Thursday, October 07, 2004


The Iraq Survey Group - the special US group that was supposed to find Saddam's hidden caches of weapons of mass destruction - has reported back today, and has said that there weren't any. That's right - 15,000 Iraqi civilians dead, and no WMD. None, zip, nada. Saddam's WMD capabilities were "essentially destroyed in 1991", and while there's no doubt he wanted to develop them again (who wouldn't, with Bush in the White House?), and was planning to restart his programmes when sanctions eased, he didn't have any.

The one fig leaf for the Bush administration is that Saddam was apparantly able to manufacture small quantities of chemical weapons for assassinations. But this can be done in any high school chemistry lab - or for those on a budget, in your kitchen. If we take this seriously as a reason for war, we'd have to accept that any country which includes science in its secondary education curriculum, or which possesses both electricity and running water, is in dire need of a bombing.

This makes it clear that the invasion of Iraq was unjustified. Iraq did not pose a threat to its neighbours, and it certainly did not pose a threat to the United States. Any doctrine of pre-emption must rest on certain knowledge of an immediate attack. Vague intent and the possibility of an attack at some far-off point in the future is simply not enough.