Mike the Mad Biologist

About Those Missing WMD in Syria…

Jonathan Hari of TNR bravely went undercover and joined a cruise hosted by the National Review. That is a heroic sacrifice on behalf of the Coalition of the Sane, and no amount of satire could do that lunacy justice. But Norman “the blood of GIs is better than Viagra” Podhoretz brought up that tired canard of the Delusional Right (italics mine):

“Aren’t you embarrassed by the absence of these weapons?” Buckley snaps at Podhoretz. He has just explained that he supported the war reluctantly, because Dick Cheney convinced him Saddam Hussein had WMD primed to be fired. “No,” Podhoretz replies. “As I say, they were shipped to Syria. During Gulf war one, the entire Iraqi air force was hidden in the deserts in Iran.”

So, I have a simple question: if Syria actually does have Iraqi WMDs, why haven’t the Israelis blown the shit out of them? They have launched massive air strikes over far less. They are loudly sounding the horn about Iran, but are keeping absolutely silent about Syria? If the Israelis aren’t concerned about Syrian-controlled WMDs, and they do tend to worry about these things just a wee bit more (e.g., Iran), then why are we?

I don’t think Podhoretz is smarter than Israeli intelligence, as error-prone as they can be.

a related point: The Iraqi air force wasn’t “hidden.” We observed them doing it (remotely). We knew Iraq had sent its planes to Iran. We didn’t see them move WMDs…because they weren’t there. This is the same kind of magical thinking creationists use.

Comments

  1. #1 Tyler DiPietro
    June 28, 2007

    Mike, I’m sorry, but you’ve forgotten to take into account the possibility that Iraq had developed a cloak of invisibility for his WMD’s before shipping them to Syria. I realize it sounds out there and all, but if you discount even the most ridiculous scenarios proferred by war apologists, Iran has already won.

  2. #2 Tex
    June 28, 2007

    All of this is just speculation. We won’t really know the answer until we invade Syria. Probably sometime right before the 2008 elections.

    All of this speculation also ignores the important question that if Saddam had such weapons, wouldn’t he have used them to fight off an invasion of the world most powerful army? If not, what the hell was he saving them for?

  3. #3 josepheuphoric
    June 28, 2007

    So who do we believe?? If there is some form of profit to be had, whether monetary, ego glorification, or political power, that individual or organization will and does distort if not fabricate what they wish you to believe the “truth” is. If it is not done out of human respect and decency it is not in the best interest to us, living beings, or the planet. If you are at least a high school graduate than ignorance (and denial) is a choice not culpable deniability. We have been psychologically profiled by the “think tanks” and mainpulated by fear and hate based deceptions.

  4. #4 bigTom
    June 29, 2007

    Shhhhh! Syria has no idea what it has, we wouldn’t want them to discover their treasure trove of WMDs!

    But of course during the war, I heard all about the WMD laden ships doing circles out in the ocean. Wing-nut radio told me so.

  5. #5 Mike C.
    June 29, 2007

    So, I have a simple question: if Syria actually does have Iraqi WMDs, why haven’t the Israelis blown the shit out of them?

    Um, Syria has actually long been suspected of having its own supply of domestic chemical (and possibly biological) weapons. One of the reasons Israeli is hesitant to attack Syria is precisely the fear that it would use its WMDs against Israeli civilians. Perhaps you think it is a wise idea to invade a neighboring country likely possessing stockpiles of WMDs by plunging headlong into an invasion. The Israelis, understandably, feel differently.

    My reason for seriously doubting Podhoretz’ claim is different: we would expect such a transfer to involve a significant number of Iraqis. Yet, in spite of Saddam being removed from power, none of those people have come forward with information.

  6. #6 SLC
    June 29, 2007

    Re Norman Podhoretz

    It should also be remembered that Mr. Podhoretz’ magazine, Commentary, also publishes the anti-evolutionary pseudo scientific crap of David Berlinski. Not to mention Dr. Berlinskis’ ridiculous article bad mouthing the big bang theory. The fact is that Mr. Podhoretz has no more intellectual credibility then his opposite number, Norman Finkelstein.

  7. #7 Mark Nutter
    June 29, 2007

    What I like about the “Saddam hid the WMD’s in Syria” is that it assumes simultaneously that Saddam was brilliant enough to pull off development and production of a significant military threat while under heavy embargo and surveillance (what a genius!) and that Saddam was so stupid that he completely failed to foresee that Bush the Younger was getting ready to send the US Army rolling over him just like Bush the Elder did (what an idiot!). What’s the point of having WMD’s if you’re not going to use them against an army that’s coming for the specific purpose of sending you to the gallows? Duh.

  8. #8 Andrew Wade
    June 29, 2007

    What I like about the “Saddam hid the WMD’s in Syria” is that it assumes simultaneously that Saddam was brilliant enough to pull off development and production of a significant military threat while under heavy embargo and surveillance (what a genius!) and that Saddam was so stupid that he completely failed to foresee that Bush the Younger was getting ready to send the US Army rolling over him just like Bush the Elder did (what an idiot!).

    Well, I hear he did break evil overlord rule #32¹, so he was getting bogus intel. Even so, I’m not really sure what his motive would be. Perhaps Podhoretz has seen one to many bad movies and thinks “I’m the bad guy” and “it’s in the script” are all the motive one needs.

    ¹ “I will not fly into a rage and kill a messenger who brings me bad news just to illustrate how evil I really am. Good messengers are hard to come by.”

  9. #9 Troublesome Frog
    June 29, 2007

    The interesting thing about all of the “Bush is great because there really were WMDs out there!” arguments is that they fail to note that if that were actually the case, that means that our leadership managed to take a bunch of reasonably well contained and accounted for WMDs and allow them to get lost all over the middle east. How exactly is that better than just being wrong about it in the first place?

    I’m guessing that this is the reason why the Bush Administration is going the “We got bad intelligence” route instead. They’re good enough at PR to know that somebody would eventually burn them if they went the “Well, he had them but we let them get lost” route.

  10. #10 şişme bebek
    June 11, 2009

    Well, I hear he did break evil overlord rule #32¹, so he was getting bogus intel. Even so, I’m not really sure what his motive would be. Perhaps Podhoretz has seen one to many bad movies and thinks “I’m the bad guy” and “it’s in the script” are all the motive one needs.

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