It’s growing increasingly likely that the United States just invaded another country based on a completely phony pretext. We were told - and many on this very message board piped up in support - that Iraq had a large arsenal of chemical and/or biological weapons. We were told that these weapons were ready for use, that the United States had secret evidence of their existence and location, and that they represented an imminent threat to the United States and its allies.
Well, folks, let’s face facts; they are not there. Either they never existed, or the US somehow conquered Iraq while spreading the WMDs around the world, meaning the war worsened the problem it was supposed to solve.
The “secret evidence” claims have been conveniently dropped. No evidence has been presented. Some evidence has been shown to be lies.
No WMDs factories or production centers have been found, though it would certainly be impossible to produce large, militarily useful quantities of them without such facilities.
A large bounty for anyone who can provide a lead to WMDs has not been claimed.
Surely this represents a war crime? Where’s the outrage among the war’s supporters that they were lied to? The United States started a war, killed a few thousand people, and is occupying a foreign people by force for… what, exactly? The stated justification was a lie.
I’d LOVE to know just what the current excuses are for this outrage. Is Syria still the villian of convenience, or have the WMDs grown little legs and run to Iran yet? We had lots of war supporters on the board who swore up and down the WMDs would practically be piled up like firewood. Where are the damned chemical and biological weapons?
They’re still hiding in that last ten threads we’ve had on this subject. Donald Rhumsfeld is quietly building up forces around the Chicago Reader for a preemptive strike to prevent Cecil from giving the WMDs to the known terrorist organization MENSA.
Are we going to get a new thread with this title every week? I had what I thought was a reasonable agreement with our buddy, Randy Spears (no friend of “W” and no supporter of the war) to give the whole process 4 months. This was about the amount of time the latest batch of Inspectors had before Bush gave the “go ahead” for war.
I wasn’t in favor of waging war on Iraq, but I just don’t think it’s reasonable to expect these WMDs to be popping out of the ground yet. And for every war supporter on this board who “swore up and down the WMDs” were there, there were probably 3 others screaming: “Give the inspectors more time”.
Scylla, if they captured a chemical weapons lab, it sure made a small dent on the news. IIRC, they found a truck without any chemical weapons in it that was speculated might conceivably be a lab, which, let’s be honest, is a long way from finding weapons.
John Mace, A) I’m not Randy, and B) This has to be talked about now, because I suspect that if people don’t start asking what the hell is going on, the Big Lie tactic that the Bush administration is already starting to resort to might just fool people.
If the UN inspectors, with only a few score men and without control of the entire country, were expected to do their job in four months, I would expect thousands of American soldiers with effective control of the land and the “Secret evidence” Bush promised they had to be able to find the WMDs much faster.
Only nuclear weapons fit your criteria of large production centers, and that assumes the nuclear fuel is processed in Iraq, which is unlikely.
All other WMD can be made in a garage, are easily hidden, and easily transported. The mobile lab that was just found is exactly how defectors described it.
It was reported in the news prior to the war that Saddam had located chemical weapons under water to avoid detection. This correlates with traces of chemicals in the Tigris and Euphrates River.
The premise of your post is also wrong. WMD were not the REASON given for going to war. That was covered under the 3 UN resolutions requiring Saddam to disclose and disarm. That was not done. The term “WMD” was used as a rallying cry as was the “freeing of oppressed people”. Neither of which was part of the UN resolution. Ironically, it was France that launched the war by refusing to enforce the UN resolutions (under any condition). That removed any pretence that France was willing to draw a line in the sand. It wasn’t until Saddam’s defeat was obvious, that Chirac made a concession of support. And that was only if WMD were found.
The whole point of the war was to remove Saddam from power. He showed no intention of dismantling his military. As long as he stayed in power the United States was stuck babysitting Kuwait. That meant troops in Saudi Arabia. The insult of having US troops stationed in Saudi Arabia is what Bin Laden used to start Al Quada. As proof of this assumption, you should note that Bush announced the removal of troops from Saudi Arabia last week. This was timed to coincide with the announcement of the new Palestinian leader. It’s all inter-related and it appears the administration is acting accordingly.
