posted on Oct, 30 2005 @ 03:03 PM
Quite a few of you say we should not have attacked
Iraq, You say that there was no reason to attack
that it was all Bush lies.
As I pointed out above, Bush did not say that Iraq
had nukes but he did charge, and Colin Powell
repeated the charge to the UN that Iraq was hiding
weapons programs in violation of UN inspections.
As time has shown these charges that Iraq was
hiding a nuclear program proved to be true.
For some more background on why this so alarmed
our military leaders you have to look at the
way nuclear weapons found their way into the
Al Qaeda/terrorist news at the time.
The first thing to look at is the possibility
of terrorists obtaining and using nukes. Some
make the case that this is much more likely
to happen than that a country will openly use
nukes. This has been pointed out by many
more than the Bush administration. Many
European intelligence types have even pointed
this out as a "probable" coming action.
For a country to openly use nukes they
have to accept the resulting retaliation with
nukes. On the other hand countries have supplied
guerillas and terrorists with weapons secretly,
because they can build in some hiding and deception
that gives them plausible deniability. For this
reason most experts believe that a terrorist
attack with nukes is more probable than a regular
military attack with them.
With technology at the state it has attained you
have to look at the possibility of a lone person
or small team getting their hands on very lethal
weapons, Timothy McVeigh comes to mind. When
one individual can do what he did, you can really
imagine some catastrophic results if a small
team got their hands on a suitcase nuke.
Nuclear weapons was at the core of the Iraq problem.
This may surprise some, but if you think back real hard
you may remember that Nuclear weapons and terrorists
made the news heavily for a few weeks and was a great
fear at the time. There was much talk in the news (TV,
magazines etc) about Al Qaeda having obtained suitcase
bombs from Russia. In November 2001 it was even
reported in the Pakistan press that Al Qaeda had
nuclear weapons. After Tora Bora it was reported that
some Al Qaeda people showed up in Iran. This gave a
fear that Iran might possibly give Al Qaeda nuclear
weapons. Similarly, it was feared that Pakistan might
give Al Qaeda a nuclear bomb, since the Pakistani
military had many Taliban supporters and Al Qaeda
sympathizers. In late October of 2001 the CIA received
reports from a Russian source that Al Qaeda may have
obtained two 10 kiloton suitcase bombs. In this backdrop
the scene at the time was very concerned about nuclear
weapons. This actually was a major point in the war
and shaped the focus of the US to go beyond just Al Qaeda.
Nuclear weapons was becoming a very major concern.
For example, in December of 2001 General Hameed Gul of
the Pakistani ISI (military intelligence) gave in a newspaper
interview the following quote, "No one can tell us how
to run our nuclear facilities and nuclear programs.
The Taliban will always remain in Afghanistan, and
Pakistan will always support them." If you read this
and extract the full meaning, Pakistan was saying that
they were going to give nuclear weapons to the Taliban,
Al Qaeda's model government of Afghanistan. This had
to be taken seriously because Pakistan actually had
the bomb. When it was reported in November 2001 in
the Pakistan press that Al Qaeda had nuclear weapons,
was this a set up for the story so that blame could
be avoided for giving them nukes? Were they just
preparing for when Al Qaeda floated a boat into New
York harbor with a nuke aboard. Were they just preparing
a cover something like, "We told you back in Nov 2001
that Al Qaeda was saying that they had nukes".
There is no limit to the scenarios one can come up
with here, but when a top general of Pakistan has
stated publicly that they might give nukes to
Al Qaeda, the US intel community took note of the
fact and took it seriously.
This put a whole new complexion on the war against
Al Qaeda. This situation suddenly made priority
number one for the US to lock down nuclear weapons.
Remember, at this time, the US had done no more
than go after Al Qaeda for their attack on the US.
The US had used quite a bit of restraint. They had
only put a handful of military personnel into
Afghanistan and had relied on the Northern Alliance
for the most part in order to get these Al Qaeda people
who were attacking us. Even in this subdued response
Al Qaeda and its supporters (Pakistan) were talking of
nuclear attacks on the US.
