Skip to comments.Will US fabricate WMD evidence?
Posted on 04/09/2003 9:07:11 AM PDT by SLB
With the US-led war to change the government of Iraq all but over there is still little sign of the weapons of mass destruction for which this campaign was fought.
Daily reports of suspected finds have all so far turned out to be false alarms and the distinct lack of success that the United States could resort to fabricating evidence.
The United States is now embarrassed because it could not confirm the presence of WMD in Iraq, said Dr. Hassan Krayyim, a professor of political science at the American University of Beirut.
The concern lies in the possibility that the United States would present false evidence to prove that its decision to go to war was right, he said.
Dr. Imad Jadd, international relations specialist at the Egypt-based Al-Ahram Centre for Studies, agreed. What will stop the United States from bringing chemical weapons from outside Iraq and moving them into the country to prove their longstanding claims? he said.
US soldiers dig in after a ground attack siren was raised in the Kuwait desert last month, prompting troops to don protective suits
They can do it because they are the authority now that is conducting the search.
Jadd called on the United Nations to send delegations to Iraq to monitor any finds of suspected chemical agents. International inspectors should be present in Iraq, he said. They are the ones who should announce any findings, he said.
He cautioned against allowing US-led forces to move suspected material found in Iraq to outside the country for testing. When this happens, it means that the evidence is lost, Jadd said. They should leave the material in its place.
A US military official said on Tuesday more testing and analysis was required before determining whether substances found at sites in central Iraq were banned chemical weapons agents.
"Initial reports were 'yes, it could potentially be'," said Brigadier General Vincent Brooks.
"We do not know enough at this point to say it should be discounted or that we have found some weapons of mass destruction for use."
That contradicted an earlier remark on Tuesday by a US military source near the predominantly Shia city of Karbala in Iraq who said tests indicated the substances were not chemical weapons agents. "The latest tests turned out negative," the source said.
In another incident, the US military investigated on Tuesday the possibility of the presence of mustard gas near the central city of Najaf after five soldiers developed what they thought were blisters while on duty there. However, it turned out that they were suffering from heat exhaustion, not exposure to chemical agents.
Last week, an initial report that claimed several bottles found in western Iraq may have contained chemical weapons appeared to be a case of one bottle labelled as a nerve agent that had been invented in the 1940s.
During an earlier phase of the war, US military officials claimed that President Saddam Hussein would use chemical weapons against the invading forces as soon as they cross the red line around Baghdad.
Until now he hasnt. Even if (Saddam Hussein) had chemical weapons, it was not logical for him to use them in the heart of the Iraqi capital, because Iraqi soldiers and residents would have been affected, said Krayyim.
He pointed out that the use of such weapons would only be significant if they harm the enemy and not ones forces. Thats why the US troops all removed their suits. They were confident that they wouldn't be attacked by chemical weapons, he said referring to the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) protective outerwear suits.
Shortly after US troops entered the Iraqi capital, they were ordered to take off their NBC suits. US troops wait in full NBC suits in Kuwait after a warning of a second scud missile attack from Iraq last month
Krayyim ruled out the possibility that Iraq would have used WMD even if it possesses such weapons. Iraq does not have a political interest in that because the Iraqi government wants to quash the justification which the US used for waging its war, he said.
In the meantime, US President George Bush has authorised the use of tear gas in Iraq, which could be a violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention that states that each state party undertakes not to use riot control agents as a method of warfare.
It wont be the first violation that the United States commits If it uses tear gas, Krayyim said. They have also used cluster bombs in the war on Iraq.
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No. But the news media has no problem fabricating stories.
Be patient and watch the WMD flow!