Thursday, August 03, 2006

Saddam's WMDs and his terrorism connections..

I have to again, respectfully disagree with Internet Esquire's comments on Iraq. On economics and in the immigration debate, he's making good arguments. But with Iraq and its connection to the war on terror, he's bought the MSM's BS hook, line, and sinker.

We've found over 500 shells loaded with chemical weapons. Not all of what we were looking for, but there is significant evidence coming from a variety of sources (from Centcom's deputy commander to a former Iraqi general to the Israelis) saying that Saddam moved the WMD to Syria. We also know Saddam was smuggling oil out of Iraq via Syria and getting weapons via the same route (those AT-14 Kornets didn't show out out of nowhere).

And don't take the notion that it was improperly stored to indicate it wouldn't cause harm, Farmers in France are still at risk from World War I mustard gas. The sarin used in the Tokyo subway attack was also not military-quality (due to being homemade and stored in jury-rigged weapons), but it could still kill and maim for life.

Why else was Johnston Atoll used as a major site for the disposal of our chemical weapons stocks? So the argument that "the chemical weapons were old" doesn't hold water. They could still kill.

Now, let's discuss the terrorism connections. Not just the memo discovered by Mitch Potter, but other memos that are available at iraqdocs.blogspot.com, including an order to treat foreign Arab Fedayeen as equals to Iraqi soldiers. There is also the matter of the documents that CNSNews.com broke in 2004 (the actual memos were published here), showing Saddam's regime was opening a relationship with various groups, including one that had an Ayman al-Zawahiri among its leadership. We also have numerous terrorists who found refuge in Iraq, which RegimeofTerror.com has detailed. Then there are the cases of Ahmed Hikmat Shakir and Ahmed al-Ani, individuals with connections to Iraqi intelligence who met with some of the 9/11 hijackers. There is also the question of Salman Pak, and the method of hijacking airlines taught there.

Taking down Saddam's regime was the right call. As Senator Norm Coleman has shown, the UN was compromised due to the widespread corruption in the Oil-for-Food program. Trust the UN's inspectors to do the job? Thanks, but no thanks.

4 comments:

Ikez said...

Good rundown Harold.

Internet Esquire said...

I think you're missing the essence of my position on Gulf War II, which is that Dubya's March 2003 invasion was premature. Assuming, arguendo, that there were thousands of terrorists in Iraq at that time, Dubya still should have given Hans Blix and the U.N. weapons inspections teams the time that they wanted and needed to complete their work.

What also bears repeating in re the 500 chemical weapons found in Iraq is the fact that a senior Defense Department official candidly admitted to Fox News:

"'This does not reflect a capacity that was built up after 1991,' . . . adding the munitions 'are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war.'"

As it stands right now, Iraq has countless ammo dumps scattered across the countryside that terrorists are now able to mine. This situation could have been avoided or mitigated had Dubya given Hans Blix and the U.N. weapons inspections teams the time that they wanted and needed to complete their work in Iraq.

Ikez said...

IE:
I've seen fair arguments against the war in Iraq. Some are quite convincing.
Considering it took 3 years of occupation, of a Saddam free country, to find the old shells, weaponized ricin, cylcosarin, enriched uranium, illegal missiles, etc... I don't think it's logical to argue that Hans Blix would have found even those things with Saddam's dog and pony show.
Like I've said before, I am not as knowledgable on the WMD subject but I do have a list of discovered WMD for personal use that I'd be more to than happy to pass along to you. I can be contacted through regimeofterror.com if you are interested.

Will Huysman said...

