New York City activist

September 30, 2007

Alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?

In a comment after a post titled Some People Will Believe Anything, about the Iranian president Ahmadinejad’s recent visit to Columbia University, blog author muzeuterpe claims:

I could give you the names and addresses of at 5 soldiers who were part of George W’s initial invasion who are suffering from neurological damage caused by the ‘non-existent’ chemical weapons.

A very startling claim, to say the least.

muzeuterpe, are you sure that your friends were injured by chemical weapons and not by bombs or depleted uranium? Bomb blasts can cause quite a bit of hidden neurological damage to people with no visible injuries.

Googling “neurological damage Iraq war” has led me to this news story, and a bunch of similar stories, about neurological damage from bomb blasts, not from chemical weapons. I also found some articles about the use of depleted uranium by the U.S. forces. The only article I found about neurological damage due to chemical weapons is this New York Times article, about veterans of the first Gulf War, not the most recent Iraq war. I then tried Googling “Iraq war neurological damage chemical weapons” and again found such reports pertaining only to the first Gulf war.

Are you aware of any actual news reports about U.S. soldiers having been injured by Iraqi chemical weapons in 2003? I’ve come across various reports of Iraqi WMD’s allegedly having been found in or after 2003, but not any reports about them having been used during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Can you point me to any reports of the latter?

If indeed Saddam Hussein really had WMD’s in 2003, one would expect him to have used them against an invading army. After all, what did he have to lose at that point by using them, if indeed he had them? Hence the absence of reports that he used chemical weapons is, in my opinion, evidence against the claim that he had them. So now my question is, do you have any evidence that he used them?

If indeed there were any such evidence, wouldn’t Bush be talking about it quite a bit, in defense of its own reputation, given that he has been widely accused of lying about the alleged WMD’s? Therefore, if indeed the Iraqis actually used any WMD’s in 2003, one would think there would be plenty of easy-to-find news coverage of this, and of such hard evidence as the resulting injuries to U.S. soldiers.
In any case, I am very sorry to hear about your friends’ injuries, whatever their actual cause.

muzeuterpe also wrote:

Why don’t you do something constructive like planning how to help the people who will be slaughtered by a pull-out. You waste time and energy arguing about something that can’t be changed. We’re in there, like it or not. Arguing about whether we should have gone is like debating birth control after the child is born.

No, it’s more like putting a rapist on trial after a child has been born as the result of rape. Is the latter not a reason to bring the rapist to justice? The point is that Bush, Cheney et al should be impeached and then tried for war crimes and possibly for treason.


  1. The same government you claim mislead or ‘lied’ about the existence of chemical weapons you expect to admit exposing our soldiers to them. That type of admission would cost the government millions in benefits. While I would expect our veterans to be treated better, I’m all too familiar with the fact that they aren’t and won’t be.

    Yes, I am confident that these individuals were exposed as part of the mission and not a result of ‘bomb-blasts’.

    These individuals are not publicity seekers. They have been working within the VA system to address their problems.

    Impeaching Bush or Cheney will do nothing to resolve the problem. It only distracts the people from the real problems facing not only the US but the world.

    Comment by muzeuterpe — October 1, 2007 @ 12:33 am | Reply

  2. It is admitted that quite a few soldiers have suffered neurological damage. That being case, what does the government gain by claiming that the damage is due to bomb blasts rather than to chemical weapons? Does amount of benefits someone receives depend more on alleged causes than on the nature of the injury itself?

    Or, in the case of your friends, is the government denying that they have even suffered any real neurological damage in the first place, claiming instead that it’s all in their head, or something? That would make more sense, it seems to me, if the point is to be stingy with benefits.

    How do your friends know that their symptoms are caused by chemical weapons and not by anything else? Is this based on a diagnosis from a doctor?

    What exactly are you referring to as “the mission”? The Iraq war in general, or something more specific?

    As for impeachment, we need to start holding our presidents accountable for dragging us into unnecessary wars. I see no other way to put a stop to all these wars we keep getting into with small countries on the other side of the globe.

    Comment by Diane — October 1, 2007 @ 4:36 am | Reply

  3. You need to figure out just what you believe. You don’t want to believe the government when it says there are wmd and we need to take pre-emptive actions and you don’t want to believe soldiers who say they were exposed to wmd chemicals and are suffering their after-effects and question what the gov has to gain.

