Russia and Iraqi WMDs


John Shaw, the former Deputy Undersecretary for International Technology Security, provides detailed information on Russia's role in first, helping Saddam acquire WMDs, and second, providing the means to transport them out of the country prior to the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The report can be viewed here at Ryan Mauro's site  Ryan's soon—to—be—published book, Death to America: The Unreported Battle of Iraq, will elaborate on Charles Smith's  interview with Shaw and his assertions that Russian Spetsnatz moved WMDs and conventional explosives (remember the Al—Qaqaa imbroglio?) out of the country in accordance with an agreement Russia made with Saddam in 2001.  According to Shaw, the Russian special forces teams moved the materials into Syria and Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.

The reason Russia helped to get rid of the WMDs was, of course, not wanting to get caught by the UN weapons inspectors and the US:

Shaw's information also backs allegations by a wide variety of sources of Russia's direct involvement in Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program.  One U.N. bioterrorism expert announced that Russia has been Iraq's "main supplier of the materials and know—how to weaponize anthrax, botulism and smallpox."

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Robert Goldberg cited former U.N. weapons inspector Richard Spertzel, who stated that Moscow supplied Baghdad with fermentation equipment to produce biotoxins.

According to Spertzel, the Russians on the U.N. inspection team in Iraq were "paranoid" about his efforts to uncover smallpox production. [emphasis mine]

Goldberg noted that no country has "done more to rebuild" Saddam's chemical and biological weapons programs or "been more aggressive in helping hide the truth" than Russia.

It is a fact that Saddam Hussein rose to power backed by Russian weapons and Russian money.  Saddam was in debt to Moscow for over $8 billion for the arms he purchased from Russia when he was captured by U.S. forces.  The primary Iraqi chemical weapons were VX nerve gas and mustard gas, a blistering agent, both obtained from Russia.

The report also relates how the hidden WMDs ties in to the recent assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The arming of Iraq with such weapons has had a direct impact on events today in the Middle East.  The presence of former Iraqi WMD systems in Lebanon raises serious questions surrounding the Feb. 14 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.  Many blame Syria for Hariri's murder.

However, the possibility that Hariri discovered the location of the Iraqi WMD systems inside his country lends some credible backing to a Syrian assassination effort to silence him.

In addition, the sudden sale of advanced missile and other weapons to Damascus by Moscow also supports the allegation that Syria is hiding something for Russia.

Not only is Russia a stumbling block in trying to resolve the Iranian nuclear dilemma, it may also be a player along with Baathist die—hards in trying to subvert the entire democratic reform effort in the Central Region.

Maybe the bear truly is back.

Doug Hanson   03—04—05