Posted by Sadie from ? (188.8.131.52) on Saturday, April 05, 2003 at 7:01PM :
Sunday 06, April, 2003 / Last Updated: 2:59AM Doha time, 7:59AM GMT
Britain admits there may be no WMD's in Iraq
Well into the war that was supposed to rid Iraq of its alleged stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, a senior British official admitted on Saturday that no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction may after all be found.
Making the startling confession in a radio interview, British Home Secretary, David Blunkett, added in the same breath that he would in any case rejoice the “fall” of Saddam Hussein and his regime — regardless of whether any weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq or not.
The confession reconfirms the worst fears of opponents of the war that “weapons of mass destruction” is only a ruse for the US and the British to go to war against Iraq.
At the very least the admission certainly deals a serious blow to the moral legitimacy that the US and the British have been seeking in prosecuting the war.
Soldiers of the British 7th Armoured Brigade patrol the road leading to the southern Iraq city of Basra
Critics of the war across the world have been accusing the US and the British of aiming for regime change in Baghdad under the guise of “unearthing and dismantling weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”
There have been constant accusations that the US and the British are eyeing Iraq’s huge oil wealth, promoting Israeli interests, and that its campaign against “weapons of mass destruction” is only a convenient cover-up.
Even countries like Germany, Russia and France had been less than impressed with the US-led war against Iraq saying all along that the task of unearthing weapons of mass destruction, if any, is better left to UN weapons' inspectors.
In making the confession in an interview with BBC radio, the British Home Secretary however admitted that the non-discovery of any weapons of mass destruction would “lead to a very interesting debate” about the war.
“We will obviously have a very interesting debate if there are no biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear weapons or facilities to produce them found anywhere in Iraq once Iraq is free,” the home secretary added.
The US-led forces stand to face a huge global uproar if no weapons of mass destruction are found in Iraq.
US-led forces moving across the Iraqi deserts have been under pressure since the start of the war to find evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. But instead of solid evidence, the they have so far raised only false alarms.
From time to time, the US-forces have claimed to have unearthed “suspicious” substances. And each time, the claim has turned out to be without substance.
Today Saturday 5 April, US Marines were reported to be digging up a suspected chemical weapons hiding place in the courtyard of a school in the southeast of Baghdad.
Western media reported that the US Marines were digging after being tipped off by an Iraqi informer. “We don’t have a clue now but we are going to dig it up and check,” said General James Mattis, the commander of the Marine division at the scene.
Iraq has always insisted that it does not possess any weapons of mass destruction.
UN weapons inspectors, who scoured the country for several months until the US asked them to leave last month, had repeatedly certified that they had found no credible evidence of Iraq possessing any weapons of mass destruction. -- Al Jazeera
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