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Author Topic: What of Iraq's unaccounted WMDs? (the best argument against Iraq)
prowsej
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posted 17 March 2003 02:30 AM      Profile for prowsej   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I watched the press conference from the Azores today. Blair was talking about the unaccounted for W'sMD. I assume that Iraq says that they've unilaterally disposed of them and the UK/US disagrees based on their intelligence information. And we have to wait for the inspectors to turn up evidence which supports one side or the other based on:
  • Private, unmonitored, out-of-country interviews with Iraqi scientists
  • Iraq coming through with more documentation providing details of the destruction
  • Discussions about Iraq's test which they claim can verify the quantities of chemicals disposed of, but which UNMOVIC doubts will be accurate
    Why does Blair say that these W'sMD are "unaccounted" for when Iraq has accounted for them, and the veracity of Iraq's account is what is in dispute. It's not as if Iraq has completely ignored these weapons, right?

    From: Ottawa ON | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
  • Moredreads
    rabble-rouser
    Babbler # 3393

    posted 17 March 2003 02:34 AM      Profile for Moredreads     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
    quote:
    Yesterday, Iraq submitted new documentation to the chief weapons inspector Hans Blix which it claims proves that its VX chemical agents were destroyed 12 years ago. The move was dismissed as "more game playing" by the British government.

    From: Canada | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
    prowsej
    rabble-rouser
    Babbler # 798

    posted 17 March 2003 02:52 AM      Profile for prowsej   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
    Thanks for that link. It will be interesting to see what Blix says about those documents when he reports to the Security Council next Tuesday.
    From: Ottawa ON | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
    Whazzup?
    rabble-rouser
    Babbler # 1471

    posted 17 March 2003 01:21 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
    quote:
    Why does Blair say that these W'sMD are "unaccounted" for when Iraq has accounted for them, and the veracity of Iraq's account is what is in dispute.

    Iraq's long-standing claim, which the UN has never believed, is that

    quote:
    in 1991, in flagrant violation of its obligations under resolution 687 (1991), it secretly destroyed large quantities of these prohibited weapons and materials instead of declaring and handing them over for the Commission's verification. Iraq now claims that the major part of its proscribed missile systems and missile components, the most advanced capabilities in the chemical weapons area and all biological weapons had been so destroyed.

    This is from a 1996 UN report.

    Iraq's story is that

    quote:
    items were partially or totally concealed and all materials relevant to their existence were unilaterally obliterated as it was believed that their revelation would complicate matters and prolong the process with the Commission.

    I have no idea what those "new" documents are that Iraq handed over, but it seems a little fishy that they have found something almost a decade after they were first asked for.


    From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
    prowsej
    rabble-rouser
    Babbler # 798

    posted 17 March 2003 01:51 PM      Profile for prowsej   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
    Whazzup?, thanks for the link to that report. It made for interesting reading. I didn't seriously follow this inspections regime until a few months ago, so there are many such documents that I'm just now understanding.

    I suppose that after this week there will never again be a weapons inspection team in Iraq. And perhaps the US/UK will be vindicated by finding large quantities of hidden W'sMD in Iraq. However, if such weapons are not located then it will have been wrong to go to war.


    From: Ottawa ON | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
    Whazzup?
    rabble-rouser
    Babbler # 1471

    posted 17 March 2003 02:03 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
    quote:
    Whazzup?, thanks for the link to that report. It made for interesting reading.

    I thought so too. It's bizarre, though, isn't it? I had to check the date a few times to make sure that it wasn't one of Blix's recent reports.


    From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
    prowsej
    rabble-rouser
    Babbler # 798

    posted 17 March 2003 02:50 PM      Profile for prowsej   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
    quote:
    I thought so too. It's bizarre, though, isn't it? I had to check the date a few times to make sure that it wasn't one of Blix's recent reports.

    I actually looked around to see whose report it would have been. As I was reading it I remarked at how much more agressive the language seemed than Blix's reports. I suppose this is too early to be a Richard Butler's report?

    From: Ottawa ON | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
    Whazzup?
    rabble-rouser
    Babbler # 1471

    posted 17 March 2003 03:05 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
    Yeah, it's still a Rolf Ekeus report. Butler came in the following year.
    From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
    prowsej
    rabble-rouser
    Babbler # 798

    posted 17 March 2003 06:31 PM      Profile for prowsej   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
    Where can I view a history of the inspections? For example, I want to know why Rolf Ekeus was replaced with Richard Butler (surely he didn't decide at a high point in the inspection process that he needed some time off with an easier job). Who's idea was UNSCOM after the Gulf War? (I doubt it was America's, because the US didn't support the inspectors and merely used them as a tool to justify continuing the sanctions).

    [ 17 March 2003: Message edited by: prowsej ]


    From: Ottawa ON | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
    Whazzup?
    rabble-rouser
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    posted 18 March 2003 10:55 AM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
    UNSCOM's official chronology of the organization is really useful, but it probably doesn't answer your questions. (It does provide some pretty horrifying reading, though.)

    Don't know why Ekeus stepped down to become US ambassador in 1997, though it probably had something to do with the alliance splintering, and the US putting more and more political pressure on UNSCOM.

    His 1996 language in the report isn't surprising, though. You have to remember that from 1991-1995, Iraq categorically denied having ANY biological or nuclear weapons program. The inspectors found no evidence of any either. Then, in 1995, Saddam's son-in-law defected. Since he was the head of Iraq's special weapons program, he knew what he was talking about, and he revealed a vast biological and nuclear program at work right under the noses of the inspectors. Suddenly, Saddam "found" the documents that proved this to be true. Needless to say, UNSCOM and the IAEA were royally pissed.

    That's the main reason why some remain skeptical about the usefulness of inspectors in a country that has proven to be as recalcitrant as Iraq.


    From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged

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