Retire, Hans. Please.

Hans Blix is making a farewell tour prior to his retirement at the end of the month. Yesterday he attacked the U.S. again at a meeting of the U.N.’s Council on Foreign Relations. The quotable Mr. Blix said: “It is sort of puzzling, I think, that you can have 100 per cent certainty about the weapons of mass destruction’s existence, and zero per cent certainty about where they are.” Actually, this is hardly a paradox. Given the tiny size of chemical and biological weapons and their easy mobility, and given that some years have gone by since their locations were last verified, one can easily be quite certain that the weapons exist, without knowing where they are. It isn’t as though Saddam was trying to hide the Hoover Dam.
Blix also criticized the U.S. for saying that the mobile weapons labs discovered in Iraq were “smoking guns.” “We were more prudent in our assessment and I think that was shown to be pretty wise,” Blix said. Oh yeah? How was it “shown to be wise”? No one has offered a coherent explanation of what the mobile labs would have been used for other than illicit weapons production, and they match almost exactly a description of such labs given by at least one Iraqi defector with knowledge of Saddam’s programs. Nevertheless, the claim that we have not found any WMD’s in Iraq is repeated thousands of times every day.
The Canadian Broadcasting Company, with its characteristic objectivity, notes that “[t]he Americans used the story that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction to invade the country.” It will be interesting to see how these people react when the facts on Saddam’s weapons become known–which is, I think, almost inevitable.


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