Are There Weapons of Mass Destruction?

"Dear President Bush--I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
"Papa says, 'If you hear it from The Bush Administration, it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth, are there weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Virginia O'Hanlon









Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They exist as certainly as fear and terror and repression exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its deepest patriotic impulses. Alas! how false would our excuses for the invasion of Iraq be if there were no weapons of mass destruction! There would be no child-like faith in our government then, no blind patriotism, no jingoism to make tolerable this growing police state. We should have no endless increases in our military spending. The eternal conflicts with which our shadow government fills the world might be extinguished.

Not believe in weapons of mass destruction! You might as well not believe in boogeymen! You might get the United Nations to hire inspectors to search in all the nooks and crannies of Iraq to catch Saddam, but even if you did not see the weapons of mass destruction, what would that prove? Nobody sees the weapons, but that is no sign that there are no weapons. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart our reasons for the war on Iraq and see what little sense they make, but there is a veil covering our unseen motivations which not the strongest legislator, nor even the united strength of all the strongest peacemakers that ever lived, could tear apart. Only blind faith in the goodness of the neoconservative agenda can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No weapons of mass destruction! Thank God! they exist, and they will exist forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, they will continue to justify an Empire's attack on a defenseless country.