It is very well documented that the Bush administration wanted to topple Iraq even before 9/11 and that wmd gave them the most plausible excuse to do so. The biggest crime is that the so-called liberal media was cowed into going along for the ride but anyone willing to do even a modest amount of digging could see that their case on WMD was specious at best.
While this is certainly a very cautionary tale the differences in the circumstances and the facts between then and now are manifold and significant.
If there was any doubt that Syria in fact had chemical and/or biological weapons of significance ready to go in their arsenal Russia would be speaking up to deny their existence. But as late as yesterday when the Russian Foreign Minister spoke at a meeting of NATO all he would say was that the Assad Regime would not use its WMD's against its own people. So the fact that Syria has them is not in dispute the question on the table is whether or not they would use them.
It now appears that it is just a matter of time as to when the Assad government will fall and not if it will fall and that time now appears to be imminent regardless of direct foreign intervention. So the subject of the WMD's falling into the wrong hands is a critical issue regardless of who we deem those wrong hands to be.
Any help that we might get from the Russians in a joint effort with the United States and/or others to secure or remove these weapons will probably depend on on how likely it would be that Russia would get to retain its warm water ports for its black sea fleet in a post Assad Syria. And my guess would be, not very likely.
Powell's own view was that the van that was photographed was crude, open, and poorly constructed; and only vaguely resembled a sophisticated facility for producing biological weapons and this was considered the closest that anybody came to finding evidence of WMD's in Iraq!
When he questioned the evidence because it had been included as part of his UN speech a twenty eight page pamphlet appeared on his desk the next day, stamped that it had come from the CIA, INSISTING that this is what these vans were for, even though his own intelligence staff were saying that there was no way that the vans could have produced chemical weapons.
Is your explanation that Saddam thought if I get these weapons out of the country and show them I don't have any, they will play nice and let me go?
The actual "whack-jobs" were Bush and Cheney who made it abundantly clear before they screwed up the invasion and occupation of Iraq that Syria was next on their list before they took a walk through the park in Iran
Are you really naive enough to believe that Assad would take Saddam's WMD stockpile for safe-keeping?
In a way, it is regrettable that this forum is one of general anonymity. I have done more than a small amount of work in regards to the underlying issues that I have raised in the previous paragraph (and should events turn out as expected such work will be merely foundational). I respect your opinions even though I am in marked disagreement with a large number of them. In a different time and a different place, I would be more than happy to share such work with you as the best work is that which is subject to critique.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said Thursday that intelligence about Syrian chemical weapons "raises serious concerns" that the regime of Bashar Assad may use them against the country's own citizens. Panetta repeated the stern warning issued earlier this week by President Barack Obama that "there will be consequences of the Assad regime make the terrible mistake by using these chemical weapons on their own people."
His comments came a day after U.S. officials told NBC News that the Syrian military had loaded the precursor chemicals for sarin, a deadly nerve gas, into aerial bombs that could be dropped from dozens of fighter-bombers. The defense chief, who was speaking at a news conference at the Department of Veterans Affairs, would not elaborate on what the potential consequences would be.
Eventually, someone will realize that the 'weapons were moved to Syria' was the employment of rhetorical technique to undercut the contention of competency of the USIC.
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