Perhaps the most frightening thing about Mr. Bush’s war is that Congress is doing nothing. We the people you represent discuss the war, the dangerous consequences, and Congress sits on their hands. Never did I believe one person could start a war in the USA but this is surely the case now.
On February 12, 2003 Senator Robert Byrd said; “To contemplate war is to think about the most horrible of human experiences. On this February day, as this nation stands at the brink of battle, every American on some level must be contemplating the horrors of war.
Yet, this Chamber is, for the most part, silent—ominously, dreadfully silent. There is no debate, no discussion, no attempt to lay out for the nation the pros and cons of this particular war. There is nothing.
Following Mr. Powell’s statement to the UN Security counsel, it became clear there was NO evidence which would constitute WAR. A students thesis ten years old, remarks made by some unidentified deserters, Satellite pictures which had not been checked out. Indeed one reporter went to the site of alleged Al Quanta activity and found a kitchen with
This link of the Security Counsel shows that much speculation on the part of UK and US has been made, however no substantial evidence accompanies these ascertains and when the weapons inspectors have inspected they find quite different conclusions than the UK US who seem intent on proving “something”! Of course Saddam has not helped the situation because he is trying to keep weapons to protect his country. Indeed he is allowed to have such necessary weapons. However Saddam has not provided the necessary information of location or destruction of the WMD sought by the US.
Apparently Mr. Bush finds a satellite picture which could be a munitions factory, or it could be a cow shed. Not checking this out, he makes media statements that a munitions factory has been sited by satellite. The CIA refuses to give the weapons inspectors the location so they cannot verify it or deny it
CIA ‘sabotaged inspections and hid weapons details’ By Andrew Buncombe in Washington 14 February 2003 Senior democrats have accused the CIA of sabotaging weapons inspections in Iraq by refusing to co-operate fully with the UN and withholding crucial information about Saddam Hussein’s arsenal. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/politics/story.jsp?story=378163
Here is the security counsel site with allegations, investigations, and some facts. As you follow through, I expect that you also will get the feeling of a Hatfield and McCoy feud going on, and it makes just as much sense. As I read this, I had the feeling that had Mr. Hussein provided the requested information, it would not have been believed. That is why the UN must make these decisions, as an un-biased judge of these affairs.
One discussion in the files, regards the infamous “Mobile Facilities”.
Much of the speculation about Iraq’s mobile production facilities began from the statement from Lt. Gen. Amer Al-Saadi that the creation of such facilities was once considered. However, he - and the Iraqi government - has denied that any mobile biological weapon agent’s facilities have ever been built. Iraq did have 47 mobile storage tanks participating in its biological weapons programme; UNSCOM has accounted for the destruction of 24 of these tanks, but its January 1999 report (Appendix III) notes that the unaccounted for tanks “can be used for long-term storage of agent under controlled conditions or modified to function as fermentors suitable for the production of BW agent”. However, there has been no independent confirmation that any tanks have been modified in this way.
Much of the further alleged information about Iraq’s facilities has come from defectors from Iraq, who claim to have witnessed such facilities: four such defectors are described in Secretary Powell’s statement of 5 February 2003. This is a notoriously unreliable source.
The claims of the first defector described by Powell are perhaps the least credible. Raymond Zilinskas, a microbiologist and former U.N. weapons inspector (now director of Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies), was reported in the Washington Post as saying that a 24-hour production cycle was insufficient for creating significant amounts of pathogens such as anthrax.
“You normally would require 36 to 48 hours just to do the fermentation. The short processing time seems suspicious to me. [..] The only reason you would have mobile labs is to avoid inspectors, because everything about them is difficult. We know it is possible to build them—the United States developed mobile production plants, including one designed for an airplane—but it’s a big hassle. That’s why this strikes me as a bit far-fetched.”
The Washington Post further reported that:
“Zilinskas and other experts said the schematic presented by Powell as an example of Iraq’s mobile labs was theoretically workable but that turning the diagram into a functioning laboratory posed enormous challenges—such as how to dispose of large quantities of highly toxic waste.”
“Despite Defectors’ Accounts, Evidence Remains Anecdotal”, by Joby Warrick, Washington Post (6 February 2003).
The second source seems to be Adnan Saeed al-Haideri, whose standing is discussed above. It seems that he did not make any claims about mobile facilities in his first press conferences - none of the reports on those press conferences mention mobile facilities. Instead, he only began to refer to them in mid-2002, some six months after his first accounts. This would automatically cast some suspicion on the reliability of the new information that he is now providing.
Hans Blix has warned against attributing significance to UNMOVIC’s inability to find any mobile facilities:
“We do go around and we check into industries, chemical industries, for instance, or pharmaceutical industries, into military installations. And so we can check a good deal. But you cannot check in every nook and corner of a large country. Above all, there’s difficulty of course in finding things underground or anything that is mobile.”
I would recommend that the Security Counsel take a more active and aggressive leadership role, and caution both sides to cooperate with its directives. If Mr. Bush has satellite or other information revealing the possibility of proscribed weapons or manufacturing sites, he should be required to submit this information so the inspectors can verify or disclaim the allegation. Mr. Bush should be warned that providing unsubstantiated allegations to the media or the Security Counsel will result in condemnation of his input by the UN. False allegations should not be tolerated nor should acts of aggression in violation of the agreements. Saddam must be held accountable and provide whatever information he has about weapons. Some consideration must be given to the weapons used in the US and Iraq war with Iran. It is unlikely an accurate count of the munitions used at that time can be determined.
Another major factor is the disintegration of weapons over time. Much of the alleged weapons are now useless because their “shelf life” has expired. Therefore it cannot be assumed that weapons remain which could well have been destroyed.
France, Russia, Germany and other members of the Security Council are likely to back a counter-proposal to increase the number of inspectors, providing them, if necessary, with the support of armed UN soldiers, as a means of avoiding a military strike. Huge numbers of troops could surround and take over Iraq, than confiscating any proscribed weapons or manufacturing sites. I strongly agree with this alternative.
This action could also provide a method to subpoena Saddam to the world court, if there have actually been charges filed and brought against him.
There is certainly no call to start a war, simply because Mr. Bush and Mr. Hussein are having a feud like the Hatefields and the McCoy’s.
Despite Dr.Blitx reports, despite multi millions of anti-war protestors, Mr. Bush has this to say. On Thursday, <Feb 13,2003> addressing American troops in Florida, Mr. Bush said that unless the UN enforced resolution 1441, it risked “fading into history as an ineffective, irrelevant, debating society”. As the Secretary of State, Colin Powell, made clear at the UN, Washington still feels that way.
If our Congress refuses to contemplate “the War”. I would hope the demonstrators, who are the people of these United States, surround Congress and hold them in session until they have contemplated this war and required the Commander and Chief to follow the directives of the United Nations.