So much for using restraint, if they wanted to play
hard ball they had picked on the wrong country. George
Tenet, director of CIA went to Pakistan in December to
confront Musharraf with evidence that Gul and nuclear
scientists were collaborating with Al Qaeda. Tenet
gave Musharraf a list of scientists that CIA wanted
questioned concerning technology sharing with al
Qaeda. Two of them were out of the country. Tenet
demanded that they return and that Musharraf get control
of his nuclear weapons. The Pakistanis upon interview
convinced the US that they were not cooperating with Al
Qaeda, but they said that Al Qaeda was believed to have
Russian suit case bombs and even provided the serial
numbers of them and the date of manufacture, October
1988. The serial numbers did not check out with
Russian sources, and also no good story was given
as to why the Pakistanis had not confiscated the weapons
if in fact they had access close enough to get the
information. The story was probably born out of an
effort to give cause to the Americans to hesitate or
hold back on its anti Al Qaeda efforts. This intensifying
nightmare was being born at about the same time that
Tora Bora fighting ended. A number of advanced radiation
detectors were deployed around key spots in the US. These
are much more advanced than just Geiger counters. On DEC
20, 2001 Bush made the following comments at a press
"Today I'm announcing two more strikes against
the financing of terror. We know that Al Qaeda would like
to obtain nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and
we know that often times they do not act alone. Al Qaeda
has international supporters,..............Last year
a former official of the Pakistani atomic energy commission
set up an organization known as UTN. UTN claims to serve
the hungry and needy of Afghanistan, but it was UTN that
provided information about nuclear weapons to Al Qaeda."
Bush went directly after Gul and the nuclear scientists
allied with him. Also during this time a crisis had surfaced
between India and Pakistan. Some Pakistanis had made an
attack on Indian Parliament. India was threatening invasion
and nuclear war. Now Musharraf was being squeezed on two
sides. The US was ready to eat his lunch and so was India.
The US told Musharraf that they could call off the Indians
but the price would be the arrest of the terrorists that
bombed Indian parliament and to go after ISI's Islamist faction.
Musharraf being between a rock and a hard place followed the
advice. As time went on documents were obtained in a raid on
Mullah Omar's compound in Kandahar and carefully analyzed.
They showed links and hints of nuclear collaboration
between Al Qaeda and ISI. In December in an address to the
Citadel Bush said, "The authors of mass murder must be defeated
and never allowed to gain or use the weapons of mass destruction"
Still the situation in Pakistan was not locked down. In
January the Bush team decided to deal with the danger of nuclear
weapons, as well as Al Qaeda. Things were not going well. You
had the Pakistani situation. Reports of Al Qaeda visiting Iran
after Tora Bora, gave concern that Iran may be switching positions.
Iran had sided with the US in Afghanistan, by lending it the
Shiite Army in western Afghanistan which helped along with the
Northern Alliance Army from the north. On top of this, many of
the core of Al Qaeda had slipped away, and this core of
less than 200 is the real danger. They are very secretive and
don't even let many followers in on their strategies.
In this setting the Bush doctrine could be summed up this way. Al
Qaeda is a global, conspiratorial movement found in many countries.
It will be attacked in whatever state it is found. Preferably
the attack will be aided by the concerned state, but if for
any reason the concerned state is hostile or prevents attack
then the US will also attack that state.
This doctrine when connected to the nuclear weapon situation
created a parallel and not talked about strategy. This was
a major turning point in our war priorities. This new point
made note of the fact that nuclear weapons and their proliferation
had to be dealt with.
So Bush Doctrine was expanded to this:
The US will not tolerate existence of nuclear weapons unless those
weapons are under verifiable control of a government in which the
US has confidence.
As part of this new doctrine, Pakistan took measures to assure
the US that their nuclear weapons and materials were under
control and therefore, were not going to be put into terrorist
hands, at some point.
Also as part of this new doctrine, Bush had to deal with Iraq,
an un trusted government that was suspected of having concealed
their nuclear program and were awaiting its rebirth and
continuation at some point. When Iraq made the fatal mistake
of stonewalling UN inspectors on the interview of nuclear
weapons this was read as evidence that Iraq was hiding the
program. The new Bush doctrine, with its zero tolerance of
nukes in un trusted hands was the basis for the attack on
Iraq. Some may try to make the case, that Saddam would
never give nukes to terrorists and they could be right.
On the other hand, there were many other reasons to attack
Iraq, and the possibility of them at some point going on with
their nuclear program, was probably the straw that broke the
camels back, when you consider the scare that nukes had
played in the early fight with Al Qaeda.
So there is the background. This gives the reasons it was
thought to be important, not to let nuclear weapons
proliferate anymore. Also don't forget, Bush never said
Iraq had nukes. He said he thought they had hidden
Also don't forget that Saddam could have complied with
UN inspectors, instead of stonewalling on the interview
of the scientists. Iraqi lies were behind the Iraq invasion.