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An authoritative indictment of Saddam by a once-credible source

By Christopher Holton
SPECIAL TO WORLD TRIBUNE.COM
Thursday, January 23, 2003

Consider the following 9 powerful quotes from another article by another author entitled "Saddam's Trap" which details Saddam Hussein's illegal weapons of mass destruction programs.

Put in proper perspective, "Saddam's Trap" shows that we should not be at all surprised that the Iraqis are not cooperating with U.N. weapons inspectors. Nor should we be surprised that the Iraqis are in possession of chemical-capable warheads in violation of U.N. resolutions or that an Iraqi scientist was found to have documentation related to nuclear weapons at his home, again in violation of U.N. resolutions.

Now, on to the 9 important quotes:

1. "In a real sense, this exercise is a sham that will almost certainly play right into Saddam Hussein's hands."

2. "Today, surely, those facilities will be empty, their contents having been moved to secret locations elsewhere. In effect, Saddam will have managed to have his cake and eat it too. He will have prevented the inspectors from gathering any real evidence against him, while at the same time appearing to give them unfettered access to sensitive sites."

3. "I know that this is hardly the first time Saddam has pulled such tricks. In fact, they are at the heart of his strategy for preserving his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and, eventually, getting rid of U.N. economic sanctions (which he has largely succeeded in eluding anyway)."

4. "If it succeeds, the consequences could be dire. The Baghdad regime strengthened by having retained the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction and psychologically fortified by having outlasted the world's sole remaining superpower will rapidly restore its internal and regional constituencies and reemerge as a force to be reckoned with. Since his defeat in the Gulf war, Saddam has built up...years' worth of resentment and frustration that can only be released through renewed efforts at territorial expansion through armed aggression and blackmail, both economic and military."

5. "Even today, Iraq is not nearly disarmed. UNSCOM lacks a full declaration from Iraq concerning its prohibited capabilities, making any absolute pronouncement about the extent of Iraq's retained proscribed arsenal inherently tentative. But, based on highly credible intelligence, UNSCOM suspects that Iraq still has biological agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, and clostridium perfringens in sufficient quantity to fill several dozen bombs and ballistic missile warheads, as well as the means to continue manufacturing these deadly agents. Iraq probably retains several tons of the highly toxic VX substance, as well as sarin nerve gas and mustard gas. This agent is stored in artillery shells, bombs, and ballistic missile warheads. And Iraq retains significant dual-use industrial infrastructure that can be used to rapidly reconstitute large-scale chemical weapons production."

6. "Meanwhile, Iraq has kept its entire nuclear weapons infrastructure intact through dual-use companies that allow the nuclear-design teams to conduct vital research and practical work on related technologies and materials. Iraq still has components (high explosive lenses, initiators, and neutron generators) for up to four nuclear devices minus the fissile core (highly enriched uranium or plutonium), as well as the means to produce these. Iraq has retained an operational long-range ballistic missile force that includes approximately four mobile launchers and a dozen missiles. And, under the guise of a permitted short-range missile program, Iraq has developed the technology and production means necessary for the rapid reconstitution of long-range ballistic missile production."

7. "Iraq supports its retained prohibited capabilities with an extensive covert procurement network operated by Iraqi intelligence. While images of starving Iraqi children are beamed around the world by American television, Iraqi front companies have spent millions of dollars on forbidden material related to all weapons categories in direct violation of existing sanctions and often under the cover of the humanitarian "oil for food" program."

8. "Finally, Iraqi security forces have kept critical documentation, including the vital "cookbooks" that contain the step-by-step process to make chemical agent, outline the procedures for producing weapons-grade biological agent, detail the final design of the Iraqi nuclear weapon, and provide the mechanical integration procedures for long-range ballistic missiles."

9. "The world should demand a robust inspection regime and total Iraqi compliance. If Iraq refuses to allow this, or if it is unduly obstructive, then the United States and the Security Council should seek to compel Iraq, through military force if necessary. Military strikes carried out for the purpose of enabling a vigorous UNSCOM to carry out its mandate are wholly justifiable. And one thing is certain: Without an UNSCOM carrying out the full range of its disarmament and monitoring activities unfettered by Iraqi obstruction, the only winner to emerge from this situation will be Saddam Hussein."

It is time to reveal the origin of these quotes. They come from an article published in The New Republic magazine in December 1998, shortly after Saddam Hussein kicked U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq. As dangerous as Iraq was then, they have now had over 4 years since this article was written to further develop, build, and hide weapons of mass destruction, meaning that the Iraqi threat today can only be greater than it was when this article was written. Unless of course we are to believe that the Iraqis, after years of deception and non-cooperation, simply disposed of their weaponry and shut their programs down. Who could possibly believe that?

At any rate, I urge everyone to read "Saddam's Trap" in its entirety. It can be found on the web at [http://www.tnr.com/103000/ritter122198.html] .

The author? Scott Ritter. Yes, that Scott Ritter. Each time you see him on television, compare what he has to say today, 4 years after he had access to any U.N. intelligence, with what he wrote in 1998. It is enlightening to say the least!

Christopher W. Holton is a member of WorldTribune.com's Board of Advisors. He can be reached through his non-profit web site, http://www.nationalsecurityonline.com.

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