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Greg

Peg you write:

"For a good part of the Iraq war, we've heard unceasing criticism of this administration for the failure to find stockpiles of WMD. I myself was and continued to be perplexed. How could it be that previous administrations believed Saddam to have WMD - and yet none were found? How was it possible that virtually all intelligence units around the world thought WMD would be discovered once we penetrated Iraq - but all were wrong?"


I will agree that many believed that Iraq had WMD's, but do we go to war on just wild assumptions? Can you imagine what would happen if police just shot people on the assumption people were doing something wrong or had a weapon. Well, that is not a good analogy given the history of police in New York and unarmed black men, but do you see my point? Should we not of had some proof to back up these assumptions? Perhaps so, but that would of meant to use weapons inspectors? But that couldn't work. If that was the case who would play the role of macho gunslinging cowboy? So instead we ignored the IEAE (International Atomic Energy Agency), ignore Hans Blix and Scott Ritter and we went to war. But let us not stop there, let's examine what the administration was saying prior to 9/11.

Before 9/11, the Bush Administration had no belief that Saddamm had WMD's. Let's look into the crystal ball and see what exactly they were saying prior to 9/11. In February of 2001, Collin Powell said the following when speaking of Saddamm and his ability to do harm to those around the world.

" the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors."

Then on July 29, 2001 Condi Rice said the following on CNN about Saddam Hussein:

" Let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt."

So this is in effect what the administration was saying prior to 9/11, with Condi saying what she just a mere month prior to 9/11.

Somehow after 9/11 everything changed. Overnight somehow Iraq developed a massive stockpile of, as President Bush claimed "the most lethal weapons ever devised " . In a manner of tasks, this building up of arms by Iraq had put the Manhattan Project to shame.

Finally there is the little thing known as the Downy Street memo which shows the "books were cooked" to present a threat and to lead the gullible to beat the war drums.

hoipolloi

I believe a more judicious use of Occam here would be to say that whoever thought between 1994, say, and 2003 that Iraq possessed WMD were wrong.

Lending any plausibility to this hearsay upon hearsay account that depends on a massive conspiracy between bush-lovers and bush-haters runs counter to the very essence of Occam's guidance.

Occam: you were wrong about WMD. Saddam had good reasons for encouraging and not quelching the misinformation prior to 2002--it made his regime appear more dangerous to his enemies in Iran and Saudi Arabia, for example. This relieves of the need to believe all the pre-war hocus-pocus about moving the weapons without a trace and the subsequent perfectly airtight conspiracy between mortal enemies.

Repeat after me: I was wrong about Iraq's pre-war WMD. See, that's so simple.

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