August 23, 2003


Andrew Wilkie, the all-wise, all-seeing superexpert who quit his intelligence job because he believed the war in Iraq was wrong, has been jabbering about exaggerated weapons claims:

The federal government sexed up the threat posed by Iraq to justify going to war, a parliamentary inquiry was told today.

Andrew Wilkie, a former intelligence analyst with the Office of National Assessments, said the government deliberately skewed the truth and misled the public over Iraq's weapons capabilities.

This is the same man who before the war warned of terrible Iraqi disasters, including "a humanitarian disaster to overwhelm coalition forces. Just totally overwhelm them, with thousands of casualties, hundreds of thousands of refugees, internally displaced people, trying to move through their lines. That would play all sorts of havoc for the coalition military ... He could create a humanitarian disaster as part of a scorched-earth policy".

Sounds a little sexed-up, wouldn’t you say?

Posted by Tim Blair at August 23, 2003 02:16 PM

Sure. But then aren't these the same types of people who have been assuring us with "sexed up" rationales that Marxism will actually work if we just let it?

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at August 23, 2003 at 02:55 PM

We need an inquiry into why Wilkie and others sexed up there claims.

Posted by: Gary at August 23, 2003 at 03:10 PM

Army Colonels go one of two ways. They either get promoted and become Generals or the don't get promoted and become bitter and twisted.

I'll let you decide what happened to Andrew Wilkie.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at August 23, 2003 at 03:14 PM

So former Young Liberal Andrew Wilkie is in cahoots with the Marxists? It really *is* an ever-changing world.

Posted by: Ferg at August 23, 2003 at 03:27 PM

Good job Tom. Wilkie only made a prediction; Bush + Blair passed their bullshit off as fact. But why let obvious distinctions get in the way of petty sniping and half-assed gags.

Posted by: thesaintlyalangreenspan at August 23, 2003 at 04:08 PM

Is thesaintlyalangreenspan for real? Who the hell is "Tom"? The distinctions to which he's referring aren't that obvious. Maybe he meant oblivious?

Posted by: Tim at August 23, 2003 at 04:40 PM

Having a particularly Macchiavellian mind, it seems to me that the fact that no MWD have yet been found, proves that the "Coalition of the Willing" really believed in their existance.

If it was all a put-up job, they would have smuggled in a few, and "found" them straight away.

Posted by: bai at August 23, 2003 at 05:35 PM

Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical weapons were by no means the only reasons for taking out Saddam and his regime. Considering them, however, note that we know Saddam had them in 1998, when he kicked out the UN inspectors for getting too close to finding them. Saddam provided no good evidence they were destroyed in the ensuing five years. Did he destroy them and not tell anybody? Why would he do that?

Enduring the sanctions so as to continue his WMD programs reportedly cost Saddam $160 billion US in lost oil revenues. This is a guy so greedy for wealth that he started two wars to steal other countries' oil (talk about blood for oil). Why would so greedy a man forgo such revenue unless it was for something he valued more, to wit, possession of nuclear arms, as well as chemical and biological ones (and we know he had these, because he used them at times). And in view of his starting two wars for oil, what do you suppose he would have done once he had nukes? Iraq was a North Korea with oil in the making.

So the whole "Bush lied" theory is based on moonshine, partisan animus against Bush (and against Blair for that matter, although from within his own party). Its proponents show a remarkable lack discernment about the realities of international affairs.

Bush 41 famously lacked "the vision thing." I think Bush 43 has a vision, a vision of the world as it will be if he does not act. I think he saw it when he visited the ruins of the WTC. He foresaw a rising scale of attacks, not just on the US but all over, with more and more nations and groups adopting terrorism as a modus operandi. He foresaw a rising crescendo of violence, culminating in terror attacks using nuclear weapons, untraceable and against which there could be no defense. He has set out to prevent the emergence of that world, to mold the shape of the future to a better vision. The people biting at his ankles barking "Bush lied" are helping to bring on that world of insane terrorist violence Bush is trying to prevent.

