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Wed Oct 15, 2014, 05:13 PM

NY Magazine: U.S. Troops Were Injured by Old WMDs in Iraq, Which Doesn’t Mean Bush Was Right

New York magazine was quick on the draw with this article, which they published in response to the wave of conservatives jumping on the "This Vindicates Bush" bandwagon in the wake of the NY Times article on abandoned chemical weapons that were found in Iraq (and which injured soldiers who handled them unawares). In addition to the points made in the article (an excerpt of which appears further down in this message), I also added the following comment (which I also posted to the original New York Times article):

markpkessinger

There is yet another reason why none of this serves to vindicate the Bush administration's claims of WMD. Think back to that unfortunate speech Colin Powell gave before the United Nations making the case for invading Iraq. Chemical weapons were mentioned, sure, but the salient point of that speech -- the thing that ultimately 'closed the deal,' if you will -- was the belief that Saddam Hussein either had, or was in the process of developing, a nuclear weapon. Remember all the talk about "aluminum tubes" and "yellow cake uranium?" All of that was about making the case that if the U.S. didn't stop Saddam Hussein, like yesterday,the next thing anybody knew he would have a nuclear weapon, and then Who Knew What Would Happen? Likewise, Condoleeza Rice's infamous comment, to wit, "We don't want to wait until a smoking gun becomes a mushroom cloud," was ALL about scaring the public, both here and abroad, of a nuclear-armed Saddam Hussein. Chemical weapons were mentioned, but were decidedly secondary in the case the Bush administration made.

In addition, Conservatives can hardly claim vindication for Bush when the Pentagon, for five years under Bush and two under Obama, repeatedly denied the very existence of these weapons, even as U.S. soldiers were being injured by them after they had been instructed to destroy them and having been kept in the dar as to the nature of what they were handling. There is simply no way the Bush administration comes out of this looking any less guilty of war crimes than it has already looked.


Here's the New York magazine article excerpt:

[font size=5]U.S. Troops Were Injured by Old WMDs in Iraq,
Which Doesn’t Mean Bush Was Right[/font]
[font size=1]By Margaret Hartmann[/font]

In a bombshell report on Tuesday night, the New York Times' C. J. Chivers revealed the existence of a "largely secret chapter" in the Iraq War. Between 2004 and 2011, American troops and Iraqi police officers repeatedly found chemical weapons produced by Saddam Hussein's regime before 1991, and at least 17 U.S. service members were wounded by deteriorating shells filled with nerve or mustard agents. The men suffered burns, severe blisters, respiratory problems, and other long-lasting health problems, but the U.S. government prevented the troops from receiving medical care and refused to recognize that they had been wounded in the line of duty. And to make matters worse, ISIS now controls the area where most of the weapons were found.

There's a lot of infuriating information in the 10,000-word report and accompanying documentary. But conservatives quickly pounced on one point that isn't even true: U.S. troops found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, so President George W. Bush was right to invade.

It's well known that Saddam Hussein produced chemical weapons in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war, and by 2003 the shells and rockets were so old and damaged that they could not be used as designed. The Times report makes it abundantly clear that these were not the WMDs the Bush administration was referring to in the lead-up to the war. This is the tenth paragraph:

The United States had gone to war declaring it must destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, American troops gradually found and ultimately suffered from the remnants of long-abandoned programs, built in close collaboration with the West.


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Reply NY Magazine: U.S. Troops Were Injured by Old WMDs in Iraq, Which Doesn’t Mean Bush Was Right (Original post)
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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Wed Oct 15, 2014, 09:34 PM

2. I don't normally kick my own posts . . .

. . . but this article from New York magazine is a fine response to the Freeperville insanity du jour, to wit, "Bush is Vindicated on WMD!!"

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