Thursday, April 13, 2006


On March 31st, I said I had a surprise coming up. The surprise is still pending. Stay tuned.

I'm current reading "American General" by Tommy Franks. Franks is the 4 star general who commanded the American forces liberating Iraq in 2003. A couple of points were made clear. The King of Jordan and the President of Egypt both told the Americans that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction (specifically biological agents) and that he was crazy enough to use them. The Americans also found a unit equiped with new chemical warfare suits and atropine injectors. At least one unit was fully equiped to fight in the presence of nerve gas. You can say that there was a failure of Intelligence, but to assert that the Americans knew there were no WMDs and just invaded Iraq for oil is plain wrong. Or perhaps I should phrase it more clearly... such a view displays paranoia or an anti-American prejudice.

Our Easter Conference is this weekend. Hopefully we can make it out to a lot of the sessions.


Anonymous jgriffn said...

A few points Shawn,

* The Americans knew that the Iraq army had chemical suits etc., they sold them the equipment
* The Americans were talking about a nuclear threat not a chemical one
* There is no reliable way of using biological weapons, Saddam knew this and the U.S. knew Saddam knew this
* They had no means of delivering WMD's, the U.N. made sure of that

I am not saying that there was no reason to attack Iraq, I think that Saddam gave the U.N. ample reason back in the late 1990's and I wish he was taken care of under Clinton's watch and not made the next president's (Bush) problem. I think that American foreign policy is guided by American domestic and foreign interests and the Americans were very interested in securing a piece of Iraq's oil reserves just in case things fell apart in Saudi Arabia. This decision does not have to be driven by greed, as an oil man President Bush understands better than most how dependent the U.S. economy is on foreign. With trouble on the rise in Saudi Arabia President Bush would have been derelict in his duty if he did not try to secure a secondary supply of oil.

10:14 p.m.  
Blogger Shawn Abigail said...

Don't know who sold them the suits. I know General Franks was quite surprised.

The Americans did talk about a bio-threat, and were concerned that several tons of materials needed to create weaponized anthrax, etc., were missing. Powell also presented to the UN information on mobile chemical labs. Saddam also used VX and Sarin (nerve gas) on the Kurds.

Not sure why you would say there is no reliable way to use biological weapons. You can't just put a bottle of anthrax in a ballistic missle because the heat of re-entry would destroy it. You could engineer a protective container for a ballistic missile. The so called TBM's (aka Scud) would not have the same problem for re-entry heat. Several Scud variants were launched at American forces in 2003. At the point I'm at in the book, Patriot missiles have successfully intercepted 4 of 6 missiles launched. Of course the most efficient way to dispense a bio-weapon is via a cruise missile.

The Iraqis did have TBM's. But the point is not whether it is an efficient delivery mechanism. The most important point would be to get some bio-weapons dropped on American forces, or even worse, Israel. If an extended range Scud landed in Israel loaded with Anthrax, it would not need to infect anyone for Israel to make a spectacular attack on Iraq, which would likely cause the Arab world to attack Israel.

Finally, I'm not sure America cared about a second source of oil when they could have taken the first source. If the war was about securing oil supplies, why not invade Saudi Arabia? After 9/11, America was not too happy with the Saudis.

Anyway, thanks for the comments.

5:56 a.m.  

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