Why Not Use Chemical Weapons?

News reports yesterday indicated that chemical/biological weapons suits were discovered among Iraqi military supplies; captured Iraqi soldiers related plans to use chemical warheads; and reports tonight say that Iraqi forces south of Baghdad may have just been supplied with chemical weapons.
All of this raises the question: Why hasn’t Iraq already used its chemical and biological arsenal? Its tactics have been desperate, unconventional, despicable. Using weapons of mass destruction is about the only thing Saddam and his Baath party haven’t done, and such weapons would be far more effective, militarily, than the suicide attacks and other tactics recently engaged in. So why haven’t Saddam’s chemical and biological weapons been used?
The answer, I think, is pretty clear. Saddam Hussein knows that he cannot win this war militarily. His only hope is political. He will be dead within 60 days unless his political supporters–most of the Arab world, Maxine Waters, the BBC, France, Tom Daschle, Germany, the New York Times, Kofi Annan, American antiwar demonstrators, Howard Dean, Robert Byrd, etc.–come to his rescue and somehow compel President Bush and Tony Blair to call off the military campaign. Absent such a political victory, he and his sons will soon be killed. The one thing that would cause most of his political supporters to give up their effort to preserve his tyranny is his own use of weapons of mass destruction. Such tactics would vindicate the case against him and cause opposition to President Bush’s war effort to melt away. Hence Saddam will not use his chemical and biological arsenal–at least not while any hope remains.

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