June 22, 2006

Those Darned 500 Chemical Artillery Shells That Shouldn't Exist

Hatched by Dafydd

So far, besides the Cybercast News System (CNS) article cited in our previous post on this subject, I've found only a few other MSM reports on the WMDs that have been found in Iraq since 2003. Here's the story by Fox News; it's well written and gives us both sides -- actually "fair and balanced," if you like.

(It even links to the 4-page declassified summary of the original document, though it's not particularly informative.)

Reading from a declassified portion of a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center, a Defense Department intelligence unit, Santorum said: "Since 2003, coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq's pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist."

This is, of course, the "bombshell" (sorry) lede of the story... a story that AP, Reuters, and the New York Times have chosen not to even bother covering. Not even to debunk it! The antique media has for the most part left "the liberal man's burden" to tireless lefties, such as Weldon Berger at Betsy the Crow and Ellen at News Hounds, and to the Washington Post (more on that later).

The Santorum argument is that finding WMDs in Iraq means there were WMDs in Iraq to be found... but that the myriad international inspectors and the Iraq Survey Group failed to find; This seems pretty reasonable on its face and hard to counter.

The gist of the argument against is about what we predicted: these are chemical shells from before the 1991 Gulf War, so they don't count.

I'm not sure why they don't count; BTC seems to believe that "degraded" is the same thing as "disintegrated," and therefore these shells are harmless toys. This is preposterous enough that I'm sure Berger doesn't really believe it himself; it's just something you say to calm your troops, reassure them that (as Timothy Leary used to say) "situation normal, nothing has changed."

In fact, we don't know that all of the 500+ shells we found are unfirable; we don't know whether they could be used to deadly effect as IEDs; we don't know whether terrorists are clever enough to extract the Sarin or mustard gas and make their own WMDs; and we don't know how many of these shells have already been sold or given to terrorist groups -- to al-Qaeda In Iraq, for example. So it's a bit thick to dismiss their existence with an airy wave of the hand and a Scroogian "bah, humbug!"

Back to the elite media: the Washington Post is the only representative of that club to lumber forward with a debunking article. Alas, fantasy (literally) collides with reality in a self-indulgent dream world, and fantasy gets the better of it. Here, read this; you wouldn't believe me if I just told you about it:

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), chairman of the House intelligence committee, and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) told reporters yesterday that weapons of mass destruction had in fact been found in Iraq, despite acknowledgments by the White House and the insistence of the intelligence community that no such weapons had been discovered....

The lawmakers pointed to an unclassified summary from a report by the National Ground Intelligence Center regarding 500 chemical munitions shells that had been buried near the Iranian border, and then long forgotten, by Iraqi troops during their eight-year war with Iran, which ended in 1988.

This is astonishing on several levels:

  • How on earth does Dafna Linzer (the writer, one of the most anti-Bush writers for the Post) imagine he knows whether or not the Iraqis had "long forgotten" about those hundreds of chemical shells? The translated Iraqi documents make frequent reference to such caches.

    It's clear that Linzer simply added that line -- unsourced -- to make it appear as though the chemical munitions were no threat.

  • In an inversion of the normal rules of evidence, Linzer's point in the first graf above appears to be that we can't have found these chemical shells -- the official DoD report notwithstanding -- because the Pentagon said, back in 2004, that we hadn't found any WMD. Except for the pesky fact of "several crates of the old [chemical] shells" containing Sarin, found that same year... but which don't count, according to unnamed "intelligence officials" and Dafna Linzer.

Look, either we found the 500 shells or we didn't. If we did, then the Pentagon was wrong to close the books in 2004. If we didn't, then the Pentagon is wrong to report today that we did. Either way, whether we found them is not determined by what the Defense Department or the CIA said years ago. This one is a real head-scratcher; does Linzer really believe such nonsense?

The New York Sun has a more straightforward news article:

Since the formal search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was called off in January 2005, the American military has found more than 500 shells of ordinance containing Sarin or mustard gas.

While the shells are believed to date from the Iran-Iraq war, two Republican lawmakers are saying it raises enough questions for the president to order a new search for the biological, chemical and nuclear weapons program he said Saddam Hussein was concealing from the international community before the invasion of Iraq.