Posted by: Michael Lonie at August 23, 2003 at 06:48 PM

Huzzah! for armchair psychology and frayed platitudes.

>> The people biting at his ankles barking "Bush lied" are helping to bring on that world of insane terrorist violence Bush is trying to prevent.

Yeah, and "objectively," you're an ass.

Posted by: thesaintlyalangreenspan at August 23, 2003 at 07:26 PM

Michael, you say -

"This is a guy so greedy for wealth that he started two wars to steal other countries' oil (talk about blood for oil)".

Kuwait we know about. But what was the other country, other than a figment of your misinformed imagination? And don't say Iran, because that was all about US backed opposition to the regime in Teheran.

And by the way, where are the weapons?

Posted by: Analogue Voter at August 23, 2003 at 07:37 PM

Wee Willie Wilkie has already been taken to task at the UK enquiry because he was in a different section of OAS than the one dealing with Iraq; if anyone "sexed things up" it was him, for claiming to have an insight on something he knew nothing about.
I think he is a gimp who thrives on public humiliation.
(I might hire him).

Posted by: Habib Bickford at August 23, 2003 at 07:49 PM

this "analogue voter" is either a fucked send-up,or?

Posted by: ron robertson at August 23, 2003 at 09:16 PM

Ron, AV isn't a send-up, he's just stupid. For some reason he thinks Iraq invaded Iran because the US told him to. In fact, he wanted to take over Khuzestan, Iran's southwest province which contains most of Iran's oil reserves and was producing nearly 5 million barrels a day. (Iraq in total was producing 6 million.) He also wanted to retake the Shatt al-Arab waterway, lost to Iran with the Algiers Accord. It was not "all about US backed opposition to the regime in Teheran".

Posted by: scott h. at August 24, 2003 at 02:51 AM


Saddam was worried at the possibility of an Iranian inspired Shia revolt in Iraq and invaded before the situation in Iran had stabilised. No doubt the US was supportive and possibly even encouraged Saddam to invade but he took on Iran strictly for his own selfish reasons.

Posted by: ZsaZsa at August 24, 2003 at 04:17 AM

Scott H.,

Re: Analogue Voter

Also let's not forget Iraq had an alliance with the
Soviet Union at the time, that some would have called
it a soviet client state, including the presence of
soviet military advisors in iraq. The countries that
had the strongest relationship with Iraq, economic and
political, at the time it invaded Iran, were the Soviet
Union, first and foremost, and then Germany, France, and
many eastern block nations. This is from memory of
a chart indicating the degree of economic investment by
countries round the world in Iraq from around 1975 to 1990.

I know that the Soviet Union was first on the list, in
fact they may have been half of such investment and then
the exact order after that I don't recall except Germany
and France were pretty high up. The amazing thing for all
this widespread allegation that iraq was somehow being
controlled by the americans was were the United States
ranked on the list: it was something like number 200.

In other words it's hard to find a country around the
world at the time that the americans had less economic
and political connection to.

Posted by: Mark Amerman at August 24, 2003 at 04:38 AM

Zsa Zsa, yeah, I am aware of that. (In fact, Ayatollah Khomeini had lived in exile in Iraq before the revolution.) Between controlling 20% of global oil wealth or preventing a Shi'ite revolution, it's hard to pick a primary motivation. They both seem pretty major. But there's no evidence that the US might have encouraged Iraq to invade. US didn't start supporting Iraq until '82, 2 years after the war started. That plus the fact that Saddam had his own strong motivation to invade makes it seem unlikely. In any case it's a baseless accusation.

Posted by: scott h. at August 24, 2003 at 05:04 AM

Scott: Actually, I believe it wasn't until 1984 that the U.S. started actively aiding Iraq with loan guarantees, and some intelligence info.

