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when is a weapon not a weapon?

Silly me, thinking that sarin gas would count as a weapon. Of course not! Nothing short of a blazing nuclear reactor would suffice, I assume. I guess it doesn't matter that Saddam declared that he didn't have any sarin - and he declared this before the first Gulf War. This was a 155mm shell. ...a conventional 155-mm shell could hold as much as "two-to-five" liters of sarin, which is capable of killing thousands of people under the right conditions in highly populated areas. But get on with your spin, everyone. Cross sarin off of the list of WMDs just to suit your cause. Fact remains, this is something the old regime swore up and down they didn't have. Look for more of this. Most of us have been saying all along that Saddam stored his weapons underground, not in obvious warehouses. Keep moving those goalposts, guys. It's expected. Predictable. And sad. Update: Someone in the comments at Command Post makes a good point: bq. The problem is that now the insurgents know they have chemical weapons, and you can bet that they will be checking through their stockpiles. I’m not surprised Army is downplaying this - the potential for harm is huge, even more from the psychological than the physical effects - imagine 2000 dead from a sarin release in a marketplace. Exactly. Do you really think this the only instance of sarin to be found? And for those who are downplaying this by saying it's "only" sarin: Sarin is a human-made chemical warfare agent classified as a nerve agent. Nerve agents are the most toxic and rapidly acting of the known chemical warfare agents. Laurence's comment here is worth repeating in the post:
I challenge anyone who claims this was not a WMD to rent a movie theater, gather up their family and friends and neighbors and everyone who means anything to them, ask everyone to take a seat, and set the thing off in the middle of the room. (Make the movie Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911, just for S&G.) Anyone who makes it out alive from that theater is more than welcome to bitch that it isn't a chemical WMD. You'll be able to count those survivors on the fingers of the missing hands of prisoners Saddam had amputated and mutilated for writing against his regime.
Well, let's see what some of the left bloggers have to say about this event. Whoops. Nevermind. Guess they haven't heard about it yet. Or they are just ignoring it.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference when is a weapon not a weapon?:

» Sarin Bombshell from annika's journal
Like ants when their anthole has been disturbed, the Bush-haters are running around crazy, not quite sure what to make of this Sarin story. From DU:Call me crazy but the finding of Sarin gas seems to indicate a spiralling decrease... [Read More]

» find the penny from the red pages
Evidently, someone rigged a 105mm artillery shell as an improvised anti-personnel device in Iraq sometime last week and— surprise surprise —the shell turned out to have nerve gas in it. A spokesman for the U.S. army says he does not... [Read More]


Add to the fact that those who used the munition didn't even know what it contained. What's to say that some of the conventional weapons that were allowed aren't fitted with something nasty inside?

And I'm beginning to think the goal post analogy doesn't fit anymore. It's kind of like scoring a touchdown and the other side complaining that we were out at first.

I challenge anyone who claims this was not a WMD to rent a movie theater, gather up their family and friends and neighbors and everyone who means anything to them, ask everyone to take a seat, and set the thing off in the middle of the room.

(Make the movie Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911, just for S&G.)

Anyone who makes it out alive from that theater is more than welcome to bitch that it isn't a chemical WMD. You'll be able to count those survivors on the fingers of the missing hands of prisoners Saddam had amputated and mutilated for writing against his regime.

Fox News is reporting Coalition forces have found mustard gas in Iraq as well...

This puts everything into a much, much different perspective.

Just a brief message to all the residents of moonbat land:


ahem Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

Agruing over the danger of sarin?

Anyone remember the storming of the theater in Moscow where a bunch of hostages died from an agent that was only meant to knock them out?


Two points for you.

Weapons, small to large:

Automatic weapon: a couple guys
Shoulder launched missle: an improperly armored hummer
Sarin gas: a theater
Hijacked airplane: the world trade center
Conventional "shock and awe" bomb attack: a city block
real WMD: a city

It's definitely bad that the terrorists have sarin. It's a horrible, evil weapon. Dying from sarin makes getting your head sawed off seem mild. However, these people who are saying that we weren't justified in attacking Iraq because the result has been terrorists getting sarin are just wrong. We've already seen that they had WMDs like ricin and anthrax. The addition of sarin does not make them a greater strategic threat than they were before.

Soli, Saddam declared that he did not have sarin. He declared he did not have mustard gas. He did.

He lied on his resolution to the U.N.

That, my friend, is the point. Who knows what else he lied about?

To any of the moonbats who argue that Sarin isn't a weapon...do you by any chance happen to recall the Tokyo Subway attack by Aum Shinrikyo in 1995? That attack killed 12 people and sent 5,000 to hospitals. The only reson the death toll was (fortunately) so low was that the chemical didn't spread as planned.

The moonbats may also want to refer to this page on Sarin by the council on Foreign Relations

Heck. All the lefti sites I've been reading have suggested for months any WMD found there now was probably planted by the CIA.

Can't say I agree. If I was gonna plant something I think it'd me something more WMD's like. Instead of a couple warheads capable of chemical attacks.


Saddam lied? I'm shocked. Absolutely shocked! Oh wait, we proved he lied in like 50 ways before the war already and there was never any question (at least as far as I know) that he was in violation of UN resolutions.

You're absolutely right, and everyone except the Ted Rall crowd agrees with you. However, sarin is still not a real WMD and if Laurence wants to be serious about that challenge, he needs to change "theater" to "state." I challenge anyone who doesn't think a dull knife is a WMD to line up all your friends and family shackled to a bench while a terrorist saws off your heads. Those of you who survive can then tell me that a dull knife is not a weapon of mass distruction.


