Wednesday, January 07, 2004

DANGER OF IRAQI WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION TO THE US... described by the administration before the invasion was:

a) blatantly misrepresented
b) based on faulty intelligence, possibly because someone(s) believed the dictator's own propaganda
c) wrong, regardless of the motive

One might debate about the merits of a or b, but the answer which is undeniable is c, according a Washington Post article entitled Iraq's Arsenal Was Only on Paper: Since Gulf War, Nonconventional Weapons Never Got Past the Planning Stage.

For the record...

Barton Gellman, The Washington Post, 7 January '04, investigation on Iraq's weapons' programs...

A review of available evidence, including some not known to coalition investigators and some they have not made public, portrays a nonconventional arms establishment that was far less capable than U.S. analysts judged before the war. Leading figures in Iraqi science and industry, supported by observations on the ground, described factories and institutes that were thoroughly beaten down by 12 years of conflict, arms embargo and strangling economic sanctions. The remnants of Iraq's biological, chemical and missile infrastructures were riven by internal strife, bled by schemes for personal gain and handicapped by deceit up and down lines of command. The broad picture emerging from the investigation to date suggests that, whatever its desire, Iraq did not possess the wherewithal to build a forbidden armory on anything like the scale it had before the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

David Kay, who directs the weapons hunt on behalf of the Bush administration, reported no discoveries last year of finished weapons, bulk agents or ready-to-start production lines. Members of his Iraq Survey Group, in unauthorized interviews, said the group holds out little prospect now of such a find. Kay and his spokesman, who report to Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet, declined to be interviewed.

Me, my blog, 2 May '03, conjecture on Iraq's weapons' programs...

Let me examine the three possible scenarios...

a) Saddam didn't had WMDs

b) He used to have WMDs before but sanctions made them impossible to maintain or made them useless

c) He had effective WMDs but decided not to use them

In case a), then the administration's case for war was most obviously based on a sham.

Case c) is almost impossible to believe. The idea that he would hold back for some inexplicable reason, against the evil Americans, is mind boggling. I've heard it advanced that he didn't use them so as to embarass Bush. One thing has been clear during his reign, Saddam will do anything, ANYTHING, absolutely anything to maintain himself in power. The only thing he cares more about than hating Bush is preserving his own power. He's a selfish dictator first, not a suicidal ideologue.

Case b) is the one I tend to believe, if by process of elimination. a) is unlikely and c) is inconceivable.

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