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February 27, 2013

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RichardYoung

I'm not a student of the topic, but it seems to me maybe both Saddam and Bush/Blair were playing the same game. It suited all parties to believe (or make others believe) that Iraq had NBC weaponry. Where the evidence was scant, it was enhanced by the West for public consumption; where there was no evidence, it was assumed a sign of double secret deception or evasion - which is obviously even more of a threat!

The real incompetence was Saddam's in not believing that Bush and Blair would launch an all-out war against him. It was a bad bluff (which, to be credible, had to include his own people.) Bush and Blair weren't incompetent at all. They got their war, they ousted their dictator. I really don't think it's credible to argue that the NBC weaponry was ever anything other than a fig-leaf for these broader aims, and it didn't serve any purpose to plant any after the event.

(Please not: I'm not making a value judgment about those aims. One might sincerely believe, as Blair does, that overturning the Iraq regime was both moral and geopolitically necessary. I might not agree. But I'm trying not to let that colour my view of the weapons issue.)

Ian Leslie

I agree with you that the person most to blame for this war was Saddam, a truth that is oddly obscured.

"I really don't think it's credible to argue that the NBC weaponry was ever anything other than a fig-leaf for these broader aims, and it didn't serve any purpose to plant any after the event."

As "NBC" makes me think of Tom Brokaw I'm going to stick with WMD. I don't think it's credible to claim that it's *not* credible to claim that WMD was the central motivation - yes Bush and Blair had long wanted rid of Saddam, but it was Saddam's failure to comply with UN resolutions on WMD that made them conclude that war was the only option.

As for planting - it sure would have served a political purpose.

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