War etc

Missing Weapons

This former UN weapons inspector has plenty of common sense with which to counteract received wisdom over the non-apppearance so far of Iraqi WMD’s.

One of the useful points he makes is to remind us how difficult it is for intelligence forces to predict exactly what is going on in a foreign country with unnerring accuracy at all times and that it should not neccessarily be considered a failure of intelligence for this to be so.

Talk of “intelligence failings” is an insult to people in that profession. Intelligence is an art form and when you are dealing with such high consequences it is nigh on impossible mathematically to assign a value to one low probability high consequence outcome over another. It becomes very touchy-feely.

Anyone whose professional qualifications or job title seem to others to be a tool for predicting the outcome of future events may be tempted to agree.

He’s also got words worth reading about what may have happened to the toxic ingredients for WMD’s.

Saddam could have said to his sons “get rid of the evidence” and Qusay and Uday could have taken it out to the desert, poured it into the sand and shot the guys who drove the trucks. With both of them dead, we’ll never know what they did.

The logic for destroying the evidence of WMD at that stage of the war would be to deny the proof of WMDs and hence to deny the legitimacy of removing Saddam from power. If Saddam could have achieved that, outlasted the US presence, and returned to power through his insurgency after “proving” to the world that he had had no WMD (because the US and UK could not find it), he would have been able to get rid of UN sanctions in a moment, regardless of his appalling human rights record and history of starting wars.

You’ll need to read the whole thing to find out what he thinks of Hans Blix though.