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Old 01-10-2004, 12:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Danish troops find illegal mortar rounds in Iraq

WMD's may eventually turn up if it is this easy to hide weapons for long periods of time:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...q_chemicals_dc

Quote:
Possible Iraqi Blister Gas Weapons Found

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Danish troops have found dozens of mortar rounds buried in Iraq (news - web sites) which initial chemical weapons tests show could contain blister gas, the Danish army said on Saturday.

The tests were taken after Danish troops found 36 120mm mortar rounds on Friday in southern Iraq. The Danish army said the rounds had been buried for at least 10 years.

"All the instruments showed indications of the same type of chemical compound, namely blister gas," the Danish Army Operational Command said on its Web site.

"However, this will not be confirmed until the final tests are available," it said in a statement. Results of the final tests are likely to be ready in about two days.

Blister gas, an illegal weapon which ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) said he had destroyed, was extensively used against the Iranians during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.

Although it can kill if it enters the lungs, it is used mainly to weaken infantry by making the skin break out in excruciatingly painful blisters.

Four different types of instrument were used on three of the mortar rounds, the army said in its statement, adding that 100 more rounds could be buried at the site.

After Danish troops found the suspicious mortar shells they asked British specialists to analyze them, a Danish official had said earlier. "The first inspections have shown that the mortars contain some liquid," he said.

In Baghdad, the U.S. military said the mortar rounds had been found buried 45 miles south of Al-Amara, north of Basra.

"Most were wrapped in plastic bags, and some were leaking," Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt told a news conference, adding that it was likely the weapons were left over from the Iran-Iraq war.

The Danish army statement said local Iraqis had confirmed that the 36 mortar shells had been buried for at least 10 years at the site 12 miles north of Qurnah.

There are several hundred Danish soldiers working with a British-led multinational force responsible for security in southern Iraq.


The U.S. administration had cited the threat of illicit weapons of mass destruction as a principle reason for launching war on Iraq in March last year. But no such weapons were found.


The United States earlier this month pulled out from Iraq a 400-member military team specializing in the disposal of weapons of mass destruction, in what the New York Times said was "a sign that administration might have lowered its sights" and viewed it as less likely that such weapons would be found.


But the White House played down the move, saying that the group focused on hunting weapons was remaining in Iraq.


(Additional reporting by Per Bech Thomsen in Copenhagen)
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Old 01-10-2004, 12:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very interesting indeed. I would like to see the spin that gets put on this.
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Old 01-10-2004, 01:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah they were buried for more the 10 years, they are leaking and they are unusable, these are not viable weapons, they were 'destroyed' by being buried (much less expensive then actual destroying) I dont think this is a smoking gun, but I do think bush and his cronies will say that they were buried to be dug up later. (which is bull, they are not protected from the elements and did degrade to the point that they are unusable.
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Old 01-10-2004, 02:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dilbert1234567
Yeah they were buried for more the 10 years, they are leaking and they are unusable, these are not viable weapons, they were 'destroyed' by being buried (much less expensive then actual destroying) I dont think this is a smoking gun, but I do think bush and his cronies will say that they were buried to be dug up later. (which is bull, they are not protected from the elements and did degrade to the point that they are unusable.

Please.

"Some" were leaking and you have no basis right now to say they were unusable, and less to say they were "destroyed".

They obviously weren't forgotten by the Iraqis because the locals knew they were there.

Whether or not this is a smoking gun remains to be seen.
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Old 01-10-2004, 03:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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here let me do it for you guys:

This is all the USes fault
This is all Bushes fault
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Old 01-10-2004, 03:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Burying isn't Destroying.

Then again, 36 120mm mortar rounds buried 10 years ago aren't exactly 5,000 litres of concentrated anthrax, either.
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Old 01-10-2004, 04:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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...and as far as I know chemical/biological agents used in weapons have 'shelf-life' 10 years or less unless stored in specialized environment. Meaning a vast controlled storage site. You just don't put anthrax in a bottle and put it in a desk drawer and expect it to stay vibrant.

Also, before the war started I read from somewhere that Iraq never had such equipment (one thing you never sold to them ) and never aquired any.
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Old 01-10-2004, 06:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yup, that's the imidiate threat there alright.
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Old 01-10-2004, 08:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sty
...and as far as I know chemical/biological agents used in weapons have 'shelf-life' 10 years or less unless stored in specialized environment. Meaning a vast controlled storage site. You just don't put anthrax in a bottle and put it in a desk drawer and expect it to stay vibrant.

