The Debate on Yahoo
This major breakthrough in our understanding of modern warfare is a direct result of the discussion and debate on Yahoo. I published an article entitled “Preventing Future Wars,” which argued that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Next to my article, in the Related Content Column, another article is listed that has the opposite point of view and argues that Iraq possessed WMD. The article was published by Mike White and is entitled “President Bush was Right: Weapons of Mass Destruction Found.” The question that must be answered is how did two contributors look at the same facts and arrive at opposite conclusions. My investigation led to a profound discovery, which has enormous policy implications, and we can use this insight to prevent future wars and develop a more peaceful international climate.
The Iran-Iraq War
We all know that Iraq had sarin and mustard gas and that they used them extensively during the Iran-Iraq War. These are ancient weapons that date all the way back to World War I and are not very effective militarily. Iraq frequently used these weapons during the Iran-Iraq War and still almost lost the war. They are not WMD, which can kill hundreds of thousands of people and change the outcome of a war. Many people classify these weapons as WMD and this leads to war.
The Path To War
The United States invaded Iraq and fought a preemptive war based on the theory that Iraq possessed and used weapons of mass destruction, and would give these weapons to terrorists groups to attack the United States. The war was unnecessary as the only weapons Iraq ever had were these ancient chemical weapons that were not a serious threat to the United States.
Years later when Syria used the same chemical weapon, sarin, President Obama said they crossed the line and threatened to bomb Syria in response. Intervening in Syria involved serious risks and President Obama reconsidered his options. The President said he wanted Congressional approval and then the administration got very lucky.
The Lucky Agreement
After the Obama Administration got in trouble over its decision to bomb Syria, they luckily stumbled into an agreement. Secretary of State John Kerry was asked if there was anything Syria could do do avoid being attacked. Secretary Kerry replied that Syria could turn all of their chemical weapons over to the international community. No one expected Syria to comply, and a State Department spokesman said the offer was made rhetorically.
The world was astonished when Russia responded that Syria was receptive to the idea. Syria admitted that they had these weapons and agreed to eliminate them. About 90 percent of the weapons have been turned in.
We need a realistic definition of weapons of mass destruction. Classifying ancient chemical weapons as weapons of mass destruction is dangerous. When these weapons are used, an hysterical atmosphere in the United States follows and this leads to war.
When these chemicals weapons are used the United States should not go to war over it. The United States should resort to diplomacy to resolve the issue.