September 8, 2013

"They think they know where the targets are, they think they know how to hit it with enough force but not too much force, they think they know how the Russian and the Iranians will react."

"We cannot determine all this. On some level, we’re assuming the reaction from Russia and Iraq and Syria will be zero: We’ll carry out this attacks, and there’ll be no response. This is a bit of a sensitive subject, but the administration has been honest that they have no smoking gun that the attack was ordered by Assad. The evidence of his involvement is circumstantial. We’re two years into a civil war that he’s winning. The Russians and Iranians have told him not to use chemical weapons. Hezbollah has told him not to use chemical weapons because their fighters are at risk. So he’s winning, there’s scant and circumstantial evidence that he ordered the attack. Why are we gaming out his incentives when we don’t know he ordered it?"

Says Alan Grayson, a Democratic congressman from Florida, in an interview with Ezra Klein (who's been doing some excellent interviews lately).

82 comments:

JackOfVA said...

Interestingly enough, Pat Frank's 1959 novel "Alas Babylon" starts WW III with an accidental attack by the US Navy of Russian military assets in Syria. (malfunctioning missile guidance system) Things spiral out of control after the initial accident as neither side wishes to appear to be the loser.

I would give more credibility to the belief that we know "how the Russians and Iranians will react" if we had any historical evidence of accurate predictions concerning the Russians and Iranians.

Tregonsee said...

Bush, with far more evidence which late turned out to be in good faith but wrong, was excoriated under the general rubric of "Bush Lied, People Died." Somehow I don't expect "Obama Golfed, People Died" to be the new mantra.

Robert Cook said...

As usual, Alan Grayson is spot on! I regret Grayson isn't the attack dog he was in his first term of office, but I guess his loss in his first bid for reelection chastened him or taught him to be more circumspect when he won his belated second election to office.

In any case, there has been no proof Assad unleashed the gas, just as there was never proof (or even a convincing argument) that Hussein had WMD, yet government officials and the media are discussing our imminent bombing of Syria as if this unproven allegation were indisputable fact.

That aside, as someone else has asked, how or why is killing masses of people with poison gas any more "unacceptable" to the purported right-thinking people of the world than killing masses of people with bombs and bullets? It's a purely artificial distinction, made for the purpose of fabricating an imaginary dotted line on one side of which are "civilized" and "acceptable" means to murder masses of humans and on the side of which are the uncivilized and unacceptable means. The truth is they're all uncivilized and unacceptable...they're all tools of mass murder, all used with the intention of exterminating human beings in masses at a time.

Ann Althouse said...

"That aside, as someone else has asked, how or why is killing masses of people with poison gas any more "unacceptable" to the purported right-thinking people of the world than killing masses of people with bombs and bullets?"

I know. Obama's argument is all about norms, but he seems to violate a norm. He seems to be saying: I must ignore a norm to enforce a higher norm. How can that work?

Gahrie said...

Geez Cook, is there a murderous asshole of a dictator out there you don't like? Besides Bush I mean.....

Matthew Sablan said...

They thought Iran would back us. That tells us all we need to know about what they know.

Ann Althouse said...

The norm I'm talking about is violating a nation's sovereignty with an air strike.

Cook is talking about regarding some attacks on one's own people as different from others.

Actually, the other interview of Ezra Klein's that made me compliment him in this post was on that particular subject.

Let me find it and quote it.

surfed said...

Mas has always excelled at killing man. It's one of the things we do best. It's what makes us human.

Ann Althouse said...

Here's the other Ezra Klein interview that impressed me, with Richard Price, author of "The Chemical Weapons Taboo." The whole thing is excellent, but here's an excerpt:

EK: Presumably the reason we care about a norm of war like that is that we believe it will save lives. Is there good reason to believe the norm against chemical weapons has saved lives, or has it just meant deaths through conventional weaponry?

RP: Skeptics say countries figure out ways to do what they want to do. The United States in 2013, for instance, doesn’t need chemical weapons. It has other ways to accomplish its military ends. There are two responses. One is that these weapons can have indiscriminate effects. Presuming the Assad regime used this weapon, it was because they didn’t accomplish their goals with conventional weapons alone. Conventional weapons in cooperation with chemical rounds can have a much bigger effect if you’re trying to target a large area. So perhaps people have been spared, compared to a world without a taboo in which this is a regular part of war. Second, there’s a really interesting way in which chemical weapons have helped contribute to a larger effort to constrain war. In the 1980s there was an effort to ban anti-personnel land mines. I was at a lot of those diplomatic conferences. I was really struck by how many times diplomats from various countries made the argument that we’ve already banned one weapon and so we can do this. That precedent made it seem a lot more possible. I’m really convinced that if there wasn’t a quite successful track record on restraining chemical weapons, many more countries around the world would think it preposterous that you could ban a weapon that’s used as widely as land mines. So I think there are some spillover benefits.

Robert Cook said...

"Bush, with far more evidence which late turned out to be in good faith but wrong...."

To the contrary, Bush had NO evidence and presented none. (Allegations and indeterminate reconnaissance photos are not any kind of "evidence.")

Given that the UN Weapons Inspectors in Iraq were told to abort their mission and vacate the country for their own safety as the attack on Iraq was about to begin further reveals that none of Bush's "war is our last choice" claims were anything but lies, and thus that nothing they claimed can be assumed as having been in "good faith." If Bush had really only wanted war as "a last resort" he would have allowed the inspection regime to proceed to its conclusion--another few months, as estimated at the time--to provide conclusive findings as to whether Hussein was in possession of concealed WMD or not. "Not" would have meant "no war is necessary or justified." (It should be noted here as a reminder: in the four months of inspections the inspectors conducted before their mission was cut short, they had found NO evidence of any WMD. So any basis on our part to conclude that there were, in fact, no WMD was certainly not "late" but existed before we started the war.)

They wanted a war with Iraq and they were determined to fabricate a reason to attack Iraq, and they got what they wanted.

Matthew Sablan said...

On norms: It isn't that bombing your civilians is worse than gassing them. It is, for the international community, smuggling a bunch of guns and bombs is hard to do to an actor with the ability to use them against our civilians. Smuggling out some sarin gas that can be used on our civilians is a lot easier, and scarier for us. We don't care how they kill their civilians, so long as it doesn't imply an ability to kill ours in efficient manners we can't successfully respond against.

Clyde said...

I find Congressman Grayson loathsome. When he is one of the voices of reason on a subject and I am forced to agree with him, something is definitely awry. This is one of those times.

Big Mike said...

