Skip to comments.WMD in Iraq a rather nuanced issue
Posted on 07/13/2014 6:20:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
One of the greatest debates over the Iraq War of 2003 was the issue of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs, including chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons) supposedly hidden and manufactured by Saddam Hussein after his defeat in the 1991 Gulf War. Hussein only cooperated fitfully with the disclosure and destruction efforts required under the 1991 cease-fire that ended offensive operations in Iraq, and Western nations became convinced by the late 1990s that he was rebuilding his stockpiles. That was just one of the sixteen justifications presented by the Bush administration in late 2002 for ending the cease fire and eliminating Hussein, but the one that drew the most support.
After the Western coalition deposed Hussein in the first weeks of the war, they began looking for the WMDs. Most assume that none were found, but a 2010 article from Wired based on Wikileaks documents reminded us that the truth was more nuanced (via Instapundit):
By late 2003, even the Bush White Houses staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
But WikiLeaks newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction.
An initial glance at the WikiLeaks war logs doesnt reveal evidence of some massiveWMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime the Bush administrations most (in)famous rationale for invading Iraq. But chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddams toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict and may have brewed up their own deadly agents. …
(Excerpt) Read more at hotair.com ...
Nuanced? Sadly most Americans don’t even understand the meaning of the headlines if by chance they read or hear them. Their attention span is also incredibly brief. People on FR appreciate nuance and are very aware of what is happening in the country and the world. However the majority of their fellow citizens, who do vote, have not a clue. The election and reelection of Obama, Pelosi, Reid etc did not happen in a political vacuum. They have a solid constituency in modern day America.
Anyone paying attention to the goings on in Iraq at that time knew what was there. UNMOVIC reports indicated the vast amounts of precursors, accelerants and dual use materials and delivery systems were in place.
Bush did not lie but he was very VERY inarticulate on this matter.
LIV respond well to catchy phrases unfortunately.
Democrats were absolutely positive that Iraq had WMD back in 1998, and unanimously supported bombing the country because Saddams WMD arsenal was a threat to the U.S.
Bill Clinton cited Saddam’s WMD as justification for his 1998 bombing of Baghdad, an action that won the support of virtually every Democrat. Of course, the real reason for the bombing was to delay the impeachment proceedings in the House.
For those who have forgotten . . .
On December 16, 1998, on the eve of the scheduled House vote on his impeachment, Bill Clinton launched a surprise bombing attack on Baghdad. As justification for this exploit, he cited the urgent threat that Saddams weapons of mass destruction posed to America, and the need for immediate action. Almost instantly, the House Democrats held a caucus and emerged calling for a delay in the impeachment proceedings. House minority leader Dick Gephardt made a statement: “We obviously should pass a resolution saying that we stand behind the troops. I would hope that we do not take up impeachment until the hostilities have completely ended.”
Conveniently, a delay so near the end of the House term would have caused the vote to be taken up in the next session when the newly elected House membership would be seated with more Democratic representation, thereby improving Clintons chances of dodging impeachment.
The Republicans did, in fact, agree to delay the hearings, but only for a day or two. Amazingly, Clinton ended the bombing raid after only 70 hours — once it became clear that in spite of the brief delay, the vote would still be held in the current session.
Once the bombing stopped, Clinton touted the effectiveness and importance of the mission. As reported by ABC News : We have inflicted significant damage on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction programs, on the command structures that direct and protect that capability, and on his military and security infrastructure, he said. Defense secretary William Cohen echoed the point: We estimate that Saddam’s missile program has been set back by at least a year.
Of course, Whether or not one buys Clinton’s assessment of that mission, it is difficult to believe that its timing was so critical that it required commencement virtually at the moment the House was scheduled to vote on the impeachment. I think the most reasonable conclusion is that Clinton cynically deployed US military assets and placed military personnel in harm’s way for purely political reasons.
the consensus of world intelligence including the UN was that Saddam was continuing to research and acquire WMD components (including nuclear) so Iraq could resume production of WMD as soon as the West withdrew from monitoring him. Despite the Wilson/Plame bluster and hysteria, was Iraq looking for more “yellowcake” from Niger? Probably yes...hedging his bets for long term needs, including mutual cooperation with rogue WMD states like NK and Pakistan and others
Saddam calculated he would outlast “us” (the US and the UN), then get back into the WMD business and very fast, within a year.
If not for GWB..... he might have.
So what was the world supposed to do about that threat? Maybe remove Hussein? D’OH!
Least we not forget that the Chemical WMDs went into Syria in 2003...and were later targeted and destroyed by Israeli war planes in 2006...but why get specific....Its Barry World from now on...
Translation: “Too complicated for the rubes out in fly-over country to understand.”
nuanced issue? Ask the thousands of people murdered by nerve gas and other chemical weapons. Then there is the 90lbs of nuclear material that terrorists recently stole.