Skip to comments.What To Say About WMD
Posted on 03/13/2004 7:17:21 PM PST by Lando Lincoln
The United States wasnt alone in believing there were WMD in Iraq, just in being worried enough to do something about it.
From the moment President Bush first uttered the phrase Axis of Evil, it was clear at least it was clear enough to be mentioned in this space he had an eye on Iraq; it was the only member of the axis that could logically be invaded. Why logically? More than Iran and North Korea, Saddam Hussein had most openly defied the will of the world. It was the will of the world (in staggered amounts of manpower and money) that forced him out of Kuwait and passed nearly twenty United Nations resolutions making plain the conditions of the Iraqi surrender (at the end of the Gulf War) werent suggestions, but demands. And not to make too fine a point of it, but we knew Hussein had weapons of mass destruction because, well, we still had the receipts.
Lets forget for a moment the suggestion President Bush had Hussein targeted from inauguration day: In a country where the World Trade center hadnt collapsed, Saddam and the boys may very well have been left alone. Lets face it, most of your dictators are left alone. At the time of the Axis of Evil we were unsure of Irans capabilities and intentions but were fairly confident in the knowledge North Korea was more likely to drop the Bomb in South Korea than it was to attempt to fly one into Manhattan. The concern, the very legitimate concern, was that although Hussein didnt have the capability to drop an anthrax bomb on New York City, there was nothing stopping him from selling anthrax to more motivated nations or terrorist outfits (e.g., al Qaeda).
So it was that Saddam Hussein was told to reveal all WMD in his possession by a certain day in December 2002. What arrived was fragmented volumes of documents and computer discs admitting to certain quantities of VX nerve gas (3.9 tons worth), sarin gas (812 tons) and anthrax (2,200 gallons). But nothing was said of other WMD known to exist when the United Nations was booted out of Iraq in 1998. Came this message: You cant be trusted, and its going to be either the weapons or you; its sure as hell not going to be us in any case.
The rest is history.
Now look: Republicans and I was certainly one of them made no small point of connecting the necessity of the Iraqi War to WMD, that Husseins instability made Americas security all the more important. In the last ten months we have unseated a dictator and killed his barbarian sons; we have uncovered dozens of mass graves holding hundreds of thousands of corpses; we have heard tragic tales of rape and torture. But we havent found weapons of mass destruction, and the odds are good were not going to find them, at least not in Iraq. (Syria may be another story.) If you parse the Kay report you will find intent and wheels in motion, but no weapons.
How does the administration 1) explain the mistake and 2) sufficiently rebound? The first part turns out to be simpler than one would think, the question being whether non-partisans will accept it: The intelligence was bad. From the United States to the United Nations, from Great Britain to Germany, from Russia to France; from Kofi Annan to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush, from Tony Blair to Gerhardt Schroeder, from Vladimir Putin to Jacques Chirac. The United States wasnt alone in believing there were WMD in Iraq, just in being worried enough to do something about it.
The rebound is another story, a cause not helped by the presidents disastrous appearance on Meet the Press. What really needed to be said simply couldnt by any man taking reelection more seriously than the idea of the buck stopping at his desk. What would have helped? Namely: Under my watch, the military was sent into Iraq because all reliable intelligence from around the world suggested WMD were there. As of today, no WMD have been found. My administration will find out why the intelligence was faulty. In the meantime, if there is an American citizen who can look himself in the mirror and honestly believe America, Iraq and the Middle East genuinely arent better off with Saddam Hussein out of power, then they should vote for John Kerry.
It wouldnt stop the second guessing and the character assassinations and the random shots fired from the stump by Nominee Kerry. But it would at least be honest, something America so desperately needs.
Brian Wise is the lead columnist for IntellectualConservative.com.
Chemical warhead found at an Iraqi air base, marked with a green band,
the symbol for chemical weaponry. Trace amounts of a nerve agent were found
at two spots along the ~meter-long warhead. These amounts are consistent with
leakage from the chemically armed weapon. A 13-foot missile was found next to it.
========= Halabja =========
Dead children, previously playing in Halabja
Victims of Saddams' WMD in March 1988.
=========== Documents linking Atta, Saddam, Nidal, bin Ladin ===========
Handwritten letter dated Feb. 19, 1998 linking bin Laden and Saddam Hussein
discussing arrival of a secret envoy sent by bin Laden to Iraq.