While I'm here, I know conspiracy theories are best left to the diseased minds of left wing extremists, yet I can't help but wonder if Analogue Voter and thesaintlyalangreenspan are really one person. Come clean Anal voter. That's the problem with being consistently full of shit, you have to create imaginary friends to try to convince the rest of us that your arguments have some support. I'll save you the trouble and provide you with your 3rd alias for this blog; "Thetruthismyenemy." Now go piss off, pablum-eater.

Posted by: Mike at August 24, 2003 at 08:45 AM

Wilkie is saying that the Government embellished claims re the existence of WMD.

Wolfowitz himself said that the WMD issue was emphasised for bureaucratic convenience. So why are the warmongers still pretending it was about WMD?

Iraq was never a threat - the breeding grounds for terrorists are Saudi Arabia & Pakistan but they seem untouchable. I wonder why?

The realpolitik for the Iraq war had little to do with WMD. I'm still puzzled that roughly half the US population believe that Saddam was behind 9/11!

The West was told that we were in danger if we did not take rapid action in Iraq. We took that action and are we any safer? Iraq has now become a lawless breeding ground for terrorists.

It is a total failure of imagination that the only way to deal with Saddam was to bomb the crap out of the country, instigate chaos, destroy infrastructure and what's more, kill thousands of civilians.

Is that the best that could be done? No diplomatic solution possible in Iraq?

Bush was itching to get in there and take control of Iraq and the WMD thing was the pretext - ask Wolfowitz.

And yet Wilkie is villified for stating what seems so obvious.

Posted by: bongoman at August 24, 2003 at 10:04 AM

Here we go with the canard that Wolfowitz admitted that the WMD was agreed upon for "bureaucratic reasons" and that is was a "pretext." He said no such thing. "Pretext"? That's a lie.

Wolfowitz stated - when the public record was corrected after the press misreported his statements to Sam Tanenaus in Vanity Fair magazine - that ALL ELEMENTS within the Administration agreed that the CHIEF reason to remove Saddam was the WMD issue. Each department/agency - State, Pentagon, NSC, et cetera - had a myriad of reasons to remove Saddam with each agency having its own ranking or prioritization of reasons. That's always the case when an issue of war and peace comes up. Various parts of the government see and emphasize different reasons for taking (or not taking) action.

In the specific case of Iraq, according to Wolfowitz, each agency came to the agreement that ONE of the reasons to take military action was the WMD issue. Because each of the entities agree on that issue - and disagreed on others - it was the chief issue for the Administration to rally around.


Posted by: SteveMG at August 24, 2003 at 01:49 PM

Yep. They all agreed on that. And they were all *completely* wrong. D'oh!

Posted by: Ferg at August 24, 2003 at 02:35 PM

Steve MG; You're completely correct. Part of the problem for Bush/Blair in justifying regime change was the fact that there were too many reasons to invade. However, Bush and Blair both realized that the so-called great humanitarians of the left would not be moved by arguments relating to the benefit of ending Saddam's genocide of his own people.

Bongoman, WMD was a legitimate issue. The evidence that Saddam had some semblance of a WMD program still in existence was, and still is, overwhelming. A WMD program need not be state of the art to represent a major threat to civilians. WMD experts assert that the Japanese cult which released Sarin in the Tokyo subway WOULD HAVE KILLED THOUSANDS, rather than 12, had they not beeen amateurish in their dispersal method. Unfortunately, it will take a catastrophe in some city of a western democracy, to make smug lib-leftists realize that Sarin and hydrogen cyanide work just as well on unprotected civilians in Seattle, Chicago, London or Frankfurt, as it did against unprotected civilians in Halabja. To say Iraq was "never a threat," is beyond ludicrous. Saddam's unpredictability and aggressiveness made him extremely dangerous. You tell me, what would possibly have deterred him from providing chemical or biological agents to terrorists, to even the score with the Americans? How could the U.S. ever prove to the satisfaction of the world community that these agents were provided by Saddam? Do you not think that Saddam paid close attention to the debate that preceded the Americans going after Osama bin Laden and the Taliban in Afghanistan? The left has already undertaken a revisionist history of regime change in Afghanistan, in an attempt to discredit the Americans over Iraq. The myth reads something like this; In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. enjoyed world-wide goodwill and support for it's attack on terrorism based in Afghanistan. But by embarking on an " llegal," "unnecessary," "imperialistic " invasion of Iraq, they undid all this support from the world community. What a load of horse shit. In the eyes of the left, the Americans can never be the victim. There was plenty of media commentary criticizing the Americans for going into Afghanistan. And this was AFTER bin Laden had ADMITTED carrying out the 9/11 attacks. Christ, there were all kinds of mainstream high profile leftist journalists claiming Afghanistan was ALL ABOUT OIL."

