November 14, 2002

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if there was no such thing as a headache, then we wouldn't need aspirin (and plenty of spouses would be looking for a new excuse). So if there is no such thing as chemical weapons being made in Iraq, then why did the embattled Middle Eastern country recently attempt to order more than one million doses of atropine an antidote for various types of nerve gases?

The medicine does have other uses but the large amount the country is trying to import from Turkey seems to raise a red flag. It is alarming as heading into the week the Iraqi parliament has passed all power on to Sadham to determine if UN inspectors will be allowed into his country. If not, President Bush has made it very clear that the U.S. will lead a coalition force into the country to enforce the weapons inspections.

It is easy to speculate about the atropine. Sadham could be stockpiling the drugs to give to his troops to protect them against any nerve gases he plans to use on the invading forces. He might also realize that his chemical warfare plants likely will be primary targets and he already knows about the precision bombing capabilities he faces, so the country may need the antidote for its own people if these plants are attacked.

While those are logical concerns considering this dummy's history, I personally think it is simply a bluff. While I realize he is crazy and that he probably wouldn't mind signing the death warrant for his country, Sadham enjoys being the poster child for the bad guys too much. He wants to stick around, yet at the same time he wants to make his enemies sweet. I think it's just an elaborate ruse to get all of us worked up. Besides, we've seen how much he cares about his own people, if he really wanted atropine, he would only need a few doses for himself and his closest friends - he could care less about the rest of "his people".

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