.S. President George W. Bush last month accused Baghdad, along with Iran and North Korea, of making up an "axis of evil" bent on backing international terrorism and developing weapons of mass destruction. It seems that Senator Joseph Lieberman has convinced the President that Bagdad is a threat to the United States and launching a military attack seems to be the only alternative. Other close advisors such as Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and the Defense Chairman of the Advisory Board, Richard Perle, are also calling for the bombing of Iraq as the only sure method of destroying this threat.
When Joseph Lieberman says that it's necessary to attack Iraq because Iraq is a threat to the United States, does he really think that smart Americans believe this? Does he really think that Iraq would attack the United States? Senator Lieberman must take you and me for a fool. Let me tell you why this is utter nonsense. No one can launch an intercontinental ballistic missile without the United States instantly knowing its exact location. Therefore, any small country that launches a missile in our direction will know that it is committing national suicide. The warheads on just one of our submarines could cause these small countries literally to cease to exist. How long did it take the United States to defeat Iraq in the Gulf War? The last time I looked it was 38 seconds, and that was with conventional warfare, not nuclear, which the United States has more of than all nations combined times 1000.
If Iraq hit the United States with one or two missles, despite the loss of life, would strategically be nothing more than a pinprick. It would be like poking a sleeping bear. All you would do is make the bear mad. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that Iraq or Iran, or for that matter North Korea would trade national suicide for inflicting minimal damage on the United States. And building a force of ICBMs large enough to be real threat is beyond the economic capabilities of those three countries.
So why did Senator Joseph Lieberman convince President Bush to focus on Iraq as a threat? I'll tell you why. It's not the United States that Senator Lieberman is concerned about. We know that Iraq is not a threat to the United States. Iraq is a threat to Israel. Senator Lieberman and other pro-Israelis in Washington don't want anyone else in the Middle East to own Nuclear weapons except Israel. It's Israel, not the United States, that Lieberman is concerned about. And he is willing to risk American lives and American money to insure that Israel is the super power in the Middle East. Isn't it odd that while Lieberman is pushing for a bombing of Iraq, it's the Israelis who are inflicting most of the casualties in Middle East with its current bombing campaign. In just the last 2 days the Israelis have killed 29 Palestinians, and most of them are innocent civilians including children. Iraq hasn't killed anyone since the Gulf War, and that's been 11 years ago. In just the last 17 months the Israelis have killed over 900 Palestinians and have demolished more than 300 homes causing more than 1500 children to become homeless. And the Israelis have been doing this with F-16 fighter jets, M1A1 Abram tanks, 155mm howitzers, Chaparral and Sidewinder missiles, and Apache and Cobra attack helicopters all supplied by the good 'ole United States.
When President Bush talks about the threat of countries with weapons of mass destruction, he always adds ``and our allies.'' Iraq and Iran are not a threat to the United States or to Europe. They are a threat to Israel. North Korea is not a threat to the United States, but the Israelis greatly fear that North Korea will sell missiles to Iran and Iraq. So when Senator Lieberman says that Iraq is a threat to the United States, he really means that Iraq is a threat to Israel. His loyalty isn't so much with the United States; its more with Israel, and that's not right. And you know what? I'll bet most of the people, including President Bush already understands that, but are too scared to challenge him. After all, to challenge or criticize Israel is political suicide. Too many politicians have learned the hard way in that criticizing Israel is like turning the lights off to one's political career. And in the meantime, partly to justify this boondoggle, the United States is embarking on a reckless foreign policy that is more likely to produce war than peace. We should be talking to the Iraqis, the Iranians and the North Koreans rather than making reckless statements on global television that amount to a declaration of war. It can prove to be a deadly mistake to start believing your own deceptions and propaganda.
We are not the Big Daddy Boss of the world, and just because others disagree with our policies or decline to jump when we tell them to jump doesn't mean they are our enemies. And that's why the United States is and will be so vulnerable for more attacks on its own soil. They will be vulnerable and they will be targeted, unless America wakes up. It's time for all of us to know the truth and act accordingly.
James J. David is a retired Brigadier General and a graduate of the U.S. Army's Command and General Staff College, and the National Security Course, National Defense University, Washington DC. He served nearly 3 years of Army active duty in and around the Middle East from 1967-1969.