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Author Topic: Are you a Hawk or a Dove on Iraq?
WmLambert
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Jude Wanniski posted this article the day after the UN weapons inspectors made their first report to the United Nations Security Council on their progress to date. The answers are acording to the "best sources and analysis. If you got all the answers correct, you are a certified dove. And vice versa. There is, though, some room for quibbling." Therein lies the rub. There have been many posters in these forums with opinions - one way or the other. Are there honest refutable arguments to be made counter to what Wanniski has posted? The Polyconomics archives provide specific documentation of the answer to each question posed. It appears that question 15 is the one that will trigger the war. Any takers?

Are You a Hawk or a Dove? - Memo on the Margin january 28, 2003

quote:
1. Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. True or False.

False. The U.S. Armed Forces only consider a nuclear weapon a weapon of mass destruction. Iraq has neither nuclear weapons nor chemical or biological weapons, although it may possess some of the ingredients that would enable it to develop a chemical or biological weapon.

2. Saddam Hussein has had weapons of mass destruction in the past. True or False.

False. Iraq had a program to develop a nuclear weapon and acquired a design for one that would use highly-enriched uranium (HEU), but was unable to produce more than a few grams of HEU when it would take several hundred pounds to make one nuke.

3. White House officials assert that Iraq has been training terrorists. True or False.

False. Iraq did support a terrorist network prior to 1983, but in that year the U.S. offered to provide support for Baghdad in its war against Iran on condition that it withdraw support from the network. There is no evidence it has resumed.

4. Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda’s terrorist forces have been operating inside Iraq. True or False.

True. Al Qaeda is known to have operatives inside Iraq, but in Kurdistan, outside the reach of the Baghdad government.

5. In March 1988, Saddam Hussein committed genocide, killing several thousand Iraqi Kurds at Halabja with poison gas. True or False.

False. According to the CIA, “hundreds” of Iraqi Kurds died at Halabja when caught between the Iraqi and Iranian armies, both of whom used gas. The U.S. government in 1990 concluded the Kurds who died were victims of a cyanide-based gas, which the Iranians possessed, but not the Iraqi army, which used mustard gas.

6. In August 1988, Saddam Hussein committed genocide, killing 100,000 Iraqi Kurds with machine guns, then burying them in mass graves. True or False.

False. This is an assertion of Human Rights Watch, which originally reported in 1988 that 100,000 Kurds had been killed by poison gas. When U.S. intelligence services uniformly dismissed this as a possibility and that there was no evidence of mass graves in Kurdistan, Human Rights Watch altered its story to say the Kurds were put in trucks, driven south, machine gunned outside of Kurdistan, and buried in mass graves. No such mass graves have been found and the U.S. Army War College says none exist, that the story was a “non-event.”

7. In June 1990, Saddam Hussein asked permission of the United States to settle his border dispute with Kuwait, with force if diplomacy failed. True or False.

True. Iraq argued that Kuwait was cheating on its OPEC agreement to produce only a certain amount of oil per day, and was driving down the international price of oil. Saddam said his country would be bankrupt unless Kuwait relented and compensated Iraq from what it had stolen from Iraq, by overproducing and by slant-drilling into the Iraqi oilfields on the other side of the Kuwait border.

8. In 1990, the United States advised Saddam Hussein that his issues with Kuwait were a local matter, and that the U.S. had no diplomatic obligation to defend Kuwait if attacked by Iraq. True or False.

True. The U.S. State Department testified before congressional committees to that effect: at the time Saddam Hussein was weighing his options with Kuwait.

9. Saddam Hussein personally assured the United States Ambassador to Baghdad that he would take no military action against Kuwait if the emir of Kuwait -- in a meeting scheduled to take place in July 1990 -- agreed to end its “economic warfare”” against Iraq. True or False.

True. The Ambassador, April Glaspie, was assured and left on vacation. The emir of Kuwait decided not to show up at the meeting in Baghdad, with assurances from the Pentagon that it would defend Kuwait without an agreement to do so. Saddam invaded.

10. After quickly occupying Kuwait, the Iraqi army positioned itself on the border of Saudi Arabia and threatened an invasion. True or False.

False. The U.S. government advised King Fahd that Iraq was poised to invade Saudi Arabia. King Fahd sent scouts to check and they could find no sign of the Iraqi army. But when the Pentagon showed aerial photographs of the army, King Fahd agreed to join the coalition. Commercial aerial photographs of the region subsequently showed no signs of any Iraqi army movement at the border area. The details are still Pentagon classified.

11. After Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in August 1990, Iraq immediately offered to negotiate a withdrawal in response to the UN demand that it do so. True or False.

True.

12. Before President Bush gave the go-ahead for Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Saddam Hussein agreed to unconditional surrender, and began moving his troops out of Kuwait. True or False.

False. There was no “surrender,” but two days before Desert Storm, USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev informed President Bush that Saddam had agreed to leave Kuwait without conditions, and in fact Radio Baghdad reported its troops would be returning. As U.S. ground troops moved into Kuwait from Saudi Arabia, the Iraqi Republican Guard was already moving back into Iraq. When Colin Powell said the plan was to encircle the Republican Guard and “kill it,” he did not know the elite troops were already gone.

13. The reason the United States and its coalition allies only lost 143 troops in the Gulf War is that the Iraqi army was ill-equipped, demoralized, and did not put up a fight. True or False.


False. The Iraqi army had been ordered to withdraw and it only provided a cover for retreat. Its conscripts suffered heavy casualties as the coalition forces fired upon the retreating army in what became known as “the turkey shoot.”

14. The Iraqi army committed atrocities during the brief occupation of Kuwait, including the killings of Kuwaiti newborn infants by taking them out of their incubators. True or False.

False. The Kuwait government hired a NY public relations firm to drum up support for U.S. military action to oust Iraq. The firm came up with the atrocity story, which was subsequently exposed when it was revealed the source was the daughter of the Kuwait information minister, who claimed to be in the hospital.

15. When the Gulf War ended in 1991, the United Nations resolved that the economic embargo on Iraq would be lifted if Iraq destroyed its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs within six months. Iraq refused to do so. True or False.

False. Iraq did not refuse to do so, but spent the next six months destroying all the nuclear, chemical and biological programs that it had been working on in the 1980's. When the UN inspectors arrived, they complained that Iraq should not have destroyed the weapons, but should have waited for the inspectors to verify their existence and supervise their destruction. Several of the “gaps” in the inspection process that UNMOVIC says are still open involve this early snafu.

16. White House officials now insist U.S. policy toward Iraq changed from disarmament to “regime change” in the Clinton administration. True or False.

False. “Regime change” was the policy of the first Bush administration, which never intended to lift the sanctions on Iraq until Saddam Hussein had been deposed. It was, though, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright who was the first official to say publicly in 1997 that the U.S. would oppose the lifting of sanctions as long as Saddam was in power, no matter what the inspectors found. But President Bush had said as much in 1991. Former President Nixon also urged his followers to oppose lifting of the sanctions as long as Saddam remained in power.

17. In early 1993, Saddam Hussein ordered the assassination of former President Bush while he was visiting Kuwait City, the assassin confessing he had been given a bomb by the Iraqi secret service. True or False.

False. At the time, the CIA reported the Iraqi secret service must have been involved, as the bomb found by the Kuwaiti police had the wiring “signature” of the Iraqis. In his December 5, 1993 investigative report in The New Yorker, “A Case Not Closed,” Seymour Hersh found the wiring was of the most common sort. It was more likely Kuwait was alarmed at the statements of the new President, Bill Clinton, who said he was open to negotiations with Baghdad and the lifting of the sanctions. The “assassination” report ended all possibility Clinton could do so, and left him with the “regime change” policy.

