Monday, October 04, 2004

In response to Jeremy

Two things:

Firstly Jeremy says that the Oil-for-Food program changing from US-dollars to Euros was what triggered the US invasion of Iraq. Besides the fact that this happened well before Sept 11th, and I believe even before Bush was president. It seems unlikely to me that the negative effect on the USDs value would justify the billions and billions of dollars required to wage the war, even if everything had turned out well for the Americans.

Secondly, last week he responded to my post about WMDS in Iraq. He claims that it was probably the Iranians who carried out chemical attacks on the Kurds in the 80s, as the chemical used was HCN rather than VX. Now I found a wacky consipiracy theory site that backs him up here, but more reputable sites confirm that it was actually sarin gas that was used, a chemical that the Iraqis definately had.

Curiously enough, while I was looking this stuff up I found out something related to my original post. Sarin has a very short shelf life. If Saddam wasn't still producing it recently, his stockpiles from the 80s would almost certainly be useless by now. On the other hand, he had plenty of other kinds of chemical weapons, and in May this year, US soldiers found a roadside bomb containing Sarin gas, which they claimed originated from Saddams stockpile.

As for the claim that the US supplied Saddam with these weapons to begin with, I find that pretty dubious myself. According to this report, Iraq could have produced the mustard and tabun chemicals on it's own. Sarin is similar to tabun, and in the 90s the Japanese terrorist group Aum Shinrikyo produced it themselves and used it in the Tokyo subway bombings. Admittedly they were a very well funded group with a lot of scientific expertise, but if a crazy terrorist cult could do it, a nation could certainly do it as well.

Note 1: I'd link to the specific posts on Jeremy's site, but he doesn't seem to have permalinks.

Note 2: Apologies if this post is a bit garbled. Daylight savings has not been kind to me so far this week.

1 comment:

Joel said...

As an aside, George Bush always planned to invade Iraq, he was just looking for an excuse. After Sep. 11 he told his advisors to find evidence linking it to Iraq, despite there being none (or only really tenuous links). He just wants to please Daddy George Bush.