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Friday, May 21, 2004

Sarin Gas Shell

Citizen Smash has an interesting analysis of the Sarin Shell found in Iraq I have to admit that our inability to find WMD stockpiles in Iraq is troubling to me. Not because I think that if we don’t find them the war was unjust or because I believe that Bush lied but because somehow there was a failure of our Intelligence Service and this is troubling. It is possible that the WMD stockpiles are still waiting to be discovered in Iraq and it is equally possible that most of them have been moved to a neighboring country (there is a lot of buzz about Syria in this regard.) One of the best arguments against going to war with Iraq was that we were able to deter Saddam from using any WMD but when facing destruction he would have no motive not to give these weapons to terrorist organization or that in the fall of Iraq terrorists could get these weapons in the chaos. The discovery of the Sarin shell and the recent foiled plot in Jordan show that these events may have indeed come to pass. In spite of this troubling development I think that this is argument failed to consider the probable outcome if Saddam was not disarmed. If America and its allies had not removed Saddam after his refusal to abide by resolution 1441, eventually the economic sanctions (already porous) would have collapsed. Having successfully stared down the UN Saddam would feel free to fully put into production his WMD programs. I don’t know if he would have given any to Al Qaida or not but he was willing to pay significant amounts to the families of Palestinian Suicide bombers and I think he very well might have been willing to provide WMDs to attack Israel. Regardless of whether he would have given WMDs to terrorists or not at some point we were going to have to deal with Saddam Hussein. It seems obvious to me that there was not going to be “peace in our time” with Iraq. So the choice was between attacking when we did, risking that any existing stockpiles might fall into terrorist hands or attacking at some point in the future, when the stockpiles would be larger and the weapons perhaps more sophisticated.


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