- Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, who had vacillated in his statements in 1998 and 1999, now asserted in 2003 that “…[W]e can’t give Iraq a clean bill of health, therefore we can’t close the book on their weapons of mass destruction.”
In 2015 it was again learned, ten years after Operation Avarice was declassified, that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction had not been fully accounted for by UN inspections.
- US inspections after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein “found that Iraq had worked covertly to maintain the intellectual and physical capacity to produce WMDs and intended to restart production once sanctions were lifted.”
- In April 2003, US Marines discovered unusual radiation emanating from a number of buildings. It turned out that those buildings contained low-grade uranium, known as yellow cake. Thus uranium was later sold in 2008 to Cameco Corp., a Canadian company for tens of millions of dollars.
- In 2004, hundreds of containers of chemical warheads were located buried near the Iranian border. It is a stretch of imagination to believe that the Iraqi regime was unaware of this, as claimed.
- In 2015 it was again learned, ten years after Operation Avarice was declassified, that Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction had not been fully accounted for by UN inspections.
All these demonstrate unequivocally that Iraq was simply culpable in the matter of WMDs. To blame the USA for hypocrisy on this count is patently unfair and mischievous.
In 2005, the US forces came across a dealer of WMDs in Iraq. The US forces’ dealings with this person, under the code name Operation Avarice, revealed much, even though this person remains anonymous to this day and even though Operation Avarice has been declassified. US agents purchased large amounts of chemical weapons from this person. Rather than arrest this person, the thinking was to buy and destroy as many WMDs as possible to avoid them getting into the wrong hands. US forces subsequently acquired and destroyed the largest haul of chemical weapons found after the second Gulf war. It was confirmed that these weapons were remnants of the Iran-Iraq war.
…if Saddam Hussein had been given half a chance, he would have likely manufactured a dirty bomb if not the full thing.
2009: Chemical Weapons Convention
Iraq became a member of the Chemical Weapons Convention after declaring two bunkers worth of chemical weapons stockpiles. These bunkers were decommissioned by air strikes in 1991 and again in 2003. It is believed that the stockpiles were unusable. However, these stockpiles help to account for missing weapons that the USA knew existed in 2003 that Saddam Hussein was denying, for which he failed to cooperate with the UN. These stockpiles were, themselves, evidence that Iraq had WMDs. They also vindicate the USA for asserting that Iraq possessed WMDs.
Discussion and Conclusions
There is abundant evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction – both going into Gulf War II and after, even if Saddam Hussein didn’t know where they all were. For sure, Iraq didn’t come clean on its WMDs, which left a deficit in the accounting of all the WMDs that Iraq had. Hence, the West was justified in believing that Saddam Hussein was hiding those weapons.
In any event, WMDs include SCUDS and chemical weapons, of which Iraq had plenty. Iraq still had capabilities for making nuclear bombs, and if Saddam Hussein had been given half a chance, he would have likely manufactured a dirty bomb if not the full thing. Operation Avarice in 2005 unearthed large hauls of chemical weapons, while other stockpiles were found buried at the Iranian border. In 2009, Iraq declared the existence of chemical weapons in two bunkers, just before joining the Chemical Weapons Convention. That many of these stockpiles were unusable was because the ability to service them had been degraded, while production facilities had come under the global scanner, making it difficult for Hussein to manufacture more chemical weapons. However, it is without a shade of doubt that the West sold chemical weapons to Iraq, all of which had still not been accounted for after Gulf War I and the UN inspections.
USA’s entrance into Afghanistan and Iraq has drawn it closer to India. The USA now values India’s resistance against Moslem terrorism, and understands what India has been facing from Pakistan for seventy years.
