Thursday, January 22, 2009

Proof of Saddam's WMDs

This is a copy of something I wrote on the Investor's Iraq Forum. Enjoy.

Bush never stated that Iraq was a direct or imminent threat to us. In fact, he stated the opposite during one of his biggest speeches before the war. From the 2003 State of the Union:

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?

As for chemical weapons that were a threat to us, we're forgetting the potential of Saddam's WMD. Contrary to popular belief, most of his WMD capacity was NOT given or sold to him by the United States. In fact, the vast majority was provided by Russia (his number one arms partner), East Germany, and Poland. The United States, under President Reagan allowed biological weapons components to be sold to the Iraqi regime, but was not the primary seller.

Sarin nerve gas was produced in the tons by Saddam's government in the 1980s. One liquid drop of this could kill an adult male. The Iraqi regime created and stockpiled even more deadly nerve gases, like cyclosarin and VX. Even ten shells filled with these chemicals could kill hundreds, or thousands in an enclosed ventilation system. And Saddam admitted to having at least 30,000 in 1991. The Iraqis had a bad habit of not labeling their chemical weapons shells. Of all of the millions of shells safely detonated by ordinance personnel, hundreds or thousands could have been VX, Sarin, Tabun, or Cyclosarin.

Sarin and mustard gas are fairly easy to construct, and considering the Iraqis had the blueprints and experience, it was only a matter of time that the stockpiles were rebuilt. These were seen as vital as a bulwark against Iran and Israel.

And Saddam's WMD stockpile wouldn't be used against us directly. Duh. With various bases in the region, the Kurds, Israel, and Saudi Arabia nearby, there was no reason to risk transporting the materials 11,000 miles. He could easily hit Americans in his own back yard. Or more likely, complete the Anfal Campaign when we weren't looking.

Of course oil is a major factor in the war. You don't invade a country with either the 2nd or 3rd biggest oil reserves in the world and not factor that in. And considering the fact that almost all of Iraq's oil is either in the Kurdish region or close to the Kuwaiti border (in the desert where no one lives), if oil was the only or chief concern, it could be secured and held even without toppling Saddam. Besides, these wells haven't been given to American or British petroleum corporations, which could have easily paid for the war. You cannot leave a dictator who invaded three of his neighbors and shot ballistic missiles at two others in control of this vast oil wealth. And considering that he was funding Hamas, Hezbollah, and Ansar al-Islam (to name just a few), this money was directly funding the deaths of Israelis and Lebanese.

If Bush really lied (or even really exagerrated) claims about WMD, it would be in short order that American chemical weapons from the Cold War (which we're disposing of anyway) would be sent as stand-ins. Considering if Bush and his Administration would know ahead that they were lying, this would have been done before the troops entered Baghdad.

This isn't about Bush. If Clinton or Gore were President, toppling Saddam would have been the right thing. It just so happened that Bush was the person who did it. Considering the threat that Saddam held for the region, it was by far a great decision. To deny that would fly in the face of fact, not opinion.

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