A Query: Who is Rolf Ekeus?

Gary MacLennan g.maclennan at qut.edu.au
Thu Jul 17 17:59:49 MDT 2003

I have just finished reading an article in Murdoch's rag The Australian
where Michael Costello, former chief of staff to former Labor Party leader
Kim Beazley defends Bush-Blair_ Howard over the war on Iraq.  A large part
of his case is built upon an article by Rolf Ekeus - "Chairman of the
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute...the (sic) UN weapons
inspector in Iraq from 1991-97" (Australian July 18 2003 p11).

Beazley was the most pro-American of Australia's politicians so it is
hardly surprising that his former chief of staff should be out there
defending the war.

Basically the argument he draws upon is Ekeus' claims that Iraq's chemical
and biological materials are of such low quality, that they were only "put
together as weapons at the last minute".

According to Ekeus

"This combination of researchers, engineers, know how, precursors, batch
production techniques and testing is what constituted Iraq's chemical
threat - it chemical weapon.  The rather bizarre search for rusting drum
and pieces of munitions containing low-quality chemicals has tended to
distort the important question of WMD in Iraq and exposed the American and
British administrations to unjustified criticism" (ibid)."

What Ekeus is doing here is to equate Iraq's chemical industry with a
chemical weapons industry.  In other words if you have a chemical factory
then you have chemical weapons.  Even if one accepts this highly dubious
equation, there still remains the question of how these weapons were to be
delivered.  Costello is silent on this matter and I suspect Ekeus is too.

The last minute thesis is equally strange.  Why haven't they found a single
instance of this "last minute" process in two wars???

The Costello piece will no doubt be syndicated throughout the
Murdoch  Media Empire. Who though is Ekeus??



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