in 1995, the quantities were vast. Less than a teaspoon of dry anthrax … in an envelope shut down the United States Senate in the fall of 2001. This forced several hundred people to undergo emergency medical treatment and killed two postal workers ….

“Iraq declared 8,500 liters of anthrax, but unscom estimates that Saddam Hussein could have produced 25,000 liters. If concentrated into this dry form, this amount would be enough to fill tens upon tens upon tens of thousands of teaspoons. And Saddam Hussein has not verifiably accounted for even one teaspoonful of this deadly material.

“And that is my third point. And it is key. The Iraqis have never accounted for all of the biological weapons they admitted they had and we know they had. They have never accounted for all the organic material used to make them. And they have not accounted for many of the weapons filled with these agents such as there are 400 bombs. This is evidence, not conjecture. This is true. This is all well-documented. …

“The source [of confirmation of Iraq’s mobile biological agent production program] was an eyewitness, an Iraqi chemical engineer who supervised one of these facilities. He actually was present during biological agent production runs. He was also at the site when an accident occurred in 1998. Twelve technicians died from exposure to biological agents” (emphasis mine throughout).

One teaspoon of anthrax shut down the U.S. Senate! Two postal workers were killed and others were made ill.

These chemical and biological agents depict a reality of horror beyond anything we can even imagine!

Where is this all leading?

“We believe Saddam Hussein knows what he did with [the chemical weapons that are unaccounted for], and he has not come clean with the international community. We have evidence these weapons existed. What we don’t have is evidence from Iraq that they have been destroyed or where they are. That is what we are still waiting for. …

“Iraq’s record on chemical weapons is replete with lies. It took years for Iraq to finally admit that it had produced four tons of the deadly nerve agent vx.A single drop of vx on the skin will kill in minutes. Four tons. The admission only came out after inspectors collected documentation as a result of the defection of Hussein Kamal, Saddam Hussein’s late son-in-law. Unscom also gained forensic evidence that Iraq had produced vx and put it into weapons for delivery” (ibid.).

Imagine. One drop of the deadly vx nerve agent will kill in minutes! One drop! The Iraqis have four tons! And this report is from the son-in-law who was killed when he returned to Iraq—coaxed back by Saddam. At one time this son-in-law was considered to be Saddam’s replacement. He was in a position to know what was being done in Iraq.

Powell also said, “Our concern is not just about these elicit weapons. It’s the way that these elicit weapons can be connected to terrorists and terrorist organizations that have no compunction about using such devices against innocent people around the world.

“Iraq and terrorism go back decades. Baghdad trains Palestine Liberation Front members in small arms and explosives. Saddam uses the Arab Liberation Front to funnel money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers in order to prolong the intifada. And it’s no secret that Saddam’s own intelligence service was involved in dozens of attacks or attempted assassinations in the 1990s.”

Powell went on to tell the story of an al-Qaeda operative who is now detained. “This senior al-Qaeda terrorist was responsible for one of al-Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan. His information comes firsthand from his personal involvement at senior levels of al-Qaeda. He says bin Laden and his top deputy in Afghanistan, deceased al-Qaeda leader Muhammad Atif, did not believe that al-Qaeda labs in Afghanistan were capable enough to manufacture these chemical or biological agents. They needed to go somewhere else. They had to look outside of Afghanistan for help. Where did they go? Where did they look? They went to Iraq. … And unless we act, we are confronting an even more frightening future.

It defies imagination to think Saddam would not be connected to al-Qaeda! Look at his history.

And let’s not forget, America is the number-one terrorist target. We have already suffered mightily at their hands.

What will our future be like? Jesus Christ, the greatest Newscaster who ever lived, told us—almost 2,000 years ago.

Here is what He prophesied in your Bible: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [‘saved alive,’ Moffatt translation]: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24:21-22).

So much bad news. But look what it is directly connected to—the best news this world has ever heard! Those days will be shortened. The sooner we believe it, the better our future will be!

The big lesson we have failed to learn is that man cannot solve the chemical, biological and nuclear warfare problem. Only God can. When we learn this lesson and truly turn to God, we will solve this horrendous nightmare.