Military force is the only way to stop the butcher of Baghdad from acquiring nuclear weapons

The leftist Israeli daily Ha'aretz (www.haaretzdaily.com) has an interview with former UN biological arms chief Richard O. Spertzel:

People who think that the UN inspectors will find biological or chemical or even nuclear weapons in Iraq in such a short period of time have unrealistic excpectations, says Richard O. Spertzel, who served as head of the biological weapons inspection team for the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) from 1994-98.

"It will take months and even years to find the `smoking gun' that people are talking about," he says. "We have to remember who we are dealing with. Saddam Hussein is a very sophisticated person. Whoever thinks that the inspectors will go to Iraq and find his secrets in a few weeks doesn't understand who we are dealing with."

Spertzel is following the work of the current team of inspectors in Iraq, and isn't impressed with their work or with their achievements. "The inspectors work mostly in sites that were visited by other inspectors until the inspection work was stopped in 1998. They don't visit almost any new sites. The visit to one of Saddam's palaces was only symbolic. Saddam is too smart. He is not going to hide his toys in the same place twice." [...]

Are we sure that Saddam really has biological and chemical weapons?

"Without a doubt. And this is a real threat. There is a fear that Iraq, with the help of terror organizations, will try to spread biological and chemical weapons. By the way, I am still not convinced that Iraq isn't behind the anthrax letters [that have been sent to American legislators and journalists]. The quality of the material that was in the letters is very high ... and I believe that Iraq did [it]. In any case, there is a big risk to many countries, including the U.S. and Israel, from smallpox and anthrax. This is the biggest risk."

In 1991 during the Gulf War, I was a college student at the Technion, Israel's Institute of Technology (similar to America's MIT). Israel never attacked Iraq, yet Saddam Hussein fired dozens of missiles at Israeli cities. Israel never retaliated, but the missiles (Scuds) kept coming. Kids and the elderly had to wear gas masks every night while the butcher of Baghdad aimed and fired his weapons at women, children and babies.

I certainly don't want this Iraqi murderer to acquire nulear weapons. Faster, please.

Thanks to Imshin for the link. I copy the full article below.





Futile search for a smoking gun
Military force - and not UN inspection teams - is the only way to deal with the problem of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, says former UN biological arms chief Richard O. Spertzel in this interview with Ha'aretz
By Haim Handwerker
http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/
ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=255507&contrassID=2
&subContrassID=15&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y

NEW YORK - People who think that the UN inspectors will find biological or chemical or even nuclear weapons in Iraq in such a short period of time have unrealistic excpectations, says Richard O. Spertzel, who served as head of the biological weapons inspection team for the United Nations Special Commission on Iraq (UNSCOM) from 1994-98.

"It will take months and even years to find the `smoking gun' that people are talking about," he says. "We have to remember who we are dealing with. Saddam Hussein is a very sophisticated person. Whoever thinks that the inspectors will go to Iraq and find his secrets in a few weeks doesn't understand who we are dealing with."

Spertzel is following the work of the current team of inspectors in Iraq, and isn't impressed with their work or with their achievements. "The inspectors work mostly in sites that were visited by other inspectors until the inspection work was stopped in 1998. They don't visit almost any new sites. The visit to one of Saddam's palaces was only symbolic. Saddam is too smart. He is not going to hide his toys in the same place twice."

It should be clear, he says, that the purpose of the current UN-sponsored mission isn't to find weapons of mass destruction themselves. The visits are taking place at sites in which there is a "dual use" of technologies, materials and equipment - for civilian and military purposes.

Spertzel: "They don't hide a biological or chemical weapon in these places. This kind of weapon might be in these sites for a few days, and then it is moved to hiding places. Our experience from the past and the information that we got taught us that they may bury the weapon in the ground. It can be found in deserted railroads or military airbases. In this situation, the chances of finding the smoking gun is almost zero.

"The smoking gun, in my opinion, is the report that Iraq gave to the UN. In this report there wasn't much. There was less information than we got in the past. This is our smoking gun. It tells us that Saddam Hussein doesn't want to cooperate. Everything he does is for public relations. This report is one big scheme.