Grayson's making sense.

Wait! Grayson???

He of the single-digit IQ?

Holy shit!!!

Robert Cook said...

"Cook is talking about regarding some attacks on one's own people as different from others."

Actually, I'm talking about (the false idea of) regarding some means of mass murder as different from others, regardless of who the victims may be...one's own people or another nation's. In fact, if a government is murdering its own people, any distinction of how acceptable or unacceptable it may be according to whether the means of murder is by bullets or bombs or gas becomes becomes null.

Bob Ellison said...

Let us all join hands in the commentosphere and chant "This Syria debacle is dumb for so many reasons that we can all scream Kumbaya!"

Conserve Liberty said...

The precepts that justify this police action are suspect. The hypocrisy of the Left is suspect. The actions of the Administration (for once, asking Congress to direct an action rather than usurping Executive authority) are suspect.

I suspect the reasons Obama wants to make this strike have little to do with Syria and much to do with the looming budget battle and an attempt to isolate and destroy the Republican opposition in the House.

Illuninati said...

I hate to agree with Alan Grayson since I don't like his style of personal attacks, but I do. If we were really so interested in weapons of mass destruction that we would bomb any rouge state which develops them, why don't we bomb Iran's nuclear facilities? Also what about North Korea?

In my view, Obama comes across as an international bully who demonizes and attacks more vulnerable targets whereas he schmoozes with equally guilty nations which are capable of defending themselves. It is probably no accident that the beneficiary of Obama's interventions are always Islamic radicals.

John Lynch said...

There's a Catch-22 here. If the strikes on Syria are ineffective, there will be no reaction against us.

If they are effective, then the Syrians and Iran have to strike back, which we don't want.

So... we want to be ineffective, but then what's the point of doing it in the first place? Why kill people to no purpose?

So much of this President's thinking is based on perception rather than reality. The problem is that war is brutally honest about what's real and what's bullshit. Reality turns out to be a chaotic mess that can't be fully planned for.

I'm really bothered by the lack of any connection between means and ends in planning this war. What's the war aim? How will it be accomplished?

Comparing this to the debate over declaring war on Iraq is instructive. The aim of the war against Iraq was to remove the government from power to prevent it from building nuclear weapons. The means was invading and occupying the country. The aim turned out to be misguided and the execution failed to take into account what came next after the aim was met.

However... there was an aim and there was a plan to achieve it.

What the hell is the aim in Syria? OK, Assad is a bad, bad man. Are we going to remove him from power? No. So, what are we doing? Punishing him? Unless we kill him personally, then who are we punishing? Whoever is cleaning his basement when the missile lands? The Syrian army soldiers manning their artillery units? Is the point to punish the regime by making it easier for the rebels to win? Do we want the rebels to win?

What I'm seeing is "DO SOMETHING!" thinking. People die horribly, and we feel that we need to do something to help. But we haven't thought through what that means. It seems to me that the only real help is to end the war. Ending the war means someone has to win, or a peace needs to be imposed a la Bosnia or Kosovo. That would be hard, so this President won't do it.

Back to the Iraq example- Bush and his administration was universally condemned for failing to see that the war would go badly. Wars, because they are ruthlessly rooted in reality rather than talk, often go in directions that could not be predicted by the people who start them. This one could very well go badly for reasons that will be obvious only in retrospect. The lack of clear war aims and the disconnect between our intentions and our means to achieve them is asking for trouble.

The only thing that might save us from a horrible blunder is the weakness of Syria. Hopefully, the President won't make the same mistakes when dealing with a more powerful enemy. Unfortunately, his conduct in dealing with this crisis makes a future crisis with a more powerful foe more likely.

John Lynch said...

Also, to address Robert Cook, I don't think international norms exist in the abstract at all. All that exists is what nations actually do. The UN doesn't really exist, except as a forum for nation states, particularly the great powers. That's a useful role, but it's important not to confuse the mechanism for the driver. The UN is a place to form a consensus, more of a committee than an an executive. A consensus avoids conflict, but cannot always be achieved.

I don't see why Russia or China, two countries that have killed far more people than the US ever has or likely ever will, should be able to decide what international law will be in a given case.

If we don't give the US a privileged position in setting international norms there's no reason to give it to anyone else, either. All we can do is look at what countries actually do.

The Russian and Chinese position seems to be that national sovereignty is pretty much inviolable, no matter how many people are being murdered by their own government.

I wonder what in their history would make them think that.

mtrobertsattorney said...

James McDonough, Obama's Chief of Staff, admitted on CNN's "State of the Union" that the WH does not have "beyond reasonable doubt evidence" linking Assad to the chemical weapons attack.

But he tells us we shouldn't worry because "This is not a court of law, and intelligence does not work that way."

In other words, even though there is reasonable doubt that Assad was behind this attack, Obama is willing to start throwing cruise missiles around and risk a World War.

Between McCain's poker playing and Obama's "this ain't a court of law thing", we're dealing with a ship of fools.

Larry J said...

Robert Cook said...
As usual, Alan Grayson is spot on! I regret Grayson isn't the attack dog he was in his first term of office, but I guess his loss in his first bid for reelection chastened him or taught him to be more circumspect when he won his belated second election to office.

In any case, there has been no proof Assad unleashed the gas, just as there was never proof (or even a convincing argument) that Hussein had WMD, yet government officials and the media are discussing our imminent bombing of Syria as if this unproven allegation were indisputable and unacceptable...they're all tools of mass murder, all used with the intention of exterminating human beings in masses at a time.


I agree that the proof of Assad using chemical weapons this year is weak. It's possible the so-called "moderate" Al Qaeda rebels did it. On the other hand, the proof that Saddam not only had chemical weapons in the 1980s but used them repeatedly is beyond dispute. According to some intel specialists I work with, Saddam's weapons were transferred to Syria before the US invaded.

David Davenport said...

I’m really convinced that if there wasn’t a quite successful track record on restraining chemical weapons, many more countries around the world would think it preposterous that you could ban a weapon that’s used as widely as land mines.

But the effort to ban land mines, including so-called Improvised Explosive Devices, has not been successful.

John Lynch said...

Lastly, isn't Grayson making the assumption that Assad isn't stupid? That using chemical weapons is a bad idea, so he wouldn't do it.

Um, well, he is stupid. He let this war happen in the first place. He's the one who resorted to arms when faced with nothing but unarmed protests. How's that decision working out?

There's also the record of other Arab dictators starting stupid wars. Saddam Hussein got into three disastrous wars, any of which he could have avoided. Nasser got into two. Sadat got into only one and had enough sense to make peace afterward.

