Congressman Ron Paul recently made some claims about the evidence used to justify Gulf War 2 which richly deserve rebuttal:
The charge that Saddam Hussein had aluminum tubes used in manufacturing nuclear weapons was in error.
Actually, an Iraqi scientist just recently revealed centrifuge parts which he’d been ordered by Saddam’s regime to bury under a rose bush in his back yard. Furthermore, not even International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed El Baradei denies that Iraq had the aluminum tubes, or that they could be used to enrich uranium. He merely denied that there was any evidence that Saddam’s regime intended to use them in that way. Personally, I find the fact that Saddam went to so much trouble to conceal the parts for so long to be evidence that Saddam’s intentions regarding them were less than innocent.
A fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles capable of dispensing chemical and biological weapons did not exist.
The 63,000 liters of anthrax and botulism have not been found, nor have any of the mobile germ labs. There are no signs of the one million pounds of sarin, mustard, and VX gasses alleged to exist.
We don’t know that these things did not exist, all we know is that they haven’t been found. As far as the chemical weapons are concerned, we do know that they did exist in Iraq at one time, and we don’t know what became of them. They might have been destroyed, they might have been transferred to Syria or Iran, or we might not have found them yet.
No evidence has been revealed to indicate Iraq was a threat to the security of any nation, let alone America.
Tell it to the Kuwaitis, Kurds, & Israelis.
The charge that Saddam Hussein was connected to the al Qaeda was wrong.
Actually, we know they were connected through Ansar al-Islam, the al Qaeda offshoot that used to be based in Iraqi Kurdistan, and which had Iraqi intelligence personally assigned to it:
“Ansar took its inspiration from Osama Bin Laden and Afghanistan, but the group has its roots in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Iran provided aid to all anti-Saddam groups during this period, but it also created fundamentalist groups to supplant them and turn the Kurdish fighters into a tool for Iranian influence in Iraq. Fundamentalist fighters in Northern Iraq were organized by Osman abdul Aziz during the late 1980s with Iranian assistance. Azis was a Muslim intellectual and cleric imprisoned by Saddam for several years. Upon his release, in 1987, he immediately fled to Iran, where he organized the Bizotnawa, or Islamic Brotherhood. The Bizotnawa fractured and then reunified over the course of 15 years to become an instrument of al-Qaeda.
“Secret cells formed inside the Bizotnawa with independent agendas. In 1995, Islah or ‘Reform’ was formed inside Bizotnawa, but did not declare itself and separate until 1999. It was led by the notorious Mullah Keraker, now in prison in Norway.
“In 1997, Kurdish Hamas, or ‘Enthusiasm,’ formed and split off and the Arabs formed a secret cell called Markas (‘Center’). In 1999 Aziz died in Syria. His brother, Ali, succeeded him, but was not admired. Bizotnawa had lost its leadership. The Bizotnawa crumbled further. That same year Islah declared itself and split away. Tawheed, or ‘Unify’ was formed and split off in 2000. Finally, Komal, or ‘Group’ formed and split off. At this point there were six separate fundamentalist groups opposing Saddam, including the original Islamic Movement of Kurdistan, or Bizotnawa. Iran seemed to have lost control of the fundamentalist movement it had founded as it splintered. It would be re-united by OSama bin Laden, with the help of Saddam Hussein.
“In October 2000 Mullah Keraker of Islah sent a delegation led by a Mullah Namo to Afghanistan to receive al-Qaeda training and ask permission to join with bin Laden. Tawheed sent an emissary to Afghanistan as well later the same month. Travelling the drug smuggling routes controlled by al-Qaeda, they came to meet with the new power of fundamentalist Islam. They were accepted, but ordered to reunite.
“The unification of fundamentalist groups in IRaq coincided with bin Laden’s attacks on the U.S., suggesting a comprehensive regional strategy to not only declare Jihad on America, but seize control of the oil-rich Gulf states to use as a power base.
“Bin Laden sent a Lieutenant to lead the largely Arab Markas. In April, this Lieutenant, a Jordanian named Abu Abdul Rahman Al-Shami, was killed ina skirmish with the PUK. He was replaced by another bin Laden representative named abu Zubair (also Jordanian). In July 2001 The Tawheed Front was formed from the union of Hamas and Tawheed. Finally, Markas and the Tawheed Front were unified under bin Laden’s control on 1 September 2001 with the creation of the Jund-al-Islamiah, or ‘Soldeirs of Islam.’ They launched their first attack on PUK forces on 23 September, killing 43 in an ambush near the town of Halabja, the birthplace of Osma Aziz and the scene of Saddam Hussein’s devastating chemical attack on the Kurds in 1988. In December 2001 all groups except Komal, which guarded the valley approach to the new base, unified under the banner of the ansar-al-Islamiah.
“The group began bringing in chemical and biological weapons and storing them in mountain bunkers. A ‘retired’ officer from Iraq intelligence named Abu Wail took charge of the Iraqi Arabs in the group. At this point, Arabs from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan, many of them with Afghanistan experience, made up over 50-75% of what was once a majority Kurdish organization. The group launched repeated operations against PUK fighters. On 2 April 2002, an Ansar hit team launched an unsuccessful assassination attempt on PUK Prime Minister Barham Salih, a key U.S. ally in favor of a democratic Iraq aligned with the West. Ansar has become bin Laden’s arm in Iraq. The presence of Iraqi intelligence indicates a direct link between the two, long denied by Saddam.”
– Victor Black, “Northern Iraq Firefight,” Soldier of Fortune, July 2003, pp. 48-49
This is in addition to evidence from Youssef Bodansky, which I’ve previously posted to this blog, and Roland Jaquard, author of “In The Name Of Osama Bin Laden” and consultant to the UN on terrorism, both of whom also affirm the connection between Saddam and al Qaeda. I’m not aware of any evidence that Black, Bodansky, and Jacquard are all wrong about this, and Paul doesn’t cite any.
Saddam Hussein’s violations of the UN resolutions regarding weapons of mass destruction remain unproven.
Actually, those are proven by the very fact that we know that Saddam once had chemical and biological weapons, but we don’t know what became of them. The UN resolutions regarding Iraqi WMD required transparency on the part of Saddam’s regime. The very fact that those programs were opaque is proof of violation of the UN resolutions. This would be true even if Saddam’s regime really did destroy all of its WMD programs after 1998 (although I seriously doubt that really happened). The UN resolutions didn’t merely require Saddam to destroy his WMD programs, they also required that he make their destruction manifestly evident to the rest of the world so the international community could be assured that he had been disarmed of his WMD.