The jihadist group bringing terror to Iraq overran a Saddam Hussein chemical weapons complex on Thursday, gaining access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin.
Isis invaded the al-Muthanna mega-facility 60 miles north of Baghdad in a rapid takeover that the US government said was a matter of concern.
The facility was notorious in the 1980s and 1990s as the locus of Saddam’s industrial scale efforts to develop a chemical weapons development programme.
via Isis storms Saddam-era chemical weapons complex in Iraq – Telegraph.
In the end, the delusional ones are those who believe Saddam’s Iraq didn’t have these weapons. Admittedly, Saddam used a lot of deceit and misdirection in order to hide the state of Iraq’s weapons programs after 1991, but no one made up the fact Iraq has these weapons.
The lie, if you can call it that, was one of expectations. It was expected, especially in media circles, we’d find a warehouse filled with neatly stacked racks of chemical shells, biological delivery systems or something of that nature.
By late 2003, even the Bush White House’s staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
But WikiLeaks’ newly-released Iraq war documents reveal that for years afterward, U.S. troops continued to find chemical weapons labs, encounter insurgent specialists in toxins and uncover weapons of mass destruction.
An initial glance at the WikiLeaks war logs doesn’t reveal evidence of some massive WMD program by the Saddam Hussein regime — the Bush administration’s most (in)famous rationale for invading Iraq. But chemical weapons, especially, did not vanish from the Iraqi battlefield. Remnants of Saddam’s toxic arsenal, largely destroyed after the Gulf War, remained. Jihadists, insurgents and foreign (possibly Iranian) agitators turned to these stockpiles during the Iraq conflict — and may have brewed up their own deadly agents.
via WikiLeaks Show WMD Hunt Continued in Iraq – With Surprising Results | Danger Room | WIRED.
The weapons existed, but they were scattered about and hidden. Nuclear centrifuges buried in backyards, jets buried in the middle of the desert or petri dishes in the back of home freezers.
Outside of the political squabbling, someone needs to open their eyes, and realize that while it might be convenient and fun for political reasons to pretend these weapons never existed, in the Middle East people don’t live with that illusion.