T Nation


Iraqi Colonel: WMD Could’ve Been Launched in 45 Minutes

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Saddam Hussein (search) had weapons of mass destruction and his army was capable of firing them off in less than 45 minutes, according to an Iraqi colonel’s statements in the London Telegraph.

According to Lt. Col. al-Dabbagh, cases of WMD warheads were shipped under cover of darkness to front-line units, including his own, near the end 2002, the Telegraph reported Sunday.

In September of 2002 the British government published a controversial intelligence report on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, claiming WMD could be launched within 45 minutes. Al-Dabbagh said he believed he was the source of the claim, which was widely criticized as being a ploy by British Prime Minister Tony Blair (search) to gain support for military action in Iraq (search).

“I am the one responsible for providing this information,” al-Dabbagh, 40, told the Telegraph when shown the dossier. “It is 100 percent accurate.”

“Forget 45 minutes, we could have fired these within half-an-hour,” he was quoted as saying.

Al-Dabbagh told the paper that the weapons were Iraqi-manufactured and were designed to be launched from hand-held rocket-propelled grenades. Whether the weapons contained biological or chemical agents was not made clear by al-Dabbagh, the report said.

Iraqi military commanders could use the weapons only on the personal orders of Saddam, al-Dabbagh told the paper, adding: “We were told that when the war came we would only have a short time to use everything we had to defend ourselves, including the secret weapon.”

So why weren’t the weapons launched against the allied forces encroaching on Iraq? Al-Dabbagh said the majority of the Iraqi army did not want to fight for Saddam.

“The West should thank God that the Iraqi army decided not to fight,” he told the paper. “If the army had fought for Saddam Hussein and used these weapons there would have been terrible consequences.”

Apparently they used the new “FM” technology in these hand-held WMD. If the unit was captured or surrendered, the weapons vanished into thin air.

Fucking Magic.

According to an Israeli inteeligence sourse, they’ve been secretly shipped to Syria. OK, fair enough but if I know, why don’t we expose that ‘fact’?

That guy is obviously a credible source, now they only have to find those WMD that apparently melted away along with the soldiers.

thanks tme,

I knew it wouldn’t take long.

I hope this Colonel is rewarded handsomely for trying to cover Blair’s ass.

Funny how only certain sources are credible because they are saying what you already convineced yourself is true.

What about all the other Iraqis who already said there was no Iraqi WMDs?

We already know for a fact that Iraq did not have any long range missles.

Iraq was as much of a threat to the West as Bora Bora is.

hmm didn’t our govt pay somone named chalabi $1m for similar testinomy? a lot of his “inside information” has been proven to have been made up. simply, he told certain people exactly what they wanted to hear.

“It is sort of fascinating that you can have 100 percent certainty about weapons of mass destruction and zero certainty of about where they are.” - Blix

I think it is more likely that they did not use these weapons because it would have invited massive retaliation, not because they didn’t want to fight for Saddam.

Let’s face it a couple of chemical rockets or shells would not have made much of a difference against an armored division. We didn’t cause massive casualties to the civilians or the army because we chose not to…not because we couldn’t. We also did not use the B-52’s this time. I think a few chemical shells would have generated a parade of them over Baghdad.

If anyone know’s where these weapons are I am sure it is the Israeli’s.


I don’t know if they had them and shipped them to Syria. I don’t know if maybe Sadaam shipped them regular RPG’s and told them they were WMDs just to bolster their confidence. The point is that if the Iraqi’s thought they had them, how can you harp on the Bush administration for thinking they did also?

Calling this a shut case is simply foolish. We haven’t yet even examined more than a fraction of the stuff that conventional weapons stockpiles we knew existed, let alone anything that was hidden or generally unknown. If someone wanted to hide WMD in Texas, I’m certain he could do so and it would take a lot longer than some number of months to find it – especially non-nuclear weapons that don’t give off radiation profiles.

Cut 'em some slack. It’s not as if the WMD justification was the only justification on which the war effort rested. There were human rights justifications, as well as geopolitical stability considerations and Mr. Hussein’s 10 year history of noncompliance with U.N. resolutions. The real question one should be asking here is: Why didn’t Mr. Hussein just allow people in, if there was nothing to hide?

Are you serious? I guess a “WMD” in a rocket-propelled grenade launcher is a major threat to the US and every country in the region. Sounds like arcane technology. Even if it was loaded with VX, getting it to dispurse correctly would be extremely difficult. Someone find a long range missle bigger than a Scud or some kind of nuclear weaponry.

As we get closer to finding WMDs the liberal position will change again. It won’t matter if he had them, he also had to have a delivery system for them that was capable of hitting the U.S.

Look –

It’s quite possible that in hindsight what will be found in Iraq will not, to many people, constitute a clear and present danger to the West.

However, hindsight is always 20/20. The facts of Hussein’s noncompliance, combined with colorable claims that Iraq possessed or was working to possess WMD constituted a threat. The leadership of the U.S., along the Britain and several other countries, decided to act upon that threat. That’s what leaders do: it’s called acting to protect their people.

