First thing I saw on the Corner this morning: Hans Blix accuses US of planning the war. You know, it isn't often you find such big nuggets of pure leftist stupidity littering the landscape like they have since the war started, but this is a particularly big one.
The invasion of Iraq was planned a long time in advance, and the United States and Britain are not primarily concerned with finding any banned weapons of mass destruction, the chief UN weapons inspector, Hans Blix, said in an interview on Wednesday.I believe that probably falls under the heading of "no shit". The primary job of the US is to topple the regime; it was your fucking job to find the weapons, and you failed. Twice.
"There is evidence that this war was planned well in advance. Sometimes this raises doubts about their attitude to the (weapons) inspections," Blix told Spanish daily El Pais.How preciously phrased. There was also some evidence that someone inside UNMOVIC was helping the Iraqis figure out where you were going to be looking for WMDs as well, Hans. And sometimes, I confess, that raised doubts about your attitude to the inspections as well.
"I now believe that finding weapons of mass destruction has been relegated, I would say, to fourth place, which is why the United States and Britain are now waging war on Iraq.With cheese! But you've confused cause and effect; that's not why the US is waging war with Iraq, the war is why the Easter egg hunt has been relegated to fourth or fifth place on the list of priorities.
Today the main aim is to change the dictatorial regime of Saddam Hussein," he said, according to the Spanish text of the interview.
Blix said US President George W Bush had told him in October 2002 that he backed the UN's work to verify US and British claims that Baghdad was developing biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.And I'm sure at the time he did. And then you guys screwed around and hemmed and hawed and made it perfectly obvious that your main objective was merely to draw out the process long enough to hamper any pre-emptive action on the part of the US--not to actually find any WMDs.
But he said he knew at the time "there were people within the Bush administration who were sceptical and who were working on engineering regime change". By the start of March the hawks in both Washington and London were getting impatient, he added.Wrong. Speaking solely for my American self, I certainly believe there at least were some in country until you dicked around long enough for most of them to be moved out for safekeeping elsewhere.
Blix said that he thought the US might initially have believed Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction - although its "fabrication" of evidence raised doubts about even that - but that Washington was now less convinced by its own claims.
"I think the Americans started the war thinking there were some. I think they now believe less in that possibility.
But I don't know - you ask yourself a lot of questions when you see the things they did to try and demonstrate that the Iraqis had nuclear weapons, like the fake contract with Niger," he explained.That's quite an accusation, particularly coming from a guy who as recently as February indicated that the Iraqi government was not cooperating with his own inspections.
That was a reference to US allegations - later denied - that Iraq had sought to purchase uranium from the west African state of Niger.Yeah, I'll bet you are.
"I'm very curious to see if they do find any (weapons)," he said.
Blix said the war, which on Wednesday entered its 21st day, was "a very high price to pay in terms of human lives and the destruction of a country" when the threat of weapons proliferation could have been contained by UN inspections.But it couldn't have been. It wasn't. Your inspections were a crude farce straight out of the commedia dell'arte.
By attacking Iraq, Washington had sent the wrong message - that if a country did not possess biological, chemical or nuclear weapons, it risked being attacked.I'm pretty sure the message sent--and received--was that the US is not going to dick around endlessly like the UN is inclined to do.
"The United States maintains that the war on Iraq is designed to send a signal to other countries to keep away from weapons of mass destruction.No, it's more like saying 'if you let in the inspectors and then screw with the inspections process, you get attacked.'
But people are getting a different message.
Take the announcement North Korea has just made. It's tantamount to saying 'if you let in the inspectors, like Iraq did, you get attacked'.
North Korea accused the United States on Sunday of using a UN Security Council discussion of its nuclear programme as a "prelude to war" and warned that it would fully mobilise and strengthen its forces.North Korea is starving. It would be foolish to underestimate an enemy, but I have difficulty taking their military threats at face value when they can't even feed the army.
"It's an important problem," Blix continued.Again, this assumes that all countries are run by reasonable men, which is manifestly a false premise.
"If a country perceives that its security is guaranteed, it won't need to consider weapons of mass destruction. This security guarantee is the first line of defence against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."
The 74-year-old Swede announced in March that he would step down from his post when his contract runs out in June.Big of him.
Blix's reputation for independence and resisting political pressure was sorely tested as the Iraq crisis unfolded and US officials became exasperated with his measured reports on Iraqi cooperation with his inspection teams.And his credibility was shredded in the process, imo.