Wednesday, October 02, 2002

This is a letter to the editor that I wrote and that appeared in the local paper yesterday. My post for 9/26 contains links to some of the sources I used for this letter.

Do you get the feeling that President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair are grasping at straws in an attempt to win support for their war?

They have made the claim that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons that threaten the United States. However, experts including Scott Ritter, former head weapons inspector in Iraq, have systematically discounted this claim. Bush tried to claim that Iraq was a nuclear threat. But the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, one of the most respected groups that monitors nuclear weapons, pointed out in a recent editorial that Iraq is actually farther away from developing such weapons than it was 10 years ago.

Blair presented a "dossier" against Saddam trying to win support from his government. But experts quickly pointed out that there was really nothing new in this document. In fact just one hour and 10 minutes after it was released, British journalists in Iraq were taken to one of the facilities mentioned in the dossier. They found nothing. The Daily Mirror newspaper said the report was full of "marshmallow facts."

Now some in the Bush administration are again trying to link Iraq with al-Qaida. Peter Struck, Germany's defense minister, has said there is nothing new in the CIA report, and added he had no information of links between al-Qaida and Iraq.

Let's hope that members of Congress understand the difference between propaganda and evidence. We need weapons inspectors in Iraq. We don't need a bloody bombing campaign that will kill thousands of innocent civilians.

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