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Is it sarin yet?

Still no chemical weapons. Maybe some will turn up tomorrow.

On February 5th, Colin Powell talked about Iraqi chemical weapons.

And we have sources who tell us that he recently has authorized his field commanders to use them. He wouldn’t be passing out the orders if he didn’t have the weapons or the intent to use them.

Iraqi field commanders have been willing to commit war crimes. We’ve seen suicide bombers. We’ve seen Iraqi troops dressed in civilian clothing. We’ve seen false surrenders. The US has made no secret of its intent to prosecute these as war crimes. Yet… none of these field commanders, who Powell said were authorized to use chemical weapons, have done so. Why not? Why would they commit the crimes they committed, but no others?

Iraq has not used its drones, which Powell claimed had a 500 kilometer range. It has not used the sprayers which Powell warned against. It has not launched chemical warfare strikes on the US bases in Kuwait, or against Israel. A government on the verge of collapse, with nothing to lose, has not used these dire weapons.

Further, there have been no terrorist attacks using chemical weapons. One common claim was that Saddam would give his chemical weapons to terrorists. The US defeated al-Ansar in Northern Iraq, and found no chemical weapons there. There is no evidence that Saddam exported chemical weapons capabilities to terrorists.

I can’t honestly say I think Saddam has absolutely no chemical weapons. I won’t be surprised if we turn up a couple of caches. However, I can say that his failure to use them demonstrates conclusively that any chemical weapons Saddam possessed were no threat to the world. He’s at the end of his rope. American tanks are in the streets of Baghdad. He has to know that the US would just as soon kill him as capture him.

Where are Iraq’s chemical weapons? Nowhere threatening, if they’re anywhere at all. That leg of the invasion justification is teetering on the verge of collapse.

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