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OfflineRonoS
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So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction?
    #1467618 - 04/17/03 04:38 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

America targeted 14,000 sites. So where are the weapons of mass destruction?

By Andrew Gumbel
13 April 2003


They were the reason the United States and Britain were in such a hurry to go to war, the threat the rank-and-file troops feared most.

And yet, after three weeks of war, after the capture of Baghdad and the collapse of the Iraqi government, Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction ? those weapons that President Bush, on the eve of hostilities, said were a direct threat to the people of the United States ? have still to be identified.

Many influential people ? disarmament experts, present and former United Nations arms inspectors, our own Robin Cook ? have begun to wonder aloud if the weapons exist at all.

The public surrender of a senior Iraqi scientist could yet backfire against the US and Britain. Lieutenant-General Amer Hammoudi al-Saadi, who handed himself over to US forces yesterday, continued to proclaim that Iraq no longer holds any chemical or biological weapons. He should know: the British-educated chemical expert headed the Iraqi delegation at weapons talks with the United Nations.
The few "discoveries" trumpeted in the media ? the odd barrel here, a few dozen shells there ? have not been on a scale that could reasonably justify the unprovoked military invasion of a sovereign country, and in most cases have been proven to been no more than rumour, or propaganda, or a mixture of the two.

It could still be that, as American forces advance on Tikrit, Saddam's home town, chemical or biological weapons may be discovered, or even deployed by diehard Iraqi troops. But if the casus belli pleaded by George Bush and Tony Blair turns out to be entirely hollow ? and it should be stressed that we can't yet know that ? what does it say about their motivations for going to war in the first place? How much deception was involved in talking up the Iraqi threat, and how much self-deception?

As Susan Wright, a disarmament expert at the University of Michigan, said last week: "This could be the first war in history that was justified largely by an illusion." Even The Wall Street Journal, one of the administration's biggest cheerleaders, has warned of the "widespread scepticism" the White House can expect if it does not make significant, and undisputed, discoveries of forbidden weapons.

Before the war, American intelligence officials said that they had a list of 14,000 sites where, they suspected, chemical or biological agents had been harboured, as well as the delivery systems to deploy them. A substantial number of those sites have been inspected by the invading troops. Evidence to date of a "grave and gathering" threat: precisely zero.

Much of what has been unearthed points to something we knew about all along: the weapons programmes that Iraq ran before the 1991 Gulf War, before sanctions, before regular US and British bombing raids in the no-fly zones and before the UN weapons inspection regime that ran from 1991 to 1998.

US troops have discovered a few suspect barrels here, a sample bottle of nerve agent there, stacks of chemical suits and some drugs typically used to counteract the effects of a chemical attack, such as atropine and 2-pam chloride. According to many military experts, these finds suggest the vestiges of a weapons programme that has been dismantled, not one that is up and running. The US government argues that the weapons have been deliberately dispersed and hidden ? a claim that would have more merit if there were any evidence of where the materials might have gone.

In his State of the Union address in early February, President Bush was quite specific about the materials he believed Saddam was hiding: 25,000 litres of anthrax, 38,000 litres of botulinum toxin and 500 tons of sarin, mustard and nerve gas. These days, he does not mention weapons of mass destruction at all, focusing instead on the liberation of the Iraqi people ? as if liberation, not disarmament, had been the project all along.

The administration has shown its embarrassment in other ways. On day two of the war, Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defence, said finding and destroying weapons of mass destruction was the invading force's number two priority after toppling Saddam Hussein ? itself a reversal of the argument presented at the UN Security Council.

A week later, Victoria Clarke, the Pentagon spokeswoman, pushed the issue further down the list, behind capturing and evicting "terrorists sheltered in Iraq" and collecting intelligence on "terrorist networks". Now we are told that hunting for weapons is something we can expect once the fighting is over, and that it might go on for months before yielding significant results. "It's hard work," a plaintive Ms Clarke said last week.

Nonsense, say the disarmament experts. "It's clear there wasn't much," said Professor Wright, "otherwise they would have run into something by now. After all, they've taken Baghdad." Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector who spent four months badgering the United States and Britain in vain for reliable intelligence information about the whereabouts of lethal weapons, now says he believes the war was planned on entirely different criteria, well before his inspection teams went back into Iraq in December.

"I think the Americans started the war thinking there were some [weapons]. I think they now believe less in that possibility," he told the Spanish daily El Pais. "You ask yourself a lot of questions when you see the things they did to try to show that the Iraqis had nuclear weapons, like the fake contract with Niger."

Anxious to find a "smoking gun", a team of US disarmament experts has been set up to question Iraqis involved in weapons programmes, while others comb sites and analyse samples in the field using mobile labs.

