Precisely the situation I described has been revealed regarding the missing explosives in Iraq. As noted on the Belmont Club, last night’s NBC broadcast had this to say:
|::::::::||NBC News: Miklaszewski: “April 10, 2003, only three weeks into the war, NBC News was embedded with troops from the Army’s 101st Airborne as they temporarily take over the Al Qakaa weapons installation south of Baghdad. But these troops never found the nearly 380 tons of some of the most powerful conventional explosives, called HMX and RDX, which is now missing. The U.S. troops did find large stockpiles of more conventional weapons, but no HMX or RDX, so powerful less than a pound brought down Pan Am 103 in 1988, and can be used to trigger a nuclear weapon. In a letter this month, the Iraqi interim government told the International Atomic Energy Agency the high explosives were lost to theft and looting due to lack of security. Critics claim there were simply not enough U.S. troops to guard hundreds of weapons stockpiles, weapons now being used by insurgents and terrorists to wage a guerrilla war in Iraq.” (NBC’s “Nightly News,” 10/25/04)||::::::::|
I note that the same critics also say there’s too many troops over there, too. The bottom line is that the explosives the IAEA said were there weren’t there when we arrived. Were they removed before the invasion even began? No one knows. Camp Kerry and his supporters automatically assume it’s because President Bush didn’t call up some platoon commander over in Iraq, provide the driving directions, instruct those men to ignore the fact that they’re part of a war strategy and get over to a location to secure some explosives we’re told by the UN are there. Maybe. They think.
The troops got to the site when they could do so as part of the overall war strategy and found no material there that needed securing. They moved on to their other objectives. The aforementioned critics now want to make it sound like the troops could have been designated to just pop into place at all manner of sites around the country with no regard to how they could have moved there as part of a coordinated movement. There’s no case of criminal action or general incompetence here. Until someone can show that the explosives the IAEA says were there weren’t removed by Saddam’s forces before Coalition troops started coming over the border, then calls of “incompetence” are unfounded.