Assad the elder fought Israel four times and lost every time.

So why do we think Assad the younger is good at making decisions?

To be fair, US leaders make bad decisions too. Iraq comes to mind, as does this train wreck we're watching right now.

jr565 said...

""We cannot determine all this. On some level, we’re assuming the reaction from Russia and Iraq and Syria will be zero: We’ll carry out this attacks, and there’ll be no response."

We can't KNOW what a reaction will be with certainty regardless, so that would be true of any war we might wage. Russia though will not engage in a direct war with us over Syria. It would be beyond foolish for them to do so.
Will Iran bomb Israel? Probably.

jr565 said...

Robert Cooke wrote;
As usual, Alan Grayson is spot on! I regret Grayson isn't the attack dog he was in his first term of office, but I guess his loss in his first bid for reelection chastened him or taught him to be more circumspect when he won his belated second election to office.


Oh brother. When you say that it makes you understand the context of your entire criique and how it should be taken with a grain of salt.
And why Republicans in particular should be careful not to get in bed with the Robert Cooke's and Alan Grayson's of the world

grackle said...

So I think there are some spillover benefits.

The question is how far should a leader go in order to punish those rogue elements who use chemical agents.

In the 1980s there was an effort to ban anti-personnel land mines. I was at a lot of those diplomatic conferences. I was really struck by how many times diplomats from various countries made the argument that we’ve already banned one weapon and so we can do this. That precedent made it seem a lot more possible.

The precedent made it seem more possible. Hmmm. But land mines were NOT banned, were they?

My concern here is that Price and the interviewer seem more concerned with appearance than reality. Some well-meaning folks tried to get land mines banned by citing the chemical agent ban. It didn't work. No mines were banned. So, actually there were no "spillover benefits."

jr565 said...

"Obama's argument is all about norms, but he seems to violate a norm. He seems to be saying: I must ignore a norm to enforce a higher norm. How can that work?"
Look to Abe Lincoln's suspending of habeus corpus as but one example of violating a norm to protect another norm:
“[A]re all the laws, but one, to go unexecuted, and the government itself go to pieces, lest that one be violated?”


The norm I'm talking about is violating a nation's sovereignty with an air strike.
Are drone strikes not violating a nation's sovereignty with an air strike. Was the killing of Osama bin Laden not sending troops into a foreign country thus invading their territory to carry out a military action?

In the case of this particular incident, yes we shouldn't invade the space of another country. BUT there are also rules about using chemical weapons against your civilians, and the international community is supposed to act to deal with rogue states that do.
BUT the way its set up certain countries on the security council can veto any action for their own benefit. Thus leading to the state where a rogue nation can engage in chemical attacks and there's nothing civilized countries can do absent violate other internatoinal laws to see that that nation be brought to justice.
The International Community dealing with issues model is completely broken, and ensures that only rogue nations can do what they want.
If Russia sold chemical weapons to the Assad regime that is Russia, a nation that doesn't belong to the ME violating international law, then protecting its own actions by vetoing other countries ability to address the problem.

FleetUSA said...

Professor, You and your readers might be interested in what the head of The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) said:

http://www.sjweb.info/news/index.cfm?Tab=2&publang=1

Rational thinking for sure.

jr565 said...

Bans against chemical weapons are an international norm, based on Geneva Conventions.Nearly every country has signed a treaty that they will not use chemical weapons on their people.
Syria is one of the few holdouts.
So, the norm is not to use chemical weapons.
What if a country does use chemical weapons. can you uphold one norm (punishing a country for use of chemical weapons by violating another norm - say bombing a sovereign nation)? I don't see why not.
If you murder someone the state can kill you. that's violating one norm by upholding another. Such contradictions are inherent in any law, be it International or otherwise.

Lets say there is no reaction by the US or international community. Shouldn't we then kiss the 1925 agreement signed by all countries save the most rogueish ones goodbye?
Senator Brad Sherman makes the point: “it’s 2035, and this-or-that dictator is thinking of using chemical weapons. Do you want them to say Assad used them on a large scale in August of 2013, nothing happened,” and so Assad kept doing it? If that’s the case, “you can take that 1925 agreement not to use chemical weapons and kiss it goodbye.”



Tyrone Slothrop said...

As a blood-soaked ravening Republican, I believe that the only possible positive outcome of an attack on Syria is that it might trigger an all-out war with Iran. In this scenario, our attack provokes Iran to attack Israel, Israel counters with nukes, and it's on. The president is forced to back Israel, but calls the military action "peace keeping". The scale of death would be awful, but I am virtually certain war with Iran will happen eventually, whatever we do. That they are preparing for it is painfully obvious. The sooner it happens, smaller it will be.

St. George said...

Here are Reagan's principles for going to war:

Is the cause VITAL?
Will we be in it to WIN?
Do we BELIEVE in the cause?
Is this the LAST RESORT?

As for violating Norms, he seemed like a perfectly harmless guy on "Cheers."

n.n said...

This is all just sophistry. The Left regards human lives as commodities, from conception to death. While the Right does not consider human lives to be interchangeable, which precludes involuntary exchanges. The issue is not human lives, but political, economic, and social capital. It's no wonder that the issues and people are so utterly confused.

As we wonder how Russia and China will react, perhaps we should also wonder how the Europeans will react. They are one of the major parties with a strategic interest in the region. Why is America involved in Syria? Why did we attack Libya to depose a benign dictator?

It's amusing that we talk about national sovereignty, when American sovereignty is violated daily, the civil rights of Americans are violated daily, and the president supports normalization of this violation in perpetuity.

Yes, it's all just sophistry by men and women who enjoy playing games with other people's lives.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Robert, you seem certain that there were no WMD's in Iraq. While you offer no proof of this assertion there certainly does exist evidence to the contrary. The following also explains why Assad has chem weapons in the first place.

http://townhall.com/columnists/markmalexander/2003/10/31/for_those_in_still_in_denial,_saddams_wmd_went_to_syria

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, now director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, told reporters that U.S. surveillance satellites captured images of vehicle traffic dispersing WMD materiel to urban locations in Iraq and moving large quantities into Syria as well.

"Those below the senior leadership saw what was coming, and I think they went to extraordinary lengths to [dispose, destroy and disperse] the evidence," said Gen. Clapper.

"By the time that we got to a lot of these facilities...there wasn't that much there to look at. There was clearly an effort to disperse, bury and conceal certain equipment prior to inspections."

