October 10, 2004
The Independent (UK)

If You Had Seen What I Have Seen

The inspection process was rigged to create uncertainty over WMD to bolster the US and UK's case for war

by Scott Ritter

It appears that the last vestiges of perceived legitimacy regarding the decision of President George Bush and Tony Blair to invade Iraq have been eliminated with the release this week of the Iraq Survey Group's final report on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The report's author, Charles Duelfer, underscored the finality of what the world had come to accept in the 18 months since the invasion of Iraq - that there were no stockpiles of WMD, or programmes to produce WMD. Despite public statements made before the war by Bush, Blair and officials and pundits on both sides of the Atlantic to the contrary, the ISG report concludes that all of Iraq's WMD stockpiles had been destroyed in 1991, and WMD programmes and facilities dismantled by 1996. . . .

The ultimate condemnation of the failure and futility of the US-UK effort in Iraq is that if Saddam were released from his prison cell and participated in the elections scheduled for next January, there is a good chance he would emerge as the popular choice. . . .

The true goal wasn't disarmament, but regime change. This,of course, clashed with the principles of international law set forth in the Security Council resolutions, voted on by the US and UK, and to which Saddam was ostensibly held to account. Economic sanctions, put in place by the UN in 1990 after Saddam's invasion of Iraq and continued in 1991, linked to Saddam's obligation to disarm, were designed to compel Iraq to comply with the Security Council's requirements. Saddam did disarm, but since two members of that Security Council - the US and the UK - were implementing unilateral policies of regime change as opposed to disarmament, this compliance could never be recognised. . . .

To buy into the notion that the world is better off without Saddam, one would have to conclude that the framework of international law that held the world together since the end of the Second World War - the UN Charter - is antiquated and no longer viable in a post-9/11 world. Tragically, we can see the fallacy of that argument unfold on a daily basis, as the horrific ramifications of American and British unilateralism unfold across the globe. If there ever was a case to be made for a unified standard of law governing the interaction of nations, it is in how we as a global community prosecute the war on terror. . . .


"White House 'Lied About Saddam Threat'," The Wisdom Fund, July 10, 2003

Julian Borger, "The Spies Who Pushed for War," The Guardian, July 17, 2003

"Iraq War: Bush Lied and the Media Didn't Tell You," The Wisdom Fund, February 1, 2004

"Iraq War: Liars or Fools?," The Wisdom Fund, February 9, 2004

John Pilger, The Media's Culpability for Iraq,, October 1, 2004

[Duelfer believes that Iraq destroyed its WMD in the summer of 1991, and finds nothing to document any programmes after that time.--Hans Blix, "If you had seen what I have seen," Independent, October 10, 2004]

[Bush and other U.S. officials cited the grave threat posed by Iraq's chemical and biological weapons and Baghdad's efforts to acquire a nuclear arms capability as a central justification for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. No such weapons have been found.--Will Dunham, "U.S. Wraps Up Search for Banned Weapons in Iraq," Reuters, January 12, 2005]

[THE head of MI6 told Tony Blair the case for going to war in Iraq was a US "fix" months before the invasion, it was claimed last night.

Sir Richard Dearlove warned "facts and intelligence" were being fixed by the Bush administration back in July 2002, the BBC's Panorama documentary said.--Rosa Prince, "MI6 TOLD BLAIR: AMERICA FIXED CASE FOR WAR", Mirror, March 21, 2005]

Rupert Cornwell, "WMD verdict: 'Dead wrong'", Independent, April 1, 2005

David Corn, "WMD Commission Continues the Stonewall for Bush", Guardian, April 1, 2005

[There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. There was no serious and current threat, no real and present danger that could justify a war of self defence under international law or the UN Charter.

The Prime Minister and the President denied the UN weapons inspectors the time and resources they needed to finish the job. Military action was neither proportionate nor the last resort. Regime change was as illegal in 2003 under Article 2 of the UN charter as it would have been in the Gulf War of 1991.--Menzies Campbell, " Judgment day at last on Iraq", Observer, April 24, 2005]

Dana Priest, "Report Finds No Evidence Syria Hid Iraqi Arms", Washington Post, April 26, 2005

VIDEO: Scott Ritter, Seymour Hersh, "Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein," Nation Books (October 10, 2005)

MOVIE: Danny Schecter, "WMD: Weapons of Mass Deception", Fall 2005

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