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The Smell of "Proof" is in the Air By: Bobby Eberle
GOPUSA.com | Tuesday, January 28, 2003

As the sand in the hourglass quickly runs out on Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi regime, there has been a growing call for President Bush to present "proof" of Iraq's violations. If Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction, where are they, and why can't we find them? Those who ask such questions do not understand the nature of the crisis with Iraq. The burden of proof does not lie with President Bush or the United States; the burden of proof lies squarely with Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

To put the issue into the proper context, it is helpful to step back in time and look at the activities of Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi government beginning with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. In addition, in order to separate the case against Iraq from the often sound bite laden exchange between U.S. "hawks" and "doves," it is helpful to examine Iraqi activities and violations through documented United Nations reports and resolutions.

The first statements from the U.N. came with U.N. Security Council Resolution 660 on August 2, 1990. Citing a breach of international peace and security, the Security Council condemned the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and demanded that Iraq withdraw immediately, and unconditionally, all its forces to the positions in which they were located on August 1, 1990. Resolution 661 followed four days later which called for an embargo of all goods into or out of Iraq. Resolution 661 also called for a cutoff of financial and economic resources to Iraq.

With Iraq unhindered by the U.N. resolutions and not giving any indication of a willingness to withdraw from Kuwait, the U.N. Security Council on November 29, 1990 adopted Resolution 678 which authorized the use of force against Iraq if Iraq did not comply with previous resolutions (withdraw from Kuwait) by January 15, 1991. We all know how seriously Iraq took this resolution.

Following the liberation of Kuwait by U.S. and coalition forces, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 686 on March 2, 1991. The resolution cited a letter sent by Iraq to the U.N. Secretary-General dated February 27, 1991 which stated that Iraq would comply fully with all applicable U.N. resolutions. The letter also stated Iraq's intention to release prisoners of war immediately.

Resolution 686 laid out the conditions leading to the cease-fire between Iraq and Kuwait. In particular, the resolution stated that Iraq must provide information and assistance in identifying Iraqi mines, booby traps and other explosives as well as any chemical and biological weapons.

One month later, on April 3, 1991, Resolution 687 enumerated specific guidelines that Iraq must follow as part of its defeat in the Gulf War. Resolution 687 called on Iraq to unconditionally accept the "destruction, removal, or rendering harmless under international supervision of all chemical and biological weapons and research development and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all ballistic missiles with a range greater than 96 miles (150 km) and related major parts and repair and production facilities." According to the resolution, Iraq shall also submit to the U.N. a declaration on the locations, amounts and types of all weapons of mass destruction and agree to ongoing on-site inspections.

The resolution set up a commission to inspect Iraq's biological, chemical and missile capabilities, and instructed Iraq to not use, develop, construct or acquire weapons of mass destruction.

In addition, Resolution 687 required Iraq to inform the U.N. that it will not "commit or support any act of international terrorism or allow any organization directed towards commission of such acts to operate within its territory and to condemn unequivocally and denounce all acts, methods and practices of terrorism."

So, how long did it take for the U.N. to become "concerned" about Iraqi noncompliance and suspicious activities? Five years? Two years? Try four months!

On August 15, 1991, the Security Council passed Resolution 707. Citing letters from the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council which convey information from the inspection teams in Iraq, the resolution charges Iraq with a failure to comply with its obligation under Resolution 687. The resolution states its "grave concern" over information provided by the IAEA in July 1991 regarding actions of Iraq in flagrant violation of Resolution 687.

Resolution 707 condemned Iraq for serious violations and its noncooperation with inspections which constitute a material breach of Resolution 687. The resolution demanded that Iraq, "without further delay, provide full, final, and complete disclosure as required from 687 of all aspects of its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles with a range greater that 150 km and all holding of such weapons, their components and production facilities and locations, as well as all other nuclear programs including any which it claims are for purposes not related to nuclear-weapon-usable material." Does this sound familiar?

The resolution called for "immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access" by inspection teams to any "facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation which they wish to inspect." The resolution also called on Iraq to "cease immediately any attempt to conceal, move or destroy any material or equipment relating to its nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons or ballistic missile programs or material or equipment relating to its other nuclear activities without notification to and prior consent of the Special Commission."