Also, before the war started I read from somewhere that Iraq never had such equipment (one thing you never sold to them ) and never aquired any.
Occasionally mustard gas shells are dug up in France from WW1. They are still lethal.
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Old 01-10-2004, 08:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Honestly, if we went to war over MORTAR rounds, that's pretty messed up. I mean , what are they gunna do, create a mortar with a 10,000 foot barrel, and launch them over the ocean at us? This is pathetic. Not a smoking gun, and not a weapon of "mass destruction" they probably would have exploded in the launching barrel, killing the crew, and not the intended target. If you say this justifies the war...then...well, i'm at a loss for words.
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Old 01-10-2004, 09:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The point is Saddam was in violation of his own signed agreements and UN resolutions. He had violated them many times and was continuing to do so (missles with to much range & now these mortars). The US had every legal right to go in based on the signed agreements from Desert Storm.
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If you think a few MORTAR shells are worth going to war over, try telling that to the families of all the GI's that have died, and that will die, and to all the innocents that were killed in this pointless war. And if they had been buried for 10 years, that means he hadn't been violating anything since 1993! I mean come on, this is a trivial find, and everyone knows it. Don't act as if we found 10 nukes w/ ICBM's, pointed at every major city in the US.

They are 10 year old buried mortars that couldn't work if anyone wanted to launch them.
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:17 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stare At The Sun
If you think a few MORTAR shells are worth going to war over, try telling that to the families of all the GI's that have died, and that will die, and to all the innocents that were killed in this pointless war.
I think you miss the point.

The point is that Saddam said there that all the chemical weapons were destroyed.

We now have solid evidence that at least some where specifically wrapped and buried, possibly for latter retrieval.

The question know becomes, is this an isolated case?

Consider that it took us this long to find these things in a country the size of California.

That's a lot of desert to search.

Quote:
And if they had been buried for 10 years, that means he hadn't been violating anything since 1993!
Incorrect.

Buried (wrapped in plastic, mind you, not just buried to rust) is not destroyed. Saddam clearly violated all the UN resolutions as well as the cease fire from the first Gulf War.

Quote:
I mean come on, this is a trivial find, and everyone knows it. Don't act as if we found 10 nukes w/ ICBM's, pointed at every major city in the US.
I don't see anyone on this board doing that.

But you shouldn't be a Saddam appologist either and say that this is "trivial".

Let me ask, just how many shells must there be for it to not be "trivial"? 99? 100? 499? 500?

Quote:
They are 10 year old buried mortars that couldn't work if anyone wanted to launch them.
Do you know that for sure or are you just guessing because it is too hard to admit to yourself that you may be wrong and that Saddam maybe, just maybe, lied?
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Old 01-10-2004, 10:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Saddam probably did lie yes. However, not as badly as bush did. They are now saying that these shells are from the Iraq-Iran war, which ended in 1988. I may be wrong, but didnt we help fund that war?

And when someone finds working weapons of MASS destruction, and not mortars, i will start considering it significant instead of trivial.
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Old 01-10-2004, 11:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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How do you know for sure Lebell that it was blister gas in those shells ?

Your opinion is based on the same diluted piece of information as anybody else's, and could be flawed as easily as anybody else's.
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Old 01-10-2004, 11:23 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spartak
How do you know for sure Lebell that it was blister gas in those shells ?

Your opinion is based on the same diluted piece of information as anybody else's, and could be flawed as easily as anybody else's.
I am not offering an opinion.

I am offering an analysis of the facts as opposed to opinions being presented as facts.

Current information indicates mustard gas.

We also know the shells were wrapped in plastic and at least some were leaking.

We do not know if the shells can be fired or not.

Nor do we yet know if this was an isolated cache, or part of a systematic deception.


If you want my opinion, I vote for systematic deception, but even then, I have the weight of Saddam's history with the UN inspection teams to give credance.

Time will tell if my opinion is right or not, but the rest is simply data which may or may not be updated with new data.
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Old 01-11-2004, 12:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Lets see was Saddam allowed to have these weapons after he signed aforementioned peace accords in 1991? Oh yeah thats right, no he wasn't. Does this put him in direct violation of 1441 and other UN resolutions, oh yeah it does.