The move has alarmed the weapons inspectors at the UN, where Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, pointedly said last week: "I think they are the ones with the mandate to disarm Iraq, and when the situation permits they should go back to resume their work."

The US team has attempted to lure some of the inspectors, who are recognised as the sole legitimate international authority on Iraq's weapons programmes.

The latest theory being touted in Washington by the usual unnamed government sources is that the Iraqis have moved their weapons out of the country, very possibly into Syria. This claim appears to have originated with Israeli intelligence ? which has every motivation for stirring up trouble for its hostile Arab neighbours ? and has been bolstered by reports of fighting between Iraqi Special Republican Guard units and US special forces near the Syrian border.

Disarmament experts do not give the claim much credence. After all, any suspicious convoy or mobile laboratory would almost certainly be spotted by US planes or spy satellites and bombed long before it reached Syria.

But the notion does provide the hawks in Washington with a compelling plot device not unlike the McGuffin factor in Alfred Hitchcock's films ? a catalyst that may or may not have significance in itself but that gets the suspense going and keeps the story rolling.

If the Bush administration should ever seek to turn its military wrath on Damascus, the weapons of mass destruction it is failing to find in Iraq might just provide the excuse once again.


--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


Edited by Rono (04/17/03 04:51 PM)


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Offlinediggitydankman
No longer aCannabisConnoisseur

Registered: 12/10/02
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: Rono]
    #1468687 - 04/17/03 11:23 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Finding an actual weapon may take quite some time.  Sites have been found that were very recently active (within weeks to 2 months).  Finding the actual weapons pose quite a few problems:

1.  A nuke is the size of a refrigerator, good luck finding one in a land mass the size of Montana.
2.  Chemical and Biological weapons are much smaller. :grin:
3.  Saddam is one crazy fucker and probably shoved them up his ass. 


--------------------
"It's only wrong if you get caught.
If consequences dictate
my course of action
I should play GOD."

Maynard James Keenan, Tool


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: diggitydankman]
    #1468692 - 04/17/03 11:26 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

3. Saddam is one crazy fucker and probably shoved them up his ass.



I've heard he IS one real big ass. They could probably fit.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: Rono]
    #1468798 - 04/18/03 12:07 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

There are now half a dozen threads asking "where are the WMDs" on the first two pages of this forum.

Do you think you guys could maybe stick to just one of them from here on? Thanks.

pinky


--------------------


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OfflineGringoLoco
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: diggitydankman]
    #1468826 - 04/18/03 12:18 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

???

Um, we just went in there and handed their asses back to them. Without any real opposition, we squashed them. The war can be considered over.

Now, presume you're Saddam Hussein. You're seeing your country rapidly disappear before your eyes. Your troops are either surrendering or being mowed down like grass. You've been specifically labeled for termination.

Now, you're Saddam, you've got a complex against the rest of the world, your time is ticking. You're not going to win. What are you going to do? Sit there and wait for George to tie you to the electrical chair, accepting it like a little bitch?

My point, and I do have one - If he had them, I'm fairly certain that "The most dangerous man on the planet" would have used his "Trump card". Countries are allowed to defend themselves, he certainly didn't have an army to stand up to America, so why should he *NOT* have used them? Because there were none to use.

Or maybe Saddam converted to Christianity a week into the war and just wants everyone to love him again. Yeah, maybe thats it.


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: GringoLoco]
    #1468852 - 04/18/03 12:30 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Or maybe Saddam converted to Christianity a week into the war and just wants everyone to love him again.



*** ding ding ding ding *** We have a winner folks!


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineGringoLoco
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: Evolving]
    #1468859 - 04/18/03 12:33 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Would sure fix our problem if that was our case.


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Invisiblez@z.com
Libertarian
Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 2,876
Loc: ATL
Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: GringoLoco]
    #1469007 - 04/18/03 01:48 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Or perhaps he gave any weapons he does have to someone who is willing to try and use them on American soil.


--------------------
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson


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OfflineAngry Mycologist
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: Rono]
    #1469020 - 04/18/03 01:53 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction?



WHat? I thaut we was attakin Irac cuz they blowed up the twin towerz?


--------------------
The proper penalty of ignorance, which is of course that those who don't know should learn from those who do... - Plato


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OfflineEchoVortex
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: z@z.com]
    #1469024 - 04/18/03 01:54 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Or perhaps he gave any weapons he does have to someone who is willing to try and use them on American soil.




Which means that the war was a complete failure in its stated objective to protect the people of the United States. Which means that the war accomplished precisely the OPPOSITE of what its stated objective was.

There are two possibilities:

1) Saddam didn't have WMD, in which case this war was illegal, unjustified, and a fraud on the American public.

2) He had them and took being attacked as provocation enough (gee, what was he thinking?) to give them to the people who could deliver them most effectively to American soil.

