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Anonymous

The Case of the Missing WMD's
    #2483897 - 03/30/04 04:10 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

i think this raises some good points;

The Case of the Missing WMDs
by Gene Healy

Some war critics can barely contain their glee about the missing Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. But they may be setting themselves up for a fall. As the Bush administration constantly reminds us, Iraq is a big country, and the weapons may yet turn up. If they do, does that mean the administration is vindicated?

Hardly. The focus on missing weapons threatens to obscure the larger point: that with or without chemical and biological weapons, Iraq was never a national security threat to the United States.

The proposition that Saddam Hussein was willing to hand over WMD to terrorists appears to have been based on sheer speculation, and implausible speculation at that. Despite over 20 years of supporting terror against Israel, Hussein never turned over chemical or biological weapons to Palestinian terror groups, reasoning, correctly, that such action would provoke massive retaliation. Still less was he likely to hand over such weapons to Al Qaeda, a group that has long opposed his "socialist infidel" rule and could not trust to keep the deal secret.

Moreover, Al Qaeda's behavior suggests that they never expected Saddam to give them WMD. Computer hard drives and paper documents seized in the March 1 capture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, a top-level Al Qaeda operative, reveal that the terror group had extensive plans to produce chemical and biological agents on its own. As the Washington Post reported on March 23, the documents show that Al Qaeda had recruited competent scientists and extensively mapped out its plans for anthrax production. If access to Iraqi WMD was a real possibility, why would Al Qaeda go to such lengths to produce its own?

And even if one believed the administration's assertions that Hussein might risk destroying his regime by giving Al Qaeda WMD, it was obvious that a war aimed at overthrowing Hussein would greatly increase the chances of those weapons ending up in Al Qaeda's hands. What possible disincentive could the Iraqi dictator have to transferring his arsenal to terrorists, once regime-change was underway and he had nothing left to lose? How could the administration ensure that Iraqi WMD would not be "privatized" and sold to the highest bidder in the chaos accompanying the collapse of the Baathist regime?

In fact, components for a "dirty bomb" may already be in the wrong hands. A large nuclear-material storage facility at Al Tuwaitha, south of Baghdad, was looted in the days following the war, and International Atomic Energy Agency officials fear that terrorists could make radiological bombs with the isotopes that have gone missing. What other dangerous materials or proscribed weapons have we lost track of in a "country the size of California"?

Sometime in the coming months, U.S. forces may well happen upon some VX canisters or anthrax stockpiles, and the administration will breathe a sigh of relief. Such a discovery may change the media's focus, but it can't change the facts: This war did not avert a serious threat to the United States. Instead, it may have created new ones.

http://www.cato.org/dailys/06-19-03.html


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OfflineLearyfan
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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: ]
    #2484125 - 03/30/04 05:14 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Nothing will change the minds of those on this board who support Bush.




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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: Learyfan]
    #2485440 - 03/30/04 11:19 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

He makes some valid points...after the fact. It's easy to know what the quarterback should have done after the play, isn't it.

But in keeping an open mind, and not commiting my trust in someones integrity and character - and assuming they have evil intentions - based on a conspiracy theory, I'll play Captain Neocon. But I'm going to revisit some old, basic points because that's the view it was looked at when the decision was made.

Since I don't have reason to believe they have some scheme to misguide everyone, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. To trust that people are inherantly good until proven otherwise. There was a vast amount of intelligence, both verified and not, saying that there was a huge issue here. It was accepted WORLDWIDE, that he he possessed WMD's, and actively sought there development. Let's not forget that regime change had been the position of the last presidency as well, ever since the Gulf War.

We then had 911. Terrorism is on the forefront now (though I still haven't figured out why it wasn't when the attempt on the World Trade Center was made). Many of you who disagree with the conflict in Iraq, supported the campaign in Afghanistan. That would make me believe you support the policy of attacking the terrorists, and states who support or harbour them.

I do in fact support the doctrine of using military force (in addition to other tactics) to combat these terrorists and the governments who would protect them. If it is believed that they constitute a threat, then I think it is reasonable that we invade a country that demonstrates an unwillingness to comply with resolutions imposed upon it...resolutions it agreed to. He tried to assasinate a former president of our country. His use of deadly gas against his own people, and invasion of another country demonstrates his willingness to use drastic measures to achieve his ends.

The article claims he never turned over WMD to Palestinian terror groups because he reasoned it would provoke massive retaliation. So? He has shown he is willing to support terrorists. He paid suicide bombers far more than they would normally earn to help persuade more to volunteer. There is also enough intelligence about what went on at Salmon Pak, a site verified, to allow any sane person to reason they weren't there learing to how to offload luggage.


