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WMD
May 13, 2003 10:23 AM   Subscribe

Frustrated, U.S. Arms Team to Leave Iraq. The group directing all known U.S. search efforts for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is winding down operations without finding proof that President Saddam Hussein kept clandestine stocks of outlawed arms.
posted by The Jesse Helms (76 comments total)

 
that's american justice
posted by Satapher at 10:26 AM on May 13, 2003


"If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing."
-- Homer Simpson
posted by mathowie at 10:40 AM on May 13, 2003


Father Bush has said there are weapons of mass destruction. Therefore there must be weapons of mass destruction. Father is never wrong. He can see into the hearts of men.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:48 AM on May 13, 2003


"It takes two to lie, Marge. One to lie and one to listen."

Homer Simpson
posted by bureaustyle at 10:50 AM on May 13, 2003


It's worth remembering that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

And what kind of "reporting" is this?

Later in the conversation, he flung the unfinished cigar into the lake with somewhat more force than required.

I had to look at the byline to see whether the Washington Post had hired Jayson Blair.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:52 AM on May 13, 2003


I had to look at the byline to see whether the Washington Post had hired Jayson Blair.

The comparison would only be apt if in fact he did not fling "the unfinished cigar into the lake with somewhat more force than required." Blair was fired for using colorful language or descriptions, he was fired for lying.
posted by donovan at 10:55 AM on May 13, 2003


"Later in the conversation, he flung the unfinished cigar into the lake with somewhat more force than required."

It's going to be really funny when they find all the hidden weapons at the bottom of that lake.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:56 AM on May 13, 2003


ABC News reported yesterday, "U.S. Sending New Team to Iraq for Weapons Search."
posted by waxpancake at 11:00 AM on May 13, 2003


The U.S. invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the oppressed Iraqi people. The U.S. has always invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the oppressed Iraqi people.

Americans just care more about freedom than the rest of the world. That's why no one wanted the U.S. to rescue the oppressed Iraqi people. That's why they hate us. We love freedom, and they are evildoers.

Don't you get it yet?
posted by sacre_bleu at 11:00 AM on May 13, 2003


It would've been so much simpler if all along Bush just said "we're going in and taking out Saddam. More to follow. Nope, there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Bug off!" and left it at that.

It's one thing to be an asshole. It's another thing entirely to be a dishonest asshole.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:06 AM on May 13, 2003


First it was "We're not attacking Iraq." Then it was "OK, we're attacking Iraq, but we're only doing it to destroy the weapons." Then it was "The weapons may have been moved or destroyed to keep us from finding them." Then it was "OK, it wasn't about destroying the weapons, but we weren't lying when we said it was."
posted by RylandDotNet at 11:06 AM on May 13, 2003


ABC News reported yesterday, "U.S. Sending New Team to Iraq for Weapons Search."

Never mind those C5 cargo planes they'll be flying in on. They're just full of chapstick and sunblock.
posted by machaus at 11:08 AM on May 13, 2003


It's worth remembering that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

I hate this Orwellian doublespeak. I say GW Bush is a child molester. No evidence, you say? Well, "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Guilty until proven innocent, and all that...
posted by laz-e-boy at 11:09 AM on May 13, 2003


Now it's: our first team couldn't find them. Our new team will certainly plant find them.
posted by goethean at 11:09 AM on May 13, 2003


The comparison would only be apt if in fact he did not fling "the unfinished cigar into the lake with somewhat more force than required." Blair was fired for using colorful language or descriptions, he was fired for lying.

I realize that. I was just trying to be funny.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:09 AM on May 13, 2003


The U.S. invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the oppressed Iraqi people. The U.S. has always invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the oppressed Iraqi people.

There are four lights.
posted by four panels at 11:09 AM on May 13, 2003


I hate this Orwellian doublespeak.

And I hate pseudointellectualism. How the fuck is what I said "Orwellian doublespeak"? It only means what it says: Just because something hasn't yet been found doesn't mean it does not exist. Although maybe you have a timetable that tells you when we should have found something that was intentionally hidden. And apparently that timetable is less than a month.

Oh, and we haven't found Saddam or his sons, either. Does that mean they didn't exist?
posted by pardonyou? at 11:15 AM on May 13, 2003


I can't deny the possibility that Bush et al knew for sure there were no weapons and had another agenda but where's the proof of such a conspiracy?