Either way, it was a jackass decision.


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Invisiblez@z.com
Libertarian
Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 2,876
Loc: ATL
Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: EchoVortex]
    #1469042 - 04/18/03 02:01 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

1) Saddam didn't have WMD, in which case this war was illegal, unjustified, and a fraud on the American public.



You do realize that we have only had a few weeks to search an entire fucking country right? It is possible we just haven't found them yet. As of now I have a wait and see attitude regarding this.


--------------------
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson


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Offlinesi1988crx
Beep beep byebye

Registered: 03/08/03
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: Angry Mycologist]
    #1469059 - 04/18/03 02:09 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

WHat? I thaut we was attakin Irac cuz they blowed up the twin towerz?




No, it was because Saddam tried to kill his daddy.


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OfflineGringoLoco
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: z@z.com]
    #1469188 - 04/18/03 03:15 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

You should take a look at my post again.

If you back a wounded dog into a corner and taunt it, what is going to happen? The dog will bite. That's not something I just pulled out of my ass to look good, it's COMMON SENSE. What happens when the dog has no teeth? It's a terrible analogy, I know, but the point is there - Smoke em if you got em.


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OfflineGringoLoco
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Perhaps this is something we can relate to [Re: si1988crx]
    #1469209 - 04/18/03 03:26 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Okay.... Envision this, you bunch of druggies....

One day you find a big bag of weed. I'm talkin Chong sized here.... mmmm.... this is really good stuff.... Problem is.... this is a really bad smelling bag of weed, the reason you picked it up is because you smelled it when you woke up in the morning and it was just lying there on your front step.

So, you got a big ol bag of skunk weed, and are just waiting to do just about anything in the world. You've got so many plans, then you hear a knock.

It's the po pos!

"We smell weed, and we's gonna arrest yo ass!"

"Wheres the warrant?"

"Damn.... @#*&^@!*#&$^@!#$. We'll be back.... and don't run."

And for some reason, maybe you're already stoned and glued to the couch or something, but you can't escape. The cops will be back in an hour, and they're pretty much gonna lock you up with Dolly whether you have weed or not....

Personally, I'd smoke weed till my lungs asphyxiate and I'd have to be taken to a hospital rather than jail  :grin:

But feel free to decide what you want to.


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Offlinediggitydankman
No longer aCannabisConnoisseur

Registered: 12/10/02
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Re: Perhaps this is something we can relate to [Re: GringoLoco]
    #1469522 - 04/18/03 08:01 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

I'm confused.  First of all you state 
Quote:

really bad smelling bag of weed


 
and then you go on to say.
Quote:

skunk weed




Skunk weed smells damn good.  So my question to you is which one is it?  :grin:

Saddam could very easily have already been killed and this would leave no real leader.  I really do not think anyone else would have the balls in that country to lauch any warheads, because so far they are not totally up to their knees in the trouble that Saddam is, yet.  At the end of the Gulf War Saddam had chem and biological weapons yet did not use them, (although he had quite exstensive plans for launching scuds at Israel) what makes you think he himself has the balls to use weapons on anyone but the Kurds.  I think someone is scared. 


--------------------
"It's only wrong if you get caught.
If consequences dictate
my course of action
I should play GOD."

Maynard James Keenan, Tool


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InvisibleInnvertigo
Vote Libertarian!!
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Registered: 02/09/01
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: Rono]
    #1469526 - 04/18/03 08:08 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

how many times are you going to ask the same question? Do you believe in giving them time?


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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Offlinefriartuck
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: Rono]
    #1469567 - 04/18/03 08:59 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

So where are the weapons of mass destruction?

Duh!...Syria.

:P


--------------------
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Never give up, never surrender.

If you're seeing bitterness, perhaps the time has come to clean the shit from your eyes.


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OfflineRonoS
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: Innvertigo]
    #1469747 - 04/18/03 10:50 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

Do you believe in giving them time?



The irony in that statement is too funny...you mean like giving the weapons inspectors the time they wanted?


--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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InvisibleInnvertigo
Vote Libertarian!!
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: Rono]
    #1469777 - 04/18/03 11:11 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

you mean like giving the weapons inspectors the time they wanted?




What's even funnier is that we've found more things in this short amount of time then the inspectors did. (mobile labs). Also, it seems kind of funny when we find something underground, the inspectors go "oh, we didn't know that was there. Those iraqi's didn't tell us the truth" DUHHH!!

you're grasping now.


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
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Re: So Where Are The Weapons Of Mass Destruction? [Re: GringoLoco]
    #1469778 - 04/18/03 11:11 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Remember that Washington labeled Sadam as "The most dangerous man on the planet." and marijuana as "The most dangerous drug on the planet."

Logic abounds in our fair capital city.



--------------------



The proof is in the pudding.


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