What if Hussein doesnt use WMD against the US?

Saddam Hussein had WMD during the first Gulf War. No question. He chose not to use them. Why? He certainly had opportunities to use them.

I suggest that he didnt because his removal from power was not slated, only his removal from Kuwait. If he didnt step over that line, he might be able to retain power. Obviously he made the right decision.

This time his removal from power is on the agenda. He must realize he will be removed from power, but he passed up the chance to escape into exile, thus saving his life. He has, instead, chosen likely death.

If the US goes in quickly and kills him and his underlings and seizes whatever WMD there may be, he may have intended to use WMD but wasnt afforded an opportunity.

But suppose he has an opportunity (and he has already launched a couple of scud missiles, so one could argue he has already had an opportunity) but choses NOT to use WMD?

If this comes to pass, I think there are only two possibilities:

  1. He doesnt have any, or what he has is ineffective because of aging.

  2. He choses not to use WMD in spite of the fact that his death is imminent and he has nothing to lose.

Either of these options mean that this war is unnecessary and continued weapons inspecting would have been effective.

Obviously if he uses WMD, things change drastically.

And, as stated earlier, if he doesnt have the opportunity to use them, the whole argument is relegated to subjunctive mood.

Whaddaya think?

I bet he won’t use them, if he has them. He’d still lose if he uses them, and he’ll also lose the world opinion that thinks the war is wrong.

If he wasn’t going to give WMDs to terrorists before, he’ll do it now. It’s the only way he can strike back effectively.

What difference does world opinion matter now?

World opinion didnt stop Bush from invading. Not using WMD against the US wont help. What does he have to lose? He might as well go for broke.

If he doesnt use WMD, I think it raises serious questions.

Well, then one arguement is what is a “WMD”? Do you mean NBC (Nuke/Bio/chem)? If that is what you mean, then so far he hasn’t.

But if you mean weapons he wasn’t allowed to have under the UN accords- he has already launched some long range missles that are/were illegal. Some definitions of “WMD” include these long range non-tactical missles. The term “WMD” isn’t a military term, and there is no agreed upon definition for it.

So he has already used ordinance he wsn’t supposed to have. The proof he has violated the UN accord is already there. Now what we are debating is the size and enourmity of his crimes.

Oh, come on. A scud missile, while not allowed by the UN disarmament stipulations, is not a WMD by anyones definition. If it were, every country in the world would possess WMDs and the distinction would be pointless.

Obviously we are talking about NBCs.

He said he doesn’t have “NBC’s”, but he told Dan Rather he’d never light up his oil wells, either.

I heard unconfirmed news reports that, before the first Persian Gulf War started, then-Preisdent George Bush (I) called up Saddam Hussein and told him that the US would only target Hussein if he used chemical or biological weapons. If Hussein refrained, we’d leave him alone and stick to the UN-sanctioned objective of getting Iraqi forces out of Kuwait. He didn’t, so we didn’t.

Or so I heard. Anyone with a cite would be appreciated.

I see it as highly possible that Saddam could have weapons and choose not to use them. Saddam will most probably choose to do something which he would view as revenge. These things could include:

  • Killing thousands of his own people with WMDs.
  • Killing thousands of US troops with WMDs.
  • Not using WMDs so as to make the US look bad in the eyes of the anti-war crowd.

Certainly the first two have a sort of visceral appeal (if you’re a psychopath, anyway). The third is a more subtle vengeance - you strike your foe where it hurts the most. Killing our soldiers is certainly bad, but it will do nothing to hurt the US in the long run. But damaging our credibility could hurt us much more severely, both in the eyes of the world, and in the eyes of skeptical Americans. Will Saddam see it that way? Would he go for subtlety over raw death and destruction? I couldn’t say, but neither would surprise me.

So, if Saddam doesn’t use WMDs, does that invalidate the war? Nope. If he chose not to use them, it certainly wouldn’t be because he’s a nice old man who wouldn’t want to cause unnecessary deaths. It would be because in this one particular instance, he views not using WMDs as more personally valuable than using them. That’s not to say that there wouldn’t have been an occasion when he would’ve used them.

