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Steyn Invokes the Name of Fisk – Smoking Guns Turn Up

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Steyn called this one two weeks ago, if he does say so himself:

    This war is over. The only question now is whether a new provisional
    government is installed before the BBC and The New York Times have finished
    running their exhaustive series on What Went Wrong with the Pentagon’s
    Failed War Plan and while The Independent’s Saddamite buffoon Robert Fisk is
    still panting his orgasmic paeans to the impenetrability of Baghdad’s
    defences and huffily insisting there are no Americans at the airport even as
    the Saddam International signs are being torn down and replaced with
    Rumsfeld International.

    ….As I wrote back then, apropos Robert Fisk’s massive bulk loo-paper purchase
    in the run-up to war, “I can’t say this strikes me as a 25-roll war”. By the
    time you read this, Tariq Aziz and the last five Ba’athists in Baghdad may
    be holed up in Fisk’s Ba’athroom, and he’ll be hailing the genius of their
    plan to lure the Americans to their doom by leaving his loo rolls on the
    stairwell for the Marines to slip on.

    But, for everyone other than media naysayers, it’s the Anglo-Aussie-American
    side who are the geniuses. Rumsfeld’s view that one shouldn’t do it with
    once-a-decade force, but with a lighter, faster touch has been vindicated,
    with interesting implications for other members of the axis of evil and its
    reserve league. [Telegraph]

200 bodies in wooden boxes with photos of turture and murder accompanying them is one thing, but the gun is now smoking:

    U.S. biological and chemical weapons experts believe they may have found an Iraqi storage site for weapons of mass destruction (WMD), a U.S. officer told Reuters on Monday.

    A military source who declined to be identified said there were unconfirmed reports there could be sarin — a highly lethal nerve agent that causes death by suffocation — at the site. [Reuters]

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About Eric Olsen

  • InMarin

    “Smoking gun” WMD site in Iraq turns out to contain pesticide

    A facility near Baghdad that a US officer had claimed might finally be “smoking gun” evidence of Iraqi chemical weapons production turned out to contain pesticide, not sarin gas as originally thought.

    A military intelligence officer for the US 101st Airborne Division’s aviation brigade, Captain Adam Mastrianni, told AFP that comprehensive tests Monday determined the presence of the pesticide compounds.

    Initial tests had reportedly detected traces of sarin — a powerful toxin that quickly affects the nervous system — after US soldiers guarding the facility near Hindiyah, 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of Baghdad, became ill.

    Mastrianni said: “They thought it was a nerve agent. That’s what it tested. But it is pesticide.”

    Oh well…better luck next time, eh?

  • InMarin

    A smoking gun here at home:

    “Oakland Police Open Fire On Protesters, Longshoremen

    Police open fired Monday morning with rubber bullets at an anti-war protest at the Port of Oakland, injuring several longshoremen standing nearby. Police were trying to clear protesters from an entrance to the docks when they opened fire and the longshoremen apparently were caught in the crossfire.

  • Eric Olsen

    Dude, wrong discovery: “The U.S. news station National Public Radio, reporting what appeared to be a separate discovery to the one in Albu Mahawish, said U.S. forces found a weapons cache of around 20 medium-range missiles equipped with potent chemical weapons.

    NPR said the rockets, BM-21 missiles, were equipped with sarin and mustard gas and were “ready to fire.”

    It said the cache was discovered by Marines with the 101st Airborne Division, which was following up behind the Army after it seized Baghdad’s international airport.

    Officers from the 101st Division and the 3rd Infantry Division at the airport were unable to confirm the report. U.S. Central Command headquarters in Qatar had no immediate comment.”

  • http://www.sanfordmay.com san

    Eric: Dude, you newspeaked that one. Your original post linked to the story about barrels of compounds found at an agricultural complex, the ones that have apparently turned out to be pesticides. But your rebuttal comment linked to the report of the NPR story about missiles found with loaded chemical warheads. In your original post you WERE talking about the find that InMarin noted was not a WMD site after all.

    By the way, my wife heard the same story about missiles on NPR. That story has dropped off radar on all the major news outlets — even Fox. I’ve yet to see an official retraction, but it’s getting no further attention.

    Lastly, it’s not surprising that preliminary field tests for nerve agents do report false positives on pesticides. Many pesticides ARE nerve agents.

  • Eric Olsen

    San, Both incidents were reported in the same story – I agree both have died down, we’ll see what turns up. Even if both of these are DEAD wrong, do you really think they won’t find anything incriminating? I think the human findings thus far are all the “on the sene” validation we need for regime change: it’s an outrageous hellhole.

  • http://www.sanfordmay.com san

    Eric, There was no mention of missiles, warheads, etc. in the first story. There was a vague reference to another ongoing site investigation, but I have to go with my original assertion: you were talking about the barrels. The detailed missile story didn’t make it to Yahoo until 7 hours after you originally posted.

