Skip to comments.The Case of the Missing WMDs
Posted on 06/14/2003 11:11:48 AM PDT by xagent
It seems the anti-Bush crowd has found a new way to attempt to discredit Bush and the war in Iraq. This time, it's the missing WMDs. After the swift liberation of Iraq and the worries of the peaceniks proven wrong, one would figure the anti-war crowd would finally concede. Somehow, the fact that WMDs haven't been found - yet - is supposed to prove the war as unjustified, and make Bush and Tony Blair liars. First the protestors predicted a messy quagmire of a war where thousands of lives would be lost. Massive casualties of both Iraqi civilians and American troops were predicted. As the war drew to a close, they turned to the looting as proof that the US had unleashed chaos and anarchy in Iraq.
After that argument lost interest, the protestors pulled yet another one of their contradictory arguments. They claimed that the US has left a power vacuum in Iraq, leaving Iraq vulnerable to further disorder, and possibly a regime worse than Saddam Hussein. These were valid concerns, except that many of these people also called for the US to pull out of Iraq and hand reconstruction to the UN and Iraqi people. It'd be foolish to give immediate control back to the Iraqis right now, in the current state of Iraq. Doing so would only let theocratic Shiites. Coalition troops carried out this war, so why abandon it now and listen to outsiders? Let the US be in full responsibility, so that in decade or two, if something worse does arise, the US can be held accountable. This might be why those who opposed the war, now demand a multilateral reconstruction, or immediate Iraqi control. They want reconstruction to be botched, so in the end they can act as if they were right all along.
Their latest attempt to discredit the liberation of the Iraqi people comes from the missing WMDs. Some have even called for the impeachment and investigation of Bush and Blair!
Excuse me? The debate was never whether Iraq has these weapons. This was fact, acknowledged by even France, Germany, and the rest of the UN. It is a documented fact that he had WMD during the Gulf War, and had them as reported by UN inspectors until 1998. The United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) had confirmed that he possessed, and had repeatedly used chemical and biological weapons. There's no doubt he had these WMDs. Since the Gulf War, UN inspectors have confiscated nearly 700 tons of chemical weapons and agents, nearly 50 Scud missiles, and many traces of biological and chemical agents. Had UNSCOM and IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspectors not closed the operation of Hussein's nuclear facilities, Israel not bombed one of Iraq's nuclear reactors in 1981, and the Gulf War not occurred, it is highly probable that Iraq would have nuclear weapons today. Prior to being halted in 1998, all previous inspections for these weapons had not been effective; inspectors had been frequently blocked and denied access.
The debate to go to war was never about determining if Hussein did possess these weapons. Based on these past UN inspections, and his bold use of WMDs against the Kurds, Shiites, and Iranians, the world knew he possessed WMDs. Instead, the war was about the proper way to disarm Hussein, and to ensure he wasn't building new weapons. It was also about the proper way to punish Hussein for violating some 17 UN resolutions, including Resolution 1441, passed unanimously in November 2002 by all 15 members of the Security Council. Peaceniks seem to have forgotten this fact, as if his possession of WMDs was uncertain all along.
(Source: National Review)
Iraq, shortly before and after the Gulf War, even admitted to having a large cache of various WMDs. Hussein soon went on to claim that he had destroyed most of his weapons, when threatened with UN inspections. If Hussein was honestly disarming Iraq and destroying his WMDs, then why did he refuse inspections, and refuse the UN to oversee the destruction of his weapons programs?
Secondly, WMDs were never the sole reason for going to war. This is obvious by looking back at the speeches of Bush and Colin Powell. It had been clearly stated that the liberation and freedom of the Iraqi people from a repressive regime, and Iraqi sponsorship of terrorism were key factors. Establishing a stable democracy in Iraq will open the floodgates in the Middle East. Creating a model nation will be a tremendous influence for the surrounding Islamic dictatorships. This liberation of Iraq, and the hordes of Iraqis cheering Coalition troops was not an unexpected or lucky result that justifies the war in hindsight. The US has not used this to turn our minds away from the WMDs. It was one of the main goals from the beginning.