Particularly with the wealth of information we've gained from translated Iraqi military and intelligence documents, which were not available or not translated and sorted through in January, 2005... at least some of which refer to specific caches of WMD in specific sites.

The lefty bloggers keep saying the Pentagon has dismissed this report. What they refer to are unidentified "Pentagon officials" who say that these chemical shells were "not the weapons we were looking for." The Sun:

Indeed, unexploded chemical ordinance dating from before 1991 are different from the stockpiles of anthrax and other toxins the then Secretary of State, Colin Powell told the U.N. Security Council in January 2003 was awaiting inspectors in Iraq.

Yes, they are different: anthrax and "other toxins" (they mean VX and other nerve agents, as well as biological cultures) are significantly easier to hide than big, heavy artillery shells made out of metal.

And why, exactly, wasn't the Iraq Survey Group looking for Sarin-filled chemical artillery shells in small caches, scattered around the country? Isn't that exactly how we would expect to find an Iraqi WMD "stockpile?" If the ISG wasn't even looking for these, then we certainly should start a new search... and this time, look for everything -- not just for a big warehouse in Tikrit with a sign reading "Achmed's WMD -- Get 'Em While They're Hot!"

The Sun acknowledges the real point -- unlike the Washington Post, which is too busy pooh-poohing:

The latest information about the chemical weapons shells, however, is most damaging to those who suggest the work of former weapons inspectors David Kay and Charles Duelfer have provided the definitive word on the whereabouts of the suspected WMD, according to the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Duelfer after 18 months was not able to find this stuff," Mr. Hoekstra said. "We made this determination that hundreds [of weapons] were found. I think this is a significant quantity. What does this say about all of the other issues that continue to be raised [such as] stuff transported to Syria. I don't believe everything that is out there is credible, but it shows how much we still don't know."

That, of course, is the real lesson here: the ISG searched for a year and a half, after Saddam had been deposed... and they didn't find any of this. But since then, our soldiers and Marines have stumbled across more than five-hundred shells actually loaded with deadly chemicals... does that not speak volumes about the effectiveness of weapons inspectors in general?

If the ISG couldn't find these, under the ideal condition of actually occupying the country they were searching, then it's brutally clear that inspection regimes simply do not work.

Bear that in mind for future engagements.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn on Hugh Hewitt just perfectly encapsulated the line of attack by the Democrats:

No matter what WMD we find, it always turns out to be the wrong kind.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 22, 2006, at the time of 2:24 PM

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Comments

The following hissed in response by: jp phish

dafydd,

I wonder how this will turn out; getting to the truth will require help from the bloggers.

I have a new post that I think you will find interesting.

jp phish

The above hissed in response by: jp phish [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 3:01 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

No one has said this is the anthrax or VX that Hans Blix said were unaccounted for and that the US was looking for. But you could hide 15 thousand litres of VX in an area no larger than a high school gym.

I think two things keep this alive, the refusal to declassify the documents [if there is nothing new why not?].... and the fact that no one knows what happened to the stuff.

I live in Indiana. Here at Newport they have been spending years getting rid of VX. That stuff is so deadly it can not just be flushed down a toilet. And yet some folks seem to believe that is what Saddam did. The Left should remember that everyone from Al Gore to Teddy Kennedy thought that stuff was there and it would seem at least possible that it could have been hidden. For them to categorically deny it can be true just shows they are as unable to ope their minds as they claim the right is.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 3:02 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

monkyboy:

Strange... I heard an expert on this say just today that these weapons were still lethal. But your overall point is stupid. Can you imagine if the US just misplaced 500 artillery shells with chemical agents? What does that tell you about Saddam and his regime and their ability to hide things, keep track of things, destroy things and tell the truth about things, comply with things etc.

These are 500 shells, 15 shells like this killed 5,000 Kurds. There is a difference between degraded and harmless. But that is not the point.