Given that everyone; Blix, the Russians, the French and the Germans; admitted the lying going on and the history of duplicity (not by Bush, I'm talking about Saddam you cynics!) it wasn't such a leap to conclude maybe he still has WMD.

Does make you wonder why the hell he didn't just admit it.
posted by pots at 11:18 AM on May 13, 2003


I hate this Orwellian doublespeak.

it's not orwellian doublespeak, it's SCIENCE
posted by nylon at 11:19 AM on May 13, 2003


Ufez Jones: That's exactly it! I can live with an a-hole. You can always say, "at least he's honest." Lying is the reason Clinton was castigated, not because he got blown in the Oval Office. Lying is probably what's going to hang the entire Bush administration in 2004.
posted by FormlessOne at 11:19 AM on May 13, 2003


Why are you talking about WMD? Do you hate America?

George Bush just made a new solemn, unbreakable promise:

"These despicable acts were committed by killers whose only faith is hate. And the United States will find the killers, and they will learn the meaning of American justice."

He will perform heroically, as he has promised. His word is always done! So for you hippies to be talking about these old-ass red-herring absolute 100% promises that he made in the past is just unpatriotic and hateful. Bush will find and punish the Riyadh Bombers! We must not dwell on Bin Laden, or Hussein, or WMD.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:21 AM on May 13, 2003


pots: He did, over and over again. We ignored what he said and instead insisted that he did have them.
posted by FormlessOne at 11:22 AM on May 13, 2003


FormlessOne: Sorry that came out wrong.

I know he denied it all the time, but there seemed to be a disparity between what he said and how he behaved. Thus, reason for doubt.
posted by pots at 11:28 AM on May 13, 2003


This is a actually a good thing. It means that to some degree, we can trust our government because, at very least, they haven't planted phony evidence (yet).
posted by pjdoland at 11:29 AM on May 13, 2003


Wait, I'm confused. Wasn't it already reported that evidence of WMDs was found? More than once?
posted by yhbc at 11:43 AM on May 13, 2003


I hate this Orwellian doublespeak.

Derailing I know, but it's pushing a button:

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ORWELLIAN DOUBLESPEAK.

There is doublethink -- the ability to actually believe two contradictory things simultaneously, a skill useful to Inner Party members.

And there is Newspeak, the language the Party is engineering to try to weed out even mental dissent.

Repeat after me:

Newspeak doubleplusgood, doublespeak doubleplusungood.

Now run along to the Two Minute Hate.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:43 AM on May 13, 2003


Memecauldron analysis
posted by gramcracker at 11:47 AM on May 13, 2003


Although maybe you have a timetable that tells you when we should have found something that was intentionally hidden. And apparently that timetable is less than a month.

And how long did Bush give Blix and the rest of the UN to find them? Apparently his timetable for everyone else and his timetable for himself are a bit different.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:51 AM on May 13, 2003


It's worth remembering that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

No, absence of evidence just means that the Bush administration can claim you're right, but the evidence just hidden very well. And there's no way to prove them wrong.

However, common sense would dictate that the burden's on them to prove their statements, not on the rest of the world to refute them.

But I forgot that being in charge of the most powerful country in the world makes the administration automatically correct.
posted by oaf at 11:53 AM on May 13, 2003


If there are not nor were ever WMD then why did Saddam make a big fuss about booting out all the inspectors in violation of the agreement he signed onto? And what of what has been found in the past three days--the mobile vans. And the radioactive cans that were stolen and are now killing the Iraqui looters? I believe that I had read that they were sending home Ameivan inspectors because they believed that those captured science people better able to point out burial sites of WMD...
Always charming though to read the charming and clever posts made at this site. Never fails to impress by its snippiness.
posted by Postroad at 11:55 AM on May 13, 2003


Perhaps Saddam is a crazy wacko who enjoys jerking everyone around, so he jerked around the inspectors. And he enjoyed making everyone think he had these magical WMD.

It's sort of like saying, if you're innocent, you have nothing to fear if we pillage through your house looking for things. In the US we generally (although not so much recently) require probable cause. The world (the UN) was asking the US to produce some probable cause before going to war. Our administration fabricated some false data (or chose to believe some data that was known to be false) and said that was good enough for them.

