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Thread: Wmd In Iraq

  1. #1
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    This is a column by conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer.

    I'm interested in reasoned responses to this, as it reflects what I've been saying all along.


    WMD In a Haystack

    By Charles Krauthammer
    Friday, October 10, 2003; Page A27


    Rolf Ekeus, living proof that not all Swedish arms inspectors are fools, may have been right.

    Ekeus headed the U.N. inspection team that from 1991 to 1997 uncovered not just tons of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq but a massive secret nuclear weapons program as well. This after the other Swede, Hans Blix, then director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, had given Saddam Hussein a perfectly clean bill of health on being non-nuclear. Indeed, Iraq had a seat on the IAEA board of governors.

    Ekeus theorizes that Hussein decided years ago that it was unwise to store mustard gas and other unstable and corrosive poisons in barrels, and also difficult to conceal them. Therefore, rather than store large stocks of weapons of mass destruction, he would adapt the program to retain an infrastructure (laboratories, equipment, trained scientists, detailed plans) that could "break out" and ramp up production when needed. The model is Japanese "just in time" manufacturing, where you save on inventory by making and delivering stuff in immediate response to orders. Except that Hussein's business was toxins, not Toyotas.

    The interim report of chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay seems to support the Ekeus hypothesis. He found infrastructure, but as yet no finished product.

    As yet, mind you. "We are not yet at the point where we can say definitively either that such weapons stocks do not exist or that they existed before the war and our only task is to find where they have gone," Kay testified last week.

    This is fact, not fudging. How do we know? Because Hussein's practice was to store his chemical weapons unmarked amid his conventional munitions, and we have just begun to understand the staggering scale of Hussein's stocks of conventional munitions. Hussein left behind 130 known ammunition caches, many of which are more than twice the size of Manhattan. Imagine looking through "600,000 tons of artillery shells, rockets, aviation bombs and other ordnance" -- rows and rows stretched over an area the size of even one Manhattan -- looking for barrels of unmarked chemical weapons.

    And there are 130 of these depots. Kay's team has so far inspected only 10. The question of whether Hussein actually retained finished product is still open.

    But the question of whether he was still in the WMD business is no longer open. "We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities," Kay testified, "and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002" -- concealed, that is, from the hapless Hans Blix.

    Kay's list is chilling. It includes a secret network of labs and safe houses within the Mukhabarat, the Iraqi foreign intelligence service; bioorganisms kept in scientists' homes, including a vial of live botulinum toxin; and my favorite, "new research on BW [biological weapons]-applicable agents, Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever, and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin" -- all "not declared to the U.N."

    I have been to medical school, and I have never heard of Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever. I don't know one doctor in 100 who has. It is a rare disease, and you can be sure that Hussein was not seeking a cure.

    He was not after the Nobel in physiology (Yasser Arafat having already won the peace prize). He was looking for a way to turn these agents into killers. The fact that he was not stockpiling is relevant only to the question of why some prewar intelligence was wrong about Iraq's WMD program. But it is not relevant to the question of whether a war to preempt his development of WMD was justified.

    The fact that Hussein may have decided to go from building up stocks to maintaining clandestine production facilities (may have: remember, Kay still has 120 depots to go through) does not mean that he got out of the WMD business. Otherwise, by that logic, one would have to say that until the very moment at which the plutonium from its 8,000 processed fuel rods is wedded to waiting nuclear devices, North Korea does not have a nuclear program.

    Hussein was simply making his WMD program more efficient and concealable. His intent and capacity were unchanged.

    Moreover, for those who care about the United Nations (I do not, but many administration critics have a weakness for legal niceties), Resolution 1441, unanimously passed by the Security Council, ordered Hussein to make a full accounting of his WMD program and to cooperate with inspectors, and warned that there would be no more tolerance for concealment or obstruction. Kay's finding of "dozens of WMD-related program activities" concealed from U.N. inspectors constitutes an irrefutable material breach of 1441 -- and an open-and-shut justification for the U.S. decision to disarm Saddam Hussein by force.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
    may have been right.
    The fact that Hussein may have decide
    may have: remember, Kay still has 120 depots to go through
    As Usual, "may" or "if" or "probably"

    Ekeus headed the U.N. inspection team that from 1991 to 1997 uncovered not just tons of chemical and biological weapons in Iraq but a massive secret nuclear weapons program as well.
    "We are not yet at the point where we can say definitively either that such weapons stocks do not exist or that they existed before the war and our only task is to find where they have gone,"
    Which is it, "uncovered" or "definitively"?

