Wednesday, February 04, 2004
From Amir Taheri:
Those clamoring the loudest about the need for inquiries into the war are trying to narrow the focus to the WMD issue. What they say is simple: Show us the large stocks of WMDs that Saddam held, or admit that we should not have removed him from power.
No one could claim that Iraq never had any WMDs. Exhaustive lists of Iraqi WMDs are available from countless U.N. reports. Just a week before the liberation war started, Iraq admitted it was manufacturing the Al-Samoud missiles in violation of U.N. resolutions.
Let us also not limit the inquiry into the WMDs that Saddam had or did not have on the eve of the war. It is possible that at that time he had destroyed or shipped abroad his remaining WMDs to weather the storm he faced. What is certain, however, is that he had the intention, the scientists and the resources to re-launch his programs once the storm had passed.
Let us establish the circumstances under which the 4,000 mass graves came about and who were the 300,000 skeletons found in them. And should we not find out who organized those gas attacks that killed tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds and Iranians in what is now regarded as the biggest use of chemical weapons since 1918?
Our inquiry should also take testimony from the estimated 5.5 million Iraqis who served prison terms of varying length under Saddam and, in many cases, were subjected to tortures unseen since the darkest days of Stalin.
And should we not hear from the former inhabitants of the 4,000 villages that Saddam torched and razed during his infamous Anfal campaign?
The inquiry will have to hear at least some of the 4 million plus Iraqis driven into exile during Saddam's reign of terror. It would also have to provide answers for families who are still searching for more than 10,000 people listed as "missing" after being arrested by Saddam's agents.
(link via Tim Blair)