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Author Topic:   where are the WMD?
nator
Member (Idle past 2256 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 1 of 78 (37320)
04-19-2003 10:32 AM


So, where are the WMD that the Bush regime has assured us were in Iraq?
And why won't the US allow the UN weapons inspectors help them inspect suspected sites?
[This message has been edited by schrafinator, 04-19-2003]

Replies to this message:
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Silent H
Member (Idle past 5906 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 2 of 78 (37331)
04-19-2003 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by nator
04-19-2003 10:32 AM


To be fair schraf, its still way too early to ask this question.
After all, their prime goals of securing oil resources and hidden money, capturing ex-government officials, and installing a new government take up most of their time.
As Rumsfeld has said: the US won't find WMD's, we'll find the people that will tell us where they are. With that attitude, why would they rush to find anything?
Besides, it takes a while to manufacture authentic-looking evidence to plant.
"AFP reporter" writes:
US should be "embarrassed" over failure to find WMDs: ex-spies
Thu Apr 17,10:36 PM ET Add Top Stories - AFP
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US government should be "embarrassed" over the apparent failure to uncover weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the main justification for going to war, retired intelligence officials said Thursday.
"It's going to be very embarrassing when it turns out they have nothing to declare," said former defense intelligence analyst Eugene Betit.
Another, former CIA station chief Ray Close, said: "I'm hoping they will be embarrassed into acknowledging a role for some independent body. And who could it be but the UN?"
As the "smoking gun" continued to elude US sleuths in Iraq, chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix called for experts to return to the country to determine whether the weapons allegations had any foundation.
Adding to the pressure, Russia, a veto-wielding member of the UN Security Council, said it would not support the lifting of UN sanctions against Iraq unless UN inspectors confirmed the absence of weapons of mass destruction.
But Washington has so far rejected such calls, and US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday sought to deflect concerns that evidence could be planted.
"The (US search) teams have been trained in chain of control, really like a crime scene," Rumsfeld told Pentagon staff Thursday.
He said: "They will have people with them who will validate things, they will have the ability to take pictures, and to make sure that the control over any piece of evidence is as clear as it possibly can be."
Rumsfeld warned however: "That will not stop certain countries, and certain types of people from claiming, inaccurately, that it was planted."
Retired CIA intelligence analyst Ray McGovern told AFP: "Some of my colleagues are virtually certain that there will be some weapons of mass destruction found, even though they might have to be planted.
"I'm just as sure that some few will be found, but not in an amount that by any stretch would justify the charge of a threat against the US or anyone else."
He added: "Even if the planting was discovered by and by, they'll say, 'ok, the weapons were planted -- fine.'"
McGovern said he was alluding to a remark by Secretary of State Colin Powell after it emerged that a letter purporting to show that Iraq had sought to procure uranium from Niger -- a key argument in the case for war and cited in President George W. Bush's January 28 State of the Union address -- was a forgery.
Powell told NBC: "It was the information that we had. We provided it. If that information is inaccurate, fine."
McGovern and 24 other former intelligence officials in the CIA, State and Defense Departments, Army Intelligence and FBI formed a group called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).
They made their first public statement on February 5, critiquing Powell's presentation before the UN Security Council.
CIA spokesman Tom Crispell, asked for comment on the former officials' remarks Thursday, said: "They're criticizing policy, not intelligence."
When ex-CIA officials say the US is about to plant evidence, and the US is doing the exact thing they said proved Iraq was up to no good (not allowing UN inspector oversight), you just know what's going to happen next.
So don't worry about the proof. It'll be there one day. And then you'll be one of those "certain types" Rumsfeld announced... in advance (methinks he doth protest too much?).
What I'd like is an apology from those (like redvento) who never addressed my criticisms for our going to war. Assuming there are WMDs to be found, my analysis was still dead on.
Not only did the war NOT prevent the spread of WMDs and WMD technology out of Iraq, it most certainly aided that process.
NOW Rumsfeld talks about the porous borders (especially in times of war) and the fact that Iraqi scientists can't be allowed to travel freely (for the rest of their lives I guess). Duh!
In fact, if Rumsfeld's accusations are correct, scientists have already flown the coop.
So all those pro-war opponents. Assuming there is WMD evidence to be found, how about administration admissions that this war did NOTHING to make us any safer from them?
I won't even bother asking you to respond to belated Department of Homeland Security admissions that terrorists are unlikely to import the WMDs Iraq might have had, because terrorists could make them just as easily from legal materials in the US.
However, I will add that I was astounded the US (so concerned about funding of terrorist groups) did not move to protect billions of dollars worth of Iraqi antiquities.
This means that in addition to potentially arming global terrorists with WMDs, we actually helped fund them too. I'd love to hear pro-war outcries against Bush's brilliant moves in this regards.
As far as this war is playing out, the anti-war people are ending up on the right side of the pro-US and anti-WMD proliferation positions.
Pro-war people are turning out to be... pro-war.
But as Bush said today "God's purposes are not always clear."
------------------
holmes
[This message has been edited by holmes, 04-19-2003]

