Monday, June 04, 2007

W.M.D.

Why does nearly everyone conclude that because no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq they almost certainly didn't exist? Richard Perle (I know, American, neocon . . . but stay with me) speaking at the Hay Festival said that the only way WMD might have been found there would have been by Hans Blix or the Americans being shown precisely where they were. As he repeated, a cache of anthrax is easily 'lost' in a country like Iraq which is about as big as France.

He has a point. The IRA managed to 'lose' their weapons in Northern Ireland in spite of the fact that the police and armed forces who were looking for them had local knowledge, had been searching for many years, and had an area one-thirtieth the size of Iraq to cover.

The store of IRA weapons was never found. How was General de Chastelain able to satisfy all parties to the Good Friday Agreement that the arms had been decommissioned? He was shown where they were.

7 comments:

j said...

Before the war even started, Scott Ritter, who led the weapons inspection from 1991 to 1998 said
'Even if Iraq managed to hide these weapons, what they are now hiding is harmless goo'. Maybe Richard Perle has forgotten this.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,794759,00.html

goodfornowt said...

But how do you know that weapons you have not found are 'harmless goo'? Surely, if you haven't found them, you can't possibly know what kind of weapons they are.

j said...

David you obviously haven't read the article.

goodfornowt said...

Thanks j.
I have read the article, and many other reports. It still seems to me more likely that, as in Northern Ireland, weapons existed and were effectively hidden. They might easily have been transported to a friendly neighbour like Syria. There is some evidence that the CIA failed to follow up evidence that was available to them which would have led to weapons being found.

j said...

David, the IRA had guns, which are easy to transport and hide. WMD is a completely different kettle of fish and so your comparison is a bit naive.

This is not a carload of guns we are talking about here. Given the Americans have been watching Iraq for years with technology that can read a number plate on a car, do you think no-one would notice if they tried to move WMD to Syria?

goodfornowt said...

j
You have a touching faith in American Intelligence. But let me quote you from the Wall Street Journal 26 June 2006.
"On Wednesday, at our request, the director of national intelligence declassified six ‘key points’ from a National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) report on the recovery of chemical munitions in Iraq. The summary was only a small snapshot of the entire report, but even so, it brings new information to the American people. ‘Since 2003,’ the summary states, ‘Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent,’ which remains ‘hazardous and potentially lethal.’ So there are WMDs in Iraq, and they could kill Americans there or all over the world."
Why is this not more widely reported? Search me.

j said...

Look, the key word here is degraded. ie useless. Are you not able to think for yourself, or are you just spouting ignorance? I'm sorry but I don't have anymore time to waste on this.