Thursday, April 17, 2003


Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?

A small case of being hoisted by one's own petard: (as Reuters reports.)

LONDON (Reuters) - The United States launched the war to disarm Iraq after accusing Baghdad of concealing weapons of mass destruction.

Baghdad denied having any banned weapons, and so far there have been no confirmed findings of any on Iraqi territory.

President Bush urged the United Nations on Wednesday to lift 13-year-old sanctions on Iraq, which would allow it to sell oil to help pay for postwar construction following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

But the sanctions cannot be ended until the U.N. inspection agency UNMOVIC certifies Iraq is free of weapons of mass destruction and the 15-nation Security Council adopts a resolution lifting them.

Why haven't we found any weapons of mass destruction?

Here are some possibilities:

(1) They are there and we will find them if we keep looking.

(2) The weapons were distributed to or sold to terrorists during the overthrow of Saddam's regime and the chaos that resulted, which is precisely what the Bush Administration was repeatedly warned about as a reason not to attack Iraq.

(3) The weapons are in Syria, and we should go to war with them to see if they are there. Unless they are in Iran, so we should go to war to find them there, unless... well, you get the general idea.

(4) The Bush Administration lied to us, and the accusation about weapons of mass destruction was essentially a pretext for overthrowing Saddam.

Well, that makes me feel much better.

I'm hoping we find them in Iraq, and find lots of them, soon.

I don't trust the Bush Administration's motives for going to war, especially since the Administration constantly changed its stated objectives, from regime change (in 2002) to disarmament (during the debates at the U.N.) to liberation of the Iraqi people (after it was clear that the U.N. would not approve the adventure). I do think we were lied to, and lied to repeatedly. And I continue to think that the Bush Administration doesn't have a clue about how long the reconstruction of Iraq will take and how great a danger it has unleased by destabilizing the region. Nevertheless, if if large caches of weapons of mass destruction are found, that will help justify the war in hindsight.

I repeat: Let's hope that we find Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and find them soon.


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