What spin do you anti-bush/anti-American liberals want to put on this now?
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Old 01-11-2004, 12:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Lets see was Saddam allowed to have these weapons after he signed aforementioned peace accords in 1991? Oh yeah thats right, no he wasn't. Does this put him in direct violation of 1441 and other UN resolutions, oh yeah it does.

What spin do you anti-bush/anti-American liberals want to put on this now?
I don't care if it was in violation of 1441, the possesion of a couple of 15 year old mortars does NOT justify all these GI's dying, he over 100 BILLION dollars, and all of this stuff that we as a country have to go through.

Seriously, other countries violate accords and treaties set out from before, but we can't go invading the entire world now can we?
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Old 01-11-2004, 01:00 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Lets see was Saddam allowed to have these weapons after he signed aforementioned peace accords in 1991? Oh yeah thats right, no he wasn't. Does this put him in direct violation of 1441 and other UN resolutions, oh yeah it does.

What spin do you anti-bush/anti-American liberals want to put on this now?
Remember that at the big-person table we don't use ad homs...

I'm waiting for more accurate testing before I weight in on this one but if it is mustard gas and saddam had a REALLY big cannon (which could reach the US) then the war is slightly more justified.
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Old 01-11-2004, 01:08 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stare At The Sun
I don't care if it was in violation of 1441, the possesion of a couple of 15 year old mortars does NOT justify all these GI's dying, he over 100 BILLION dollars, and all of this stuff that we as a country have to go through.

Seriously, other countries violate accords and treaties set out from before, but we can't go invading the entire world now can we?
What exactly *would* justify it to you then? A couple of new mortar shells? A couple of canisters of VX nerve gas? An active ICBM?

IF (big if) these mortar shells contain mustard gas, that is a direct violation of the relevant UN resolutions. Iraq wasn't allowed to have them, and they did (/would have). It really doesn't matter how they were stored - they were illegal, period.

Seriously, first anti-war people claim that the war is illegal because there were no WMDs to be found. Now we might have found them, and they're suddenly not bad enough? It's just never good enough, is it?

And finally: seriously, not everyone that murders someone is caught and punished, so that must obviously mean that murderers that do get caught should be set free too.
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Old 01-11-2004, 01:58 AM   #21 (permalink)
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10 year old weapons... big deal.

If people want to find illegal weapons why dont they just read the American press reports where the US army admits to using cluster bombs?
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Old 01-11-2004, 02:19 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Ok, here's a thought, if it was mustard gas, in firing condition, and everyone knew where it was, why didn't the Iraqis use it to defend its country? We all heard on CNN about how Saddam gave the order to use chemical weapons should the foreign invaders cross a mythical red line. I mean a sneak chemical attack on a large number of US troops would have stalled them for a while (not to mention the psychological effects). Instead they chose to hide and take a humiliating defeat.

Also both tear gas and mustard gas contain a Chorine group, and could theoretically give a false positive.
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Old 01-11-2004, 02:38 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Strange Famous
10 year old weapons... big deal.

If people want to find illegal weapons why dont they just read the American press reports where the US army admits to using cluster bombs?

Staw men aren't allowed either
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Old 01-11-2004, 02:39 AM   #24 (permalink)
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<b>strange famous</b>: it is not illegal for the US to use cluster bombs against military targets.

<b>Spartak</b>: you make it sound as if the Iraqis had a choice in the war - they didn't *choose* to hide, they were *forced* to hide and run.

Also, it is not unrealistic to assume they simply didn't have the time, nor the will, in the case of the common soldier, to use chemical weapons, knowing full well that the US forces were prepared to deal with such attacks, and might return the favour.
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Old 01-11-2004, 05:48 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stare At The Sun
I don't care if it was in violation of 1441, the possesion of a couple of 15 year old mortars does NOT justify all these GI's dying
Where does it say each individual death has to be justified? I never got this. People die in training accidents when equipment fails. The equipment can't tell the difference between a training evolution and an operational one. Now some of the same equipment kills a bunch of soldiers, and it's not "justified"?
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Old 01-11-2004, 06:58 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peetster
Where does it say each individual death has to be justified? I never got this. People die in training accidents when equipment fails. The equipment can't tell the difference between a training evolution and an operational one. Now some of the same equipment kills a bunch of soldiers, and it's not "justified"?


