13 October 2004

Now You See It?

Did I miss something? Three weeks before the election, and the United Nations nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is now looking for nuclear equipment that seems to have gone missing from Iraq. Time to turn up my hearing aid. The U.N. is looking for nuclear equipment from where? Iraq? Hadn't they already decided that Saddam was incapable of building Weapons of Mass Destruction? That the President "lied" to us in order to bring the country to war? How could something be missing if they were not there to begin with? Now stop and think: was President Dubya actually right about WMDs? Goodness, what has the world come to.

Not that long ago, actually only about a week ago, the news media treated all of America to the testimony of Charles Duelfer, the top United States arms inspector for Iraq, that he had found no evidence that Iraq had recently produced any WMDs. However, he did believe that "Saddam retained his notions of use of force and had experiences that demonstrated the utility of WMD." Good old Saddam. [msnbc.msn./id/6190720]

Now I'm confused. As of a week ago, the world was screaming about the illegality of the Iraq invasion, the U.N. is looking for nuclear equipment that went missing from Iraq, and the United States is being blamed for not securing that nuclear equipment when the war was officially over. There seems to be a disconnect here.

The equipment that has gone missing was dual-use machinery that could have been used for other purposes than just for creating nuclear weapons. According to IAEA spokesman Mark Gwozdecky, "The kind of equipment we're talking about is the sort of thing that has a multitude of industrial applications. We were satisfied that it was not being used for a nuclear weapons program." [cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/12/iraq.nuclear] Really. Don't forget, Saddam Hussein is a man of his word, if he says he doesn't have nukes, he means it. Never mind that the U.S. found low-grade uranium when we liberated Iraq, that's not news worthy. [news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3736158.stm]

"In the wrong hands, it could be turned to use in a nuclear weapons program," Gwozdecky said. Remember, up until the time that the United States invaded, this equipment was in Saddam's hands. We could surely trust him to make the right decisions.

Where has this machinery gone? Iraqi Interior Minister advisor Sabah Kadhim has stated that that the looting was carried out by "neighboring countries". Can that be right? Friendly, "neighboring countries", like Iran and Syria, came into Iraq and walked off with nuclear equipment? Does that mean that they could have walked off with anything else? Like the WMDs themselves? Could this be why we haven't found them? [cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/12/iraq.nuclear]

So which is it? Did Saddam Hussein have the capability to produce Weapons of Mass Destruction or not? If Iraqi Minister Kadhim has said that "neighboring countries" looted Iraq of buildings worth of equipment, why should we be surprised that we are unable to find the WMDs that the entire world intelligence community believed was there to begin with? Is it possible that no "massive intelligence failure" took place? Say goodbye to those migrating WMDs.

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