Iraqi Survey Group ends search of WMD

The US governments Iraqi Survey Group, the group tasked to find the evidence of Iraqi WMD programs and weaponry will not be returning to Iraq reports the BBC today.

They will instead be refocused to counter the insurgency in Iraq.

Why are they stopping the search for WMD? Well.. because there are none.

Funny, some people have been saying that since before this war started.

If you’d like to see the interim report that was published in October it can be found here.

An interesting note… there has been a Correction made to the original report:

Annex I to the “Regime Finance and Procurement” section of the Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD, entitled “Suspected WMD-Related Dual-Use Goods and Procurement Transactions,” contains an error. The report implies that Iraq procured the spray dryers with precise atomizer nozzles from Danish company Niro Atomizer Inc. in 2001. That is incorrect. In fact, the spray dryers and nozzles were procured in the late 1980s, well before UN sanctions were in place on such equipment. The error in the report occurred in the process of editing and this section should not have been included. The incorrect passage has been removed.

We should also recap what has been “found” in Iraq in terms of WMD.

1) A Sarin and/or Mustard Gas exploded and “exposed” a few soldiers to the gas. Fox News reports that day:

However, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the results were from a field test, which can be imperfect, and said more analysis was needed. If confirmed, it would be the first finding of a banned weapon upon which the United States based its case for war.

The incident was never “confirmed”.

2) The case of the missing ammunition at a dump outside Baghdad. Remember those “UN seals”? We never heard anything about what really happened there either… and they haven’t appeared in the ISG interim report. Perhaps it will be in the final report.

I said it before the war started and I’ll say it again. The reason there was so much opposition to this war from the *public* (self serving political leaders aside) was not because of lack of empathy towards the plight of the Iraqi political. Rather it was because:

a) war simply causes more suffering… and it is often unpredictable and unstable in nature (as we have seen)

b) justifications for war *must* be rock solid. There must be a perception of threat. There must be a least a possibility of attack. Saddam Hussein could not, in his wildest dreams, launch an attack directly on even his closest neighbours. And his “indirect”, terrorist links were, again totally unproven and have since remained unproven and tenuous at best.

c) and finally… the damage that this has cause to the reputation of the US has been imeasurable. No matter what some Americans may think about the value of their perceived “goodness” in the world, it *does* matter simply because America is by far the most powerful country in the world. Whatever America does affects the rest of the world.. so the fact that a very large number of people in the world see America in a NEGATIVE light precisely because of its’ actions in Iraq will ultimately have a negative impact on both Americans and the rest of the world.

I can only hope that we have learned a lesson from the Iraq war. Unfortunately, given that that was said after WWI, WWII, Vietnam… and now Iraq… we has a human race may be doomed to repeat our mistakes again if we all do not realise the changes we must make in our attitudes and beliefs.

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