So imagine your the president and 9/11 just happened. It is already our position that he be removed. He is given the oppourtunity to cooperate, and he doesn't. You have what you believe to be credible intelligence suggesting that he is actively involved with developing WMD's. Regardless of what you think the inspectors concluded about his capability, you can't deny he showed a history of deceit in their operations. Even right up to the invasion, when he reluctantly allowed more inspections, they were denied entry to several places by the second day.

Consider he is an oppresive, mass-murdering dictator, that we already want removed and has repeatedly broke the conditions of his surrender.

Hmmm, what to do, what to do.

Even if it's true that Iraq didn't constitute a threat to us at that moment, as David Kay has testified, it was still the right thing to do becuase they still sought to develop WMD's. It has scared North Korea shitless as they believe their next. Libya gave up its WMD asperations, with a program no one suspected the extent, or even existance of (as far as I have seen, though I haven't thoroughly read the subject).

Opponents of Bush have claimed the need for more cooperation with these oppresive governments, calling for diplomacy and a mending of the rifts created by our actions there. Some of those currently living under the these regimes, like a large portion of the youth of Iran, have expressed their support for our recent policy in the Middle East, while condemning those who would attack Bush. Didn't most of you also claim this war would have been just if the reason's put forth by the administration were humanitarian?

So is it possible the administration was wrong or even lied. Absolutely. But this wasn't an event without history. Claiming this is some plan conceived by Bush, with him and his cronies deserving exclusive blaim, is an unverified, and undeserved assertion. Since many of you were the same ones who claimed unverified intelligence shouldn't be considered in such a consequential decision, I wonder if you believe your own arguments should be ignored?

Edit - I said Paul Bremer but meant David Kay


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Edited by HagbardCeline (03/31/04 01:17 AM)


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: Learyfan]
    #2485493 - 03/30/04 11:30 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Learyfan said:
Nothing will change the minds of those on this board who support Bush.







As HashMaster pointed out, supporting policies, doesn't constitute complete support. I can think of far more things that he has done that I dislike rather than like.

Is there not a single thing Bush has done that you support?


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2485526 - 03/30/04 11:38 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Is there not a single thing Bush has done that you support?



The only thing I can think of is the national "do not call" list, which is worthless to me because we've already had such a list in California for a while.


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: silversoul7]
    #2485762 - 03/31/04 12:53 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Is there not a single thing Bush has done that you support?




It took me a few moments of thinking, but yes, there is. Bush is planning on trying to pass a bill to stop the surge of frivulous lawsuits against companies, as in, if you fall off a ladder, you sue the ladder company. These are absolutely ridiculous, and probably one opion I agree with of the thousands of opinions of Bush I don't.


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: Learyfan]
    #2485768 - 03/31/04 12:55 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Nothing will change the minds of those on this board who support Bush.

Amen.


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: ]
    #2485779 - 03/31/04 12:59 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

As the Bush administration constantly reminds us, Iraq is a big country, and the weapons may yet turn up.

Amazing as it sounds and what Bush will never tell you is that WMD don't make themselves, WMD can't walk and they don't bury themselves in the sand when an american walks by.

PEOPLE have to make them and then PEOPLE have to hide them. Anyone involved with either making or hiding a WMD in the last 10 years could collect a 30 million dollar cheque tomorrow if he told the americans what he did.

Is everyone really that loyal to Saddam?  :smirk:

Sometime in the coming months, U.S. forces may well happen upon some VX canisters or anthrax stockpiles, and the administration will breathe a sigh of relief

Think he's missing the point here. There may well be stockpiles left over from the 80's buried somewhere. Lord knows the americans helped Iraq make enough. It's whether any have been made in the last 10 years we're interested in - not 20 year old stockpiles.


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: ]
    #2487015 - 03/31/04 02:31 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

that article echos exactly what i've been saying since before the war started. He just articulated it much better. It's basically all common sense really..and that's pretty much all there is to go on considering there was never any real solid intelligence put forth to tell me otherwise. Just lots of bullshit and speculation that was presented as 'fact'.


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2488692 - 04/01/04 12:31 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

HagbardCeline said:
He makes some valid points...after the fact.  It's easy to  know  what the quarterback should have done after the play, isn't it. 

But in keeping an open mind, and not commiting my trust in someones integrity and character - and assuming they have evil intentions - based on a conspiracy theory, I'll play Captain Neocon.  But I'm going to revisit some old, basic points because that's the view it was looked at when the decision was made.

Since I don't have reason to believe they have some scheme to misguide everyone, I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.  To trust that people are inherantly good until proven otherwise.  There was a vast amount of intelligence, both verified and not, saying that there was a huge issue here.  It was accepted WORLDWIDE, that he he possessed WMD's, and actively sought there development. Let's not forget that regime change had been the position of the last presidency as well, ever since the Gulf War. 

We then had 911.  Terrorism is on the forefront now (though I still haven't figured out why it wasn't when the attempt on the World Trade Center was made).  Many of you who disagree with the conflict in Iraq, supported the campaign in Afghanistan. That would make me believe you support the policy of attacking the terrorists, and states who support or harbour them. 

