Friday, July 18, 2003

When I want your opinion I'll give it to you

Remember how "everybody" thought Iraq had WMDs? Well, turns out everybody thought so--except the experts:
A conference of top-level military analysts was told that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — a message that later fell on deaf ears in the U.S. capital, analysts say.

Former Canadian military officer-turned-analyst Sunil Ram remembers the January, 2001, conference Understanding the Lessons of Nuclear Inspections and Monitoring in Iraq: A Ten-Year Review.

What he heard at the meeting he has repeated for months, he says, getting little attention from the mainstream media: that U.S. President George W. Bush had no grounds to base the invasion of Iraq on the disarmament issue.

"The people doing the presentation were weapons inspectors and former weapons inspectors and senior members of (U.S. government) agencies," Mr. Ram said in an interview.

"These were the guys on the ground (in Iraq) who had this stuff (weapons facilities) taken apart."

The conclusion they reached, he said, was that "Iraq's nuclear weapons program (didn't exist) because (the Iraqi government) had dismantled it."

He said the message of experts at the meeting was heard loud and clear by many U.S. military and political officials.
The Washington meeting dealt specifically with nuclear weapons, but Mr. Ram said it also addressed chemical and biological weapons to a smaller extent. Even there, he said, the danger to the world from such weapons was dismissed by the presenters.

If there were such weapons in Iraq at that time, he said, "they were negligible in quantity and militarily meaningless."
Scott Taylor, publisher of Esprit de Corps, a magazine on Canadian military affairs, was in Iraq before and after the war and says it was common knowledge — despite insistence of U.S. officials such as Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld — that it was not a certainty that the weapons would be found.

"The unit the Americans had sent (to Iraq) on April 9 (was sent) to find these weapons of mass destruction and secure them (but they) have all come up empty handed," Mr. Taylor said.

"That unit has in fact suspended its operations, and the people (on the team) have a report out to say they do not expect to find any chemical or biological weapons."
Mr. Taylor also believes that Canada's refusal makes it a likely candidate to take a significant role in rebuilding Iraq. He described the reaction of Iraqi people to the fact that he is Canadian: "I was there and all the time people were actually saying (to me) 'Jean Chr├ętien No. 1' when they knew you were from Canada."
The Bushies are practically a caricature of the postmodernist critique of truth: they really thought that political power carried the ability to define reality. And people are now being killed in the service of that ideological delusion.