Welcome to Perspectives, a blog of thoughts, commentary and observations ranging from autistic adolescents to intimate portraits of urban communities.

 

Lost and Found

We found them, those elusive weapons of mass destruction that sent us to war in Iraq. In what some are calling a belated vindication of the Bush-Cheney administration, C.J. Chivers reported in The New York Times this week that during the last decade American troops unearthed several caches of chemical weapons, including thousands of nerve-agent rockets. It took Chivers a lot of digging, though, because the Pentagon had suppressed the information for years, going so far as to deny adequate care to affected soldiers and refusing to give them Purple Hearts. Why all the secrecy instead of a jubilant “we found ‘em” from Vice President Cheney? Well, it turns out these weren’t exactly the weapons everybody had been looking for in 2002, the ones we assured the United Nations that Saddam Hussein was secretly developing. All the weapons our soldiers dug up had been manufactured before 1991, when Saddam was an American ally engaged in a brutal war with Iran and Dick Cheney was the U.S. Secretary of Defense. But there is another reason we knew they were there. We helped make them. In fact, Chivers reported, “in five of six incidents in which [U.S.] troops were wounded by chemical agents, the munitions appeared to have been designed in the United States, manufactured in Europe and filled in chemical agent production lines built in Iraq by Western companies.”

No such weapons manufactured after 1991 have ever been found.

The compound where most of the weapons were stored is now controlled by ISIS.

Autumn Evening

Smoke-Filled Rooms