Newsweek has an article this week on the search for weapons in Iraq. First of all, I have to say that I’m not going to use the WMD TLA any more on this site. (Hopefully that will be the last time.) The coinage of that term was a scam perpetrated by the war or nothing at all group. The initial bait for getting people to discuss going to war with Iraq was nuclear weapons. The fear was that Iraq would go nuclear, supply nuclear material to terrorists, and the next thing you know, we’d have a smoking hole where a US city once was. As it became obvious that Iraq’s nuclear capabilities weren’t what they were purported to be, suddenly chemical and biological weapons came into the picture, and all three types of weapon were lumped together in the “weapons of mass destruction” category. Scam.
The second scam under way is the administration’s attempts to redefine the argument they used to drag this country (and several others) into war. The justification provided was that Iraq’s weapons capabilities were such that we could no longer afford to let the situation stand — that the danger of Iraq somehow using its weapons against somebody (either directly or by giving them to terrorists) was too great to ignore. We all know that wasn’t the real reason for war, but that was the reason provided to us and provided to the rest of the world. What other justification could there be for saying that we could not afford to wait any longer to invade? The American people, belligerent as we may be, were not going to go in for an argument that said that Saddam is a bad man (which of course he is) and that now is as good a time as any to get rid of him. There had to be something scary, and the scary thing was Iraq’s ability to hurt us. Two mobile laboratories of undefined use were not going to hurt us, and yet the two mobile labs are now the thread that Bush clings to to justify our invasion. That’s his choice, not the choice of his critics.