But the point is- “Scuds” as a violation of the accord, and just as big a violation as NBC weapons. So, he has already violated the accord. The accord does not say something like “but you know, nukes are the really bad nasties, and we’ll let the rest of this slip as long as he doesn’t have an actual nuke”. The violations & the accord were not limited to just “WMD”, or just nukes, or just anthrax. They had a specific list. Long range strategic missles were a clear and definite “no-no”. They even defined them by range, so as to not have any “escape clauses” (“umm, no, these aren’t “SCUDS”, really, they just look like em, we have renamed them “destroyers of zionist agression” missles, so they aren’t actually “SCUDS”, yes, that’s it, that’s the ticket”).

So then SH uses smallpox instead of anthrax- “but he didn’t use
ANTHRAX, you see, and you said he had anthrax, so if he didn’t use ANTHRAX you’re lying about his germ warfare”, or he detonates a “dirty bomb”, which has radiological elements, but not enough to fission- “But it’s not a NUKE, now is it? Not technically a “Nuke”, just a nasty dirty radiation & fallout spewing bomb”.

How long will you give excuses for him? He hasn’t done anything wrong until he personally pilots a nuke into NYC?

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody . . . Do not take revenge, my friends . . . In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."
-excerpts from Romans 12

Who’d a thunk it? Saddam’s a Christian! :smiley:


(I should clarify that that’s in response to ElJeffe’s subtle revenge theory, above; it reminded me of my Bible-study youth.)


Actually, the Pentagon is saying they were probably not SCUDs, but were most likely FROG (70km) or al-Sumod (150km) missiles, both of which are withing the allowable maximum range for missiles, and of which they are not restricted from possessing. The missiles fired were probably completely legal.

A factual error inside of a false argument. It doesn’t look like he used SCUDs so far; although that may change, certainly nobody is currently in a position to say, “See? See?”

The argumentative error is this: the world community seriously, seriously, seriously frowns on the use of WMDs. It doesn’t seriously frown on the use of long-range missiles.

Saddam is prevented from having ICBMs because he’s a dangerous nutcake who would use them in unauthorized battle. He’s prevented from having WMDs because he would actually use them in battle period.

Your analogy seems to be:

WMD:SCUD :: Anthrax:Smallpox.

That’s a terrible analogy. WMD=off-limits for everyone; SCUD=off limits for the dangerous nutcake. Anthrax=off-limits for everyone; smallpox=off-limits for everyone.

If you can only support your cause with intellectually bankrupt arguments, maybe you should re-examine your cause.

figuring that DrDeth won’t notice where I called Saddam a dangerous nutcake and will assume that I support his regime therefore

I have heard conflicting reports. However, I’ll admit things are certainly in flux and a state of confusion now, and it could well have been that the missles used were just under the max range. Doesn’t make any difference. They already found missles that exceeded the max range, and Blix already ordered them destroyed, which they had not yet done at the time we went in. Sure, we can argue he INTENDED to, and “was working towards compliance”, but the fact remains, he had no business with those missles in the first place.

Missles are hard to hide. Anthrax isn’t. If he had hidden missles until the UN recently just found them, he also COULD be as well hiding anthrax. Or- maybe all he owned was “conventional ordinance” that still violated the accords. I don’t know, but since we caught him in a few lies, I don’t see why we’d beleive him on the rest. Now I’ll admit that he may never have had nukes, but they admited they had copious Chem & Bio weapons that “they destroyed”, altho there is no record of that destruction.

Note that I am NOT one of the “war party” here. I stil think that an actual “invasion” was not the right way to go. But I also beleive that Saddam is a lying criminal evil piece of shit. Trying to prove he wasn’t will just make you look silly, IMHO. (Remember all the debates here where the anti-war party tried to pin all their hopes on the fact that Bin Laden maybe didn’t have anything to do with 9-11?) Instead- embrace the fact he is evil, he had WMD, and he supported terrorism (but likely not Bin Laden)- and still we had no right to go invading his nation anyway. Stop pinning your theses on “Saddam has no WMD”. Instead go for “We have no right to invade a soveriegn nation until they are a clear & present danger” (which SH wasn’t, at least to US)

If we don’t find any WMD’s then that will raise serious questions. Bush will be in deep stuff if that happens. He will join LBJ.

