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Book Review - "Saul's Game" by Andrew Kaplan

NYT reports there were chemical weapons in Iraq

One of the biggest complaints about the Iraq War by members of the left was that "Bush lied, people died" regarding the existence or not of WMD. This factually inaccurate phrase was bandied about so relentlessly that is became conventional wisdom among the perpetually unwise. The NY Times published a story last week noting that a number of US troops suffered injuries from encountering these supposedly non-existent weapons.

The argument often centered around whether Saddam had stockpiles of active chemical and biological weapons and/or programs actively working on those as well as the big baddy nuclear weapons. As it turned out there were no stockpiles of recent vintage and most of the weapons the troops ran into were of pre Gulf War vintage. But programs that could produce chemical and biological weapons and most importantly the scientists and institutional knowledge to do so did exist. They could have had fresh batches of all kinds of bio-weaponized evil in as little as five weeks.

Saddam had made a calculation that this capability was even better than the physical weapons themselves which could be found by the UN inspectors he let gallivant around the country. So the inspectors dutifully reported that they had found no weapons or factories and too many people took this as evidence that Saddam had been defanged. Wrong, and the danger posed by a dictator with the ability and inclination to build and use these weapons should not have been ignored. Frank Gaffney discusses all of this with the former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy in the Bush administration Douglas Feith.

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