Where are weapons of mass destruction?

What others say

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Weapons, weapons, everywhere but still no smoking gun. Despite the presence of hundreds of thousands of troops, the coalition in Iraq has yet to discover any weapons of mass destruction. Given the swiftness of the war, the relatively low number of casualties, the welcome (albeit wary) extended by the Iraqis to coalition troops, and the downfall of a tyrant, does this matter? Will it continue to matter if none is found? Yes. ...

The one constant among all the reasons advanced for going to war was the claim that Iraq possessed WMD. If this is not the case, then Saddam would seem to have been hiding nothing all along. How could he avert war by handing over what he did not have? At a stroke, Saddam will have achieved the martyrdom he craves and the Muslim world will have its worst fears about western intentions confirmed.

Even if WMD are found, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair will not be entirely exonerated. When confronted by claims of finds, Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. defense secretary, likes to say: We don't speculate.'' Yet speculate is exactly what the U.S. and Britain did. They chose to end U.N. weapons inspections even after initial reports had produced results such as the discovery of al-Samoud II missiles.

Had the inspectors been allowed to continue, they might have found more. It should not be forgotten that the weapons inspections after the first Gulf war uncovered and destroyed more material than had been obliterated during the conflict itself. Inspections, moreover, do not kill civilians or destroy a nation's infrastructure. ...

The Herald, Glasgow, Scotland - April 9

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