Iraq will give the United Nations a several-thousand-page document on Saturday, in which the embattled Middle-Eastern nation is expected to deny having weapons of mass destruction. However, Washington has angrily refuted this.
Under a U.N. Security Council resolution passed last month, Iraq must make the declaration about its nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs by Sunday.
If Baghdad is found to be in "material breach" of the resolution, it could set the stage for a military attack on Iraq by the United States and its allies in what Washington has described as a "coalition of the almost-not-at-all-reluctant, at-least-not-if-they-know-what's-good-for-them."
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters in Washington: "Iraq has lied before and is lying now about whether they possess weapons of mass destruction.
"It's obvious that they have cars and trucks and ships, for example. I've seen them myself. And don't forget the airplanes," he added. "Planes and automobiles and boats kill thousands of people every year, not only in crashes but also with the pollution they cause. Remember the aftermath of 9/11?"
Fleischer went on to describe other weapons of mass destruction that he says are in Iraq's possession.
Iraq's chemical weapons, stated Fleischer, include—along with an array of pesticides and chemical "fertilizers"—many deadly substances such as alcohol and tobacco. Besides being highly flammable, these substances are addictive and can cause illness or death when ingested. They can also cause damage to innocent bystanders. When burned, tobacco emits a poisonous gas which can kill even those who are not deliberately trying to inhale it. People who have consumed alcohol suffer impairment of mental and motor functions, and are more likely to become violent or cause accidents.
Among Iraq's store of biological weapons are thousands of pounds of fast food such as hamburgers, french fries, and chicken tenders—some of which are uncooked or past their expiration date. Iraq is also known to possess chicken eggs. Even if these foods do not carry live parasites such as beef tapeworms, salmonella bacteria or trichina worms (which settle into the victim's muscles and devour them from the inside), eating them can cause heart disease—already a leading cause of death in America.
Another deadly disease reported to be in Iraq's arsenal is malnutrition, one of the weapons that Saddam Hussein has used to great effect on his own people. Malnutrition could be devastating if it spread to America or other Western nations that have had no opportunity to build up a resistance to it.
Iraq's harsh, forbidding landscape also contains the ingredients for numerous means of mass destruction. Sand—of which Iraq has plenty—can be used to smother people or flay them slowly and excruciatingly. Iraq also has miles of coastline in direct proximity to the ocean, which contains millions of gallons of water. Water makes an excellent weapon—not only can it drown people, but it can also be frozen to make kinetic missiles. Moreover, inside sources have revealed that Iraq knows how to make—and use—fire.
Still more sinister are reports that Saddam Hussein may have gained access to a number of Magic: The Gathering cards. "If Saddam managed to obtain the necessary mana," said Fleischer, "he could deploy, say, a Jokulhaups, which destroys all lands, creatures, and artifacts without hope of regeneration."
Perhaps the most dangerous weapon in Saddam Hussein's possession is oil. As everyone knows, oil is highly flammable, as well as deadly to plants and animals if spilled. If Saddam Hussein were to load up even a few of his planes with oil and crash them into one of America's malls or sports stadiums, thousands upon thousands of Americans would die.
"Saddam's oil poses the greatest threat of all to our national security," insisted Fleischer. "We must take it away from him immediately. Our lifestyles—I mean, our lives—may depend on it."