In a letter dated April 22, 1994, the U.N. Secretary-General stated that the initial declarations by Iraq regarding its WMD programs were "deficient."

The U.N., beginning in late 1993 provided to Iraq documentation which described formats and guidelines Iraq could follow to properly declare weapons of mass destruction. Even with the formats and guidelines, according to the letter from the Secretary-General, "the declarations were still incomplete, particularly those relating to chemical facilities. In some instances, Iraq not only failed to answer some of the questions contained in the formats, but unilaterally rewrote the formats to delete those questions."

In another letter from the Secretary-General dated October 7, 1994, Iraq was again reprimanded for providing incomplete declarations. In particular, the letter stated that "great difficulties were faced in obtaining the necessary data, particularly in the biological area."

In December 1999, about a year after weapons inspectors withdrew from Iraq, the Security Council passed Resolution 1284 which once again stressed the need for Iraqi compliance to completely account for its weapons of mass destruction. These weapons were already known to exist by the U.N. and government organizations, and the call was for Iraq to comply by declaring fully its WMD programs.

Resolution 1284 established the U.N. Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and called on Iraq to allow UNMOVIC teams "immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transport which they wish to inspect." Can you see a pattern here?

On November 29, 2001, the Security Council passed yet another resolution (1382) in which it stressed the obligation of Iraq to comply with its requirements to disarm and declare its weapons of mass destruction.

Note that in all of the resolutions listed thus far, the emphasis has always been on Iraq to properly dismantle and declare its weapons of mass destruction programs. It is up to them. It is not the job of the inspectors to go door to door in the hopes of finding a "smoking gun." It is the job of Iraq to bring the "smoking guns" to the inspectors or to show through verifiable documentation that the "smoking guns" have been destroyed. This is something Iraq has failed to do over and over again.

On October 2, 2002, the United States Congress passed a resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq. In the resolution, the Congress acknowledged that Iraq is "continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations." These actions by Iraq are all in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. These weapons programs are the very programs that Iraq must declare to the U.N. inspectors.

The culmination of years and years of repeated violations and noncompliance by Iraq and Saddam Hussein finally led to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 which was passed on November 8, 2002. This resolution acknowledges that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under previous resolutions. Resolution 1441 gives Iraq a "final opportunity" to comply with previous resolutions and properly declare all programs of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq must provide UNMOVIC and IAEA "immediate, unimpeded, unconditional, and unrestricted access to any and all, including underground, areas, facilities, buildings, equipment, records, and means of transport which they wish to inspect, as well as immediate, unimpeded, unrestricted, and private access to all officials and other persons whom UNMOVIC or the IAEA wish to interview."

To date, Saddam Hussein has not complied with this "final opportunity." The 12,000-page "declaration" by Iraq does not account for the biological and chemical weapons known to exist, not just by the United States, but by the U.N. and the international community. The weapons inspectors are not being given full and unimpeded access to sites and personnel. Private interviews with Iraqi scientists by the inspection team have not been allowed to occur.

There are missing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Chemical and biological weapons capable of killing thousands are still unaccounted for. It is the job of Iraq to disclose and dismantle these weapons.

The inspection team of approximately 200 is searching an area about the size of California. If the object of this team is to find a stockpile of weapons or perhaps a mobile weapons generation factory, the effort is orders of magnitude worse than looking for a needle in a haystack. Fortunately (and misunderstood by many), finding weapons of mass destruction is not the job of the inspectors. Their job is to verify disarmament. Period. They do this by Iraq providing evidence that they are disarming. If known chemical and biological stockpiles cannot be found, it is the job of Iraq to tell the inspectors where they are.

The burden of proof lies with Iraq, not with the United States or President Bush. It is up to Iraq to avoid war. It is up to Iraq to disarm. If they don't declare and disarm, then, according to the wording of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441, Iraq will face "serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations." The difference between this statement and previous U.N. statements is that this one comes with U.S. military teeth... and those teeth are prepared to bite.


Bobby Eberle is President and CEO of GOPUSA (www.GOPUSA.com), a news, information, and commentary company based in Houston, TX. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Rice University.

Bobby Eberle is President and CEO of GOPUSA (www.GOPUSA.com), a news, information, and commentary company based in Houston, TX. He holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Rice University.

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