[ul]:eek: [sup]Would that make it the “Texan Principle”?[/sup][/ul]

Sorry if I jumped on you, DrDeth. I still don’t think the moral equivalence between WMD and long-range missiles i saw in your post is accurate, but I do agree with you that Hussein is a shithead.

All the same, we’ve got very strong evidence that our government has put false evidence in front of us in support of its thesis that Hussein has usable WMDs. While I won’t deny that he has usable WMDs, I require more evidence that he does before I believe that he does.

Look at it this way. I might tell you that Frank over there is carrying a grenade around with him. You might know that Frank is an asshole, but given that I’m suggesting shooting Frank in the head, you might want a little more proof beyond my word about the grenade before you acquiesce to the shooting. Especially if I have a reputation of being an opportunistic liar. If Frank turns out to have the grenade, you won’t be proven wrong, because you never denied it in the first place.

I’m unconvinced, given the evidence I’ve seen so far, that Hussein has usable WMDs.


You make a point, Daniel m’boy. As far as “crimes against humanity” goes, there is a difference between CBR (aka NBC, aka WMD) weapons and “conventional weapons”. However; SH is prohibited from the long range missle in the same paragraph as CBR weapons- the UN made no distinction in either being a more serious violation that the other. There is no “Penalty for CBR weapons= death by uga-booga. Penalty for long range missles= a real long time out in his room- with NO supper, mind you.” The UN , in it’s infinite wisdom, equated the two.

As I said in another thread- some of the anti-war party here are making a dangerous strategic error in pinning their thesis on “Saddam has no WMD, thus we were wrong for going to war against him”. Remember back around 9-11, when some of the same dudes hung their hat on “We have no proof Bin Laden had anything to do with the Twin Towers”. Now, we don’t see them coming back & saying- “umm, err, no we were wrong, Osama was responsible, oops”. Instead. my point is “Saddam is a dangerous nutcake (good wording :smiley: ) he likely has WMD, he certainly has violated the UN accords, he supports terrorism- but still, he is not a “clear & present danger” to the USA, thus we have no right to invade”.

I guess my difference with you, DrDeth, is that I think, “We have clear and incontrovertible evidence that Hussein has usable WMDs” to be a compelling pro-war argument, for two reasons:

  1. Hussein shouldn’t have that shit; and
  2. The US has been saying it; if it’s true, it means the US isn’t lying.

If we only obtain that evidence of usable WMDs after the invasion has begun, the terrible precedent is still set. That is, the US will still have launched an invasion lacking solid evidence.

I don’t see people hanging the anti-war argument on Hussein’s lack of WMDs; I see folks hanging it on our lack of evidence that Hussein has WMDs. It’s a subtle but important distinction, one that the inspectors make, and one that much of the world community makes. We’ve ignored this distinction to our own detriment.


If a SCUD is all they find, Bush will look fairly foolish. Sure, they are banned ordinance, but generally considered an inacurate and outdated weapon. Not the type of weapon to start a war over.

The prospect of his not having the dreaded WMD’s has such truly awful ramifications, I’d be reluctant to disapprove of lying about it.

As most likely you know, I would have done just about anything short of daubing myself with shit and setting it on fire to stop this war…but here it is. I can only hope at this point that its over with quick, if God shall cease to avert his eyes.

Even if he has them and we find them, half the world isn’t going to believe it, after all the forgeries and bullshit we’ve foisted off on the world. But they wouldn’t believe us anyway, so thats a lost cause.

But if he doesn’t have them (or had them and we can’t find them, same difference), we lose even the slightest justification, lose whatever moderates might be inclined to cut us a break. They will be shouted down by the fanatics because we will have undercut even the merest, least plausible argument.

And then, heaven help us.