What? No WMDs in Iraq?

Douglas Hanson
Reuters reported yesterday that
Three suicide bombers driving trucks rigged with tanks of toxic chlorine gas struck targets in heavily Sunni Anbar province including the office of a Sunni tribal leader opposed to al-Qaida. The attacks killed at least two people and sickened 350 Iraqi civilians and six U.S. troops, the U.S. military said Saturday.
A few hours later, another truck with chlorine exploded in Amiriyah, south of Fallujah, killing two policemen and leaving about 100 others with minor skin and lung irritations and vomiting.

Use of chlorine gas by the jihadists is not about using an industrial chemical of opportunity.  Chlorine is actually the grandfather of chemical weapons having been first used  by the Germans in World War I at Ypres. Almost immediately after the shells burst, French and Algerian soldiers' respiratory organs were incapacitated or destroyed resulting in severe choking attacks and for some, an agonizing death.  The development of Phosgene followed.  This is another choking agent, but more deadly since it does not cause as much coughing, so more of it is inhaled by the victim. 

This is not what I'm sure many of the "Bush lied" crowd had been expecting over two years after the Iraqi Survey Group closed up shop in Iraq.  Also, an attack this large that affects hundreds of civilians can't be so easily ignored by the US military command, which had previously downplayed the CW finds  made by Coalition troops.  In addition, US forces discovered large CW labs stocked with chemical precursors more than a year after the occupation of Iraq. 

If, as Greg Richards notes, the battle in Iraq is truly swinging in our favor, then it is likely that more attacks with WMD will occur showing just how desperate enemy has become.  And because of its extremely long shelf life, some sources say Mustard agent may be the next weapon to be used.

What will the anti-war left say then?
Reuters reported yesterday that
Three suicide bombers driving trucks rigged with tanks of toxic chlorine gas struck targets in heavily Sunni Anbar province including the office of a Sunni tribal leader opposed to al-Qaida. The attacks killed at least two people and sickened 350 Iraqi civilians and six U.S. troops, the U.S. military said Saturday.
A few hours later, another truck with chlorine exploded in Amiriyah, south of Fallujah, killing two policemen and leaving about 100 others with minor skin and lung irritations and vomiting.

Use of chlorine gas by the jihadists is not about using an industrial chemical of opportunity.  Chlorine is actually the grandfather of chemical weapons having been first used  by the Germans in World War I at Ypres. Almost immediately after the shells burst, French and Algerian soldiers' respiratory organs were incapacitated or destroyed resulting in severe choking attacks and for some, an agonizing death.  The development of Phosgene followed.  This is another choking agent, but more deadly since it does not cause as much coughing, so more of it is inhaled by the victim. 

This is not what I'm sure many of the "Bush lied" crowd had been expecting over two years after the Iraqi Survey Group closed up shop in Iraq.  Also, an attack this large that affects hundreds of civilians can't be so easily ignored by the US military command, which had previously downplayed the CW finds  made by Coalition troops.  In addition, US forces discovered large CW labs stocked with chemical precursors more than a year after the occupation of Iraq. 

If, as Greg Richards notes, the battle in Iraq is truly swinging in our favor, then it is likely that more attacks with WMD will occur showing just how desperate enemy has become.  And because of its extremely long shelf life, some sources say Mustard agent may be the next weapon to be used.

What will the anti-war left say then?