As the sand in the hourglass quickly runs out on Saddam Hussein and his
regime, there has been a growing call for President Bush to present "proof"
Iraq's violations. If Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction, where
and why can't we find them? Those who ask such questions do not understand
nature of the crisis with Iraq. The burden of proof does not lie with
Bush or the United States; the burden of proof lies squarely with Saddam
To put the issue into the proper context, it is helpful to step back
in time and
look at the activities of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi government beginning
Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. In addition, in order to separate the case
from the often sound bite laden exchange between U.S. "hawks"
and "doves," it is
helpful to examine Iraqi activities and violations through documented
Nations reports and resolutions.
The first statements from the U.N. came with U.N. Security Council Resolution
on August 2, 1990. Citing a breach of international peace and security,
Security Council condemned the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and demanded that
withdraw immediately, and unconditionally, all its forces to the positions
which they were located on August 1, 1990. Resolution 661 followed four
which called for an embargo of all goods into or out of Iraq. Resolution
called for a cutoff of financial and economic resources to Iraq.
With Iraq unhindered by the U.N. resolutions and not giving any indication
willingness to withdraw from Kuwait, the U.N. Security Council on November
1990 adopted Resolution 678 which authorized the use of force against
Iraq if Iraq
did not comply with previous resolutions (withdraw from Kuwait) by January
1991. We all know how seriously Iraq took this resolution.
Following the liberation of Kuwait by U.S. and coalition forces, the
Security Council passed Resolution 686 on March 2, 1991. The resolution
letter sent by Iraq to the U.N. Secretary-General dated February 27, 1991
stated that Iraq would comply fully with all applicable U.N. resolutions.
letter also stated Iraq's intention to release prisoners of war immediately.
Resolution 686 laid out the conditions leading to the cease-fire between
Kuwait. In particular, the resolution stated that Iraq must provide information
and assistance in identifying Iraqi mines, booby traps and other explosives
well as any chemical and biological weapons.
One month later, on April 3, 1991, Resolution 687 enumerated specific
that Iraq must follow as part of its defeat in the Gulf War. Resolution
on Iraq to unconditionally accept the "destruction, removal, or rendering
under international supervision of all chemical and biological weapons
research development and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems
components and all ballistic missiles with a range greater than 96 miles
and related major parts and repair and production facilities." According
resolution, Iraq shall also submit to the U.N. a declaration on the locations,
amounts and types of all weapons of mass destruction and agree to ongoing
The resolution set up a commission to inspect Iraq's biological, chemical
missile capabilities, and instructed Iraq to not use, develop, construct
acquire weapons of mass destruction.
In addition, Resolution 687 required Iraq to inform the U.N. that it
"commit or support any act of international terrorism or allow any
directed towards commission of such acts to operate within its territory
condemn unequivocally and denounce all acts, methods and practices of
So, how long did it take for the U.N. to become "concerned"
noncompliance and suspicious activities? Five years? Two years? Try four
On August 15, 1991, the Security Council passed Resolution 707. Citing
from the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council which
information from the inspection teams in Iraq, the resolution charges
Iraq with a
failure to comply with its obligation under Resolution 687. The resolution
its "grave concern" over information provided by the IAEA in
July 1991 regarding
actions of Iraq in flagrant violation of Resolution 687.
Resolution 707 condemned Iraq for serious violations and its noncooperation
inspections which constitute a material breach of Resolution 687. The
demanded that Iraq, "without further delay, provide full, final,
disclosure as required from 687 of all aspects of its programs to develop
of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range greater that 150
all holding of such weapons, their components and production facilities
locations, as well as all other nuclear programs including any which it
for purposes not related to nuclear-weapon-usable material." Does
The resolution called for "immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted
inspection teams to any "facilities, equipment, records and means
transportation which they wish to inspect." The resolution also called
on Iraq to
"cease immediately any attempt to conceal, move or destroy any material
equipment relating to its nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons or
missile programs or material or equipment relating to its other nuclear
without notification to and prior consent of the Special Commission."
In a letter dated April 22, 1994, the U.N. Secretary-General stated
initial declarations by Iraq regarding its WMD programs were "deficient."