18. The “No-Flight” zones in Northern and Southern Iraq that have been since 1992 by the U.S. and British air forces were authorized by the United Nations to protect the Iraqi Kurds in the north and the Iraqi Shi’ites in the South. True or False.

False. There has been no UN authorization for “No-Flight” zones, which are the creations of the U.S. government on the rationale that they are needed to protect the Kurds and the southern Shi’ites. The policy was created when the U.S. encouraged the Kurds and Shi’ites to revolt against Baghdad after the Gulf War.

19. Saddam Hussein drove all the Jews out of Iraq after the 1967 Israeli war against Egypt. True or False.

False. It was the previous government of Abdul Karim Kassim that encouraged the some 200,000 Jews of Iraq to leave, given the hostile reaction to the ‘67 war among Iraqi Muslims. The Ba’ath Party government that followed did hang some Jews as Israeli spies, but there never has been persecution of Iraqi Jews by the Ba’ath government and there are still two functioning synagogues in Iraq. Seven percent of the population is Catholic.

20. In 1998, Saddam Hussein refused to permit the UN inspectors to come onto presidential palace sites and when they insisted, he kicked them out of Iraq. True or False.

False. The original 1991 UN resolutions the created the first inspection regime allowed Iraq to keep the palace grounds off limits. In 1998, though, faced with threats of bombing by the Clinton administration, Iraq opened all “sensitive sites” including the palaces to UNSCOM inspectors as long as certain modalities were followed. It was when the inspectors asked to inspect the Ba’ath Party headquarters in Baghdad for evidence of WMD without regard to the agreed-upon modalities that Iraq refused entry. This led the U.S. State Department to instruct the inspectors to leave Iraq as the incident was deemed sufficient for the U.S. to bomb Iraq. The fallout from the incident led the United Nations to dissolve UNSCOM and create UNMOVIC, which takes the inspectors out of control of the U.S. or any other government.

21. Even if Iraq now has no nuclear weapons program, it could start one up as soon as the UN inspectors leave and have a nuclear weapon within six months or a year. True or False.

False. Iraq had a clandestine nuclear program in the 1980s in violation of its agreement not seek nuclear weapons under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. It could do so because it could import the materials needed to build a nuke and assemble them in places unknown to the International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA in 1998 closed this loophole, which means that all materials that could conceivably be used to build a nuke or make fissile material have to be cleared through a Nuclear Suppliers Group. And even after the IAEA inspection team completes its work under UNSC 1441, it will retain the right to repeat inspections of Iraq under new protocols developed by the agency to make the process airtight.



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msquared
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One small comment. The US Armed Forces only consider nukes as WMD? Where is that from? I find it very hard to believe that chemical and biological weapons would not qualify. What are they considered. And even if the Us Armed Forces have that definition, I would be pretty sure that the UN definition would include them, so what is the point?

msquared


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WmLambert
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I agree. See this
U.S. Government White Paper, released February 13, 1998

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msquared
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You see this limited definition of WMD then leads to the conclusion in question 2. If WMD is only the nuke version, the Iraq never had WMD. They were TRYING to develope them, but never made it. If you use the broader sense of the word, then the answer to question 2 is true.

The real problem with some of this is that the person giving the answer is forming the question to match the answer he wants to give.

msquared


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Chiu Chun-Ling
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While it is true that Saddam Hussein asked for permission to settle the Kuwait dispute by force, he never recieved permission to invade, and it would not have mattered if he had. The U.S. has no authority to give "permission" for the invasion of another sovereign country. Saddam's invasion was in clear violation of standards of international conduct. His casus belli was ridiculous.

It is true that the U.S. had no diplomatic obligation to defend Iraq. This is irrelevant. The attack on Kuwiat and the implicit threat to the OPEC nations were a direct attack on U.S. and NATO concerns in the region.

Saddam unilaterally dictated the conditions of the talks and implicitly threatened the Emir of Kuwait with war if he did not comply with Baghdads demands. I suppose we should simply tell Saddam that he is to present himself in Washington, absent any guarantees of safty or provisions for personal security, and if he fails to show up take that as our pretext. Come to think of it, we should just call every national leader on our carpet and invade if they don't show up.

Point ten is in dispute. Commercial aerial photographs can be less than state of the art when it comes to locating cameoflaged forces, particularly in a vast desert, or when the forces have already been forced to abandon their previous intentions. The intelligence resources of the Saudi military suffer from similar limitations. Even our most advanced intelligence assets were insufficient to locate all of Iraq's forces.

Iraq agreed to negotiate a withdrawal. His terms were deemed unacceptable to Kuwait, to the U.S., to NATO, to the other nations of OPEC, and to the U.N. (as well as to a number of other interested parties).

Saddam's plan was to retreat in the face of overwhelming force, and he gave no assurances that he would not subsequently attack or use weapons of mass destruction (in fact, he did order that chemical weapons be deployed and used, and did carry out extensive destruction both to the oil fields and to the Kuwaiti infrastructure). He did not seek an armstice that would involved an obligation on his part to refrain from further acts of aggression.

quote:
13. The reason the United States and its coalition allies only lost 143 troops in the Gulf War is that the Iraqi army was ill-equipped, demoralized, and did not put up a fight. True or False.

False


True, not False. The remaining Iraqi forces were "ill-equipped, demoralized, and did not put up a fight." The fact that they were attempting to retreat in the face of overwhelming enemy forces does account for most of that fact, but Saddam ordered the withdrawal for tactical reasons, not as part of any peace agreement or armstice. He was attempting to seek a militarily advantageous position.

Iraq has an extensive and well documented history of atrocities. It is suggested in this instance that certain particular atrocities did not occur. This is strongly possible. We are not going to war over atrocities from more than a decade ago, so the point is irrelevant.

Iraq claimed to have destroyed the weapons, and has provided exactly zero evidence that they complied. The inspectors asked to see sites where the destruction had taken place, or evidence that the weapons had been destroyed. This request was refused, and Iraq has still not provided any evidence that they complied with the U.N. resolution.

quote:
16. White House officials now insist U.S. policy toward Iraq changed from disarmament to “regime change” in the Clinton administration. True or False.

False.


The desire of the first Bush administration was well known, but was not "policy". It did not become official policy to seek regime change until Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced that it was U.S. policy.

The wiring was the type that the Iraqi covert forces do use. The fact that it is possible that the Kuwaitis could have created the bomb does not qualify as evidence that they did so. The point must therefore be regarded as in dispute absent hard evidence of Kuwaiti involvement.

While the no-fly zones were not imposed by the U.N., Iraq did agree to them as part of the armstice. They have been in violation of the terms of the cease fire every time they challenge U.S. and NATO aircraft enforcing the "No Fly" zones. The imposition of these zones is entirely in accordance with international law relating to the terms of an armstice agreement.

This is not a religious war. It is about the threat that Saddam Hussein continues to pose to both U.S. interests in the region and to the U.S. directly.

The fact that the Clinton administration chose to discontinue inspections does not enter into the consideration of the current administration's effort to force Saddam Hussein to destroy his weapons of mass destruction or face removal from power.

quote:
21. Even if Iraq now has no nuclear weapons program, it could start one up as soon as the UN inspectors leave and have a nuclear weapon within six months or a year. True or False.
It is impossible to say how far Iraq is from developing a nuclear weapon. It is known, however, that Iraq has definitely been aquiring materials that it cannot use for any other purpose.

P.S. Iraq does sponsor covert operatives that operate outside the norms of such things in the west, so technically it does train "terrorists". I am now tired and hungry, so I will end this post.


