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It Does Not Matter If We Do Not Find WMDs in Iraq
by Esther Hartstein
14 June 2003

The answer to the question of whether or not the Iraq War was justified is yes, whether or not actual WMD's are located.

In the wake of of our stunning military victory in Iraq, President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are under increasing pressure to prove that toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein actually had weapons of mass destruction (WMD's) before falling to allied troops. As of yet, these leaders have failed to do so. We may have destroyed one of the most repressive regimes on the planet, subdued all of the rest and spared us from the possible experience of Saddam's brutality unleashed on our citizens, but the Bush/Blair opposition still believes that we have fought this war in vain.

However, this opposition does present some nagging questions to the thinking public: could we have fought an $80 billion war to prevent a tyrant from unleashing weapons that never existed? Could we all have been duped? Greg Thielman, retired director of Strategic, Proliferation and Military issues for the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, claims it is so. He has accused the Bush administration of distorting intelligence and presenting conjecture as fact. "What disturbs me deeply is what I think are the disingenuous statements made from the very top about what the intelligence did say," Mr. Thielman told the Associated Press in an article released on June 8, 2003. In response to such allegations, both the Bush and Blair administrations, admitting that they have no cold hard evidence of WMD's existing in prewar Iraq,  have begun investigations into the matter.

The answer to the question of whether or not the Iraq War was justified is yes, whether or not actual WMD's are located. We fought this war for several reasons, none of which are dependent on a discovery of actual weapons. 1. Iraq either has or had access to weapons of mass destruction. 2. Then-Iraqi-Dictator Saddam Hussein used these weapons against any group of people he felt were against him. 3. The United States qualifies as a group of people Saddam may have felt were against him. All of these truisms, which this article will explore, present an unshakable case for the war we have just fought. Any failure to locate actual weapons would mean nothing.

Take reason #1, that Iraq either has or had access to WMD's. We know for a fact that there is a rampant arms industry availing weapons to any rogue with the cash to pursue them (Saddam Hussein is just such a rogue). We have located and are currently interrogating sophisticated weapons scientists from Saddam Hussein's administration, including Dr. Huda Ammash (who served as President of Iraq's microbiological society) and Dr. Rihab Taha, also known as Dr. Germ. We also know that chemical weapons, including toxic Sarin gas, were used in the Kurdish Genocide of 1988, a catastrophe resulting in mass disfigurement and the annihilation of the Northern town of Halabja. Whether or not Saddam actually possessed weapons of mass destruction in the days preceding his overture is immaterial. He has used them before, thereby proving that he had access to them. Access is just as deadly as possession.

The either-or options in argument #1 equally prove a definite danger. Imagine that there is a nutcase out to get you. Scenario one: the nutcase owns a gun. Scenario two: the nutcase does not own a gun, but lives across the street from a gun shop. As long as there is a nutcase out to kill you, it does not matter which scenario is true. Whether or not the nutcase has bought the gun does not impact on your safety if he has the same resolve in both scenarios. Hence, even if Saddam Hussein did not have WMD's we know with certainty that he had access to WMD's, which made him just as dangerous to the American people and the world at large.

As for arguments 2 and 3, it is a historical fact that Saddam Hussein used weapons of mass destruction on Kurds, Iranians, and domestic Shiite Muslims, all of whom played major roles in formal dissent movements under Saddam. Does our confrontation with Saddam in the Gulf War of 1991 not place us in the same category as these groups? Were we not enemies just as they? Why would he deal kinder with our citizens? Because he knows we would fight back and beat him? That reasoning never stopped him from picking on Israel. We live in an era where a single suitcase packed with explosives can bring down a whole airport, and anyone who cannot be trusted with such weapons must be kept out of power by force if need be. Policing the global arms trade is a fantasy.

So, who cares if we don't find WMD's? Iraq is a huge country encompassing 437,072 square kilometers. Weapons could be hiding anywhere. However, what are the the chances of discernible weapons being located today, tomorrow, or even next year? Nada, Zilch. They could have been neutralized, destroyed, then dumped into the Mediterranean sea via Syria for all we know. And despite the impossibility of the task, Bush and Blair are expected to drum up some WMD's by the next press conference. Why don't we first demand Rep. Cynthia Mckinney (D-GA) prove her famous statement that Bush caused 9/11?

A multi-award winning poet, Esther has written a book, "Eros Wins The Battle", about a U.S. immigrant fighting for regime change in her native country. The book, filled with Greek myths and poetry, is available at BN.com (Barnes and Noble) and Amazon.com.

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