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WMD: The Means Produce the Ends
Friday, July 04, 2003
Last December, before this blog even had a name, I wrote:
When I wrote this, I was thinking of a scenario that, at the time I thought to be quite likely. Saddam destroyed the vast majority of his WMD, and let the inspectors in to take a look around. The production capacity would still exist, disguised as things that look innocuous. After a short amount of time, the inspectors would give Iraq a clean bill of health, and Saddam would go back to producing weapons of mass destruction, free of UN interference and financed by oil contracts with France and Russia.
As time has passed, I'm beginning to think that this is the more likely scenario. While I still wouldn't be surprised if barrels of WMD are found buried in the desert somewhere, I think the prime focus of Saddam was preserving his programs for a time when inspectors were no longer focusing on Iraq. Hence, he did things like bury centrifuges in the back yard of scientists.
Of course, there are multiple explanations for why Saddam would choose to bury such things. He could simply have had a sentimental longing for the days when Iraq had a WMD program. Once the weapons inspectors were gone, he could have dug them up and placed them in a museum, for all to enjoy.
I doubt it.
Instead, I think a more likely possibility is that Saddam would have used them to reconstitute a weapons program. I don't see what the difference is between a regime having the capability and the inclination to produce weapons, and the regime having the weapons themselves.
I don't know if Iraq had WMD, which was simply destroyed or hidden before it could be found by Coalition troops. But I'm pretty sure that Iraq had the ability to make more, and that (along with the humanitarian benefits of our intervention) was enough to justify going in to Iraq.
Posted on Friday, July 04, 2003 by Chris:
Is there really anyone claiming that programs and intentions would not be enough? That strikes me like claiming that you can't disarm a man who says that he's going to shoot you and has bullets in his left hand and an empty gun in his right.
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