What do you think the reaction would have been had the leaders decided not to act, and then the U.S. suffered a chemical-weapons attack against a city or even against a foreign military outpost? If you need to guess, examine the outcry over the fact that the FBI didn’t “put the pieces together” surrounding September 11.

Once again, the real question should be: Why was Hussein being non-compliant and recalcitrant to the end, especially concerning allowing broad investigations, if there was nothing to hide?

You know an RPG or other shoulder launched weapon is pretty much the perfect terrorist weapon. It doesn’t take a whole crew to operate, they’re relatively cheap and easy to move and hide. If they did have VX or any chemical agent it would disperse just fine because the warheads do what? Oh yeah, they explode.

They’re good battlefield weapons too. You can use them like a mortar or any other method that’s used to reduce hotspots. For one thing a missile crew 70 miles away can’t see if the target is wearing chem suits and the guy with the shoulder launched weapon can. They can be shot into barracks, chow halls, or other places if the dude is good at sneaking too.

Time will tell, hopefully.

It is funny that this colonel’s statements are brought up as a “defense” of the war - in media circles, this guy has been found to be THE source for much of the pre-war intelligence that led us to war. And his testimony was uncorroborated, non-specific, and is turning out to be false.

The position “shifting” comment is hilarious - no one has done more position shifting than war supporters, because their PRIMARY motivation for a 200 billion dollar war has not panned out - those immediate threat WMD.

Now that we can’t find them, it has all shifted to “it’s a better place” and “there were other considerations”

Well, there are about 100 other places that would be better off after a US invasion and reassignment of government - but we don’t go in. Why?

Half the nations in Africa are farse worse off then the Iraqis were under Saddam Hussein - where is the 200 billion for Somalia, or Rwanda, or the DR of Congo??


I concede that the Republican party flip flopped on the war too. Anyway, in response to your retorical question about why we don’t invade other countries with bad governments, here is my response to a similar “question” on another thread.

The reason we don’t solve the world’s problems by invading everyone and changing the world to a democracy is becuase we live in one. It’s hard to get the public support up to go in and fix the problems in Africa, for instance. Most Americans look at the situation over there and think it’s aweful and tragic but who’s willing to put there neck out for a part of the world that largely has no impact on us. It has little to do with morality, instead the American people and its leaders have to make difficult choices of where to spend our blood and treasure and administrations will only do so when there is a measure of public support. And generally, public suport is only available when the folks think there is a threat to the homeland. Despite what liberals say, a majority of US citizens supported action in Iraq because they beleived Saddam either was a threat or would be in the future.

America and every other country’s domestic policy is based on their individual intersts abroad. Imagine that, only sending people to fight and die when American interests are at stake.

Feel free to tell me why I’m an idiot.

I think we were leaving Africa for France, Belguim, and maybe Canada to straighten up some. I mean we aren’t the only white boys with a few guns that care about freedom and human rights…are we?

Larryalavender - you’re not an idiot at all - your response to the rhetorical question is much like my own.

I’m just sick and tired and war supporters being so godamn smug and defensive - we might actually be able to make a lot more progress if the conservative ego could admit every once in a while that it might have made a mistake or that things aren’t quite like they imagined.

It is time to bring in the UN, and with it world support. Bring our boys home.

I have 12 friends in Iraq right now, and every one of them is sick of it.


France is unilaterally, and without UN permission, screwing up its former African colonies with its military operations – it’s pretty funny, but they really are doing all the things in Africa they accused the U.S. of doing in Iraq – and they’re messing it up pretty badly. I guess it’s really a lot more tragic than funny, but it is definitely ironic.

Doppleganger, 3 things:

(1) Bush never said a threat was immediate or imminent. He actually said to act BEFORE it was imminent. (But he also said things like “chemical weapons could be deployed in 45 minutes,” specific claims which people interpreted for themselves as constituting an “imminent threat”)
(2) At the time, the political opposition to the war actually accused the administration for presenting TOO MANY very different reasons to go to war in Iraq. Human rights, material breach (=“defying the world community”) and WMDs were all leitmotivs from the beginning. (Toward the end, Bush went very heavy on human rights which Michael Kingsley worried stated us morally obligated not to turn back from war.)
(3) Everyone accepts that there were tacit motivations to the war in Iraq that were underneath the spoken pretext: getting the military out of Saudi Arabia (Al-Quaeda’s main gripe); creating a catalyst for Arab democracy; removing one of three third-party obstacles to the Middle East peace process (the others being Iran and Syria); etc…

So saying that supporters of regime change have disingenuously shifted from WMD to other rationales is not correct. We do, however, not get to talk about WMD anymore without looking foolish, except to say

(a) Saddam’s records said he had them
(b) the Clinton administration thought he had them
© the world community at the time generally thought he had them, though not as many as before '91 and inspections.

But screw that, I wanted Saddam gone and believed material breach was enough of a rationalization to give the world community.