Now, all those assumptions turned out to be wrong. Iraq did not make an honest
declaration. In fact, today, eight years after, they have not made what most
people judge to be a full and complete declaration of their prohibited
materials. Second, it turned out to be far more extensive. |
In the nuclear area, for example, it turned out they had spent over $10
billion in the 1980s to develop a program that explored practically every known
way to enrich uranium, and to craft a nuclear weapon. This was not a small
program. It was one that was so extensive, that as an inspector, when you
faced it, your mind boggled. The largest team I ever took into Iraq was a team
of 44 individuals, and we were expected to root out by ourselves this massive
program? That was a challenge.
And then, of course, Saddam survived, and it became quite clear early on into
the inspections, that this individual had no intent of giving up, not only his
nuclear program, but his biological, chemical and missile program. So you were
dealing with an actively hostile regime that was determined to frustrate the
One of the very first incidents was what happened in June 1991.
Well... the first week of that inspection, we played by the rules that the
I.A.E.A. had before the war. We would tell the Iraqis that the next day, "we
would like to inspect this area." Of course, the next day they wouldn't allow
us in, and ultimately would lose the material. Finally, after a week, I
decided that we're going to use the full powers we had under the UN Resolution
687 and carry out a no notice inspection. Because otherwise we weren't going
to find anything. So we suddenly appeared at the gate of a military facility
and demanded access.
The poor commander of the base that day said, "I have no orders to let you in."
But he made what turned out to be a genuinely fatal mistake for him. He said,
"You can put up as many members of your team as you want to on this water
tower, which is right inside the gate." So I had four of my daring-do members
climb this 50 meter water tower, and literally--because we video-taped this--
if you look at the timeline of the video, it's about 90 seconds into it and it
looks like dinosaurs rolling around the back of the base, there's so much dust
being stirred up. What had happened is they were--the calutrons were--stored
on these very large tank transporters, which are about 90 feet long, actually,
some of the bigger ones. And they were charging out the back of the base.
Now, this was a problem for us, because the photo interpreters had told us,
"Don't worry about covering the whole perimeter of this huge base, because
there is no rear entrance. Well, there was a rear entrance. It was a very
small one, but the Iraqis decided to use it, and that's what kicked up the
dirt. So I had the team split and go around the base to try to get parallel to
the calutrons being moved, and stop them or photograph them. In the process,
the Iraqis decided to fire shots over their head, but we did get the
photographs. And the photographs are damning as to what the Iraqis were
These calutrons are giant magnets used to enrich uranium?
That's right. They vary in size. But some are over 50 feet in diameter, soft
iron magnets. Actually, most of them had been produced in the West, produced
at a firm in Austria ... The Iraqi program was based on a lot of work done in
And one of your inspectors managed to pursue them and get these
Yes. The humorous story about that is, we threw together these inspection
teams. There was no preparation during the war for them. So it was come as
you go with whatever equipment you had. Rich had managed to bring his family's
camera, the only camera he had. And his wife had told him before the mission,
"One thing: don't lose this camera. This is our brand new camera." So the
Iraqis, after firing shots over their heads, stopped finally, ran the team off
the road, and demanded the cameras and the film. Well, Rich, at that point,
had secreted the film in a place that the Iraqis were unlikely to easily find,
but he didn't want to give up the camera, so he managed to convince the Iraqis,
"It's not a camera. It's binoculars." I later told him, "Give up the camera.
We'll chip in together. It's the film that's ...(inaudible), not the camera."
But he remembered his wife's charge to him.
Was that incident a kind of turning point?
I think the scope of the program, and active concealment, became clear in that
June mission. And that was a turning point... At the end of the first
inspection, the senior officials of the I.A.E.A., including the Director
General, had wanted to declare that Iraq was in total compliance, because we
had in the first mission found everything that they had said they had. And it
was only because a few of us were determined to look at the evidence seriously
and really see if in fact we had found everything--that we had a second
mission. Well, this was proof that no one could deny. It was physical
evidence of a very, very large uranium enrichment program. And it was also the
evidence of concealment, that from the very beginning, the Iraqis had not been
living up to their obligations. And you couldn't deny that.
In September, '91, you get involved in an even larger incident--in that the
world ends up knowing about it--involving the parking lot situation where
you're stuck for four days.
