Wednesday, November 19, 2003

No evidence of weapons production, no evidence of foreign fighters, no idea!


It seems a report prepared by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies has revealed that the Americans in Iraq think that guerrilla activity will go on up to the day they leave the country. Dr Anthony Cordesman went to Iraq and spoke to - as well as assorted generals and spooks - Paul Bremer and David Kay, the chief wild goose chaser (sorry - he's in charge of looking for weapons of mass destruction). Isn't it amazing what people will tell a doctor?

"The Iraqi resistance movement is believed to have a war chest of up to $1bn - with a further $3bn hidden in Syria - and it is paying between $25 and $500 for each attack on US forces...
It also says 95 per cent of the threat is from former regime loyalists and that suicide bombings are being carried out largely by foreigners."

So - 95% of the danger is from the FRLs but it's foreigners who are blowing up? Surely a slight contradiction.

"Mr Bremer said that there was no evidence of a direct role by al-Qa'ida, though he felt that the devastating suicide bombs were carried out by non-Iraqis. But he made clear that he had "no hard intelligence to confirm that they were foreigners"."

So that explains it. There's no evidence to show that foreign terrorists are behind the bombs, but we "feel" this. We feel this because it is a convenient, comfortable thing to feel. We also feel this because we have been saying so for so long that it has become part of our language and hence of our mental furniture. Even if there were good reasons to believe this, we should of course still doubt it as this is the only way for imperfect human beings to approach the truth more closely. As J.S.Mill wrote in On Liberty, if you refuse to discuss something you are effectively claiming infallibility. No wonder, given this exercise in stupidity, that "We do not have a reliable picture of who is organising attacks, and the size and structure of various elements" and that "the CPA is seen as an over-centralised bureaucracy, isolated from the military, relies too much on contractors and is not realistically evaluating developments in the field."

Meanwhile on the political front, Iraqi opinions of the Governing Council seem to bear a much greater degree of realism:

"Iraqi politicians independent of the US-appointed governing council interviewed by The Independent all believe that the council wanted to delay elections because its members feared they would not be elected. "They just want time to loot the country and then get out," said one Iraqi leader bitterly."

And, just to crown the lot:

"Dr Kay says that "Iraq was actively violating accords during later 1999 to 2003". But despite a prolonged and vastly expensive search for chemical weapons there was "no evidence of weapons production" though Iraq could have produced sarin in two years and mustard gas in two months."

Remember the lie. No weapons, no legality, no reason.

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