All of the big finds have been proven to be false. We get lots of coverage of the find when it occurs, but then little or no follow up when the find turns out to be false (the mobile vans had no traces of banned weapons or chemicals.)
posted by Red58 at 12:04 PM on May 13, 2003


I still contend it was never about WMD - long-term eradication of support and safety for terrorists, coupled with Mideast pacification. WMD was nice simple diversion hiding a complex plan. But since there apparently weren't any PR or marketing people worth a frog's crap on the staff, they screwed it up and now it could very easily come back to bite them.

It could also be that they are sitting on the WMD they have found to keep the UN from coming into Iraq.
posted by UncleFes at 12:09 PM on May 13, 2003


Postroad: First, I have a feeling that the hassles the inspectors had leading up to the 1998 decision to leave were more a case of Saddam trying to assert his soveriegnity than a case of things being covered up. It's like when your asshole big brother keeps putting his finger up your ass because Mom said he could. You're still not going to like it, even if it is punishment for drowning your baby sister.

Second, from what I understand, the radioactive cans contained isotopes used for medical purposes, like x-rays or something. The isotopes weren't useful for making actual nuclear weapons, but would be useful for dirty-bombs. Of course, calling them 'weapons of mass destruction' makes you tread a thin line between condemning Saddam's insanity and condemning the rights of the Iraqi people to medical care. Sort of like condemning Saddam's insanity over the Iraqi people's rights to poorly-made radio-controlled airplanes.

Not to be snippy, or anything.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:09 PM on May 13, 2003


Of course, Uncle Fes is right on this, but STILL everyone is too busy trying to figure out a way to show that the administration wasn't outright lying to 330 million Americans to simply accept it and impeach his lilly ass.

ahem.

sorry.
posted by kaibutsu at 12:12 PM on May 13, 2003


sure learn a lot at this URL
posted by Postroad at 12:15 PM on May 13, 2003


Look, Dubya couldn't give the real reason for invading Iraq. Can you imagine what would have happened to the world's markets, currencies, and what little we have in the way of stability if he'd said:
"We're going to pacify Iraq and bring it under our control because Saudi Arabia's ruling family is in deep shit and we'll be lucky if they last two more years. We're trying to pretend that the place isn't crawling with terrorists already but soon there won't be any stopping them. Therefore our only sizeable, stable, and friendly source of oil is about to become a thing of the past; and we can't stabilize it militarily because that's where the two holiest cities of Islam are and it'd be WWIII if we tried. Only Iraq has the potential to make up the difference. Right or not, just or not, their ass is ours. It helps that Saddam is an asshole, but frankly at this point we'd do him if he were Mother Theresa."
Pandemonium would have ensued. The WMD BS was necessary.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:26 PM on May 13, 2003


"Let's fervently hope that tomorrow we find an Iraqi superdome filled with 500 tons of mustard gas and nerve gas, 25,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 29,984 prohibited munitions capable of delivering chemical agents, several dozen Scud missiles, gas centrifuges to enrich uranium, 18 mobile biological warfare factories, long-range unmanned aerial vehicles to dispense anthrax, and proof of close ties with Al Qaeda. Those are the things that President Bush or his aides suggested Iraq might have, and I don't want to believe that top administration officials tried to win support for the war with a campaign of wholesale deceit."
posted by homunculus at 12:27 PM on May 13, 2003


If there are not nor were ever WMD then why did Saddam make a big fuss about booting out all the inspectors in violation of the agreement he signed onto?

How many times does it have to be said? Saddam did not 'throw out' the inspectors in 1998, or 'kick them out': they left of their own accord. The Iraqi regime made life difficult for them, that's for sure, but those tactics were employed under the belief that the inspection teams included CIA operatives seeking bombing targets -- and they were right, as was proved by the bombing that followed.
posted by riviera at 12:29 PM on May 13, 2003


Just because something hasn't yet been found doesn't mean it does not exist.

Your doublethink continues to keep you from seeing the corollary: just because something hasn't been found doesn't(gasp!) mean that it does exist....but such an exercise in remedial logic didn't stop Bush and his chickenhawk supporters from killing thousands of Iraqis using "WMDs" as a public opinion whip.

Shame.

Although maybe you have a timetable that tells you when we should have found something that was intentionally hidden. And apparently that timetable is less than a month.

