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.
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.