So where are the WMDs? They could still be hidden in Iraq's vast desert. Or, Saddam could have destroyed them during the ample time he had while the Coalition was presenting its case for war. This however, seems unlikely, for revealing this to the world could have easily averted a war. Or, the WMDs may be well out of Iraq by now - into Syria, or perhaps Iran. They could have easily been smuggled out of Iraq along with Iraqi weapons facilities and scientists. Either way, the WMDs exist and the war was never about determining if Hussein had any WMDs - this is undebatable. Nor does this discredit the new found freedom of Iraq from 30 years of Baathist oppression.
This "war of preemption", was really a war of liberation, and a war to disarm Hussein's already documented WMDs. With reconstruction underway, hopefully Iraq will turn out to be a model of democracy in a region so plagued with Islamic fundamentalism
What will the anti-war crowd turn to next?
Maybe, but there are always tradeoffs in life. If he hadn't "used" WMD as the "logic", he wouldn't have been able go through the UN at all (because that's what the "resolutions" were about), which would have meant no help from Tony Blair and Britain (since Blair evidently thought at least attempting to use the UN was necessary for him politically), which perhaps would've meant more dead American soldiers.
So, take your pick: increased American casualties, or decreased American casualties + yapping critics afterwards. Hmm, toughie.
The SAME people that criticized GW for NOT using sparodic, non-specific and ghostly intelligence to PREVENT 911 are the SAME people who are criticizing him NOW for using SPECIFIC and STEADY intelligence from MANY sources to wage war with IRAQ. Can't please those who are aim to destroy, no matter what the circumstances.
Or New York, LA, Chicago or Boise.....
No indeed, the real debate was over those weapons posed a threat requiring us to go to war. We could have continued our policy of boxing Iraq in at far less cost and risk. We chose to go to war and now we are stuck nation building unless we jump ship and let the country turn into a terrorist haven.
Except for all of that circumstantial evidence that has come up during and after the war. The anti-Bush crowd likes to pretend that that evidence doesn't exist. Doesn't fit their agenda.
Exactly. They're even using the same slogan for their completely contradictory arguments: "What did Bush know and when did he know it." They're vile.
I think that we had large caches of chem/ bio suits when we went into the Gulf with our troops, we had WMD's? Ditto, atropine. Suicide vests constitute WMD? Come on, you are in a state of denial. Bush and his administration told a big whopper and you are making them look all the more ridiculous.
These were all acts of agression justified by the logic of the individuals that committed them. When the logic is rationalized by misleading the public to approve the actions, this is when the problem gets out of hand. This is where the Bush administration made its mistake. If you cannot make a reasoned argument for your actions and have to rely on mistruths to make your case, you are treading on pretty thin ice.
It is going to take a pretty good period of time for Bush and his entourage, plus some honesty, to regain the trust of the public, here and overseas. Trying to weasel out of it by blaming the intelligence community will not do it. A direct apology to the American people and the families who lost love ones in a cooked up war would be a good start.
Well, you're determined to take a position contrary to GWB, regardless of what that may be.
We had chem/bio suits and atropine because Saddam was known to have chem/bio weapons. But you already know that.
The stockpile of suicide vests shows SH's regime to be a TERRORIST regime. You remember the war on terror, don't you?
As I said, you've blinded yourself to the facts, so you're not worth my time.
I just cannot understand the logic of defending a war based on mistruths. We saw it in Vietnam with Johnson and the Tonkin incident which was proved to be false and destroyed his administration. It was wrong then and it is wrong now. Trying to defend it, places the Republicans in the same box as the party that we so roundly criticize for not being able to tell the truth.
No one's saying they're "a WMD". What they're saying is that they could be used to produce a WMD. Which is just as bad, from our point of view. You understand that, right?
It's not like we would've been perfectly safe if Iraq "had no WMD" but could produce them in a matter of days...sheesh
How can mustard gas or cyanide in the Tigris and Euphrates be considered an WMD?
It's evidence that they had them. Which was the issue.