Wait a second, where are you getting this idea that Saddam was supposed to dismantle his military? He was allowed a military for his own self-defense. As I understand it, there were just certain things like WMD and missiles beyond a certain range that he wasn’t allowed to have because these were clearly too offensive and threatening to his neighbors.
So, I am confused what you mean by “disclose and disarm”. He disclosed that he no longer had chemical and biological weapons and therefore didn’t have them to disarm (although the weapons inspectors later determined that he had missiles that could go beyond the allowed range and he was forced to start destroying those). We may yet find out that he was lying about WMDs but the point is that we don’t have any evidence of that yet, so what exactly are you talking about?
I’m getting the idea Saddam was supposed to “disclose and disarm” from the UN resolutions. To this day, none of the restrictions had been lifted by the UN.
If you watched any of the Frontline programs on the subject you would see what the UN inspectors were up against. They photographed trucks with strange tanks sneaking out the back entrance of inspection sites. You would see warheads designed for chemical warfare. Given the fact that he has repeatedly used such weapons, it is reasonable to assume that he tried to hide them. Considering how easy it is to transport these weapons it could take a long time to find them.
I would wager we never find the chemical weapons (dumped) and the bio weapons are probably buried in the desert (can’t dump them). the nukes are anybodies guess. Probably transported to a friendly like Syria.
If so, what was Colin Powell’s speech at the UN all about? As I remember the US wanted an authorization to invade Iraq to prevent Iraq from giving non-conventional weapons to terrorists, using them against neighboring states and having them at all in violation of the UN cease fire dictates and that the situation was so critical that further inspection was unwise. As I remember it the WMD were the whole rational for the proposed invasion and that the removal of Sadam’s regime was just a necessary part of cleaning up the WBWs. One of us has a serious short term memory problem.
Spavined Gelding is right. That was not the stated reason. It may perhaps have been the real reason, but it was not the justification. International law specifically forbids invasion of sovereign countries for the purpose of regime change. Bush did not cite regime change as the justification for the war; he couldn’t, because it’s illegal. He HAD to come up with another reason, hence the WMDs. And the UN never authorized the military action. There is no UN resolution you can cite that allowed the US to invade Iraq. WMD was indeed the rationale that was given at the time, and to suggest otherwise is to engage in revisionism.
May I ask your credentials in the field? Or are you just parroting the excuses the pentagon offers? How many bacterial cultures have you ever grown yourself? What is your experience with polymerase chain reaction, high pressure liquid chromatography and gas chromatography?
Oh dear, Germany must be a mass producer of WMDs, given the amount of chemicals in the rivers.
False. They were precisely the reason given by Powell to the UN.
What is painfully obvious is that you have never, ever actually informed yourself firsthand on the french position but are merely parroting rabid nationalist propaganda. Your claim has been debunked so often it takes gross ignorance or nationalism to continue to repeat it.
Saddam was under no obligation to dismantle his military. And it takes extreme ignorance of Islam to assume that removing troops from Saudi Arabia will have an effect while troops are stationed in Kerbela. The only effect is likely to be a shift towards Shiite attacks rather than Sunnite.
In a related vein, am I the only one who finds the Administration’s latest WMDhandwave – “Saddam destroyed all his WMDs in the days before the war” – to be rather ludicrous?
I mean, really, this scenario requires the infamous “Butcher of Baghdad” to be putzing around one of his royal palaces, watching American troops amass on his southern border in ever-increasing numbers, knowing George W. Bush wants nothing less than his head on a platter, and suddenly going, “I know! I’ll destroy all my WMDs so I’ll have nothing to defend myself with! I might be dead meat, but dammit, I’m going to make sure I won’t take out a zillion Americans with me!”
WTF??? Did I wake up on the wrong side of bed this morning and landed on Bizarro-Earth, or does this scenario fly in the face of every shred of common sense?
