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WMD or not, the Iraq war was justified
Toronto Sun ^ | July 20, 2004 | Salim Mansur

Posted on 07/20/2004 5:54:13 PM PDT by Clive

The lib-left crowd will scarcely be interested in the fine print of the U.S. Senate intelligence committee report on flawed American intelligence about the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Nor in Lord Butler's report on the same subject released last week in Britain.

During the past year, we have been inundated with smear campaigns accusing the administration of U.S. President George Bush of lying about Iraq's WMD and of fabricating a story about Saddam Hussein seeking uranium ore from Niger in Africa. Similarly, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his government have been raked by opponents of the Iraq war for deceit.

But in reality, the findings of the respective committees in Washington and London clear both governments of any effort to distort or fabricate intelligence.

The Senate report reads: "The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities."

The same observation was made earlier this year by David Kay, the chief weapons inspector for the ISG (Iraq Survey Group) in public testimony to the U.S. Senate committee on intelligence.

Said Kay: "I have had absolutely no pressure prior, during the course of the work at the ISG, or after I left to do anything otherwise." At the time, Kay spelled out forthrightly, albeit tentatively, what now has been restated by the two recent intelligence reports. In Kay's words, "we were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here" about Iraq's WMD.

Conveniently forgotten

Today, it is conveniently forgotten by critics of the Iraq war that every nation sitting as a permanent member of the UN Security Council accepted pre-war intelligence assessments that Saddam's Iraq maintained WMD, violated UN resolutions and was actively seeking to develop and produce more of the same.

The sole responsibility to disprove such assessments resided with Saddam. When given the final ultimatum by UN resolution 1441 to disclose his stockpiles and destroy them, or disprove the UN assessment, Saddam preferred to dodge.

Consequently, only a removal of Saddam could reveal the murky facts about Iraq's WMD. Hence, particularly in a post 9/11 world, the necessity for war.

The conclusive report on Iraq's WMD is pending, as both Kay and Lord Butler later have noted, since the ISG investigation under Charles Duelfer, Kay's successor, continues.

In preparation for the pre-emptive war, Bush in his 2003 State of the Union address mentioned Saddam's reported effort, based on British intelligence, to procure uranium from Niger for his nuclear program. The Iraq-Niger link was confirmed as "well founded" by Lord Butler, contrary to the year-long effort of Bush's opponents to decry this connection as a lie.

Lord Butler also found no evidence that the British government was motivated by oil interests in taking military action in Iraq.

The work of intelligence-gathering, as students of its history know, is an inexact enterprise. The successes are seldom reported while the failures are usually magnified.

For instance, the 1960 U.S. presidential election was influenced by the controversy over the alleged "missile gap" -- which turned out to be false -- in favour of the former Soviet Union over America. Then there was the Cuban missile crisis, when the intelligence community unanimously agreed there were no Soviet warheads in Cuba. President John F. Kennedy, his brother, Robert, and others arrived at a different conclusion.

Judgment call

The use of intelligence in policy terms is always a matter of judgment. In the post-9/11 world, any tolerance for a rogue regime such as Iraq, with a record of aggression and genocide, was a close call.

The decision to remove Saddam from power and bring Iraqis freedom was the right call, and in time history will validate the justness of the Iraq war.

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: iraqifreedon; justwar

1 posted on 07/20/2004 5:54:13 PM PDT by Clive
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To: Clive

So Sorry, Canadian votes only count for Democrats.

2 posted on 07/20/2004 6:03:18 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (no tag required)
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To: TexasTransplant

Uranium from Niger has been concluded true! Canada needs to come out of the brain freeze. As for WMD, they could talk to the survivors of the Kurds that actually felt it whether Saddam had WMD.

3 posted on 07/20/2004 8:22:33 PM PDT by tobyhill (64ordCo)
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To: tobyhill
Why are you saying that *Canada* needs to come out of its brain freeze?

That fiction is endemic in the *US* media.

Apart from Sun Media papers, most of the Canadian press looks very much like CNN and the Washington Post.

And our own Liberal government easily would find a home in the Democrat party.

4 posted on 07/21/2004 6:14:38 AM PDT by Clive
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