Daily reports of suspected finds have all so far turned out to be false alarms and with every false trail the temptation grows for the United States to produce a the smoking gun.
“The United States is now embarrassed because it could not confirm the presence of WMD in Iraq,” said Dr. Hassan Krayyim, a professor of political science at the American University of Beirut.
“The concern lies in the possibility that the United States would present false evidence to prove that its decision to go to war was right,“ he said.
Dr. Imad Jadd, international relations specialist at the Egypt-based Al-Ahram Centre for Studies, agreed. “What will stop the United States from bringing chemical weapons from outside Iraq and moving them into the country to prove their longstanding claims?” he said.
“They can do it because they are the authority now that is conducting the search.”
Jadd called on the United Nations to send delegations to Iraq to monitor any finds of suspected chemical agents. “International inspectors should be present in Iraq,” he said. “They are the ones who should announce any findings,” he said.
He cautioned against allowing US-led forces to move suspected material found in Iraq to outside the country for testing. “When this happens, it means that the evidence is lost,” Jadd said. “They should leave the material in its place.”
A US military official said on Tuesday more testing and analysis was required before determining whether substances found at sites in central Iraq were banned chemical weapons agents.