Gosh, the only people with "timetable" problems appear to really have been Bush and his ilk, who couldn't wait for a peaceful resolution to the problems with Iraq. Nope...gotta rush in their and bomb the bastards right now, regardless of the cost in human lives. After all, there was a domestic agenda depending upon it.

I still contend it was never about WMD - long-term eradication of support and safety for terrorists, coupled with Mideast pacification.

Yeah, military action in Iraq sure seems to have pacified the region. And invading a sovereign nation without provocation is just guaranteed to foment good will and prevent terrorism.

Have to agree with you about "pacification" though. The thousands of Iraqi dead are about as pacified as the United States could ever hope for.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:32 PM on May 13, 2003


And I hate pseudointellectualism. How the fuck is what I said "Orwellian doublespeak"? It only means what it says: Just because something hasn't yet been found doesn't mean it does not exist. Although maybe you have a timetable that tells you when we should have found something that was intentionally hidden. And apparently that timetable is less than a month.

Well, here is sort of the catch with that. Just a few month ago, Powell appeared on television revealing what was claimed to be just the tip of the iceberg in regards to intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. (At practially the same time, the CIA was making much more modest claims to congress.) What we were told, was that there was much more intelligence that could not be revealed because it would have compromised sources (we could share it on TV but not tell the weapons inspection teams in Iraq at the time.) Before the war, supporters were saying that we should trust Bush because he had the full information and we did not. During the war, the military bragged about the intelligence network that enabled pin-point strikes with massive bombs. And now it seems that in spite of this claimed mass of intelligence for WMDs in production that nothing is to be found.

Of course, this is not the first time Powell was caught in a possible lie to sell a war. During the first gulf war the Saudis were sold on fabricated evidence of a mass mobilization of armor on the Saudi-Kuwait border that was invisible to commercial imaging satilites operating on similar resolutions.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:35 PM on May 13, 2003


Shame.

F&M, the green Bill Bennett.
posted by goethean at 12:39 PM on May 13, 2003


...the radioactive cans that were stolen and are now killing the Iraqui looters? I believe that I had read...

Postroad: do you have any links?
posted by dash_slot- at 12:41 PM on May 13, 2003


Your doublethink continues to keep you from seeing the corollary: just because something hasn't been found doesn't(gasp!) mean that it does exist

No, I freely acknowledge the corollary. I'm not using it to prove that they do exist -- I was just trying to rebut the faulty logic underlying this thread -- i.e., that if we haven't found WMD yet, it must mean that the Bush administration committed fraud on the American people. (And for the last time, it's not "doublethink" or "doublespeak" -- there's nothing contradictory in saying "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence").

Anyway, if weapons are found, I'm sure those of you who already consider this some grand conspiracy worthy of impeachment will admit your mistake, right? Oh, that's right -- you've already covered yourself by declaring that would be a "setup" or a "plant." Must be nice to think enough of your own baseless speculation to aver it as fact.

And again, we haven't found Saddam or his sons. Does that mean they didn't exist?
posted by pardonyou? at 12:41 PM on May 13, 2003


dash_slot- Try this one.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:50 PM on May 13, 2003


...the radioactive cans that were stolen and are now killing the Iraqui looters? I believe that I had read...

Postroad: do you have any links?


Here are a few:

Seven Nuclear Sites Looted

Villagers suffer radiation sickness after looting nuclear power plants

Rummy the Genius Forgot About Nukes
posted by homunculus at 12:52 PM on May 13, 2003


Anyway, if weapons are found, I'm sure those of you who already consider this some grand conspiracy worthy of impeachment will admit your mistake, right? Oh, that's right -- you've already covered yourself by declaring that would be a "setup" or a "plant." Must be nice to think enough of your own baseless speculation to aver it as fact.

The same way that during the war it was said several times that "If we don't find WMD, Bio-Chem, etc. that it is still worth it to know that we got Saddam." And then came "Well, even if we can't find Saddam, it's worth it to liberate the people of Iraq." I think one of the most damaging ideas to people that were kind of caught between sides of the war (the sides here, not there) was the shifting reasoning behind it. It lends an air of discredibility to the cause and the administration and damages the opinions of moderates.

And again, we haven't found Saddam or his sons. Does that mean they didn't exist?

