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Conflict with Iraq

Battle Lines
Tom Brown
Tom Brown
Battle Lines is an ongoing Web log (blog) dedicated to providing a broad perspective on the latest news and developments from the war in Iraq. Response and suggestions are welcomed.

Tom Brown has been an editor, reporter and software analyst for The Seattle Times for 20 years.

April 18, 2003

Where are the weapons?

(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.

Unmarked graves

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.

Posted by Katherine Long at April 18, 2003 06:46 AM

Tom Brown Katherine Long, research editor at the Seattle Times and 18-year editor and reporter, substituted for Tom Brown the week of April 14.

April 2003
March 2003

Signing off
The Saddam Files
Demonstrations in Karbala
Building a government from scratch
Smoking gun?
The irony of freedom
Where are the weapons?
Cultural advisors quit over antiquities issue
Baghdad reality check


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