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U.S. Calling off Search for Iraqi WMD's

12. January 2005 • Ari Paul
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The BBC reports:

Intelligence officials have confirmed the US has stopped searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

They say the chief US investigator, Charles Duelfer, is not planning to return to the country.

Mr Duelfer reported last year that Iraq had no stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons at the time of the US-led invasion nearly two years ago.

The existence of WMD had been the stated reason in Washington and London for going to war with Iraq.



  1. Nice post, Ari. I wonder if this will make an impact in larger news outlets. It is a pretty big deal, and an admission of error on the part of the administration.
       —Edward Atkinson    Jan. 12 '05 - 04:10PM    #
  2. Edward, the BBC doesn’t count? (As I type, Jon Stewart is saying, “As it turns out, they didn’t find them in Iraq, so I think they must be…somewhere else.”) Okay, fine, you mean the Washington Post, don’t you?

    A quick check of Google News says, yes, it’s all over.
       —Murph    Jan. 12 '05 - 09:03PM    #
  3. In our other pair of pants… Man, is egg on our face. Well, so long as we’re there, we might as well set up flawed elections and make sure that we have favorable oil contacts…
    MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
       —js    Jan. 13 '05 - 12:06AM    #
  4. They are in Iran and Syria. We’ve had intelligence that said as much.

    I mean, he had them in the past, and we know that, and there was no disputing that. That’s why the UN inspectors went in in the first place. Then, suddenly, he didn’t have them anymore?

    They went somewhere, and intelligence tells us that they went to Syria and Iran.

    Now, if you lefties want to pretend that you were right all along (even though the leaders on the left were saying all along that Iraq had WMDs), go right ahead. Just know that you are wrong.
       —T.J.    Jan. 13 '05 - 10:29AM    #
  5. well if agent t.j. says so it MUST be true…

    reporting for duty,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jan. 13 '05 - 11:18AM    #
  6. ok – you know what this is simply silly. Going into the war – NO ONE – including Germany, France and Russia – claimed he din’t have them. Rather they claimed that inspection would find them in three months. So – to the extent that egg is on anyones face – its only vis a vis a public that opposed the war, and would have regardless. B/c in terms of militarly/goverments all were in the same boat.

    JS – can you SHOW me an example of a favorable oil contract that we have signed? It was my understnadin gthat so far – the only concessions made by Iraquis so far have been to European companies (BP for example).
       —David LIvshiz    Jan. 14 '05 - 08:53AM    #
  7. yeah, but no one could ever prove anything…it was all speculatory evidence and shit…meanwhile north korea has its finger on the button and the west doesn’t blink an eye…pathetic…

    bp, for example, is british, who, lest some forget, also invaded iraq…

    i’m anti-american because i don’t drive,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jan. 14 '05 - 10:54AM    #
  8. fine – but sibneft is not. :) and they are russian – who most definetly did not.
       —David LIvshiz    Jan. 14 '05 - 11:52AM    #
  9. Oh, Livshiz, you delightful apparatchik.
    Favorable oil contract? Halliburton’s doing oil infrastructure management, with a no-bid…
    I like how now the blame has shifted to us lefties. Y’know, I may have been wrong (I thought that Saddam probably had some stockpiles, but that they were unlikely to be in any condition to be used), but guess how many people died based on my mistake…
    Face it, fuckos, you were wrong. And hey, had the inspectors been given more time they may have concluded exactly what we have: that Saddam did have weapons at one point, but they were pretty well destroyed. (It’s almost like this whole thing was based on proving a negative which, as TJ and Dav-o should be able to tell you, is an excellent way to make your plans!)
    Just suck it up and admit it, you sissies.
       —js    Jan. 17 '05 - 05:12PM    #
  10. bush denied the existence of weapons inspectors as hans blix was making the rounds and making live reports on cnn…and this is the leader livshiz and t.j. are bowing down to…

    free your mind,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jan. 17 '05 - 08:46PM    #
  11. JS – Haliburton got a no-bid contract. you’re right. but the only other compnay in possition to bid was also american. This happens to be a very oligopolistic market – and no matter what – they would have had hte contract to do the reconstruction.

    But more importantly – do you really think that the republican party (which has members outside of Tx) and the President would risk something so full of danger – knowning that it could kill the party for a kickback of 100M? Come on – you wanna say the war was badly thoguht out, badly executed, reconstruction was short changed – thats ok. But lets try and move ou of the conspiritorial mindset.

    ari – i am ont bowing down ot him. I think we should have invaded Iraq REGARDLESS of weapons. Moreover, there wer no inspectors until we had Tanks on the ground – it took tanks to get them to let htem back in. And lets remember – that paragraph 1 of Blixs Januar 2003 report says: “Iraq is still not complying with UN Resolutions.”

    Moreover, I want a quote from ANYONE of ANY credebility before teh war that says: “we dont’ think he has weapons.”

    Were we wrong – yes. but so was the rest of the world. i can live with that. And yes, i can live with the fact that it cost 1000 soldiers their lives, b/c in a situation where the unknown is quite possibly more dangerous – not acting could have cost more then that – and of civilians.
       —David LIvshiz    Jan. 18 '05 - 10:57AM    #
  12. Apparatchik Livshiz- Credibility before the war who didn’t think they had weapons? How about person of credibility who thought that they needed more inspections to verify the deestruction of the weapons? Someone like, say, Hans Blix?
    How soon you forget…
       —js    Jan. 21 '05 - 10:45AM    #
  13. Wait a second – you just bait and switched. Blix did say that htey neeeded more inspections – but he also said why: “to find the weapons.” There was NEVER a moment of doubt in his presentatoni that Iraq had the weapons – it was a question of “when” they would find, not “if”.

    at that point – the issue becomes purely one of judgement about whethe ror not we should/could wait. but if you are me, and thinks we have a “duty to prevent” human rights abuses where we can in terms of politics, capability and opportuntiy – then i think we should have gone in regardless.