Well, starting in July we had evidence from a defector that they were
consolidating documents [describing their nuclear program], and some evidence
as to where the site was. In fact, I led another mission in July between the
June and September one, and the building was actually very close to the hotel we
used. And although I was not ready to inspect it at that time, I jogged every
morning in Iraq, and the Iraqi security officials thought this was a silly
American habit. And so their surveillance was a little loose, particularly if
you would go down one-way streets the wrong way, and if you're a jogger you can
do that routinely. And so I used to jog around this building to see if I could
identify the surveillance on the building and whether in fact it was likely.
By late August, early September, we were convinced that, in fact, we knew where
the documents were, and we decided to conduct this inspection mission. This
was a mission going after the very heart of the program, and in fact we were
lucky. We did know where the documents were, and we were successful in finding
But it turned into a protracted situation. What happened?
We got the documents, and the Iraqis were astounded. In fact, one of the
documents we got is still an amazing one--an order to the Iraqis two weeks
before we arrived, saying that I would be leading the team. They thought we
would be going after the documents and they were ordering the Chief of
Security to the building to empty the building of all sensitive documents. He
wrote back on the bottom of the memo, "I can't do it in this time frame." And,
thank God, he wasn't successful in that time frame. We suddenly were in the
building, and the Iraqis realized we had the damning evidence, the full extent
of their program. And this was laid out exactly in black and white that they
were proceeding to produce a nuclear weapon. Not just enriching uranium, as
they claimed: "Well maybe we did that. But we didn't have any intent to
produce a weapon." This described their progress in great detail towards
producing successfully designed nuclear weapons.
And so they kicked us out of the building, literally, by force, and said, "You
can leave the parking lot, but you're not taking these documents." We said,
"If the documents don't go we're not leaving the parking lot." And so, that
was the source of that standoff. The determination of our team of
international inspectors that their mission was sufficiently important that
they were willing to be hostages, or as the Iraqis preferred to refer to us,
"guests of the state," in a downtown Baghdad parking lot.
So you're in this standoff. What do you do?
If you're in a situation like that, you survive by two things. A), you've got
to go through the normal bureaucracy of filling out reports anyway, so you keep
the team busy that way. And you think of how you make the Iraqis more
uncomfortable than they're making you. That is, you don't let the pressure
focus on you. I mean, it was dangerous, from our point of view, for us, but
you forget, it was also dangerous for the Iraqis. Here they had a group of 43
inspectors stuck in a parking lot, not letting them go. They didn't know how
the U.S. and the Coalition would respond. And we kept trying to emphasize to
them that they didn't know how, and that it could be dangerous for them. We
had the advantage--it was the first time that satellite communications made a
difference to an international inspection.
I had the rule, on every inspection I led, that as soon as we got to wherever
we were inspecting, we set up a satellite telephone. Now, in the first
mission, it was two suitcases--two huge suitcases. By the time of the
September mission it was the size of a modest sized briefcase. That's how much
the technology had progressed. So in fact, we were in communication with the
rest of the world. People could and did call in from wherever to ask to
interview. So we did that as a means of keeping the world informed of what the
Iraqis were doing. The Iraqis had no way of understanding the power of the
world's media and the larger public as they focused on that issue. And by the
time they figured out that this probably wasn't in their interest-- We now
know they considered taking out our satellite communication capability, but
they were worried. How would the world respond if suddenly we went off the
And we did that. We played on that as a means of keeping pressure on them.
Now, let me say, we got out of that parking lot not because of communications;
we got out of that parking lot because the Security Council was united behind
the inspection purpose. And that's the real difference of what changed over
the eight years. When I came out of that parking lot raid, I went back to a
private member meeting of the Security Council. The first two states to speak
in support of what we had done after I finished a briefing, were Cuba and
Yemen, neither states generally friendly to the United States nor personally
friendly to me at any time in my career.
They were united. This was not something led by the United States or the
British. There was a strong Security Council purpose there. And my great
regret is, in fact, that purpose is gone now. And I think that's what's
happened to UNSCOM. The Coalition has fundamentally fissured.
Back then, the world was worried about Iraqi nuclear weapons-- There was a
period of optimism that if in the post-cold war world, that the Council could
act together, it could deal with the threats of the peace. I guess in
retrospect, maybe it was naive optimism that the UN Security Council could do
the role that was intended for it in 1945. In '91, '92, that still prevailed.
