The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
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"Blix is a former Swedish Foreign Minister who also served for many years director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency."
Surely Hans Blix understands the futility of any policy that insists on the maintaining of genocidal sanctions until Iraq has be proven to have disarmed. It is like looking for a needle in a hay stack, not knowing either the size of the haystack or whether their is a needle present at all to start with.
Bombing campaigns can not prevent a nation from producing weapons of mass destruction if it is determined enough. In 1981 "Israel" bombed Iraq's Osirak reactor. This failed to stop Iraq's nuclear weapons program. In 1998 in Operation Dessert Fox the US targeted Iraq's weapons research facilities. This failed to slow down Iraq's weapons programs. According to the US's own admissions they hit nothing except empty buildings. Unfortunately you can never trust Iraqi's to be good sportsmen and leave all their weapons program personal, equipment and stockpiles in known locations when an attack is known to be coming:))
Thus it is clear that bombing a country, especially in Iraq's case, can not force it to disarm if it does not have the political will to comply.
Inspections are the best method to force a country to disarm. In fact I think it's fair to say Iraq has been substantially disarmed as demonstrated by the evidence provided by Scott Richter.
But the US refuses to accept this and continues to justify genocidal sanctions on the assumption that Iraq may still be concealing weapons of mass destruction. I have heard horror stories reported in the US media that a small glass of VX nerve gas is capable of wiping out a city like New York. If Iraq does posses VX nerve gas it would always be impossible to find. Hiding a small glass in a country the size of Iraq is a lot harder than trying to find a needle in a haystack. In any event whether Iraq posses VX nerve gas or not is irrelevant. If Iraq does have hidden chemical and biological weapons it currently lacks the means to deliver them. Even had Iraq the means to deliver them it is highly unlikely that Iraq would ever use them against the US. If Iraq ever intended to use such weapons against the US surely it would have used them as a means of countering overwhelming US military superiority during the Desert Storm or latter during Desert Fox. It did not simply because Iraq knows it would face prompt and total destruction in such an event.
So why is the US so concerned about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction? It is not because Iraq might use the against her neighbours. During the 1980's the US continually denied that their was substantial evidence that Iraq had used chemical weapons against Iran, despite the overwhelming evidence that it did. The US does not fear for "Israel's" safety as again in the case with the US, if Iraq used such weapons against "Israel" as it would face prompt and total destruction.
Perhaps the US is concerned that Iraq might use its weapons of mass destruction against its own people. This is also doubtful. In 1988 the US did not utter a word when chemical weapons were used against Kurds in Northern Iraq. Nor does the US care that it is slaughtering 5000 Iraqi children a month through genocidal sanctions which are a weapon of mass destruction in their own right.
Regardless of what the US motivation is, it still insists that genocidal sanctions must continue until Iraq disarms. Bombing has not worked but the US claims this can be achieved through an inspections regime.
During the 1980's the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of which it seems Hans Blix was a former director general, made repeated inspection visits to Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor. Despite the regular inspections of Iraq's research facilities, the IAEA never discovered Iraq's highly advanced nuclear weapons program. In fact I read in a statement by Paul Leventhal (President of the Nuclear Control Institute) that Iraq was repeatedly praised by the IAEA for its full cooperation with this agency and in fact he notes that;
Iraq learned early on that it could conceal a nuclear weapons program by cooperating with the IAEA. Khidhir Hamza, a senior Iraqi scientist who defected to the United States in 1994, wrote in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that Saddam Hussein approved a deception-by-cooperation scheme in 1974. "Iraq was careful to avoid raising IAEA suspicions; an elaborate strategy was gradually developed to deceive and manipulate the agency," Hamza said.
The strategy worked. Iraq, as a signer of the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, was subject to IAEA inspections on all nuclear facilities. But IAEA’s inspectors had failed to detect the Iraqi-style "Manhattan Project," which was discovered after the Gulf War.
It is important to note two key facts here. Firstly that a chemical and biological weapons research facilities are infinitely easier to conceal than a Nuclear Weapons program. Secondly that while Iraq was successfully deceiving the IAEA throughout the 1980's right until the Gulf War, the agency was headed between 1982 to 1998 by none other than Hans Blix. The very man whom the US say's can disarm Iraq if only allowed to conduct inspections, and until he claims his work is complete (an impossible and pointless task) genocidal sanctions must continue.