found this on my regular stroll
It started fairly innocuously enough with Lance picking up on an ex-Saddam nuclear engineer making authoritative pronouncements about Iraq’s ability to produce WMD, and nuclear weapons in particular.
Found this on my regular stroll through the internet today. It's an op-ed by one of Saddam's former nuclear engineers, who states unequivocably that Saddam would have had nukes soon if not for the first Gulf War, and could have reinstated the program at any time.Here's a key passage:
"Was Iraq a potential threat to the United States and the world? Threat is always a matter of perception, but our nuclear program could have been reinstituted at the snap of Saddam Hussein's fingers. The sanctions and the lucrative oil-for-food program had served as powerful deterrents, but world events - like Iran's current efforts to step up its nuclear ambitions - might well have changed the situation. Iraqi scientists had the knowledge and the designs needed to jumpstart the program if necessary. And there is no question that we could have done so very quickly. In the late 1980's, we put together the most efficient covert nuclear program the world has ever seen. In about three years, we gained the ability to enrich uranium and nearly become a nuclear threat; we built an effective centrifuge from scratch, even though we started with no knowledge of centrifuge technology. Had Saddam Hussein ordered it and the world looked the other way, we might have shaved months if not years off our previous efforts."
What do those who continue to make the "there were no WMD" argument say about this?
Now I have no issue with this provided that we remember two things…
The first is that this guy is now living in the USA. He is there, for what reason I don’t know for sure but I can guess that one is to keep him out of circulation as far as possible.
The second that we should remember is that the guy is trying to sell his book.
But then Lance continues with this…
I'm also going to link to this previous post of mine on a very similar subject. Probligo will like it. I call the UN incompetent.
So that I am not accused of selective editing, here are all of the comments that appear to date…
At 6:04 PM, The probligo said…
No more incompetent than all of the kings men who still have not been able to produce verifiable evidence of Hussein's WMD programmes, despite the very effective demolition job that has been done on Iraq. In fact, even the neo-cons like Cheney have "sort of" admitted that perhaps the call was wrong. They can't say it outright of course because that would go against the concept of "open government" and they might have to shoot all the poeple who heard them...but I jest.The fact remains that documents like the one you quote have been floating in and out of the 'Net ever since 3/02 or thereabouts. In most instances the authors have been identified as individuals with personal axes to grind, or the content has been shown to be totally false.I just can not help recalling "the reliable and impeachable sources" that the CIA and the US administration were using to justify the war in Iraq.
At 9:31 AM, Lance Burri said…
True, we have to take what this guy says with a grain of salt. But click over to the UNSCOM website - the link is provided in the post above. Read what they had to say. They have verified that Saddam had WMD.
Both of those comments were posted prior to Tony Blair’s keynote speech to the British Labour Party.
What follows is after that speech had hit the news…
At 3:16 PM, The probligo said…
Put this alongside of PM Blair's keynote speech to the Labour Party Conference last night.Essentially what he said..."I can apologise for the fact that most of the information what we used to justify attacking Iraq was wrong.I will never apologise for removing Saddam."
Straight man, plain speaking.
Others should learn.
Iraqi "nuclear engineers"? Look at your link again...the man is trying to sell his book.
At 3:32 PM, The probligo said…
And just a quiet hint about presentation for you as well...If you are going to take a source such as SIPRI, or the UN, take a look at the report dates and then put those reports into the context of the date they were originally published.
So, I note that the SIPRI report is dated 1998.
The UNSCOM report that it quotes is dated 1992.
When was the Iraq2 war? 2002? Ten years after the UNSCOM report.
By 1992, UNSCOM were reporting that they had supervised the destruction of...weapons and the means of manufacturing...
The UNSCOM report is dated the year after Desert Storm. I could imply (but do not) that the US and international forces were totally ineffective in destroying anything in Iraq during Desert Storm...incompetent even.
The international science, trade and economic sanctions against Iraq had been in place since 1990. Are you saying that those sanctions were totally ineffective? Yes they leaked, but enough to allow Hussein to continue a WMD program at the level that you and others suggest?
No, I just hear someone trying to sell a book.
At 4:27 PM, Lance Burri said…
I can't understand these arguments, Probligo. Sure, I'll bite and agree that we blew a chance to destroy Saddam's stockpiles in 1992.
But we barely went into Iraq in 1992, remember? Our UN mandate didn't allow it.And what difference does it make, whether that report is from 1992 or 1998?
The UN confirmed that Iraq had huge stockpiles of weapons, some of which were destroyed, others of which weren't.
Yet the anti-war side continues to claim that there were never any WMD in Iraq. This is my point.
At 5:41 PM, The probligo said…
No, my issue is with the presentation of 10 plus year old "news" as supporting detail for a specious argument.
You argue that the UN is incompetent.
You supply as support for that argument reports that date from 1998 and 1992.
You imply that it is only now, 2004, that UNSCOM is beginning to find the WMD that were supposed to be there and to have them destroyed.
Yes, UNSCOM supervised the destruction of missiles and parts of delivery systems...in 1992 after Desert Storm.
Yes, UNSCOM supervised the destruction of laboratories...in 1992 after Desert Storm.NOT AS YOU HAVE IMPLIED, since the invasion of Iraq2.
The argument that you present is erroneous and false.Take a look at the news from the British Labour Party conference. Tony Blair has been straight about it. Nothing to do with the colour of his politics.
I think that the truth is obscured by a very large number of people in the US who are too well indoctrinated (euphemism for "brainwashed") by their administration, or their administration is self deceiving to the point of being able to convince a very large slice of their electorate that belief is fact (euphemism for "self-serving bigotry and lies").
If Bush had come out last year and said what Tony Blair has said last night, I would vote for him in an instant...if I could.
As it is, I can only think that he believes still that the "intelligence" (BIG pun that...but let it pass) of 2001/2 is fact.
That is self delusion at its best...tell a big lie often enough and people will believe it...tell it too often and YOU will believe it.
AND, so that there is no mistake... my personal position on Iraq2 HAS ALWAYS BEEN that it was the right thing done for totally the wrong reasons. It was the right thing done at totally the wrong time. It was the right thing done by totally the wrong people/nations.
Iraq2 should never have happened, should never have had to happen.
Desert Storm should have been SET UP INTITALLY as a military intervention to remove Saddam from Kuwait...THEN TO CONTINUE as a "police / evidence gathering" (euphemisms galore there) investigation through the whole of Iraq.
One of the problems of course is that they would have found WMD supplied by (not complete list) US, Russia, France, Germany, Italy... How embarrassing.
The final point which Lance loses sight of and which has not yet been discussed, is the scientific evidence given by a number of people specialist in the field, including US scientists, that biological weapons have a “shelf life” of only a few short years.
As for “nuclear weapons”, the “evidence” presented by the US administration was that the “yellowcake purchase” was a fraud. Therefore no Uranium.
THE ONLY unresolved fear is that somehow, at some stage, Saddam succeeded in getting hold of nuclear material from Russia, out of the confusion following the collapse of the Soviet regime. He certainly had sufficient money to buy anyone or anything that was necessary.
But, as has been pointed out so many times before, Saddam was an expert at the “pea and shell” game. He was most certainly much better at it than Bush, Clinton, or Bush.
The conclusion was the equivalent of the card game in a saloon taken from a Duke Wayne western, when someone produces a hand of five aces or kings.