    I think we all know about Saddam’s human rights violations. Human rights agencies have been reporting on that for 20 years. But this war was predicated on the fact that Saddam had not disarmed. And we have yet to turn up ONE verified find of WMD. So, yeah, I’m starting to doubt there was anything like a full-scale WMD arsenal left in Iraq. For the sake of prudence, I’m not discounting it; but if nothing, or very little, turns up, a strong case is made that UN disarmament activities in Iraq WERE working, which the Bush administration specifically denied. I know the administration is trying to change horses right now without anyone noticing — it’s all about the HUMAN RIGHTS, man — but some of us have noticed.

    If this is all about human rights, we’ll drop on down to the DR Congo for a little confab. Hey, we could do that right now. I’m waiting.

  • Eric Olsen

    Um, okay pitbull – I actually heard the report on NPR, got to the office and linked the first story I came across. I assumed it was the same story, I didn’t even know anything about the pesticide story until later. The second story linked has both reports, and then I realized they were different.

    I have about zero doubt that there are illegal WMD in Iraq – look at all the circumstantial evidence. It’s well-hiden I’m sure, they had 12 years to learn how to hide what they were doing.

    Do you really think the administration would have made all of those accusations over and over if they didn’t have evidence? I hope you aren’t trying to deflect away from, or minimize the success of this mission.

    As I have said all along, I don’t really care WHY this was done, just as long as it was done. There are at least five good reasons for doing it – I buy them all.

  • http://www.sanfordmay.com san

    “Um, okay pitbull…” That’s #1 on the Brian Flemming chart.

    The story said nothing about warheads or missiles. I’ll accept that you didn’t read it before you linked to it. If believing you backtracked to save face makes me a pitbull, then I’m a pitbull. If you’d clarified any of this in your rebuttal comment to InMarin, then I might be more open to your argument.

    “…deflect away from, or minimize the success of this mission.”

    Who said the US could not militarily defeat Saddam? That, in my opinion, was a foregone conclusion. Indeed, I think that if the administration thought they faced a real military struggle, they never would have gone in. It doesn’t change the fact that it represents a wholesale change in American foreign policy and the use of the military for preemptive assaults based on vague — and sometimes entirely erroneous — intelligence reports.

    I’m willing to leave room in my case that we may find WMD that were actually there before we got there. However, that doesn’t discount the notion that UN inspections were working and may have continued to work had they been allowed to run their course. The more ground Saddam gave to UN inspectors, the more adamantly Bush pursued war. It was as if he were afraid Saddam would be backed so far into a corner, Iraq would let the UN inspectors dig up the entire country, and out the window would go Bush’s plan for war.

    I’ll note that you have stated unequivocally that we will find WMD in Iraq — and I assume you mean WMD that aren’t suspect as being planted by the US when they don’t readily find anything. So, we shall see.

  • InMarin

    Rumsfeld on March 21:


    “Our goal is to defend the American people, and to eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and to liberate the Iraqi people. Coalition military operations are focused on achieving several specific objectives: to end the regime of Saddam Hussein by striking with force on a scope and scale that makes clear to Iraqis that he and his regime are finished. Next, to identify, isolate and eventually eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, production capabilities, and distribution networks. Third, to search for, capture, drive out terrorists who have found safe harbor in Iraq. Fourth, to collect such intelligence as we can find related to terrorist networks in Iraq and beyond. Fifth, to collect such intelligence as we can find related to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction activity. Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian relief, food and medicine to the displaced and to the many needy Iraqi citizens. Seventh, to secure Iraq’s oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people, and which they will need to develop their country after decades of neglect by the Iraqi regime. And last, to help the Iraqi people create the conditions for a rapid transition to a representative self-government that is not a threat to its neighbors and is committed to ensuring the territorial integrity of that country.”

    Torie Clark, March 29:


    “Good afternoon everybody. Significant progress continues in the coalition campaign in Iraq. Let me take just a couple of minutes to remind everyone of the eight mission objectives of Operation Iraqi Freedom, as Secretary Rumsfeld described just a week ago.

    First, end the regime of Saddam Hussein; second, capture or drive out terrorists sheltered in Iraq; third, collect intelligence on terrorist networks; fourth, collect intelligence on Iraq’s illicit weapons-of-mass-destruction activity; five, destroy the weapons of mass destruction, the systems and the facilities; sixth, secure Iraq’s oil fields and natural resources for the Iraqi people; seven, end the sanctions and immediately deliver humanitarian relief; and the final objective, to help the Iraqi people transition to a non-threatening, representative form of self-government that preserves the territorial integrity of Iraq.”

    If the Coalition of the Willing finds WMDs in Iraq, what’s the excuse for going into Syria?

    ‘Rolling’ Victory Key to U.S. Endgame


    “The Bush administration has devised a strategy to declare victory in Iraq even if Saddam Hussein or key lieutenants remain at large and fighting continues in parts of the country, officials said yesterday.”

    Sounds like rolling post-war justification to me.

  • http://www.slumdance.com/blogs/brian_flemming/ Brian Flemming

    InMarin,

    Thanks for that. I love it–EIGHT objectives for the war. And in eight days they change their priority order, to accommodate the various failures.

    I love the smell of revisionist history in the morning. Smells like…”victory.”

    The Onion has a story about the seventh, er, sixth, whatever, objective.