Tuesday, April 24, 2007

There were no WMDs. But we knew exactly where they were. And it's Blix's fault for not finding them.

With all the twists and turns, flip-floppery, and circular reasoning used by Iraq war apologists I'm sometimes amazed they don't get seasick. Consider this item from a webchat with Richard Perle last week:

Alexandria, Va.: You claim Hans Blix believed Iraq was hiding WMD, but certainly by March 7, 2003 -- the date of his report to the U.N., and twelve days prior to the bombing of Baghdad -- he was stating that no evidence of WMD could be found and had expressed his skepticism to Condi Rice that any would be found. Isn't it irrelevant what Blix might have thought before he began inspections?

Richard Perle: It is true that Blix was unable to find evidence. There was never any real prospect that he could. But he did not believe that he was getting full cooperation from Saddam.

Finding WMD in Iraq could only have been accomplished by offering safety to people involved in the prior programs and removing them and their extended families from Iraq where they were in mortal danger. Blix, for reasons I will never understand, did not insist on the authority to offer sanctuary so he was reduced to touring the old sites associated with earlier WMD activity. In any case, we now know that the stockpiles that were thought to exist did not.

The capacity for self-deception exhibited here is truly mind-boggling. Despite acknowledging (in an offhand way) that there were no WMD he still tries to lay the blame for not finding them at the feet of Hans Blix. He does this using an argument of the form, "The only way to find WMDs was to do X. Blix did not do X. Therefore it is his fault no WMDs were found."

Well, no. Since there were no WMD's, there is NOTHING Blix could have done to find them short of manufacturing them himself. And let us not forget that what the administration said at the time was that they had "slam-dunk" proof that the WMD's were there, including information about exactly where they were located.

It is this claim that put the lie to the warmonger's arguments even at the time, because if they really knew where the WMD's were it would have been a simple matter to communicate that information to the inspectors on the ground and have them go there. If the inspectors were "reduced to touring the old sites" it is beause the administration was withholding information, not the Iraqis.

You can't have it both ways. If you claimed to know where the weapons were you can't saddle Blilx with the blame for not looking in the right places. And if you admit that you didn't know where they were, well, then you have a lot of explaining to do.

Why is no one in the press calling the administration on this?

1 comment:

Tex Swiss said...

it's because the entire 'liberal' press is owned by 4 or 5 conservative companies (even npr!)