Tuesday, March 20, 2007


It takes some silly parsing to think this somehow reflects badly on Obama. One of the rhetorical tricks during the glorious summer of war was to classify a bunch of things not really capable of "mass destruction" as "weapons of mass destruction." Remember how Ricin was going to kill us all? So, poisons and nasty chemicals much less useful for killing lots of people than an automatic weapon were suddenly transformed into existential threats.

I too assumed that Saddam had something which could be classifed as a chemical weapon - say a bucket of bleach sitting next to a bucket of ammonia - though I also thought there was no evidence that Saddam had anything which could be in any way thought of as an actual threat to the US in any way. The issue was never really "does Saddam have WMDs as currently defined?" But, "is Saddam a threat to us?" The answer to the latter was obviously no, no matter how many industrial cleaning agents might be in the possession of the Iraqi government.