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Friday, August 01, 2003

Letters to the NY Times
In my post Wednesday about aWol's press conference, I quoted something very important, but failed to give it the proper emphasis. These two guys writing to the NY Times have it right:

To the Editor:

Re "President Denies He Oversold Case for War With Iraq" (front page, July 31):

President Bush let slip some crucial information at his news conference when he said, referring to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, "In order to placate the critics and cynics about intentions of the United States, we need to produce evidence."

If the Iraqi weapons exist, we need to find them not to placate critics but to prevent them from being used for devastating attacks on the United States! The weapons that the administration described before the war could be used by whoever now possesses them to kill us by the thousands or millions.

The fact that President Bush did not express concern about this prospect, but instead described the stakes as a matter of political credibility, indicates that he privately assumes that the weapons do not exist.
ALAN M. MACROBERT
Bedford, Mass., July 31, 2003

To the Editor:

President Bush maintains that we will find the weapons of mass destruction (front page, July 31).

Well, let's hope that they do not exist, because the question that raises the hairs on the back of my neck is, Who has access to them until we find them?
BOB LUPO
Old Greenwich, Conn., July 31, 2003


And Atrios points out:

This is just something which has been so obvious from the beginning. They've never displayed the slightest bit of concern about finding whatever it is because it could be dangerous, but only because they need to justify their invasion.

Liars.

And, for those who are now claiming that the Bush administration was always talkings about "weapons programs" and not "weapons," don't you remember the final double dog ultimatums we kept giving Saddam? You know, we kept telling him that he had to "disarm" or we were going to invade? Disarm WHAT?


Somebody (moi) suggested the same thing back on January 5:
MEMO

FROM: Bob
TO: George, Dick, Donald, Ari
RE: Put up or shut up!

Guys: you are making us look ridiculous. You keep saying, as Ari said today, that "Iraq has still not shown signs that it will disarm itself of weapons of mass destruction." Well, Iraq has said on many occasions that it has no weapons of mass destruction. That is their response. If it is true, there is no possible way for them to show signs of disarming themselves of WMD. You claim to have evidence that they do have WMD. Call Mr. Blix, tell him where they are, get him to fly in unannounced with CNN to document it, and show the world that you are telling the truth and Saddam is lying. And do it now. If you don't, I and the rest of the world will see that you are the ones who are lying, and any war against Iraq will be seen as the act of naked agression that it is. You have accused Saddam of playing games for years. Well, this is a very silly game with very dangerous consequences that you are playing, and you need to put up or shut up right now or all those flag-waving Americans who have supported your wars up until now will start to see you for the frauds that you are.


Here are a couple of other relevant blasts from the past:

March 3:
From the White House Press Briefing:
Q Ari, the destruction of these Al Samoud missiles now represents about 10 percent or more of their entire medium-range missile capability. That's a piece of real substantive disarmament under international supervision, but it's not total disarmament. But you aren't denying that that's real disarmament?

MR. FLEISCHER: We are -- it is not real disarmament. There's only one standard of disarmament: full, complete and immediate. The United Nations resolutions did not call for a little piece of disarmament. It didn't say, 10 percent disarmament four months after we call on you to do it immediately. None of that was in 1441. And the only reason this is even happening today in the small degree that it has indeed happened is because he is under great pressure from President Bush, the United States and the coalition of the willing.

Q But it is substantive. It's not just process, this is substance. This is real destruction of weapons.

MR. FLEISCHER: It is insufficient. It is not complete. It is not total.


January 10:
DONALD RUMSFELD, the US Defence Secretary, has suggested that Washington may present little or no evidence of Iraq’s quest for banned weapons even if President Bush decides to go to war. Mr Rumsfeld said that disclosing such details to the world or even to the United Nations Security Council could jeopardise any military mission by revealing to Baghdad what the United States knows. When weighing the demands of global opinion for proof of President Saddam Hussein’s danger against the need to shroud an effective military campaign in secrecy, Mr Rumsfeld said the safer option would be for the US to tilt towards secrecy. -- from the London Times (sorry, article is no longer available online).