Friday, May 21, 2004

Bowling for Sarin

Blaster's Blog has been my indispensible source for sorting out the sarin shell episode. Reading it is like sitting around the bar with a bunch of military ordnance men who know what they're talking about, and can peel back the confusion in the media to get at the pith of the story. By comparison, the AP coverage reads like it was written by a blind hippie.

But it's also a sprawling discussion, and for those who don't want to absorb the whole, thing, Smash has thoughtfully provided a boiled-down version of what it means. Among his conclusions:

  • Sometime between 1988-95, Saddam developed and manufactured sophisticated, “mix-in-flight” binary chemical weapons.

  • He failed to declare these weapons, as required, to UN weapons inspectors.

  • Iraq did not destroy all of its chemical weapons.

  • A stockpile of artillery shells, including at least some that contain chemical warheads, has been found by “insurgents” in Iraq.

He also parses an alternate theory by Scott Ritter. Check it out. This story is much bigger than what you've likely been reading or seeing. It just doesn't have pictures of smirking dumbass prison guards pointing at the genitals of naked men.