Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Yahoo! News - Generals Say They Believed Iraq Had WMD: "'It was my belief that this cause was just,' said Adm. Vernon Clark, chief of Naval Operations. 'That was my position then and that's what I believe today.' "
I actually find it reassuring that these military leaders are confirming that they too believed (falsely as it turned out) that Saddam had WMD before the war. This underscores that the failing was more likely with our intelligence than with our leadership.
Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon (news - web sites) briefing that if Saddam had chosen to cooperate with weapons inspectors and disclose what it had on weapons of mass destruction, war could have been averted. "He chose war. If he had chosen differently, if the Iraqi regime had taken the steps Libya is now taking, there would have been no war," Rumsfeld said.
Except that this part is patently false. The UN inspectors did go back into Iraq and it wasn't Saddam who ordered them out...it was us. Saddam did disclose what he had on WMD...he didn't have any WMD. Rumsfeld is saying that the only way Saddam could have avoided war would have been to admit to having weapons that it appears he didn't have. And if he had done so he'd have been admitting material breech...when he didn't subsequently present the non-existent weapons for destruction undoubtedly Rumsfeld would have sent our boys in there anyhow.
I don't see any way, short of suicide perhaps, that Saddam could have averted war. At least not by 2002. I suppose if he had chosen not to invade Kuwait back in 1991 he could have averted war.
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