I guess that means we can forget worrying about that VX in Newport. We will just ignore it and hope nobody finds it or gets their hands on it and sooner or later it might degrade. Sounds like a plan.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 4:04 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

BTW, does the fringe Rigth include Al Gore? I think the thing that annoys me the most is that people like Al Gore get a free ride. If as the fringe left claims today there are and were no weapons then Clinton should not have been impeached for lying about Monica's blow job, he should have been impeached for completely screwing up on the whole issue of Saddam Hussein. Remember 1998 and the bombing of Baghdad? How soon they forget. It must be all the drugs.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 4:07 PM

The following hissed in response by: magdaj

It's the Jedi Mind Control argument; luckily it only works on the weak-willed:

Anti-war pundits and MSM: "These aren't the WMD you're looking for..."

Weak-willed: These aren't the WMD we're looking for...

Anti-war pundits and MSM: Move along.

Weak-willed: Move along, move along!

--Magda

The above hissed in response by: magdaj [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 4:27 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

JP Phish:

It's a good post... but for God's sake, brother, you have got to change the color of your a:links! I literally couldn't even see them at first; I thought there was missing text. When I leaned close, I could just barely make them out.

If you're not sure how to do that, it's set in your stylesheet. You'll find a series of lines that look something like this:

a {
text-decoration: underline;
} a:link {
color: #F00;
} a:visited {
color: #F00;
text-decoration:none;
} a:active {
color: #F09;
} a:hover {
color: #F60;
}


Make the "color:" lines in each of these something that will contrast enough with both the background and also the non-link text that they stand out.

As Roger Rabbit would say, puh-puh-puh-pleeeeeeeease!

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 4:51 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

monkyboy:

If your side is so smart and my side is so dumb, how come we keep kicking your ass?

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 4:57 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

BTW, speaking of wealthy Republicans did you hear about George Clooney's land deal? It seems he bought that property to build his fancy, exclusive little club for 80 million but before he broke ground the land had gone up in value so much that he sold it for 200 million. Not bad for a liberal. I wonder how much of that he will give to the starving masses?

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 5:00 PM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

Reminds humble me of The patch showed a bee with a turban on, and what Rep. John “Porky Pig in Fatigues” Murtha has to say.

Also, this reminds humble Low and Ignorant Insane swamp hermit me that the U.S. transferred uranium from Iraq without U.N. authorization...so to speak whilst having flashbacks.

No biggie, just a 'blip' in the news before MSM and the UN had realized that they had accidently complained about 'Da wrong 'Thang.

Especially no biggie, since Levin, Dodd, Kerrey, Feinstein, Inouye, Daschle, John F. Kerry, and other Democrats clearly never signed a *DOCUMENT* dated October 9, 1998 to then President Clinton, about Iraq's WMD's.

Daniel McKivergan, of the daily Standard, offers this today:

The Worst of Intentions

SNIP...

On March 18, 2003, the day before ground forces entered Iraq, the president confronted a broad range of concerns regarding Saddam's weapons programs, his connections to terrorist organizations, his history of aggressive behavior, his use of poison gas, and his failure to comply with the 1991 Gulf War cease-fire agreement and subsequent U.N. resolutions.

SNIP...

On top of this were the findings contained in detailed U.N. reports. For example, on March 6, 2003, the United Nations issued a report on Iraq's "Unresolved Disarmament Issues." It stated that the "long list" of "unaccounted for" WMD-related material catalogued in December of 1998--the month inspections ended in Iraq--and beyond were still "unaccounted for." The list included: up to 3.9 tons of VX nerve agent (though inspectors believed Iraq had enough VX precursors to produce 200 tons of the agent and suspected that VX had been "weaponized"); 6,526 aerial chemical bombs; 550 mustard gas shells; 2,062 tons of Mustard precursors; 15,000 chemical munitions; 8,445 liters of anthrax; growth media that could have produced "3,000 - 11,000 litres of botulinum toxin, 6,000 - 16,000 litres of anthrax, up to 5,600 litres of Clostridium perfringens, and a significant quantity of an unknown bacterial agent." Moreover, Iraq was obligated to account for this material by providing "verifiable evidence" that it had, in fact, destroyed its proscribed materials.

Iraq's WMD wasn't the problem, and the entire Democrat Party knows it. They and their Bill Clinton was the problem...for *EIGHT* Years of empty talk, empty threats, empty new 'Probation Terms' for Saddam's Iraq, and a *EIGHT* Year history of ineffective actions against growing Threats from Saddam and other Terrorists, and supporters of Terrorism.

