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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Weapons Of Mass Destruction...Revisited.

Link: Chemical Weapons In Iraq

Anyone in Iraq in 2003-2004 would have come across evidence that the Saddam Hussein regime was not only in possession of chemical weapons, but that they were preparing to use them against U.S. forces.  The truth is, Saddam had a number of nasty little ambushes planned for our brave soldiers, but our victory was so total and engulfing that he and his coward sons were obliged to leave town before any of their "surprises" could be visited on our young men and women in uniform.  The Iraqi army disappeared from the battlefield almost as quickly as they did recently outside of Tikrit.  Let's face it, no one wanted to die for Saddam, which was fortunate for everyone because the end result was fewer casualties on either side.  The fact is Iraq had compiled a frightening arsenal of chemical weapons which were stored at various locations around the country.  There is no doubt in my mind that Iraq was developing less complicated, easy to deliver batches of biological agents as well.  It's not difficult to keep these labs simple and mobile, and we have yet to get satisfactory clarification on what exactly the Iraqis were transporting in convoys from central Iraq to Syria in the dead of the night.  Who was surprised when Syrian de facto President Bashir al-Assad began using chemical weapons against the Syrian opposition?

I'm not writing this post in support of the argument that the Bush Administration went to war against Iraq because Iraq was a threat to develop Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).  I won't make that argument because I don't believe that Operation Enduring Freedom had anything to do with Iraq's weapons initiatives, be they chemical, biological, nuclear or all three.  I believe the intention was to force the war onto a battlefield that was less comfortable for Al-Qaida (AQ): away from U.S. population centers and into AQ's backyard.  Bringing the conflict to Iraq and Afghanistan forced the enemy to fight a conventional war in which he would be totally ill-suited.  Iraq would be freed from the rule of a bloodthirsty despot and would be rebuilt; the Taliban would be destroyed once and for all; and both nations would embrace the promise of democracy, education, and free trade.  I believe the idea was to create a long-term military presence in this part of the world, possibly in the form of an Army and Air Force Base to compliment the current U.S. Naval facilities in the Gulf States.  I don't think the Bush Administration was prepared for the scope and the breadth of the Sunni Insurgency coupled with the Sunni-Shia conflict purposely exacerbated by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI).  A change in the White House and a definite change in policy ended any hope of achieving the original goals of Operation Enduring Freedom.  But this is all conjecture, which is a nice way of saying bullshit.  I have no proof for my supposition, nor do I care anymore.  The discussion today focuses on the claim by the left that Iraq did not possess WMD when we invaded in 2003.

After the decision by George Bush Sr. to leave Saddam Hussein in power (following the first Gulf War in 1991), Saddam showed his appreciation by using chemical weapons against the rebellious Kurds in the north and the Shia in the south.  Saddam's appreciation of chemical weapons did not end with his collection of a nice supply, tucked away in various bunkers.  Iraqi scientists continued to do research with both chemical and biological agents.  Initially, because the U.S. Army chose not to get involved in the controversy, the discovery of cache upon cache of chemical weapons went unreported in the U.S. press.  Granted, the Iraqi Survey Group was in place for the express purpose of locating WMD, but they were focused on locating mobile and stationary labs for creating biological and chemical agents.  Unfortunately for the Bush Administration, the "smoking gun" was either never discovered or never revealed.

For the simple point of argument about the presence of WMD in Iraq, anyone who says that Iraq was not in possession of WMD is mistaken at best.  The latest version of the conversation from the left, is that the chemical weapons discovered by the U.S. Army were caches dating back to 1991 and before.  Even though I don't believe that all the chemical agents discovered in Iraq (and they're still digging stuff up, folks) have a birthdate of 1991 and before, I think the argument is absurd.  The United Nations Security Council Resolutions did not specify if Iraq was currently cooking up chemical agents, it was addressing Iraq's possession of chemical agents.  Saddam Hussein did indeed have WMDs; in fact, he had a proverbial butt-load of WMD.  If you want to argue that the real reasons for going to war had nothing to do with WMDs, then I won't stand in your way.  But to continue the false narrative that Iraq did not possess WMD and was not a threat to its neighbors (including, with an adequate delivery system, Israel) is to ignore real evidence.  A decade after the fact, poor souls are still stumbling into Saddam's stash of unconventional weapons.  We may yet uncover a well-buried mobile biological laboratory.  I've given you my opinion regarding the true motivation for the war, which is certainly open to debate.  But the caches of chemical weapons found in Iraq isn't.

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