Tuesday, June 24, 2003

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Blix's revenge

Hans Blix is currently on a gloating tour before he retires as head of UNMOVIC -- and he's certainly got a right to, at this point. His latest stop was the Council on Foreign Relations:

Blix, whose deliberate investigation of Iraq's suspected cache of unconventional weapons frustrated some U.S. officials, threw a jab at the Bush administration, which before the war issued several statements asserting that Iraq possessed such weapons.

"It is somewhat puzzling that you could have 100 percent certainty about the weapons of mass destruction's existence and zero certainty about where they are," Blix said. "We felt that the intelligence did not turn out to be very impressive," he said. "Shaky was the word I used."

At another point, Blix, referring to the U.N. inspections that started in November and ended in March, said that "three-and-a-half months for new inspections was a rather short time before calling it a day."

"And especially when we now see that the United States government is saying that you have to have a bit of patience" as American forces search for Iraqi weapons, he added. "These things take time."

Before the critics start whopping it up too much, however, consider this:

Blix added that not only the United States and Britain believed before the war that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, but so did many other countries, including Sweden and Germany.

As to why Saddam failed to prove he had destroyed all such weapons--if in fact that was the case--and thereby perhaps avoid an invasion, Blix said that was really "a big question."

posted by Dan on 06.24.03 at 04:01 PM