Thursday, 30 March 2006

Urban Myth: Iraq and WMD

I can't get over that some people are still banging this drum and it's angered me so much that I just had to post on it and lay some stuff out there...

1. The term itself: WMD.

WMD is a political term and not a military one and you can tell it's political because it's vague and the reason it's good it's vague is that specific is easier to disprove; what's ironic is that even one of the vaguest terms in living memory has not been proven to exist in Iraq. I'll say that again: NO EVIDENCE OF WMD IN IRAQ. Even though WMD could mean anything from a nuclear warhead, to a mortar round filled with anthrax or a waffle.

2. History of WMD in Iraq.

Like all nations with armies, Iraq used WMD, chemical/biological but never nuclear. You'll be glad to know that the US supplied Iraq with most of it's WMD during the Iraq/Iran war, with France, West Germany and the UK chipping in with the rest; all in the name of defeating Iran. You'll also be glad to know that due to our governments feeding Iraq with WMD to use against Iran, they have the dubious honour of being only second to Japan in number of people killed by WMD in human history. YAY FOR US! I'd like to stress at this point that you remember there is nothing wrong with Iraq owning and using WMD, they weren't alone and if you think they shouldn't have had them then you're a hypocrite. Although why they never used them in the Gulf War 1 I'll never know, in fact no one knows why they were never used.

3. Why 1991 is important.

This is where it gets political. Saddam's secular expansionist madness in Kuwait failed and like all losers in war his nation had to be punished and so came the UN sanctions and the legendary UN resolutions that were used (foolishly) as pretence to invade in 2003. Why foolish? Well, UN resolutions get broken all the time, especially by Israel, who tops the list of broken UN resolutions but we haven't invaded them have we?

The resolutions, in a nutshell, said that Iraq could not develop a whole array of weapons and not just WMD, even surface-to-air missiles within a certain range were banned. So, over the next decade, weapons inspectors were in and out of Iraq and it's weapons (both conventional and WMD) were destroyed, games were played, Iraq played for pride as its means of self-defense were slowly eradicated but the weapons inspectors were working.

4. Bush comes to power, doesn't like Iraq, decides to kick ass.

This is where it all goes a bit wrong, things had been moving along nicely but then Bush got into power. It was clear from the moment Bush got in that Iraq was a target, it was clear that while diplomacy was still be being tabled at the UN, Bush was preparing for war and what follows is a whole bunch of links that help paint the picture of a man that wanted to invade Iraq no matter what.

Here is the story about cooking up plans to provoke Iraq into war.
Here is the story about Blair and Bush agreeing on war months before it was decided.
Here is another story on that.
Here is a story that proves that Bush was lying when he said 'no President wants war' when he'd already drawn up the plans before Powell had been to the UN.
Here is a story about Cheney getting into office in 2000 and wanting to start work on building a case for war against Iraq.

All this is important because if you want to destroy someone enough, you will use any means to justify your behaviour and all of this proves that no matter what, Iraq was going to be invaded and regime change would be taking place. No matter what.

5. US Iraq Survey Group Final Report (the Duelfer Report)

This is the best bit, because this is the US sponsored document that marked extensive research and investigation into Iraq's WMD capabilities and came up with the following:

"ISG has not found evidence that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD stocks in 2003...some weapons existed in Iraq although not of a militarily significant capability."

This of course had been preceded by the UN weapons inspectors saying:

"We have found no indication that Iraq has a currently active program to make nuclear weapons and that there is no credible evidence that Iraq possesses nuclear weapons."

6. BULLSHIT! They moved them to Syria!

This is nearly as funny as the made up story about Saddam getting uranium from Niger (remember that?), the ISG dealth with this myth best by saying:

"ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place."

In media interviews before the addenda were published officials went further, saying they had not seen any information indicating that WMD or significant amounts of components and equipment were transferred from Iraq to neighboring Syria or elsewhere.

8. Summary.

There were no WMD in Iraq.

Bush and pals should have been honest about the fact they just wanted to kick Saddam's ass, I'm sure the US public would have bought it without resorting to lying.


  1. I'll agree with you on all of it but the WMD (sorry, I know you don't like the term so I'll used bio warfare instead in here).

    Bio warfare is a nasty, insidious warfare (as all warfare can be) but has the distinction of making people die hideously and it doesn't discriminate between the young and the old. Of course, many terrorists (and Saddam) didn't either, but the point is that with a bullet or a grenade you usually choose your target and if you're ethical it's not going to be women or children unless they're coming after you with grenades.

