The media will never say that without a doubt, this 380 tons of missing explosives is the fault of the Bush administration. But it is, and when Bush, Cheney and others claim it’s not their fault, they are lying.
The supposed “controversy” is that although International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors saw the bunker and verified the seals they had put on just days before the war began, it is possible that the bunkers were looted before US troops began the invasion, therefore it is not the responsibility of the Bush administration.
That is bullshit.
Ignore the rest of the timelines, and whether or not US troops found or did not find explosives at different times during the invasion. It’s immaterial.
Whether the looting happened just before the war, during the war, or after “major combat operations” ended doesn’t matter. I think it’s reasonable to agree that if this happened after the “war” was over, then it was the US’s responsibility to guard these bunkers, and failing to secure them after the IAEA had told the Pentagon about the site - yet managing to guard the oil ministry - was a serious mistake.
So let’s examine the first two possibilities: that the looting occurred in the days right before the war after the IAEA inspectors left, or during the invasion and war.
In both cases, it’s still the US’s fault. Determining when the looting happened simply doesn’t matter.
By executing an invasion of a stable nation that had not attacked us and had no intention of attacking us with the supposed purpose of securing weapons of mass destruction from possible handovers to hostile terrorist forces, we destabilized the nation. We created an environment where those terrorist forces could seize high explosives, or as I like to call explosive material that can be used to start nuclear reactions, “weapons of mass destruction.”
The IAEA knew about this site and was monitoring it. It would have been impossible for Saddam Hussein to simply “lose” this material and hand it over to terrorists without the international community knowing, absurd as that situation even is to contemplate. Instead, we created the context and environment for exactly what we were trying to prevent: dangerous weapons in the hands of unknown non-state actors, likely terrorists or people willing to sell them to terrorists.
Are we really supposed to blame Saddam for not better protecting his weapons that had been under lock and key by IAEA inspectors when he is about to face invasion? Are we supposed to blame the IAEA for leaving? Those IAEA inspectors wouldn’t have left if we weren’t about to invade the country. That vacuum is the Bush administration’s fault. (Proving either his disconnect with reality or ability to lie with a straight face, President Bush has repeatedly said Saddam wouldn’t let inspectors in.)
The truth is it’s the US government’s fault, and the the Bush administration should admit it, not make ridiculous arguments about how we don’t know enough of the facts and it’s irresponsible to talk about the situation before those facts are established. Those weapons were there just days before the war started. Now they are not. Nobody knows where exactly where they are or who has them. (1) Those are the only facts that matter. Any arguments about Kerry making wild accusations, or about not respecting the troops are just absurd. They’re noise. This is a colossal fuck-up by the Bush administration and nothing is going to change that.
They could talk about how many other sites they’ve secured, and make an argument about how 380 tons of explosives in the hands of terrorists or some other unknown pales compared to what we’ve “gained” in Iraq, and the amount of material we have secured. Those are reasonable arguments to make, although I don’t agree with them. But don’t say we don’t have the facts and dont’s say it’s not our fault. Don’t pass the buck. Because that’s simply bullshit.
Normally I would never consider voting since, you know, they can call you in for jury duty if you register to vote, and I don’t even live in a swing-state. But not only did I register to vote, I promise to vote the shit out of some ballot this Tuesday.
- Although apparently we’re pretty sure they’re being used by insurgents to blow things up in Iraq right now.
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