- France, China and Syria all have a common reason for keeping American and British troops out of Iraq: the three nations may not want the world to discover that their nationals have been illicitly supplying Saddam Hussein with materials used in building long-range surface-to-surface missiles.
"Safire" goes on to spin an odd tale in which Chinese solid rocket propellant gets trucked through Syria. "Safire" suggests that the French were dragged in to try to keep Saddam's fingerprints off the deal. Either that, or "Safire" needed an excuse to suggest perfidy on the part of the French.
Iraq's arms declaration listed, among the suppliers to its WMD programs, Hewlett-Packard, DuPont, Honeywell, Rockwell, Tectronics, Unisys, and Bechtel. So remind me again, what's our motive?