  2. One of the problems with the alleged WMD was that a brother-in-law (or cousin or somesuch) of SH defected to the west and assured the powers that be that there were a number of active & successful WMD programs.

    It is now a widely supported view that SH believed he had a WMD program. Unfortunately (for him if not for us) it was being skimmed at every level so there was no resources left to actually build WMD. Of course, good news got passed back up the chain, so SH never knew he was weaponless, he just thought his guys were doing a terrific job of hiding them.

    Not that this has anything to do with the US invasion. Basically, Saddam was a US sponsered dictator. And when the US puts a ditctator into power they are supposed to do as they are told. And when they don't the US gets pissed. He's not the first & he won't be the last.

  3. Oh, & before I get an anti US roasting, The UK's reason for invasion was worse. Tony Blair wants to be Margaret Thatcher, and this was meant to be his Falklands. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) Tony is not half the man Maggie was!

  4. I'll go along with Mr. Rich.

    In theory, it's true that the Bush adminiatration should have just been up front. In reality, the herd mentality doesn't respond to that without trying to look deeper when it's not that deep. They need the lies. Why else would people be so addicted to TV?

  5. If Tony Blair wants to be Margaret Thatcher, he can grow a pair of balls.

    Hussein was given direct American assent to invade Kuwait. Saddam complained to April Glaspie (the American ambassador) repeatedly about Kuwaiti border skirmishes--which are called Jihad when America wants people to dislike the aggressors--and the fact that Kuwaiti oil companies were slant-drilling Iraqi reserves.

    He indicated his desire to "annex" Kuwait, who on top of everything else had a gross human rights record, which was an abomination to the kind of secular humanist government EVERYBODY knew Iraq was pursuing prior to Asshole #1 drawing "a line in the sand."

    After consulting Asshole #1, Glaspie informed Hussein that the American government would not intervene in what it characterised as a "regional dispute."

    When Hussein invaded Kuwait, he was under the impression that the American buildup of troops was in keeping with their role as security guards for their Royal Saudi owners. He did not expect, that an actual war would break out.

    The justification for invading Iraq was that Saddam's forces performed a flanking manoeuver against American forces, in their attempt to invade Saudi Arabia. They were accused of having crossed "the line" Asshole #1 drew in the sand.

    This never happened, except as a figment of some American's imagination. In fact, Saddam signalled "coalition" forces constantly, attempting to contact the American commanders and find out why they were arrayed against him.

    Realising he was about to be creamed, of course he didn't use WMD. However, "coalition" forces did use nuclear weapons, although in the form of "depleted" uranium.

    The main, immediate problem with "depleted" uranium is not radiation. The soluable uranium salt present in aerosol forms of uranium 238-235 poisons the renal system, and can lead to general organ failure. This is "Gulf War Syndrome" in a nutshell.

    Depleted uranium is also "pyrophoric," which means if it is disintegrated, the particles will react with oxygen and spontaneously burn. This is one of the main desired effects, as the round is intended to puncture the outside of a vehicle or building, then violently burn everything inside.

    Personnel sent to mop up after battles would be immediately exposed to inhalation risks of both the uranium salt and any residual uranium dust. All the while, "depleted" uranium remains somewhat radioactive, adding to the toxic cocktail ingested by anyone in the vicinity.

    So, if it's WMD everyone's worried about, when do we finally go after the Americans for using then in Iraq, Kosovo, etc ad nauseum?

  6. The only WMD in Iraq is depleted uranium 238-235.

    The soluble salt causes renal and organ failure, and is the primary cause of "Gulf War Syndrome."

    When a DU round strikes a surface, such as thick armour, it disintegrates. Being pyrophoric, DU dust burns spontaneously, leading to the lung-burn syndromes typical in GWS cases.

    Added to these, DU is still radioactive. If the mop-up personnel are amazingly lucky, and avoid uranium salt toxicity, and avoid scarred lung tissue by burning uranium dust, they will likely suffer radiation-related illnesses in future years, which are impossible to predict.

    So, when do we go after the United States for their illegal use of WMD?

  7. Old Man Rich said, "It is now a widely supported view that SH believed he had a WMD program.

    Funny how the Saddam tapes recently released record him telling his generals that he had been bluffing and that he didn't have any WMD's. In case you missed that, I have copied it in its entirety:

    AP Special Correspondent
    Tue Mar 21, 5:19 PM ET
    BAGHDAD, Iraq - Exasperated, besieged by global pressure,

    Saddam Hussein and top aides searched for ways in the 1990s to prove to the world they'd given up banned weapons.