(Of course, the alternative explaination is that Saddam didn’t have any WMDs, or had so little as to not make a difference. Good luck finding anyone in the White House to confess to this one, however…)
I agree that this type of thread has been done multiple times here on this board before (including one by me) and I hope it continues to rear its ugly head.
As it stands it would seem that the American public was lied to by its leaders in order to justify war. Maybe regime change can be argued as worthwhile in the case of Saddam Hussein but it was not the stated reason. Our government intimated that Saddam had WMD and needed to be gotten rid of as a result.
Frankly, if true, I could support that. I have no love for Saddam and think he is a confirmed nutcase and his people…indeed the world…is better off with him gone. Nevertheless there are plenty of confirmed nutcases ruling countries in the world and the US does not haul off and attack them (e.g. Kim Il Jung). Even if someone can make the case that Saddam/Iraq deserved the treatment it got without mentioning WMDs does not excuse our leaders from bullshitting the American public into supporting a war with trumped-up charges.
I guess it remains to be seen if the charges were indeed trumped-up but in my opinion it does not look good. The US administration went on about Saddam possessing these weapons but we couldn’t inform the UN inspectors for fear of compromising our intelligence sources. Fair enough if true but also an easy tree to hide behind regardless of the truth of it. Still…I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
We now effectively own the country of Iraq. Can the administration suggest that what they proferred as evidence for going to war but could not prove to anyone at the time cannot be proven now? It stretches credibility. Surely if they had such convicing evidence that Saddam possessed such weapons that they were willing to go to war over it one would suppose they could have pointed someone to it by now.
Add Halliburton and such things as are appearing now to the equation and I think Americans (if not the world) should be taking a VERY close look and demanding explanations.
I will still allow that it all might be innocent but where there’s smoke…
When Bush said he had proof that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction that threaten the US, he really meant that he had proof that Iraq had the capability of producing WMD that might threaten the US. I think people just misunderstood this prior to the war, thanks for the chance to clarify.
Now watch carefully as this back pedals into solid proof that Iraq might have had the capability of possibly producing WMD that might have been considered to maybe being used to threaten the US, as long as the US moved within 50 miles and stood nice and still.
Either way, I think two facts are very clear here. Iraq has lots of oil. This oil is now open to “free market forces”, and we know what that euphemism means.
While I can follow the sentiment, please keep in mind that if there are no WMD, it’ll be very much in the administration’s interest to keep the subject very quiet. If the debate is allowed to die out, WMD will be yesterdays news in a few months. I’ll not be in the least surprised if we’ll see an effort at getting the subject more or less placed in the category “irrelevant leftist Bush-bashing”, something to be simply shrugged off as a tired old grudge. Oh, and it seems to me that the US Army operates under far better circumstances than the inspectors - more people on the ground and no fear of repercussions for local informants.
But it may turn out to be irrelevant - it seems as if selective amnesia about the road to war is breaking out already.
(Actually, I do think small amounts of WMD will emerge - Iraq was a shambles before the war and I’d be surprised if anyone had a complete overview of anything.)
No doubt the US has committed war crimes but I like to think they are aberrations rather than the modus operandi of the US. Cover-ups happen as they would in any country but on the whole I think the US and its allies (i.e. Great Britain) generally comport themselves better than, say, Saddam Hussein/Iraq when it comes to war.
Thanks for the ;ast post Spiny…my notions exactly but you said it better than I could. As ‘old’ as this debate might get I hope it doesn’t fade…at least not before November, 2004.
How convenient! Or, maybe he shot them off on a rocket to the moon!
[And, as someone else has pointed out, we are really setting the bar low here. Even if WMD are found, we are still left with questions like why this dangerous man who was a threat to U.S. security did not use these weapons against U.S. forces when he was backed against the wall in a nothing-to-lose situation!]
I doubt it. But, let’s say it is so. Then, what in the hell have we accomplished with this war?!? We’ve put nuclear weapons and /or materials in Syrian hand? Wow, that really improves things. Well, I guess it at least gives us an excuse to invade them now. [Do you actually even think the implications of your statements through or do you just make them up on the fly?]