WWW Opinion Times

Thursday, September 16, 2004

ABCNEWS.com : U.S. Weapons Inspector: Iraq Had No WMD

The Left-Wing politicians and the media have, as we all know, been accusing President Bush of "beating the drums of war too soon" when it came to invading and liberating Iraq. Frankly, it becomes increasingly frustrating to hear the media (as in this ABC news report) continue to beat the drums of accusation that the Bush Administration lied to the American people about the reasons for going to war with Saddam Hussein.

ABC News tells us that a report about to be released by Charles Deulfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, will state that at best Saddam had only the capacity to restart weapons programs long dormant and that he had only maintained "small research and development programs" which included attempts to import banned materials and to develop airborne methods for delivering chemical agents. It is difficult to see how this constitutes proof that the administration lied to us about intelligence or invaded Iraq under false pretenses.

Let's be clear at this point: our intelligence seems to have been quite incomplete overall when it comes to Iraq's pre-war weapons capabilities. But the description of this report, if accurate, seems to confirm the case President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair made prior to the war; that Saddam Hussein's intention was to have a strong chemical weapons program in place if and when international pressure was reduced on his government. It seems reasonable that the intelligence we were gathering prior to the war could have indicated that the shell programs described in this report took on the apprearance of full blown weapons programs. This would be exacerbated by the shell game weapons inspectors encountered during inspections before and after 9/11.

And, parenthetically, ABC news points out that there is still some question reports of a disposal of chemical weapons into Syria prior to the war which is still being investigated by the US Government. ABC and most other news organizations in this country have not seen it fit to investigate this possibility. And the Bush Administration is doing little to inform the public on this possibility either.

In addition to this, there is a nagging thought which seems to rare itself up. There was a scene played by the cable news organizations daysbefore the fall of Baghdad which showed the burning of the Iraqi government records building in that city. Reporters stated that US forces desired to control the building as soon as possible and that they were purposely avoiding bombing it. It was also reported that the fire which destroyed the building with tens of thousands of pages of government records seemed to have been set internally and not as a result of American bombing. It was believed that this building contained records of weapons programs and other evidence incriminating to Saddam. It would be interesting to hear a follow-up story investigating these assertions.