Gen. Clapper added that there is "no question" that people and WMD materiel were moved by truck convoys into Syria.


That's James Clapper, the current DNI.

jr565 said...

Could we set up a no fly zone to contain Iraq for example? Since, technically that is invading a foreign country's air space.
The problem with saying we should uphold International Law as opposed to letting countries act individually is that if you are to have such laws you need a mechanism to enforce said laws. ANd most of those mechanisms involve telling a sovereign country how it's supposed to act, and sometimes invade that sovereign countries space.

jr565 said...

Tyrone wrote:
In this scenario, our attack provokes Iran to attack Israel, Israel counters with nukes, and it's on.

Israel would not counter with nukes. But it might use the opportunity, especially if attacked by Iran to do something about Iran's nuclear program which would involve them bombing the shit out of Iran. It would depend on how serious the attack on Israel that Iran tried. If it were a few cruise missiles Israel could probably be dissuaded from a full on assault.
Again, this is why Russia Syria and Iran are playing a very dangerous game. THEY are the ones pushing us to war, not the neocons. They could avoid war simply by not engaging in the behavior that they have. If neocons are pushing for war its because of them acting like rogue nations.
You'll note that the neocons aren't saying we should go to war against Turkey for example. Or Sweden.

Paco Wové said...

"it’s 2035, and this-or-that dictator is thinking of using chemical weapons. Do you want them to say Assad used them on a large scale in August of 2013, nothing happened,” and so Assad kept doing it? If that’s the case, “you can take that 1925 agreement not to use chemical weapons and kiss it goodbye.”"

Yes, but.
1. How hard do we have to hit Syria to have a deterrent effect? I'm thinking, harder than we have the stomach for, especially with a D. in the White House.
2. We are proposing to punish Syria for violating a treaty they haven't signed. Frankly, that's not a precedent I want turned around on the United States.
3. If "International norms" have been so outraged, surely somebody besides the U.S. should be willing to put some skin in the game, as they say. Who's got our back here? I hear Hollande making belligerent noises, but what is France willing to sacrifice on our behalf?

jr565 said...

Tyrone wrote:
The scale of death would be awful, but I am virtually certain war with Iran will happen eventually, whatever we do. That they are preparing for it is painfully obvious. The sooner it happens, smaller it will be.

That's the key point isn't it. The peacenicks think that if we don't go to war that somehow it means that war wont happen. But all it ensures is that Iran and Syria will be allowed to engage in further activities that would want us to go to war with them. And they'll say it's our belligerence causing this, when really it's those regimes that are triggering war by engaging in provocative action which is going unadressed.

jr565 said...

grackle wrote;
The question is how far should a leader go in order to punish those rogue elements who use chemical agents.

How far should we have gone to contain Iraq? How far should we go to stop Iran's nuclear program.
How far should we go to deal with Al Qaeda?

Never far enough to actually deal with any of them?

William said...

There are many first hand accounts of gas warfare during WWI. The soldiers, who knew of artillery barrages, flame throwers, serrated bayonets etc., thought that gas warfare had a ghastly dimension not present in these other forms of warfare. I see no reason to doubt their judgment.....I suppose it's possible that some devious rebel group used the poison gas to set up Assad, but I'd like to see a more convincing argument than that such a tactic is possible.....I don't understand why Grayson is opposed to Obama. Obama has convincingly demonstrated that this strike will not be in America's self interest.

somefeller said...

Interestingly enough, Pat Frank's 1959 novel "Alas Babylon" starts WW III with an accidental attack by the US Navy of Russian military assets in Syria. (malfunctioning missile guidance system) Things spiral out of control after the initial accident as neither side wishes to appear to be the loser.

I've thought of that book and that aspect of its plot as this situation has unfolded. I don't think there's any likelihood that things would escalate the way they did in that book (spoiler alert: it leads to global thermonuclear war), but memory of the book gives one pause.

Cedarford said...

Lynch - "The Russian and Chinese position seems to be that national sovereignty is pretty much inviolable, no matter how many people are being murdered by their own government. I wonder what in their history would make them think that."

1. Invasions by outsiders are part and parcel of Russian and Chinese history. Not Americas.
When China ignored that and tried fomenting Civil War and communist revolution with overseas Chinese, the result has been the natives killing tens or 100s of thousands in reprisal for meddling in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia. When the Chicommies jumped into the Korean Civil War, they lost over a million soldiers.

Hagar said...

Listened to the re-run of Fox News Sunday and here was Juan Williams talking about "the dictators who have used poison gas, from Hitler to Saddam Hussein, blah, blah, blah."

This is the third time I have heard this on national TV, I think, from people who ought to know better, and it is getting irritating.

As far as I know, no one used poison gas as a military weapon in WWII. The people who ran WWII all were adults in WWI and had a horror of poison gas like at least the older generation today has of nuclear weapons (Not least Hitler, who was himself gassed in WWI and did not enjoy the experience), though the main restraining factor was that all the combatants knew the other side (including the U.S.) had enormous stores of gas on hand and would immediately retaliate if one side started it.

Hagar said...

Come to think of it, can anyone remember flamethrowers being used after WWII?

I think both sides used napalm dropped from aircraft in Viet Nam - the famous picture of the naked young girl running and crying was from a Viet Cong attack - but I think the U.S. has quietly decided that napalm won't be used on the ground anymore, after seeing the combat footage from WWII on their TV screens.

Robert Cook said...

"As a blood-soaked ravening Republican, I believe that the only possible positive outcome of an attack on Syria is that it might trigger an all-out war with Iran. In this scenario, our attack provokes Iran to attack Israel, Israel counters with nukes, and it's on. The president is forced to back Israel, but calls the military action "peace keeping". The scale of death would be awful, but I am virtually certain war with Iran will happen eventually, whatever we do. That they are preparing for it is painfully obvious. The sooner it happens, smaller it will be."

9/8/13, 11:51 AM

Blood-soaked and ravening, indeed. You're essentially cheering for nuclear war, which is insane.

How is it so "painfully obvious" that Iran is preparing for war? (I assume by this you mean aggressive war.) What proof is there for that? To the degree they maintain armaments, is it not possible they are intended for defense? After all, there are entities who wish mightily for Iran's destruction, America not least among them. Among the world's nations is Iran an exception such that they have no right to self defense?

Bruce Hayden said...

So, we now have international human sheilds flocking into Syria to help guard their most likely targets. As pointed out earlier, the Syrians, Iranians, and Russians are inside our OODA loop, and not the other way arond, which is one reason that this whole thing is liable to fail miserably. They are controlling the battlefied, and we are not.

