About Those WMD in Syria

About Those WMD in Syria

PHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images

Why isn’t the media curious about where they came from?

When the highly controversial Iraq War failed to uncover the massive stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the mainstream media went berserk. After David Kay, then head of the Iraq Survey Group (isg), concluded in January 2004 that wmd would probably not be found, online news sources produced nearly 10,000 stories about the “missing” wmd over the course of one month.

Prior to that time, of course, the experts, security officials, United Nations inspectors and media elites were in unanimous agreement: Saddam had wmd, he used them not once, but several times, and he knew how to build more and had the means to continue doing so.

But none of this mattered after the Iraq War. All that mattered in 2004, in the minds of the liberal establishment, was that the gunslinger in the White House had lied to us about those stockpiles.

And yet, even as the isg was putting the finishing touches on its politically motivated report in 2004, a massive chemical weapons attack was narrowly averted in, of all places, Jordan. In April of that year, Jordanian authorities arrested al Qaeda operatives possessing 20 tons of chemical weapons they planned to use in an attack on top Jordanian government offices and the U.S. Embassy. It was estimated that the attack, had it been successful, could have obliterated more than 20,000 people. Despite the large-scale nature of the would-be attack, media coverage was scant.

Jordanian authorities said the weapons came from Syria. Few people, however, were curious about how Syria may have obtained those chemical weapons.

At the time, my father asked, “Have some of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (wmd) been found in Jordan?”

John Loftus, former Justice Department prosecutor and terrorism expert, was one other lone voice who wondered about the source of those weapons. He said at the time, “There’s a lot of reason to think [the source of the chemicals] might be Iraq. We captured Iraqi members of al Qaeda, who’ve been trained in Iraq … and now they’re in Jordan with nerve gas. … You have to have obtained it from someplace.”

More recently, columnist Dore Gold offered this concise analysis: “It is not entirely clear where [the terrorists] obtained tons of chemical weapons from in 2004, but what is known is that the borders between Iraq, Syria and Jordan were completely open. Anyone with a truck full of chemical or biological weapons—or a nuclear bomb in the future—could make his way across the desert and penetrate his neighbor’s territory.”

As it happens, there were reports in 2003 of significant truck movement between Iraq and Syria just prior to the U.S. invasion. According to Loftus, who has had access to some of the highest security clearances in the world, “The best U.S. and allied intelligence say that in the 10 weeks before the Iraq War, Saddam’s Russian adviser told him to get rid of all the nerve gas. … So they shipped it across the border to Syria and Lebanon and buried it.”

Loftus also cited Israeli intelligence officials and a Syrian journalist who defected to Paris as credible sources that had identified three places in Syria where chemical weapons had been buried. Additional evidence from Iraqi documents seized during the war indicates that Iraq received assistance from Russia in transporting weapons and missile components across the border.

All of this evidence was later corroborated by one of Saddam’s former generals, Georges Sada. He says he is “absolutely certain” wmd were transferred to Syria just before the war started in 2003.

Today, with Syria engulfed in civil war and Bashar Assad’s regime teetering in the balance, there is an understandable degree of panic about what might happen to Syria’s chemical weapons in the event of a regime change. Columnists Dore Gold and Melanie Phillips both highlighted possible doomsday scenarios that could play out regarding the stockpiles. Syria could use them on foreign “attackers” as it threatened to do last month, should the international community attempt to intervene in the Syrian civil war. Or the weapons could fall into the hands of Hezbollah or other terrorists, either amid the chaos of a fallen regime, or via the Syrian government simply handing them over to terrorist allies before surrendering.

These are all valid concerns that have been raised by a number of Western officials and media outlets.

Hardly anyone, though, has bothered to ask about how Syria managed to acquire such a massive stockpile of wmd. Syria’s short-lived nuclear weapons program was obliterated by an Israeli airstrike in 2007. It hasn’t used wmd on its own people like Saddam did. It’s never had the reputation for being a large-scale manufacturer of wmd—certainly not like pre-2003 Iraq.

And yet last month, when Assad’s government acknowledged that it possessed a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, no one doubted the claim. There were no intelligence reports theorizing that Syria suspended its wmd program years ago—or saying that the stockpiles simply do not exist.

No—everyone knows they exist. But no one asks how they got there in the first place, because raising that question would lift the veil covering the media’s shameful record of deception and lies.

A New German Constitution ‘Seems Inevitable’

A New German Constitution ‘Seems Inevitable’

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The euro crisis is forcing Germany to consider radical changes to its political system—and could even push Germany to introduce a new constitution.

Senior German politicians from all major parties, including Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, head of the Christian Social Union (csu) Horst Seehofer and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, have called for referenda on Germany’s place in Europe.

As Spiegel Online pointed out August 10, all roads to a referendum seem to lead to a change or complete replacement of Germany’s constitution, or Basic Law. The Basic Law doesn’t give a role for referenda for these kind of decisions. But politicians like Seehofer have suggested that Germany voluntarily change the constitution to require a referendum before giving more powers to Brussels, enlarging the European Union or giving German money to bail out other EU nations.

But Spiegel points out that the more probable path is that Germany will be forced, by the euro crisis, to write a new constitution, and have it voted on by the public.

Many expect the German Constitutional Court to soon announce that Germany has gone as far toward a European superstate as is allowed by the constitution. Spiegel writes that a referendum to endorse a new constitution “seems inevitable.”

