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Where did Saddam’s WMD go?

April 13, 2006

Melanie Phillips thinks she knows.

It’s early days, but this looks credible to me.

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10 comments

  1. It’s complete hearsay, and looks incredible to me.

    Jeez, Rob, it’s OVER. Give it up, FFS.


  2. What’s OVER, Fyodor? The hunt for the answer to possbily the most-asked question in the world today?


  3. The most-asked question in the world today is NOT, “did Saddam have WMDs?”, but, “WHEN. THE. FUCK. are the Coalition of the Shilling going to admit they made a catastrophic mistake and get the fuck out of Iraq?”

    We’re three years into the occupation and the occupying powers have found no material evidence of WMDs. What does it take for you to accept that maybe, just fucking maybe, there weren’t any WMDs, and that you were conned?

    You seem to be prey to wishful thinking on this issue on a scale usually associated with religious fanatics. Ever wonder why?


  4. Fyodor, the two elements of your question don’t go together. I agree that the invasion was a mistake — possibly the greatest the US has ever made. But acknowledging it to be such does not mean decamping with all speed. The CoW can’t go until it leaves a plausible figleaf behind. That’s the political reality. It has to construct a government that has at least the appearance of being able to run the country once the foreign (western) troops have left.

    It’s not there yet, so the effort has to continue, whether the CoW wants it to or not. It is captive of the situation that the CoW itself created. What happens after their departure, of course, is another question. Personally I think the country will fragment along ethnic/religious lines.

    As for WMD, there is no question that Saddam had them. He used them to devastating effect against the Kurds, and against the Iranians during the Gulf war. Iran lost up to 80-90% of its frontline troops to chemical attacks in some battles. He must have had massive amounts stockpiled.

    So the question is — what did he do with them? The slow task of sorting through tens of thousands of captured documents continues. We can only wait to see what they tell us — but they are already claimed to have added significantly to an understanding of the links between Baghdad and Islamist terror.

    We shall see.


  5. “the two elements of your question don’t go together”

    Sure they do. You know it, but you just won’t admit it, at least to me.

    “But acknowledging it to be such does not mean decamping with all speed. The CoW can’t go until it leaves a plausible figleaf behind. That’s the political reality. It has to construct a government that has at least the appearance of being able to run the country once the foreign (western) troops have left.”

    Bullshit. It’s called cutting your losses. It’s a mistake to lose another dollar or life in Iraq. The Yanks made the same mistake in Vietnam, thinking they could stabilise an entropic situation, and they didn’t learn from it. In the end, the decision was forced on them by the enemy, to their lasting shame.

    “As for WMD, there is no question that Saddam had them.”

    He had them once; he used them once – those are known facts. Did he have them in March, 2003? If so, where’s the proof? You know, evidence and suchlike.

    “We can only wait to see what they tell us…”

    I’ve waited three years so far for precisely donut in the way of hard facts. How long are you going to wait before admitting that no evidence has emerged to justify your beliefs? Better yet, try answering the last two questions from my previous comment.


  6. Your last two questions were:

    “What does it take for you to accept that maybe, just fucking maybe, there weren’t any WMDs, and that you were conned?”

    Maybe, just maybe there weren’t.. However, as has been said over and over again, every country in the world with sophisticated intelligence gathering capabilities believed Saddam had WMD. It was the one thing everyone agreed on.

    Maybe they were all wrong, and maybe he didn’t – although it’s quite indisputable that at a very recent stage he had. Maybe he got rid of them after the first Gulf war, and didn’t tell anyone. If so, why did he play cat and mouse with the weapons inspectors for 10 years? Richard Butler thought he had masses of them – he even wrote a book about it. If he had nothing to hide, why didn’t he let the inspectors in, give him a clean bill of health, get the sanctions terminated, and go back to business as normal?

    One theory is that he fooled his own generals and scientists, or was trying to spook Iran.

    And of course he have thought that the continuation of the sanctions played into his hands by giving the media lots of stories about the appalling suffering visited on the Iraqi people as a result.

    I think it more likely that he got rid of them. Syria seems the most likely place to which to export them, and Phillips’ interlocutor provides interesting information abouit the process. It needs to be tested, certainly, but it’s a potentially very fruitful avenue of investigation.

    Your second was: “You seem to be prey to wishful thinking on this issue on a scale usually associated with religious fanatics. Ever wonder why?”

    I could ask you the same question, Fyodor, and it would be equally pointless, and meaningless.


  7. I’ll take your first answer as a more verbose version of: “Everybody else believed it when I was a kid, so I’m correct in still believing in the WMD fairy”. FFR, that pompous fuckwit Butler has zero credibility.

    “I could ask you the same question, Fyodor, and it would be equally pointless, and meaningless.”

    It wouldn’t be pointless or meaningless in the slightest – go right ahead. I’m not into wishful thinking, and I don’t believe in things that can’t be proved to exist. Why do you?

    Unlike you, I’m open to persuasion via evidence, facts, etc. of which you have produced none. As I pointed out, all you have going for your position is belief. I might as well be arguing with a suicide bomber – kinda the point I was trying to make.


  8. But as far as I can see, you haven’t answered a single point I’ve made, Fyodor, except with an expletive-driven tirade, nor made the slightest attempt to address the (admittedly hearsay) evidence of Phillips’ interlocutor.

    As for the WMD fairy, I’m happy to concede I am not in anywhere near as good a position to judge as the French, German, Russian and Israeli intelligence services — leaving out the CoW’s own for the moment — all of whom believed he had them. Either he’s a hoodwinker of genius (quite possible, as I’ve conceded), or he did something to get rid of them.

    Why that line of argument gets you so riled I have no idea.


  9. “But as far as I can see, you haven’t answered a single point I’ve made, Fyodor, except with an expletive-driven tirade, nor made the slightest attempt to address the (admittedly hearsay) evidence of Phillips’ interlocutor.”

    What fucking points have you made, Rob, that provide evidence supporting your contention that Saddam had WMDs on the eve of the Iraq War? All I’ve received from you is blind faith.

    “As for the WMD fairy, I’m happy to concede I am not in anywhere near as good a position to judge as the French, German, Russian and Israeli intelligence services — leaving out the CoW’s own for the moment — all of whom believed he had them.”

    This line again. Only three countries had credible intelligence on Iraq, namely the USA, UK and Israel. Everyone else (Australia included) was relying upon hand-me-downs from those clowns. Guess what? Their intelligence was politically compromised.

    “Why that line of argument gets you so riled I have no idea.”

    You know very well why, and it’s disingenuous of you to play dumb.

    The casus belli was sexed up, the war was executed on false pretences and thus the occupation was an abortion. Your inability to acknowledge this whole sorry exercise as a duplicitous sham ending in tragedy is what gets me so fucking riled up. You should be fucking furious about being duped, and the fact that you’re not makes very angry indeed.


  10. Well, Fyodor, disentangling the moral and intellectual confusion of your latest riposte is beyond my powers of argument. No doubt that will provide you with further occasion for rage. Enjoy.



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