Mister Pterodactyl
Sunday, January 25, 2004
Where have I heard this before?

Boston Globe columnist Derrick Jackson:

“Secretary of State Colin Powell was a huge loser in last week's report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that said Saddam Hussein's weapons program was not an immediate threat to the United States or even his neighbors. The report said Saddam's nuclear program had been dismantled, his large-scale chemical weapons capabilities had been destroyed, and ‘there was no solid evidence of a cooperative relationship between Saddam's government and Al Qaeda.’" (emph. added)

The article goes on to quote Powell describing the evidence of WMDs in Iraq. Mr. Jackson believes that the failure to find said WMD shows that Powell, and of course the President, lied while making a case for invasion.

I think the administration should have been more forthright making its case for war, but still... Once More With Feeling: the 1991 armistice agreement made it Hussein’s responsibility to verifiably disarm. A string of Security Council resolutions reiterated it was up to Hussein to verifiably disarm. It was not our task to prove he had these weapons; it was his task to prove he didn’t. Phrases like ‘no solid/concrete/irrefutable evidence,’ when used by the ‘Bush lied’ crowd, are an attempt to return to Hussein the benefit of the doubt. He forfeited the benefit of the doubt a long time ago. He may have disarmed, but he didn’t prove it.

I am surprised that no WMD has been found, but I am not terribly dismayed. That failure means one of two things: either Hussein hid them prior to the war, or he had in fact disposed of them. If the former, they’ll turn up. There’s a lot of searching to do yet. If the latter, then we’re stuck with the bizarre scenario that Hussein rid himself of WMD but declined to convince the UN that he had done so, thus permitting sanctions to stay in place when he could have had them lifted. Why do you suppose he’d do that? To get rich on illegal oil sales and skimmed humanitarian aid? To continue keeping his people down by funneling resources to his most favored (a la Kim Jong-il)? To keep other Muslims inflamed by making the West out to be the bad guy? Think about it.

As far as the CEIP, I haven’t read the report (it is lengthy) but a summary is available at their website. I’m not going to comment on it now, except it’s pretty much what you’d expect from a group with that kind of name. Oh, and about the highlighted part of the Jackson quote above: the CEIP report actually says, “Iraq’s WMD programs represented a long-term threat that could not be ignored. They did not, however, pose an immediate threat to the United States, to the region, or to global security.”

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