BY ROHAN PEARCE
The British Guardian reported on April 1 that the US government is in the process of creating its own team of "weapons inspectors" to "disarm" Iraq's alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). According to the Guardian's Brian Whitaker, Hans Blix, who led the team of UN inspectors hunting for biological and chemical weapons in Iraq, and Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, are furious at the idea.
Creating such a team under US control would confirm the fears of Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov, who told the Russian parliament on March 26 that the US would fabricate "evidence" of banned weapons to retroactively justify its invasion and occupation of Iraq.
The US-led invasion has so far yielded no evidence of biological or chemical weapons. At two sites which the CIA claimed were involved in Iraq's alleged WMD programs, al Khamisiya and Nasiriya, occupation forces found no evidence of chemical or biological weapons. Lieutenant General John Abizaid told journalists: "I think we'll find weapons of mass destruction once we have had an opportunity to occupy Baghdad, stabilise Iraq, [and] talk to Iraqis that have participated in the hiding and the development of [WMD]."
Joern Siljeholm, who was a member of the UN inspectors team in Iraq, told Norway's Dagbladet newspaper in a mid-March interview: "We received much incomplete and poor intelligence information from the Americans... Much of what has been claimed about WMDs has proven to be sheer nonsense. From what I have seen they are going to war on very little."
"I strongly doubt that the Americans will find anything at all. In any case, I doubt that they will find WMDs that constitute a military threat", he told the paper.
From Green Left Weekly, April 9, 2003.
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