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UK gov't declares WMD find in Iraq unlikely


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#1 the 'Hawk

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 11:39 AM

Despite Secretary Rumsfeld's repeated assurances that there is something there, the UK government has stated that it it unlikely to find any WMDs in Iraq, reports the BBC.

Link available here.

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#2 Rov Judicata

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 11:44 AM

I find your title a bit misleading. In reality, a reporter claims one person inside the government made claims about what others believe. "Thirdhand sources indicate WMD's unlikely" would be more accurate.


BBC political editor Andrew Marr says "very senior sources" have virtually ruled out the possibility of finding weapons in Iraq.

'Very senior sources'?

I *always* criticize unnamed sources. I'm proud to continue that tradition.


"They do think there were weapons programmes there, they believe that other stuff - interviews with Iraqi scientists, paperwork, dossiers - that will turn up.

"But the actual weapons, the tubs of the evil stuff, the rusting missiles, no, belief that that will actually be available, can be shown to cameras, that is trickling away very fast at the top of government."

Ah, yes. Isn't that another way of saying, "We think we got them before they could kill us all"?


Andrew Marr told the BBC's Ten o'Clock News on Wednesday: "Right at the top of Whitehall, they no longer believe that weapons of mass destruction are likely to turn up in Iraq.


Mr Marr said on Wednesday: "We are not saying that weapons of mass destruction never existed or that the government invented them or made them up.

"Indeed, a very senior source I have spoken to on this was absolutely sure when British troops went into action in Iraq they would face chemical and possibly, biological weapons.

"But as time has gone on, those weapons don't seem to be there and the best explanation going around at the moment is that some time shortly before the war Saddam Hussein destroyed them or hid them beyond discovery."

Interesting, if it's true.
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#3 the 'Hawk

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 02:15 PM

Javert Rovinski, on Jul 9 2003, 08:40 PM, said:

I find your title a bit misleading.
So change 'er up, boss. She's not set in stone.

I just passed along what I read the title to read at the BBC. No harm, no foul.

And you're thinking as I did about the "very senior sources". Maybe they're being tight-lipped about it now, but they might be more forthcoming in the future.

As to the rest of the article.... a brief reply, and rant....

The question of "why hide them if producing them would forestall invasion?" still isn't answered.

And going after one country because it has WMD programs doesn't explain anything except the Bush vendetta that's been bantered about as one of the anti-war movement's big slogans (the other, more prominently, being 'no blood for oil'.

I'm not claiming to agree or disagree here. I supported the regime change because, to be perfectly honest, there's a great number of countries in the world I think need cleaning up, and US forces are, sadly, the only people I would trust to do the cleaning. But that argues unlimited resources: of course they're going to pick and choose their battles, start with the ones they can win, like Iraq, try to force change by threat of force alone in the ones that might get more muddled, like Iran, and try to build political capital at home for the ones they know are going to be hell on earth, like North Korea. Do I see a problem with this? No. If anything, I have no fear of sending US forces anywhere they're needed in the world.

But I'm Canadian. So of course I'm going to send your lot instead. Partly because I know damn well my country is a joke militarily, and partly because no one else has the credibility or the strength of reputation, to say nothing of the physical and logistical capacity, that the US Armed Forces have.

I don't care if it's weapons of mass destruction, humanitarian concerns, or more nebulous reasoning. Where th'offense is, let the Hellfire missiles fall. If the USA wants to maintain the hegemony it's held since the collapse of the Soviet 'alternative' factor, then it has to pad that hegemony with diplomacy where required, and force where necessary.

I can live with that. I really can. But I'll never pay so much as a thin red dime for it. Don't get me wrong, I won't profit for it, save in security and in having something to bitch about on the news. But I also won't be the one shovelling over tax dollars for it, either.

Frankly, I'd rather have the UK government, or Bush, or whoever, backpedal because they think they went to war and now have to reconstruct a country for the wrong reasons, than to have the US government, or the UK, or, again, whoever, backpedal because they didn't act when the opportunity arose however long ago.

Now, I realize I'm arguing a historical inevitability here, but the US's credibility in the Middle East, defined first in the Carter Doctrine and backed by however many other administrations since then, and its interests there demand a certain level of diplomacy, duplicity and doublespeak. Whether or not that's played out in the long run isn't for me to decide, it's for me to analyze and recognize the brilliance or failing of it well after the fact. Historians like myself will be picking at the bones of the Saddam regime for decades, centuries to come. It should be fun. I look forward to it.

I would just rather see the US make a clear step towards either ascendancy or decline in my lifetime so that I have something to tell my grandkids about, so that they can judge how old I am because I can still remember what a bipolar geopolitical structure was like to live in, was like to call home.

And personally? I'd rather see them take a lead role. Because, as I said, I don't trust anyone else to do it.

“Now is the hour, Riders of Rohan, oaths you have taken! Now, fulfil them all! To lord and land!”  
~ Eomer, LotR:RotK

#4 AnneZo

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Posted 10 July 2003 - 03:18 PM

Javert Rovinski, on Jul 10 2003, 12:40 AM, said:

Ah, yes. Isn't that another way of saying, "We think we got them before they could kill us all"?
I'm pretty sure Clinton got most of them when he bombed the heck out of Iraq's known/strongly suspected WMD sites. I've always maintained that and argued, before we invaded Iraq, that the UN inspectors were entitled to a reasonable amount of time to check out the situation.

However, this Administration was determined to invade Iraq, so now we're where we're at.

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