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Re: Boredom. Butler - 04/02/2003 11:01:29 AM

How long do you want the weapons inspectors to stay? You say they have yet to finish their work, then imply later in the post that they have nothing to work for.

Did I do that? Damn. Well, I'd like them to work for another 4-5 months, as that is how long they have said they would require.

You said: And then round about the same time, the U.S. government started pressuring Iraq to disarm with very little proof that they hadn't already? Funny that...

And this: Yes, they were DESIGNED to deliver chemical weapons. There was nothing in them when they were found. This, combined with their age (12 years old, if memory serves) and the fact that they were found in a disused storage facility suggests that they were just plain forgotten about.

The insinuation in your post is that Iraq has already disarmed, so there is no need for inspectors. Yet (you say) we should wait for inspectors to finish their job. If there is nothing of importance for inspectors to find (other than sixteen chemical weapons warheads), then they should just be pulled out now. Are you for indefinite inspections (as there is nothing for inspectors to find, but they should be allowed to finish their job) or an end to inspections now? IF not, what is your timetable?

Certainly not indefinite, just the aforementioned 4-5 months. As to the sixteen warheads instead of four: Well, I guess that's what happens when I use my Dad as a source .

If I insinuated that, I didn't mean to. I also do not think Saddam is going to attack America or her allies unprovoked. He knows he would get pounded into the dust if he did. So I don't think there is any danger for America in putting off the war to continue the inspections and thus be in possession of as many of the facts as possible before they attack (or not).

You said.: Saddam may also possess PLANS for nuclear weapons, but this does not mean for certain that he is actually building or going to build any.

I will say.: Bush may also possess PLANS for war with Iraq, but this does not mean for certain that he is actually going to go to war.

Whether or not Bush ends up going to war, protesting against him doing so will do no harm. Thus I will continue to do so. On the other hand, Bush acting against Iraq when he is not in full possession of the facts re: what weapons they possess and before the weapons inspections are completed could potentially be harmful. For example, he may attack an installation that he believes to be storing weapons but is in fact a storage facility for sugar (or some such thing) and in doing so pointlessly cause the loss of innocent life.

More have been found, and had been found at the time of your post. The number is at sixteen, or was the last I knew. I do not know why you think the age of the missles would be indicative of their inability to carry chemical weapons, or would detract from their importance. Perhaps they were put in that disused facility not due to forgetfulness, but rather due to design. As I said, more were found, also in small numbers. A few here, a few there, and before you know it you've got nearly twenty. How many more warheads do you think Saddam's regime has "forgotten", because, of course, they "don't have any" in the first place?

Their age IS important, and for two reasons: First, old weapons are much more likely to have been forgotten about than if they were produced three months ago. Second, weapons this old may still be fully functional, but due to the advancement of weapons defence systems in intervening years, these weapons would be far less effective in reaching their target than when they were first built. BTW: the missiles I read about only had a range of a few hundred miles anyway. I'm not saying they're not dangerous, I'm just saying they're not as big a threat as you might think.

Saddam would be overjoyed if we all accepted that the warheads were "forgotten", but I am not willing to go this route. Do you truly believe that? (<-- That is a direct question, please answer it).

Consider this: It is at quite possible that small amounts of weapons such as these were indeed forgotten about. Now, if Saddam were to deliberately disguise some weapons as "forgotten", there is a very good chance that some GENUINE forgotten weapons would be turned up on top of these, amounting to a larger cache of weapons that could not plausibly be classed as "forgotten". The case against him would then mount sharply. I do not believe this is a chance he would be willing to take.

Therefore, the fact that the amount of weapons turned up can reasonably be classed as "forgotten" suggests very strongly to me that they ARE forgotten.

Also, you implied that making the weapons look forgotten about is part of some plan of Saddam's. By that logic, there could be any amount of evidence for Iraq not stockpiling/producing an arsenal of weapons, and you could just turn around and say "But that's what he WANTS us to think!"

