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Where's the WMD?(27 posts)

Where's the WMD?ColnagoFE
Apr 22, 2003 8:59 AM
Seems that Bush is trying to sweep under the rug the issue that no great stores of WMD have been found in Iraq yet. Something about how they must have detroyed them right when we began the invasion. Since that was the big reason we had to invade pre-emptively, isn't it slightly embarrasing we haven't been able to uncover even one WMD installation?
doesn't matterDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 9:10 AM
It's like the feds going into a place to execute a search warrant for illegal arms, then the occupants resist and are taken out. They were bad people (by definition -- resisting the feds), anyway, so the end result is defensible, even if the weapons weren't that big a deal.

Doug
Shaky analogySpoiler
Apr 22, 2003 9:28 AM
If you're going to use a US judicial analogy, you have to go all the way up the line.
In this case, the police/swat/feds would be considered the US coalition and the judge who had the authority to issue the warrant was the UN.

The "judge" refused to issue a search warrant, but the feds went in anyways. It doesn't look good when we use methods in the international community that we consider undemocratic within our own national community.
This is what bothers me. I'm glad Saddam's out and the Iraqis have new opportunities, but it would have been nice if we executed it in a way that more closely resembles our own domestic system.
"warrant" = 1441 nmDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 9:29 AM
You may be a crackerjack First Amendment lawyerOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 9:43 AM
but I believe I'd retain someone else if I had a Fourth Amendment problem.

People are 'bad by definition' so the ends justify the means?
referenceDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 9:48 AM
That was a sarcastic reference to a little episode down in Waco a few years ago. Sorry, I didn't do a very good job at it. ;-)

Doug
Actually, I was thinking Waco, andOldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 9:54 AM
you may as well know I called for Janet Reno's head after that sorry little episode. If someone wants to bash the Clinton Administration over its handling of Waco, have at it. I may add a jab or two.
That's nothing...Matno
Apr 22, 2003 10:54 AM
What I'd like to see is someone trying to DEFEND the handling of Waco (or Ruby Ridge for that matter)... Not a chance.
Well, you COULD.OldEdScott
Apr 22, 2003 11:07 AM
But only if you disregarded 8 of the 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights.
you're no fun nmDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 11:12 AM
WMD weren't that big a deal?torquer
Apr 22, 2003 11:51 AM
Forgive me, I've been out of town for a few days, but weren't the WMD the excuse (err, I mean reason) for this war?

Or has the party-line changed? Was it regime change after all? Or perhaps a full-employment program for oil-field services providers and retired military pundits/talk-show guests?

Let me know when we get a definitive answer on this.
my reasonDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 12:16 PM
My reason was always to get rid of Saddam. I've never said anything but that. But, that's just me. The WMD was just one aspect of his evilness, but there were plenty others.

Doug
my reasonPdxMark
Apr 22, 2003 12:31 PM
If that had been what GWB had said, I think people here might have had much more to agree on than we did. GWB kinda messed up a perfectly good humanitarian war with a drifting array of feeble (sometimes untrue) allegations about WMDs and terrorist threats. My problem was with what GWB said were the reasons and how his stated reasons never seemed to match his actions...

For me, it was GWB's dishonesty about the reasons for the war. Dare we say... lies?
legalitiesDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 12:42 PM
I think the legally, the WMD argument was easier to justify in light of 1441 and prior Resolutions. There was as clear mandate for member nations to utilize all available means to implement the Resolutions, which included inspections and/or ridding Iraq of WMDs.

Now, the only practical means of doing that, it was argued, was to get rid of Saddam's regime. It makes sense, but if it were me, I would have cut straight to that more obvious conclusion. It should not take much argument to convince peole that a guy who murders tens of thousands, if not millions of his own people by a variety of atrocious means should be taken out. Why get bogged down in technicalities of international law?

Doug
Sure it's embarrassing butpurplepaul
Apr 22, 2003 9:11 AM
it ain't over yet. Should they be found it will prove that sanctions had no chance whatsoever. Should they never be found, or proven to never have existed (now that's a tall order), this government will be thoroughly humiliated and discredited. But, hopefully, the Iraqis will be doing well enough so that at least one good thing would have resulted.

I'm on the record as strongly believing that WMD will be found.
Good summaryPdxMark
Apr 22, 2003 10:50 AM
Good summary of the meaning/results of finding/not finding the WMDs. Though, I think the US spin-meisters are already trying to minimize the importance of finding the WMDs, so the Administration might not get the full extent of humiliation/discreditiing that would be deserved if nothing is found.

We're already hearing media speculation that the WMDs might have been destroyed or shipped away just before the war. I have a hard time understanding why Saddam would do either just before the war.

I think it's a toss-up whether there are any WMDs. One important Iraqi defector apparently said before the war that there were no WMDs left. The war-time Iraqi military chatter about WMDs would have been an easy psy-op from their side.