That's a bit trollish, but there is a valid point here, whether it was intended or not. Saddam and his sons are likely either dead or out of the country. We may never know for sure which. If they're dead, then the world is a better place for it (but at what cost?). If they're out of the country, then they pose probably a larger threat to the United States, Israel, etc. then they did before the war. At least before we could keep track of them. Now, ? Kind of like that bin Ladin fellow of a year ago. Whatever happened to him?
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:54 PM on May 13, 2003


Crash beat me to it.

Also being discussed on WarFi, btw.
posted by homunculus at 12:56 PM on May 13, 2003


"there apparently weren't any PR or marketing people worth a frog's crap on the staff"

Yeah. That Karl Rove guy. He couldn't PR or market his way out of a paper bag.
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:00 PM on May 13, 2003


That's a bit trollish, but there is a valid point here, whether it was intended or not.

Not at all (and I think you know me better than to throw that accusation around, Ufez). My point is only that we obviously are putting on a full court press to find Hussein and his sons (and bin Laden for that matter), and we haven't found them yet, either. But that doesn't mean they don't exist. In other words, things can be hidden and hidden well. People can be hidden, weapons can be hidden.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:01 PM on May 13, 2003


A bit more information here. Scroll down to the first section heading, 'This Site is Out of Control.' Says Josh Marshall on the situation: "There are a lot of things happening in Iraq now, about which it's fair to say 'it's a complicated job, it's messy, but it's early, etc.' But I don't see how you can say this isn't pretty bad."
posted by kaibutsu at 1:03 PM on May 13, 2003


absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

"To learn my teachings, I must first teach you how to learn."

" He who questions training only trains himself at asking questions."

"Once you can balance a tack hammer on your head, you will head off your foes with a balanced attack!"

Am I the only one who's finding these deep teachings a little formulaic?
- Mr. Furious
posted by Perigee at 1:15 PM on May 13, 2003


Sincere apologies, pardonyou, consider it rescinded. You're question just looked a like it was tossed out there flippantly was all.

Obviously we can't really doubt the existence of a person like Hussein (Rummy's been pictured with him!). I understand your statement and I agree that the lack of evidence does not preclude the existence of the evidence. At the same time though, the fact that we haven't found Saddam and he does/did exist doesn't mean that just because we haven't found WMD's that they do exist. It's the same faulty assumption as saying that just because we haven't found them, they don't exist.

On that note, I'll likely find my way to the exit door of this thread now. It's getting a bit pedantic (myself included).
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:15 PM on May 13, 2003


pardonyou?: And again, we haven't found Saddam or his sons. Does that mean they didn't exist?

Sorry, that is a total troll. There's firm evidence of their existence prior to their disappearance. We just don't know where they are right now.

On the otherhand, no one has ever seen proof of the WMD's Iraq allegedly has. There's a huge difference.
posted by mkultra at 1:25 PM on May 13, 2003


On the otherhand, no one has ever seen proof of the WMD's Iraq allegedly has.

Well, a couple years back we all saw lots of pictures of thousands of dead Kurds. But while they don't figure prominently in F&M's worldview, I'd say that's pretty good evidence that Saddam had WMD at one time, if not now. I mean, they didn't call him "Chemical Ali" because he was the chief water taster, did they?

We just don't know where they are right now, I guess
posted by UncleFes at 1:31 PM on May 13, 2003


Not that it matters, imo, outside of denying them to terrorist groups, which Saddam didn't seem all that hot to do, anyway.
posted by UncleFes at 1:35 PM on May 13, 2003


"These despicable acts were committed by killers whose only faith is hate, and the United States will find the killers, and they will learn the meaning of American justice." - george bush 05/13/2003

"I've directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice." - george bush 9/11/2003

umm. mr. president?... ahem. Bill O'Reilly here with fox news... ummm... Osama Bin Laden? Ayman Al Zawahiri? Mullah Omar?

any idea where these guys are? is the same intelligence agency that told you all about the WMDs in Iraq also looking for these characters?

thank you Mr. President.
posted by specialk420 at 1:41 PM on May 13, 2003


absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!

If it's an antimetabole, it must be true!

I'd say that's pretty good evidence that Saddam had WMD at one time, if not now.

