The ‘Pacifists’

The ‘Pacifists’
Vol: 18 Issue: 25 Tuesday, March 25, 2003

The United States formally raised the issue of the sale of sensitive equipment by Moscow to Iraq. Not just sensitive equipment, but sensitive MILITARY equipment, and not just over the last twelve years in violation of UN sanctions, but right up to the outbreak of the war. Weapons designed to serve as countermeasures to US weapons.

The information wasn’t leaked to a news reporter, but thundered from the podium by White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.

Washington has “credible evidence” that a Russian company has sold the Iraqis electronic equipment to jam the Global Positioning System signals used by U.S. precision-guided bombs and missiles, and this trade appears to be ongoing, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

“There is evidence that Russian firms also have supplied Iraq with night-vision goggles and anti-tank missiles,” Fleischer said. All such trade violates sanctions imposed on Iraq by the United Nations,” he said.

“President Putin assured President Bush that he would look into it, and President Bush said he looked forward to hearing the results,” Fleischer said.

The spokesman said the administration decided to take the issue to “the highest levels” after repeated complaints to other Russian officials in the past year failed to halt the sales.

“These issues have been raised repeatedly at various levels of the government, and now they have reached the highest levels today,” he said.

Before the two leaders spoke, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov publicly denied his country had traded in prohibited equipment with Iraq. “We did not send any goods, including military ones, that violated the sanctions,” Ivanov told reporters in Moscow. “No fact supporting the Americans’ anxiety has been found.”

That isn’t what the Russian papers are reporting. According to Pravda, the issue has been ‘good advertising’ for its military hardware, pointing to the allegedly ‘effective’ defense Iraq is putting up using Soviet equipment.

Secretary of State Colin Powell said Ivanov had told him that “with enough information and the right information, they would do something about” the alleged sales. But he added that U.S. officials believed they have already given the Russians more than enough leads to crack down if they wish to. “I must say that so far I am disappointed at the response,” Powell said on Fox News.

U.S. officials are convinced the Iraqis have been using the jamming equipment, but have not determined what effect, if any, it has had.

Powell said the equipment had the potential to cause problems for U.S. forces. “It is the kind of equipment that puts our men and women in harm’s way,” he said in the Fox interview. “It gives an advantage to the enemy, an advantage we don’t want them to have, and that’s our concern.”

Assessment:

This is the first of several cats to be let out of the bag, as we discussed several weeks ago in a previous briefing.

The Russians have been making black-market sales in violation of UN sanctions for twelve years, and reaping huge profits from them.

It is all about profit, but not the ‘blood for oil’ profit motive being leveled against the United States.

When Saddam realized that we were going to use GPS-guided munitions against his regime, he turned to the Russians, who had GPS jammers that immediately became worth their weight in gold.

It isn’t like Saddam could get them anywhere else. The offense here is several levels deep.

First, there is the cynical way that Moscow used the sanctions to squeeze the already starving Iraqis for twelve years, taking the oil-for-food money in exchange for weapons from a country where 5,000 Iraqi babies die each month.

Then there is the fact that the sales of these weapons would be illegal even without sanctions.

Then there is the purpose of the GPS munitions. They are designed to cause precision guided bombs to veer off course from their military targets, causing them to hit Iraqi civilian targets instead.

And finally, that the Russians sold those weapons to Saddam right up to the outbreak of the war, weapons designed to be used against American forces.

As we told you some time back, there is a reason why the Russians opposed war in Iraq, and it wasn’t motivated by any higher moral perspective.

France has also been selling military equipment to Iraq, including spare parts for Saddam’s fleet of Mirage fighters. That’s why the French remain adamantly opposed to the US getting its hands on Iraq’s records.

And the Germans have been selling the precursors and the chemicals necessary to amass Saddam’s arsenal of chemical weapons for years. The Germans have been caught dozens of times over the last twelve years while we looked the other way.

Germany’s ‘pacifist’ objections to military action against Iraq are a smokescreen behind which Germany helped Saddam build an arsenal of silent death.

Some have objected to my use of the term ‘useful idiots’ to describe the global anti-war protestors that marched in support of the Russian, French and German stand against the war.

They thought they were marching to help the Iraqi people live in peace. But they were really just helping their governments sell Saddam Hussein more weapons.

This entry was posted in Briefings by Pete Garcia. Bookmark the permalink.

About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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