The whole Terrorist World *KNEW* that America's Democrat Party feared them, and would rather surrender than fight. Then came W, and a President willing to stand up against Terrorists and their *SUPPORTERS*...the Democrat Party then sided with the Terrorists against W.

No wonder that W basically ignores such news as "500 Chemical Artillery Shells" found in Iraq...so to speak.

KårmiÇømmünîs†

The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 6:21 PM

The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist

monkyboy will never learn, huh. Once again, monkyboy proves my point/s. monkyboy, Terrorists is/are not spelled, "terroists"...

KårmiÇømmünîs†

The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 8:06 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

Excellent work, Dafydd. I linked from Saddam DID have WMDs!!

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 8:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

It's the Jedi Mind Control argument; luckily it only works on the weak-willed:

!

--Magda

The above hissed in response by: magdaj at June 22, 2006 04:27 PM

No Magda the Jedi are good guys it was probably the Evil Republican Magi aide by Hell Hounds that some of the Looney Left were panicked by just before the last election.


So it's Shields Up for me, but I'm still getting enough bleedover to make me jittery and a little manic if I don't concentrate. That's all to be expected.

What wasn't expected was that once I filtered out all that background noise, I started hearing a calm, resonable, and powerful head-voice saying things like "Kerry doesn't have the experience we need in these troubled times." and "Give Bush a chance to make it better."

Anyone who knows me KNOWS these are not my thoughts!


Gods-damn it! The f*cking Republicans have got Magical help pumping out a clear, unified, focused broadcast, and you can be sure, every sensitive is picking it up. These are the people most likely to vote Kerry

Who would be doing this for them? Gee, who are the Mages driving around in those black Mercedes and Lincolns with the tinted windows? The ones who live in the mansions with the hell-hounds in the yard and the 7-foot tall hairless black doormen? Every town has some, the bigger the town, the more of these "High Magi" you will find

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 10:54 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman

It's the Jedi Mind Control argument; luckily it only works on the weak-willed:

!

--Magda

The above hissed in response by: magdaj at June 22, 2006 04:27 PM

No Magda the Jedi are good guys it was probably the Evil Republican Magi aide by Hell Hounds that some of the Looney Left were panicked by just before the last election.


So it's Shields Up for me, but I'm still getting enough bleedover to make me jittery and a little manic if I don't concentrate. That's all to be expected.

What wasn't expected was that once I filtered out all that background noise, I started hearing a calm, resonable, and powerful head-voice saying things like "Kerry doesn't have the experience we need in these troubled times." and "Give Bush a chance to make it better."

Anyone who knows me KNOWS these are not my thoughts!


Gods-damn it! The f*cking Republicans have got Magical help pumping out a clear, unified, focused broadcast, and you can be sure, every sensitive is picking it up. These are the people most likely to vote Kerry

Who would be doing this for them? Gee, who are the Mages driving around in those black Mercedes and Lincolns with the tinted windows? The ones who live in the mansions with the hell-hounds in the yard and the 7-foot tall hairless black doormen? Every town has some, the bigger the town, the more of these "High Magi" you will find

The above hissed in response by: Dan Kauffman [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 11:08 PM

The following hissed in response by: Eg

ConfederateYankee has one heck of an interesting post on the subject and some very compelling logic. If you hadn't already read it, I'd certainly recommend doing so.

The above hissed in response by: Eg [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 22, 2006 11:31 PM

The following hissed in response by: cdquarles

phui monkyboy, silly banned troll from CQ:

Kerry isn't smart enough to know if he's in Cambodia when he's in Vietnam. We don't need to 'get out of Iraq'. We need to stay until the job's done and the legitimate Iraqi government asks us to leave. I hope your side nominates him again. It'll be fun to watch him go down worse the second time around.

Oh, yeah, I forgot. We declared the cease-fire over in 1998. Bush simply did the job Clinton didn't have the guts to do despite all of the tough talk. Where I come from, money talks and BS walks; or, if you can't understand Southern, actions speak louder than words and results matter more than intentions.

