micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Sunday, August 17, 2003
United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was in a positivist mood Wednesday while speaking in Sydney, Australia:
Now, I don’t want to leave this podium without addressing something that has aroused a great deal of concern here and in my country, and that is the fact that we have not yet found enough evidence of Saddam Hussein’s programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. We will. I have absolute confidence about that. Indeed, the fact that it has taken us this long to find the evidence is a chilling reminder that these programs are far too easy to move, and, I believe, far too easy to hide. Consider, for example, that UNSCOM was only able to confirm the existence of a biological warfare program that Saddam Hussein claimed not to have after years of inspections because a high level defector walked in and gave them the evidence.Seemingly the failure to find weapons of mass destruction or programs related to such weapons would cause people like Armitage to at least temper their comments, as even U.S. President George W. Bush has done, but here Armitage talks about the programs and/or WMDs that are alleged to exist as something they know is there because they know it does. The "logic" is completely is self-reflexive but would be admirable if it was not coming on a matter where it may be possible in the not too distant future to determine if he is right or wrong
That the U.S. will stay in Iraq till the evidence that Armitage knows in deep down in his heart is there is a different and very odd thing for Armitage to say. Hope that the U.S. will find the WMDs or evidence of the programs for such weapons will probably be long extinguished before the U.S. has completed building the state it wants in Iraq and/or been kicked out by resistance to the occupation.
I don't know if the claims about former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction will be exposed another extremely weak claim or not, but it is interesting that Armitage finds it "chilling" that these programs have not been found, without noting that if the programs do exist, the failure to find them could mean that they are in the hands of individuals who might want to use WMDs against the U.S. on some level. This is an example of a trend -first noted on March 25- where high-ranking U.S. officials talk about WMD as if they have not value beyond political points.
In the same speech, Armitage also had this to say:
One other thing is very clear about Iraq, however, and that is that the world cannot afford to keep coming back to this point. For 12 years the international community could find no answer to a number of difficult challenges. How do we deal with a sovereign state which is led by a criminal, one who has little regard for his people, let alone for international law and international order? And in particular, most particularly, how do we deal with the determination of such a regime to acquire weapons of mass destruction? For us, just as for Australia, war is never going to be the preferred answer. But in the absence of any other solution, it will always have to be a consideration.Why was Saddam's rule in Iraq such a pressing matter? He hadn't attacked anyone outside of the country in over a decade. One could argue that his abuses of human rights were the reason but the U.S. doesn't seem particularly interested in similar situations in other countries so that can not be Armitage's reasoning. Rather, it appears that the myth that Saddam was a threat to the U.S. has become so ingrained that it can be presented as a fact.