Training accidents are tragic, but they do happen. But you seem to be comparing training accidents to training accidents. This isn't training that is killing these soldiers and Marines, it's mortars and bombs and snipers.

And he isn't trying to justify each individual death, but the totality of deaths, which is perfectly reasonable, and should be justified.
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Old 01-11-2004, 07:17 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I belief those deaths are justified by the results: the removal of a dictator, his arrest and future trial, and the resulting brighter future for Iraq.

Hell, 500 deaths is nothing compared to them olden days of WW1/WW2. In fact, 500 deaths in a campaign to conquer/liberate a country the size of Iraq is negligable. It's one of the cleanest wars ever. (yeah, I know, try telling that to the families.)
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Old 01-11-2004, 08:25 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dragonlich
<b>strange famous</b>: it is not illegal for the US to use cluster bombs against military targets. <
just because it is legal does not mean it is moral cluster bombs that the US has dropprd are still killing people everywhere in the world.

Quote:
Originally posted by Dragonlich
I belief those deaths are justified by the results: the removal of a dictator, his arrest and future trial, and the resulting brighter future for Iraq.
so now the whole war was about catching sassam and not finding WMD. I think it is too soon to say Iraq's future is "bright".


As for 36 mortar shells not exactly a smoking gun and the way Bush played WMD as the main selling point for this war if this is all they find he better start back tracking and say catching saddam was the main focus.
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Old 01-11-2004, 09:32 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Stare at the sun.

Excellent posting there buddy.

I am sure that these are the weapons of mass destruction that Bush was talking about when he said that Iraq had the capability to launch weapons of mass destruction on the continental US in 45 minutes.

I guess he meant, it would have taken the Iraqis 45 minutes to dig them up.
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Old 01-11-2004, 09:54 AM   #30 (permalink)
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i wouldn't be surprised after all he did go to war without any proof
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Old 01-11-2004, 10:31 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sty
...and as far as I know chemical/biological agents used in weapons have 'shelf-life' 10 years or less unless stored in specialized environment. Meaning a vast controlled storage site. You just don't put anthrax in a bottle and put it in a desk drawer and expect it to stay vibrant.

Also, before the war started I read from somewhere that Iraq never had such equipment (one thing you never sold to them ) and never aquired any.
Here's a link to a tech sheet on Sarin gas (something the US did NOT provide; most likely provided by Germany, France, or Russia):

http://www.dupont.com/safety/downloa...DataSheets.PDF

Look under "incompatibilities" and you will see that sarin can be stored indefinitely in 1020 steels, and in Iconel and K-monel(nickel alloys).

These metals are commonly used in commercial chemical applications, and hardly require US assistance to synthesize.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

As for anthrax, this report shows that Apartheid South Afrika freeze-dried it for storage. Freeze-drying allows for indefinite storage, not a measlely 10 years:

http://www.isn.ethz.ch/researchpub/p...ocs/CBW119.htm
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Old 01-11-2004, 10:36 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by silent_jay
just because it is legal does not mean it is moral cluster bombs that the US has dropprd are still killing people everywhere in the world.
Strange famous claimed they were illegal. I said they're not illegal. Nowhere did I say they were moral, nor was that even mentioned.

Would that qualify as a straw man?

Quote:
Originally posted by silent_jay
so now the whole war was about catching sassam and not finding WMD. I think it is too soon to say Iraq's future is "bright".

As for 36 mortar shells not exactly a smoking gun and the way Bush played WMD as the main selling point for this war if this is all they find he better start back tracking and say catching saddam was the main focus.
Again, I didn't say the whole war was about catching Saddam. I merely pointed out that, in my opinion (!), his capture is a good justification for the deaths of only (yes, ONLY) 500 US soldiers. Do try to read my posts before you reply, please.


Also, I'd like to point out that these mortar shells were probably not hidden by the Iraqis, merely forgotten. Now, if that's the case, how much more difficult will it be to find WMDs that *were* deliberately hidden?

