Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Thursday, September 26, 2002

Whew! That was close call. We can all pack up and go home now. Some nuclear/bio/chem/security experts (read reporters) with their very sophisticated equipment (pens and note pad) were admitted to two suspected WMD sites in Iraq and have declared them WMD-freezones. The brand new smocks and still-wet hand painted signs reading "MILK" is good enough for me.

Director general Sinan Sayed, 46, claimed he merely made gunpowder for small weapons and missiles that fell within UN guidelines. Mr Blair says the site makes phosgene, which can be used as a "precursor" to nerve agents. But Mr Sayed claimed it was produced legitimately as a by-product when the Iraqis made a substance to stabilise gunpowder. He added: "This dossier is making a ridiculous claim because we cannot get the phosgene out of the pipework even if we wanted to." Mr Sayed also denied Mr Blair's claims that the site, extensively bombed during the Gulf War, had been partly dismantled by weapons inspectors. He insisted: "There are no weapons of mass destruction here."

We also saw a rundown concrete-clad complex of pipework and steaming metal containers throwing smoke into a room, which had puddles of acidic-looking liquid splattered on the floor. Here the Iraqis claimed they made their gunpowder stabilising agent. But there were no scientists with us to verify that.

At the Sera Institute in Amiriya, the Iraqis claim the plant helps make chemicals that aid the analysis of blood, and typhoid and salmonella vaccine. Director general Dr Karim Obeid, 43, said: "There is nothing for the UN to be worried about here, absolutely nothing."

We saw two lines of steel silos, stinking of kerosene and carrying fire hazard warnings. Worryingly, we found hundreds of tiny unused and out-of-date phials of typhoid and salmonella vaccines lying in the 48C heat. Plastic containers of sulphuric acid lay nearby, alongside other bottles of suspicious-looking liquid. In Britain, all of this would alarm the Health and Safety Executive.

We went to the new building targeted by Mr Blair but found nothing to arouse suspicion - just empty fridges. Around us bored-looking workers waiting to go home asked: "What were you looking for?"

Still notconvinced? What are you some sort of racist Islam-Hating war monger who can so easily deny this hard evidence? I mean he told us right to our faces they don't have any WMD.

< email | 9/26/2002 12:29:00 AM | link

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