But certainly by '94, '95 and now in '99, that optimism is gone. It's gone as
a result not only of Iraq, but because of Somalia, as a result of Rwanda, as a
result of Bosnia and Kosovo now. And fundamentally, as a result of Russia
And now instead of a united Security Council, you have Russia, France,
other countries, pursuing their own interest.
Absolutely. You know, in '91, Russia, while not irrelevant, was essentially
marginalized. It had to go along because otherwise, it simply wouldn't be a
part of the Coalition. China was by and large, in '91, marginalized. The
European allies--our sometimes European allies, like the French--were caught
up and going along now. All of that has disappeared and the Council has just
fallen apart. It's not splintered into two parts. It's splintered into a
multitude of parts.
One last thing on the parking lot incident-- you're surrounded by the
Iraqis, and yet you're on a satellite phone to CNN.
That's correct. You know, that's the power of communication. In fact, it's
the first time I personally realized, the Earth really is round, because you
would sit there, and not only was it CNN. You'd do the Japanese morning
television news, the Australian-- I had a very accurate understanding of where
the sun was at any one time, because of the ...(inaudible) of morning and noon
and evening newscasts.
"Live from the Baghdad parking lot, David Kay."
Well, my favorite interview was actually a Chicago radio station called in and
asked what we really wanted. I said, "We'd really like some pizza." Because
we were existing off of MRE's and there was a promise, "Well, don't worry.
When you get out of the parking lot we'll see that you get Chicago pizzas."
We're still waiting for those pizzas, as the matter of fact (laughs).
But I should emphasize, this was done by Rolf Ekeus, who asked the team if
they would be willing to conduct these interviews. The team decided, yes, we
would. That was, we thought, our one lifeline. We weren't going to be rescued
by the intervention of military forces. We were in downtown Baghdad surrounded
by high buildings. It would have been a disaster to try to rescue us. Keep
the pressure on the Iraqis. Make them--become unwelcome guests. You know,
ultimately, if the guest is unwelcome, you finally kick them out of the house,
and we were more than happy to be kicked out, as long as we had our
And the Iraqis had to be thinking: "If we really hold these people
indefinitely, or if we harm these people, there could be a military
Absolutely. I think the Iraqis were genuinely worried about military action
being taken place. And that's why they didn't take the satellite telephone
The controversy that surfaced recently regarding UNSCOM is that it was
infiltrated, misused by western intelligence agencies. But from the beginning,
as you were saying, there were intelligence people who had to be drawn into
UNSCOM for it to do its job. How would you characterize this sort of uneasy
Well, I think it was a Faustian bargain. The intelligence communities of the
world had the only expertise that you could use if you were unmasking a
clandestine program. It's often forgotten--it became necessary because the
Iraqis did not live up to their obligations under the UN Resolution to declare
everything they had and let the inspectors go in and identify, tag it, and
Once you were dealing in a clandestine, competitive environment, you needed
access to satellite photography, access to signals intercept, access to
measurements of leakage and contamination from the programs, so you could
identify where it is. Access to defectors, who, after all, were not defecting
to the U.N. They were defecting to national governments to use them.
So, from the very beginning, you needed that expertise, but I can say for
myself personally--and I'm really only comfortable talking about myself--
although a number of us discussed this in the early days--I realize it was
always a bargain with the Devil--spies spying. The longer it continued, the
more the intelligence agencies would, often for very legitimate reasons, decide
that they had to use the access they got through cooperation with UNSCOM to
carry out their missions.
And for me, the real change occurred in '94. By '94 I was no longer an
inspector, but I was testifying and writing on Iraq. And if you go back to
those writings, it was in '94 that I started writing, "There is no ultimate
success that involves UNSCOM. It's got to be a change of regime. It's got to
be a change of Saddam."
I really think that was the period in which, in many governments, the dawning
realization, which now the president speaks out, the necessity of getting rid
of Saddam. Once that dawned on national policymakers, that maybe the only way
out of this dilemma of Iraq with weapons of mass destruction, is the
replacement of Saddam.
That meant that, for the United States, for example, American men and women
were likely to be asked to fight and die again in Iraq. Well, if you're asking
American men and women to fight and die, it's incumbent that they have the best
available of intelligence. So at that point, the intelligence agencies became
under increasing pressure to collect all the possible information.