In theory anything can be a "Weapon of Mass Destruction", perhaps it would be better if instead of calling them WMD, they were refered to as NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) Weapons. (There's also ABC Weapons--Atomic, Biological and Chem)

That's the terminology which I was introduced to in my Int'l Relations course at college, and I think it is more fitting than WMD.

So stop trying to play with semantics.

WMD, Sarin gas shell.

Tomato, Tomatoe.

Just because it can't flatten an entire city doesn't mean it can't kill thousands if used properly.

I don't care if it's a WMD or not. It's still a chemical weapon and not something that a "civilized" leader would have in his weapons stockpile. (I'd Google to check to see if what I think - that it's forbidden by several international treaties - is true, but I'm at work and I'm afraid doing a Google search using the words "sarin gas" might bring some folks knocking on my door that I'd rather not talk to).

I hope the only people who were killed by the Sarin in this case were the two proto-terrorists trying to set the thing off.

Funny, whenever I attend WMD training with either the military or the fire department, they seem to think that nerve agents are in the category.

If the sarin used in the Japanese subway attacks had been properly synthesized and deployed, those 5000 injured would have been stone dead.

btw, 'jaws' is correct, and CBR (chemical, biological, radiological) is currently the proper term. Used to be NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical).

I believe they changed it because 'dirty bombs' are radiological but not really nuclear.

In any case, both mustard gas and nerve agent are included. So was the blister agent that my buddy got all over his feet last year in Iraq. Funny how imaginary weapons can put one in the hospital for a month.

Oh Good God! I can't believe we have to argue about whether Sarin is a WMD or not.

Okay Soli, you're correct in the sense that it's a political designation. Chemical and Bio weapons have been lumped in with the far more destructive nuclear, because nations such as the US forswore the use of C&B- so the response to them would theoretically be nuclear.

Yes, an H-bomb is a lot more destructive.- but do you measure WMD's by number killed, or overall impact? A "dirty bomb" probably wouldn't kill very many- but the impact and cleanup would be huge. Chemical weapons are notoriously unreliable... but I'm pretty sure the Kurds and the Iranians would argue that point. Do you think the Kurds would agree that Sarin was NOT a WMD?

Why isn't Bush, Rummy and Powell doing the Dance Of A 1000 Told You So's yet? Is it because they aren't deluding themselves, that this 'find' is nothing much, certainly not worth the 800 or so soldier's lives, or the $100+ billion or thousands of crippled soldiers, not to mention the murder of innocent civilians? It's like when your local PD gets the SWAT team to take down a clandestine meth lab, only to find some kid watching The Simpsons with a bong in his hand. Flame away, but this is the reality.

Vince, it's most likely because this is not really a time for gloating. WMDs in the hands of insurgents is not something that calls for grandstanding on the part of the president.

"Either way, it's a far cry from stockpiles just outside Tikrit (as Rumsfeld said) or the capability to launch an attack on Europe in minutes (as Tony Blair said) or a mushroom cloud (as Bush said)." from Oliver Willis.

Michele, if Bush could gloat on this, he would have. Remember "Mission Accomplished"? Remember "We got 'im"? If there are political points to be won, he would have capitalized on them already. This find is days old, and this tepid half-hearted response is the best they can do? On a side-note, expect an October surprise of some sort.

Why are you all in shock about the left arguing with semantics? The last president argued about the meaning of the word “is”.

Oh, it's only little sarin? Well then, that's ok. I'm sure this was the only chemical weapon he had in the entire country. Except for that mustard gas, I mean. Saddam had a lot on his mind. He probably meant to destroy it and just forgot.

Vince? Mission Accomplished? The guys on the ship put that up and their mission was accomplished.

when is a door not a door?

when it's ajar

yeah, I know. groan all you want. I did it, and I'm not sorry! bwaa haa haa haaa

we needed a little levity. that was as little as I could scrape up.

"The guys on the ship put that up and their mission was accomplished.

Thank god somebody else grasped the obvious :)

The left arguing about semantics? You're kidding, right?

Anyone notice that the charge of Iraq having WMDs conveniently became Weapons of Mass Destruction Programs? How about the number of naive folks who think Saddam had anything to do with the WTC attack. Referring to the citizens of Iraq as terrorists suggests you too are willingly misled.

Also, the statement that 'He lied on his resolution to the U.N.' is curious. How do you know? The Bush administration censored, for 'security reasons' the document which Iraq provided the U.N..

Undoubtedly that document listed sources of Iraq's defunct weapons -- including the U.S.A, Britian, France, etc.. You don't know what was stated in that document (& neither do I for that matter) but more importantly your administration didn't care -- the doc was null and void well before it was even conceived, let alone delivered.

btw: are those the same weapons used against Iran during the war which was (then) heavily supported by the U.S.A.? Remember, the U.S.A. military actively blocked Iran's radar facilities from detecting incoming Iraq missiles containing chem/bio components -- the same attacks that were later used as evidence about how imminent a threat Saddam posed.

...anyone else smell new manipulation? Ashcroft connecting a 'possible attack' with what happened in Spain, and the subsequent win by a party on the left, means that if there's an attack (& there will be, the question is will the U.S. public be attacked by foreigners or the will of its own leaders) then voting for the Democrats becomes equivalent to voting for the terrorists. Either that or it's another attempt to distract from blatant violations of Human Rights and the U.S.A.'s commitment to the Geneva Convention.

And yeah, fully expect something to blow up before November -- just hope that the investigation isn't as closed as WTC.