An interesting irony could be that the war caused WMDs to be exported from Iraq, either to hide or use them (rather than lose them) or as a result of a loss of central control over them. Cramming Genies back into bottles is always hard...

Time will tell.
There may not be any WMD to be found, but ...Live Steam
Apr 22, 2003 11:38 AM
what happened to them? If Saddam did have them destroyed why didn't he document it and have proof for the inspectors, especially when he knew the full might of the US military would be knocking on his door? I don't know how these things work, but there must be methods for destroying them that leave traces behind. They also must need some special agents or chemicals that would render them useless. He would have this documented and he did not. The WMD did exist, so where are they? If he passed them off to Syria then that transgression was just as bad as keeping them - and maybe even worse. Either way he and his sons prove to be no great loss for Mankind.
Write this in your diary!Jon Billheimer
Apr 22, 2003 11:50 AM
For once, Steam, I agree with you:)-
Man, today must be my birthday :O) nmLive Steam
Apr 22, 2003 12:41 PM
There may not be any WMD to be found, but ...PdxMark
Apr 22, 2003 12:26 PM
That's the question... Maybe we got them all after GW1. Some of the evidence that there were more wepons was rather indirect, for example, receipts for tons fo growth media that could be used to make tons of biological weapons. But if the growth media were wasted, like so much else in Iraq, then there wouldn't be all those tons of biological weapons. I don't know what the evidence of chemical weapons was, but it might be just as indirect.

I would imagine that biological weapons would be comparatively easy to destroy/burn - an incinerated anthrax bacterium wouldn't seem to have a harmful residue. I think chemical weapons are much trickier. The US has spent billions on trying to build chemical weapon incinerators and people are still not convinced they are safe... So if Saddam tried to destroy tons of chemical weapons, it seems that there'd be pretty clear signs of that.... but I don't get why he would do that on the eve of war...

So, the world is better off without Saddam & Co... It seems unlikely Saddam would trust anyone (in another country) enough to give his WMDs to... So maybe they are hidden... Or we just eliminated a murderous tyrant on trumped-up charges...
Beyond embarrassmenttorquer
Apr 22, 2003 12:10 PM
Hate to admit it, but I agree with most of what you say; however I doubt this government is capable of embarrassment; in fact, I suspect they actually have Baghdad Bob in captivity, and are "debriefing" him in order to refine their own delivery techniques when explaining why Syria/Iran/North Korea is/isn't our mortal enemy (this week).

Aside: I'm also on record as to believing that WMD will be found; the fear I expressed was that they would be found down the street from us.
plenty of cash, thoughDougSloan
Apr 22, 2003 9:29 AM
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=578&e=1&cid=578&u=/nm/20030422/ts_nm/iraq_lethal_dc
$600 million = 24,000 suicide bomber @ $25,000 each = WMD nmContinental
Apr 22, 2003 10:42 AM
Invented JustificationsJon Billheimer
Apr 22, 2003 11:48 AM
The WMD thing is only an invented justification anyway. This administration had made a prior policy decision to get rid of Saddam and install a pro-American gov't in Iraq for strategic reasons largely related to controlling the activities of Islamist terrorists, protecting Israel, and ensuring stability of middleastern oil supplies. One could argue that Pakistan and N. Korea's nuclear capability constitute more serious threats than Saddam's inventory of sarin gas.

Having gone (once again:)- ) on this rant, I'd still place money that there are WMDs hidden somewhere in Iraq. Given Saddam's former behaviour and obvious personal nature it doesn't stand to reason that he voluntarily destroyed all his bad stuff and didn't document it for the UN inspectors. I'd love to gloat on Bush's embarrassment at failing to find any of this stuff, but I think that's highly premature at this point. Besides which, I think Dubya and Co. are much too crass to feel any embarrassment. They accomplished their objectives. So who cares what anyone else might think?
There you go again...PdxMark
Apr 22, 2003 12:39 PM
Quoting published Adminstration policies and the underlying documentation to make another fact-based Liberal point... sheesh! There must be some name you ought to be called!!

I also agree about GWB's lack of shame. In Dubya's world, it's where you have troops in control that is the real measure of success.

I always assumed the WMDs were likely there too, and it is premature to think they aren't... but it is odd that they aren't easy to find. And with open-ended searching, Dubya never has to admit that the weapons weren't there.
They DID find WMD!jesse1
Apr 23, 2003 2:46 AM
I haven't read all the posts in this thread, so I hope I'm not repeating something here.
How many deaths qualify for "mass destruction"?
In my opinion, 800 would work. They did find 800 "suicide" bomb vests. If each one only killed one other than the fanatic murderer who is wearing it, that would equal 800 deaths. Just think what 5 murders per vest would involve.
A bit more than the number of deaths on 9/11.
must have been throwdowns nmDougSloan
Apr 23, 2003 6:39 AM