Carnifex said...

The intel agencies said it was a slam dunk that Iraq had WMD's.

zero and his ilk claim that there were NO WMD's in Iraq. Bush did it because he was a bloodthirsty tyrant.

Those same agencies now say that Syria is using WMD's. zero and the chi-town choom crew say, "d'ey tellin' da' truff".

Someone is a little pantywaisted lyin' POS...

My guess its zero.

and the MSM

with a pipe(crack of course)

in the sandpit.


You elect a egotistical self-aggrandizing POS for President, and zero is what you get.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
"Blood-soaked and ravening, indeed. You're essentially cheering for nuclear war, which is insane.

How is it so "painfully obvious" that Iran is preparing for war? (I assume by this you mean aggressive war.) What proof is there for that? To the degree they maintain armaments, is it not possible they are intended for defense? After all, there are entities who wish mightily for Iran's destruction, America not least among them. Among the world's nations is Iran an exception such that they have no right to self defense?"


And you could make the exact same argument for Israel. Iran has said death to Israel, there response to Iran is one of self defense, not offense.

If Iran stopped production of its nuclear prgram tomorrow, do you think Israel would still be saying we need to bomb Iran because of it's nuclear program? Would Israel be as worried about Iran getting nukes in the first place if it hadn't said death to Israel so often and if the world hadn't witnessed all the despotic regimes in the ME act like the despotic regimes they are? How many of them would you trust with nukes or chemical weapons?
Would the US still be on its ass trying to get them to capitulate to not continuing with their nuclear program?
So then, look to Iran for any escalation into nuclear war. They don't have to go down that road yet are doing so regardless of the consequences.
And it's hard to say that its the US that is being the warmonger when its Syria that just gassed it's people. Would Obama have ever mentioned a red line not to cross, if Syria wasn't threatening to cross it?

Give me a break.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
How is it so "painfully obvious" that Iran is preparing for war? (I assume by this you mean aggressive war.) What proof is there for that? To the degree they maintain armaments, is it not possible they are intended for defense? After all, there are entities who wish mightily for Iran's destruction, America not least among them. Among the world's nations is Iran an exception such that they have no right to self defense?

Why do you think that the US or Israel might have negative feelings towards Iran? Do you think it might have something to do with the actions of Iran, as opposed to say that they just don't like Persians?
I notice that Israel doesn't harbor those same sentiments for, say, Sweden. So, maybe, just maybe the problem is of Iran's making.

Did you ever think of that possibility?

Where do you think Bush pulled his axis of evil list from? Were those on the list pulled at random from a hat, or were they on that list for a reason?

So, if Iran or Syria is worried about defense from , it could try to build more weapons, OR do things that won't cause us to view them as a threat. If Syria doesn't launch chemical strikes on its people, Obama never makes an argument about reprisals if they cross a red line.

See how that works?

wildswan said...

I've heard that the reason they didn't keep using chemical weapons was that sometimes the gases were blown back by wind on the people that fired them and sometimes the gases were dispersed by wind. So you couldn't count on them to help you achieve victory in a battle and that made it easier to ban them. Then the UN decided to ban governments using them against civilians for massacre purposes. But gassing did work for massacre purposes so it has been intermittently used and consistently disregarded by the UN. So that's the real norm. Hypocrisy. And far be it from me to go against an international norm.

jr565 said...

Hagar wrote:
"As far as I know, no one used poison gas as a military weapon in WWII. The people who ran WWII all were adults in WWI and had a horror of poison gas like at least the older generation today has of nuclear weapons (Not least Hitler, who was himself gassed in WWI and did not enjoy the experience), though the main restraining factor was that all the combatants knew the other side (including the U.S.) had enormous stores of gas on hand and would immediately retaliate if one side started it.


Sadaam was one of the few who has used chemical weapons since then.

Maybe instead of launching bombing strikes on Syria Obama should launch bombs containing chemical weapons on Syria. And say, "you're right. Since we can't dissuade you from using them we'll use them on you since we have more of them. ANd since there is no moral outrage over it when you use it, there should similarly be no moral outrage when we use it. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

You can take us to the international community and charge us with war crimes, but alas we have a veto over any action, just like Russia, so sucks to be you. I guess our use of chemical weapons will similarly go unchallenged as well."

Because, if we could use chemical weapons in waging war, we could win a lot more wars that's for sure. Why not some tactical nukes while we're at it?

David Davenport said...

... The scale of death would be awful, but I am virtually certain war with _____ will happen eventually, whatever we do. That they are preparing for it is painfully obvious. The sooner it happens, smaller it will be.

That seems very similar to the National Sozialist German Workers' Partei rationale for invading Russia in 1941.

David Davenport said...

Harvard prof. Louis Fieser, the inventor of Napalm

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Louis Frederick Fieser
...
Born April 7, 1899
Columbus, Ohio
Died July 25, 1977 (aged 78)
Belmont, Massachusetts
Fields Chemistry
Institutions University of Oxford
Harvard University
Alma mater Williams College
Frankfurt University
Harvard University

Louis Frederick Fieser (April 7, 1899 – July 25, 1977) was an organic chemist, professor, and in 1968, professor emeritus at Harvard University. He was renowned as the inventor, in 1943, of a militarily effective form of napalm.
( Napalm was first used against German forces in France in 1944.--DD ) His award-winning research included work on blood-clotting agents including the first synthesis of vitamin K, synthesis and screening of quinones as antimalarial drugs, work with steroids leading to the synthesis of cortisone, and study of the nature of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

jr565 said...

wildswan wrote:
I've heard that the reason they didn't keep using chemical weapons was that sometimes the gases were blown back by wind on the people that fired them and sometimes the gases were dispersed by wind. So you couldn't count on them to help you achieve victory in a battle and that made it easier to ban them. Then the UN decided to ban governments using them against civilians for massacre purposes. But gassing did work for massacre purposes so it has been intermittently used and consistently disregarded by the UN. So that's the real norm. Hypocrisy. And far be it from me to go against an international norm.

If chemical weapon use is normalized there is no reason why we shouldn't be able to use chemical weapons on regimes like Syria. The only argument against said usage would be the utilitarian argument,not the moral one.

Is that the world that the lefties want us to live in?

Rusty said...

I think the situation is a tar baby that Assad wants us to grab ahold of.

Robert Cook said...

