Years ago, when Bush’s stupid war in Iraq began, I started putting some statistics up on my then blog site. Statistics like this one:
- Number of biological bombs in Iraq, according to Colin Powell: 400,
- Number of biological bombs found in Iraq: 0,
- Amount of anthrax in Saddam Hussein’s possession, according to Colin Powell: 16,000 kg,
- Amount of anthrax found in Iraq: 0 kg,
and so on. Now that the Iraqi war officially came to an end, CNN provided some interesting statistics of their own:
So my question is… was it worth it? Even if we ignore the fact that Iraq may yet become a satellite state of an increasingly powerful Iran and as such, a worse security threat than Saddam Hussein has ever been, his evil sons and chemical attacks on civilians notwithstanding?
A couple of points:
First, about the war – Saddam certain had WMDs in the past. We know that because he used them, both against Iran in the Iran-Iraq war, and against his own population. Saddam was also quite openly supporting and sponsoring Palestinian terrorists (he held frequent press conferences about this, where he gave $25k payments to the families of suicide bombers) and allowed at least one senior AQ guy to receive medical treatment in Iraq. AQ then went on to demonstrate a sophisticated capability to attack the US homeland. When you combine all of that with the fact that EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of the world’s major foreign intelligence agencies was saying that Saddam STILL had WMDs, that adds up to an intolerable threat – Iraqi WMDs delivered to the USA by terrorists. It doesn’t matter who was in the White House, or what party he was from. The moment the second plane hit the World Trade Center, Saddam was a dead man.
Second, about those WMDs – The entire WMD arsenal of any nation other than the three superpowers would fit comfortably into a three bedroom townhouse. Thanks to the miracle of GPS, it is possible to locate any point on earth to an accuracy of better than the width of a shovel blade. Now it may be that all of Iraq’s WMDs were destroyed back in 1991 in the first Gulf War. It may be, too, that Saddam decided that it was more important to buy another solid gold toilet for his palace than to rebuild his WMD capability afterwards. But … with a year and a half of advance warning, and all of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon available to him, do really believe that he couldn’t have hidden his WMDs well enough that they wouldn’t be found? We’ll probably never know for sure.