|A theory about Weapons of Mass Destruction
||[Jan. 24th, 2004|04:10 pm]
This is long enough, and the subject descriptive enough, that I'm putting the cut tag in right here...|
People talk about how Saddam Hussein acted like he had something to hide, and that's why it's so clear that there must be weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
But let's look at that evidence.
He wasn't forthright with the inspectors in the 90s. But, he claims that the US had spies in the inspection teams, *AND* the US openly admits that they haven't had any "on the ground intelligence" since the inspection teams left (and weren't let back in... remember, Hussein didn't throw them out, they left because of US airstrikes. However, he didn't let them back in. Having just been hit with airstrikes, this is somewhat understandable.)
Okay... so then, new inspections resume after a long time. The US insists that they have solid intelligence showing there are weapons, right? But Saddam isn't playing games with the inspectors anymore... he's letting them have access, and only disputing minor things... like flyovers, unless the US stops patrolling the "no fly zone". (Note that those zones are not explicitly authorized by the UN... the US claims authority to patrol them, because they claim doing so supports another UN resolution.) This isn't an unreasonable demand... since the UN hasn't said Hussein has to let planes fly overhead, he has a right to want to shoot down a warplane that flies overhead, so he has a right to demand that he knows exactly what's in his airspace.
Now, I'm not being apologetic for Saddam Hussein, who is a tyrant and mass murderer. I'm only pointing out that, if it were possible that Saddam Hussein were not a tyrant and a mass murderer, and it wasn't chemical and biological weapons, but hoarded stores of chocolate, no one would seriously question that kind of demand; some kind of negotiation would be made.
(Pause for all jokes - repeat, *ALL* jokes - about how hoarding chocolate would be worse than hiding Bio/Chem weapons. pausepausepausepausepausepause... Okay. Joke time's over, back to seriousness.)
But the US has intelligence... radio intercepts, telephone intercepts, satellite photos that look awfully bad.
Let's assume the US analysts aren't just seeing what they want to see (or have been ordered to see, or whatever). Let's assume this is rock solid evidence. Let's assume that, twenty years from now, dispassionate historians who don't give a damn about the issue will look back and say "Wow, I can see why the Bush administration thought they were hiding something...".
Assuming that is true, can we *STILL* explain how it could be the case that Saddam Hussein was *not* hiding chemical weapons? And can we figure out a motive for *why* he'd put up the pretense?
I'd like everyone who remembers the first gulf war to think back. I'm going to say one word that might just make you all have the same revelation I had.
Okay, for anyone who doesn't get it, early in the first gulf war, Saddam Hussein invited journalists in. He wanted to show them how the US had bombed a "baby milk factory". Yep, there was a wrecked building with a sign on it, in English, saying "Baby Milk Factory", and the area was littered with milk cans. (These are large things about the size of a barrel, if anyone doesn't know.)
Anyway... one problem. These weren't milk cans that had survived a bombing run. I don't know if they were shiny, but they weren't blown apart.
Do we know anyone who might put up a clumsy fake job to try to make it look like the US is being horrible and mean to him and his people?
Do we know anyone who might want to embarrass the US by letting the inspectors in, letting them inspect everything, while pretending that they have something just enough to keep the US yelling that they do, so that the US is embarrassed, and unable to get *any* support for continued sanctions, and faces the loathing of the Arab world for having been so suspicious of this peaceful Arab nation?
I think it's just possible that we might know someone *exactly* like that.