I do in fact support the doctrine of using military force (in addition to other tactics) to combat these terrorists and the governments who would protect them.  If it is believed that they constitute a threat, then I think it is reasonable that we invade a country that demonstrates an unwillingness to comply with resolutions imposed upon it...resolutions it agreed to.  He tried to assasinate a former president of our country.  His use of deadly gas against his own people, and invasion of another country demonstrates his willingness to use drastic measures to achieve his ends. 

The article claims he never turned over WMD to Palestinian terror groups because he reasoned it would provoke massive retaliation.  So?  He has shown he is willing to support terrorists.  He paid suicide bombers far more than they would normally earn to help persuade more to volunteer.  There is also enough intelligence about what went on at Salmon Pak, a site verified, to allow any sane person to reason they weren't there learing to how to offload luggage.


So imagine your the president and 9/11 just happened.  It is already our position that he be removed.  He is given the oppourtunity to cooperate, and he doesn't.  You have what you believe to be credible intelligence suggesting that he is actively involved with developing WMD's. Regardless of what you think the inspectors concluded about his capability, you can't deny he showed a history of deceit in their operations.  Even right up to the invasion, when he reluctantly allowed more inspections, they were denied entry to several places by the second day.

Consider he is an oppresive, mass-murdering dictator, that we already want removed and has repeatedly broke the conditions of his surrender.

Hmmm, what to do, what to do.

Even if it's true that Iraq didn't constitute a threat to us at that moment, as David Kay has testified, it was still the right thing to do becuase they still sought to develop WMD's.  It has scared North Korea shitless as they believe their next.  Libya gave up its WMD asperations, with a program no one suspected the extent, or even existance of (as far as I have seen, though I haven't thoroughly read the subject). 

Opponents of Bush have claimed the need for more  cooperation with these oppresive governments, calling for diplomacy and a mending of the rifts created by our actions there. Some of those currently living under the these regimes, like a large portion of the youth of Iran, have expressed their support for our recent policy in  the Middle East, while condemning those who would attack Bush.  Didn't most of you also claim this war would have been just if the reason's put forth by the administration were humanitarian?

So is it possible the administration was wrong or even lied.  Absolutely. But this wasn't an event without history.  Claiming this is some plan conceived by Bush, with him and his cronies deserving exclusive blaim, is an unverified, and undeserved assertion.  Since many of you were the same ones who claimed unverified intelligence shouldn't be considered in such a consequential decision, I wonder if you believe your own arguments should be ignored?

Edit - I said Paul Bremer but meant David Kay




Excellent post. Well said.:thumbup:

Whether one agrees or disagrees with the Iraq War, it is important to know the proper context of the facts at present. Things aren't as simple as many Bush critics attempt to portray.
I think alot of people discredit the fact that there was a fairly logical rationale for the war, agree with it or not.


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: Ravus]
    #2488828 - 04/01/04 12:55 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Ravus said:
Quote:

Is there not a single thing Bush has done that you support?




It took me a few moments of thinking, but yes, there is. Bush is planning on trying to pass a bill to stop the surge of frivulous lawsuits against companies, as in, if you fall off a ladder, you sue the ladder company. These are absolutely ridiculous, and probably one opion I agree with of the thousands of opinions of Bush I don't.



It should be left to the courts, not Congress or the President, to decide if a lawsuit is frivolous.


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: silversoul7]
    #2488863 - 04/01/04 01:00 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I agree.

Similarly, Bush supported legislation that passed in Texas, after he was no longer governor, that limits medical damages to $250,000.

If some doctor removed my good kidney instead of the one ravaged by cancer, I deserve a hell of a lot more than $250K.


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Edited by HagbardCeline (04/01/04 01:01 AM)


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: Divided_Sky]
    #2488883 - 04/01/04 01:02 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

It was accepted WORLDWIDE, that he he possessed WMD's, and actively sought there development

No, the intelligence agencies have said their intelligence in Iraq was very weak. No inside people, just trusting the word of bitter exiles and the Israeli's telling them stories. The intelligence was woeful and Bush and Blair knew it, they just spun it to make a case. Even Powell said in 2001

He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq...


I think alot of people discredit the fact that there was a fairly logical rationale for the war, agree with it or not.

Nah, Bush and Blair certainly knew the intelligence was barely more than worthless and far from rational. Which is why they were so keen to get the war started before the weapons inspectors had time to confirm there were no weapons there.


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: Xlea321]
    #2489034 - 04/01/04 01:25 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I for one have a hard time believing Bush, Blair and John Howard are all going to invade a country on the premise of it having WMD, knowing none will be found and they will look like fools or liars. That is political suicide.
Moreover, the possible alternative motives involving oil and such are unconvincing. Hell, gas prices are at a record high. Why would these governments spend huge amounts of money, manpower and political credibility to invade a country for no reward?

