Sunday, March 24, 2013

Hans Blix on the terrible mistake of the Iraq war.

I've talked a lot about the UN Weapons inspectors angle including a whole segment of my show here

Blix confirms many of my assertions including that he himself thought he would find WMD when he went back to Iraq in November of 2002 as most of the world thought that WMD existed in Iraq at that time. But as the inspections went on and sites were visited with no WMD found, the US and UK governments reacted strangely to that news.

Hans Blix: Iraq War was a terrible mistake and violation of U.N. charter
By Hans Blix, Special to CNN
March 19, 2013 -- Updated 0836 GMT (1636 HKT)

The Bush administration certainly wanted to go to war, and it advanced eradication of weapons of mass destruction as the main reason. As Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz has since explained, it was the only rationale that was acceptable to all parts of the U.S. administration.

The WMDs argument also carried weight with the public and with the U.S. Congress. Indeed, in the autumn of 2002 the threat seemed credible. While I never believed Saddam could have concealed a continued nuclear program, I too thought there could still be some biological and chemical weapons left from Iraq's war with Iran. If not, why had Iraq stopped U.N. inspections at many places around the country throughout the 1990s?

On February 11 -- less than five weeks before the invasion -- I told U.S. national security adviser Condoleezza Rice I wasn't terribly impressed by the intelligence we had received from the U.S., and that there had been no weapons of mass destruction at any of the sites we had been recommended by American forces. Her response was that it was Iraq, and not the intelligence, that was on trial.

And during a telephone chat with Tony Blair on February 20, I told the British prime minister that it would be paradoxical and absurd if a quarter of a million troops were to invade Iraq and find very little in the way of weapons. He responded by telling me intelligence was clear that Saddam had reconstituted his weapons of mass destruction program.