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Breathtaking Ignorance

Ted Rall must have a bit of the Forest Gump in him. Ignore for a moment the fact that Rall completely telegraphs the "no proof great enough" strategy of his ilk, and that the sarin was in a banned and undeclared rocket delivery system developed after all quantities of sarin supposedly had been destroyed. He can't even get the foaming mouth anti-war propaganda he professes to subscribe to right.


The report that a roadside bomb attack may have used a shell that contained sarin nerve agent has the right wing media all atwitter. Aha! WMDs!

Not yet.

While there's something to the notion that where there's one mouse there are a dozen more living in your wall, the possible presence of sarin in one cannister hardly justifies invading Iraq at a cost of more than $150 billion, 30,000 dead Iraqis (the number comes from the Bush Administration, courtesy of Bob Woodward's "Plan of Attack") and 1,200 dead coalition troops.

More to the point: Even if we were to discover enormous warehouses full of nuclear weapons, the war still wouldn't have been justified. The point being, the US claimed that it KNEW that Iraq had WMDs when it clearly did not. Guessing correctly doesn't count, not that that's what happened here.


Obviously I read too many blogs because I know the DU spin on the origins of the WMD, chapter and verse. Iraq had WMD's because the US propped up Saddam and gave him all of his WMD stockpiles before Gulf War I. The only debate is whether you trusted Saddam's government when they claimed to have destroyed everything. Ted needs to brush up on his liberal dogma...

Comments (7)

Well, one seemingly obsolet... (Below threshold)

Well, one seemingly obsolete grenade - though still dangerous - of very old production (hence the ineffectiveness of the chemical agents) is hardly a proof of what was stated to be the main reason for invading/liberating:
The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas. ...And surveillance photos reveal that the regime is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons. G.W.Bush, Cincinnati 10/07/2002

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. G.W.Bush, State of the Union Address, 1/28.2003

Let's talk about the nuclear proposition for a minute. We know that based on intelligence, that [Saddam] has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. He's had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. D.Cheney, Meet the Press 3/16/2003

We know where they [the WMDs] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat. D.Rumsfeld, ABC 3/30/2003

Given time, given the number of prisoners now that we're interrogating, I'm confident that we're going to find weapons of mass destruction.General R. Meyers, NBC 5/26/2003

Meanwhile Wolfowitz has declared, that WMDs were just for selling the war to public and allies and that is was always about getting rid of Saddam (which is a good thing, no doubt about it). And Powell and others had to appologize for using false evidence in front of the UN Security Council about mobile labratories, Uranium-purchases and and and.

I do not blame someone in the government for lying without a proof, but at least the fell for false and sometimes tempered evidence from the CIA and other agencies. Which is no news if you remember the bombing of a chemical weapons facility in Sudan during the Clinton administration which turned out to be a pharmaceutical production after all - the middleman from Sudan had tempered the evidence as well in order to get money for his hints....

WE do not know, where this grenade came from, it may well be a stray weapon or from the last stock of 16 pcs. found and tagged by UN inspectors shortly before the war,as former inspector Blix indicated today.

Well, one seemingly obso... (Below threshold)

Well, one seemingly obsolete grenade - though still dangerous - of very old production (hence the ineffectiveness of the chemical agents)...


It was ineffective because it was what is known as a binary munition -- built to mix the chemicals in flight, thus creating effective sarin shortly before impact.

Since the shell wasn't used as its designers intended, it failed. But it would have done so even if it had been built last week.

Please update your talking points.

I'm somewhere between amuse... (Below threshold)

I'm somewhere between amused & disgusted:

"Where are the WMD? Where are the WMD? Where are the WMD?"

They're over here.

"Even if we were to discover enormous warehouses full of nuclear weapons, the war still wouldn't have been justified. "


Sure, love to "update my ta... (Below threshold)

Sure, love to "update my talking points": according to several sources I read in English and German, the grenade was "rendered ineffective by improper storage", which leads to the conclusion, that it was an old one. Nobody every seriously disagreed with the statement, that IRAQ did have and produce (partly with help of the US in the long past) chemical weapons. the pics of the thousands of killed kurds are still vivid in my memory.

But the quotations above demonstrate, that the US governemnt was tried to convince the public before the war that a) it had evidence of IRAQ increasing production of chemical weapons, producing biological weapons and preparing for nuclear weapons which the UN inspectors were just to stupid or blind to see and b) that quite obviously non of the evidence has survived any scrutinizing checking. The mobil labs Powell showed the SC have been determined today to be for agricultural pestizide production only. US claimed to know about 2000-3000 sites for WMDs and did not find any -yet. Purchase of nuclear material was a bogus story as we know today.

So, now we have the theory that the WMDs have been brought outside the country right before the fall. I have doubts about that for two reasons: i) I may overestimating the technical possibility of the US to watch a country and its borders by satelite and AWACs etc., but I just find it hard to belive, that the transport of 500 or more tons of WMDs (only talking about mustard gass estimates, see above) and more such stuff could have happened during the war without the knowledge of the US. ii) too many people would have to be involved in such an endavour and I#ll bet my ass that any real proof brought forward by a former military or simple truckdriver about his transport of unknown goods to Syria or Egypt or such places would have been rewarded with tons of money by the US gov.
iii) tyranies, as history prooved in many cases, do not willingly show open signs of loosing war and power. Wiring money to Swiss accounts shortly before the end: yes Bringing your own familiy and those of highranking members of your gov. out of the country while your people fight to the last: yes But sending 20, 30 or more trucks with bio-chemical weapons without anybody getting a wiff whats happening: highly unlikely.

Again: I do not say that is was bad goal to get rid of Saddam, nor do I say it is not possible that over time he might have gotten hands on more and more powerfull WMDs and such give enough concern to act. But what I say is, that the US gov. made a huge mistake in claiming that the war was about the danger from WMDs and at the same time alienating longtime allies like some European nations or alienating and belitteling the UN with false, tempered and fake evidence. Thus the enemy finds us easily divided and the gap between our nations growth steadily, more and more. A very sad and dangerous development.
It is just not feasible, that the massive amount of WMDs the US gov. spoke before and during the war should have vanished into thin air.

People: Please learn the di... (Below threshold)

People: Please learn the difference between an artillery shell and a grenade. That's all I ask.

But what I say is, that ... (Below threshold)

But what I say is, that the US gov. made a huge mistake in claiming that the war was about the danger from WMDs and at the same time alienating longtime allies like some European nations...

Would those be the same European nations implicated in the oil-for-food corruption, who opposed taking out Saddam simply because it meant the end of their gravy train? We shouldn't have alienated them? Those are the guys who were in the right and we were in the wrong? Them?

Those guys?

grenade is not a howitzer s... (Below threshold)

grenade is not a howitzer shell. I can throw a grenade, or fire it out of a grenade launcher with a range of about 1/4 mile or so.

I cannot throw a 155mm howitzer shell, I can however, fire it out of a howitzer - with a range of about 14 miles.

I think you are confusing the mustard gas munition that was found, in which the contents were stored incorrectly - and were rendered ineffective.


The 155 mm howitzer shell which contained 2-4 liters of sarin.

so, yea - thats both mustard and sarin. The REAL dangerous part here - is perhaps the terrorists didn't realize what they had. But, I'm sure they remember where they got that shell.

I bet they know now what they had.... and they'll be looking for more. The next one won't blow up on the side of a road. It'll be let out in the middle of town.






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