Jude Wanniski
September 24, 2001


Memo To: Kabul and Baghdad
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: Join the Coalition!!

A few hours after the terrorists struck Sept. 11, I called a friend in Washington to discuss the situation, but he immediately burst out: I know, I know, we’ve been waiting for this and now it’s come, but I don’t want to hear anything from you except we have to kill them. We know who they are and we have to go get them and KILL THEM!! You see, fellows, there was no room for reason in the hours and days after the attack on America. He yelled over the phone: “I know you’re going to say we invited the attack on Pearl Harbor and that we invited this attack, and I agree with you, but I don’t want to talk about it. We have to find them and kill them!!” I spoke as softly and gently as I could, as it sounded as if he might have a heart attack if I responded in kind, and I remember saying: “Well, okay, but the guys who did it executed themselves. But if you find me a terrorist who helped them and give me a gun and I will personally kill him.” I probably couldn’t, you know, but I did mean that I would completely support any effort to get them and kill them, if we had the goods on them. At that moment, it wasn’t good to suggest a fair trial, so he screamed at me once more and hung up. We have not spoken since, although I e-mail him every other day or so, to see if he has cooled down, but there is still no response.

What worried me, of course, was that our government would respond the way my friend did, and I knew the Pentagon would be getting that kind of advice from some of the civilian “intellectuals” who advise the Defense Secretary. But I did figure that Secretary of State Colin Powell and Vice President Cheney were cool heads. Remember it was they who resisted the nitwit advice from these same civilian “intellectuals” in 1991, when we had pushed your guys, Mr. Hussein, out of Kuwait. If we had broken the coalition and marched into Baghdad, I think there would have been bigtime terrorism right then and there, to say nothing of weapons of mass destruction on the troops of Desert Storm. You may have noticed the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, which is currently braided, last week had an editorial telling Cheney and Powell: “I bet you are sorry you did not chase those Iraqi troops into Baghdad and kill them all when you had the chance.” Please forgive the Journal, as they have all this time been enthralled by the same nitwits who advise the Pentagon.

Anyway, I have not yet had to make good on my promise to put a bullet through the head of a convicted terrorist because so far there are none. I’m not saying I’m glad there are no convicted terrorists, because I wish there were. I mean the cool heads have remained cool, and there have been no bombings of innocent civilians in the Islamic world, to add to those we have been bombing over the last several years, for target practice. That’s all to the good. Saturday, another friend who has maintained contact told me he thought we would soon be bombing Kabul to get Osama bin Laden, if you would not give him up. I asked my friend, “Suppose the Taliban says he and his crew have taken off for parts unknown?” Well, that had not occurred to him. Like most armchair strategists, he can only chessboard one move at a time. Lo and behold, this morning the first thing I find on the news shows is that the Taliban says “Bin Laden is MISSING!!!” Our officials are now doing a lot of huffing and puffing about going in to root out his lieutenants, as if they know where they are, but I have a suggestion: Why not invite the United Nations into Kabul to have a look around, and if they can find Osama or his lieutenants, they have permission to wrap them up and take them away, and do with him what they will. You need a quick infusion of funds, and it is always good for an economy to have UN and US troops running around a country like yours, spending euros and dollars. When they do not find anything, they will leave, as they really don’t want to go in there in the first place.

Your problem, Saddam, is that when the Bin Laden trail turns cold as ice, our government will have to satisfy my bloodthirsty friend in Washington with someone’s head on a platter. I noticed Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joseph Biden tell CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Sunday that he can’t divulge any secrets, but that he has heard that there is no talk of bombing Syria or Iran, but there has been some talk of Iraq!! So much for secrets. But I have some good advice for you, Mr. President of Iraq. I think our embargo, which we never intended to lift no matter what you did at the end of the Gulf War, has sent enough our your citizens to Allah. I think what you should do is offer to allow the United Nations weapons inspectors to come into Iraq and look around anywhere they want. You did this before, in the belief that after they even looked under your bed and found nothing, they would lift the embargo and those little children and old folks would stop expiring from malnutrition and disease. They did sent a bunch of inspectors, not to look for weapons, but to try and figure out where you were, so they could bump you off. They never had any intention of lifting the embargo and were prepared to see every last Iraqi pushing up daisies, or whatever you push up in the desert, until you were dead, you rascal you.

What to do? Announce that if the United Nations lifts the embargo, really lifts the embargo, you will not only allow the UN inspectors back into your bedroom to look for chemical or biological weapons, but you will also turn over Osama bin Laden or any of his lieutenants if they so much as stick their noses across the Iraqi border. What could we say? To have Saddam Hussein on the side of the good guys, as you were when you were fighting the bad guys in Teheran! What a coup!! How could we resist. If we said no, Saddam, the American people and all those other folks in Europe who are afraid of terrorists would start to ask questions. And the nitwits who advise the Pentagon do not want those questions asked. I tried to get Senator Jesse Helms to make inquiry in 1998, when he was still chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, but instead he decided to chair the Taliban wing of the Republican Party. He is going into retirement, thank goodness, but on Evans&Novak, Hunt&Shields, which you probably saw on CNN in Kabul and Baghdad, Jesse this weekend said we should just bomb you all to smithereens. If you would now both jointly announce that he has scared the dickens out of you, and that you will now join the anti-terrorist coalition, it would be a feather in his cap. And it may end this madness as well.