As far as WMD theory being accepted: The Clinton Administration, and dozens of Democrats (alliteration!) have all stated it was very clear Iraq had weapons. Even further, the governments of Canada, Spain, Italy, France, Belguim, Poland, Germany, Russia, Australia and New Zealand all believed Saddam had the weapons.

The issue was never whether or not Saddam had the WMDs, it was how to disarm him: UN inspectors or regime change. Think back to a year and a half ago...


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2489098 - 04/01/04 01:37 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

He makes some valid points...after the fact. It's easy to know what the quarterback should have done after the play, isn't it.





How is observing that Saddam never supplied wmds to the Palestinians after the fact??
How is noting that Saddam and Al-qaida are diametrically opposed and unlikely to be doing business with each other after the fact?

Quote:

was a vast amount of intelligence, both verified and not, saying that there was a huge issue here.




Really? From what I can gather there was hardly any intelligence that supported the idea that Iraq was over run with WMDs. Thats why we have had the Hutton enquiry in the UK and numerous intelligence experts in the US have said the same thing.

Quote:

We then had 911.




Inever ceases to amaze me how people persist in mentioning 911 when talking about Iraq. Please explain what the hell it has got to do with Iraq.

Quote:

I do in fact support the doctrine of using military force (in addition to other tactics) to combat these terrorists and the governments who would protect them.




Then they will continue to use force in response. Simple cause and effect. If the US keep going around blowing up civillians they shouldnt act all surprised and outraged when somebody launches an attack on their own soil.


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: Xlea321]
    #2489175 - 04/01/04 01:47 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Good God this is impossible.

I love how many of you like to ignore the big picture, and focus in on details without regard to logic.

Quote:

No, the intelligence agencies have said their intelligence in Iraq was very weak. No inside people, just trusting the word of bitter exiles and the Israeli's telling them stories. The intelligence was woeful and Bush and Blair knew it, they just spun it to make a case.




I would argue with this asserition, as it ignores countless claims, made by members of governments who even opposed us going to war. It was claimed by other governments, and even the previous administration. We can go back and forth providing quotes from various sources backing our positions, but that isn't really neccesary. So let's assume that intelligence was faulty (as I already conceided the possibility).

That was not the justification for going to war anyway.

Everyone critical of Bush loved when David Kay presented his testimony to Congress. He had found no evidence of supporting an arsenal of WMD.

But why is that you ignore the rest of what he said.

"that Saddam was actively developing missiles that exceeded range limits imposed by the United Nations"

"In addition to intent, we have found a large body of continuing activities and equipment that were not declared to the U.N. inspectors when they returned in November of last year,"


that there was evidence that Iraq "focused on maintaining small, covert capabilities that could be activated quickly to surge the production of (biological weapons) agents."

"a clandestine network of laboratories and safehouses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service that contained equipment ... suitable for continuing (chemical and biological weapon) research."


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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2489406 - 04/01/04 02:44 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

I love how many of you like to ignore the big picture, and focus in on details without regard to logic.




Of course your position is logically sound... ZZZzzzzzzzzz


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: HagbardCeline]
    #2501736 - 04/01/04 11:00 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

That was not the justification for going to war anyway

But it's the only reason that had a hope in hell of getting through the UN and not being utterly illegal under international law. Which is why it was pushed so strongly. With no WMD the invasion was as stated at Nuremburg - "The supreme war crime"

But why is that you ignore the rest of what he said

But what does "continuing activities not declared to the UN" actually refer to? Can't be anything to do with the production of or hiding of WMD because it's widely acknowledged they were all destroyed 10 years ago and there's been no programs since.


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Anonymous

Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: Xlea321]
    #2503369 - 04/01/04 12:06 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

But it's the only reason that had a hope in hell of getting through the UN and not being utterly illegal under international law.

what "international law" did the united states violate by invading iraq?

the point of this article was to say that weapons or no weapons, hussein was not a threat, and that the threat level was actually increased by the invasion. that's the bigger issue. whether or not hussein had weapons is largely irrelevant to the united states unless they posed a threat to us. even if he did have weapons, but posed no threat to the US, it shouldn't have been our job to go enforce the UN's resolutions for them.

as far as the war being illegal, why? what specific treaty or agreement did it violate?


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Anonymous

Re: The Case of the Missing WMD's [Re: ]
    #2503720 - 04/01/04 12:20 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

ah, i found it...


article 4, UN charter

"All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."


Article 39, UN charter

The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 4 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Article 40

In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable. Such provisional measures shall be without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned. The Security Council shall duly take account of failure to comply with such provisional measures.

Article 41

The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.

Article 42

Should the Security Council consider that measures provided for in Article 41 would be inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.


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