The above hissed in response by: cdquarles [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 23, 2006 12:54 AM

The following hissed in response by: hunter

monkyboy, still banned for stupidity from CQ:
You are only pleasing yourself when you make preposterous and false claims about the area controlled by the Iraqi Govt.
and whne you put the term, Iraqi Govt. in "", you only show that you in reality suport the Baathists and the terrorists, wince you seem intent on delegitimizing the Iraqi govt.
I guess to clowns like you millions of people voting, and hundreds of thousands of men volunteering to risk their lives in service to the govt. they voted for is not very im perssive, but to sane people who care, it does.

The above hissed in response by: hunter [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 23, 2006 10:18 AM

The following hissed in response by: Lightning_Hopkins

"The gist of the argument against is about what we predicted: these are chemical shells from before the 1991 Gulf War, so they don't count.

I'm not sure why they don't count..."

They don't count as "weapons of mass destruction" because they are not capable of actually causing mass destruction.

As was said in a Congressional hearing on the matter in 2006:

"First, the general technical assessments that I was provided was that Iraq sarin that was produced -- and this was the bulk of Iraq sarin -- was produced between 1984 and 1988, a huge amount of which had been collected by the U.N., had been analyzed not only here but in other places around the world -- that that sarin was of such poor quality, it lacked any stabilization agent, and quite frankly, if I can respond to an earlier question you had, Congressman Weldon, it does not in any way look like Russian sarin."
...
"Let me conclude by saying, I don't think any of us should be surprised that we are still finding chemical munitions produced before 1991 in Iraq."

REP. WELDON: "So this Iraqi sarin -- would you pick up the bag and hold it if there was a liter of it?"

MR. KAY: "Sir, I have carried it on my person in a closed aircraft with 25 of my closest friends until they discovered I was carrying it."

You write:

The Santorum argument is that finding WMDs in Iraq means there were WMDs in Iraq to be found... but that the myriad international inspectors and the Iraq Survey Group failed to find

I'm not sure how it is that you're still not getting this. There are still abandoned shells left over in Iraq from Iraq's long war with Iran that began in the early 1980s. The United States was fully aware that Iraq had an active weapons program in the 1980s. Over the time between 2003 and 2006, the military forces that invaded and occupied Iraq had collected about 500 such leftovers scattered around the country in groups of one or two. At the time, they weren't waved around like they were a great vindication of the invasion because the United States didn't invade Iraq because of Iraq's incompetence in keeping track of all of its old shells; the United States invaded because it was alleged that "Iraq has, in fact, reconstituted its nuclear weapons" (Dick Cheney, Meet The Press, March 16, 2003) and that Iraq posed a "mortal" and "urgent" threat to the United states itself.

I don't understand why anybody's surprised that there are still remnants of the Iran-Iraq war in Iraq. They're still finding unused chemical munitions inside the United States from World War 1. Is this evidence that Spring Valley is stockpiling weapons of mass destruction? Or evidence that governments are large bureaucracies that can't keep track of everything when they're spending billions on their armies? The United States has in recent years lost track of 56 airplanes, 32 tanks, and 36 Javelin missile command launch-units. And $1,000,000,000,000 in spending. The United States has also lost track of several atomic bombs, including one nuclear weapon that was abandoned, lost and left rusting somewhere in the ocean off the coast of Georgia.

The point is this: Considering how corrupt and incompetent Saddam's government was, how can you be surprised that they lost about 500 shells during an all-out war with Iran?

Lastly, let me point this out: You write that "the myriad international inspectors and the Iraq Survey Group failed to find" these old shells. But that's not accurate. The ISG did in fact find some of them and reported that "while a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991." But this wasn't as dramatic as Santorum's PR move, so it went largely unnoticed.

So. There were and still are old unusable shells left over from the program that Iraq had when the United States knew of and permitted Iraq's WMD programs. And there's still more unusable remnants to find. You apparently believe that these remnants are adequate justification for invading a country. They're also still turning up American WMD in odd places like the nuke buried at sea off the coast of Georgia. Should we invade Georgia next?

