News Iraq WMDs

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One of my basic issues is: What happens to WMDs that are in Syria and will show up there on a larger scale? Will getting involved decrease or increase the likelihood of WMDs finding their way to the U.S. in the hands of radical Islamists? For example, our success in Iraq certainly decreased the likelihood of WMDs in the hands of terrorists getting into the U.S. with WMDs.
 

Office_Shredder

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For example, our success in Iraq certainly decreased the likelihood of WMDs in the hands of terrorists getting into the U.S. with WMDs.
I don't think this is certain at all? Considering the probability of those non-existent WMDs getting into terrorist hands was 0 whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power.

[Syria content split]
 
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WMDs in Iraq

I don't think this is certain at all? Considering the probability of those non-existent WMDs getting into terrorist hands was 0 whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power.
WMDs were definitely there, and Saddam had his organization for pursuing weapons programs in tact. Further, it became clear that terrorists could have had access to the weapons for transport to the U.S. at some point down the road.

If you really just want to keep the WMDs secure the best way to do that is probably to help the government crush the rebels and massacre the dissidents. al-Assad has a proven track record of not aiding terrorists in attacking us with chemical and biological weapons, it stands to reason that if we help him militarily he wouldn't flip on that stance.
That's another situation with a quite complex analysis.
 

turbo

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WMDs were definitely there, and Saddam had his organization for pursuing weapons programs in tact. Further, it became clear that terrorists could have had access to the weapons for transport to the U.S. at some point down the road.
Can you supply any evidence for this claim? Earlier, the US supplied Saddam with chemical weapons, which he used against the Kurds, but what else was there? There was a steady drumbeat among some US politicians about WMDs, yet none were ever found or documented. Where is the evidence?
 
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Iraq WMD Evidence

Can you supply any evidence for this claim? Earlier, the US supplied Saddam with chemical weapons, which he used against the Kurds, but what else was there? There was a steady drumbeat among some US politicians about WMDs, yet none were ever found or documented. Where is the evidence?
I remember quite clearly news reports of discovered chemical WMDs after the troops went in. However, the size of the stashes apparently did not rise to the level considered by the main stream media to qualify as significant (any one of those deposited in the U.S. would have been significant). Our troops discovered some of them and other discoveries were documented later as well as the transfer of some weapons to Syria. However, I'll have to undertake quite a search to get back to the reports presented in that time period.

I still think there was an unacceptable risk of WMDs at some time in the future had Saddam not been taken down. The fact that he had a WMD program was quite well established.
 

Office_Shredder

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I think that Iraq WMDs would be better suited as a topic for a new thread instead of continuing the discussion in this one
 

turbo

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Can you supply some reputable links? Including the "fact" that he had a WMD program? Such arguments quickly fell apart after the invasion.
 

russ_watters

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Holy dead horse, Batman! But oy, the misinformation:

Can you supply any evidence for this claim? Earlier, the US supplied Saddam with chemical weapons, which he used against the Kurds...
Can you supply any evidence for that claim?

A simple google/wiki on the issue says that we (and lots of other countries) supplied dual use technologies, some of which were used to produce WMDs. We did not supply Saddam with chemical weapons.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_and_weapons_of_mass_destruction#Western_help_with_Iraq.27s_WMD_program
...but what else was there?

There was a steady drumbeat among some US politicians about WMDs, yet none were ever found or documented. Where is the evidence?
Clearly, Iraq had WMDs during the Iran/Iraq war. In addition, we destroyed a lot of chemical and biological weapons during and soon after the 1991 war.

How much, how fast and what happened to the WMDs as Iraq was disarmed is a matter of some debate and speculation. It seems clear though that up until about 1998 he retained at least some chemical weapons:
In August 1998, Ritter resigned his position as UN weapons inspector and sharply criticized the Clinton administration and the UN Security Council for not being vigorous enough about insisting that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction be destroyed. Ritter also accused UN Secretary General Kofi Annan of assisting Iraqi efforts at impeding UNSCOM's work. "Iraq is not disarming", Ritter said on August 27, 1998, and in a second statement, "Iraq retains the capability to launch a chemical strike." In 1998 the UNSCOM weapons inspectors left Iraq.
In any case, I've split this from the Syria thread because it doesn't seem likely - and certainly is not proven - that there were any WMDs in Iraq during or just prior to the 2003 invasion and as such it isn't relevant to use it as an analogue for whether interfering in Syria might cause WMDs to fall into the hands of terrorists.
 

BobG

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Ritter seems a little inconsistent in his views about Iraq's weapons if you take his comments out of context. For example, six months later he said:

I really think its time to approach Iraq's disarmament as qualitative
disarmament. There is no doubt that they're hiding stuff from the weapons
inspectors. What they're hiding are drawings, blueprints, some components,
some material. I call it seed stock. It's the stuff you could put on the
back of the truck, move it out to the farm, and then at some point, you can
plant it and use it as a base to reconstitute weapons. Even in ballistic
missiles, you have components that can be used to build the missile at a
later date, but by themselves they do not constitute an operational
ballistic missile. By themselves, the biological capability and chemical
capability are not chemical weapons or biological weapons programs.

When you ask the question, "Does Iraq possess militarily viable biological
or chemical weapons?" the answer is "NO! It is a resounding NO! Can Iraq
produce today chemical weapons on a meaningful scale? No! Can Iraq produce
biological weapons on a meaningful scale? No! Ballistic missiles? No! It is
"no" across the board. So from a qualitative standpoint, Iraq has been
disarmed. Iraq today possesses no meaningful weapons of mass destruction
capability.
Usually, only the second paragraph is provided, making seem like he had done a complete 180 from his views at the time of Russ's quote. The two paragraphs together probably provide a better picture of his views: No current program, but trying to retain the capability to rebuild it after inspectors left.

In any event, Iraq was very uncooperative with the inspections in 1998. And there was no way they would want international witnesses to the elimination of whatever capability they still had in 1998. Iran was a serious potential enemy and would Iraq really want to depend on the enemy that had just beaten them to come their aid if Iran invaded?

In the end, the strategy was to eliminate the evidence of weapons the only way possible - by destroying the weapons - without acknowledging to the world that they were now defenseless and then hoping the absence of evidence would be enough to end the sanctions. And, if possible, rebuild their weapons program after the international community quit hounding them with inspectors so as to reduce the amount of time that they were defenseless as much as possible.
 

mheslep

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Letter from the DNI to the House Intelligence Committee

Subject: Iraqi Chemical Munitions 21 June 2006

Purpose: This summary provides an unclassified overview of chemical munitions recovered in Iraq since May 2004.

Key Points:

-- Since 2004 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent..
 

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