Iraq, Saddam and WMD's

Iraq, Saddam and WMD's.

While exploring the internet I came upon reports of tapes that Saddam made while he was still in power. (See here) and (here) articles at Investors.com and (here) an article at Mediachannel.org that report on this. Many additional articles can be found by doing a search of Google News with "Saddam tapes WMD" as the search criteria.

From what I can see, thus far the only thing the tapes prove is that Saddam once had a WMD program, and that if he could ever get UN Weapons Inspectors to leave him alone he intended to reconstitute this program. I do not think there are many people who would have disagreed with this conclusion even without the tapes.

However many people are trying to point to these tapes and then make the jump to that the tapes prove that Saddam possessed weapons that the inspectors never found, and that what Saddam did was move these weapons into Syria and Lebanon to avoid their capture by American forces. As far as I can tell, there are no statements on the tapes that prove this actually happened, but some still point to the tapes as proof anyway.

There are statements that the Iraqi government, under Saddam, was not being fully cooperative with UN Weapons Inspectors, but this was not anything new. Perhaps the tapes are "something new" in that they would seem to prove what many already suspected probably was factual, that Saddam at some future point in time intended to resurrect his WMD program if he was ever given a chance.

Some are trying to lace what is on the tapes together with "eye witness" accounts from the likes of Georges Sada and Ali Ibrahim to make the case that Saddam had WMD's all along, and, yup, Russian Special Forces assisted Saddam in spiriting them into Syria.

To these people I state, well, these eyewitness accounts might be reliable, but then again they might not be either. Ever heard of a guy by the name of Ahmed Chalabi and how he fooled the CIA and the Dubyah administration? Isn't one of these guys trying to sell a book and isn't his book apt to sell a little better if it presents wild claims as fact?

Seems to me that if Saddam really had an ongoing WMD program which was as robust as the Dubyah administration claimed prior to the invasion of Iraq, our intelligence agencies should have been able to find concrete evidence of it by now, considering they have had the ability to go where they want and interrogate whoever they want within Iraq for how long now?

Let's try to think about this reasonably. If Saddam possessed WMD's, why didn't he use them against invading US forces? Did he have anything to lose by using them? What, if he didn't use the WMD's against US forces he could somehow escape being put on trial like he is right now? If he diabolically figured out there was some greater advantage to be gained by spiriting these weapons into Syria, why didn't he himself sneak into or through Syria? If he was smart enough to realize his cause was hopeless, with or without the weapons, and that the best thing he could do was prevent their capture... and he was able to get Syria to sign up with him to hide these weapons... if Syria was so willing to cooperate with this, why was there not also a plan for Saddam himself to escape into or through Syria as US forces advanced?

If Russia was involved, wouldn't even Russia have been willing to secretly provide him with safe haven in order to maintain his silence? During the time Saddam was a fugitive, didn't he have ample time to actually cross the reportedly porous Syrian border? If at the last minute Syria refused to provide him with safe haven wouldn't Saddam now be motivated for revenge and be singing like a canary during his trial?

The Saddam tapes are interesting, however they sure do not seem to expose much of anything that we did not already know.


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