"Robert, you seem certain that there were no WMD's in Iraq. While you offer no proof of this assertion there certainly does exist evidence to the contrary. The following also explains why Assad has chem weapons in the first place.

http://townhall.com/columnists/markmalexander/2003/10/31/for_those_in_still_in_denial,_saddams_wmd_went_to_syria

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, now director of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, told reporters that U.S. surveillance satellites captured images of vehicle traffic dispersing WMD materiel to urban locations in Iraq and moving large quantities into Syria as well.

"'Those below the senior leadership saw what was coming, and I think they went to extraordinary lengths to [dispose, destroy and disperse] the evidence,' said Gen. Clapper."

"'By the time that we got to a lot of these facilities...there wasn't that much there to look at. There was clearly an effort to disperse, bury and conceal certain equipment prior to inspections.'

"Gen. Clapper added that there is 'no question' that people and WMD materiel were moved by truck convoys into Syria.

"That's James Clapper, the current DNI."

9/8/13, 12:07 PM


Yes, and notorious perjurer before Congress. I think he can be discounted entirely as a disinterested or truthful authority.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Robert Cook said...

To the degree they maintain armaments, is it not possible they are intended for defense?


Nuclear weapons are not defensive in nature, unless both combatants have enough for mutually assured destruction. This will never be the case with Iran vis-a-vis the United States. So you have to look for other motives. Likely, at very least Iran will use their nukes to extort concessions from their neighbors, but I believe they have only one target in mind-- Tel Aviv. Very many examples exist of official public rhetoric indicating just such an aim.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

David Davenport said...

... The scale of death would be awful, but I am virtually certain war with _____ will happen eventually, whatever we do. That they are preparing for it is painfully obvious. The sooner it happens, smaller it will be.

That seems very similar to the National Sozialist German Workers' Partei rationale for invading Russia in 1941.


I call Godwin on you, David Davenport. Also syllogism, such as, "Hitler drank tea. David Davenport also drinks tea, therefore David Davenport is just like Hitler.

Robert Cook said...

"I agree that the proof of Assad using chemical weapons this year is weak. It's possible the so-called 'moderate' Al Qaeda rebels did it. On the other hand, the proof that Saddam not only had chemical weapons in the 1980s but used them repeatedly is beyond dispute. According to some intel specialists I work with, Saddam's weapons were transferred to Syria before the US invaded."

Ahem. Talk about missing the point. I don't dispute that Hussein had and used poison gas in the past. In fact, we provided Hussein with information that helped him locate and target and gas Iranian soldiers (and we stood by while he gassed the Kurds).

However, Hussein subsequently destroyed and dismantled his programs and armaments. There is no proof Hussein had active programs or stocks of weapons on hand at the time Bush was busy fomenting for war.

David Davenport said...

Question for the anonymice and the pseudonames who favor attack on Syria: is your real motive the idea that war on Syria and/or Iran will make things safe for the Scots-Irish* Heimat?

If so, why can't you be honest enough to say so?


*Scots-Irish: as they say at iSteve.com

GrandpaMark said...

There seems to be an idea that proving Assad was the culprit will change everybodys' mind.

I don't think so.

If the benefit of attacking Syria is a message to Iran, just bomb the shit out of Iran and get it over with( or started)

Cedarford said...

JR565 - "If chemical weapon use is normalized there is no reason why we shouldn't be able to use chemical weapons on regimes like Syria. The only argument against said usage would be the utilitarian argument,not the moral one.

Is that the world that the lefties want us to live in?"

=======================
Chemical weapons production and possession exposes non-signers to big sanctions by almost everybody under the NPT. What is missing from the Chemical Convention is even harsher sanctions for actual use. That needs to be worked on. Along with biological weapons, which have the same hole in missing global response.

By no means does the world "sitting back" and refusing to join the Neocon Coalition of One - America in a military strike constitute a [Normalization of lethal gas use in war] (while Israel, the Sunni Arabs, and Turkey cheer from the sidelines until "America kills "innocent civilians' inevitably happens")

The days of America, the world's wealthiest nation, land of booming cities and a growing well-educated middle class with time and money to play "Worlds Policeman" - are over.
The days of McCain and the Neocons are over. The days of the Left. the Soviets, and jewish progressives in halls of influence...thinking it was their duty to hobble America through lawfare so the Sole Hyperpower would not run amok through the world and stop "progressive change" and help put the evil white Christian imperialists in their place - that is over as well. They succeeded too well. But stupidly, failed to anticipate a hobbled West is now saying "fuck it" when the do-gooders demand noble 3rd Worlders be saved from themselves.

Robert Cook said...

"Nuclear weapons are not defensive in nature, unless both combatants have enough for mutually assured destruction. This will never be the case with Iran vis-a-vis the United States. So you have to look for other motives. Likely, at very least Iran will use their nukes to extort concessions from their neighbors, but I believe they have only one target in mind-- Tel Aviv. Very many examples exist of official public rhetoric indicating just such an aim."

You're very confused: Iran does not have any nuclear weapons as far as anyone can determine. To argue as if it were factual that they do is delusional or intellectually dishonest.

Moreover, Israel has a very healthy (undeclared) nuclear arsenal, so Iran would not be so rash as to initiate a nuclear strike on Israel as this would bring about assured destruction of their country.

I would argue that nukes are never practically defensive, as to use them is to invite holocaust, but Iran certainly could make a case for needing nukes for defense given the nations that wish their fall and might be realistically feared will mount attacks against them.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Robert Cook said...

You're very confused: Iran does not have any nuclear weapons as far as anyone can determine.


No, I am not the least bit confused. Conversely, you must be quite naive not to be aware that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons production just as fast as they can and will have them within a matter of a couple of years. All the better reason to stop them now.

Jefe Blanco said...

"That aside, as someone else has asked, how or why is killing masses of people with poison gas any more "unacceptable" to the purported right-thinking people of the world than killing masses of people with bombs and bullets?"

Chemical weapons generally result in a slow, agonizing death. Bombs and bullets tend to be immediate, or leave you with injuries that can be treated. Basically, if you have to die, would you rather be shot in the head or tortured to death? It's true you're dead either way, but the former is a lot more "humane".

Cedarford said...

The problem of Iran is that we basically had no compelling interest by Iranian military planners to "go nuclear" until relatively recent times.
For the 1st part of the nuclear era, Iran was under the US-UK nuclear umbrella. Any invasion of Iran or threat of nukes by the Soviets would result in a US and NATO response.
The 2nd part, marked by the Islamic Revolution and a rejection of alliance with the West or Soviets left Iran alone, and surrounded by nuclear powers it has never had good relationships with. Pakistan, Russia, Israel. And the US and NATO nuke backed forces which it once had good relationships with but are now "Satans".

