Iraqi WMD in 2004
Before I get into the really interesting stuff, I like to just take a minute for a couple of items hot off the newswire.
“BAGHDAD, Iraq (January 10, 12:13 p.m. AST) - Danish soldiers on Saturday uncovered a cache of mortar shells leaking an unknown fluid, and tests are under way to determine whether they contain chemical agents, an American officer said. The 30-to-40 120mm mortar shells, which may have been left over from the Iran-Iraq war, were found buried in the desert south of Baghdad, U.S. Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said at a news conference. Most of the shells were wrapped in plastic bags and some were leaking a mysterious fluid - leading officials to suspect chemical weapons, he said.”
As I am writing this, it was just confirmed that the shells do contain Mustard Gas.
It is believed that these mortar shells were left over from the Iraq/Iran war and buried about ten years ago. That would put it right around the Gulf War period, probably just before UN inspectors were sent in. Although the current inspection team is saying “this is not a smoking gun”, it does show Iraq’s attempt to hide chemical weapons from inspectors and preserve them for later use. Would this same tactic not be used again just before the current invasion of Iraq? I’ll get back to this shortly but first I want to cover a statement made by Tony Blair yesterday.
“LONDON (AP) - Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted Sunday that he was right to take military action in Iraq based on intelligence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, though no such weapons have yet been found. Blair said he believed the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group would find evidence of the weapons' existence, saying inspectors have found extensive evidence of concealment operations. Blair the British Broadcasting Corp. that it would have been "irresponsible not to have acted upon" prewar intelligence that Saddam's regime had weapons of mass destruction.”
Did you see the key words in his statement? “it would have been irresponsible not to have acted upon prewar intelligence”. We can say that the same thing applies to President Bush who was privy to the same intelligence information. Blair is correct, it would have been irresponsible to have not acted when our intelligence information indicated that this threat to world security existed and was growing. If the intelligence was correct and nothing was done, it would have resulted in a disastrous situation and Bush would have been blamed for not acting. After all the lies and deceit and refusal to comply by Saddam Hussein, there was really no other choice that could have been made by any sane leader in their positions.
So where are the WMD? This is where it starts to get interesting. Before the war, Saddam was warned by his staff that the use of chemical weapons against US forces would be ineffective and would have serious consequences. He had been denying that he had them for years and just wouldn’t do for him to be proven a liar now. Since just before the war, Saddam and Iraqi officials have been saying that there are no WMD in Iraq. I guess they must have forgotten about the old ones we just found, but new unconfirmed intelligence information from captured high level officials under interrogation have revealed that just before the war, everything was moved into Syria.
Remember all these early reports of preliminary tests on items showing positive for chemical weapons during the war? Then final test results would come in showing only jet fuel. What they did was to fill water tanker truck with chemical weapons materials and truck it all into Syria. Then the tankers would be filled with jet fuel to wash them out, as was any other containers in Iraq which had contained banned chemicals, we already found some of those. Of course, this contaminated the tanks so they could no longer be used for drinking water and thus explains why there was a serious shortage of water tankers during the reconstruction just after the main battles.
We have learned where the WMD were delivered in Syria, there are three sites. One is just outside Damascus, a second in the desert area in Southern Syria, and the third was relocated from another site in Syria and moved into Lebanon very near the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The second site in Southern Syria is being guarded by the Syrian military who the Syrians claim are just there on maneuvers. The Whitehouse is now quietly dealing with this situation through diplomacy but if that fails to produce results, as it did in Iraq, then military action may be required. The example set in Iraq will be a valuable negotiating tool in Syria.
Just one more item to be considered. Remember when the military found what they thought was an underground bunker full of chemical weapons near Nassaria, that turned out to be insecticide? Why would Iraqis burry 55 gallon drums of insecticide in the desert? Did you know that insecticide is just one molecule away from deadly VX nerve gas? Were these stashes of insecticide being hidden for later conversion and use as nerve gas? Surely, they weren’t hiding it from the flies and mosquitoes.
We have the documents, we have the labs, we have the ambition and intent of Saddam Hussein. We have all the components for WMD and a history of their use in Iraq. With all the available evidence, could any sensible person really believe that Saddam Hussein was not a serious and inevitable threat to peace and security in the region and in violation of UN mandates? Can any reasonable person say we were morally and legally wrong in removing him? Yes, the people on the left with an agenda to oppose President Bush on every issue he acts upon, still do. Once again, history will soon prove them wrong as always.