(posted by Katherine Long)
A thousand soldiers in Iraq are now helping to search for chemical weapons. But so far the mission has been plagued by numerous false readings of suspected chemical and biological materials.
"Washington's credibility is being eroded further, according to arms specialists, by the continued refusal to include international participation in the search," the Boston Globe reports.
''I believe they will find weapons of mass destruction, and I think it's going to be important to get the international community involved,'' Lee Feinstein, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, told the Globe.
Reuters reports that "former U.N. inspectors said the U.S. military's efforts to find weapons of mass destruction allegedly hidden by President Saddam Hussein have gotten off to a slow start, increasing the chances that some could be spirited out of Iraq and sold to terrorist groups."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that the U.S. military's search for chemical and biological weapons is unlikely to succeed until Iraqis help American forces find the hiding places.
Weapons of mass destruction have remained elusive, but something else has emerged -- a mass gravesite.
Nearly 1,600 unmarked graves in Kirkuk may be the remains of some of the untold tens of thousands of civilians who were killed or disappeared in crackdowns brought by Saddam Hussein during his rule.
"Human rights organizations and Iraqi households have long awaited the collapse of Mr. Hussein's Arab Baath Socialist Party, saying it would allow the beginning of the tedious process of accountability and the return to families of missing remains," the New York Times reported.
Could the bodies be Iran-Iraq war victims, or are they victims of atrocities? The questons may take a long time to answer.