Last month it was reported that Iraqi chemical weapons had fallen in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL) hands. Now, a letter by Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon confirms the seriousness of the situation.
Reuters reported Wednesday:
Iraq’s government has lost control of a former chemical weapons facility to “armed terrorist groups” and is unable to fulfill its international obligations to destroy toxins kept there, the country’s U.N. envoy told the United Nations.
In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, made public on Tuesday, Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said the Muthanna facility north of Baghdad was seized on June 11. He said remnants of a former chemical weapons program are kept in two bunkers there.
“The project management spotted at dawn on Thursday, 12 June 2014, through the camera surveillance system, the looting of some of the project equipment and appliances, before the terrorists disabled the surveillance system,” Alhakim wrote in the letter dated June 30. …
“The Government of Iraq requests the States Members of the United Nations to understand the current inability of Iraq, owing to the deterioration of the security situation, to fulfill its obligations to destroy chemical weapons,” he said.
In June, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said that it was “not likely” that the weapons would be used on anyone. How reassuring.
Given this latest news, it might be a good time for a flashback to January, 2014. You might remember a the moment in time where President Obama referred to ISIL as a “J.V. team” who were wannabe Kobe Bryants. (Note: flippantly referring to Islamic jihadists with sports analogies apparently proves to reporters and young voters that you are cool.)
The New Yorker’s David Remnick reported in January:
I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Falluja, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.
“The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,” Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. “I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.
“Let’s just keep in mind, Falluja is a profoundly conservative Sunni city in a country that, independent of anything we do, is deeply divided along sectarian lines. And how we think about terrorism has to be defined and specific enough that it doesn’t lead us to think that any horrible actions that take place around the world that are motivated in part by an extremist Islamic ideology are a direct threat to us or something that we have to wade into.”
It turns out the “J.V.” team now controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq. Would the president still say his analogy was “accurate”? It also turns out that the “horrible actions” taking place in Syria and Iraq are exactly what the president didn’t want us to think — the work of an Islamic ideology that is a direct threat to the United States.
Fact: Abu Bakr al Baghdadi told American troops in 2009 “I’ll see you in New York.”
Fact: Abu Bakr al Baghdadi is now the “caliph” of Islamic State, a terrorist Army with weapons, funding, new recruits flocking to the region, and a scary-saavy understanding of social media platforms.
Add to this that Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri — the terrorist engineer behind the underwear bomb that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab used to try and bring down a Detroit airliner on Christmas, 2009 — and you’ve got a serious national security situation.
So George W. Bush is an idiot because there were no chemical weapons in Iraq — except that there is, by the admission of the Iraqi government to the United Nations. We now have a groveling letter to the international community asking countries to “understand” that Iraqi officials didn’t want to let those toxins get into the hands of terrorists, but that the “J.V.” team Obama laughed at wasn’t really a J.V. team. They were really hard-core Islamic radicals intent on creating a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.
Here’s something else to chew on: the CDC freaked out on Tuesday because of six forgotten vials of smallpox at a Maryland lab, but yet terrorists steal two bunkers filled with chemical weapons in Iraq and George W. Bush is still a liar. (How does one forget that he has vials of smallpox in his possession?)
Reuters reported on the vials of smallpox on Tuesday:
Infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Osterholm said the discovery of abandoned vials of smallpox is a reminder to labs globally to take stock of what is in their freezers.
Although there have been concerns smallpox could be used in bioterrorism, the CDC says the chances of that occurring are very low. Currently, the government has a stockpile containing enough vaccine for every U.S. citizen.
The bigger threat, Osterholm said, is that these vials could have fallen into the hands of someone who would convert them into an aerosolized form and use them as a bioterror weapon.
“That could be a disaster,” he said.
Apparently the standard for finding chemical weapons in Iraq isn’t a handful of vials or even bunkers filled with chemical weapons, but a large castle with a neon glowing sign that says in Arabic and English “Chemical Weapons Found Here!” where Iraqi soldiers in Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP gear) roll around in chemical weapons like Scrooge McDuck rolls around in money.
Regardless, I’m looking forward to seeing reporters grill the president on his “accurate” assessment that ISIL is just a “local” group of Sunni malcontents with no long term plans to attack Americans or American interests around the globe. Or not, because Mr. Obama was sold as the world’s most intelligent man and now media personalities are invested in saving their last remaining bits of credibility.