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LetterRip
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1) this is a matter of semantics, since the general definition of WMDs has been expanded to included biological and chemical weapons, it is reasonable to say Sadam has WMDs.

2) Same as above

3) Well, there have been some circuitous accusations to this effect, but no definitive clear cut statements.

4) Agreed

5) Agreed, The evidence that it was Iranian was based on cyanosis of the skin, characteristic of a poison gas not possessed by Iraq but possessed by Iran.

6) Agreed

Note that Wanniski has not addressed evidence of other gassings that may or may not be legitimate. I believe I posted a link not long ago. Unfortunately, I can't find the reports referred to in order to judge how believable they are.

7) Agreed.

8) Agreed.

9) Agreed.

10) Agreed, Unfortunately it is not clear if the US evidence was real or not, although the commercial photos (actually they were Russian spy satellite photos that were commercialized) tend to suggest they were falsified

11) Interesting, I hadn't heard of this before

12) Also another point I wasn't aware of

13) Again, something I wasn't aware of

14) Agreed, the woman gave false testimony before the Congressional Committee and the UN.

15) Interesting, also a point I was unaware of

16) Agreed, it has always been about regime change. The statement that sanctions would not be lifted even with compliance was rather criminal.

17) Wanniski appears to be wrong here, while it is entirely possible that the bomb signature was a forgery, there is very specific similarities that suggest they were designed and made by the same group or individual.

18) Interesting, I didn't know that.

19) Never heard of that before...

20) Interesting

21) This seems fairly debateable

Chiu,

while it is true that the US has no authority to give permission, it is widely acknowledged that without the US pushing for an invasion it would not have happened. Also, certain hostile economic activities are considered acts of war. Kuwait could have been considered having initiated war on Iraq - economic justifications for a war are a grey area. The condemnation of Iraq came after the (possibly illegitimate?) photos showing Iraq poised to invade Saudi Arabia. Also, the false testimony from above convinced 9 senators to vote for a war against Iraq, whereas the margin in favor of an invasion was only 5 people. Thus without having the false testimony above, the US would not have invaded.
http://southmovement.alphalink.com.au/commentaries/baghdad.htm

quote:
It is known, however, that Iraq has definitely been aquiring materials that it cannot use for any other purpose.

What materials, I've yet to see any suggestion that that is the case.

LetterRip

[This message has been edited by LetterRip (edited January 29, 2003).]


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Chiu Chun-Ling
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They've been caught trying to import U-235, among other things (advanced bomb designs and so forth). As they are not allowed to build a reactor, they cannot be using it for peaceful purposes.

And I was referring to Saddam's seeking our permission for him to invade Kuwait, not our pushing for an international force to invade Iraq to force him out again. We did not push for Saddam to invade nor did we "give permission" for him to do so (and my contention is that it wouldn't matter if we had given permission from the standpoint of the legality of his invasion).

What can I say about the Kuwaitis? At heart, they are still Arabs, after all Is anyone seriously contending that we should have let Saddam's aggression against OPEC stand?

Sure the Kuwaitis aren't worth the lives of our soldiers. Guess what? Neither are most Americans, and our soldiers damn well know it. We don't decide who's morally pure enough for us send good men to die for, because no people, anywhere, can pass that test. We send those men where they can defend America, deserved or not, because they love America enough to put their right hands in the air and swear to defend her. I did it once and I'd do it again no matter what it cost me the first time. I love this damn country, sins and failings notwithstanding.


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Tom Grey - Tigger
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Well, after a long time having reservations, especially about Israel, I'm off the fence.

Time for war against Iraq.

The US may well have implied, wrongly, that "we" wouldn't do anything if Iraq attacked Kuwait; and certainly the US armed Iraq against Iran. But it's time for Iraq to proove they're complying with their prior defeat's promises.

They don't show evidence of weapon destruction, or details of their programs. It's funny, I wasn't so sure that that last UN resolution was needed, or useful. But I realize it was ... one, last, chance.

Saddam had it, did not take advantage of it. That's it. *IF* there is to be any international muscle based on "rule of law", it means that UN resolutions must be enforced. This has been, and continues to be, an issue -- similar to the impotence problem the League of Nations before WWII. (and who can enforce a resolution agains the US? none. sigh.)

Enforcing rule of law might mean people get shot for not paying taxes, or for ripping heads off parking meters; e.g. when, after the minor infraction, the response to the authorities is defiance. I certainly don't like excessive gov't force, but the need for overwhelming force to be brought to bear against any law violator is clear. To support the supremecy of law.

Now, that I'm finally landing, ready for war, it is a good feeling. I feel free of so many doubts. The questions are good, above, but are too late. Once the "final, last" UN resolution is passed, and Iraq fails, it is time to enforce the decision.

Otherwise you have the unarmed policeman saying, Stop. Stop Stop Stop. Stop thief, or else I will continue saying, Stop.

The argument against war, now, becomes an argument to emasculate the UN, so that no UN resolution has any force behind it. Or, it's an argument that Saddam's not all that bad....


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LetterRip
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Chui,

quote:
They've been caught trying to import U-235, among other things (advanced bomb designs and so forth). As they are not allowed to build a reactor, they cannot be using it for peaceful purposes.

I thought you were refering to recent history, as opposed to stuff destroyed during the previous inspections. There has been nothing suggesting a renewed attempt at nuclear that I'm aware of.

quote:
We did not push for Saddam to invade nor did we "give permission" for him to do so (and my contention is that it wouldn't matter if we had given permission from the standpoint of the legality of his invasion).

The legality in this case is subject to interpretation - was the economic impact of Kuwaits violations of oil treaties an act of war? If the US had decided to interpret it as such, then it would have been. However, the US decided to an alternative interpretation of Iraq acting as an aggressor nation.

Our blockading of ships to Cuba could have been an act of war, but it was chosen to not be interpreted as such. What nations choose to acknowledge or interpret as acts of war depends on many factors, not least of which is whether a nation desires a war.

As to whether Kuwait was 'worth' defending. Presumably they were, I wasn't arguing they weren't. My point was that the choice of our Senators to do so hinged upon a lie.

quote:
Is anyone seriously contending that we should have let Saddam's aggression against OPEC stand?

It wasn't aggression against OPEC, the other members of OPEC thought it was reasonable for Iraq to invade Kuwait, since the Kuwaiti overproduction was reducing their prices as well. OPEC - especially Saudi Arabia was concerned only after the US convinced them that Iraq was preparing to invade them next.

quote:
Sure the Kuwaitis aren't worth the lives of our soldiers. Guess what? Neither are most Americans, and our soldiers damn well know it. We don't decide who's morally pure enough for us send good men to die for, because no people, anywhere, can pass that test.

You completely misunderstood me. I in no way stated that the Kuwaitis were unworthy of protection, I was saying that we went to war based on a false report.

LetterRip


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LetterRip
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The US needs a UN resolution so that we can use Saudi Arabia as a staging area instead of just Kuwait. The difference in potential casualties, and the potential speed of success is very large.

Tigger,

quote:
They don't show evidence of weapon destruction, or details of their programs.

This is actually fairly difficult to prove. If Wanniski is correct, and Sadam destroyed the weapons when he was asked, but prior to weapons inspectors. Then proving it is extremely difficult. As to details of their programs, I'm not sure what details have been sought that have not been provided. (Entirely possible that there are such details, I just haven't heard of such).

quote:
Saddam had it, did not take advantage of it. That's it. *IF* there is to be any international muscle based on "rule of law", it means that UN resolutions must be enforced. This has been, and continues to be, an issue -- similar to the impotence problem the League of Nations before WWII. (and who can enforce a resolution agains the US? none. sigh.)

