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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Tuesday, January 27, 2004
It is good to know we are not all dead from Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, or why it is time to invade Syria
Over the last few days I haven't been following the news, by which I mean read news stories on the web, as much as I usually do on account of having a cold and working on some writing projects.
Recently resigned weapons inspector David Kay, in contrast, has said he doesn't believe "large stockpiles" of weapons of mass destruction that Team Bush and others once said they knew were in Iraq actually exist. Kay reportedly told The New York Times that the Iraqis "were maintaining an infrastructure" for the production of weapons of mass destruction "but they didn't have large-scale production under way" even though Kay believes that might have been news to Saddam Hussein. (Kay also reportedly denied that there was any evidence that Iraqi Republican Guard units had chemical weapons to use against invading forces last year and suggested that there were fundamental problems in how U.S. intelligence agencies gathered info about Iraq.)
But perhaps that it is merely window dressing. Peter Beaumont writes in Sunday's Observer that "Pentagon and CIA officials appear to have accepted that there is little point in searching for weapons stockpiles in Iraq, and will now concentrate on auditing Iraqi claims of their destruction."
The Bush Administration's Official Shill Scott McClellan was in his usual fine form yesterday. McClellan's main point was " the decision that the President made was the right decision" not matter what, but he also added this fun note, "We know he had the intention, we know he had the capability. And, given his history and given the events of September 11th, we could not afford to rely on the good intentions of Saddam Hussein."
Intention to harm the United States? Check. Capability to harm the United States? Check. All said so as to refer to the situation right before the United States invaded? Check. All this adds up to McClellan saying Saddam was an imminent threat.
There was no word on what exactly McClellan's predecessor Ari Fleischer was talking about on March 21st of last year said, "there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly. This was the reason that the President felt so strongly that we needed to take military action to disarm Saddam Hussein, since he would not do it himself. As the military effort continues, I think you will see information develop for yourself, firsthand. This is one of the reasons that there are so many reporters present with the military. In many ways, you will have these answers yourselves. You are there, you are on the ground. And you will find the answers and they will speak volumes themselves." As if that was not enough Fleischer also said, "Saddam Hussein possesses biological and chemical weapons, and all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes."
In other words Saddam's real existing weapons of mass destruction were Team Bush's stated reason for invading Iraq in the early days of the invasion.
On a related note, "The invasion of Iraq ended the reign of a brutal government, but coalition leaders are wrong to characterize it as a humanitarian intervention, Human Rights Watch said in the keynote essay of its annual global survey released today," Human Rights Watch says in press release issued yesterday. "The 407-page World Report 2004: Human Rights and Armed Conflict includes 15 essays on a variety of subjects related to war and human rights, from Africa to Afghanistan, from sexual violence as a method to warfare to the new trends in post-conflict international justice."
"No President has ever done more for human rights than I have," G.W. Bush is believed to have said.
Prominent hawk Andrew Sullivan acknowledges "discrepancy between pre-war claims and post-war discovery" of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and chalks it up to an honest error on the part of those involved. "Notice I said: mistake. I do not believe and there is no reason to believe that there were any deliberate deceptions," he writes. Sullivan would be correct if it not for Bush's changing story on the reason for the war and continued references to the non-existent group known as "the terrorists," both of which show Bush could not care less about what Sullivan calls "keeping faith with the American people" or I would call being honest.
Of course if this was a "mistake" it means that the Bush Administration is incompetent as they weren't in a hurry to deal with what they sometimes said was an imminent threat, weren't in a hurry to find the weapons of mass destruction that they sometimes said made Saddam an imminent threat even after the invasion had begun and didn't, according to what Kay has reportedly told The New York Times, didn't see weapons inspections as a high priority or much of a need to secure documents and materials so that inspectors could find out what went on exactly with Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs and prevent the possibility of these items falling into the hands of one or more sections of "the terrorists." (If that were to happen, they might be able to develop weapons of mass destruction to use against the United States, something the average person could be forgiven for having thought was exactly the scenario that the invasion was said to have been launched in order to prevent.)
The best bet for hawks who can not or will not acknowledge reality is to hope that Bush does not allow the search for weapons to end so theoretically no conclusions can be drawn -before making any, McClellan said yesterday, "it's important first for the Iraq Survey Group to complete their mission"- and/or start advocating for war with Syria to get those weapons of mass destruction that can kill us all. Con Coughlin of The Telegraph reports Kay has said, "we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD programme. Precisely what went to Syria, and what has happened to it, is a major issue that needs to be resolved." That said, James Risen of The New York Times writes that during an interview with that paper, "Dr. Kay said there was also no conclusive evidence that Iraq had moved any unconventional weapons to Syria... He said there had been persistent reports from Iraqis saying they or someone they knew had see cargo being moved across the border, but there is no proof that such movements involved weapons materials."
So why not go after Syria? Sure the intelligence might not be the strongest but that just means Uncle Sam needs to take over all countries if we are to remain 100% secure and safe. Perhaps the motto should be "finding items that could of use to the aunts and uncles of people who could train other people in the skills necessary so that at some point in time those people could apply for the job of helping the support personal to the scientists who have not proven that they would never be able to participate in weapons of mass destruction-related program activities in merely one country is not enough to secure the eternal security of America."