The problem would end for Iran if they agree to stop fomenting Islamic Revolution and agree to some larger power offering a nuclear umbrella.
But they won't, because of ideology and internal politics - much like the Israeli intransigience to refuse to compensate the Palestinians and consent to regular borders and booting the Zionist settlers out of the West Bank. Creating border s backed by all..Politically impossible.

Robert Cook said...

Tyrone said, aping many before him:

"...you must be quite naive not to be aware that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons production just as fast as they can and will have them within a matter of a couple of years. All the better reason to stop them now."

Heh. Iran has been a "year away" from having nukes for ten years now.

I repeat: as far as can be determined, Iran has no nukes. We don't know what the future may bring, but at present: no nukes. To discuss Iran as if they were a nuclear power now, ready to blast the globe around them with their weapons is fiction--scare-mongering propaganda--nothing more.

Is it really so hard to remember we went through this same Big Lie a dozen years ago with the then-hitler-like-ogre-of-the-day?

David Davenport said...

"That aside, as someone else has asked, how or why is killing masses of people with poison gas any more "unacceptable" to the purported right-thinking people of the world than killing masses of people with bombs and bullets?"

Chemical weapons generally result in a slow, agonizing death. Bombs and bullets tend to be immediate, or leave you with injuries that can be treated. Basically, if you have to die, would you rather be shot in the head or tortured to death? It's true you're dead either way, but the former is a lot more "humane".


So, if Villains XYZ used a new poison gas that killed people quicker than older poison gases, that new and improved gas would be more humane and therefore OK with you?

Robert Cook said...

"...the famous picture of the naked young girl running and crying was from a Viet Cong attack...."

No, it was from a South Vietnamese aircraft.

Jefe Blanco said...

"So, if Villains XYZ used a new poison gas that killed people quicker than older poison gases, that new and improved gas would be more humane and therefore OK with you?"

If villains XYZ had a chemical weapon that killed instantly or left people with the ability to be treated instead of slowly dying, yes, I would view that as the same as using bombs or bullets, because it would be.

Roger J. said...

guess we will have to go to war to find out what's in it--like the health care thing. good luck.

Hagar said...

Cook is right (again), and could probably also have made the point that the only thing "South Viet Namese" about the attack would have been the nationality of the pilot.

Still, you don't see pictures of the U.S. military using napalm any more, and white phosphorous is only supposed to be used against inanimate targets, though, of course, sometimes the targets are still inhabited by humans.

And for Cookie; my hometown, which was a very picturesque tourist trap entirely built of wood before WWII, was firebombed and entirely destroyed by the Luftwaffe, using small magnesium bombs dumped out by the box-load. My uncle used to have one that had misfired and did not burn on his desk.
The idea is not American, but this country, as in so many other areas, did much to improve on the execution.

Hagar said...

The Germans also used small fragmentation bombs mixed in with the incendiary bombs. It was definitely intended as a "terror" attack against the civilian population.
Small scale and quite useless considering this was just a pre-WWII smalltown in Norway with no military anything in sight, but that is how it goes in wars.

Jason said...

We can use WP against anything we like. But its primary purpose is as a marking round.

I know libtards were losing their ignorant minds over WP in Fallujah some years ago. That's because they are idiots.

Jason said...

Oh, also as an obscurant. WP builds up a smoke screen faster than smoke rounds, though it doesn't last as long. So the redlegs will fire a line of WP and follow it with smoke rounds in order to screen friendly movement.

In its capacity as a marking round, WP enables spotters to get the range without firing HE, which would cause needless casualties and endanger the lives of noncombatants more than WP.

HE is designed to kill and maim. WP is just designed to make a big starburst that's easy to see through spotters scopes.

WP saves lives.

jr565 said...

"We’re two years into a civil war that he’s winning. The Russians and Iranians have told him not to use chemical weapons. Hezbollah has told him not to use chemical weapons because their fighters are at risk. So he’s winning, there’s scant and circumstantial evidence that he ordered the attack. Why are we gaming out his incentives when we don’t know he ordered it?"

Because he's winning. It's not in our interest to have him win.
Would Grayson counsel that he would back Obama if it were proven to him that Syria did do this? My guess is,being the anti war sod that he is, there is no proof that could ever be offered that would cause him to say that it was definitely the Assad regime. Because he fundamentally does not want to go to war over this.

Even if he had video tape evidence and Assad saying "I personally order you to use these chemical weapons" it wouldn't be enough. He'd then argue that it's not in our interest to attack Assad and there are other strong men in the region and how can we attack him, if Iran is the bigger threat. Blah, blah, blah.

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
"Repeat: as far as can be determined, Iran has no nukes. We don't know what the future may bring, but at present: no nukes. To discuss Iran as if they were a nuclear power now, ready to blast the globe around them with their weapons is fiction--scare-mongering propaganda--nothing more."

Is Iran enriching uranium? Is Iran moving forward with what they say is a conventional nuclear program? Yes or no? How far away are they from a conventional nuclear program?

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
However, Hussein subsequently destroyed and dismantled his programs and armaments. There is no proof Hussein had active programs or stocks of weapons on hand at the time Bush was busy fomenting for war.

Was there proof that Hussein did not have active programs when Clinton bombed Iraq for having active programs. And Madeline Albright stood on the stage and said we have only diminished Iraq's capacity but probably didn't get it all?
Was there proof when Clinton passed the Iraq Liberation Act with congresses help. Was there proof when the UN passed all the resolutions prior to 1441 which were before Bush's involvement.

Because, here's the timeline. In 1998 Clinton and congress called for regime change in Iraq because Iraq was non compliant. Then all the inspectors were removed from the country and we commenced bombing Iraq. Then, from that time until Bush took office there were no inspectors in the country at all. So when are you saying that proof was known as to what Iraq did or didn't have. How were they able to determine that if there were no inspections done.

And why did Hans Blix bring up the question about what happened to all the weapons we knew Iraq had, based on our previous inspection regime that Iraq never provided evidence that they were destroyed. Hans Blix said it wasn't the inspectors job to find them but Iraq's job to provide proof that they were in fact destroyed.
Regardless of whether Iraq was continuing production, where is the proof that Iraq destroyed the weapons we KNEW he had.
If Iraq had provided that proof why would hans Blix, no defender of the Iraq war, make that argument that it wasn't done.

You keep saying things are known, and there was proof. Please show the proof in the historical record and then explain why, if there was such proof, all these people prior to Bush acted as if no such proof was ever provided?