The problem is, is that it is possible that they have attempted to do a complete disclosure. It is like asking someone if they are a Communist. If you believe they are, but they say no, do you accuse them of lying and hound them until they admit it? If you do a thorough background check on them, but don't turn up evidence - do you decide that they are exceptionally clever at decieving you?

I believe it is possible (perhaps even likely) that Iraq has WMDs, and may be concealing such. However, the best intelligence officers of every major intelligence agency in the world have not turned up such proof. It is possible that with more extensive investigation and interviews that UN will find such proof. Thus it is in the US interest to wait, and give the UN inspection teams time, on the chance that they will find proof, and thus allow us a much more bloodless war.

It is also worth noting that when the first resolution was made, a clear timeline for how long it would take for the inspections to be effective was given. We are only in the preliminary stages of the timeline, thus pushing for war at this time seems questionable.

LetterRip


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vulture
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Tigger wrote:

quote:

*IF* there is to be any international muscle based on "rule of law", it means that UN resolutions must be enforced. This has been, and continues to be, an issue -- similar to the impotence problem the League of Nations before WWII. (and who can enforce a resolution agains the US? none. sigh.)

UN resolutions must be enforced? Like the ones defining Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem as illegal? Israel gets the lions share of US foreign aid (without which, Israel probably wouldn't be able to keep settling the occupied territories in defiance of the UN resolutions). In contrast, in 1998 the US had economic sanctions against 75 countries, accounting for 52% of the world's population.

The issue here is that the UN is exactly as effective as the US allows it to be. If the UN is ineffective, it is because it is trying to do something that runs counter to US interests. When it is effective, it is because it is doing what the US wants it to do.

And what are the odds of a resolution against the US being passed? The US, as a permanent memeber of the security council, has a veto (and has used it an awful lot more than any other permanent member has).


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Chiu Chun-Ling
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Okay, the previously imported Uranium wasn't destroyed by the inspectors, Saddam still has it.

It may be difficult to prove that he actually destroyed the weapons, but Saddam hasn't even tried to prove that he destroyed them, not even documentary proof. He won't even say how or where he supposedly destroyed them.

I like that bit about the U.S. and the U.N. being the dog and the leash or whatever you're saying. But enough of all this. We can talk all day and night about how bad war is and how we have to give peace a chance.

Yeah, yeah, you pansies.

Why has no one responded to my NASA thread yet? Are you all afraid to take a stand on an issue that actually requires you personally to make a judgement?


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TomDavidson
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I think part of it is that you're the only one who thinks the NASA thing is sign of some insidious plot, and not just some misapplied imaging techniques.

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Chiu Chun-Ling
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Where's your faith in the all encompassing conspiracy to keep us in ignorance of the truth?
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Baldar
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[quote]If Wanniski is correct, and Sadam destroyed the weapons when he was asked, but prior to weapons inspectors. Then proving it is extremely difficult. As to details of their programs, I'm not sure what details have been sought that have not been provided. (Entirely possible that there are such details, I just haven't heard of such).[quote]

Waninski is very very wrong and dishonest in his statement. Iraq is known for its penchant of records on both its citizens and arms, they are not a third world country that "loses" its paperwork somewhere. We are talking about tons of expensive weaponry and high tech equipment. Waninski knows this too.

LR you seem to be forgetting that the treaty stipulates he must prove he doesn't have them, not that we must find the WMD. Its as if you guys are putting your head in the sand and hoping what you don't see means its not there. We know he has them, Nancy Pelosi on NPR this morning even said she "knew" he has WMD.


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vulture
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LetterRip wrote:

quote:

If Wanniski is correct, and Sadam destroyed the weapons when he was asked, but prior to weapons inspectors. Then proving it is extremely difficult. As to details of their programs, I'm not sure what details have been sought that have not been provided. (Entirely possible that there are such details, I just haven't heard of such).

Baldar replied:

quote:

Waninski is very very wrong and dishonest in his statement. Iraq is known for its penchant of records on both its citizens and arms, they are not a third world country that "loses" its paperwork somewhere. We are talking about tons of expensive weaponry and high tech equipment. Waninski knows this too.

Somehow, Baldar, I belive that if Iraq produced a pile of documentation on the destruction of their banned weapons in the past, very few people would consider this reliable evidence that those weapons had in fact been destroyed. If Iraq did actually destroy those weapons without UN supervision (a rather unlikely scenario, it has to be said [1]) there is absolutely no way that it can prove that it no longer has them.

quote:

LR you seem to be forgetting that the treaty stipulates he must prove he doesn't have them, not that we must find the WMD. Its as if you guys are putting your head in the sand and hoping what you don't see means its not there. We know he has them, Nancy Pelosi on NPR this morning even said she "knew" he has WMD.

Who is she, and why is her opinion viewed as fact?

Baldar, I think that even the most vocal anti-war people agree that Saddam very likely did have, and still has, weapons that are banned under the terms of the cease-fire in the last Gulf War, and under UN resolutions. I don't see why you put so much effort into trying to convince people of that. The issue that creates the divisions here is whether Saddam possessing WMDs is sufficient justification for war, or whether possession of WMDs plus evidence that he intends to use them is needed.

Okay, that's a simplification, since no-one is advocating attacking the US, UK, France, China, Russia, Ukraine etc. for having WMDs, 'cos (in some cases) we trust the people who have them, while in others we don't really have the option (and no reason to suspect they'd use them without strong provocation). So the argument is really whether Saddam's past behaviour (as a guide to his character) coupled with the possession of WMDs is sufficient. Which is quite a complex issue really, and amounts to more than just sticking our heads in the sand and refusing to look at the big, bad world.

Random footnote [1]: I can imagine a scenario where Iraq destroys its WMDs in secret, hoping to avoid being caught with them, so it can claim that it doesn't have and never had WMDs (and counting on the US, UK and France in particular to keep quiet about all the stuff they sold to Iraq), and then being caught off guard by the amount of knowledge about their WMD capability that was already around. It still seems more likely that Iraq is trying to keep a cache of WMDs hidden away - actually the US threats not to bother waiting for the arm's inspector's reports encourage him to do this - if Iraq is going to be invaded anyway, they ought to to their best to keep their best weapons operative, rather than giving them up and then being invaded anyway ('we think he has still more hidden away, and has only given these up to try and mislead us').

EDIT: Pants, I misspelled Baldar's name again...

[This message has been edited by vulture (edited January 29, 2003).]


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Baldar
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Two points:

One an email from Brit Hume:

quote:
Opponents of military action in Iraq may be trying a new argument in the wake of U.N. weapons inspection chief Hans Blix's unequivocal statement that Iraq is not accepting the United Nation's demand that he disarm. The argument is that the United Nations did not really mean what it said. Jessica Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, makes that case in the Washington Post today. Yes, she says, U.N. Resolution 1441 did demand that Iraq make a full declaration of its weapons, but "not in the expectation of getting one but because every fact Iraq could be pressured into revealing is one inspectors do not have to uncover."

Two:

Actually if Iraq had provided any documentation that could be verified, or any documentation at all there would certainly be more controversy. The problem with documentation is that at face value it means nothing, but the documentation would also show where and when the WMD's were destroyed and those physical areas would leave a plethora of evidence.

quote:
The issue that creates the divisions here is whether Saddam possessing WMDs is sufficient justification for war, or whether possession of WMDs plus evidence that he intends to use them is needed.

As I stated earlier, the UN said it was, later Congress also said it was. Posessing WMD's alone is no reason to attack, I agree, for instance Libya also has a cache of WMD.

