Sunday 06, April, 2003 / Last Updated:  6:14AM Doha time, 8:14PM GMT

Britain admits there may be no WMD's in Iraq
Ruben Bannerjee
> >
> > Well into the war that was supposed to rid Iraq of its alleged stockpile
> of
> > weapons of mass destruction, a senior British official admitted on
> Saturday
> > that no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction may
> > after all be found.
> >
> > Making the startling confession in a radio interview, British Home
> > Secretary, David Blunkett, added in the same breath that he would in any
> > case rejoice the "fall" of Saddam Hussein and his regime - regardless of
> > whether any weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq or not.
> >
> > The confession reconfirms the worst fears of opponents of the war that
> > "weapons of mass destruction" is only a ruse for the US and the British
to
> > go to war against Iraq.
> >
> > At the very least the admission certainly deals a serious blow to the
> moral
> > legitimacy that the US and the British have been seeking in prosecuting
> the
> > war.
> >
> >
> > Soldiers of the British 7th Armoured Brigade patrol the road leading to
> the
> > southern Iraq city of Basra
> >
> > Critics of the war across the world have been accusing the US and the
> > British of aiming for regime change in Baghdad under the guise of
> > "unearthing and dismantling weapons of mass destruction in Iraq."
> >
> > There have been constant accusations that the US and the British are
> eyeing
> > Iraq's huge oil wealth, promoting Israeli interests, and that its
campaign
> > against "weapons of mass destruction" is only a convenient cover-up.
> >
> > Even countries like Germany, Russia and France had been less than
> impressed
> > with the US-led war against Iraq saying all along that the task of
> > unearthing weapons of mass destruction, if any, is better left to UN
> > weapons' inspectors.
> >
> > In making the confession in an interview with BBC radio, the British
Home
> > Secretary however admitted that the non-discovery of any weapons of mass
> > destruction would "lead to a very interesting debate" about the war.
> >
> > "We will obviously have a very interesting debate if there are no
> > biological, chemical, radiological or nuclear weapons or facilities to
> > produce them found anywhere in Iraq once Iraq is free," the home
secretary
> > added.
> >
> > The US-led forces stand to face a huge global uproar if no weapons of
mass
> > destruction are found in Iraq.
> >
> > US-led forces moving across the Iraqi deserts have been under pressure
> since
> > the start of the war to find evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass
> destruction.
> > But instead of solid evidence, the they have so far raised only false
> > alarms.
> >
> > >From time to time, the US-forces have claimed to have unearthed
> "suspicious"
> > substances. And each time, the claim has turned out to be without
> substance.
> >
> > Today Saturday 5 April, US Marines were reported to be digging up a
> > suspected chemical weapons hiding place in the courtyard of a school in
> the
> > southeast of Baghdad.
> >
> > Western media reported that the US Marines were digging after being
tipped
> > off by an Iraqi informer. "We don't have a clue now but we are going to
> dig
> > it up and check," said General James Mattis, the commander of the Marine
> > division at the scene.
> >
> > Iraq has always insisted that it does not possess any weapons of mass
> > destruction.
> >
> > UN weapons inspectors, who scoured the country for several months until
> the
> > US asked them to leave last month, had repeatedly certified that they
had
> > found no credible evidence of Iraq possessing any weapons of mass
> > destruction. -- Al Jazeera