Tuesday, January 16, 2007

For shame! No WMD in Iraq.

The superiority de jour over the U.S. is Bush being mistaken over the presence of WMD in Iraq. I thought I'd gather my comments on that given in the Volokh Conspiracy and Asymmetrical Information:

I appreciate your criticising Mr. Bush without vitriol. You know there were arguments in the months prior to our going to the UN when it was clear that Mr. Bush wanted to invade Iraq. Saddam had a clear history of murdering innocent and mere opponents, in a sense was like the man eating tiger who had to be considered dangerous for living in that unnatural manner. If Saddam didn't have dangerous WMD, he had them on his Muslim holiday list along with suicide bombers of Israeli children; and the sanctions were tenuous. The Democrats and media, representing you presumably, said we had to get the acquiescence of the world community. Was he going to say that 'after 9/11 (and implications noted by Tony Blair above) I don't think I can do my duty as first soldier and guardian of the country with Saddam Hussein in office?' No, he had to make a case on UN precedents and Saddam's failure to comply. Like the prosecutors we have been lambasting in recent blog posts, he, for you (i.e. those demanding international acquiescence), put on the case with the evidence he had. The case came down not to a conviction or acquittal of Saddam, because there really wasn't sufficient evidence, in part because there was 'obstruction of justice (or investigation).' This then lacked a definitive finding from the UN, and Saddam appeared not to cooperate believing his French and Russian allies would necessitate an affirmative finding on the first charge; but Bush was never compelled by their finding to begin with, only ours of making an honorable international trial, and proceeded then with the public impression of Saddam's obstruction of justice to war.

From my interviews with patients from the First Gulf War, I believe that Saddam used them, chemical weapons, against our troops to a limited extent (or with limited penetrance). Lets assume he still had them. He had a decision to make. The issue before the U.N. was, 'Is war justified by his possession of WMD?' If he attacks our troops with them, then that justifies our aggression. This is only really useful for him if it determines the outcome of the war. Another alternative is to ship them to Syria, which a senior Iraqi Air Force officer has reported in a book. Remember pan-Arabism? Syria is controlled by the Baath party, same as was in Iraq. The information about a planned chemical attack on Amman is consistent with there being in Syria. Also WMD not being found can be a justification for his allies or right minded thinkers to attack the integrity of those who attacked Iraq. The third alternative, simply leaving them in Iraq, can be easily eliminated from his multiple choice answer because that is as bad as using them and without benefit. His stalling and giving incomplete reports leads credence to his having this multiple choice. You ever wonder why the police don't publish in the paper who they're going to bust for marijuana possession next Saturday?

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