But that is a narrow and myopic view that does not take into account the entirety of the situation.

1-Saddam has publically stated time and time agains his desire to control the Arabic Middle East (and non-Arabic).

2-Saddam has shown a proclivity to use WMD's in the past.

3-The region is of such international importance that its relative stability has to somehow be ensured.

4-Saddam has continually lied regarding his posession of WMD's and has lied about their use.

This makes Saddam Hussein both unique and dangerous in the annals of global stability. One can ask honestly, given he has chemical weapons :

Do you trust the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein?


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WmLambert
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Check this news article documenting the faked Photos of the Saudi Arabia border and also the Nayirah story (who was in fact the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington and had no connection to the Kuwait hospital.) She had been coached – along with the handful of others who would "corroborate" the story – by senior executives of Hill and Knowlton in Washington, the biggest global PR firm at the time, which had a contract worth more than $10 million with the Kuwaitis to make the case for war. This was our "Gulf of Tonken resolution" that triggered everything.

Another article in a similar vein from Wanniski is How You and I Got Snookered, Jeanne Kirkpatrick.

BTW, Chiu Chun-Ling, your statement that "the wiring was the type that the Iraqi covert forces do use" is more in dispute than whether there was any attempt to assassinate Former President Bush by the Iraqi's.

Sandy Berger and Martin Indyk drove the Clinton administration's decision to bomb an intelligience center in Bagdad, at night, therby killing the janitors, to get at Suddam Hussein in retaliation for the alleged assasination attempt of former president Bush. They were both predisposed to attack Hussein because of the political windfall it would provide. The investigative findings of the F.B.I. and the Justice Department ended up being exposed only to a political process, with senior White House planners who were worried about domestic reaction, press spin, and international reaction, and were also subjected to pressure from selective leaks to the news media. The reports may be correct, but no effort was made to verify.

Seymour Hersh, a columnist for the New Yorker, wrote on September 27, 2002 that the "single most glaring weakness of the Administration's case is its assertion that the remote-control firing device found in the Kuwaiti car bomb has the same "signature" as previously recovered Iraqi bombs. In making its case, the Administration released a series of color photographs comparing, among other things, the circuit boards of the radio-controlled firing device seized in Kuwait and the circuit boards of what was said to be a similar Iraqi device. The photographs were made public by Ambassador Albright. "Even an untrained eye can see that these are identical except for the serial numbers," she said, holding up one of the photographs of the two devices."

However, Hersh quoted "Donald L. Hansen, a twenty-eight-year veteran of the bomb squad of the San Francisco Police Department. Hansen, who has served as the director of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, is now an instructor at the State Department's school for foreign police officers, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and is widely considered to be one of the top forensics experts in the field. "They're very generic devices," he told me, after analyzing the photographs of the electronic circuit boards. "To establish a signature, you've got to find unique characteristics. It's not the equipment itself—there are millions of them. You can buy instruction manuals"—for the construction of the devices—"in New York and Chicago, and the instructions could be exactly the same. But that doesn't mean that the two were built by the same man. There are no signs of modification. If these circuit boards are what they're hanging their signature issue on, they're really stretching the envelope. All they can say is there's a strong similarity.

Another expert, Paul A. Eden, who is an electrical engineer at the University of Miami, estimated that individual components of the devices were manufactured no later than 1983. He concluded that both mechanisms were mass-produced, most likely in Taiwan, or Japan, or South Korea, and were of a type sold all over the world. 'I saw nothing that would make them any different from anything bought off the shelf from any electronics store,' he said. 'The design is used by everybody in the world. All it does is receive a signal and decode a tone. I can't see anything that would make it say, "Yes, this was done by the same person." ' Eden, who has nearly forty years of experience in electronics and now runs a satellite field station for the university, suggested that the Clinton Administration had been "grasping at straws" in its presentation at the United Nations. He also said that he objected to the White House's notion, repeatedly expressed by Anthony Lake and others in their briefings and public statements, that the car bomb found in Kuwait was extremely sophisticated. 'Anybody with half an ounce of electronics training could have done what they did and make something go boom.'"

The men charged with having the car bomb intended to assassinate Bush, were in the custody of the Kuwaiti police for several weeks, for smuggling alcohol across the border, before they confessed to the plot and the police then found the bomb. There is strong conjecture that these men were tortured into making their statements, which they did recant in court claiming coercion, and then set up by the Kuwaiti's. The Kuwaiti leadership also feared, the C.I.A. concluded, as cited in the Boston Globe, that Clinton might abandon Kuwait in favor of better relations with Saddam Hussein. Kuwait, the report said, "has a clear incentive to play up the continuing Iraqi threat."

Please refer to LetterRip's excellent earlier link he put up on The second alleged gas attack by the Iraqis against the Kurds that occurred at Amadiyyah (in the far northern region of Iraq) after the war had ended. This is the one in dispute, not the first one. The counter to this article is at 100,000 Men and Boys, Machine-Gunned to Death!!

[This message has been edited by WmLambert (edited January 29, 2003).]


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Everard
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"1-Saddam has publically stated time and time agains his desire to control the Arabic Middle East (and non-Arabic)"

Is he ACTING on this desire?

"2-Saddam has shown a proclivity to use WMD's in the past."

proof please? Letterrip seems to have invalidated that particular claim.

"3-The region is of such international importance that its relative stability has to somehow be ensured."

This statement can be countered on many levels, including the fact war is a destabalizer (although stability can occur AFTER a war is concluded), stability could be achieved by lessening dependence on oil as a fuel source, as could the ME's international importance, there are many destablizing influences in the middle east, of which Hussein MAY be the most destablizing. REmoving him won't cause the other destablizing factors to lessen, and in fact may cause greater instability in places such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, or Israel.

"4-Saddam has continually lied regarding his posession of WMD's and has lied about their use."

So have many other nations which meet your above criteria to the same degree that Iraq does. Should we go to war with all of them? In fact, our own nation lies about WMD possession, or at least obscures the truth as much as possible.


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LetterRip
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WMLambert,

see this report
http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/fbilab1/05bush2.htm

there was a thorough investigation into the initial investigation. The primary investigation seemed to be on the up and up. While it is possible that it was a setup by another agency, a reasoable conclusion is that the bombs were from the same group or individual.

The bomb expert that you were refering to, Mr. Hansen, did not actually have access to the evidence. As he said 'If these circuit boards are what they're hanging their signature issue on, they're really stretching the envelope.' However as can be seen from the report, the circuitboard was only a small part of the evidence used to determine a signature. The evidence is fairly strong that they are from the same designer, or someone trying to forge the 'signature' of the original designer.

Both individuals quoted were making their observations on very limited evidence, and were making it clear that if what had been presented to them was the ONLY evidence, then the case would be weak.

LetterRip


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WmLambert
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LetterRip, excellent article thank you.

How about the HEU?


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Chiu Chun-Ling
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Sorry, you lost me on that one...HEU?

And as your article points out, the wiring was indeed of the type that the Iraqi covert forces do, in point of fact, use. The fact that they deliberately use a very generic form of device to avoid being traced too easily is not very surprising, when you think about it. I'm not saying that there is no possibility that the Kuwaitis faked the whole thing. But there is absolutely no proof that they did so.

And the commercial satillite images were probably defeated rather easily by simple optical cameoflage techniques, of which the Iraqi military seems to have some basic understanding. In fact, I would say that overall, they have proven themselves to be rather clever at hiding things. It took the U.N. inspectors, on the ground, inside the buidings, running their hands over the production vats, years to figure out whether some dubious "agricultureal products" factories were actually bioweapons labs.

