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The Secret of Saddam's WMD and Establishing Trust in Government
Publication date: 2003-06-09

Now that the Iraq war is over, the British and American politicians are asking whether the alleged existence of WMD in Iraq justified the war, because no WMD has been discovered so far. They accuse Tony Blair of having deceived the public over the threat of the Iraqi WMD. And Tony Blair is saying that they should have patience, as the WMD are bound to turn up - if one waits long enough. But is it true that the British public had been mislead by Tony Blair's WMD arguments in support of the war?

There were certainly those who supported the war all the way from the start of the calls for it. But for them the existence of the WMD was not the decisive factor. The conservative leader, Ian Duncan Smith, believed that Britain had right to defend its interests. He did not specify what these "interests" were. Dr. David Owen believed that countries have right to declare wars when they want to. Mo Mowlam believed that it is right to go for a war to save Tony Blair and his cabinet from "embarrassment". But the majority of the British public and many politicians from all the parties, and many newspapers did not believe that Iraq was about to attack Britain or any country, and if it had any WMD, then the way to deal with them was by continuation of the UN inspections.

Then came a point when the support for the war increased, and those against it became a minority. But this did not happen because Tony Blair had succeeded to convince the public that Iraq's WMD became an imminent danger. It happened because he had started the war come what may. And it was the fact that the war began that was the decisive factor that made many of those who still did not believe that the war was justified to support the war. They all rallied in support of "our boys". The issue of whether the war was justified or not became irrelevant. The start of the war whipped up a wave of blind patriotic fervor.

It was not till the war was over, that the issue of its justification was raised again. And it all came back to the WMD.

But is the possession by a country of WMD sufficient justification for a war?

It still has not been established that Iraq had WMD, but it is a known fact that the USA, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea have them. Should they be all attacked? And, if yes, then by whom?

It is obvious that the alleged possession of WMD by Iraq was just an excuse - initially to get endorsement by the UN for the war. And so were the UN inspections. But when these inspections became real and an obstacle to the war, they were discontinued and the war began without the UN approval.

But, now the bogus issue of the WMD has been given a new lease of life by politicians. This time not to justify the war against Iraq, but to discredit Tony Blair, and by implication to put themselves in a position of "moral superiority" - the same trick Tony Blair used to justify the war on Iraq. Vilify or attack some other guy, and thus promote your own image and place yourself at the top. This is what politics is all about.

Have you forgotten how Tony Blair came to power? The then John Major government had lost public trust. Now the conservatives are biting back. But can they be trusted any more than Tony Blair? Can any politician be trusted?

So what is the alternative to politics?

Honest and competent government. We must be able to trust government as institution.

How to establish such government? Where can we get such honest and competent people?

We can use the same raw material - the same Blairs, Bushes, IDS's, etc. But they need to be trained and controlled.

Here is how all government decisions should be made:

  1. All government communications should be in writing.
  2. All government communications should have standard format.
  3. All government communications should consist of a collection of single valued assertions.
  4. All assertions will be either statements of fact, or statements of law, or statements of relevance.
  5. Each statement of law should be supported by a reference to the source of law on the basis of which it is made.
  6. Each statement of fact should be supported by a statement of relevance and one or more statements of evidence or statements of fact which singly or jointly with other facts imply the existence of the supported fact.
  7. Each statement of evidence should be supported by a statement of relevance.
  8. A statement of relevance in support of a statement of fact should state why the fact in support of which it is asserted supports the statement of law or fact in support of which the fact is asserted.
  9. A statement of relevance in support of a statement of evidence should state why the evidence in support of which it is asserted proves the fact in support of which the evidence is adduced .
This is how this method of government communications would have been used to justify the war against Iraq on the grounds of possession of WMD:

ItemStatementTypeSource of Law / RelevanceSupportsDepends OnValidityReason
1Britain must attack Iraq.Assertion.-Government action.2, 3, 4InvalidItems 2, 3, 4 are invalid.
2A country possessing WMD must be attacked.Statement of law. 1-InvalidNot supported by any reference to a source of law.
3Britain has authority to attack countries possessing WMD.Statement of law. 1-InvalidNot supported by any reference to a source of law.
4Iraq possesses WMD.Statement of fact. 1 InvalidNot supported by any evidence.

As we see, to justify a war it was not enough to prove that a country had WMD, it was also necessary to prove that possession of WMD is a valid cause for a war, and that the US and Britain have a legal authority to wage wars against countries having WMD. None of this was proved.

And this is how this method of government communications would have been used to justify the war against Iraq on the grounds of self-defence:

ItemStatementTypeSource of Law / RelevanceSupportsDepends OnValidityReason
1Britain must attack Iraq.Assertion.-Government action.2, 3InvalidItem 3 is invalid.
2Every country has right to self-defence.Statement of law.Natural Justice.1-ValidIs a valid principle of Natural Justice.
3Iraq is about to launch an attack on Britain.Statement of fact.Existence of a threat of an imminent attack is a valid cause of self-defence.14InvalidItem 4 is irrelevant.
4The British government has declared a state of emergency1.Statement of fact.Proves the existence of imminent threat from Iraq.35Irrelevant Declaration of a state of emergency by a government does not prove existence of any threat.
5A copy of the Declaration of State of Emergency by the British government.Statement of evidence.Proves that an attack by Iraq is imminent, because the British government cannot declare a state of emergency without a valid reason.4-IrrelevantStatement of relevance is invalid, because no government is infallible.

As can be seen from the above, the proposed method makes it easy to establish validity of statements by governments. It makes scandals and lengthy inquiries, which seldom produce any practical results, unnecessary. It will also help government officials to avoid mistakes and embarrassment.

And, to make sure that government as institution can be trusted, false or logically irrelevant statements by government officials should be penalized by 5 years imprisonment and disqualification from holding a public office for life.


Notes:   -----   to top

1) Remenber the tanks at Heathrow?.

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