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by nator, posted 04-19-2003 10:32 AM nator has not replied

nator
Member (Idle past 2256 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 3 of 78 (37469)
04-21-2003 5:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by nator
04-19-2003 10:32 AM


Where have all the right-wingers gone?
Nobody to play with me on this topic (other than those who agree with me)?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by nator, posted 04-19-2003 10:32 AM nator has not replied

Replies to this message:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1553 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 4 of 78 (37501)
04-21-2003 11:20 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by nator
04-21-2003 5:34 PM


I'm no right-winger, but largely I'm for the president vs. the alternatives (I think Gore would have been much worse). And I did vote for him.
WMD or no, I really wish the administration would pony up whatever evidence that they had in the first place about the WMD. I mean, with Iraq about to be the 51st state, surely it'd be no risk to uncover whatever source that info was from, right?
As it stands, they're in major danger of looking like war-mad tyrants if there turns out to be no WMD. Although it may be that Saddam sold them to terrorists or something at the beginning of the war. (Just a theory.)
But ultimately I don't think it will matter if they find the WMD or not. They'll gloss over that point and everyone else in Europe et al will be to afraid to bring it up. Or it may be that Iraq does so well afterwards that everyone will say "Well, it was good they took Saddam out, no matter what the pretense." Certainly, I think the UN won't be able to punish us or anything. They wouldn't stand up to Saddam, why will they stand up to us?

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7663 days)
Posts: 634
From: Washington, USA
Joined: 12-10-2001


Message 5 of 78 (37502)
04-22-2003 12:05 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
04-21-2003 11:20 PM


As it stands, they're in major danger of looking like war-mad tyrants if there turns out to be no WMD. Although it may be that Saddam sold them to terrorists or something at the beginning of the war.
And there's the problem. The war was supposedly to prevent the profileration of chemical and biological weapons - enough with the "mass destruction", as Robin Cook said, no informed parties believe that Iraq has weapons capable of mass destruction of a city or substantial population.
Perhaps there were none in the first place, in which case the US goverment are simply liars: but don't think this will be glossed over - there are long long memories in the Middle East. Worse, the weapons may have been smuggled out to Syria or Iran, and thence to who knows where, in which case the war has totally failed.
Or perhaps, as the Iraqi science minister claims they were destroyed in the first days of the war. Yeh, right.

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by crashfrog, posted 04-22-2003 12:36 AM Mister Pamboli has not replied
 Message 7 by Quetzal, posted 04-22-2003 3:13 AM Mister Pamboli has replied
 Message 12 by Sepiraph, posted 05-02-2003 3:46 AM Mister Pamboli has not replied

crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1553 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 6 of 78 (37504)
04-22-2003 12:36 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Mister Pamboli
04-22-2003 12:05 AM


Well, so thanks to this war they hate us in the Middle East - what else is new?
I don't see this being the cause of more terrorism (because they weren't too fond of us anyway, and I doubt we could do anything to change that), but I don't really think we'll have reduced terrorism either.
So long as Israel and Palestine are at odds the middle east will hate us. Anything we do there will be seen as secondary, I think.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Mister Pamboli, posted 04-22-2003 12:05 AM Mister Pamboli has not replied

Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5958 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 7 of 78 (37522)
04-22-2003 3:13 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Mister Pamboli
04-22-2003 12:05 AM