    So – the inspections are irrelevant. Also – JS – i treat you with respect – and there really is no reason for namecalling.
       —David LIvshiz    Jan. 21 '05 - 12:29PM    #
  14. i think yall both missed it…no one ever said that they “did not” have weapons…however, people did affirm the fact there was no evidence to support the u.s./u.k. claim that weapons were in fact there, but to be safe, inspections went on, because the threat was not unfounded…however, evidence has never surfaced to the degree to support the u.s./u.k. claim to the point that premetive action is justified…

    whoa, now i can breath again,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jan. 21 '05 - 02:23PM    #
  15. Ari – you’re almost right, but not qtuie. If you read the statemetns of the French FM (i can’t spell his name, and even I have a sense of guilt screwing it up that much) and Fischer’s and Ivanov’s statements – no one said anything about lack of evidence. What they were saying is that “disarmenet” can occur through inspections, and therefore inspections should be given a chance. Not quite the same. D
       —David LIvshiz    Jan. 21 '05 - 05:35PM    #
  16. “but if you are me, and thinks we have a “duty to preventâ€? human rights abuses where we can in terms of politics, capability and opportuntiy – then i think we should have gone in regardless.

    So – the inspections are irrelevant.”

    Then, any time we suspect anyone anywhere might perform human rights abuses, we can invade? Does that mean the world can invade the U.S. because of the abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo? What’s sauce for the goose, may be sauce for the gander…
       —David Boyle    Jan. 21 '05 - 07:03PM    #
  17. the key word being capability. also – lets get real. George bush is no sadaam. When we spray a group of people with Chemicals, or institute such tyranicals regiems, as in Iraq, North Korea or Serbia – lets talk.

    An argument can be made for humanitarian intervention – in fact has been. I am not a politicians but Slaughter’s Foreigg Affiars peace from a few yeras ago seems to outline reasonable boundries. In fact, the article is titled: “Duty to Prevent” :)
       —David LIvshiz    Jan. 22 '05 - 01:08AM    #
  18. When we spray people with chemicals? Wow, you mean like the human testing the government was doing in the ‘70s? And installing tyrannical regimes, you mean like in Nicaragua? Or, in fact, Iraq?
    Don’t get me wrong, I think that intervention to prevent human rights abuses, when possible, is a good thing and one of the responsibilities incumbent upon America due to our position of military and economic power. What I objected to was a) being told that we had to attack immediately because Iraq had WMD (thus not allowing a coherent plan for both the war and the peace), b) the manner in which the invasion was carried out, and c) that we made Iraq a priority over other human rights situations that were also pressing but more feasibly handled by a military that already had significant investments in Afghanistan.
    There is such a thing as doing the right action in the wrong way, and that’s what Iraq represents to me. The WMD debacle is just another symptom of incompetence and prevarication by an administration that is at best contemptuous of the American and world public.
       —js    Jan. 22 '05 - 12:53PM    #
  19. As I should have mentioned last night, perhaps: if we were interested in humanitarian intervention in Iraq, we should have done it (if at all) in the 1980’s when Saddam was using chemicals the U.S. sold him (from what I have read) to gas the Kurds. But Ronald Reggae was using Iraq to beat up on Iran, and Donnie Rumsfeld was shaking the Hussein hand, as in the infamous photo. How’s that for hypocrisy.
       —David Boyle    Jan. 22 '05 - 01:01PM    #
  20. ummmm, livshiz, the u.s. did institue the tyrannical regime in iraq (and chile, and latin america, and, well, you get the idea)...

    watch the parking meters,
    ari p.
       —Ari P.    Jan. 22 '05 - 05:43PM    #
  21. Without calling it “tyranny”, I found this interesting, at
    http://reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=7410678 :
    – - –
    Israeli Women Lawmakers See Red Over Rabbi’s Ruling
    Mon Jan 24, 2005 09:56 AM ET


    JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Female legislators in Israel have seen red after a leading rabbi compared women who wear the color to prostitutes.
    Protesting against a ritual ruling by Rabbi Eliyahu Abergil, head of the rabbinical court in the southern city of Beersheba, banning Jewish women from dressing in red, several woman lawmakers wore the color in parliament Monday.

    “It’s not up to a rabbi to tell us to whether to wear black or red or any other color,” said Erela Golan, a legislator from the Shinui party who organized the protest. “Just because we wear red doesn’t mean we are prostitutes.”
    – - -
       —David Boyle    Jan. 24 '05 - 09:29PM    #
  22. Speaking of Israel: check out my “Hava Nagilah—-Long live Israel” etc. bit in my new song
    “God Save the Queen 2005 (Prince Harry Mix)” on today’s Tofu Hut segment at

    http://tofuhut.blogspot.com/ .

    (You’ll have to scroll down a
    little…and don’t forget to click on the song link itself, listen to it)

    Ari should love this one, or I’ll eat my hat.
       —David Boyle    Jan. 24 '05 - 10:52PM    #