An argument against the Iraq war is that Iraq did not have WMDs and did not sponsor terrorists, so had neither means nor motive to facilitate more deadly 9/11s. These assertions are false: Iraq did have WMDs; it did sponsor terrorist killings, and so posed a serious threat to our peoples.
To reassure any moonbats who unwittingly stray onto this blog, I've only used facts from impeccably lefty sources.
These are nukes, biological (e.g. anthrax) and chemical (e.g. mustard gas).
Nukes kill between tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands, and biological and chemical weapons between thousands and tens of thousands depending on dispersal and target protection.
Nukes need enriched Uranium or Plutonium, which are expensive to produce and require plant that’s hard (but not impossible) to hide. Biological weapons are much easier to make and hide – they need the equivalent of a micro-brewery. Chemical weapons are easiest to make and hide – from a distance, they’re just another chemical plant.
Iraq almost built an implosion-type nuke, which it planned to use (my ellipsis):
Facing what (Saddam Hussein) viewed as a threat to the existence of his regime, he ordered a "crash program" (Project 601) to extract Iraq's stock of safeguarded HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium) for use in a nuclear device. Saddam's plan was to use the weapon against Israel or coalition forces as they approached Kuwait City.
However, the coalition bombing campaign effectively ended the "crash program."
In the aftermath of the Gulf War, the world learned the extent of Iraq's nuclear weapon program. Much of the information came from defectors—including Saddam Hussein's son-in-law Hussein Kamel, who defected to Jordan, and Khidhir Hamza—was previously unknown, including evidence of the "crash program." Iraq's EMIS program, using declassified data from the U.S. Manhattan Project, had gone undetected.
Saddam not only had these, but, unique among post-WW2 leaders, he used them.
Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988
Iraq invaded Iran and killed or wounded an estimated 1.5 million Iranians. According to a post-war assessment by the UN, Iraq made extensive use of two chemical weapons.
Both in vapor and in liquid form its effect is to burn any body-tissue, which it touches. Taken into the body, it can act as systemic poison deadlier, weight for weight, than hydrogen cyanide. Its burning effects are not normally apparent for some hours after exposure…
…So powerful a poison is it that even short exposure to small concentrations of its vapor can result in almost immediate symptoms… If a lethal dosage has been taken up, either from inhalation of the vapor or by absorption of the liquid through the skin, a characteristic sequence of toxic manifestations ensues, some of great violence, including running nose, sweating, involuntary urination and defecation, vomiting, twitching, convulsions, paralysis and unconsciousness.
There are allegations that Iraq deployed other WMDs, including the biological weapon anthrax.
Halabja Poison Gas Attack
In March 1988 the Iraqi government used chemical weapons to kill 5,000 men, women and children in this Kurdish town in northern Iraq.
Iraq in Early 2003
By 2003 the Iraqi nuclear program was probably suspended – but since Saddam was able to conceal his earlier program, I'm still suspicious.
It’s inconceivable that Saddam would not have retained his chemical and biological weapons. He was the only living ruler who’d used them, and he knew they worked.
We didn’t find them because he hid them – thanks to the prolonged build up and the French delaying game at the UN, he had 12 months to prepare.
But why hide them rather than use them? As the invasion took shape, Saddam had to choose between using, losing or hiding his army and WMD. It’s now clear that he chose to hide his army – the die-hards are still fighting, using the artillery shells they tucked away to make IEDs. Hiding his chemical and biological weapons was even easier since they were smaller.
Hiding men and weapons rather than using them has proved a good option for him – he's still alive and if the Dems and their RINO allies continue to fold, he may yet emerge victorious. Whereas if he’d fought to the last and used his WMDs, his army and probably him personally would have been destroyed by conventional or nuclear weapons.
The chemical and biological assets he had to hide were the people, the plants, the production materials and the stock of weapons. Here’s what the MSM has reported as found:
People: Dr Germ and Chemical Ali.
Chemical weapons agents: 1500 gallons
Warheads: 19 containing cyclosarin, a deadly nerve agent.
Given the size of Iraq, and our inability to find the artillery shells being used as IEDs, it’s not surprising that we haven’t found all the material. But it is there, and will eventually be found.
Here’s the BBC in early 2003:
Saddam Hussein has paid out thousands of dollars to families of Palestinians killed in fighting with Israel.
One by one, at least 21 families came up to receive their cheques from the Palestinian Arab Liberation Front (PALF), a local pro-Iraq group.
A Hamas suicide bomber's family got $25,000 while the others - relatives of militants killed in fighting or civilians killed during Israeli military operations - all received $10,000 each.
Another banner in the hall described the cheques as the "blessings of Saddam Hussein" and PALF speakers extolled the Iraqi leader in fiery speeches.
"Saddam Hussein considers those who die in martyrdom attacks as people who have won the highest degree of martyrdom," said one.
The party estimated that Iraq had paid out $35m to Palestinian families since the current uprising began in September 2000.
Saddam had good reason to hate Israel – it had taken out his nuclear reactor. He had much more reason to hate the US – it had beaten him out of Kuwait and humiliated him - that’s why he tried to kill Bush Senior in 1993 (FBI report here).
The 9/11 commission claimed that Saddam’s agents had not talked to al Queda, but Czech intelligence says they did. But it really doesn’t matter, because we know that Saddam had both the means and motive to facilitate a deadly attack on the US. It was only a matter of time before he put his shoulder to the Al Queda wheel.
Why Would Al Queda Want Help?
Because Al Queda is technically incompetent. All of its attacks have been very low tech, and succeeded through the hard-to-counter suicide element. 9/11 involved a small investment in flight training. The 7/7 attackers used homemade explosives.
Al Queda attacks using Iraqi chemical and biological weapons would have been vastly more lethal. London and New York City after big cyclosarin or anthrax hits would be a huge mess, with tens of thousands dead and the attacked areas off-limits for extended periods.
Has It Been Worth It?
From a utilitarian standpoint, yes. The deaths and costs of the war (to Iraqis and Coalition) pale beside the deaths and economic damage that would have been caused by Saddam providing his WMD for terror attacks.
So Why Not Leave Iraq Now?
Because the Middle East will stay a cesspit as long as it is run by despots. By staying until Iraq is reasonably democratic and stable, we will continue to spark changes in the Lebanon and Libya, and provide hope to the Iranian, Syrian and Saudi Arabian peoples. Improvement in the status of women will trigger economic growth that will bring hope to an area that lives off oil and aid.
It’s not easy and it won’t be perfect, but it’s rational.
On the other hand, we can withdraw, and leave Al Queda to rearm, this time with the help of Mullahs. Then we will see real terror in our cities.