Finally, we had a really long run up to war. And while that was occuring we have satellite imagery of sites being looted and equipment removed, and the charge is that many of said stockpiles were destroyed then or moved to Syria. How are you proving that this isn't the case?

jr565 said...

Robert Cook wrote:
Yes, and notorious perjurer before Congress. I think he can be discounted entirely as a disinterested or truthful authority.

WE have satellite photography of sites being looted and all the equipment in them removed. And there are allegations that it was chemical weapons that were moved by Russia to Syria. Since we haven't invaded Syria, how are you disproving this allegation? Since all the equipment was moved prior to us being able to see what was in the sites how are we sure that it wasn't chemical weapons? I can't say with certainty that it was, but you can't say with certainty that it wasn't. But I can say with certainty that
SOMETHING was removed from those sites and moved somewhere, or destroyed.
Please provide PROOF that it wasn't chemical weapons.

jr565 said...

Cedarford wrote:
"The days of America, the world's wealthiest nation, land of booming cities and a growing well-educated middle class with time and money to play "Worlds Policeman" - are over.
The days of McCain and the Neocons are over. The days of the Left. the Soviets, and jewish progressives in halls of influence...thinking it was their duty to hobble America through lawfare so the Sole Hyperpower would not run amok through the world and stop "progressive change" and help put the evil white Christian imperialists in their place - that is over as well. They succeeded too well. But stupidly, failed to anticipate a hobbled West is now saying "fuck it" when the do-gooders demand noble 3rd Worlders be saved from themselves. "

The problem with this is that the world needs a policeman. If it's not us, then it's the international community and if it's not them then it's every man for himself. And if that's the case then don't complain if we bomb countries if it's in our interest to do so.
There is no world we could exist in that would allow us to lock ourselves off from the rest of the world without letting the rest of the world have power over us and us being weaker because of it.

As such, either we have to be the policeman, or the international comnunity with us as the leader has to be the policeman or our enemy is the policeman over us.

The left put the US in its place. Who benefits from that if not our enemies?

The sad thing is that you are arguing against us being hobbled yet think we should be hobbled because its not in our interest to be strong. So it's the same weakness you're after, it's just coming from a different frame of reference.
The Paulians are lefties.

jr565 said...

Sadaam's nuclear scientists lied to Sadaam about Iraq's nuclear program:
We Lied to Saddaam about nuke deveopment, ex bomb makers say

So, what does that say about Sadaam's intent Robert? that he never had them or he thought he had them, and his intent was to have them, but that he was fooled by his own scientists?

And how should we view that in the context of our trying to contain him? If the scientists were convincing in their lies, wouldn't it also fool us into believing the same thing as Sadaam?

i can totally see why the scientists might lie, since they dont want to be put into shredders if they gave Sadaam bad news. But, it suggests that the intent of Sadaam was to continue with his nuclear program and not that his intention was to disarm at all.

Or take Sadaam himself. When he spoke to his handler he was asked why, if he didn't have weapons did he act the way that he did, which would only put Iraq into the UN and america's cross hairs.

And he said he lied to project strength to his enemies. The thing is, is this true?
If jhis nuclear scientists said they lied to him and he believed their lie then he really thought he was projecting strength and not merely pretending to.

But even if we are to take his story at face value. Who's fault is it that we might believe he has weapons, since that is the very point of his subterguge? And why wouldn't we act accordingly?

So, he either had weapons that he moved and destroyed prior to the war, or pretended to have weapons or thought he had weapons but was lied to about it.

WHichever way you want to slice it, there was no lying on Bush's part Sadaam had the intent of not disarming. And as such we needed to contain him. Because there is no scenario you could think of where if we didn't contain him that he wouldn't seek to acquire weapons again, right?
Since containment was in free fall, the only other option was regime change.

Sadaam is responsible for the world thiking that he had WMD's and his own actions led to war against his country. and his own ouster.

It was perhaps the mother of all miscalculations. but he brought it on himself.





jr565 said...

Robert Cooke wrote:
"just as there was never proof (or even a convincing argument) that Hussein had WMD"


Hans Blix had an interview after the fact where he said that some Iraqis blamed him for the Iraq war. If he had just said Iraq didn't have WMD's he could have prevented the war.

" So, I ask, could you not have thrown that particular spanner and certified that Iraq was free of WMD? “Yes, but I would have lost my credibility,” he replies hesitantly.

But you would have been right, I point out. “I would have been right, yes, but I wouldn’t have had sufficient grounds for saying it. I mean, the Americans did not have a good basis for saying what they did, but if I had said ‘it’s my conviction now that there is nothing’, well they’d say ‘have you looked here, have you looked there, how can you say this’?”

No sufficient basis for saying that Iraq DIDN"T have weapons means that it was not known by Hans Blix that Iraq didnt have WMD's.
He even says that HE believe that Iraq probably DID have chemical weapons:

"Moreover, Mr Blix candidly admits that, during the countdown to war, he agreed with Blair and Bush that Saddam probably did have poison gas and germs. Why else would Iraq have sabotaged earlier UN inspection missions throughout the 1990s?

“As to chemical weapons and as to biological weapons, yes I too – like everybody else – thought why, if they had stopped the inspectors so much, wasn’t there something behind it?” says Mr Blix. “I thought ‘my God, would they really stop them if there wasn’t anything’. So I had a suspicion. However, that faded with more and more inspections.”


However, as Blix himself said, it wasn't the inspectors responsibility to find the weapons it was Iraq's responsibility to provide evidence that they had been destroyed.


Hans Blix - Some Iraqis think the was my fault


Robert Cook said...

Ummm...jr565...Blix was tasked with heading a UN inspections regime. It was not appropriate for him to conjecture one way or another, but only to report what his findings would support. Whether he personally believed or guessed or assumed Hussein did or did not possess WMD prior to the inspections is beside the point, and that he tended to assume the allegations is only to say that, as was true of many others, he believed the "Hussein-has-WMD" propaganda promulgated by the United States.

The UN inspections reluctantly agreed to by the Bush administration prior to the 2003 illegal attack on Iraq had not been completed at the time the war began. They had been in country four months, with another several months estimated as necessary to complete their inspections and deliver their findings.

Blix is saying only that at the time their mission was aborted-by America, who told the inspectors to leave Iraq immediately for their own safety, as the war was about to begin--he could not have responsibly certified that Iraq had no weapons...(even though, after four months of inspections, they had found NOTHING)...even if, by that time, he had started to believe there were no WMD...and even though it turned out that Iraq had NO WMD.