Further, the lack of chemicals inside the warhead is indicative of nothing other than that there are not chemicals inside the warhead. My understanding is that you do not load the warhead until you are ready to use it.

True. But to the best of my knowledge, no trace has been found either of the chemical warheads or of their production. And a missile without a warhead isn't much good.

Iraq is not supposed to be researching how to build a nuclear weapon; this is not something you do for a hobby. You possess plans for something with the intention of acquiring materials, or because you would like to acquire materials. Literature on the history of nuclear science is one thing, plans to build a nuclear weapon is another.

O.K., you've got me here. Iraq shouldn't have plans for nuclear weapons, full stop. But if I were Saddam (shudders) I wouldn't be considering the construction of nuclear anything, at least while the sanctions are in place. There would be too great a risk of the U.S. satellites picking something up, or of the U.S. finding out through other sources and getting full UN backing and public majority support for a war. My theory is that he is contenting himself with merely researching nuclear weapons until he can put the theory into practise at some later date. Not a good thing, but better than him having/building them now.

When can you be certain that a regime which wishes to possess nuclear weapons -- but is not allowed to -- has them? Do you wait until you are certain, or do you act to make sure it does not happen?

Well, some nations have the courtesy to publicly declare themselves a nuclear power, but I admit this is not likely with Saddam. Producing nuclear weapons is no easy process, however, and the facilities that are needed would stick out like so many sore thumbs to the satellites that produced the original photos of storage facilities in Iraq.

As to waiting until we are certain, my answer is a simple: Yes, we do. Not doing so would, I believe, set a precedent. How much suspicion would then be "enough" for a war? And suppose an answer is given to that question: How long would it then be before a war is launched upon a country for reasons that later turn out to be partly or entirely false?

So you believe the "defiance" of the US government is akin to the defiance of Saddam's Regime. Okay, good to know.

I just think it is hypocritical of the Bush administration to list defiance of the UN as one of their objections against Saddam Hussein when they themselves are quite willing to go against its wishes by going to war with Iraq.

The supposed amassing of WOMD by Iraq arouses two objections by the U.S.: (1) That doing so poses a threat in its own right and (2) That doing so goes against the wishes of the UN. But the U.S. has itself indicated that it is quite willing to go against the wishes of the UN by declaring war on Iraq. Since the Bush admn. would never do something it believed to be a crime () this means that it does not consider disobeying the UN to be a crime and thus invalidates the second argument.

Iraq has no proof that they have disarmed, as they would not allow inspectors back into Iraq after Desert Fox. At this time, the UN inspectors had not finished destroying the various chemical agents still in Iraq. Iraq says they have destroyed these agents, but can give no proof of doing so. The US is not under UN sanction to show proof of Iraqi disarmament, Iraq is to show proof of its disarmament.

What sort of proof should Iraq be expected to give? I mean that as an honest question. Also, the article in "The Pelican" that I mentioned elsewhere in this thread says that "past Iraqi invitations to Congress itself to send inspection teams have been dismissed as "traps"".

Yes. Of course, it is interesting what an Iraqi official said this week: there can be no proof that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, because they don't have any. Wonderful. Yet, there should be proof of the destruction of such weapons and agents. Further, if Iraq has none, then they didn't have those sixteen weapons at all; because, of course, such weapons do not exist at all in Iraq.

Perhaps he doesn't think they count. What "mass destruction" can be caused by sixteen obsolete missiles with no warheads?

Good question. So do you think we should deal with him, or no?

Yes, he should be dealt with, but not by going to war. Allow me to copy-and-paste something I said in another post:

Well, there are other choices, believe it or not, quite viable ones. One option is for the U.S. to provide funding to the Worker Communist Party of Iraq, "the leading organisation of Democracy activists in Iraq" (Just a thought: They might even be persuaded to change their party name to something that would go down easier with the press). A little money here would go a long way to bringing down Saddam (relatively) peacefully from within. There are also various civil rights groups and the new union movement.

Whew. Well, that's all for now. Enjoy

Patternweaver fan-club member

Rule? You better believe I do.

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