    But the question of whether he was still in the WMD business is no longer open.
    Since "the question" "is no longer open", then why did the US/UK invaded Iraq?
    nuclear weapons program
    adapt the program to retain an infrastructure
    We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities
    Iraq's WMD program
    Hussein was simply making his WMD program more efficient and concealable.
    full accounting of his WMD program
    dozens of WMD-related program activities
    Program, program, program, prog..........
    US initiated programs, US funded programs (until the late 80's), US stood aside when "program" tested.........
    They should call Saddam Hussein a programmer for having so much "programs"

  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
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    Originally posted by Nikita
    .........
    Well said.

    Maybe this and maybe that .... the US government is desperate to find proof. If they don't find any, they'll make it up. This is a public relations disaster for them, who will ever believe another word they say? Britain and Australia won't be so quick to jump in next time!



  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Getting a bit desprete are we...

    The US went for Strategic Reasons, simply put oil; the world is getting hungry for oil and it's a fight for who gets what’s left.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    Originally posted by j2k4@21 October 2003 - 05:56
    This is a column by conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer.

    I'm interested in reasoned responses to this, as it reflects what I've been saying all along.


    Conservative says it all, defending lies to the last gasp.

  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Forgive me if I am wrong J2 ( the elderly have inconsistent memory function), but I seem to recall that back in Feb./March the administration was not talking about the potential for WMD, but their actual existence. And the immenent deployment of same.

    The continued shift of focus of the Bush team (is Cheney still claiming ties to Al-Queda?) looks a lot like a tap dance to cover up intelligence and tactical blunders.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    If I might sidestep for a post or two here, can anybody provide me with any statement GWB made in which he referred to the "fact" of an attack by Saddam being "imminent"?

    Simple question-anyone got a simple answer?
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
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    J2, who's side are you on now?

    The point most of us have made was, that we don't believe WMD's were the reason for the invasion. I think it was oil. same as Afghanistan. Why was he so keen to get in before the inspectors had finished? He also told the world he had 100% proof of WMD's. Now i want to know if Blair and Howard were shown proof, or not.

    And as I've said before, i believe this is linked to Saudi Arabia too.

    As an aside, j2, what is public opinion like over there on the whole affair?



  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    It took me 1 min and 1 source (from the horses mouth so there is no ????)

    QUESTION: Ari, the President has been saying that the threat from Iraq is imminent, that we have to act now to disarm the country of its weapons of mass destruction, and that it has to allow the U.N. inspectors in, unfettered, no conditions, so forth.

    MR. FLEISCHER: Yes.
    SOURCE

    Q Do you think the American people are prepared for casualties in Iraq?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that that presumes there's some kind of imminent war plan. As I said, I have no timetable. What I do believe the American people understand is that weapons of mass destruction in the hands of leaders such as Saddam Hussein are very dangerous for ourselves, our allies. They understand the concept of blackmail. They know that when we speak of making the world more safe, we do so not only in the context of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, but nations that have proven themselves to be bad neighbors and bad actors.
    SOURCE

    SIMPLE QUESTIONS, SCIENCE ROCKET ANSWERS

    THE PRESIDENT: Three questions. Fournier.

    Q Sir, is North Korea an imminent threat to the United States and what consequences, if any, will it face for hiding its nuclear program from you?

    THE PRESIDENT: One, we had a bit of troubling news when we discovered the fact that, contrary to what we had been led to believe, that they were enriching uranium with the idea of developing a nuclear weapon. I say troubling news, obviously, because we felt like they had given their word they weren't going to do this.

    I view this as an opportunity to work with our friends in the region and work with other countries in the region to ally against proliferation of serious weapons and to convince Kim Chong-il that he must disarm. To this end, I'm going to be talking to Jiang Zemin at Crawford. I look forward to a good discussion with the President of China about how we can work together to take our relationship to a new level in dealing with the true threats of the 21st century.

    I will see the leaders of Japan and South Korea and Russia the next day, in Mexico. I intend to make this an important topic of our discussions. This is a chance for people who love freedom and peace to work together to deal with a -- to deal with an emerging threat. I believe we can deal with this threat peacefully, particularly if we work together. So this is an opportunity to work together.

    Q They're not an imminent threat, though?

    THE PRESIDENT: You know, that's an operative word. We view this very seriously. It is a troubling discovery, and it's a discovery that we intend to work with our friends to deal with. I believe we can do it peacefully. I look forward to working with people to encourage them that we must convince Kim Chong-il to disarm for the sake of peace. And the people who have got the most at stake, of course, in this posture are the people who are his neighbors.

