Iraq’s Free Fall
by Imad Khadduri
May 24, 2003
There are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. This apparently became the case a few months after the end of the 1991 war when Hussain Kamel, the man in charge of the nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs, ordered the destruction of the chemical and biological materials and their warheads. The nuclear weapons program had already come to a halt on the first night of bombing in January 1991. The weapons were destroyed secretly, in order to hide their existence from inspectors, in the hopes of someday resuming production after inspections had finished. Hussain Kamel even disclosed the location of the hidden documents relating to the remnants of the chemical and biological programs during his futile escape to Jordan in 1995.
Yet Bush, Blair and their senior cohorts kept brandishing their "intelligence sources" in order to whip up a fervor over the danger of Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction up until the last day before the invasion of Iraq. Once they were in Iraq, with their hundreds of "specialists," they promised to uncover the hidden weapons of mass destruction.
One such idiotic attempt was the intrusion of American soldiers in the often-bombed Nuclear Research Center. The soldiers broke the protective seals originally placed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and opened Tuwaitha's radioactive burial mound; instead, they could have easily contacted the IAEA for an inventory of the tons of natural "yellow cake" and radioactive liquid and solid waste found.
The U.S. Central Command finally allowed the Pentagon's Direct Support Team to survey the nuclear sites a week after the capture of Baghdad. When they finally reached the sites, the Pentagon's team unfortunately found them looted, raising the specter that materials for a nuclear "dirty bomb" could now fall into the hands of terrorists. The IAEA has been desperate to visit the sites and has warned the U.S. since April 11 of the possibility of radioactive contamination, but Washington has consistently refused to allow the IAEA inspectors in. Even recently, Rumsfeld had the criminal gall to suggest that the IAEA may return only if the U.N. agrees to the American conditions of carrying out its occupation of Iraq. This while tens of women and children are already exhibiting cases of radiation sickness.
In addition to the non-existent nuclear weapons program, the 1995 interview with Hussain Kamel, which was suppressed for eight years, and the final declarations of Amer al-Saadi, the senior Iraqi scientific advisor, before surrendering to the American forces in mid-April 2003, have both alleged the destruction of all chemical and biological weapons and their warheads soon after the end of the 1991 war. These claims are holding true due to recent non-findings.
America's threadbare credibility on Iraq's WMD is stretched to the limit. Ari Fleischer declared on April 10, in the heat of the invasion, "That is what this war was about." Now Donald Rumsfeld is saying something to the effect that they are invading another country to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction, but he doubts whether they will find them unless people there tell the invaders where they are. Whatever happened to America's "intelligence" that was constantly touted as justification to attack Iraq?
To further underscore their utter intelligence failure, the Americans are now offering a $200,000 reward to any "noble Iraqi," as broadcasted on the radio, for providing information that may lead to the discovery of Iraqi WMD, their locations and even the Iraqi scientists who participated in WMD programs. Were not these the same Iraqi scientists who were being chastised by the Americans, for cowering in fear from their government, for not coming forth when UNMOVIC and the IAEA inspectors were on the ground in Iraq last winter? What is stopping these scientists now from coming out to collect this reward, perhaps to be hand delivered by the same Iraqi defectors who were already paid similar amounts for spreading these lies during the past few years and who marched behind the American tanks during the invasion of Iraq?
What other reasons may there be but the simple stark fact that no scientists had worked on such programs for the past 12 years, after all material evidence had been destroyed either during the 1991 war or a few months afterwards. What prevents these lying defectors, some of whom are now in Iraq to take up their new job "posts," from pointing out where these weapons are? Did not Khidhir Hamza claim, throughout the late nineties and up to March 2003, that Iraq was within a few years of producing several nuclear weapons? His silence should speak volumes, especially to CNN, FOX and the Congressional Committees in Washington who trumpeted or were swayed by his deceit.
A most damning report by James Risen in the New York Times on May 22, 2003 titled "Prewar views of Iraq threat are under review by C.I.A." blithely reported that "'Rumsfeld and Tenet regularly have lunch,' one senior administration official said. 'And last fall, they were having a conversation, and Rumsfeld said: 'If we go to war with Iraq, what are the things we should look at?' They agreed that we would have an opportunity to learn a lot about our intelligence, and how it stacks up against reality,' he continued."
A more daunting, callous explanation was offered in the same article by "A senior intelligence official [who] cautioned that the review was not designed as a formal investigation or a 'witch hunt,' but rather as an intellectual exercise to find ways to improve the way the intelligence community works." This was, indeed, a criminal exercise.
Bush, Blair and their senior officials have, in essence, lied to their people and waged a war criminal invasion in lieu of this unintelligent "intelligence." Is this the democracy model for a "liberated" Iraq?
Tragically, the invasion of Iraq has thrust the Iraqi people into a state of free fall. The despotic lid of Saddam was uncovered but the hole is deep and unpredictable.
The centers of power in central and southern Iraq, the ministries, banks, courts, hospitals, schools, import/export structures, and decision centers are mostly demolished. Daily living conditions, on top of a very serious lack of law and order, are the lack of electricity, water, medicine, petrol, and salaries. Inflation is galloping at an exponential rate. With no salaries being paid to millions of civil servants for over a month now, thousands of families have been reduced to destitute levels in masse, fuelling further lawlessness.
The Americans have only proved that they excel in mobilizing armed forces and in dropping missiles and bombs, but not how to prevent a society from disintegrating. American intelligence is so flawed that it is pathetic. In addition to their delusions about weapons of mass destruction, Bush and his neo-conservatives are nothing but war robots and see the world only through U.S. goggles. Preventing a society from disintegrating is not in the agenda or the thinking of these neo-conservatives. The Americans and the British have, in a sense, raped Iraq and left it bleeding. There they stand, with their pants down, licking their lips, just waiting to manipulate the oil industry.
A month and a half after the end of hostilities, the invaders have finally submitted a U.N. resolution admitting that they are occupiers. They should only expect what occupiers deserve.
Imad Khadduri has a MSc in Physics from the University of Michigan (United States) and a PhD in Nuclear Reactor Technology from the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom). Khadduri worked with the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission from 1968 until 1998. He was able to leave Iraq in late 1998 with his family. He now teaches and works as a network administrator in Toronto, Canada. He has been interviewed by the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, FOX, the Toronto Star, Reuters, and various other news agencies in regards to his knowledge of the Iraqi nuclear program. This article first appeared in YellowTimes.org (www.yellowtimes.org). He encourages your comments: firstname.lastname@example.org