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03:03 PDA Bulletin - Iraq War and its Consequences

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  • charlesknight
    PDA has just released three new reports on the Iraq War. An excerpt from one of them, What Colin Powell Showed Us: The End of Arms Control and the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 7 12:54 PM
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      PDA has just released three new reports on the Iraq War. An excerpt
      from one of them, "What Colin Powell Showed Us: The End of Arms
      Control and the Normalization of War", follows:

      "The photographic evidence that Kennedy presented to the nation on 22
      October 1962, and that Ambassador Stevenson presented the following
      day to the UN Security Council, showed new and rapid construction of
      9 secret military sites in Cuba with equipment and layouts typical of
      missile launch areas. There appeared to be launch pads, missile
      erector equipment, long storage tents or sheds, fuel trucks,
      revetments, command bunkers, and lines of electrical cable for launch
      control. The revelation of the sites, although itself quite
      incriminating, was not the half of it. The central pieces of
      evidence brought forward by Kennedy and Stevenson were photographs
      showing 14 large transporters at the sites bearing canvas-covered
      cargo that was cylindrical in shape and about 70 feet long, 9 feet
      wide. These cylinders, which accompanied the launch vehicles, were
      consistent with the size and shape of SS-5 medium-range nuclear
      missiles -- and not much else. No plausible competing interpretation
      was offered at the time. Instead, the Soviet ambassador to the
      United Nations, Valerian Zorin, challenged the authenticity of the
      photographs. To this, Stevenson had a reply that demonstrated the
      Kennedy administration's confidence in its case:

      'I wonder if the Soviet Union would ask its Cuban colleague to
      permit a U.N. team to go to these sites. If so, I can assure you that
      we can direct them to the proper places very quickly.'

      In proposing a simple test of the American assertions, Stevenson
      added incomparably to the weight of the administration's charges.

      This final, pivotal step is precisely the one that Secretary Powell
      failed to take on 5 February 2003.

      Kennedy and Stevenson had offered positive evidence that the Soviets
      and Cubans had overstepped a strategic 'line in the sand'. By
      comparison, Secretary Powell's evidence did not establish that
      Iraq still possessed proscribed weapons or that Iraq was
      circumventing UNMOVIC's disarmament efforts. Powell's
      evidence could only support the more modest -- some might say 'self-
      evident' -- proposition that there could not be certainty about Iraqi

      "What Colin Powell Showed Us: The End of Arms Control and the
      Normalization of War"
      by Carl Conetta. PDA Briefing Report #14, 05 May 2003 (.pdf file) --
      An appreciation of the value and limits of arms control is necessary
      in order to understand how debasing the standards of proof leads
      ultimately to the demise of diplomacy and the unnecessary resort to

      "Disarming Iraq: What Did the UN Missions Accomplish?" by Carl
      Conetta. PDA Briefing Memo #27, 25 April 2003 (.pdf file) --
      A review of the evidence finds that while UN disarmament missions
      contributed substantially to disarming Iraq and increasing
      confidence, they also left substantial residual uncertainties.
      However, the disarmament missions served to tightly constrain Iraq's
      WMD capability and undercut its effectiveness and standard military
      deterrence would have acted to keep this residual threat in check.

      "Reconstructing Iraq: Costs and Possible Income Sources"
      by Carl Conetta. PDA Briefing Memo #28, 25 April 2003 (.pdf file). --
      A review of accounts reveals a severe shortage of reconstruction

      Each of the above reports will be published in HTML in the coming
      days, as well as .pdf format which is available now. For HTML
      versions check the "What's New" page at

      PDA also continues to update several times a week the "War Report"
      page on the Iraq War and the Afghan Aftermath --

      Project on Defense Alternatives
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