Of course, I'm not suggesting that Saddam's anywhere near as good at hiding conventional forces, but he does seem to have devoted some thought to the matter, although his solutions don't always work out as planned....


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LetterRip
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Chui,

read the link I gave above, it examines the various reasons why the forces might be there and not turn up on the photos, but also gives solid reasoning as to why the factors considered are unlikely.

As to the Bush assassination attempt - agreed no solid evidence implicating any other than Iraqi production. There is motive (ensure bad relations between Iraq and US, and maintain positive relations between Kuwait and US), opportunity (They did the discovery of the bomb and the interrogations), and capability (for any intelligence agency - forging a bomb signature is fairly trivial) on the part of the Kuwaiti's but that only makes for an interesting hypothesis. Of course Iraq also has motive, opportunity and capability - although the fact that such a mission was easily compromised and interrogation suggested direct involvement of an individual strongly associated with Sadam makes me suspicious. A competent mission would have been done so that it could not be traced back (ie the explosives would have been purchased on the black market with a different design, an unrecognizable intermediary would have been used for contact, and the group would not have knowledge of the target other than a where and when).

Essentially I have one of two conclusions - the Iraqi's were stupid and incompetent in the design and execution or, the Iraqi's were set up. I tentatively accept the stupidity hypothesis, although intrique is much more fun to contemplate <grin>

LetterRip


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LetterRip
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Ditto,

what is HEU?

LetterRip


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Baldar
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Ev:

Actually William has invalidated the claim that Iraq alone used chemical weapons, and specifically that Iraq was the one starting to use chemical weapons, not that Iraq did not use chemical weapons. I suggest you reread what was posted.

quote:
I. The Criminal Record of the Regime of Saddam Hussein

Let me turn to my first main point, the need to address the criminal record of Saddam Hussein and his top associates for their crimes against the peoples of Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, and other countries. To the United States Government, it is beyond any possible doubt that Saddam Hussein and the top leadership around him have brutally and systematically committed war crimes and crimes against humanity for years, are committing them now, and will continue committing them until the international community finally says enough -- or until the forces of change in Iraq prevail against his regime as, ultimately, they must.

This may seem self-evident to all of you here today. Interestingly, in my discussions of this issue I have found some people who will agree that Saddam Hussein is a criminal, but who are genuinely unaware of the magnitude of his criminal conduct. Those who want to gloss over Saddam's criminal record often want to gloss over the need for him to be brought to justice. This goes to the very heart of why his conduct deserves an international response, so I find it useful to review what we now know of the criminal record of Saddam Hussein and his top associates.

1. The Iran-Iraq War.. During the Iran-Iraq War, Saddam Hussein and his forces used chemical weapons against Iran. According to official Iranian sources, which we consider credible, approximately 5,000 Iranians were killed by chemical weapons between 1983 and 1988. The use of chemical weapons has been a war crime since the 1925 Chemical Weapons treaty, to which ' Iraq is a party. Also during the Iran-Iraq War, there are credible reports that Iraqi forces killed several thousand Iranian prisoners of war, which is also a war crime as well as a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, to which Iraq is a party. Other war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Saddam Hussein and the top leaders around him against Iran and the Iranian people also deserve international investigation.

2. Halabja. In mid-March of 1988, Saddam Hussein and his cousin Ali Hassan alMajid -- the infamous "Chemical Ali" -- ordered the dropping of chemical weapons on the town of Halabja in northeastern Iraq. This killed an estimated 5,000 civilians, and is a war crime and a crime against humanity. Photographic and videotape evidence of this attack and its aftermath exists. Some of this is available to scholars and -- God willing -- to prosecutors through the efforts of the International Monitor Institute in Los Angeles, California. More visual evidence is available from Iranian cameramen, who collected their images of the victims of this brutal attack -- most of whom were women and children -- in a book published in Tehran. The best evidence of all is from the survivors in Halabja itself.

......

3. The Anfal campaigns. Beginning in 1987 and accelerating in early 1988, Saddam Hussein ordered the "Anfal" campaign against the Iraqi Kurdish people. By any measure, this constituted a crime against humanity and a war crime. Chemical Ali has admitted to witnesses that he carded out this campaign "under orders." In 1995, Human Rights Watch published a compilation of their reports in the book Iraq's Crime of Genocide, which is now out of print. Human Rights Watch needs to reprint this book. Human Rights Watch estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 Kurds were killed. Based on their review of captured Iraqi documents, interviews with hundreds of eyewitnesses, and on-site forensic investigations, they concluded that the Anfal campaign was genocide. I challenge anyone to read the evidence cited in Iraq's Crime of Genocide and come to any different conclusion.


From a State Department Briefing
National Press Club September 18, 2000

Remarks to be Delivered by David J. Scheffer,Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues to a Middle East Institute and Iraq Foundation Forum

quote:
"1-Saddam has publically stated time and time agains his desire to control the Arabic Middle East (and non-Arabic)"

Is he ACTING on this desire?


Let me get this straight, you want to wait until he has a nuclear weapon or uses it to act?!?!? Maybe wait until he thinks he's strong enough again and this time more destructive?

Or do you mean he is acting on his desire buy secretly buying items illegally and importing them?

quote:
This statement can be countered on many levels, including the fact war is a destabalizer (although stability can occur AFTER a war is concluded), stability could be achieved by lessening dependence on oil as a fuel source, as could the ME's international importance, there are many destablizing influences in the middle east, of which Hussein MAY be the most destablizing. REmoving him won't cause the other destablizing factors to lessen, and in fact may cause greater instability in places such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, or Israel.

Peace is a destabalizer. "Peace in our time" certainly was. I suggest you look at the Munich Conference in 1938 before you get all teary eyed from the chlorine gas. Hussein is destabalizing (I suggest you look at what happened 12 years ago). Removing him will certainly lesson the destabilization on several levels Ev. You no longer have a belligerant and powerful country seeking dominance in a region. You no longer have a destabalizing power providing much needed cash to those who sell weapons and materials for WMDs. I would say your argument goes both ways, your problem Ev is you refuse to see the other side of it because to you its "peace at any cost".

quote:
"4-Saddam has continually lied regarding his posession of WMD's and has lied about their use."

So have many other nations which meet your above criteria to the same degree that Iraq does. Should we go to war with all of them? In fact, our own nation lies about WMD possession, or at least obscures the truth as much as possible.


Context Ev, in context with the other areas your counterpoint is, well pointless.

[This message has been edited by Baldar (edited January 29, 2003).]


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Chiu Chun-Ling
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Uh, LetterRip, to which link are you referring? Okay, got it The Baghdad Observer, by Huda M. al-Yassiri.

quote:
The troops could have been so well camouflaged that they were hidden from the Soviet cameras. However, Zimmerman said that would be a departure from Iraq's strategy during its war with Iran in the 1980s when virtually no effort was made to hide military positions. Both analysts recall seeing Iraqi troops deployments during that war on poorer images from the French SPOT satellite.

It's also possible that the troops were so widely dispersed that the satellite could not "See" them because its cameras could not resolve images smaller than five meters, or about 16 feet, across. Or it might be that glare from the sun on the Kuwaiti sand smudged out troops images, although images taken over Saudi Arabia appear un affected by glare.

Another possibility is that the Soviets deliberatelly or accidently produced a photo taken before August 2, that is before Iraqi troops entering Kuwait.


Iran doesn't have spy satillites. Saddam knew this. We do. He also knew this. What he didn't realize was that optical cameoflage is only partically effective against some of our satillites.

