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Only One Thing About the War in Iraq

 
 
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 04:03 pm
The problem with these threads about the war in Iraq is that they really discuss about a hundred issues, and because of that, no progress is made. If someone makes a point, an opponent, not wishing to acknowledge it, can bring up five related topics to try and change the subject. I propose that we talk about a single very narrow, but significant, aspect of the invasion. I request that posters confine themselves to the issue I am about to state in the interest of making progress and not just doing a lot of thrashing around. Here it is:

In the final round of inspections, was Iraq truly cooperating?

Now one problem may turn out to be what is meant by "cooperating." To me, if they said, and I am not saying that this is the case, but only using it as an example, if they said, "(1) We destroyed the WMD, (2) we have no real proof, (3) come in and look all you want," then that doesn't constitute much cooperation. I believe that cooperation mandates more than just letting the inspectors look, but actually providing some evidence that what they did have was destroyed. However, that is only my personal take on what cooperation means.

So, was Iraq cooperating with inspectors or not in the final round prior to invasion. Again, please do not dilute the discussion by raising unrelated issues. If we have the self-discipline to discuss one thing at a time, maybe we can get somewhere.
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blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 04:27 pm
VETERANS FOR PEACE
Veterans Working Together for Peace & Justice Through Non-violence. Wage Peace!

Iraq war wasn't justified, U.N. weapons experts say Blix, ElBaradei: U.S. ignored evidence against WMDs

U.N. inspectors look for chemical weapons in Iraq before the war.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United Nations' top two weapons experts said Sunday that the invasion of Iraq a year ago was not justified by the evidence in hand at the time.

"I think it's clear that in March, when the invasion took place, the evidence that had been brought forward was rapidly falling apart," Hans Blix, who oversaw the agency's investigation into whether Iraq had chemical and biological weapons, said on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer."

Blix described the evidence Secretary of State Colin Powell presented to the U.N. Security Council in February 2003 as "shaky," and said he related his opinion to U.S. officials, including national security adviser Condoleezza Rice.

"I think they chose to ignore us," Blix said.

http://www.veteransforpeace.org/Iraq_war_wasnt_032104.htm
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DrewDad
 
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Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 05:19 pm
What kind of "evidence" would you find compelling? Inventories could be faked, evidence of destruction, even video evidence, could be faked.
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parados
 
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Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 05:32 pm
Brandon,
What is cooperation?

You seem to start with a version of "cooperation" that can't ever be met.

To respond to your first two items.
1.) The items were destroyed. They can't remake them to give evidence that they were destroyed.

2.) They said when and how things were destroyed but there wasn't actual proof left of the destruction of all items. There was proof of some destruction in every case.

Just because you don't trust them doesn't prove they weren't cooperating.
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joefromchicago
 
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Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 05:38 pm
Brandon9000 wrote:
In the final round of inspections, was Iraq truly cooperating?

No. At best, it was partially cooperating.
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blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 06:37 pm
Webpage Title "The important thing to remember, Blix said repeatedly, was that Saddam was cooperating with the inspections, despite the difficulties they create for a leader. "No one likes inspectors, not tax inspectors, not health inspectors, not any inspectors," Blix chuckled. Not only did Saddam have to endure the indignity of submitting to searches of his palaces, he explained, but the dictator also harbored the valid fear that the inspectors would pass on their findings of conventional weapons to foreign intelligence agencies, providing easy future targets."
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 06:46 pm
parados wrote:
Brandon,
What is cooperation?

You seem to start with a version of "cooperation" that can't ever be met.

To respond to your first two items.
1.) The items were destroyed. They can't remake them to give evidence that they were destroyed.

2.) They said when and how things were destroyed but there wasn't actual proof left of the destruction of all items. There was proof of some destruction in every case.

Just because you don't trust them doesn't prove they weren't cooperating.

First of all, anything can be faked, but that doesn't mean there is no such thing as evidence. I'm puzzled by your opinion that my version of cooperation cannot be met, since it could easily be met in any number of ways, such as videos of the destruction process or the location of remnants of the WMD, since I assume that the WMD were not 100% vaporized. Anything like this would certainly be cooperation in my book. On the other hand, hiding everything and then saying, "Come on in and find the WMD if you can," would not, but I am not saying that this is what happened, just giving an example of non-cooperation.

