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Where Are the WMD?
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Maybe I'm just a dupe to the Bush Regime, but this question doesn't concern me nearly as much as it seems to be concerning lots of others.

I've argued before that finding Saddam's illicit weapons is necessary to legitimize the war. And I stand by that assertion.

I would have expected weapons to have been found by now, but they haven't. Does this mean we were all duped (at least those of us that believed there were comprehensive weapons programs)? Not necessarily. I've argued for patience in the past, and I'm still arguing for it now.

I've heard the argument that perhaps Saddam was pretending to have illicit weapons in order to bluff, or appear more menacing. I wouldn't completely rule this possibility out, but it doesn't gel with the profile of Hussein or many widely-undisputed facts.

1) Iraq actually used chemical weapons in the past. In the Iran-Iraq war, and many times against the Kurds.

2) Iraqi soldiers in many areas had gas masks. Perhaps this was all part of an elaborate ruse, but it seems like great lengths to go to.

3) Huge amounts of weapons were unaccounted for from the end of the previous Gulf War. We're talking about tons of weapons that we know they had, that Hans Blix went on and on about in front of the U.N., that were never documented as being destroyed and were never produced.

4) Saddam's Behavior. He was not behaving as a leader who was willing to clear the record. If so, he could easily have produced either the weapons or the proof of their destruction. Instead, under the threat of war, he gave inspectors geographic access (but not to scientists, many of whom might, before the war, have been executed). This is the behavior of someone who is confident that what he is hiding is well-hidden, not someone who wants to come clean.

5) Saddam's Egotism. At the heart of the Ba'athist party was the notion of Pan-Arabism, one unified Arab superstate spanning the Arab world. And if you read much about Saddam, you know it was his dream to rule such a state. You also know that his drive to acquire weapons of mass destruction was central to this goal, culminating in two comprehensive nuclear programs which were dismantled respectively by the Israelis and the first Gulf War coalition. It seems highly unlikely that Hussein would simply give up on such ambitions. Rather, it seems much more likely that he would hide, extremely-well, illicit weapons in the hope of living another day and regaining power...he'd done this many times.

I think the likeliest scenario is that there are still plenty of weapons, well-hidden, in the deserts of Iraq, either in caves or well-concealed underground facilities. There are probably many more mobile laboratories that have been buried or otherwise concealed.

So two months after the toppling of Hussein's regime, I still have faith that we will find illicit weaponry. And I still fervently believe we need to. Yes, there were humanitarian reasons for toppling Saddam, but those were only part of the equation. A very large factor was the threat of Saddam's regime, and that still very much needs to be verified.

I think it will.

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