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You're moving the goalposts

Reader comment on item: Iraq's Weapons & The Road to War

Submitted by David Mikesell (United States), Jun 3, 2003 at 09:04

Look, I voted for Bush and supported the war, but now that WMDs aren't being found I am disturbed by this "moving of the goalposts" by the war's staunchest supporters. You wrote the following last August:

* Dangers. Saddam has unquestionably used the past four years to build WMD. Adnan Saeed al-Haideri, an Iraqi civil engineer and a recent defector, informed the Defense Intelligence Agency that Saddam is building biological and chemical weapons in eight locations throughout Iraq. Khidhir Hamza, former chief nuclear scientist for Saddam's nuclear weapons development program and another Iraqi defector, estimates Iraq now has "12 tons of uranium and 1.3 tons of low-enriched uranium" and asserts that Saddam will have "three to five nuclear weapons by 2005."

Why haven't we found this stuff? Did al-Haideri lie or did he not know the exact locations? Were they destroyed or hidden very well? Somebody needs to start giving straight answers. Right now it looks like the administration and its supporters are backpedaling on the whole WMD issue. Something needs to be found (probably something big) or the admin needs to come clean on what the intelligence was and why it didn't pan out, or it's going to come back to roost next November, I'm afraid.

Respectfully,

David Mikesell
Submitting....

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Daniel Pipes replies:

I am not moving the goal posts, for I have always seen the breaking of the contract as critical. For example, back in October 2002, long before the war began, I said this on Australian television (http://www.danielpipes.org/article/479):

We had a war in 1991 and then the US and Iraq reached terms that the Iraqis would allow for inspectors to come and dismantle their arsenal. And, as you know, for the next seven year-till 1998 -- there was basically a sham of inspections regime, which then ended in 1998. And there has been a serious infraction of these agreements reached in 1991.

So what the US is now proposing to do is to fix things and go back to those agreements and right them on the assumption that you can't work with Saddam Hussein. I don't think anyone-anyone-is going to say that Saddam Hussein is a reasonable guy and you can reach an agreement with him. He is a loathesome totalitarian thug who represses his own people and is hell-bent on building weapons of mass destruction and on using them one can presume, because he's used, for example, chemical weapons to kill 5,000 of his own people in one village at one time.



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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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