Where are the Weapons
of Mass Destruction ? :
crusade continues until the Muslims
are powerless regionally.
The Reality on the Ground!
are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
LONDON, - Now that the U.S.-led forces actually invaded
and occupied Iraq, now that Saddam Hussein’s regime
no longer exists, the question remains; where are Iraqi
weapons of mass destruction? A leading British paper
asked Sunday, April 13.
“They were the reason the United
States and Britain were in such a hurry to go to war,
the threat the rank-and-file troops feared most. And
yet, after three weeks of war, after the capture of
Baghdad and the collapse of the Iraqi government, Saddam
Hussein's weapons of mass destruction - those weapons
that President Bush, on the eve of hostilities, said
were a direct threat to the people of the United States
- have still to be identified,” The Independent
“Many influential people - disarmament
experts, present and former United Nations arms inspectors,
our own Robin Cook - have begun to wonder aloud if the
weapons exist at all.
“The public surrender of a senior
Iraqi scientist could yet backfire against the U.S.
and Britain. Lieutenant-General Amer Hammoudi al-Saadi,
who handed himself over to U.S. forces Saturday, continued
to proclaim that Iraq no longer holds any chemical or
biological weapons. He should know: the British-educated
chemical expert headed the Iraqi delegation at weapons
talks with the United Nations.
“The few "discoveries"
trumpeted in the media - the odd barrel here, a few
dozen shells there - have not been on a scale that could
reasonably justify the unprovoked military invasion
of a sovereign country, and in most cases have been
proven to been no more than rumor, or propaganda, or
a mixture of the two,” charged the paper.
“It could still be that, as American
forces advance on Tikrit, Saddam's home town, chemical
or biological weapons may be discovered, or even deployed
by diehard Iraqi troops,” the paper said, apparently
before the last Iraqi stronghold was actually captured.
Tikrit fell to U.S. forces entirely Monday,
April 14, without any reports of chemical finds.
“But if the casus belli pleaded
by George Bush and Tony Blair turns out to be entirely
hollow - and it should be stressed that we can't yet
know that - what does it say about their motivations
for going to war in the first place? How much deception
was involved in talking up the Iraqi threat, and how
“As Susan Wright, a disarmament
expert at the University of Michigan, said last week:
"This could be the first war in history that was
justified largely by an illusion." Even The Wall
Street Journal, one of the administration's biggest
cheerleaders, has warned of the "widespread skepticism"
the White House can expect if it does not make significant,
and undisputed, discoveries of forbidden weapons,”
Before the war, American intelligence
officials said that they had a list of 14,000 sites
where, they suspected, chemical or biological agents
had been harbored, as well as the delivery systems to
deploy them. A substantial number of those sites have
been inspected by the invading troops. Evidence to date
of a "grave and gathering" threat: precisely
“Much of what has been unearthed
points to something we knew about all along: the weapons
programs that Iraq ran before the 1991 Gulf War, before
sanctions, before regular U.S. and British bombing raids
in the no-fly zones and before the UN weapons inspection
regime that ran from 1991 to 1998,” according
to the paper.
U.S. troops have discovered a few suspect
barrels here, a sample bottle of nerve agent there,
stacks of chemical suits and some drugs typically used
to counteract the effects of a chemical attack, such
as atropine and 2-pam chloride.
According to many military experts, these
finds suggest the vestiges of a weapons program that
has been dismantled, not one that is up and running.
The U.S. government argues that the weapons have been
deliberately dispersed and hidden - a claim that would
have more merit if there were any evidence of where
the materials might have gone.
In his State of the Union address in early
February, President Bush was quite specific about the
materials he believed Saddam was hiding: 25,000 liters
of anthrax, 38,000 liters of plutonium toxin and 500
tons of sarin, mustard and nerve gas. These days, he
does not mention weapons of mass destruction at all,
focusing instead on the liberation of the Iraqi people
- as if liberation, not disarmament, had been the project
Refuting U.S. claims, the paper went on,
“The administration has shown its embarrassment
in other ways. On day two of the war, Donald Rumsfeld,
the Secretary of Defense, said finding and destroying
weapons of mass destruction was the invading force's
number two priority after toppling Saddam Hussein -
itself a reversal of the argument presented at the UN
“A week later, Victoria Clarke,
the Pentagon spokeswoman, pushed the issue further down
the list, behind capturing and evicting "terrorists
sheltered in Iraq" and collecting intelligence
on "terrorist networks".
“Now we are told that hunting for
weapons is something we can expect once the fighting
is over, and that it might go on for months before yielding
significant results. "It's hard work," a plaintive
Ms Clarke said last week.
“Nonsense, say the disarmament experts.
"It's clear there wasn't much," said Professor
Wright, "otherwise they would have run into something
by now. After all, they've taken Baghdad."
Hans Blix, the chief UN weapons inspector
who spent four months badgering the United States and
Britain in vain for reliable intelligence information
about the whereabouts of lethal weapons, now says he
believes the war was planned on entirely different criteria,
well before his inspection teams went back into Iraq
"I think the Americans started the
war thinking there were some [weapons]. I think they
now believe less in that possibility," he told
the Spanish daily El Pais. "You ask yourself a
lot of questions when you see the things they did to
try to show that the Iraqis had nuclear weapons, like
the fake contract with Niger."
Anxious to find a "smoking gun",
a team of U.S. disarmament experts has been set up to
question Iraqis involved in weapons programs, while
others comb sites and analyze samples in the field using
The move has alarmed the weapons inspectors
at the UN, where Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General,
pointedly said last week: "I think they are the
ones with the mandate to disarm Iraq, and when the situation
permits they should go back to resume their work."
The U.S. team has attempted to lure some
of the inspectors, who are recognized as the sole legitimate
international authority on Iraq's weapons programmes.
The latest theory being touted in Washington
by the usual unnamed government sources is that the
Iraqis have moved their weapons out of the country,
very possibly into Syria.
“This claim appears to have originated
with Israeli intelligence - which has every motivation
for stirring up trouble for its “hostile”
Arab neighbors - and has been bolstered by reports of
fighting between Iraqi Special Republican Guard units
and US special forces near the Syrian border,”
The Independent explained.
Disarmament experts do not give the claim
much credence. After all, any suspicious convoy or mobile
laboratory would almost certainly be spotted by U.S.
planes or spy satellites and bombed long before it reached
“But the notion does provide the
hawks in Washington with a compelling plot device not
unlike the McGuffin factor in Alfred Hitchcock's films
- a catalyst that may or may not have significance in
itself but that gets the suspense going and keeps the
“If the Bush administration should
ever seek to turn its military wrath on Damascus, the
weapons of mass destruction it is failing to find in
Iraq might just provide the excuse once again,”
concluded the paper.
Source: ALM Pakistan
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