    "We don't have anything hidden!" the frustrated Iraqi president interjected at one meeting, transcripts show.
    At another, in 1996, Saddam wondered whether U.N. inspectors would "roam

    Iraq for 50 years" in a pointless hunt for weapons of mass destruction. "When is this going to end?" he asked.

    It ended in 2004, when U.S. experts, after an exhaustive investigation, confirmed what the men in those meetings were saying: that Iraq had eliminated its weapons of mass destruction long ago, a finding that discredited the Bush administration's stated rationale for invading Iraq in 2003 — to locate WMD.

    The newly released documents are among U.S. government translations of audiotapes or Arabic-language transcripts from top-level Iraqi meetings — dating from about 1996-97 back to the period soon after the 1991
    Gulf War when the U.N. Security Council sent inspectors to disarm Iraq.

    Even as the documents make clear Saddam's regime had given up banned weapons, they also attest to its continued secretiveness: A 1997 document from Iraqi intelligence instructed agencies to keep confidential files away from U.N. teams, and to remove "any forbidden equipment."

    Since it's now acknowledged the Iraqis had ended the arms programs by then, the directive may have been aimed at securing stray pieces of equipment, and preserving some secrets from Iraq's 1980s work on chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

    Saddam's inner circle entertained notions of reviving the programs someday, the newly released documents show. "The factories will remain in our brains," one unidentified participant told Saddam at a meeting, apparently in the early 1990s.

    At the same meeting, however, Saddam, who was deposed by the U.S. invasion in 2003 and is now on trial for crimes against humanity, led a discussion about converting chemical weapons factories to beneficial uses.
    When a subordinate complained that U.N. inspectors had seized equipment at the plants useful for pharmaceutical and insecticide production, Saddam jumped in, saying they had "no right" to deny the Iraqis the equipment, since "they have ascertained that we have no intention to produce in this field (chemical weapons)."

    Saddam's regime extensively videotaped and audiotaped meetings and other events, both public and confidential. The dozen transcribed discussions about weapons inspections largely dealt with Iraq's diplomatic strategies for getting the Security Council to confirm it had disarmed.

    Scores of Iraqi documents, seized after the 2003 invasion, are being released at the request of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Peter Hoekstra who has suggested that evidence might turn up that the Iraqis hid their weapons or sent them to neighboring No such evidence has emerged.

    Repeatedly in the transcripts, Saddam and his lieutenants remind each other that Iraq destroyed its chemical and biological weapons in the early 1990s, and shut down those programs and the nuclear-bomb program, which had never produced a weapon.

    "We played by the rules of the game," Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said at a session in the mid-1990s. "In 1991, our weapons were destroyed."

    Amer Mohammed Rashid, a top weapons program official, told a 1996 presidential meeting he laid out the facts to the U.N. chief inspector.

    "We don't have anything to hide, so we're giving you all the details," he said he told Rolf Ekeus.
    In his final report in October 2004, Charles Duelfer, head of a post-invasion U.S. team of weapons hunters, concluded Iraq and the U.N. inspectors had, indeed, dismantled the nuclear program and destroyed the chemical and biological weapons stockpiles by 1992, and the Iraqis never resumed production.

    Saddam's goal in the 1990s was to have the Security Council lift the economic sanctions strangling the Iraqi economy, by convincing council members Iraq had eliminated its WMD. But he was thwarted at every turn by what he and aides viewed as U.S. hard-liners blocking council action.

    The inspectors "destroyed everything and said, `Iraq completed 95 percent of their commitment,'" Saddam said at one meeting. "We cooperated with the resolutions 100 percent and you all know that, and the 5 percent they claim we have not executed could take them 10 years to (verify).

    "Don't think for a minute that we still have WMD," he told his deputies. "We have nothing."

  8. Wow! I learned something today. Thanks everyone! Maybe I'll be revising my opinion...!

  9. Nicely laid out guys.

    Saur, the light is good. Keep your eye on it. You night find yourself getting aggravated that others don't see it.

    Unless of course you ebing sarcastic, in that case never mind.

  10. Check this out:

    Is this bogus? Why, cuz it goes against the Duelfer Report?