The U.N., beginning in late 1993 provided to Iraq documentation which
formats and guidelines Iraq could follow to properly declare weapons of
destruction. Even with the formats and guidelines, according to the letter
the Secretary-General, "the declarations were still incomplete, particularly
relating to chemical facilities. In some instances, Iraq not only failed
some of the questions contained in the formats, but unilaterally rewrote
formats to delete those questions."
In another letter from the Secretary-General dated October 7, 1994,
again reprimanded for providing incomplete declarations. In particular,
stated that "great difficulties were faced in obtaining the necessary
particularly in the biological area."
In December 1999, about a year after weapons inspectors withdrew from
Security Council passed Resolution 1284 which once again stressed the
Iraqi compliance to completely account for its weapons of mass destruction.
weapons were already known to exist by the U.N. and government organizations,
the call was for Iraq to comply by declaring fully its WMD programs.
Resolution 1284 established the U.N. Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection
Commission (UNMOVIC) and called on Iraq to allow UNMOVIC teams "immediate,
unconditional, and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities,
equipment, records and means of transport which they wish to inspect."
Can you see
a pattern here?
On November 29, 2001, the Security Council passed yet another resolution
in which it stressed the obligation of Iraq to comply with its requirements
disarm and declare its weapons of mass destruction.
Note that in all of the resolutions listed thus far, the emphasis has
on Iraq to properly dismantle and declare its weapons of mass destruction
programs. It is up to them. It is not the job of the inspectors to go
door to door
in the hopes of finding a "smoking gun." It is the job of Iraq
to bring the
"smoking guns" to the inspectors or to show through verifiable
the "smoking guns" have been destroyed. This is something Iraq
has failed to do
over and over again.
On October 2, 2002, the United States Congress passed a resolution authorizing
the use of force against Iraq. In the resolution, the Congress acknowledged
Iraq is "continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical
weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and
and harboring terrorist organizations." These actions by Iraq are
all in violation
of U.N. Security Council resolutions. These weapons programs are the very
that Iraq must declare to the U.N. inspectors.
The culmination of years and years of repeated violations and noncompliance
Iraq and Saddam Hussein finally led to U.N. Security Council Resolution
was passed on November 8, 2002. This resolution acknowledges that Iraq
and remains in material breach of its obligations under previous resolutions.
Resolution 1441 gives Iraq a "final opportunity" to comply with
resolutions and properly declare all programs of weapons of mass destruction.
must provide UNMOVIC and IAEA "immediate, unimpeded, unconditional,
unrestricted access to any and all, including underground, areas, facilities,
buildings, equipment, records, and means of transport which they wish
as well as immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted, and private access to all
and other persons whom UNMOVIC or the IAEA wish to interview."
To date, Saddam Hussein has not complied with this "final opportunity."
12,000-page "declaration" by Iraq does not account for the biological
weapons known to exist, not just by the United States, but by the U.N.
international community. The weapons inspectors are not being given full
unimpeded access to sites and personnel. Private interviews with Iraqi
by the inspection team have not been allowed to occur.
There are missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Chemical and
weapons capable of killing thousands are still unaccounted for. It is
the job of
Iraq to disclose and dismantle these weapons.
The inspection team of approximately 200 is searching an area about
the size of
California. If the object of this team is to find a stockpile of weapons
perhaps a mobile weapons generation factory, the effort is orders of magnitude
worse than looking for a needle in a haystack. Fortunately (and misunderstood
many), finding weapons of mass destruction is not the job of the inspectors.
job is to verify disarmament. Period. They do this by Iraq providing evidence
they are disarming. If known chemical and biological stockpiles cannot
it is the job of Iraq to tell the inspectors where they are.
The burden of proof lies with Iraq, not with the United States or President
It is up to Iraq to avoid war. It is up to Iraq to disarm. If they don't
and disarm, then, according to the wording of U.N. Security Council Resolution
1441, Iraq will face "serious consequences as a result of its continued
of its obligations." The difference between this statement and previous
statements is that this one comes with U.S. military teeth... and those
prepared to bite.
Eberle is President and CEO of GOPUSA
(www.GOPUSA.com), a news, information, and commentary company based
in Houston, TX. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Rice University.