Weapons of Mass Delusion
Why did we go to war against Iraq?
The official reason was not to defend the United States against an attack like the September 11th atrocities. It was to enforce UN Security Council Resolutions to disarm Iraq. — Editor
"America will be making only one determination: is Iraq meeting the terms of the Security Council resolution  or not?... If Iraq fails to fully comply, the United States and other nations will disarm Saddam Hussein."
— President George W. Bush November 8, 2002, the day the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1441
"The world needs him [Saddam Hussein] to answer a single question: Has the Iraqi regime fully and unconditionally disarmed, as required by Resolution 1441, or has it not?"
— President George W. Bush press conference, March 6, 2003
"Coalition forces have commenced military operations in Iraq. These operations are necessary in view of Iraq's continued material breaches of its disarmament obligations under relevant Security Council resolutions, including 1441 (2002). The operations are substantial and will secure compliance with those obligations."
— U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte letter to the president of the Security Council, March 20, 2003
Did Saddam directly threaten the U.S.?
Secretary of State Colin Powell originally said Saddam did not directly threaten the U.S. But the administration's position changed. — Editor
"He [Saddam Hussein] threatens not the United States. He threatens this region. He threatens Arab people. He threatens the children of Egypt, the children of Saudi Arabia, the children of Kuwait with these weapons."
— Secretary of State Colin Powell remarks to the press in Cairo, Egypt, February 24, 2001
"Saddam Hussein and his weapons are a direct threat to this country, to our people, and to all free people.... I will not leave the American people at the mercy of the Iraqi dictator and his weapons."
— President George W. Bush press conference March 6, 2003
"[W]e cannot live under the threat of blackmail. The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed."
— President George W. Bush address to the nation, March 17, 2003
"The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder."
— President George W. Bush address to the nation, March 19, 2003
Was the Iraqi threat overblown?
Prior to the war the administration portrayed Iraq as practically bulging with huge stockpiles of WMDs — a country possessing so many dangerous weapons that it presented a unique threat to the world. Now, according to President Bush, the discovery of a couple of suspected mobile biological laboratories, or evidence that Saddam once had a weapons program, is supposed to confirm the administration's earlier assertions. — Editor
"There are a number of terrorist states pursuing weapons of mass destruction — Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, just to name a few — but no terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people than the regime of Saddam Hussein and Iraq."
— Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee September 19, 2002
"The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax — enough doses to kill several million people. He hasn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it. The United Nations concluded that Saddam Hussein had materials sufficient to produce more than 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin — enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure. He hadn't accounted for that material. He's given no evidence that he has destroyed it. Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent. In such quantities, these chemical agents could also kill untold thousands. He's not accounted for these materials. He has given no evidence that he has destroyed them."
— President George W. Bush State of the Union speech, January 28, 2003
"Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough agent to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets."
— Secretary of State Colin Powell presentation to the UN Security Council, February 5, 2003
"[W]e have sources that tell us that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons — the very weapons the dictator tells us he does not have."
— President George W. Bush radio address, February 8, 2003
"The goals of our coalition are clear and limited. We will end a brutal regime, whose aggression and weapons of mass destruction make it a unique threat to the world."
— President George W. Bush message to the Iraqi people, April 10, 2003
"We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.... [W]e've so far discovered two. And we'll find more weapons as time goes on. But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them."
— President George W. Bush in remarks on Polish television, May 30, 2003 as quoted by the Associated Press the following day
(The two suspected mobile biological laboratories Mr. Bush was referring to do not constitute "arms." In fact, according to a June 5th Associated Press report: "Neither trailer had any biological agent inside, nor showed any signs that they had been used to produce biological weapons." — Editor)
Question: "Is U.S. credibility on the line over weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?"
Answer: "I'm not exactly sure what that means. I mean, Iraq had a weapons program. Intelligence throughout the decade showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out that they did have a weapons program."
— President George W. Bush remarks during a photo-op, June 9, 2003
Will WMDs be found?
Huge stockpiles of WMDs were supposed to be found, and some may still be found. Yet, after many weeks of searching, it seems clear that the Iraqi threat was nowhere near what the administration had claimed. — Editor
"There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. And … as this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them."
— General Tommy Franks commander of the U.S. Central Command media briefing, Doha, Qatar, March 22, 2003
"[T]he area … that coalition forces control … happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
— Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" on March 30, 2003, when coalition forces had occupied much of, but not all of, Iraq
"[W]e never believed that we'd just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country [Iraq].... We're going to find what we find as a result of talking to people, I believe, not simply by going to some site and hoping to discover it."
— Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld "Fox News Sunday," May 4, 2003
"Now what happened? Why weren't they [WMDs] used? I don't know. There are several possible reasons for that.... [I]t may very well be that they didn't have time to … use chemical weapons. It is also possible that they decided that they would destroy them prior to a conflict."
— Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations, May 27, 2003
"It was a surprise to me then, it remains a surprise to me now, that we have not uncovered weapons … in some of the forward dispersal sites. Again, believe me, it's not for lack of trying. We've been to virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there.... We were simply wrong."
— Lt. General James Conway commander of the First Marine Expeditionary Force press conference May 30, 2003
Why were WMDs the central issue?
"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason...."
— Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz May 10, 2003 interview with Vanity Fair based on the Defense Department transcript
Should we have gone to war against Iraq? If the war was necessary to defend the U.S. and its citizens, and if that case were made and presented to Congress, and if Congress approved the constitutionally required declaration of war — then the answer would be yes. But that is not what happened.
Instead, the Bush administration used the U.S. military to enforce UN Security Council resolutions even more vigorously than the UN Security Council apparently wanted them enforced. Those resolutions had nothing to do with the September 11th terrorist attack or defending the United States. The irony is that the administration's failure to find the alleged huge stockpiles of WMDs, and to end the ongoing turmoil in Iraq and bring home the troops, can only serve to "justify" having the UN take over.
-- Steven Montgomery [EMAIL PROTECTED]
"There is one and only one legitimate goal of United States foreign policy. It is a narrow goal, a nationalistic goal: the preservation of our national independence. Nothing in the Constitution grants that the president shall have the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He is our executive; he is on our payroll; he is supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. Nothing in the Constitution nor in logic grants to the president of the United States or to Congress the power to influence the political life of other countries, to 'uplift' their cultures, to bolster their economies, to feed their people, or even to defend them against their enemies." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 614; see also pp. 682 & 704.)
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