    Perhaps the Duelfer Report is right that from an a posterori approach, no evidence is found that Saddam had stockpile of WMD's hidden. However, unless you find them, there is no evidence, right? So, to assert that he didn't have them based on finding them is a false assertion. Having no evidence means we couldn't find any. That's a proper assertion. Or you could say that he probably didn't have them; that's a proper assertion.

    However, if you read the above article and then take time to search out the evidence and documenation, we have reason to believe that the possibility for old stockpiles to have existed. You all are too quick to jump on the "Hate Bush" bandwagon, since it looks so posh when you bash Bush while drinking your 10 year old scotch.

    I will bet the website I provided will escape most all of your attention; you will COMPLETELY IGNORE this since your hatred of America and George Bush keep you from being honest intellectually.

    Saur: Don't give in too quickly to these folks. You don't NEED them as much as they think you do.

    Daniel: You are WAY too interested to see BUSH fall and American and Britain fail in this complex state of affairs to be take seriously for a nano-second.

    To you all:

    I have a question, what kind of world would we have if the mean old US, Britain, France, et al the so-called "good guys" get rid of all nuclear weapons, CW and BW, so we don't pose a threat to the "bad guys" who are the real good guys?

    Let's see how much naivete reigns in your brains...

  11. That link you provided and most evidence I have seen supporting the Syrian storing Iraq's WMD claim are based off the reportings of one Syrian journalist with an axe to grind with his government because they imprisoned and tortured him for 9 years. The odds of the Syrian journalist Nizar Nayyouf remaining unbiased in this matter seem very slim to me.

  12. Did he make it up? Is it partly true? Is it completely false? Is it worth looking into?

  13. I have no way of knowing personally. But short of me turning journalist and infiltrating Syria, I have to rely on reports via the media. When it comes down to believability, a man who was recognized by the International Consortum of Investigative Journalism (won in 2000) has more weight than some Syrian journalist with an axe to grind. Had Charles Hanley wrote the article on the link you provided and the Syrian journalist wrote about the Saddam tapes, I would weight things much differently.

  14. UL: I've read quite a bit on Syria acting as a store for Iraq's WMD and I'd like to offer some thoughts, first on the journalist who believes this is the case but before do the Duelfer report, which carried out painstaking research said that there is no chance of Syria storing anything. Anyway...

    He has a genuine axe to grind with Syrian leaders and to draw US attention to Syria and carry out regime change there, but this is not the main reason I find this to be unlikely, the mean reason is that the vast body of evidence says not and until we have more evidence that says Syria has them, that is how it stands. One voice does not a chorus make. The only other people who are perpetuating the Syria myth are Israel and a defecting Iraqi general.

    And considering how desperate the US to find something don't you think that they'd break the bank to follow through and prove this if there was a chance?

    I have noticed that intially in a debate you are quite calm and use the logic persona but once again your personal attacks on me shows that when presented by clear and correct evidence you get hot under the collar and start slamming everything as bias. My opinion counts because I read and research a wide range of documents and sources on these matters to make sure all angles are covered. It's not my fault if the Iraq War 2 was a flawed concept from the beginning...

  15. Gee, I guess you know so much about Syria, who am I to doubt? Yeah, the Syrian journalist was jailed by the benevolent government of Syria, which probably served the creep right, eh? He probably lied about something the government did that was really, really bad.

    We in America jail journalists for contempt of court but our government is EVILE because of the EVILE Geo. W. Bushitler. So, damn it, you proved me wrong again Daniel. Your logic is impeccable!

    Middle Eastern descent/non-Jewish government=good
    White European/US government=really really bad.

    Got it.

    Throw in a few NYTimes articles, or the Daily Kos and I will become a lefty. My life is forever changed.

  16. This has to stop UL, you're losing control and utterly misreading my posts, for example I never said benevolent Syria, it is your prejudice that means you are projecting this nonsense onto me.

    His treatment at the hands of Syria effects his testimony and the fact that the body of evidence says no.

    But you can't see that...

  17. I think UL is drinking. Not that there'sanything wrong with that. If you read his posts here and elsewhere his ramblings tend to go in patterns. The language changes. The tone changes. You can see it very plainly by the timestamps of the posts.

    UL's pattern
    7:00pm - "I disagree with you because you are different from me."
    9:00pm - "You think you're better than me?"
    11:00pm - "What the Piss!"
    12:00am - "I love you man, let's go to church."

    UL - To spend most of your time calling the media a bunch of liars and then to use a single bias journalist as a sole basis for your case exposes you as a fraud.


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