The Russian pictures, though taken by a "spy satillite", are older technology, and seem to have been visible spectrum only. The resolution was an order of magnitude lower than our radar imaging technology. The initial areas photographed were definitely not the putative location of the Iraq military, and the later shots may have missed the target (a decade ago privatization was playing havoc with all Russian industries, and they were nominally allies of Iraq).

These factors, individually or in combination, not "unlikely", they demonstrate conclusively that our satallite images were superior in resolution, spectral depth, targetting, reliability, and overall accuracy.

The fact that our government is unwilling to demonstrate just how superior by letting Saddam see graphically exactly which units we had detected and which he had successfully hidden from us is inconvenient, but a necessity if our intelligence resources are to remain a useful asset.

We know that despite our technical resources, Saddam successfully hid most of his SCUD launchers from our air forces for months. His military, though they had not used anti-satillite imaging techniques much in their war with Iran, which had no satillites for them to hide from, proved that they had mastered some of those techniques nonetheless. Should we really publish data that allows Saddam to know exactly what we're detecting and what we cannot detect?

Sorry, LR, the fact that your source on this was taken from the Baghdad Observer didn't lower my blood pressure any. Frankly, the whole thing gets to me.

Sheilding your intelligence capabilities is a legitimate and necessary tactic for preserving their usefulness and integrity. Once an enemy knows exactly how to fool your asset (and that is exactly what showing our pictures would cause), you cannot trust anything you get from that asset.


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WmLambert
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baldar, please check the earlier links provided. I think the US government has officially decided that the First gassing was not factual. The Kurds were killed by Cyanide-based gas, which only Iran used during their war, while we had provided mustard gas only to Iraq. The second gassing after the War was first charged to Iraq, then changed by Human Rights Watch when the story didn't gibe, to 100,000 Kurds being trucked to a different area and machine-gunned to death and then buried in a non-existant mass-grave.

I think your post is from the earliest charges which were taken back by its claimants after being proven untrue, and then changed into a whole different story. (Or else a resubmission of the original claims without the truth check applied.)

I don't know the truth here, but don't much buy into the currently accepted cliché of Hussein gassing his own civillians. My problem is that it is truly difficult to believe any "official" story coming out of the Mideast - and you have to get a datestamp on the latest official US story as well. I tend to believe our own FBI lab's story as posted by LetterRip on the Bush bomb - but he is also accurate in noting it could've been a set-up as well. Anything that came out of the Clinton administration is suspect because of so many other doctored spins that we do know about.

Have you read the book American Hero by Larry Beinhart? (Y'know the Wag the Dog movie?) In one of the reviews, Matt Christman said: "In these chapters, Beinhart shines: exposing the stunning gullibility, mindless jingoism and political apathy of the American people. One wonders why he stopped short of describing the war itself, but since it is such a recent memory, the readers themselves can think back with embarrassment at how heartily we embraced that highly dubious military foray, with yellow ribbons, ticker tape parades, and a nintey percent approval rating for ole George Herbert Walker. Beinhart lets the chill run down our spines as we close the book and realize for ourselves that Atwater was right. We're a nation of suckers, tacitly complicent in our own duping. (LOVED THE FOOTNOTES!)"

The point is that truth resides with the winners of war, and with the chancellors of the schools. Historians usually get it right, but no one notices when their research flies in the face of accepted doctrine. For example, look at the universal abhorence of the "Robber Barons" who actually saved us from government malfeasance and greed during our history.

LetterRip: HEU is Highly-Enriched Uranium, the type of power plant fuel design he purchased from the French. (See point #2 on WMD) Scott Ritter and Gordon Prather said there was no way to get more without us knowing it.

[This message has been edited by WmLambert (edited January 29, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by WmLambert (edited January 29, 2003).]


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Baldar
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I agree that the first gassing was not initiated by Saddam and Iran took care to orchestrate it to their advantage when it was thought that they had "gassed" first. But I also believe that Iraq did not hesitate to use it themselves, and that Saddam, like Turkey, does not see Kurds as necessarily being "his civilian population".

Here is something that convinced me that William was partially right Allegations of Iranian CW gas 1980 - 88. However, even here it states that Iraqi use was also a factor (sometimes accidently blowing back on their own groups), but I also believe they used it deliberately to pacify groups. So I think that William is right that Iran initiated and used to attacks, and I think that Iraq simply followed suite and used them in their own way for both defense and offense internally and elsewhere. For both its a cheap effective weapon and Iraq still seeks to keep and use them.


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LetterRip
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Chiu,

the article I linked was lifting everything fairly directly from the St. Petersburg article. I hadn't noticed the Byline when I posted it.

I did some searching and found went the St. Petersburg Times online, while strangely I didn't spot the original article in the archives I did find something even more interesting - a reanalysis of the satellite photos
Reanalysis of Satellite Photos

quote:
But at the same time, it seems clear now that the Iraqi force in Kuwait - whatever the numbers - probably did pose a threat to Saudi Arabia and American interests in that country.

So, while the intelligence analysis grossly overestimated the threat strength, Iraq appears to have forces that were a potential threat to Saudi Arabia.

LetterRip

[This message has been edited by LetterRip (edited January 29, 2003).]


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LetterRip
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Chiu,

the maximum theoretical resolution of spy sattelites is public knowledge. It is also public knowledge that we achieved close to that limit a long while ago. Atmospheric attentuation is a physical limit. Higher resolution photos from our satellites would not give away anything.

LetterRip


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Chiu Chun-Ling
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Sorry about jumping down your throat over the Baghdad Observer gaff. I was ever so slightly...inflamed by the tagline.

The maximum theoretical resolution of optical satellites that do not use recent breakthroughs in adaptive optics and image processing is well known. We have adaptive optics, advanced image processing, and capabilities outside the visible spectrum that have not been duplicated outside the U.S. (well, technically, I guess once you launch it into orbit...).

Why do humans always think just because something is invisible there is no way to see it?

WmLambert (by the way, had a DI named Lambert, so you're already on my bad side today), you said, "we had provided mustard gas only to Iraq."

You had better either back that up or provide a ^%^$#load of retractions buddy. Your credability is at stake here.

Balder, play nice


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vulture
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Chiu Chun-Ling wrote:

quote:

WmLambert (by the way, had a DI named
Lambert, so you're already on my bad side today), you said, "we had provided mustard gas only to Iraq."

You had better either back that up or provide a ^%^$#load of retractions buddy. Your credability is at stake here.


Which part are you taking issue with? The providing Iraq with mustard gas, or the 'only mustard gas' part?

The US didn't supply Iraq directly with mustard gas (I don't know of anyone that did), but two US companies did export relevant stuff to Iraq.

Alcolac International (1988):

Exported over 300 tons of thiodiglycol, a mustard gas precursor, via U.S. firm Nu Kraft Mercantile Corporation and the Iraqi Industrial Procurement Corporation (IPC); believed to have been diverted to Iraq.

Exporting country: US


Limmus Crest(1985-1989)

Licensed to sell over $250,000 worth of radio spectrum analyzers, and also computers for inventory, quality control, lab analysis and
engineering calculations, for Iraq's multi-billion-dollar petrochemical complex at Basrah intended to make the mustard gas precursor thiodiglycol, to the Ministry of Industry and Military Industrialization (MIMI) (generally responsible for Iraq's nuclear, missile and chemical weapon programs; and for Al Atheer, Iraq's nuclear weapon design and research center).

sources:
Alcolac link
Limmus Crest Link

EDITS: Typing errors

[This message has been edited by vulture (edited January 30, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by vulture (edited January 30, 2003).]

[This message has been edited by vulture (edited January 30, 2003).]


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Tom Grey - Tigger
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It seems the hawks have some intelligence info, of variable reliability. And the doves have significant reports of prior unreliability of most info.

