Subject: Judith Miller still at it

Eli Stephens elishastephens at
Tue Jul 22 10:30:21 MDT 2003

Paul's friend Tim wrote:

>Once again, everyone is "caring" about the wrong issue.

>Whether "WMD" exist in Iraq or not is not relevant.

>So the UN and world should be talking about the legality
>of the attack on Iraq without reference to WMD's at

The US is the biggest possessor AND user of weapons of mass destruction,
whether we refer to "mass mass" destruction like the nuclear bombing of
Japan or just the "large mass" destruction caused by "conventional" weapons
like daisy cutters (not to mention the triple threat chemical, biological,
and nuclear weapon called depleted uranium). Many, if not most, in the
antiwar movement recognize this, and it is a frequent subject of speeches
and banners at marches.

A smaller number of progressives, and probably most on this list, believe
that Iraq has a perfect right to have whatever weapons it needs to defend
itself from imperialism, up to and including nuclear weapons. And, in the
broader antiwar movement, a much larger number of people probably believes
that the invasion of Iraq was totally unjustified even if Iraq did have some
stock of chemical or biological weapons, since even if they did there was no
"imminent" threat justifying a war. Even the Pope takes that view.

NEVERTHELESS, the issue of the "missing" WMD IS important.

First, let's address this question. Tim posits "If we find them...the
genuine opposition, in so far as they are obssessing about WMD along with
the establishment brainwasher media, will have the rug pulled from under
themselves, in terms of their credibility." Perhaps that's true, but, as I
have written here before, the chances that any significant WMD will now be
found in Iraq ranges from slim to none. I rest this certainty not only on
the failed efforts which have been made to find them, but also on the
assertion that, if any program of any significant size whatsoever had
existed, then hundreds or thousands of people would have been part  of it,
known about it, and could lead Americans to definitive evidence of same; the
absence of a SINGLE such person to come forward suggests VERY STRONGLY that
no such people, and no such programs, exist (and that includes destroying
weapons other than the Al Samoud missiles up to a week before the war). Note
that I do require "definitive evidence," not alleged "scientists" in
baseball caps pointing to mysterious places in the desert where weapons were
allegedly destroyed, but which we can assume must have left not a trace of
evidence behind based on the disappearance of this Judith Miller story from
the pages of the press.

Now with that assumption (and probably even without it), why are WMD
important? They are important because they offer us a chance once again to
expose the utter mendacity of the ruling class and their drive for profit
and world domination. They also offer the chance to expose the press as part
and parcel of  that ruling class (whatever role they are being forced to
play now in helping to expose, however slowly and incompletely, the lies).
In all of this, they help us to open the eyes of the working people of the
world to the nature of their enemy.

Will impeaching Bush, or rallying the public on this issue with the result
that they throw him out in favor of Kerry or Dean, put an end to ruling
class rule? Of course not. But it does offer valuable educational
possibilities which should not be ignored. It is up to us to make sure the
question is not ONLY "did they lie?" but also "WHY did they lie?" However
even the first, simpler question helps to educate people for the future, and
make it less likely that future lies designed, say, to preceed an invasion
of North Korea, or Cuba, or Iran, will be believed. Viewed in this light,
the exposure of these lies today is a very important tool in staying the
hand of the ruling class. What could be wrong with that?

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