The Prime Minister of Portugal states that former President Clinton also believed that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso had this to say about Clinton’s statements to him:
“When Clinton was here recently he told me he was absolutely convinced, given his years in the White House and the access to privileged information which he had, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction until the end of the Saddam regime,” he said in an interview with Portuguese cable news channel SIC Noticias.
This matches with Clinton’s statements about Iraq before the war and during his own administration. If Iraqi WMDs were a "lie" then Clinton was in on and propagated that lie. (In fact, so was the UN, UNSCOM, the Germans, the French, the Iranians, etc. For a lie, this would have had to be a damn big whopper.) It’s a lot easier to believe that there was good intelligence that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction than to believe that it was all some massive worldwide conspiracy.
The question still remains: what happened to them? Did Hussein dump his stockpiles of weapons after the war? It’s possible, although then all he would have had to do is prove it, which would have been trivial. More likely than not he had a low-level WMD program that was designed to be easily concealed. Hussein had months before the war to move or destroy weapons and productions facilities, and it’s highly doubtful he just twiddled his thumbs the whole time. With 20/20 hindsight, it’s not at all surprising we hadn’t found anything given the amount of time we gave Hussein to hide it all.
If Iraq had no WMDs, then why issue chemical weapons equipment and training to Iraqi troops? Why import antidote for nerve agents from Syria shortly before the war? Why all the deception in the first place? If Hussein had no WMDs, he could have easily prevented the war in the first place.
What is beyond question is that Hussein was a brutal and vicious tyrant responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. That was sufficient causus belli to cause Clinton to send troops to Kosovo and engage in a non-UN approved war against Serbia.
Even with the the deaths of US and coalition troops and the monetary cost of rebuilding Iraq, I can’t imagine an argument that says it was and is not worth it. While each death is a tragedy, far more have died for far less. A democratic and free Iraq is a worthy goal, and those countries that have pledged their support are fufulling the critical duty of all democratic states to defend the innate values of human freedom. The people of Iraq should never have been allowed to suffer a dozen more years of tyranny under the manifestly evil Hussein regime. We owe them liberation, and all the sacrifices we have made to the end pale in comparison to the horrors they endured because of our indecision.