Yesterday’s New York Times investigative piece on chemical weapons found in Iraq is a bombshell of an article, but not for the reasons that many conservatives would have you believe.
As an article in today’s Salon and other publications point out, there are two very solid reasons why this revelation is not vindication for those who are crying, “Bush was right. Saddam did have chemical weapons.” The primary point to make is that the chemical weapons our military uncovered in Iraq were pre-1991, degraded chemical munitions that were buried during the Iraq-Iran war and forgotten about. These corroded weapons were not useable and definitely not part of an ongoing WMD program by the Iraqi government. Ironically, many of the weapons were built with the assistance of Western companies
The second point that should be clear to even the dimmest conservative pundit is that a number of these buried caches were found during our invasion of Iraq and after, yet there was not a peep about them from the Bush Administration. If they had found proof that Iraq actually had an active WMD program, don’t you imagine there would have been trumpets blaring and hearty rounds of “I told you so” from Bush and the right-wing media? The Pentagon has admitted that the chemical weapons they found, “Were not the WMDs we were looking for when we went in this time.”
And that brings me to the most disturbing revelation in the Times article. Not only were these weapons not “the WMDs we were looking for,” the Pentagon would not even acknowledge they were found at the time, and even went so far as to deny medical treatment for troops injured during the excavations. Instead of a ticker tape parade down Broadway celebrating the discovery of WMDs, the Pentagon was throwing a blanket over the operations and pretending the weapons didn’t even exist.
George Bush’s invasion of Iraq was a disaster that keeps on giving, and the more we learn about it, the clearer it becomes that this was the largest, and most costly, military blunder in U.S. history.