Regardless of what Sen. Rick Santorum and the lunatic neoconservative fringe want to think, no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq. Citing a classified Department of Defense report that claims some 500 artillery shells have been found in Iraq by U.S. forces since the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq in March 2003, Santorum and his cronies in the right-wing media have been spouting nonsense about how Bush got it right all along, that there were WMD in Iraq after all. He conveniently fails to report that there is nothing "secret" about this data, it has all been reported before (by the Bush administration, nonetheless), and that the shells in question constitute old artillery munitions manufactured well prior to 1991 (the year of the first Gulf War, and a time after which the government of Saddam Hussein stated -- correctly, it turned out -- that no WMD were produced in Iraq). The degraded sarin nerve agent and mustard blister agent contained in the discovered munitions had long since lost their viability, and as such represented no threat whatsoever. Furthermore, the haphazard way in which they were "discovered" (lying about the ground, as opposed to carefully stored away) only reinforces the Iraqi government's past claims that many chemical munitions were scattered about the desert countryside in remote areas following U.S. bombing attacks on the ammunition storage depots during the first Gulf War. Having personally inspected scores of these bombed-out depots, I can vouch for the veracity of the past Iraqi claims, as well as the absurdity of the claims made today by Santorum and others, who continue to hold personal political gain as being worth more than the blood of over 2,500 dead Americans.
By the way, The Opinion Journal piece linked to above was brought to my attention via a daily email from Albert Mohler. I also see that Andrew Sandlin linked to the Fox News story on the "missing" WMDs and said, "Chalk one up for George W. Bush, and take a point away from the lefties." As you can see, Christians are buying this all lock, stock, and barrel--which should come as no surprise.
Speaking of Christian warmongers, World Magazine interviewed Chris Hitchens. Hitch may or may not have been sober during the discussion, but he did manage to spew out this little bit of blasphemy: "[Jesus on the cross] is scapegoating that absolves one of all responsibility in return for the acceptance of the incredible and the undesirable. And then with the other shoe, the other hand, says if you don't believe it, then we have a real program of torture that will go on forever. It's disgusting." Though a Christ-hater, Hitchens has gained many admirers on the Right, "Christian" and Neocon, for his unabashed bloodthirstiness. As Gene Healy says, "Insult our Savior, defame our religion, support the president: you're pretty swell, all things considered. The war must be very, very important to Christian conservatives."
It isn't really that strange, I suppose, that Neocons have embraced Hitch. To paraphrase Richard Nixon, they're all Trotskyists now. But here is a recent essay by Albert Mohler on Hitchens that, while generally critical, makes this startling claim, "Rejecting this moral relativism as both dangerous and intellectually bankrupt, Christopher Hitchens took many observers in the literary and political worlds by surprise when he became an ardent supporter of the 'War on Terror' and declared himself the sworn enemy of any relativistic ideology that would confuse the evil of terrorism with the good of freedom."
So here are a couple of quick examples of Hichen's moral sturdiness. When asked about "9-11," Hitchens explained his sense of excitement and exhiliration:
Watching the towers fall in New York, with civilians incinerated on the planes and in the buildings, I felt something that I couldn’t analyze at first and didn’t fully grasp (partly because I was far from my family in Washington, who had a very grueling day) until the day itself was nearly over. I am only slightly embarrassed to tell you that this was a feeling of exhilaration. Here we are then, I was thinking, in a war to the finish between everything I love and everything I hate. Fine. We will win and they will lose. A pity that we let them pick the time and place of the challenge, but we can and we will make up for that.
Speaking of the Iraq war, Hitch said, "It is glorious and it IS my war because it needed Paul Wolfowitz and myself to go and convince the President to go to war. And we are going to kill every Al Qaida terrist and Baathist in the country and that's a good thing. They need to be killed and we will kill them."
Dismissing "moral relativsim," Hitchens also claims Mother Teresa "helped to kill millions of people" and blames Pope John Paul for the deaths of "millions" from AIDS. Meanwhile, Hitch venerates the likes of Trotsky, Lenin, and Stalin. Yet according to Mohler, this joker has become "the sworn enemy of any relativistic ideology that would confuse the evil of terrorism with the good of freedom."
Gary North concludes that home schools are better than private schools. Chad Degenart's comments on North's revelation are of interest.
It was no surprise that Sunni's would oppose occupation.
I'll probably throw up some quotes later, but Aaron Wolfe has a funny little essay poking fun at "church growth" wackiness in the latest issue of Chronicles. Effectively, Wolfe says that catering to the whims of "church shoppers" and the ever present "unchurched" does little more than foster a cultue of individualism. From the NY Times is an example of marketing the church, "Mr. Hur and the other pastors at the church are big soccer fans, and in their quest for new missionary methods, they have organized the viewings of games in this year's tournament in the hope of drawing new members to the church, and to Christ. Some of the games have drawn more than 1,000 fans, they said."