I posted this on an email thread at work, in response to the posting of the article “Have War Critics Even Read the Duelfer Report?”
The problem with this report, as with everything else surrounding the invasion of Iraq, is that it is steeped in hypocracy. Many countries throughout the world, including allies of the US, currently have chemical (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/mil_wmd_che) and nuclear weapons (http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/mil_wmd_nuc). So what’s the difference in Iraq? It’s very easy to build the argument that Iran or North Korea pose a much more iminent threat than Iraq did, even knowing what was public at the time. I think most of us have a gut feeling as to the real reaons.
I’m still suprised that people are still actively trying to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq as the argument has been reduced to:
a) Sidestepping the issue and asking “Are you not happy Saddam is gone?” The US legal system doesn’t allow this childish argument for killing any kind of criminal so the rest of us shouldn’t either.
b) He had the “potential” and the “desire/willingness” to develop weapons. Every other country in the world has the potential to develop weapons, and a lot more than the declared “axis of evil” have the desire. Hell, I have the potential to develop chemical/biological weapons in my basement (if I had one).
So, this report tells us that Iraq was trying to find new ways to develop chemical weapons. Let’s ask ourselves: do you feel safer knowing Israel, Pakistan and India have nuclear weapons, in violation of the NPT signed by 187 countries, or that Iraq was trying to develop a new type of Mustard gas? I know my answer to that question, as does the US government, except when it happens to apply to a “strategic ally.” Especially considering Pakistan is governed by a military dictator, has publically acknowledged sales of nuclear materials to other countries, and Israel sends assault aircraft to shoot into crowds of civilians (http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2002/10/07/mideast_mon021007).
In fact, the US is currently in violation of the NPT by it’s pursuit of “a new generation of nuclear weapons, including ‘mini-nukes’, ‘bunker-busters’ and neutron bombs.”
Quoting from http://www.twf.org/News/Y2003/0311-NPT.html
Under Article II of the Treaty, the U.S. agreed:
not to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices; and not to seek or receive any assistance in the manufacture of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.
So in summary the purpose of the NPT was to ensure that countries do not go on producing more nuclear weapons. Yet the rest of the world knows the US is now developing new types. Do you think this will increase or decrease the number of other states around the world that feel threatened and come to the conclusion that they also require nuclear weapons? As has come to light over the last several years it is obviously increasing. I don’t think Iran, North Korea, India or Pakistan have visions of suddenly throwing nukes all over the planet in some doomsday MAD scenario. They want them as a political tool and, for some or all of those, as protection against the US. They see it as the best way to stop themselves from becoming the next Iraq as it’s the only thing that could make the US think twice about invading them.
The Bush administration (that has many senior positions filled by people dating back or predating the Reagen era) needs to get out of their cold-war ideology. They don’t seem to understand that more nuclear weapons is not going to dissuade terrorists. This is just one more example of the extreme failure of Bush to properly address the issues in the “war on terror.” It’s too bad, for the people of this country, that the media has let itself be used to tie Iraq into the “war on terror.”