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Old 03-28-2003, 03:51 PM   #1
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Chemical / Nerve Agents

I have a feeling these will be used by Iraq very soon. Iraq has recently made a comment that the coalition forces might use these agents out of desperation and frustration, which tends to tell me that Iraq is planning to use them (possibly against civilians?) and blame it on the U.S.

Apparently, there are movements that are being detected that shows Iraq preparing for it. Of course, always being mindful on how manipulative our government is on media, it may also just be more fearmongering to make anti-war activists look foolish and treasonous.

I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Melon
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Old 03-28-2003, 04:43 PM   #2
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Re: Chemical / Nerve Agents

Quote:
Originally posted by melon
I have a feeling these will be used by Iraq very soon. Iraq has recently made a comment that the coalition forces might use these agents out of desperation and frustration, which tends to tell me that Iraq is planning to use them (possibly against civilians?) and blame it on the U.S.

Apparently, there are movements that are being detected that shows Iraq preparing for it. Of course, always being mindful on how manipulative our government is on media, it may also just be more fearmongering to make anti-war activists look foolish and treasonous.

I guess we'll find out soon enough.

Melon
I'm not sure if they are desperate enough yet. I think that Saddam's back will need to pretty close to the wall before they do anything. But, that said - here's the latest:


Army Reports Iraq Is Moving Toxic Arms to Its Troops
1 hour, 31 minutes ago The New York Times

By BERNARD WEINRAUB The New York Times

WITH V CORPS HEADQUARTERS, near the Kuwait border, March 27 Statements from Iraqi prisoners of war and electronic eavesdropping on Iraqi government communications indicate that Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) has moved chemical weapons to the Medina Division, one of three Republican Guard divisions guarding the approaches to Baghdad, Army officials said.


The Army officials said they strongly believed that Mr. Hussein would use the weapons as allied troops moved toward Baghdad to oust him and his government.


Officials with V Corps said intelligence information pointed to Mr. Hussein deploying 155-millimeter artillery weapons with shells carrying mustard gas as well as sarin, or nerve agents, an especially deadly weapon. Mr. Hussein used these chemical agents against the Iranians and the country's Kurdish population in the 1980's.


Army officials said monitoring the movement of chemical weapons was sometimes difficult because Mr. Hussein often hid chemical pellets inside bunkers that carried conventional armaments.


But some military officers said Mr. Hussein had, in the last week or so, moved the artillery pieces that could fire chemical weapons into hiding, not only near the Medina Division, south of Baghdad, but in western Iraq (news - web sites). Officials said Iraqi officers had been warned by the United States, through leaflets and other means, that they would be held responsible for war crimes if they participated in a chemical attack.


Intelligence officers said the apparent deployment of chemical weapons by Mr. Hussein was not merely a sign of rage by the Iraqi leader toward the Americans. Although deployment of the weapons would give the lie to Mr. Hussein's denial that he had them, officers said that Mr. Hussein might be calculating that the step would actually turn to his advantage, and stunt the American assault.


Military officials said that, in the event of a chemical attack, American forces might receive an early warning if satellite photos picked up Iraqi units wearing protective gear against chemicals at a weapons site. Officials said the protective clothing was usually worn at least one hour before the launching of a chemical weapon. But officials also said that well-hidden Iraqi artillery sites about to launch such a weapon could possibly avoid detection.


Since the war started, American soldiers in Iraq and Kuwait have been threatened by Iraqi missiles, but any missiles that may have been launched have so far been intercepted and destroyed by Patriot missiles. No chemical weapons have been used against allied troops to date.


Col. Tim Madere, the V Corps chemical officer, said he was not alarmed about the potential for a chemical attack.


"The soldiers have gone through training and know what to do and know how their equipment works in the event we get hit," he said. "But it's a concern because most soldiers have not experienced real agents."


Colonel Madere said such an attack would slow down the advance on Baghdad, but not seriously set back the effort to depose Mr. Hussein.


There are reports that Iraqi forces killed or injured more than 20,000 people in attacks against Kurds and other Iraqis in the 1980's that involved nerve and mustard agents.


Mustard gas is a blister agent that causes medical casualties by burning or blistering exposed skin, eyes and lungs. It can remain a serious hazard for days and, if inhaled, may lead to death.


Nerve agents such as sarin, cyclosarin and tabun act within seconds of absorption through skin or inhalation. Untreated, the agents cause convulsions, loss of consciousness and death.


The United States military in Kuwait and Iraq not only carry protective gas masks and protective clothes, boots and gloves, but also antidote kits for nerve agents. These include atrophine as well as pralidoxime, which must be injected quickly after exposure to the gas.


In a report last year, the Central Intelligence Agency (news - web sites) said that Iraq had not accounted for 15,000 artillery rockets. In the past, these rockets were the preferred means for delivering nerve agents. Iraq has also not accounted for about 550 artillery shells filled with mustard agent.
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Old 03-28-2003, 04:49 PM   #3
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Iraq knows it cannot win using conventional military forces. It looks like the Iraqi Ministry of "Information" is already setting the table for use of chemical weapons followed by a shift of blame to the US.

From CNN
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Old 03-29-2003, 01:08 AM   #4
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melon, have you been watching tv again?
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Old 03-29-2003, 04:54 PM   #5
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I've been watching BBC America and episodes of "South Park" mostly.

Damn internet news.

Melon
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Old 03-29-2003, 06:34 PM   #6
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I was watching BBC news too! they have a reporter in the north with the Kurds. Iraqi troops had to abandon a post quite quickly to avoid the Kurds. On the news, they showed what the Iraqi troops left behind: gas masks. The Iraqi troops are prepared for their government to use these weapons.
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Old 03-30-2003, 01:18 AM   #7
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The scenario I've read that sounds pretty likely is...

* Coalition wants to avoid urban fight in Baghdad

* Completely surrounds the city, old school siege style - nothing going in (food etc), nothing going out, anything that does (military) gets bombed. Also step up bombing of the city. Basically put the place under massive massive pressure.

* City starts to suffocate, the natives start to get wrestless. Coalition hopes this will lead to the uprising they badly want, maybe mass surrendering, but it could also just solidify hate for the Coalition in Baghdad. Depends on how good the internal Iraqi propaganda is.

* Saddam starts to feel the pressure, starts letting off Chem/Bio weapons in the city.

* Aim is to force the Coalition forces into the city, as it would be politicaly difficult for them to stand around and watch as thousands were gassed. 'The world' would be mighty pissed if they did.

* Then the Coalition faces the equally politicaly difficult urban war they didn't want with it's risk of high Iraqi civilian casualties and Coalition casualties, all with the distasteful knowledge that they are playing it exactly the way Saddam wanted, and the risk that the mix of the siege and Iraqi propaganda convincing the locals that the gas attacks came from the 200,000 invading troops surrounding the city, not Uncle Saddam, might mean the Coalition is facing a very hostile general population, not just small pockets of pro-saddam. And of course there could/would be more chem/bio attacks on the invading troops.
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