Skip to comments.Plenty of evidence on Saddam
Posted on 02/02/2003 2:45:35 AM PST by kattracks
Opposition to war in Iraq at home and abroad centers on a so-called lack of proof that Saddam Hussein has the capacity and the intention to slam the United States. There's no smoking gun, no clear picture of the Iraqi dictator in the act of committing a crime, the opponents say.
They're wrong. There's plenty of proof already without even waiting for Secretary of State Powell's disclosures Wednesday. And it comes from Hans Blix, the UN weapons inspector, not from the Bush White House.
Let's concede what every juror in a criminal case learns. Proof that a crime was committed does not come gift-wrapped. Criminals operate in stealth and try to disguise what they are doing. Blix knows that and said as much in his statement to the UN, a document that appears not to have been widely read - certainly not by war opponents.
The Security Council unanimously directed Saddam to disclose the murderous materials and equipment Iraq owns or suffer "serious consequences" because he has a record of intent (he's used this deadly stuff before) and the world wants to be sure it's all gone. And not gone maybe. Gone for sure.
Here's just a small part of what Blix found, according to his report Jan. 27 to the UN:
- Regarding VX, a highly toxic nerve agent, Iraq says its VX was of low quality, never weaponized and was destroyed. In fact, it was of high quality, was weaponized and its destruction is unconfirmed. That's a smoker.
- In 1998, a UN inspector found a secret air force document in a safe at the Iraqi air ministry. It was promptly taken from her by her Iraqi minders. It said that 13,000 chemical bombs were dropped on Iran from 1983-88. Iraq then said, and now says, it used 19,500. That's 6,500 bombs (1,000 tons of chemical agent) up someone's sleeve. That's a smoker.
- Iraq says it produced 8,500 liters of anthrax (remember the few spores in the postal system?), destroyed them in 1991 and doesn't have any anthrax. Blix found that Iraq made more anthrax than it says and retained some after the date it says the anthrax was destroyed. A few thousand liters of anthrax in Baghdad is an arsenal of smoking guns.
- Iraq imported 650 kilograms of bacterial growth media that it did not declare in its Dec. 7 report to the UN, enough to produce 5,000 liters of concentrated anthrax. Nobody can find it, and Iraq - defying its own submission - says it was declared. This kind of gibberish is not evidence, Blix says. That's a smoker.
Maybe Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, but their use is not imminent and they aren't directed at us, the opponents argue. Pointing a loaded gun at the world is sufficient evidence of its imminent use against any and all. Going back in history to the runup to World War II, it took a Roosevelt and a Churchill to call the world to arms to stop the tyranny that was on the horizon. The world just didn't want to see it. Unfortunately, the world acted too late and tens of millions of lives were lost. These times have a certain similarity because the Iraqi dictator is wallowing in anthrax and chemical weaponry that many refuse to acknowledge.
There may be valid arguments against a war, but since the record of Saddam's intent is now merged with sufficient proof of his instruments of destruction, the absence of a smoking gun is not one of them.
Baer, a New York lawyer, serves on a presidential panel
that is declassifying World War II war crimes documents.
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