The Newspaper of War
U.S. PLANES ATTACK NORTH VIETNAM BASESPRESIDENT ORDERS ‘LIMITED’ RETALIATIONAFTER COMMUNISTS’ PT BOATS RENEW RAIDS
The attack on one of our warships that at first seemed, and was hoped to be, an isolated incident is now seen in ominous perspective to have been the beginning of a mad adventure by the North Vietnamese Communists. After offensive action against more vessels of our Navy the President has backed up with retaliatory fire the warnings that North Vietnam chose frequently to ignore.
♦“Iraq already possesses biological and chemical weapons, and Mr. [Saddam] Hussein would probably not hesitate to use them in a desperate effort to prevent the dissolution of his regime.” (“Steps Before War,” New York Times, August 11, 2002.)♦“Iraq, with its storehouses of biological toxins, its advanced nuclear weapons program, its defiance of international sanctions and its ambitiously malignant dictator, is precisely the kind of threat that the United Nations was established to deal with.” (“The Iraq Test,” New York Times, September 13, 2002.)♦“The combination of Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs, especially his effort to produce nuclear weapons, and Iraq’s brazen defiance of the Security Council represent a serious threat to international order.” (“A Measured Pace on Iraq,” New York Times, September 14, 2002.)♦“That makes it all the more important to clarify what really counts in this conflict. The answer is the destruction of Iraq’s unconventional weapons and the dismantling of its program to develop nuclear weapons.” (“A Road Map for Iraq,” New York Times, September 18, 2002.)♦“Saddam Hussein is obviously a brutal dictator who deserves toppling. No one who knows his history can doubt that he is secretly trying to develop weapons of mass destruction.” (“The Race to War,” New York Times, January 26, 2003.)♦“Secretary of State Colin Powell presented the United Nations and a global television audience yesterday with the most powerful case to date that Saddam Hussein stands in defiance of Security Council resolutions and has no intention of revealing or surrendering whatever unconventional weapons he may have.” (“The Case against Iraq,” New York Times, February 6, 2003.)♦“It’s up to the [UN Security] Council members – especially the veto-wielding quintet of the United States, Britain, France, Russia, and China – to decide whether Iraq is disarming. In our judgment, Iraq is not.” (“Disarming Iraq,” New York Times, February 15, 2003.)♦“The United States wants a new [Security Council] resolution reaffirming the conclusion that Iraq has failed to disarm, effectively opening the way to war sanctioned by the United Nations. France, supported by Germany and Russia, prefers to give Hans Blix and his inspectors more time to see if they can disarm Iraq. The American resolution, introduced by Britain, deserves the Security Council’s support.” (“Facing Down Iraq,” New York Times, February 25, 2003.)♦“Baghdad is still a very long way from living up to the Security Council’s demand for it to give up its unconventional weapons.” (“A Fractured Security Council,” New York Times, March 8, 2003.)♦“America is on its way to war. President Bush has told Saddam Hussein to depart or face attack. For Mr. Hussein, getting rid of weapons of mass destruction is no longer an option.” (War in the Ruins of Democracy,” New York Times, March 18, 2003.)
♦More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today.♦The diameter, thickness and other technical specifications of the aluminum tubes had persuaded American intelligence experts that they were meant for Iraq’s nuclear program, officials said, and that the latest attempt to ship the material had taken place in recent months.♦Iraqi defectors who once worked for the nuclear weapons establishment have told American officials that acquiring nuclear arms is a top Iraqi priority.♦An Iraqi defector said Mr. [Saddam] Hussein had also heightened his efforts to develop new types of chemical weapons. An Iraqi opposition leader also gave American officials a paper from Iranian intelligence indicating that Mr. Hussein has authorized regional commanders to use chemical and biological weapons to put down any Shiite Muslim resistance that might occur if the United States attacks.♦“The jewel in the crown is nuclear,” a senior administration official said. “The closer he [Saddam Hussein] gets to a nuclear capability, the more credible is his threat to use chemical or biological weapons. Nuclear weapons are his hole card.”♦Still, Mr. Hussein’s dogged insistence on pursuing his nuclear ambitions, along with what defectors described in interviews as Iraq’s push to improve and expand Baghdad’s chemical and biological arsenals, have brought Iraq and the United States to the brink of war.♦Bush administration officials say the quest for thousands of high-strength tubes is one of several signs that Mr. Hussein is seeking to revamp and accelerate Iraq’s nuclear weapons program.♦Officials say the aluminum tubes were intended as casings for rotors in centrifuges, which are one means of producing highly enriched uranium.♦In addition to the special aluminum tubes, a senior administration official said Iraq had made efforts to purchase other equipment, epoxy and resins that could be used for centrifuges. A key issue is whether the items Iraq tried to buy are uniquely designed for centrifuge use or could have other applications.♦Senior administration officials insist that the dimensions, specifications and numbers of the tubes Iraq sought to buy show that they were intended for the nuclear program.♦In interviews in a European capital late last month, an Iraqi who said he was involved in the chemical weapons program before he defected two years ago said that Mr. Hussein had never stopped producing VX and other chemical agents, even when international inspectors were in Iraq.♦Speaking on the condition that neither he nor the country in which he was interviewed be identified, Ahmed al-Shemri, his pseudonym, said Iraq had continued developing, producing and storing chemical agents at many mobile and fixed secret sites throughout the country, many of them underground.♦Mr. Shemri [the pseudonym] said Iraq had produced 5 tons of stable VX in liquid form between 1994 and 1998, before inspectors were forced to leave Iraq. Some of this agent, he said, was made in secret labs in the northern city of Mosul and in the southern city of Basra, which Unscom inspectors confirmed they had rarely visited because of their long distance from Baghdad. He said Iraq had the ability to make at least 50 tons of liquid nerve agent, which he said was to be loaded into two kinds of bombs and dropped from planes.♦Of even greater concern is Mr. Shemri’s allegation that Iraq had invented, as early as 1994, and is now producing, a new, solid VX agent that clings to a soldier’s protective clothing and makes contamination difficult.♦Mr. Shemri said Iraq had received assistance in chemical, germ and nuclear programs from Russian scientists who are still working in Iraq. At least two Iraqi scientists traveled to North Korea in early 2002 to study missile technology, he said.♦Mr. Shemri said he had been told that Iraq was still storing some 12,500 gallons of anthrax, 2,500 gallons of gas gangrene, 1,250 gallons of aflotoxin and 2,000 gallons of botulinum throughout the country.♦American officials have also expressed intense concern about [Iraqi possession of] smallpox, one of history’s greatest scourges, which was declared eradicated from human populations in 1980.
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