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October 07, 2004

WMDs and Character « GWOT » « Stuff Important to Me »

Part of my maturation into an adult included a recent/belated recognition of the importance of character.

Simply put, as I look back on the most devastating mistakes of my life, most were because I dismissed or did not take the time to fully ascertain a person's character. I made decisions based on optimism, hope, or what the other person chose to display. I saw mixed messages of behavior and chose to take the ones I preferred as the "true" personality.

Now, however, I base all my interactions, choices, decisions, etc, on the character of the individual I'm engaging. Based on what I formerly considered "unrelated" behaviors, and by noticing what choices a person makes on "little" issues, I can predict with great accuracy how they will act or choose or react under stress, when encountering obstacles, on major issues, or when their own self-interest is involved.

Based on all that, the debate and dispute over Saddam al-Hussein's possession WMD is silly, unproductive, and useless.

As I've said before, I can think of three distinct, easily-implemented scenarios by which on the day we invaded, Saddam al-Hussein still had the stockpiles of WMD suggested by Colin Powell's presentation to the UN, yet we would still be unable to find any actual evidence:
1) He possessed large stockpiles, and used GPS to hide it in the trackless desert wastes.
2) He possessed large stockpiles of gas, but released it into the atmosphere in an uninhabited region of the desert.
3) He possessed large stockpiles, but shipped it out to Syria early in the war.

Remember, all of the WMD unaccounted for at the end of Gulf War I that we know he possessed would fit inside the space of a two-car garage. Even if he tripled it, it wouldn't take all that many trucks to transport the entire stockpile anywhere that could be reached by road.

Thus, assertions that Saddam al-Hussein and the state of Iraq didn't possess WMD stockpiles still seem to me to be inconclusive, at best. And dishonest, at worst.

But the bottom line is: Capability plus Intent equals Threat. Saddam al-Hussein clearly had the intent to use WMDs, his character confirms that. The Capability to produce, obtain, and use WMD is ridiculously easy to obtain and maintain and keep hidden. The only way to remove this proven Threat to the United States and to the strategic region of the world was to remove Saddam al-Hussein.

I must conclude that anyone who comes to any other conclusion is simply disregarding the demonstrated character of Saddam al-Hussein. Interestingly, the people who most object to our invasion of Iraq are the people who tend to dismiss character as unimportant, anyway.

Posted by Nathan at 08:17 AM | Comments (0)
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