2002: There are WMDs in Iraq. 2003: Whoops, our bad. 2006: There were WMDs in Iraq

Sometimes it’s hard to know what to believe. Fox News is reporting that yesterday, Republican Senator Rick Santorum read from a newly declassified portion of a Department of Defense document, saying over 500 pre-1991-era chemical WMDs have been discovered in Iraq since 2003. The senator believes more will be discovered.

The aged and “degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent” chemical munitions are not in usable condition, said a senior Defense Department official, who added that they “are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war.”

If the report is true, it means Saddam Hussein was lying or misinformed when he claimed that all of Iraq’s WMDs had been destroyed. It also would question the effectiveness of the years of UN weapons inspections in Iraq. (Click “Read More” for commentary.)

————- Minor update: The title was originally “1992: … 1993: … 1996…” How humbling to not only be living in the wrong decade, but the wrong century!

Commentary:

It is so hard to know what to believe. Even if true, this new information isn’t new at all, and irrelevant to the war. At the same press conference, Santorum and Republican Representative. Pete Hoekstra said Republicans would pursue declassification of further documents to shed more light on this issue.

I wonder why? Why put effort into uncovering and publicizing more dated and pointless information? To prove Hussein was a liar? We’ve known that for a decade or more. To spin the war some more? To support, or appear to support, a President with waning popularity? What’s the benefit, if any? The FOX News report suggests that this news is giving a “united” Republican party more ammunition (pardon the pun) in the debate with an increasingly fragmented Democratic party to set a timetable to get US troops out of Iraq. While I feel we have a moral responsibility to the ethical majority of citizens in that country, the daily news is unrelentingly discouraging. Still, the criterion for leaving their country should be quelling the instability we caused by going there in the first place, and not a contest of sound bites and headlines.

I must admit, a headline like, “Report: Hundreds of WMDs found in Iraq” grabbed my attention. I thought we, as a country, might be off the “imperialist” hook, if only a little, in the eyes of the non-extremists in the world. Too bad.

The opinions expressed in Steve’s Peeves are intended to entertain and uplift. They may not be appropriate for young readers or the satirically challenged. Parental supervision is advised.

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