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October 07, 2004

Duelfer's Report

...is digested nicely by Instapundit.

Some news hurts Bush-- it turns out Saddam didn't have stockpiles of WMD's, and I think that it's time I actually wrapped my head around that. Due to both political bias and actual bona-fide expectations that Saddam did have WMD's -- as everyone thought, including, apparently, top officials in his regime -- I have long clinged to the hope we'd find stockpiles of Iraqi WMD's, whether in Iraq or in Syria or Lebanon. At this point I give up the ghost on that.

But other news undeniably helps Bush and/or hurts Kerry. Saddam deliberately retained the infrastructure for creating WMD's, and intended to begin churning them out the minute the sanctions regime ended-- and of course it was crumbling.

And it seems that the "allies" Kerry claims could have and should have been brought into a "Grand Coalition" against Saddam were already in a Grand Coalition-- a corrupt coalition to keep Saddam in power, in perpetuity:

Although they found no evidence that Saddam had made any WMD since 1992, they found documents which showed the "guiding theme" of his regime was to be able to start making them again with as short a lead time as possible."

Saddam was convinced that the UN sanctions - which stopped him acquiring weapons - were on the brink of collapse and he bankrolled several foreign activists who were campaigning for their abolition. He personally approved every one.

To keep America at bay, he focusing on Russia, France and China - three of the five UN Security Council members with the power to veto war. Politicians, journalists and diplomats were all given lavish gifts and oil-for-food vouchers.

Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister, told the ISG that the "primary motive for French co-operation" was to secure lucrative oil deals when UN sanctions were lifted. Total, the French oil giant, had been promised exploration rights.

Iraqi intelligence officials then "targeted a number of French individuals that Iraq thought had a close relationship to French President Chirac," it said, including two of his "counsellors" and spokesman for his re-election campaign.

They even assessed the chances for "supporting one of the candidates in an upcoming French presidential election." Chirac is not mentioned by name.

A memo sent to Saddam dated in May last year from his intelligence corps said they met with a "French parliamentarian" who "assured Iraq that France would use its veto in the UN Security Council against any American decision to attack Iraq."

All of these revelations are newsworthy. Which one do you think the liberal legacy media will report at the top of their broadcasts? Which ones do you think the LLM won't bother to report at all?

Update: And of course the globetrotting leftist Friend to Dictators George Galloway was one of those who stood to benefit personally from the continuation of the oil-for-WMD's scheme-- and from Saddam's perpetual tyranny.

Update: The report's author says the world is better off without Saddam.


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