War etc

The Mother of All Inquiries

A better idea and one following on from Johann’s points.

If we are going to have yet another inquiry let us have a “Mother of All Inquiries,” writes Amir Taheri.

This can start with the WMD issue.

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.

But establishing what kind and how many WMDs Iraq had, and until when, won’t provide the full picture. We should also find out who gave Iraq the technology, the equipment and the materiel.

Our “Mother of All Inquiries” should establish a full list of companies that sold Saddam pieces of his death machine over three decades. Is it too much to ask who sold Saddam an estimated $100 billion in weapons and materiel between 1975 and 2000?

Who built Saddam’s first atomic center, launching his nuclear weapons program?

Who were the estimated 6,000 Western and Russian technicians who, according to Tariq Aziz (one of Saddam’s most faithful minions), worked in Iraqi military industries throughout the 1980s?

We also would like to know who financed Saddam between 1980 and 1988, when Iraq couldn’t export oil because of the war with Iran.

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.

Read it all, especially his anticipated conclusions.

(Hat tip to Damian Penny)