However, it is worth pondering the after-effects of Gulf War II. One, a brutal dictator who oppressed his people was no more. Besides the Sunnis of Iraq, the Shia and the Kurds shed no tears and were happy to be rid of him. Two, the threat of invasion by Iraq of its neighbors abated after he was overthrown. Three, justice was done by the capture and death of a cruel dictator: it appears that the prayers of millions of Iraqis were answered. Four, the teeth of Arab vocalism against the free and secular West were crushed, spiraling into the Arab Spring and the overthrow of Gaddafi, another eccentric who once started a nuclear program and dared to replace the US dollar with the gold dinar, which would have upset the world’s economic balance. Fifth, inasmuch as Saddam Hussein had planned to sell oil in Euros instead of dollars made him a natural US target.
But, one great dividend of the Iraq invasion, post 9/11, has been that the Moslem brethren of Pakistan have found their economic and military muscle diminish. This is to India’s advantage, because no matter how idealistic one may be, the fact for India is that all Moslem countries have hitherto supported Pakistan in time of crisis with India, and not one has spoken up in support of India on the Kashmir issue.
In the final analysis, though, USA’s entrance into Afghanistan and Iraq has drawn it closer to India. The USA now values India’s resistance against Moslem terrorism, and understands what India has been facing from Pakistan for seventy years. The duplicity of Pakistan has been exposed, and Pakistan is likely to face a great boycott by USA in the coming years. The event that brought US forces into South Asia and West Asia has come as a sign of defense protection for India. While India’s own policies and regulations on armed forces modernization have wallowed in the doldrums, with corruption in defense procurement shaming the moral fiber of the country, the emergence of the USA as an ally has come at the right time for India, just as China is beginning to demonstrate its military prowess through technological innovation.
We can safely say – WMDs or not – that USA’s entry into Iraq and Afghanistan was in India’s interests. However, when the argument about the WMDs is taken to the end game, it is undeniable that WMDs existed in Iraq, even if in small quantities. Further, if additional time had been allowed to elapse, Saddam Hussein would have been intent on producing more destructive WMDs than simple SCUDS and chemical weapons. This is not something that the free world could have tolerated, and neither could Iraq’s rich Gulf neighbors. Yet, the whole issue of the existence of WMDs is small potatoes in the larger geopolitical perspective where nations must consider paramount their own defense and safety first.
 Amarjit Singh, One Dozen Good Reasons for Going to War in Iraq,Editorial, Gathering Place, Star Bulletin, Vol. 9, Issue 272, Wednesday, September 29, 2004.
 “Weapon of Mass Destruction,” MILITARY, “http://military.wikia.com/wiki/Weapon_of_mass_destruction, accessed Feb 2017.
 Much like the word “tsunami” became widely known only after the major tsunamis of 2003.
 “Weapon of Mass Destruction,” op. cit.
William Lowther, “Rumsfeld helped Iraq get chemical weapons,” Daily Mailhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-153210/Rumsfeld-helped-Iraq-chemical-weapons.html.
Tony Paterson, “Leaked Report Says German and US Firms Supplied Arms to Saddam”. The Independent (UK), Common Dreams, https://web.archive.org/web/20130527104506/http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/1218-06.htm, December 18, 2002.
Timmerman, Kenneth R. The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq. New York, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991.
Thirteenth quarterly report of the Executive Chairman of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in accordance with paragraph 12 of Security Council resolution 1284 , UNSC, http://www.iraqwatch.org/un/unmovic/s-2003-580.pdf, P. 5, (1999).
 “Realizing Saddam’s Veiled WMD Intent,” Iraq Survey Group Final Report: Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)”, http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/report/2004/isg-final-report/isg-final-report_vol1_rsi-06.htm
“Lawmakers Cite Weapons Found in Iraq”. Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/21/AR2006062101837.html, accesses Feb 2017.
Chivers, C.J. and Schmitt, Eric, “C.I.A. Is Said to Have Bought and Destroyed Iraqi Chemical Weapons,”New York Times, February 15, 2015.
Schneidmiller, Chris, “India Completes Chemical Weapons Disposal; Iraq Declares Stockpile”. Nuclear Threat Initiative. http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/india-completes-chemical-weapons-disposal-iraq-declares-stockpile/, 27 April 2009.