Wednesday, May 19, 2004
A die-hard, but not dwindling: Well, you knew there was never going to be a clean sweep. The New York Times editorial page opines on the discovery of a sarin-filled artillery shell rigged to be a roadside bomb.
The Times has been among those assailing President Bush in recent months for flawed intelligence and the failure to find any weapons of mass destruction. Now, when some are discovered, the Times moves the goalposts.
If laboratory tests confirm the presence of sarin, that finding may not tell us much about whether Saddam Hussein retained a hidden chemical arsenal after supposedly destroying it.
The dwindling band of die-hards who remain convinced that Mr. Hussein squirreled away stockpiles of illicit weapons worry that insurgents may use them against American forces. But finding some residual weapons that had escaped a large-scale destruction program would be no great surprise — and if the chemicals had degraded, no major threat.
The Times is very cavalier about the safety of America's fighting men and women in Iraq. After all, sarin can be very dangerous stuff. Would the Times attitude be the same if a similar device was found somewhere on West 42nd St.?
It's disturbing the Times still sees Saddam as more trustworthy than the empirical evidence. I'd be curious to see the Times explain this little problem, highlighted by Blaster.
Iraq never declared any binary 155mm artillery shells. In fact, they never claimed any filled with sarin at all in the UNSCOM Final report (Find on "Munitions declared by Iraq as remaining"). Not declared as existing at the end of the Gulf War, not having been destroyed in the Gulf War, not having been destroyed unilaterally. The only binary munitions claimed by the Iraqis were aerial bombs and missile warheads. Not in an artillery shell.
So, this would be yet another failure on the part of Saddam Hussein's government to abide by U.N. Security Council resolution 1441. Any complaints about that from the liberal media?
There are WMDs in Iraq. The goal is for us to find them before the insurgents and terrorists do. Right now, we're struggling to catch up.