Heavy Lifting - thoughts and web finds by an economist
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Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I made the statement some time ago that it might be possible for WMD and all sorts of other things to be hidden in the deserts of Iraq and we might not be able to find them for some time. Where's the evidence? From the tombs of Egypt - tombs stay hidden for many hundreds or thousands of years before they are discovered.
Another example comes from this article:
Belgian archaeologists have discovered the intact tomb of an Egyptian courtier who lived about 4,000 years ago, Egypt's culture ministry said on Sunday.
Could WMD in Iraq be hidden as well as this?
Just a thought.
Conspiracy theories like this one (and the one referred to earlier involving Rosie O’Donnald and melting steal) are problematic. They leave too many good questions unanswered. For example, I was under the impression that Egyptian tombs took a long time to dig; time that Iraqis probably didn't have.
The idea that Iraq had WMDs and chose to hide them seems to defy the strategies derived from mutually assured destruction that characterized the Cold War. Let’s assume that Iraq had/has WMDs. What would have been Iraq’s motivation to hide the WMDs? Why didn’t Iraq use the threat of WMDs to deter the US from invading? If the US had good reason to believe that Iraq had WMDs, why did they decide to invade? Wouldn’t the threat of a WMD attack have been enough to discourage an invasion? Why didn’t Iraq use WMDs on US forces during the invasion? Why aren’t Iraqi insurgents using WMDs against US forces now?
If the WMDs were hidden underground, this would have required cooperation between lots of people. Large groups are generally bad at keeping big secrets. Why hasn't anyone come forward with a story?
In a world where some nations (i.e. North Korea) make such a big deal of showing off their WMDs in order to gain leverage against a US invasion, it seems highly unlikely that a nation who had WMDs and who was being explicitly threatened by the US would make such an effort to appear helpless. If Iraq would have had nuclear weapons, for example, their dominant strategy prior to the US invasion would have been to test a nuclear bomb in a remote part of the Iraqi desert and have the test be internationally publicized. Such an effort may have been enough to prevent a US invasion.
Anonymous has it all wrong. The Egyptian tombs were constructed very quickly by the aliens. Wait, maybe the same aliens were helping Saddam. We're doomed!
Is it a conspiracy theory to suggest that if someone wanted to hide something in the desert they could do so?
How is pointing out that Rosie O'Donnell denied that fire could melt steel contributing to a conspiracy theory?
The tounge-in-cheek point I made with the fire-melts-steel-bridge story was that the two steel mills I have visited and the numerous mills of which I have read suggests that fire is an instrumental part of producing steel in molten form.
As for the specific comments of Anonymous concerning mutually assured destruction, I would question whether the "rules" of the Cold War pertain today. In game theory, optimal strategies are highly sensitive to the rules of the game, the objective functions of the players involved. These determine the payoffs to different strategy combinations and, ultimately, determine the equlibrium strategies chosen by rational players.
Although players in a game are assumed to maximize their own payoffs given what other players are doing, the objective functions of Sadaam/Iraq and the United States are not necessarily the same as the USSR and the United States during the Cold War.
Inded, if there are enough significant differences between the objective functions of, say, North Korea and the Baathist party, then the dominant strategies in the "game" between the United States and North Korea might not be equilibrium strategies in the game between Sadaam and the United States.
As for keeping a secret involving a large number of people, I would suggest that the Soviets (as well as the ancient Egyptians) were very good at supressing information about which a "large" number of people knew. It would not seem a stretch that contemporaneous political systems could do the same.
I think the first post has a lot of valid points besides that statement about the cold war which were not addressed by you Craig.
Anyways, most people try to justify Iraq invasion by claiming WMDs existed. lol Either way US made a mistake. Iran had two big enemies.
US pretty much helped Iran become the strongest in middleeast; Perfect example of shooting yourself in the foot.
Try invading Iran searching for WMDs lol
I am not interested in debating whether WMD existed or whether the invasion of Iraq was justified on the merits of international intelligence, plenty of blogs do that already.
My point is that not finding WMD's sitting on the shelf in Iraq is not evidence that they don't/didn't exist.
Two main questions remain:
Why would Iraq choose not to publicize its WMD's in order to discourage a US invasion?
Why would the US invade Iraq if it had good reason to expect nuclear/chemical/biological retaliation?
[quote]My point is that not finding WMD's sitting on the shelf in Iraq is not evidence that they don't/didn't exist.[/quote]Post a Comment
Just as useful as observing that not finding emails from Karl Rove on Iraqi government computers is not evidence that they don't/didn't exist. That is, not very.
I didn't read the article but I suppose the tomb was lost instead of hidden. 4000 years of nature has a way of covering things ups.
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