Suppose Saddam moved most of his WMDs to Syria, as some people claim. The US and UN weapon inspectors can dig up all of Iraq and still wouldn't find them! And to some people this would then be "proof" that the weapons were never there in the first place, even though they'd be stored safely across the border...
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Old 01-11-2004, 10:42 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stare At The Sun
Honestly, if we went to war over MORTAR rounds, that's pretty messed up. I mean , what are they gunna do, create a mortar with a 10,000 foot barrel, and launch them over the ocean at us? This is pathetic. Not a smoking gun, and not a weapon of "mass destruction" they probably would have exploded in the launching barrel, killing the crew, and not the intended target. If you say this justifies the war...then...well, i'm at a loss for words.
It's part of a larger tapestry. Hussein was a dangerous leader because of his propensity to secret WMD programs, willingness to deal with terrorists, and hatred for the US. My biggest fear of Hussein was that he would provide either bin Laden or Hamas with WMD's. THAT is how he was a threat to the US. If you deny that this was a legitimate possibility, then I can see why you might disagree. In my opinion, however, he had to be taken out. And, to the benefit of the world at large, it was accomplished.

Now, the anti-war crowd has been handed a legitimate beef in that the Bushies hung the justification on huge stockpiles of WMD's rather than simply making the case that Hussein was a dangerous and destabilizing threat. That was Bush's biggest mistake imho.

However, this discovery suggests that it is much easier to hide weapons than once believed. There's no telling what might come out of that desert in the next 5-10 years.
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:32 AM   #34 (permalink)
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On CP24 this morning i saw a trailer stating that Paul O'Neil, the former US treasurer under George W Bush has stated that the Rupublicans started planning to take out Saddam just days after being elected. Well before 911.

911 just gave bush the excuse he needed i guess.
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:41 AM   #35 (permalink)
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War contingencies are constantly being planned. The invasions of N.Korea, Iran, Syria, and Taiwan have already been scripted <i> in case they become a necessity.</i> This by no means suggests that the military actions are imminent.

In any case, O'Neil was fired for incompetence and is now a malcontent trying to sell a book and get rich.

Nonetheless, his comments only support the idea that Hussein was viewed as a threat by many important people in the US government for some time.
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Old 01-11-2004, 11:57 AM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dragonlich
Strange famous claimed they were illegal. I said they're not illegal. Nowhere did I say they were moral, nor was that even mentioned.
sorry about that
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Old 01-11-2004, 12:13 PM   #37 (permalink)
This vexes me. I am terribly vexed.
 
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This is very long and complicated, so if you want to see the rest of the information, go to the link. I'm just showing what I think is important to the point that I am making.

http://traprockpeace.org/iraqweaponsc.html

Quote:
Iraq declared that it filled approximately 13,000 artillery shells with mustard prior to 1991. UNSCOM accounted for 12,792 of these shells, and destroyed them in the period of 1992-94. However, Iraq also declared that 550 mustard-filled artillery shells had been lost in the aftermath of the Gulf War; it later (in March 2003) claimed that this figure was arrived at by way of approximating the amount used, for which reliable records are not available, and thus the quantity unaccounted for is simply a result of the use of unreliable approximations. UNMOVIC report that the 550 artillery shells would contain between them "a couple of tonnes of agent" ("Unresolved Disarmament Issues", 6 March 2003, p.76). The extent to which these - if they still existed - could constitute an ongoing danger should be assessed in light of the need to deploy large amounts of mustard for effective use.
Iraq has admitted that 550 mustard filled artillery shells were missing in the UNSCOM destruction. (and we only just found 36) That means they were missing. So that does not put them at odds with the resolution.

Plus, we have plenty of "initial tests" prove to be false. But it is unlikely that it's the case this time.

Regardless, this is not the smoking gun. Especially since this has been admitted to be missing.
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Old 01-11-2004, 12:16 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by james t kirk
On CP24 this morning i saw a trailer stating that Paul O'Neil, the former US treasurer under George W Bush has stated that the Rupublicans started planning to take out Saddam just days after being elected. Well before 911.

911 just gave bush the excuse he needed i guess.
Its no big secret Wolfowitz has been pushing for it for years. He tried getting Clinton to do the same thing back in 1998 when weapons were found.
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Old 01-11-2004, 12:25 PM   #39 (permalink)
follower of the child's crusade?
 
Madp, America wants to invade Taiwan???

That would cause WWIII!
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Old 01-11-2004, 12:48 PM   #40 (permalink)
Insane
 
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America has vowed to defend Taiwan from being taken by force by China. Considering the proximity of the two, I am making the assumption that this "defense" would have to include an invasion/liberation force.
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