Ah, but we are discussing the WMD he supposedly has today, not the ones we only know about because he's already used them. They are, by definition, no longer in existence.
posted by eustacescrubb at 1:41 PM on May 13, 2003


Some pretty fine parsin' going on at the 'filter today :D
posted by UncleFes at 1:46 PM on May 13, 2003


our only sizeable, stable, and friendly source of oil

What percentage of US oil imports come from Saudi, and what percentage of US oil consumption is supplied by imports? Anyone have the numbers handy?
posted by sennoma at 2:00 PM on May 13, 2003


absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

wow, I can still remember waaaaay back when, when presence of evidence was the only form of proof. hehe, those were the days. "innocent until proven guilty." what a bunch of maroons!

still, couldn't the US government have saved everybody a lot of trouble if we just held on to our copy of the receipts when we sold Iraq all this stuff?
posted by badstone at 2:14 PM on May 13, 2003


sennoma, the answer probably lies here. Scroll to the heading "Crude Oil and Petroleum Product Imports by Country of Origin into. . ."
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:29 PM on May 13, 2003


Absence of evidence may not be evidence of absence, but it is evidence that the administration hasn't met its burden of proof.
posted by oaf at 2:33 PM on May 13, 2003


Please stop misrepresenting pardonyou?.

Is it really so difficult to understand that it is theoretically possible that Saddam did have WMD as of two months ago and that they just have not been uncovered? OK it seems unlikely but that's the point; pardonyou? was gently trying to stop everyone from making sweeping statements too soon.

And oaf: The burden of proof lay with Saddam, not the administration. Google the ceasefire resolutions and see: Saddam had to prove his 'peaceful intentions' and given the creation of UNSCOM at this time, implicitly this meant verified destruction of all WMD.
posted by pots at 3:02 PM on May 13, 2003


F&M, the green Bill Bennett.

at least one hopes Mr Mutilate does not blow millions of dollar at the slots, too
posted by matteo at 3:26 PM on May 13, 2003


Anyway, if weapons are found, I'm sure those of you who already consider this some grand conspiracy worthy of impeachment will admit your mistake, right? Oh, that's right -- you've already covered yourself by declaring that would be a "setup" or a "plant." Must be nice to think enough of your own baseless speculation to aver it as fact.

Of course if lying to the American public was an impeachable offense, Bush should be out of here by now.

I don't think that Bush should be impeached, however I do hope that his reoccuring credibility gap is something that should be an issue in the next election. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander after all.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:26 PM on May 13, 2003


And oaf: The burden of proof lay with Saddam, not the administration. Google the ceasefire resolutions and see: Saddam had to prove his 'peaceful intentions' and given the creation of UNSCOM at this time, implicitly this meant verified destruction of all WMD.

Technically true, but don't you think that Bush has a burden, not to a ceasefire resolution, not to the United Nations, but to the American people before committing lives to a military action?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:29 PM on May 13, 2003


The burden of proof lay with Saddam, not the administration.

Not so. The administration has yet to show that the war was justified. There is a burden of proof there.

Otherwise, let's just admit that they've got the right to go to war against anyone who can't prove that they shouldn't be subjected to a regime change. What kind of perverted system is this where lack of exculpatory evidence is evidence of guilt? Certainly not one based on American ideals.
posted by oaf at 3:34 PM on May 13, 2003


The U.S. invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the oppressed Iraqi people. The U.S. has always invaded Iraq to bring democracy to the oppressed Iraqi people.

REALLY!?

I disagree and think the real reason was because of oil! Here is why.

The war would be about oil. This seems accurate considering the care taken to protect the Iraqi Oil Ministry offices, while allowing the sacking of hospitals and museums. Iraqis go without water and electricity but the oil wells are running. Bush’s corporate crony Bechtel is busy already building pipelines, and companies like ExxonMobil will be major players.
posted by tljenson at 5:48 PM on May 13, 2003


tljenson, I think you missed sacrebleu's bitter sarcasm, as well as the Orwell reference. Great book, btw, if you haven't already read it yet.
posted by skoosh at 7:29 PM on May 13, 2003


Anyway, if weapons are found, I'm sure those of you who already consider this some grand conspiracy worthy of impeachment will admit your mistake, right?

