Remedial History Lessons

The greatest weapon of mass destruction has been destroyed by the Iraq war.

It was Saddam Hussein's (search) regime — history’s biggest killer of Muslims, with upwards of 1,000,000 in the wars he launched, plus 300,000 (and counting) in the mass graves being uncovered daily around Iraq.

The spectacle of Islamic leaders grumbling at us for a war which ended the biggest killing spree of Muslims ever shows that Islamic leaders will grumble at us for anything. And do.

For self-styled “peace advocates” to remain bitter at President Bush for liberating Iraq shows their acceptance of the peace of the dead above human life.

Hundreds of children — eight, nine, 10, 11 years old — languished in Saddam’s prisons before being freed by coalition forces. I’d like these “peace advocates” and sundry Muslim leaders to meet in a room with these kids 10 years from now and explain why they should have remained in Saddam’s dungeons instead of living their lives.

The third wave of blasting Bush is underway — now gleefully piling on the lack of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) yet found in Iraq.

The first wave attempted to block Bush’s launching the liberation. Its key weapon was rampant fear-mongering. For instance, Brookings Institution (search) analysts Philip H. Gordon and Michael E. O'Hanlon concluded, among many other dire warnings, that "the United States could lose thousands of troops" in a war in Iraq.

Other commentators were yet scarier. Attempting regime change would trigger Scud and other missile attacks to obliterate Israel and U.S. troops stationed in the region; provoke the igniting of thousands of Iraqi oil fields; prompt a wave of terrorism across America; impel mobs into the Arab street to foment revolution against friendly regimes; cause flooding across Iraqi plains; induce Saddam Hussein to attack us and his own people with chemical and biological weapons.

This fear-mongering list could go on (and usually did!).

Taking first prize among the many frightful forecasters was the respected former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft (search). His influential Wall Street Journal piece of Aug. 15, 2002, said Israel "would have to expect to be the first casualty," which could easily cause that country "to respond, perhaps with nuclear weapons, unleashing an Armageddon in the Middle East."

While we in the liberate-Iraq camp have been castigated for exaggeration, nothing any of us said, or even suggested, can match that.

The second wave of Bush-blasting came during the war, with some retired U.S. generals — virtually “embedded” in television studios, as Vice President Cheney quipped — lamenting that there were too few coalition troops and too much Iraqi resistance. Quick as a flash, The New York Times rolled into its reflex action of trotting out the Q word. Another quagmire; another Vietnam.

Just as the “this is no cakewalk” cliché was gaining traction, U.S. Marines cakewalked into Baghdad in half the time with half the casualties of the initial Gulf War (which was often acknowledged to be a cakewalk).

The third wave is more promising at this point. At least, it’s not been totally disproved yet.

It holds that Bush launched the war merely over Saddam’s maintaining and developing gobs of weapons of mass destruction and having ties to international terrorist networks.

I’ll admit that I’m surprised we haven’t found gobs of weapons of mass destruction yet. Surely the impression given of their size and proximity to the battlefield front was greater than we found them to be.

Yet if Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction program, why would he pretend he had?

Why would he give 15 out of the 15 members of the U.N. Security Council (including Syria) reason to find him in “material breach” of previous U.N. resolutions that mandated that he end any weapons of mass destruction program?

And why would he forgo some $180 billion worth of income — the estimate from 12 years of U.N. imposed sanctions — rather than come clean and show that his actions justified lifting the embargo?

Saddam was evil, but wasn’t that stupid.

Confessions by top Iraqis and discoveries by top U.S. weapons investigators will reveal his ties to the weapons of mass destruction and international terrorists. The third wave will get disproved.

Yet by then, a fourth wave of Bush-blasting will likely have begun.

Kenneth Adelman is a frequent guest commentator on Fox News, was assistant to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld from 1975 to 1977 and, under President Ronald Reagan, U.N. ambassador and arms-control director. Mr. Adelman is now co-host of