politics, history and the war on terror
Monday, May 17, 2004
If WMD is found in Iraq, and the media downplays it, did it exist? 

More evidence of the existence of WMD, which we all know does not exist in Iraq and was a complete fabrication of the Bush administration, is found. But this time, we found an actual serviceable weapon:

"The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found," Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the chief military spokesman in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad. "The round had been rigged as an IED (improvised explosive device) which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy."

If you find an artillery shell filled with a liquid, it is reasonable to assume the intention of this weapon is to deliver a chemical or biological agent. Artillery rounds are either filled with explosives or WMD. Or perhaps Saddam, in his infinite kindness, was determined to shell opposing forces with Evian to satisfy their need for bottled water.

What are the implications of finding this sarin filled shell?

Iraq had the deadly nerve agent in its stockpile but had declared its arsenal destroyed after the Gulf War.

Wouldn't this add to the evidence Iraq was in violation of of its U.N. obligations to declare and destroy its weapons, and thus provide justification for the war? Not so, says Big Media. Let The Spin Begin!

But David Kay, the former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq, said the discovery does not provide evidence that Saddam was secretly producing weapons of mass destruction after the Gulf War, as alleged by the Bush administration to justify the war that removed him from power.

“I think all of us have known that because of the sheer volume of artillery [containing agents like sarin that were in the Iraqi arsenal prior to the Gulf War] ... that there were likely to be some of these still around Iraq,” he told MSNBC TV. “But [the discovery] doesn't speak to the issue of whether weapons of mass destruction were still being produced in Iraq in the mid-1990s.”

Let's be very clear about this: the find of an artillery shell with sarin gas is evidence of the existence of WMD in Iraq. It has nothing to do with evidence that Iraq was producing WMD in the 1990's. Claiming the find of a shell filled with sarin does not prove WMD was being produced is a red herring. This is a blatant attempt to downplay the existence of WMD.

The goalposts have been moved yet again. The production of WMD was just one facet in the justification for war, along with multiple violations of UN resolutions, violations of the terms of the Gulf War ceasefire, stockpiling WMD, creating dual-use industries for WMD, constant attacks on U.S. warplanes patrolling the no-fly zones, Saddam's danger to the region and his abuse and use of chemical weapons against his own people. It is no longer sufficient to find actual WMD and prove the existence of dual use industries and the stockpile of WMD related material, we now have to go back to prove Iraq was manufacturing WMD in the 1990's. And if we find Saddam was producing WMD, how will this be brushed aside, and what will be the next item on the list that questions the legitimacy of the Iraq war? Let me count the ways........

Posted by bill roggio @ 3:47 PM