Anyway, I started this thread as a place to discuss differening opinions as to whether Iraq was cooperating during the final round of inspections before invasion. My post was not intended to be a position declaration by me.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 07:46 pm
Good idea to have a separate thread on this, Brandon.
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old europe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Oct, 2005 08:50 pm
Okay, on topic: In the final round of inspections, was Iraq truly cooperating?

Let's go back to see what Iraq was doing during the UNMOVIC inspections from 27 November 2002 until 17 March 2003. I want to list the measures taken by Iraq within that time.

Within less than 4 months Iraq did:

- grant the UNMOVIC inspectors full and prompt access to sites everywhere in the country
- allow American U-2 and French Mirage surveillance aircraft into Iraqi airspace
- destroy 50 Al Samoud 2 missiles out of the 75 declared deployed under UNMOVIC supervision
- appoint a governmental commission to research the question of documentary evidence about its proscribed weapons programs
- hand UNMOVIC a list of persons Iraq said to have participated in the unilateral destruction of biological and chemical weapons in 1991
- encourage interviewees not to request the presence of Iraqi officials (so-called minders) or the taping of the interviews
- provide additional papers on anthrax, VX and missiles
- re-excavate a disposal site, which was deemed too dangerous for full investigation in the past
- unearth eight complete bombs comprising two liquid-filled intact R-400 bombs, six other complete bombs, and more bomb fragments
- propose an investigation using advanced technology to quantify the amount of unilaterally destroyed anthrax dumped at a site
- with respect to VX, suggest a similar method to quantify a VX precursor stated to have been unilaterally destroyed in the summer of 1991
- adopt a presidential decree prohibiting private individuals and mixed companies from engaging in work related to WMD
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Oct, 2005 12:08 am
A recent post on this subject by McGentrix. Hope you don't mind, McG.

McGentrix wrote:
09/12/2002: President Bush speaks to UN and lays out Iraq's pattern of dishonoring 16 UN resolutions. The report refers to an Iraqi defector, interviewed by the NY Times in 2001, who claims to have visited over 20 secret chemical, biological and nuclear facilities in Iraq and who has supported his claims with documents. Bush asks the UN whether it will serve its purpose or become irrelevant.

12/19/2002: Blix issues his first report which has mixed views. He refuses to say whether Iraq possesses WMDs until UNMOVIC has reviewed the latest documents from Iraq. He admits that those documents appear to be merely reworkings of the same ones submitted in 1996. Blix says Iraq has disclosed its development of the Al Samoud missile and a variant that exceeds the permissible range. He notes that Iraq pointed out this fact and has explained it developed the missile when it was disputing UNSCOM's definition of its obligations. Blix says the issue will now need to be considered. Blix also notes that several questions remain unanswered, particularly about the existence of 500 mustard gas shells and the production and weaponization of VX. Blix states that UNMOVIC documents contradict Iraq's account of its production and unilateral destruction of anthrax in 1988 and 1991, and Iraq's account may not be accurate.

01/06/2003: Saddam calls UNMOVIC inspectors "spies."

01/17/2003: Inspectors find 12 empty warheads, all in excellent condition, which are designed to carry chemical weapons in a complex of military bunkers. Iraq claims it forgot about them, while the US and UK call the discovery the "smoking gun."

02/28/2003: Saddam Hussein says he agrees "in theory" with Blix's directions, but he has still not provided information on the VX and anthrax.

03/07/2003: Blix reports to the UN that issues with aerial surveillance have been worked out and the teams have been able to conduct no-notice inspections without resistance. He believes that Iraq has more documentation and could provide it but has refused to do so. Inspectors have found no evidence of clandestine operations or underground facilities. Since Iraq has recently provided more documents on the anthrax and VX, Blix believes that Iraq has finally determined to fully cooperate with inspections and urges more time for this.

03/07/2003: Powell responds by pointing out how long Iraq has failed to provide complete documentation, and the 17 prior occasions Iraq has denied the existence of items that the teams later turned up. Powell says there is no reason to believe that this pattern will ever end, and at some point Iraq must be disarmed by force if it will not do so voluntarily.

03/11/2003: The U.N. releases Blix's report which details extensive Iraqi activity to develop chemical and biological agent delivery systems. The report specifically notes that Iraq has drone aircraft that may be capable of delivering banned weapons, and that inspectors had discovered components for a 122 mm cluster bomb designed for chemical or biological warfare. According to Blix, Iraq claims the components were left over from an abandoned program. The cluster bombs are banned weaponry for Iraq and were not mentioned on its latest disclosures. Blix did not mention either issue in his verbal presentation to the UN.
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