The signature beneath the letter is a codename, "MDA" - the Mukhabarat.
=========== French missiles FIRST given to Iraq to be USED Against US and Coalition Heroes =========
French missiles found by the Poles, and to protect France, blown up.
Froggies said they did not say "2003". LOL. Decide for yourself.
Iraqi missiles given to, and now located in, Syria:
========= RUSSIAN MISSILES AND DIRTY BOMBS FOUND IN IRAQ =========
Russian-made R-60, NATO AA-8 Aphid, air-to-air missiles were found..
The Russian-made missiles are >6 feet long. Each carries 3.5 pounds of uranium.
wrapped around a high explosive warhead (13.2-pound) making a "dirty bomb".
Seems if it was such an open and shut case as many still blindly believe around here we would have heard more about it from the administration. Unfortunately they're too busy backpedaling and blaming 'faulty intelligence' to continue to make a case for phantom WMDs
What looks like a confession? A crackpot dictator who was in control? From the reports coming out of Iraq after the war, it's quite evident the place was devolving into a frontier land by the hour. Hussein's sons were too busy involved with their thing, Saddam had probably no idea what he did or did not have. And seemingly they can't find anyone that actually worked on these WMDs since 1995. What happened in 1995 I wonder?
Prof. Zifferero those four processes related to production of material for a nuclear device. So far we only talked about enriching uranium but they need other studies, eg. on implosion. This was done at Al Atheer. Is it continuing somewhere else?Now I realize this doesn't fit into the mythos you warhawks have built up but it fits a lot better than mysterious vans to Syria, hidden garages underground, and any other excuse the Democrats or Republicans want to try to sell us next. Even the President's search leader, David Kay, is backing off his original assessment. But keep it up. Nobody's listening. Not the media or the administration. I did see ol' Wolfie still trying to sell it tonight on H&C but apparently (thank God) it appears cooler heads are starting to prevail in this administration and the day of the neocons may soon be over
General Hussein Kamal yes, but not now, before the Gulf War. First they studied 12 ton, then 9 ton and then 5 ton. These are weights of a device which they would make suitable for delivery. These were only studies. The smaller was the better so that the aircraft could deliver them. The smaller was also considered to be more effective.
Smidovich were weapons and agents destroyed?
General Hussein Kamal nothing remained.
Smidovich was it before or after inspections started?
General Hussein Kamal after visits of inspection teams. You have important role in Iraq with this. You should not underestimate yourself. You are very effective in Iraq. There was an engine for long range missiles. I didnt want to get involved. It was a lost battle and they chose to stop from using this.
Smidovich we could not find any traces of destruction.
General Hussein Kamal yes, it was done before you came in. The place where they buried them was found by you.
Smidovich Is this the place north of Baghdad where they were buried?
General Hussein Kamal It was in a month you came in. Destruction of warheads started but I could not remember details.
Okay, now you think a bit. This is a government that according to our own intelligence, post-war, was falling apart years before our troops invaded. Hussein's sons were too busy throwing parties and torturing civilians. Think modern day Caligula. They found Hussein in a ditch, with notes to his troops telling them not to co-operate with Al Qaeda, but we'll not go with the obvious reason for that. I seriously doubt anyone in that government knew if anything was going on or not. Now we're at a year later and even the President's hand picked search leader comes back and says he doubts there was any production of WMDs in the 1990s.
I'm not doubting the report said WMDs existed. I'm not even doubting where the report came from. But what I am doubting is that the government probably didn't even know. Where are the scientists? Where are the materials? The massive amounts of WMDs? To make your story plausible, we first have to believe a man, an Iraqi, whose organization is still receiving funds from our government, all the while having been discredited by the CIA and other intelligence organizations even before the war. Then we would have to accept that all these WMDs, with the scientists, their families, and anyone even closely related to this production were whisked away to Syria, Iran, or wherever the neocons want to take us next. Of course with no trace whatsoever, no intelligence reports, no one seeing them move, no spy cameras picking them up, etc.
The most plausible answer to this is that they just weren't there as many believed. Either that or believe a third world nation, with no help from anyone, was able to fool the most advanced military, and advanced search tactics in the world. Were those that believed wrong to do so? No. But the men that influenced leaders who made the final decision on the path to war should be held accountable for their actions