Blix on book promotion tour slams Bush, Blair on Iraq; says 9/11 prompted war
US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have lost credibility, the world isn't safer now that ousted leader Saddam Hussein is out of power and it was clear 10 months ago that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, according to Hans Blix.
Blix, the former United Nations weapons inspector, returned to New York on the one-year anniversary of the Iraq war.
In the course of an address Monday at New York University, Blix said Washington should have known months ago that there were no weapons to be found.
"By May I knew there was nothing because the Americans had interrogated so many Iraqis by then and even offered money and still they found nothing."
On a speaking tour for his new book "Disarming Iraq," Blix offered some tough assessments of American accomplishments in Baghdad and suggested that the US was motivated to go to war because of the September 11 attacks on US cities.
"It was a reaction to 9/11 that we have to strike some theoretical, hypothetical links between Saddam Hussein and the terrorists. That was wrong. There wasn't anything," he said in an interview with NBC's "Today" show.
Blix also disagreed that the war had made the world a safer place. "Sorry to say it doesn't look that way. If the message was to terrorists that we are willing to take you on, then that has not succeeded. In Iraq, it has bred a lot of terrorism and a lot of hatred to the Western world," he told his NYU audience.
"Disarmament by war and democracy by occupation are difficult prospects."
Blix said he had been convinced for years that the Iraqis were hiding WMD but started having doubts when intelligence provided by the United States and other countries wasn't producing results.
He blamed an over-reliance on defectors and the White House's refusal to consider the possibility that the intelligence was wrong. (Albawaba.com)
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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