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Regarding [Saddam's] WMD Lies -- notes and comments

Reader comment on item: [Iraqi] WMD Lies

Submitted by Roy Flanigan (United States), Oct 7, 2003 at 08:20

Dear Mr. Pipes,

You begin the article with "Suppose for an instant that no weapons of mass destruction ever turn up in Iraq. Of course, they might well still appear, but let's imagine that Saddam Hussein did not have an advanced program for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, as well as the missiles to carry them." You are equating a "program" with the administration's claims of actual, usable, WEAPONS that posed an imminent threat to the U.S. These are not the same, and it is NOT what we were told so definitively and repeatedly about Iraq, and the need for war.

For over a year now I have ascribed to the "dual deception" theory. It is logical to assume that the Bush administration was appraised of this being a possibility. Given the extent of inspections being conducted prior to the war, and the conflicting intelligence information provided the administration I don't think it is fair to state, as you did that "...If no WMD exist, the real mystery is not how the Bush administration made the same mistake everyone else did..." For one thing, no one else (Blair, maybe) made the "mistake" of believing that the alleged weapons presented sufficient threat to justify a war. It seems quite likely that Saddam felt that presenting Iraq as a still "potent" enemy could avoid invasion, and probably a revolution as well. I think that you did an excellent job of describing the mind-set of a dictator of Saddams type - explaining how he could have perpetrated this hoax to his ultimate demise.

I accept that there would have been differing opinions on the actual threat that Iraq posed. What I cannot accept, however, is that an opinion as to this threat was presented as FACT by the administration. Had they stated that they "think" Iraq still possessed WMD, it is likely that Congress and the American People would have preferred that we allow the inspectors more time. Now the case for war is being reworked - emphasizing a desire and intent to develop weapons, "programs" to eventually produce banned weapons, the rotten nature of Saddam's regime, and his past wars. Note that WE encouraged the war with Iran, and armed Iraq. The invasion of Kuwait seemed to take place only after Saddam misinterpreted the message he got from our ambassador (more like a non-message). We are now trying very hard to ignore our part in Saddam Hussein's brutal history. Maybe that is politics... not overestimating how informed and intelligent the public is.


Regards,

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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