The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] FW: Experts believed no Iraqi WMDs in 2001

U.S. intelligence has known the "stockpiles of WMDs" charge was a lie for a
long, long time. Surely some enterprising newspaper could have reported on
this conference before, instead of just regurgitating Bush's (false)

This story appeared in Toronto Globe & Mail. Haven't seen one mention in
U.S. press.

* * *

Experts believed no Iraqi WMDs in 2001: analysts

By ROGER WARD - Canadian Press

07/18/03: TORONTO (CP) -- A conference of top-level military analysts was
told Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction months before the Sept. 11
terrorist attacks -- a message that later fell on deaf ears in the American
capital, analysts say.

Former Canadian military officer-turned-analyst, Sunil Ram remembers the
January 2001 conference Understanding the Lessons of Nuclear Inspections and
Monitoring in Iraq: A Ten-Year Review.

What he heard at the meeting he has repeated for months, he says, getting
little attention from the mainstream media: that U.S. President George W.
Bush had no grounds to base the invasion of Iraq on the disarmament issue.

"The people doing the presentation were weapons inspectors and former
weapons inspectors and senior members of (U.S. government) agencies," Ram
said in an interview.

"These were the guys on the ground (in Iraq) who had this stuff (weapons
facilities) taken apart."

The conclusion they reached, says Ram, was that "Iraq's nuclear weapons
program (didn't exist) because (the Iraqi government) had dismantled it."

He says the message of experts at the meeting was heard loud and clear by
many U.S. military and political officials.

He admits the message didn't necessarily mean Saddam Hussein was not trying
to acquire nuclear capability, but points out that months before the United
States was insisting Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was a threat
to other nations, top U.S. officials had been told the opposite.

The Washington meeting dealt specifically with nuclear weapons, but Ram said
it also addressed chemical and biological weapons to a smaller extent. Even
there, he says, the danger to the world from such weapons was dismissed by
the presenters.

If there were such weapons in Iraq at that time, Ram says, "they were
negligible in quantity and militarily meaningless."

He also refuted Bush's view that biological and chemical weapons could have
been a threat to the world in the hands of Saddam Hussein.

"The major problem that has not been picked up by the media is that nuclear
weapons are weapons of mass destruction, whereas biological and chemical
weapons are akin to weapons of mass terror. They are militarily

Ram is not the only Canadian military analyst who has believed for months
that weapons of mass destruction did not exist to any significant extent in
Iraq before the 2003 war.

Scott Taylor, publisher of Esprit de Corps, a magazine on Canadian military
affairs, was in Iraq before and after the war and says it was common
knowledge -- despite insistence of American officials such as Secretary of
Defence Donald Rumsfeld -- that it was not a certainty the weapons would be

"The unit the Americans had sent (to Iraq) on April 9 (was sent) to find
these weapons of mass destruction and secure them (but they) have all come
up empty handed," Taylor says.

"That unit has in fact suspended its operations and the people (on the team)
have a report out to say they do not expect to find any chemical or
biological weapons."

Referring to the now-disproved claim in Bush's State of the Union address
that Saddam Hussein was negotiating for uranium with an African country,
Taylor says "what's left in his speech isn't enough to justify (the invasion
of Iraq) especially when things are not going as smoothly as expected."

Taylor also believes what has happened is a form of vindication for Prime
Minister Jean Chretien, who refused to send troops to Iraq.

"Obviously this is not a time to gloat," he said.

"We can't say at this point 'I told you so,' (but) anybody who had anybody
on the ground (in Iraq) or was reading the actual intelligence could have
predicted this."

Taylor also believes Canada's refusal makes it a likely candidate to take a
significant role in rebuilding Iraq. He described the reaction of Iraqi
people to the fact he is Canadian: "I was there and all the time people were
actually saying (to me) 'Jean Chretien No. 1' when they knew you were from

Ram had a less sympathetic view of Canada's status in light of its refusal
to join the war.

"We are paying a much greater price economically and it is apparent in the
way the Bush administration has treated us," he says.

Copyright: Canadian Press

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]