The above hissed in response by: Lightning_Hopkins [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 19, 2007 2:15 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Lightning_Hopkins:

What a peculiar argument -- mixing fact and fancy in a desperate attempt to prove... what? That Saddam Hussein was harmless? That there was no reason to invade Iraq? As if the presence or lack of "stockpiles" of WMD was determinative.

It's irrelevant whether the Sarin gas was new or old, whether one expert thought it was still workable or not: a chemical shell full of inert Sarin can be drained and refilled with something else... Cyclosarin, for example, which we found in great quantities, typically in 55-gallon drums concealed inside the same ammo dumps that had the shells and rockets themselves.

The point is that the Iraqis were obliged not to secretly destroy their stockpiles, but to do so publicly, with U.N. inspectors present during the destruction, and to account for every, last bit of WMD. And also not to deceive the inspectors, to thwart them, to boot them out... and especially not to make every attempt they could to secretly restart the WMD programs.

Each of which is extensively documented in the ISG's final report.

Let's rephrase your argument: the cops search the house of a convicted felon, and they find a bunch of guns. But the guns are loaded with old ammo that may or may not still work; and most of the guns are not loaded at all... though there are boxes of ammo in the same drawer. Lightning_Hopkins, the felon is still guilty of possessing firearms.

The "stockpiles of WMD" was the argument that many people thought was the sexiest argument for invasion; but in fact, it was only one of many. In fact, the primary argument was that Iraq had signed certain agreements as part of the cease-fire in 1991 -- and they had violated those agreements. Thus, we had every right to resume hostilities in 2003.

It was not incumbent upon us to "prove" that Iraq had WMD; the burden was on them to prove they had destroyed them... which burden they failed to meet. In fact, there was a 12-year history of Iraqi deception and attempts to reconstitute all of their WMD programs, which the ISG carefully documented in Duelfer's final report.

The ISG likewise concluded, in that final report, that Hussein was anxious to get back to full-scale WMD production as soon as sanctions were lifted -- and sanctions were about to be ended by the Europeans, either de jure or de facto.

What is this obsession among Lefties with desperately trying to prove that Saddam Hussein was the innocent victim of a war crime? It's complete nonsense, and even you know it.

When did the Left become so enamored of Fascist dictatorships? Hussein was much worse a tyrant and murderer than Slobodan Milošević -- yet you have no objection to us having instituted "regime change" on the Kosovo section of Serbia, or to us having helped break Yugoslavia apart, or to us having bombed the dickens out of the Serbs.

Why did President Clinton order troops to invade Haiti to return Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the throne? Did you protest that action? (I'll bet you opposed Reagan's invasion of Grenada and his policy to topple the Stalinist Sandinistas in Nicaragua.)

The primary reason to invade Iraq was that he was a threat to the United States, in many ways -- not least because of his strong connection to a number of terrorist groups. Other casus belli were:

  • His repeated attempts to reconstitute his WMD programs;
  • His attacks on U.S. forces;
  • His repeated attempts to commit mass murders against his own people;
  • His non-cooperation with the inspectors;
  • His attempted assassination of a former president;
  • And most of all -- what made him the greatest threat to us -- his stubborn attempts to maintain a rogue regime in what Thomas P.M. Barnett calls the "Non-Integrating Gap" of nations that seal themselves off from the rest of the world... and plot mayhem, conquest, and destruction.

Any one of these would be sufficient for invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein and the Baathists. All of them together meant only that we were remiss in not having done it during the Clinton administration.

We believed we were invading Iraq at two minutes to midnight; in fact, it turned out that Hussein himself was being deceived by his own scientists -- and he was, in turn, deceiving the rest of the world... we actually invaded at twenty minutes to midnight.

This isn't a bad thing; it's a grand thing. And having deposed a murdering, Fascist dictator and brought democracy to the heart of the Arab Middle East is not a crime... it's a magnificent achievement.

The only question is -- are you one of the 51% of Democrats who said that they want our new strategy in Iraq to succeed? Are you in the 15% of Democrats who simply cannot decide whether you want us to succeed or fail?

Or are you among the 34% of Democrats who said they want us to fail in Iraq?

That is the only Iraq question that matters today.

Dafydd

The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 19, 2007 9:36 AM

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