As I've explicitly said before, definitely not, because there's no mistake to admit. Finding WMDs does not invalidate the notion that this is "some grand conspiracy worthy of impeachment." Just for starters, there are the many documented falsifications by the administration in making the case for the war. More importantly, the fact that the administration is not producing WMDs now at least indicates that the supposed rationale for the war was wayyyyy overhyped - we had to rush into this precedent-setting extreme of a pre-emptive war because of the immediate threat, remember?

But I'm cynical enough to wonder if Bush & co really are sitting on evidence specifically to let this sort of argument play out, where we peaceniks and liberals are lured from our rock-solid position against evidence-free pre-emptive war to a more attractive, but more tenuous, position of this-whole-war-was-a-total-bullshit-scam-run-by-morons, so that they can produce something and slap us down decisively in that arena, pretending that proving us wrong on one issue invalidates the whole anti-war position. I, for one, am not wavering: WMDs or no WMDs, such a unilateral pre-emptive war is indefensible without the proof having been produced beforehand. And it wasn't.
posted by soyjoy at 11:23 PM on May 13, 2003


Oaf: The burden of proof with regards to WMD was on Saddam. Again check resolution 687 and, quote: 'need to be assured of Iraq's peaceful intentions...'

My statement had nothing to do with legitimizing war, where as you say the burden of proof was on Bush, to prove that the resolutions mandated it.

And Riviera: you are right that the inspection teams left in 1998 voluntarily. Fair enough but so what?

The reason for evacuation was due, in the minds of the UN (not the 'conspiring' US) to the obfuscation and obstruction of the Iraqi government. The inspections process had become a dead letter.

And CIA's involvement = justification for Iraqi intransigence? Why? Is it so unconscionable that the leading participant in a UN-mandated war used all its resources in an attempt to win regional peace? Of course not. In any case it's debatable whether intransigence was a response to alleged CIA involvement and not vice versa.
posted by pots at 6:30 AM on May 14, 2003


Well, a couple years back we all saw lots of pictures of thousands of dead Kurds. But while they don't figure prominently in F&M's worldview, I'd say that's pretty good evidence that Saddam had WMD at one time, if not now. I mean, they didn't call him "Chemical Ali" because he was the chief water taster, did they?

If we're going to get into arguing logic, I could say that my coworkers saw me drinking coffee this morning. That doesn't mean that they could come to my office now and take my coffee, since it's all gone.

Anyway, I would imagine there were estimates on how much gas was used on the Kurds at that time. The US government could compare that quantity to the amount sold to Iraq to see how much might be left. I'm pretty sure we have the bill of sale around somewhere.

I've never heard, who exactly called the guy Chemical Ali originally?
posted by mikeh at 9:24 AM on May 14, 2003


pots: The burden of proof wasn't on Saddam. The administration said the reason we were going into Iraq was because of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. The evidence backing up the administration's claims has not been found, and they therefore have yet to prove their case. [cut thread here]
posted by oaf at 9:25 AM on May 14, 2003


Oaf: uh... but... i just...

I understand why you want to cut the thread, after all you've repeated yourself twice.

However, if you read my last post again you'll see I make a distinction between the burden of proof regarding destruction of WMD and the burden of proof legitimizing the war. You're response doesn't engage with that at all, you just repeat something I've already addressed.

I'm not having a go, nor am I Bush devotee wishing to proselytise. I just have an opinion that I enjoy being challenged and modified (yes, modified!). That's the reason Iraq posts at mefi can (sometimes... ;) be good and the only reason I ever contribute. So, if you're willing to argue with my posts and not aggressively pursue an agenda then cool, I'm game.
posted by pots at 10:20 AM on May 14, 2003


mr_crash_davis: thanks for the link. Briefly, for anyone still reading/interested: oil imports into the US, 2001, 000 barrels: Saudi Arabia 606753, total 4333038. So about 14% of US crude oil and petroleum products came from Saudi Arabia in 2001. For crude oil alone, the figure is about 17%. SA was the largest single provider, although Canada, Mexico, Nigeria and Venezuela were all comparable.

All of which is by way of wondering whether George_Spiggott is correct in his/her speculations about the importance of SA oil in the Bush admin's real motives.
posted by sennoma at 1:29 PM on May 14, 2003


pots: Oh, so you've been disputing something I never said in the first place. Understood.

With respect to my "aggressively [pursuing] an agenda," you're seeing something that's not there.
posted by oaf at 8:25 PM on May 14, 2003


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