Tuesday 4 February 2003

America, Are You Ready for This War?

For the sake of argument, let's say that Saddam Hussein does indeed have chemical and biological weapons somewhere in Iraq. (Leave off the nukes, as the IEIA has bluntly stated that no such program or weapon exists in Iraq) Hussein is and has always been a weapons junkie, and his jones was amply fed by science, training and materials given freely to him by the Reagan administration and a number of prominent American corporations.

One could argue that the best evidence Colin Powell could show the UN on Wednesday is a pile of shipping manifests from 1986, but that is not likely to happen. After all, the American names on those manifests would bear a striking resemblance to current door plaques along the halls of power in the White House and Defense Department. This could present an uncomfortable situation.

UNSCOM basically razed Hussein's weapons program to the ground from 1991 through 1998, taking care of pretty much everything the Gulf War bombs missed. The inspectors wrecked all the equipment and destroyed every missile, bomb and laboratory they could find. They were tantalizingly close to declaring Iraq fully disarmed when the wheels came off UNSCOM in 1998. In the intervening years, no evidence has been put forth demonstrating Iraq's procurement of new weapons development equipment and material, items that are watched very closely. Our satellite technology can read a watch ticking on an arm in downtown Baghdad, and is more than capable of noting whether or not Hussein's soldiers and scientists have been busy in the deserts outside Basra. No such documentation has ever been presented.

Forget all that. Accept the flawed but widely accepted premise that Saddam has these weapons practically falling out of his ears. Let's take a walk down a path to the future.

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