    If the same government would lie to save face for the invasion, then it would lie to save face regarding the exposure of our soldiers.

    I bet you don’t believe our Vietnam Veterans have been dying from cancer cause by Agent Orange either.

    You also don’t seem to have a clue how the military truely functions.

    How do my friends know their symptoms are caused by chemical weapons? Probably because they were there when the munitions dump was hit. Then there are the immediate and long-term neurolgical damages that can’t otherwise be explained but a simple ‘Google search’ [which you seem so fond of] will help even the most uneducated identify the effects.

    Unnecessary wars … the slaughter of innocents should be allowed to continue? Who do you think should stop the slaughter of innocents in Rowanda?

    Comment by muzeuterpe — October 2, 2007 @ 1:10 pm | Reply

  4. There is plenty of evidence against the idea that Iraq actually had WMD’s in 2003. Of course the evidence isn’t necessarily infallible. The U.N. weapons inspectors might have missed something, for example. But there is also plenty of evidence that the Bush administration faked “evidence” of WMD’s. Of course it’s possible, though unlikely, that the Bush administration might have been unnecessarily faking evidence of something that was in fact real anyway. I’m willing to consider your evidence.

    To decide what to believe about your friends, I need to know some of the relevant facts, not just your and their conclusions. Could you please answer my questions? Once again:

    1) How do your friends know that their condition is a result of exposure to chemical weapons and not to something else? Please don’t just tell me “Probably because ….” Since you know them, you can ask each of them exactly how they know. Also, have they seen doctors about their condition, and, if so, what do their doctors have to say about it?

    2) What, exactly, is the government’s official line regarding your friends’ condition? Does the government acknowledge that they are suffering neurological damage due to any war-related cause (such as bomb blasts)? Or does the government claim that it’s all in their head, or due to an alleged pre-existing condition, or something?

    3) What precisely did you mean by “the mission” in your previous reply? The war in general, or something more specific?

    As for the idea of invading foreign countries to stop innocent people from being killed, the problem is that we end up killing even more innocent people. As a result, we usually end up being hated by people on all sides. In any case, our government’s selection of which countries to invade seems to be dictated more by corporate interests than by genuine human rights concerns.

    Ideally the international community would, via relatively peaceful means such as boycotts, pressure governments into respecting human rights. Unfortunately this doesn’t often happen. I don’t profess to know how to solve all the world’s problems.

    Comment by Diane — October 2, 2007 @ 4:48 pm | Reply

  5. P.S.: One other question: Has the possibility that your friends’ neurological injuries might be due to some other war-related cause, such as bomb blasts and/or depleted uranium, been seriously considered by either your friends or their doctors? Has this possibility been examined and ruled out, or are you just dismissing it a priori?

    If this possibility has not yet been considered, then it might be in your friends’ best interests to ask their doctors to consider it. After all, bomb blasts and depleted uranium are already widely recognized as sources of neurological damage to U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Therefore, if such a diagnosis were to turn out to be correct in the case of your friends, this might help your friends obtain the benefits they are entitled to. Hence, for the sake of your friends, please do not dismiss it out of hand, if it has not yet been considered.

    Comment by Diane — October 2, 2007 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

  6. I have done a “google search” and in a matter of just a few clicks found several reports of WMD use in Iraq, including the use of Sarin gas inside roadside bombs in an attempt to kill our soldiers. I was not conducting the search to prove you wrong, I am not interested in trying to convince close minded people of anything—I mean, give me a break, you have to find it on Google for it to be true! I have been searching for answers ever since my 22 year old son returned from Iraq and began to exhibit symptoms of exposure to a nerve agent of some kind. And NO it was not caused by a bomb blast, he is now 100% disabled and the VA has labeled his case as an agent orange case. So, YES, it has even been diagnosed by Dr.s as an exposure case. Both MILITARY and CIVILIAN- 50 Dr.s convened at UCSF and checked him out and said it was the worst case they had seen. So, so much for the chemical weapons that didn’t exist over there.

    Comment by marinemom2 — November 10, 2007 @ 5:24 am | Reply

  7. I am very sorry to hear about your son.

    Unfortunately, you didn’t include links to the reports you found, or the dates. Reports of WMD use after 2003 do not prove that Saddam Hussein had the WMD’s in 2003. All sorts of things could have been shipped into Iraq, from various sources, since 2003.

    Comment by Diane — November 10, 2007 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

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