Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Projectiles

Is it possible that the War Party finally has found the WMD smoking gun that hasn't turned up in the last three years? Led by Glenn Reynolds, they are claiming as much. NRO's Kathryn Lopez laid out the findings that came from Rick Santorum:
Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.

Despite many efforts to locate and destroy Iraq’s pre-Gulf War chemical munitions, filled and unfilled pre-Gulf War chemical munitions are assessed to still exist. Pre-Gulf War Iraqi chemical weapons could be sold on the black market.

Use of these weapons by terrorists or insurgent groups would have implications for Coalition forces in Iraq.

The possibility of use outside Iraq cannot be ruled out.

The most likely munitions remaining are sarin and mustard-filled projectiles.

The purity of the agent inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives, and environmental storage conditions.

While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal.

It has been reported in open press that insurgents and Iraqi groups desire to acquire and use chemical weapons. (emphasis added)

Is this what all of the fuss was about back in 2002? No. As I have pointed out before, we didn't invade Iraq because Saddam had "sarin and mustard-filled projectiles" or "pre-Gulf War chemical munitions." We invaded Iraq because of the grave threat that might end in a mushroom cloud.

As awful as it would no doubt be to be subjected to an attack by mustard and sarin gas shells, assuming that any of them still worked; they didn't pose a "grave threat" to the United States in 2002. In fact, artillery shells, which is what this report appears to be about, wouldn't pose any threat to Americans unless we invaded Iraq. And I have yet to see any reports that Americans have been subject to a poison gas attack.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

wake up.

Bob Weber said...

I wonder if any of the shells still had the "Made In USA" label from when Saddam was a U.S. ally and getting U.S. assistance.

Scott P. Richert said...

Clark: Good post; absolutely right on target (no pun intended). I've put an extensive analysis of the declassified document up at my weblog, The Rockford Files. (You can find it by clicking on my name above.)

Scott P. Richert said...

Oops. That should be "on my name below." Sorry about that.

Kitty said...

I'm no chemist, but I recall from high school that it's possible to make a good facsimile of fosgene -- a banned chemical weapon -- by mixing laundry bleach with common household ammonia. Since those are the "precursor agents" to a banned chemical weapon, am I an "imminent threat to the United States" since I have both compounds on a shelf in my laundry room?

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