Regarding Salman Pak:
Wikipedia: The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has since established that both the CIA and the DIA concluded that there was no evidence to support these claims. A DIA analyst told the Committee, “The Iraqi National Congress (INC) has been pushing information for a long time about Salman Pak and training of al-Qa’ida.” Knight Ridder reporters Jonathan S. Landay and Warren P. Strobel noted in November 2005 that “After the war, U.S. officials determined that a facility in Salman Pak was used to train Iraqi anti-terrorist commandos.”[Seattle Times, 1 November 2005, p. A5].
Inconsistencies in the stories of the defectors led U.S. officials, journalists, and investigators to conclude that the Salman Pak story was inaccurate. One senior U.S. official said that they had found “nothing to substantiate” the claim that al-Qaeda trained at Salman Pak. [6][7] The credibility of the defectors has been questioned due to their association with the Iraqi National Congress, an organization that has been accused of deliberately supplying false information to the US government in order to build support for an invasion of Iraq.[8] “The INC’s agenda was to get us into a war,” said Helen Kennedy of the New York Daily News. [9]
Weapons inspector Richard Sperzel clarified that [Duelfer’s] dismissal [of the claim that Salman Pak was for counterterrorism] was not backed up by any evidence.

Iraqi defectors have been talking lately about the training camp at Salman Pak, south of Baghdad. They say there’s a Boeing aircraft there. That’s not true… They say there are railroad mock-ups, bus mock-ups, buildings, and so on. These are all things you’d find in a hostage rescue training camp, which is what this camp was when it was built in the mid-1980s with British intelligence supervision. In fact, British SAS special operations forces were sent to help train the Iraqis in hostage rescue techniques. Any nation with a national airline and that is under attack from terrorists — and Iraq was, from Iran and Syria at the time — would need this capability. Iraq operated Salman Pak as a hostage rescue training facility up until 1992. In 1992, because Iraq no longer had a functioning airline, and because their railroad system was inoperative, Iraq turned the facility over to the Iraqi Intelligence service, particularly the Department of External Threats. These are documented facts coming out of multiple sources from a variety of different countries. The Department of External Threats was created to deal with Kurdistan, in particular, the infusion of Islamic fundamentalist elements from Iran into Kurdistan. So, rather than being a camp dedicated to train Islamic fundamentalist terrorists, it was a camp dedicated to train Iraq to deal with Islamic fundamentalist terrorists. And they did so. Their number one target was the Islamic Kurdish party, which later grew into Al Ansar. … Ansar comes out of Iran and is supported by Iranians. Iraq, as part of their ongoing war against Islamic fundamentalism, created a unit specifically designed to destroy these people.[14]

Consensus view

Douglas MacCollam wrote in the July/August 2004 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review that “There still remain claims and counterclaims about what was going on at Salman Pak. But the consensus view now is that the camp was what Iraq told UN weapons inspectors it was — a counterterrorism training camp for army commandos.”[19]

Also, regarding Salman Pak, Stephen Birmingham makes the following counterarguments:

This raised a red flag with me because 1) a history was fast emerging of a controversial Iraqi opposition group that coached and actively promoted defectors that were patently untrustworthy, 2) there was possible motive in this case, as al-Qurairy probably dare not return home until Saddam and his sons were removed from power, and 3) the two defectors are friends and their shared account — circulated shortly after 9/11, when emotions were running high — sounded altogether too convenient.

The remainder of Birmingham’s lengthy argument can be found at http://yourplanetisdoomed.blogspot.com/2005/12/salman-pak-911-pure-fantasy.html.

Is the testimony of Georges Sada (”WMD moved to Syria”) credible? The publisher of “Saddam’s Secrets” (Integrity Publishers) has previously published phony information due to very lax editing; see http://www.edresearch.com/IntergrityShame.htm. He has served as a spokesman for Iyad Allawi, whom many (esp. MSM, liberals) distrust. He didn’t come out with the story until after the invasion. Though he was the #2 in the Iraqi Air Force, “He officially retired in 1986 as a 2-star general, but was called back to active service for the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. He claims that he was discharged and imprisoned on February 5, 1991, for refusing to execute POWs and has not been employed in any official capacity in Iraq since then.” [Wikipedia] The most vocal detractor of Sada and Al-Tikriti is probably Alex Koppelman, whose arguments can be found in a hit piece called “Lions, Tigers and WMD Conspiracies, Oh My!”