Hi Mr. P,
Have you seen this NY Times article on chemical weapons (requires a free subscription)? It seems to be the latest in the series. Although there are a number of oddities in the article (which seem like unsourced journalistic speculations - as usual), there's one bit that I find unusual given all the previous breathless-journalist-hyped "finds": the military is playing this one waaay closer to the vest.
Obviously there are any number of reasons why this particular incident might be treated differently than previous ones. I can think of three off the top of my head, and I'm sure there are others:
1. The military has been terribly embarassed over premature announcements in the past, and is keeping this one more controlled until they figure out exactly what they've got. If it's nothing, this prevents having to publish yet another retraction.
2. This really IS the "big one", and the military wants to follow up and find all the goodies before going public.
3. This is the first step in a disinformation campaign, where the US government will "plant" evidence to "prove" Hussein had all those bad things prior to the war, providing justification for the invasion. I've actually heard this proposed by a number of otherwise rational people.
Any thoughts?

This message is a reply to:
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Peter
Member (Idle past 1565 days)
Posts: 2161
From: Cambridgeshire, UK.
Joined: 02-05-2002


Message 8 of 78 (37670)
04-23-2003 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
04-21-2003 11:20 PM


What do you mean 'in danger of looking like war-mad tyrants'?
I'm somewhat perplexed about the true motivation for the
invasion of Iraq. WMD or no, without some information or
direct action concerned with using them I don't see the
justification for war.
If I own a gun can I be arrested becuase I might commit a
murder with it?
It's always difficult though ... after all, in hindsight
acting against Hitler's Germany earlier may have saved
many innocent lives ... nothing is clear-cut.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by gene90, posted 05-02-2003 7:03 PM Peter has replied

Mister Pamboli
Member (Idle past 7663 days)
Posts: 634
From: Washington, USA
Joined: 12-10-2001


Message 9 of 78 (37676)
04-23-2003 11:27 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Quetzal
04-22-2003 3:13 AM


You're three possibilities are all reasonable, but still with some difficulty.
quote:
1. The military has been terribly embarassed over premature announcements in the past, and is keeping this one more controlled until they figure out exactly what they've got.
They have indeed made announcements about potential finds several times over the last few weeks. I'm not sure the military learn that quickly!
quote:
2. This really IS the "big one", and the military wants to follow up and find all the goodies before going public.
I think if this was "the big one" we would not even know the guy was in custody. I realize it could be construed as a terribly clever and devious double-bluff, but again, I am not convinced that the "intelligence community" is teribbly good at that sort of thing at all.
quote:
3. This is the first step in a disinformation campaign, where the US government will "plant" evidence to "prove" Hussein had all those bad things prior to the war, providing justification for the invasion. I've actually heard this proposed by a number of otherwise rational people.
Well, Rumsfeld supplied the anthrax culture in the first place, so he doesn't need to "plant" any, he just needs to find some of his former microscopic buddies for a reunion. Personally I can imagine them planting chemical or biological weapons as a last resort, but frankly I think it unlikely unless they really come up with nothing at all. And I do not believe that will happen.
Iraq admitted having had chemical and biological weapons - the US, after all, supplied and encouraged them. They also claimed to have largely decommissioned them. The US only needs to discover such decommissioned facilities in whatever state and declare them to be the smoking gun. In the fog of war and its aftermath, withoout any independent overview, this should be sufficient.
Whatever, it would take a lot to convince me that Iraq had any chemical or biological capabilities which provided sufficient justification for war.

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Andya Primanda
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 78 (37795)
04-24-2003 5:06 AM


Al Jazeera this morning aired a demonstration of Iraqi Shiah (Shi'ite) masses calling to put their leaders, the Ayatullahs, in power. The Shiah majority of Iraq (about 70%?) had been opressed under the Saddam regime, and it is only fair for them to hold power, because we love democracy and if they want to elect their Ayatullah as the new leader of Iraq, we should honour their free choice.
The same goes to the Kurds, let them have their glorious nation of Kurdistan in northern Iraq, after being opressed for a longer time since the days of Ottoman rule of Iraq.
GIs come there to liberate them from tyranny and gave them democracy right?
I think it's only fair that we should let Shiahs rule Iraq. Iran would be pleased (though the Saudi may not).
If the Iraqis hold an election, and they choose one Ayatullah as their leader, we should honour their choice.
WHat do you think?
Of course, it is possible that the new government might turn out not Israel-friendly