    Arshad.

    Q Mr. President, can you explain so the boys in Lubbock can understand --

    THE PRESIDENT: Crawford or Lubbock?

    Q Lubbock or Crawford, both --

    THE PRESIDENT: Lubbock is a little more sophisticated than Crawford, Arshad. (Laughter.)

    Q Crawford, then.

    THE PRESIDENT: Or Scotland, for that matter.

    Q Why --

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Arshad.

    Q Why you threaten military action against Iraq, but you believe that Korea's nuclear weapons program only merits diplomatic efforts?

    THE PRESIDENT: Saddam Hussein is unique, in this sense: he has thumbed his nose at the world for 11 years. The United Nations has passed 16 resolutions to deal with this man, and the resolutions are all aimed at disarmament, amongst other things. And for 11 years, he said, no, I refuse to disarm.

    Now, what makes him even more unique is the fact he's actually gassed his own people. He has used weapons of mass destruction on neighboring countries and he's used weapons of mass destruction on his own citizenry. He wants to have a nuclear weapon. He has made it very clear he hates the United States and, as importantly, he hates friends of ours.

    We've tried diplomacy. We're trying it one more time. I believe the free world, if we make up our mind to, can disarm this man peacefully.

    But, if not -- if not, there's -- we have the will and the desire, as do other nations, to disarm Saddam. It's up to him to make that decision and it's up to the United Nations. And we'll determine here soon whether the United Nations has got the will, and then it's up to Saddam to make the decision.

    Stretch.

    Q Mr. President, again, for the good people of Crawford --

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes. It's been a big day for Crawford.

    Q If you can explain this in a way that they and the rest of us will understand. There is some hints over the weekend, the possibility that taking weapons of mass destruction out of Iraq is our goal, raising the possibility or the implication that he could somehow remain in power.

    Can you say authoritatively and declaratively whether you can achieve -- if you can achieve your aims there in a way that leaves him still in office?

    THE PRESIDENT: The stated policy of the United States is regime change because, for 11 years, Saddam Hussein has ignored the United Nations and the free world. For 11 years, he has -- he said, look, you passed all these resolutions; I could care less what you passed. And that's why the stated policy of our government, the previous administration and this administration, is regime change -- because we don't believe he is going to change.

    However, if he were to meet all the conditions of the United Nations, the conditions that I've described very clearly in terms that everybody can understand, that in itself will signal the regime has changed.

    END 3:42 P.M. EDT
    SOURCE

  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    Originally posted by Billy_Dean@21 October 2003 - 10:35
    J2, who's side are you on now?

    The point most of us have made was, that we don't believe WMD's were the reason for the invasion.  I think it was oil. same as Afghanistan.  Why was he so keen to get in before the inspectors had finished?  He also told the world he had 100% proof of WMD's.  Now i want to know if Blair and Howard were shown proof, or not.

    And as I've said before, i believe this is linked to Saudi Arabia too.

    As an aside, j2, what is public opinion like over there on the whole affair?


    Have I changed sides?

    News to me....

    The thread's topic is/was, basically, "Do/did WMD exist at a time proximate to the invasion of Iraq by the U.S. and it's allies (such as they were)?"

    I have sidelighted the coincidental issue of the incredible twisting of the words uttered by GWB in his 2003 State of the Union address (and I am still awaiting a response to that).

    After 12 years and 17 resolutions worth of U.N. dithering, you think we went in because of the oil?

    100% proof or not, the litany of current nay-sayers can also be found to have stated, in the past, they also believed, with the utmost assuredness, that Saddam had WMD.

    That is to say, everyone who is trying to keel-haul GWB for not having found more than the massive evidence of Saddam's intent and duplicity re: WMD can be proven to have suffered the same "misapprehension" right up to the point it became politically expedient to change their minds.

    If it is linked to Saudi Arabia, how would that be germane to the question of WMD?

    Here in the U.S., public opinion polls (depending on which one you read) bounce anywhere from 60-80% supporting GWB on the overall question of the war; on the question of WMD, last I looked, the numbers were something like 40% believe firmly WMD exist (or existed, right up until the war), 25% don't believe WMD ever existed, and 35% don't agree the existence of WMD was a necessary pre-requisite for ousting Saddam.

    OT for a moment: Funny-public opinion polls are never an issue when someone wants to raise my taxes.
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

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