July 2, 2006

Teleblogging 1: Finding Even More of the Wrong Kind of WMDs In Iraq

Hatched by Dafydd

Proving themselves utterly without shame or humility, American forces have insisted upon finding even more chemical weapons in Iraq:

The U.S. military has found more Iraqi weapons in recent months, in addition to the 500 chemical munitions recently reported by the Pentagon, a top defense intelligence official said on Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, did not specify if the newly found weapons were also chemical munitions. But he said he expected more.

"I do not believe we have found all the weapons," he told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, offering few details in an open session that preceded a classified briefing to lawmakers.

He may not have specified, but I doubt he would have bothered telling the Armed Services Committee about finding a cache of AK-47s, IEDs, or cherry bombs -- which he knows nobody on that committee cares about.

At the Armed Services Committee, Maples also asserted that the rockets and artillery rounds that had been found were produced in the 1980s and could not be used as intended.

Ah -- this must be what the pooh-poohers mean by saying (in Mark Steyn's memorable phraseology), that no matter how much WMD we find, it's always the wrong kind. LG Maples' key qualifier, of course, is "used as intended."

Sadly, such autonomic gainsaying is not the exclusive reaction of Democrats or even of Democrats, the State Department, and the CIA; now we have to add the top brass at the Pentagon to the list of those who find it more urgent to find nothing than to find something, even if something is actually there to be found. (I'm probably being too harsh to LG Maples. Consider him a stand-in for the generals I really want to yell at.)

For example, even if the WMD found could not be used "as intended" (that is, being fired from and artillery piece), could it be used not-as-intended to cause death and destruction anyway? Judge for yourself. After first enunciating the soundbite above, he added the following, which completely undercuts the obvious point of the first statement:

If the chemical agent, sarin, was [sic, subjunctive case] removed from the munitions and repackaged, it could be lethal. Its release in a U.S. city, in certain circumstances, would be devastating, Maples said.

Devastating! So is it the wrong kind of WMD or the right kind? To me, it sounds like the right WMD but the wrong delivery system... and I'm very, very glad we got it away from the terrorists before they repackaged it.

Oh, and an addendum. In the category "shouldn't there be an IQ test before someone can run for Congress," here is the entry from Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA, 90%):

"It's very difficult to characterize these as the imminent threat weapons that we were told we were looking for," said Rep. Ellen Tauscher, a California Democrat.

It has become a full-time profession, with a corner office and a pension plan, to inform Democrats that indeed, Bush never once said that Iraq posed an "imminent threat." Those words were never uttered -- except by shifty politicians and dunderheaded journalists looking to score a cheap knockout of a straw man.

For those who have forgotten, here is what Bush actually said about imminent threats:

Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans -- this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that that day never comes.

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

Readers Digest translation: we can't wait until Iraq becomes an imminent threat, because by then it will be too late to stop it. So let's strike now -- when the threat is not yet imminent.

That is why we needed a new doctrine, the Bush Doctrine of Pre-Emptive Warfare. If Iraq really were an imminent threat, attacking it would have been uncontroversial. It was controversial precisely because we admitted the threat was as yet inchoate -- like a felon stocking up on heavy-duty firearms -- and argued that in today's world, an imminent threat is a realized attack, because once you discover it, it's too late to stop it.

Got it now, Ms. Tauscher?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 2, 2006, at the time of 5:10 PM

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Tracked on July 4, 2006 12:38 AM


The following hissed in response by: Jay Tea

Let me see if I can grasp the logic here. If a weapon is not being used in the manner which it was intended, it's not a threat? Well, by that rationale, since the terrorists in Iraq don't have access to howitzers and artillery pieces, it's no big threat that they occasionally find artillery shells -- they can't fire them out of a gun.

The fact that they are readily adapted into very big improvised explosive devices (VBIEDs) is utterly irrelevant. They're NOT being fired out of big guns, so they don't matter.

Have I got it right?


The above hissed in response by: Jay Tea [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 2, 2006 5:19 PM

The following hissed in response by: Patrick Chester

...has anyone done a count of the number of strawmen monkeyboy's slaughtered since it showed up here? Might want to have the UN pass a resolution condemning monkeyboy for it.

The above hissed in response by: Patrick Chester [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2006 11:44 AM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

I think monkyboy should be banned from this site as well.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2006 1:38 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

How many UN resoltuion were there demanding that Timothy MCviegh domply?

And btw, Timothy McVeigh was a very bad man who killed over 180 people. Saddam is a very bad man who killed about a million.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2006 1:40 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


I think monkyboy should be banned from this site as well.

He hasn't violated the rules. Why don't you just ignore him? If everybody did, he would get bored and wander off to the fertile ground of Patterico's Pontifications, where there are a number of resident leftists.

And even if he didn't, if you were ignoring him, you would care what he wrote, eh?


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 3, 2006 9:55 PM

The following hissed in response by: The Yell

Back in 1997 when I was working in a photo-offset pressroom suddenly we had to start wearing rubber gloves and aprons and using industrial soap after cleaning the rollers. Seems some bureaucrat crunched data and determined that touching kerosene made me a fraction of a percent more likely to get some kind of cancer. And pregnant women had to avoid the stuff entirely.

But an old artillery shell, full of chemical sarin...nah, no big deal. Give it to your kids to bang on with a mallet, spare your pots and pans...

maybe we need to reframe the WMD debate as a workplace safety issue

The above hissed in response by: The Yell [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 4, 2006 1:23 AM

The following hissed in response by: Big D

I like having the monkyboy here. Each day I can stroll by and watch him flick fecal matter from his cage of ignorance. It makes me laugh.

For example, I never thought I'd hear anyone ever seriously advance the argument that Sarin is not so bad. Ha! The hits just keep coming.

Monkeybot - chemical weapons artillery shells are by definition WMD. These are in fact exactly the weapons we were looking for in Iraq, exactly the weapons we feared Saddam Hussein would provide to terrorists.

Oh, right. They're old. And he didn't actually give them to terrorists (yet). Yeah, and Al Queda is (probably) not interested anymore. But so what? You can argue that the WMD found was not a threat to us, but not that it wasn't WMD.

Like most liberals you tend to mix up cause and effect, what you want to be true with what is true.

The above hissed in response by: Big D [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 5, 2006 10:16 AM

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