Thursday, October 21, 2004

WMD: "the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"

As everyone knows, Tony Blair has "acknowledged" that there weren't any WMD in Iraq and expressed his sorrow for faulty intelligence, although he has (rightfully) refused to apologize for the removal of Saddam Hussein. That acknowlegment may be good politics, but for what it's worth, paradoxically, it is hardly truthful.

Vik puts this into perspective:

I was with the US-ARMY from 1975-1977 in Berlin. Our quarters were Roosevelt barracks, a complex of old Prussian Barracks and also used in 3rd Reich by the SS.

USAEUR (US Army Europe) spent some money in 1976 and built up a brand new mess hall for enlisted.

For that they had to destroy old big concrete plates on our motor pool.

I remember very well, one day the whole compound were evacuated because right under this motor pool they found hundreds and hundreds bombs, shells (even mustard gas) and ammo from ->WW150 50 tons of chemical stuff can be hidden in less then 5 cargo containers.

-> 50 tons of chemical agents are enough to kill millions in big european towns.

I guess saddam had no problem to hide this somewhere in Iraq.

Most of chemical agents can be stored for a few years in
- sealed containers or even in
- a fake central heating system,
- gas containers,
- gas trucks,
- waterheaters,
- thermosbottles etc.etc.

No need to stored this stuff in shells.

It will certaily need more than 10 years to check out all possible ways to hide this stuff.

I still wonder why we have no news about the last statement (december 2002 more than 12000 pages etc.) from Iraq.

Where is the result ???

Responding to Paprika, Vik continues:
[quoting Paprika:] "The big difference Erik between WMD and ammunitions is that the WMD actually leave some traces around and behind them. And still no traces of traces in Iraq..."

first-that is totally wrong, most chemical agents can be dissolved and did not leave traces at all.

second- it still remains the question if inspectors had time and money enough to search for years in iraq for some hidden stuff.

saddam use to hide big military equipements like airplanes and helicopters.

why a man like saddam should not hide the cheapest and most effective weapon he had spend some millions to search for????

is there one man or one organisation than can say "we are 100% sure there are no more weapons of mass destruction in iraq today"???

Iraq was a danger for peace in world and that is what the Un Security Council in resolution 1441 said (please read it).

The US-Statements and the decision to go in, are based on the same intelligence reports as known by the UN Security council.

Paprika was responding to my post about Afghanistan where, suddenly out of the blue, a contingent of Canadian soldiers discovers a significant cache of arms, and that, only 10 minutes from Kabul. This was two years after these particular Canadians set up camp, whereas Vik's example relates to "hundreds of bombs" discovered by American troops 30 years, if not 60, after the régime they fought collapsed.

There should be some credence given, perhaps, to the fact that in those cases, the troops were not particularly searching for any caches of weapons, but Vik's point nevertheless remains the most important:

is there one man or one organisation than can say "we are 100% sure there are no more weapons of mass destruction in iraq today"???
In that perspective, it is useful to remember that 30 to 40 planes were discovered in July 2003 (about the time — three months after the collapse of Baghdad — that detractors started speaking of Bush's "lies"). The MiGs had been dug into the sand.

When I look at this picture, I do not look at the foreground. I look at the landscape, the endless desert and its sand and hills stretching out on the horizon. And I reflect on the fact that Iraq is a country of 170,000 square miles… Tony, you spoke up too soon…

(Thanks to Joe N)

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