My point here is, Bush and his inner circle realized that the same American haters would trot out the same arguments in the wake of a catastrophic chemical/biological attack somewhere in the U.S.; That being " You can't prove it was Saddam." Why take the chance that innocent people will die, if the only reason not to act is fear of dishonest accusations from dishonest people?

As for your " bombing infrastructure " comment, very little significant infrastructure was damaged by the Americans. That honour belongs to the terrorists. Ask yourself why these scum are devoting so much effort to infrastructure attacks. Could it be because they are LOSING? Funny how the anti-Americans gloat over the so called " quagmire " in Iraq, when the numbers would suggest otherwise. Lets agree that Chechnya really is a " quagmire " for the Russians. What we have then, is the Americans suffering casualties at 1/10th the rate the Russians are, while policing a country that is 10 times the size of Chechnya geographically, and has 20 times Chechnya's population. And the Russians have had 10 times the period of time to remedy their situation.I'd say the Americans are getting along much better than their critics are willing to admit.

Sorry to disappoint you Bongoman, but this time, the Americans aren't going to bail out, they will prevail in Iraq. In fact, the reality is, the greater the short term success of foreign terrorists and Baathists in Iraq, the greater the likelihood of an even more positive end game; regime change in Iran, and very likely Syria.

Posted by: Mike at August 24, 2003 at 05:40 PM

"The evidence that Saddam had some semblance of a WMD program still in existence was, and still is, overwhelming."

I am "overwhelmed" by this "semblance" of a "program".

Posted by: Ferg at August 24, 2003 at 05:56 PM

Ferg: What is " overwhelming " you is your lack of background knowledge, or your selective memory, concerning the history behind U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq. Time for bed, otherwise I'd enlighten you with some details. Probably a waste of my time, since I'm sure you're wearing your " Not listening " T-shirt. I will leave you with this one tidbit. Back in 1997, when Hans Blix retired from his job as the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, he gave a little speech. During that speech, Blix admitted that the present nuclear inspections regimen had been adopted as a result of the " lessons learned " from the near total deception accomplished by Iraq with regard to its nuclear weapons program. To his credit, Blix admitted that the IAEA had found itself with considerable egg on its face, for steadfastly claiming prior to the 1991 Gulf War that Iraq did NOT possess a nuclear weapons program. As the world and the IAEA found out post conflict, Iraq was likely 2 years away from possessing a nuke. A Nuclear weapons program requires fixed production assets that are extremely difficult to conceal. Yet conceal it, the Iraqis did. On the other hand, chemical and biological WMD programs are much easier to conceal, and prepared stocks much easier to dispose of in a pinch (which is the most likley fate of Iraq's WMD in 2003, dumped into a hole in the desert). It amazes me that so many hypocrites can snear at the Americans inability to find Iraqi WMD, when arguably one of the most important components of the Iraqi WMD program was its concealment strategy.

Posted by: Mike at August 24, 2003 at 06:18 PM

I'll stop "snearing" then, since it's your bedtime. I hope no nasty "programs" blow up your house.

Posted by: Ferg at August 24, 2003 at 06:27 PM

Ferg the sneerer: Had a good snooze, thanks for the kind wishes re; my house. Still too busy today to continue with your WMD tutorial, maybe some other time .....

Posted by: Mike at August 25, 2003 at 04:05 AM