Military action only

Spertzel is an expert in biological warfare - weapons and prevention - and on arms control, and assessment and prevention of the use of toxins and other biological substances by terrorists. His expertise has been called upon by many U.S. government agencies, including the CIA, and he worked with UNSCOM until its termination in 1999. He now teaches a course entitled "Emergency Response to Domestic Biologic Incidences" through Louisiana State University.

During the current crisis in Iraq, Spertzel has become a prominent figure in the American media. His is a tough attitude toward Saddam's regime: In his opinion, if one wants to disarm the Iraqi leader, there is no choice but to act against him with military force. With all the criticism that he has against the effectiveness of the present UN mission, he is aware that the inspectors are facing a tremendous problem. They don't have enough intelligence and even when they receive information, the Iraqis discover it easily and prepare themselves accordingly.

So, why doesn't the CIA provide them with information?

Spertzel: "There is a problem here not just with the CIA, but with other intelligence organizations. They don't trust the inspectors enough to give them sensitive information. This [could be a] risk to the information sources; it could make the information obsolete. There is a real risk here. The number of people who know the real secrets of Iraq is very small. When the information is discovered, the Iraqis may find the source of the information easily.

"But there are still ways to pass on the information in certain cases. One of them is to pass the information on to a very few inspectors that are trusted. The information is kept secret from most of the inspectors until they arrive at the suspected site. The problem is the Iraqis have a very good monitoring system, and they may know where the inspectors are going an hour in advance. I know this problem very well. We also had a problem getting information from intelligence services. It is a process of building confidence from the side of the inspectors and convincing the intelligence service that we will use the information in a discreet manner. In one case, it took me one year to get certain information."

Do you think that questioning Iraqi scientists outside of Iraq will solve the problem of getting information?

"There are many problems with this. The scientists might be instructed to refuse to leave Iraq. So how can you take them out of the country if they refuse to go? There is information as to which scientists should be interviewed. I know scientists who will speak if you allow their families to leave with them. I don't believe that the scientists and their families will be allowed to leave. There will always be an excuse as to why they cannot leave. If there is a risk that someone will speak, then he will be killed. In short, I don't believe that the UN or any kind of inspection [organization] will disarm Iraq from its weapons of mass destruction. The only way to deal with this problem is with force."

Vaccinate now

Is there going to be a war?

"I don't know. There are two options. The first is that the U.S. and Britain will get tired of these games and will go to war in the near future. The second option is that the inspection mission will keep going, and the cat-and-mouse game will continue. Nothing or almost nothing will be found by the inspectors. The Iraqis will keep up with their propaganda about the suffering of their people. The world will get tired of the whole issue, and Saddam will stay in power.

Are we sure that Saddam really has biological and chemical weapons?

"Without a doubt. And this is a real threat. There is a fear that Iraq, with the help of terror organizations, will try to spread biological and chemical weapons. By the way, I am still not convinced that Iraq isn't behind the anthrax letters [that have been sent to American legislators and journalists]. The quality of the material that was in the letters is very high ... and I believe that Iraq did [it]. In any case, there is a big risk to many countries, including the U.S. and Israel, from smallpox and anthrax. This is the biggest risk."

Do you think that it is necessary to vaccinate the whole population in the U.S. and Israel against smallpox?

"I am convinced. Vaccination of the whole population, even taking into account the side affects, is the best way to neutralize this weapon. There is no reason for Saddam to use this weapon when the whole population is vaccinated. The time to vaccinate is now, in calm manner. If you do it in the middle of a war, everything will be done under a lot of pressure. You will not have time to vaccinate the whole population. Vaccination now is also a good way to deal with the problem of people who are sensitive to the vaccine."

There is a debate among scientists as to whether to limit scientific information to prevent malicious use of it.

"There is a huge amount of information available to the public about making chemical and biological weapons. Every state that is determined to build such a weapon can do it based on this information. I doubt that in the Internet era it is possible to block such information and to control it. Therefore, there is no choice but to be firm with states that try to abuse the situation. If we are not firm with Iraq other states may follow. That is what North Korea is doing today and if we don't deal with this, we will have a very serious problem."

Posted by David Melle
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