It matters, for truth, history, and a review of our government. It can, especially, provide intellectual/ moral cover for the doves when, after the Iraqi liberation, "smoking guns" are found.

Like, especially, living Iraqi scientists/ technicians who know things and are willing to talk, once they're not terrified of reprisals (like on their families). (Off site questioning was required [?] by the UN, not allowed by Saddam.)

I doubt that anybody is making up their minds based on the intelligence info -- rather they use the data that supports their position (surprise! not).

I do hope more authoritative accounts start being published and "some wisdom" starts getting accepted by both sides. Not sure that's really possible though. Isn't that funny? (sad?)


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LetterRip
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Chiu,

First, the diffraction limit, which is unaffected by adaptive optics, limits sattelites to about 10 cm for the highest resolution sensors. (Sattelites can be 'dipped' closer, and achieve resolutions of 5 cm, however, the fuel to dip and then return to a stable orbit is expensive).
http://www.geomatics.org/report/data.htm

the military satellites are already using the best adaptive optics that are available and are essentially up against the diffraction limit. (Occassionally there can be sufficient distortion that the adaptive optics are inadequate and thus much worse than the diffraction limit is achieved, whereas other times the atmosphere can be so 'calm' that adaptive optics enhancement is largely unneccessary).

So, what the satellites are capable of is fairly solid. (Unless they managed to bypass the diffraction limit, for which there are two recent theoretical approaches).

Additionally, providing evidence does not require that they give the highest resolution images they have. They can use far lower quality images and still demonstrate the point.

Also, the FAS has reports stating that Saddam did not take action to decieve spy sattelites until mid October.

LetterRip

(edit - corrected a number)

[This message has been edited by LetterRip (edited January 30, 2003).]


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Chiu Chun-Ling
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FAS?

I'll stick to my guns on showing Saddam which units were detected and which were not detected. Whether or not he has the technical specifications of our equipment, if he has feedback on which methods of cameoflage were successful in defeating our technical assets, then he can improve his ability to hide his forces. On the other hand, I conceed any further discussion of the actual visual spectrum imaging capabilities of our satellites, as there is no useful information I can add.

vulture has pointed out that we did not provide Saddam with chemical weapons. American companies sold Saddam materials that have legitimate uses, and Saddam chose to use those materials to manufacture chemical weapons (note to those that have been crying over starving Iraqi children not getting proper medical care--whenever we have let Saddam have the materials one would need to manufacture medicines and agricultural products, he has used them to make chemical and biological weapons). WmLambert must now retract or provide countervailing evidence that Saddam is not the one solely responsible for the manufacture of his chemical weapons.


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vulture
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That's a bit disingenous Chiu. A company was granted an export license for Thiodiglycol, whose only use is to make mustard gas, as far as I've been able to determine. Alcocal's contribution was quite small compared to the amount of stuff being shipped by a German company (Pressaug?), but was still significant. And was at a time when we knew that Saddam was using mustard gas against Iranian troops, because the CIA were providing intelligence to guide the strikes. So the west was knowingly helping Saddam manufacture mustard gas, knowing that he would use it. That isn't exactly providing him with the finished product, but I don't see any meaningful moral difference.

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Tom Grey - Tigger
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Vulture, I meant to agree with you earlier about the UN only being effective when they do what the US wants.

But perhaps it's because the US does SO MUCH of whatever the UN does? I know there are some reports that the US didn't encourage France to save the Tutsis of Rwanda, but the French could have gone to Rwanda and reduced the genocide. They just didn't (maybe they didn't want any MORE involvement, after arming and training the Hutus to such an extent.)

Israel is, indeed, a very special case, and a special state. Quick now, name one democratic critic of Arafat? I doubt if you can -- the PLA has insured no "loyal opposition". It is not Israel stopping them from advancing to a free press and more democracy, it is themselves.

I favor a Palestinian state; and ALL the land pre-1967 (or parcel by parcel compensation); and some direct recompense for any refugees not allowed to return inside of Israel (it's understandable not all, maybe none, are accepted); and special jurisdiction over Jerusalem (maybe tri-governed city: Israel, Palestine, UN).

But being very careful of Arafat is understandable caution. When the Palestinians decide to favor peace, I'm sure Israel will accept it. Again, the choice for peace is available.

Saddam's (prolly) not choosing it. It might very well be that, after Iraq begins looking good in reconstruction, more Palestinians will start wondering how long they're gonna waste their lives on terrorism.
My hope, anyway. On Palestine, very strongly since 9/11.

So, V; are there any second thoughts you're having about being a (undeclared? undecided? cowardly?) dove?


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Chiu Chun-Ling
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Sorry, I was under the impression that it is supposed to be used as an industrial pesticide for controlling rodent populations.

However, so far there is no form of rat poison that is not also effective against humans. I guess from now on Iraq shall have to get used to importing cats or living with rats.

The stuff does have legitimate agri-indusrial uses, at any rate, as do amino fermentation vats, which Saddam always uses for weapons production rather than feed production. Go figure.


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WmLambert
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Thought you might like to see The Wanniski response to his first qualification that WMD are only nukes:
quote:
Wanniski: Saddam never had stocks of chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction. I'm not being cute by saying nukes and chem/bio are different. You could have a chem/bio weapon of mass destruction if you figured out how to "weaponize" anthrax or VX or botullin, but Iraq never did. It used mustard gas and tear gas, but these are not weapons of mass destruction, and in fact we produced the mortar shells they bought in the Iran/Iraq war to fire the mustard gas. The Army War College says the kill rate on battlefield gas is about 2% and is not really used to kill, but to disrupt human wave attacks by disorienting the opposing force. The U.S. attempted to weaponize anthrax and other serious kill agents in the 1960s at Fort Detrick, but Nixon ended all that, and the work done since was to defend against an enemy chem/bio attack.
This is why Scott Ritter has argued that since 1997 Iraq has been qualitatively disarmed. They may have some remnants on some shelf or arms dump, but the gases have all degraded by now. You only need a little bit of anthrax to grow lots of it pretty quickly, but Iraq never figured out how to weaponize it. And you can't kill lots and lots of people by sending spores through the mail. When Bush last night talked about the thousands of liters of anthrax unaccounted for, he was obviously talking about liquid anthrax, which can only kill you if you drink it. On the nuke stuff, Bush last night threw around a lot of scary stuff, but each point had already been blown out of the water by IAEA's Baradei the day before. It was as if Bush's speechwriters did not watch the UNMOVIC/IAEA report on television.

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LetterRip
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That is interesting,

I found a source confirming the death rate due to mustard and its primary purpose as disorientation.
http://www.phls.co.uk/topics_az/deliberate_release/pdf/chemical_mustard_gas.pdf

quote:
It was generally recognised as the most effective of chemical warfare agents in World War I. This related to its incapacitating ability, as death rates following exposure were in
the region of 2-3%.

Note that its stabilty is much improved if it is stored as a solid, however, any mustard gas produced in the past should , as he notes, be mostly useless by now.

http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Chemistry/MOTM/mustard/mustard.htm

He doesn't address the Sarin or VX - which Iraq did know how to produce. Both meet the definition of WMD.

{QUOTE] Iraq adopted the "binary" method of weaponization, in which the components of sarin gas are stored separately until use, when they are mixed. The components of sarin are DF 2 and the alcohols cyclohexanol and isoproponal. Iraq manufactured DF 2 with a purity of 95%, and imported alcohols of 100% purity, so the detonation of its munitions could be expected to yield relatively pure sarin. [/QUOTE]
http://www.iraqwatch.org/wmd/chemical.html

I'll check into this some more later...

LetterRip


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