Now, what did they do? They immediately realized that the only access they had
to Iraq in those days was through UN inspection teams. And my view is, that's
the point where the relationship started to tilt. There's an old Russian term
that goes back to the Russian Revolution...it means, "Who eats whom?" And that
was always the relationship. I'm convinced that in the period of 1991, '92,
'93 the intelligence community contributed a lot more to UNSCOM's success than
they ever got out of it. I think by 1994 and '95, the balance inevitably
started swaying as the realization was, "The only way out is Saddam goes."
It's a Faustian bargain.
But when it works; when there was cooperation, it seems like it was quite a
It made the inspections certainly more effective... I don't think I would have
ever found anything without information being provided from satellite
photography and by other means as to how the Iraqis were playing the shell game
of moving material around. It was not ever going to be by itself possible to
make UNSCOM so effective that it got rid of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
It was clear by 1994 that Saddam was willing to spend almost any amount of
money. You have to realize, by 1997, he had foregone over $100 billion of
revenue just from deferred oil exports. So, sure, he was willing to accept
huge costs. And so that meant UNSCOM, by itself... it would be successful in
keeping the program maybe under control. But not eliminating it.
In your period, how effective were you? What were you able to accomplish,
regarding the nuclear program?
I think we were able to accomplish something that, even in retrospect, I'm
still amazed at. We were able to uncover a clandestine weapons program. Up
until that time, realize that the record of arms control is really confirming
that people--who have no intention of cheating--are not cheating. The Belgians
aren't developing their clandestine nuclear weapons program--oh, big surprise!
Iraq was the case of actually being able to discover a program that the
opposition didn't want you to.
Secondly, we were able, for the first time, to use new tools of arms control.
And not just intelligence. Zero notice inspections did not involve
intelligence. It involved a change of policy and will of the international
community to allow inspectors to inspect without telling you in advance where
you were going. The standard I.A.E.A. inspection before the war, and one that
is still used today in most states: you're coming, inspectors are coming, six
months in advance. They have to apply for visas. They have to get airplane
flights. So, if you want to hide something, you have more than ample
opportunity. We pioneered new tools and new methods of doing it. And I think
that's terribly important over the long run.
But let me say, we did not fully understand the Iraqi program. The biological
program was far too difficult for inspectors to find and really was not
uncovered until the two son-in-laws defected.
What is the status now? What would Iraq be able to reconstitute or develop?
Iraq knows the secrets of how to make nuclear weapons. What they lack today is
not scientific talent. They don't lack the secrets and technology. They've
solved all those problems. What they lack is time and access to nuclear
materials. If the Iraqis were able to import, for example, from a Soviet
program--that has now fallen apart--nuclear material, plutonium or
high-enriched uranium, it would take them only a matter of months to fabricate
a crude weapon. Now, a crude weapon, if it goes out over you, it is effective
You will never be able to forget that Iraq knows the secrets of nuclear
weapons. We do not know how to erase knowledge from the hands of scientists
once they've solved a problem. All they lack is opportunity and will. That's
why I'm personally convinced that as long as Saddam is in power, you've got a
problem there. Because in fact you know all the secrets. It's just
opportunity and access.
Scott Ritter. What were your initial impressions of his work?
Well, it must have been late '91 or early '92. I knew people and know people
who worked for him, and I followed Scott from the very beginning. I was
impressed by Scott as an aggressive inspector who was-- Scott had all the
qualities you really wanted in someone who led an inspection mission. That is,
the dedication, understanding of the objectives, tactically smart, knowing how
to achieve something in ways that were surprising. Ultimately, remember, as an
inspector you had to surprise the Iraqis. If they knew where you were going,
how you were going and how you were going to do it, frustrating you was
Scott also had that quality of being able to motivate those who served with
him. Motivating, actually, in Scott's case, really inspire deep affection and
loyalty. Holding a team together in Baghdad is not easy. Your rooms are
audio-monitored. A number of them are video-monitored. You never have the
opportunities to speak freely. I mean one of the reasons I jogged and walked a
lot in Iraq is only by keeping moving you made the audio surveillance very
difficult for the Iraqis. So you're always under pressure.
Scott was, and is, a superb team leader. He understands how to do it. So my
impressions of that period were, you know, he really deserves a lot of credit.