Spiegel speculates that this new constitution could be part of a new EU-wide constitution, expanding the powers of European government. Foreign Minister Westerwelle endorsed this idea, saying, “I hope that we have a real European constitution and that there will also be a referendum on it.”

The idea of creating a political union, with more powers concentrated at the EU level, is gaining ground among all the major political parties, with the exception of the csu.

In order to get the German populace to agree to give more power to a central European body—and therefore give more money in bailouts—other nations will have to convince the German people that their money won’t be squandered. When it comes to handing over sovereignty, populations are harder to persuade than politicians. The need for a referendum will ensure that Germany gets its way when Europe is reorganized.

A new constitution could also be a catalyst for great political change. It would throw the way Germany is run wide open to debate. Constitutions are finely balanced documents. Re-writing Germany’s could have huge side effects.

Watch this space closely. The Bible prophesies that Germany will soon undergo a radical political transformation. A new German constitution could help that happen.

Thousands of Young Illegal Aliens Line Up for Deportation Deferrals

Hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants scrambled to obtain documentation on Wednesday as the United States government began accepting their applications for temporary work permits.

In June, President Barack Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program after Hispanic voters and others said he hadn’t fulfilled his campaign promise to revamp the U.S.’s jumbled immigration laws. The new strategy is to discontinue deportation of many illegal immigrants who came into the U.S. as children.

The Migration Policy Institute and the Pew Hispanic Center calculate that about 1.7 million people will be eligible to stay in the U.S. and obtain work legally under the new plan.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program openly disregards Congress, America’s existing immigration laws and the U.S. Constitution. To understand the sobering implications of the Obama administration’s flagrant disregard of the Constitution, read “President Obama Appeases Immigrants by Sidestepping Congress.”

The Good, the Great and the Magnificent

From the September 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

A truly great concert does something to the human spirit. It nurtures. It leaves one stirred, uplifted, refreshed—even inspired.

On the campus of Herbert W. Armstrong College, where the Philadelphia Trumpet offices are located, sits a jewel of a concert hall: Armstrong Auditorium. Designed for acoustic perfection and constructed from some of the finest materials in the world, this opulent auditorium is a perfect setting for showcasing the best in the performing arts. Its motto: “Concert-going as it’s meant to be.”

Armstrong Auditorium’s world-class concert series hosts some of the greatest performing artists—the Vienna Boys Choir, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the Eroica Trio, Chanticleer, the Canadian Brass, the Berlin Philharmonic Winds—aiming to give audiences the most magnificent, uplifting experiences possible.

We invite you to Edmond, Oklahoma, to experience one of these events. This coming season of concerts, which begins in November, includes An Evening With Branford Marsalis, the Russian National Ballet Theatre staging perennial favorites Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet, and performances by the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet, the China National Symphony Orchestra and baritone Nathan Gunn.

For tickets, visit ArmstrongAuditorium.org or call 405-285-1010.

A Look in the Mirror

From the September 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

As much as we would like to vent our disgust at the big evil banks, perhaps we should take a closer look at ourselves, too. Bankster culture is little different than everyday culture.

No one was complaining when the big banks offered low-document/no-document liar’s loans to anyone with a pulse who wanted to buy a house. Everyone liked it when cheap credit from the banks caused house prices to rise and the stock market to boom. The majority of people still don’t want to cut government spending, even though we have to borrow unsustainable amounts to pay for it. And how many of us just happily “keep the change” when a bank error happens in our favor?

Meanwhile, we all relish playing “gotcha” with irresponsible bankers—as if that somehow ameliorates the fact that most people can’t even put their own financial houses in order. The banks may have been the biggest actor in the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting high unemployment, but they had a full supporting cast. The housing bubble was only possible because of the huge supply of homebuyers willing to speculate with borrowed money on ever rising prices. And those homebuyers were aided by crooked real-estate agents and house appraisers who were willing to fudge the numbers. There must be an honest inquiry into the actions of the banks. But we all need to take a long, hard, honest look in the mirror too.

It’s Hurting Our Sons, Too

From the September 2012 Trumpet Print Edition

The pervasive push for girls to become sexy is demonstrably hurting our daughters in several ways. One of them comes from the damage done to our sons.

Society’s fraudulent measure of beauty has found lodgment in the minds of males everywhere. Even in grade schools, boys are increasingly judging girls by standards they see in movies, magazines, television and—more and more—pornography.

Thanks to the Internet and mobile devices, sexually explicit material is now readily accessible to our youth. And as distorted as the image of glamour and fashion is, it’s far more horrific in pornography.

In July, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston revealed one chilling effect of pornography going mainstream. A survey of 1,000 public high school students across seven Texan schools found that nearly six in ten of the students had been asked to send a nude picture of themselves through e-mail or text. Nearly 30 percent of students had sent one. Other studies suggest the practice is not as prevalent in teens as that survey suggests—yet—but is more common among young adults.

Several studies show that consumption of pornography alters sexual behavior. Researcher Dr. Linda Papadopoulos says that multiplying depictions of sexualized girls and “infantilized women” is fueling a market for child pornography and could even make child abuse and sexual exploitation more common. A recent European Union report on pornography issued a similar warning for the future: “For some men, the teen [pornography websites] were just a stepping stone to the real thing, as they moved seamlessly from adult women to children.”