Replies to this message:
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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 5958 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 11 of 78 (37812)
04-24-2003 7:54 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Andya Primanda
04-24-2003 5:06 AM


Ya know, you pose an extraordinarily interesting question: what form WILL the new Iraq take? Nothing resembling a Western democracy has ever been tried on the Arabian penninsula, as far as I know. The only really "successful" Arab democracies have been in places that had loooong histories of Western occupation/colonization before achieving independence - and those were mostly religiously homogenous (think Egypt and Tunisia - and the latter is iffy considering Bourguiba was "president for life" until deposed by Abidine ben Ali). Everything else is either a kingdom, emirate or sheikdom. The only example of a Western-style democracy attempted in a multi-ethnic/multi-religous Arab state that I can think of is Lebanon - which was an utter disaster. Turkey isn't Arab, and without the incredibly charismatic Attaturk, might not have developed into a modern state even so.
Oddly enough, the folks that have the best track record of institution building, development of a thriving market economy from scratch, and stability are the one group that is the least likely to be permitted to have much say in the new government: the Kurds of northern Iraq. What those folks have managed to accomplish in only ten years pretty much on their own is nothing short of amazing. It's almost a shame that they'll never be permitted to form their own state - 50,000 Turkish troops poised on the border ready to invade at the first sign will pretty much put paid to any ideas of nationhood. Of course, they're not really democratic either - more like warlords. And whether the two main groups can continue to cooperate in the absence of the one unifying objective - survival in the face of Saddam Hussein - is problematic.
If left to their own devices, I'd be willing to bet the Iraqis would develop something resembling a Shia-based sheikdom or kingdom, like the Wahabbi in Saudi Arabia. Of course, about two weeks later the place would degenerate into a multi-lateral civil war. The US has historically been rotten at long-term nation building. Arguably its few successes (i.e., Japan) relied more on local capability and talent than US "leadership". It should be a very interesting next couple of years.

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Sepiraph
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 78 (38745)
05-02-2003 3:46 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Mister Pamboli
04-22-2003 12:05 AM


quote:
As it stands, they're in major danger of looking like war-mad tyrants if there turns out to be no WMD. Although it may be that Saddam sold them to terrorists or something at the beginning of the war.
Well, IMO they are war-mad tyrants already.
And the comparison of the situation with Iraq to that of Nazi Germany is a bad one, and in so many ways.
[This message has been edited by Sepiraph, 05-02-2003]

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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1553 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 13 of 78 (38746)
05-02-2003 3:49 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by Sepiraph
05-02-2003 3:46 AM


And the comparison of the situation with Iraq to that of Nazi Germany is a bad one, and in so many ways.
Probably true. Althogh I think the moral imparative to stop the slaughter of innocent people is similar in quality if not in scope.
Certainly Hitler was gearing up to take over the world. Saddam was no such threat.
Oh, well. I'm glad it's almost over. Ultimately I think this will raise the standard of living in Iraq. Whether that's enough to justify the human cost in lives is something that I don't feel wise enough to argue.

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Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by compmage, posted 05-02-2003 7:57 AM crashfrog has replied

compmage
Member (Idle past 5239 days)
Posts: 601
From: South Africa
Joined: 08-04-2005


Message 14 of 78 (38757)
05-02-2003 7:57 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by crashfrog
05-02-2003 3:49 AM


crashfrog writes:
Ultimately I think this will raise the standard of living in Iraq.
Yet at what cost (war casualties aside). How many Africans will suffer because of monies being diverted to Iraq? How many additional people will starve because money that would have been used for food aid is now going to be used to rebuild Iraq?
------------------
He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.
- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

This message is a reply to:
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crashfrog
Member (Idle past 1553 days)
Posts: 19762
From: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 03-20-2003


Message 15 of 78 (38786)
05-02-2003 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by compmage
05-02-2003 7:57 AM


Yet at what cost (war casualties aside). How many Africans will suffer because of monies being diverted to Iraq? How many additional people will starve because money that would have been used for food aid is now going to be used to rebuild Iraq?
Like I said, I don't feel wise enough to even begin to do that math.

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