I think Scott also understood the role of deception activities in a clandestine
program, and understood how to target those deception activities and make them
a weakness, not a strength, of the program.
He's charged that essentially the CIA infiltrated UNSCOM and undermined
UNSCOM itself. What do you think about those charges, and why do you think
he's making them?
I don't agree with Scott's charges of that type. I think they're way over the
top. I don't think he understands, and really ever understood, the subtlety of
the play of cooperating with the intelligence agencies. And it was always a
Faustian bargain, from the very beginning. Spies spy. And that's not a great
surprise in today's world. And spies don't always tell you the full truth.
They've got other missions, appropriately, from their point of view, to do.
Now, motivations for making those charges: I can't speculate on that. I will
say that Scott's decision to leave and to resign was the result of a failure of
leadership. And not of Scott's leadership. It was the failure of American
This Administration tried to run a dual track policy: on one track saying
publicly that they were pressing the Iraqis as hard as they could; they were
fully supporting UNSCOM and the inspection missions; they wanted aggressive
inspections. While privately arguing that UNSCOM should be careful in these
days and not provoke a crisis, because UNSCOM, if UNSCOM became the focus of a
crisis, the Security Council would fracture.
Quite frankly, I think the Administration was correct. You had to wait for
that point where the Iraqis made a mistake, so you could keep the pressure on
the Iraqis, and not let the Iraqis successfully play their propaganda game of
saying it was a case of rogue inspectors. But don't do that in dual track.
The history of dual tracking foreign policy in a democracy is a history
unblemished by success. Most Americans have forgotten that Tony Lake, who was
President Clinton's first national security advisor, resigned from the
administration of Richard Nixon--working on a National Security staff for Henry
Kissinger--because the Nixon Administration, with Kissinger at the forefront,
had a dual track policy: denied that we were intervening in Cambodia while we
were massively bombing the Cambodians. When that became public, Tony felt he'd
been lied to, this was duplicitous and not worthy of a democracy, resigned and
spoke out about it. And that is, broadly, the history.
In Scott's case, I think as long as he was speaking about the dual track
policy, he was on sound ground. But a lot of charges, I think, are wild, and
often closer to fiction than fact.
So, he was being told publicly: "Go hard, charge, uncover," and privately,
as you say, "No, we don't really want this."
Yes, that's right. It's the failure of the [Clinton] administration
leadership, of asking someone to do something--while publicly saying you're
really supporting them, and doing something else. And what is often
forgotten--it's particularly true on a person like Scott--if you're a good
leader of teams, you feel responsible for their safety and for their
Every time you take a team into Baghdad, and I can tell you personally, I never
took a team into Baghdad that I didn't worry about their personal safety--I
had people call me up in the middle of the night and say, "I know where your
wife your wife is; I know where your daughter is going to school." That
happened to other members of the team. And Scott, because he is such a good
leader, felt that more deeply than, probably, I did. And so the dual track
policy grated on him more than it might have on others. I think, again, that's
to Scott's credit.
When someone like Ambassador Ekeus (former head of UNSCOM) says that he
feels Ritter was a terrific inspector, but that he now feels saddened or
betrayed by Ritter's saying, what are your thoughts?
I would join Ambassador Ekeus in that. I'm saddened that Scott, as he has
spoken out, has not kept the focus on Iraq. I mean, this whole thing started
because Iraq didn't live up to its obligations under the Security Council
resolution. The whole involvement of intelligence agencies was caused by Iraq.
Scott has shifted the focus back to what he sees as the impact of U.S. policy
and the U.S. intelligence community undermining UNSCOM. UNSCOM was undermined
by the Iraqis. And I think Ambassador Ekeus is saying, and I certainly feel
I'm speaking more competently on that, that Scott has missed the whole purpose
by talking about this. A), I don't think it occurred the way he described it.
And B), I don't think that is the problem. The problem is Iraqi behavior. And
so I'm saddened by that.
You know, in a way--and I don't think Scott meant this--but I think in a way
Scott has led to what I think is the effective end of UNSCOM. And people are
going to view UNSCOM as the problem. We already have the Secretary General of
the United Nations referring to UNSCOM inspectors as "a group of wild cowboys."
Now they were never a group of wild cowboys off the reservation. In fact, the
only reason we resorted to behavior and to non-standard diplomatic behavior was
because the Iraqis didn't comply with their obligations.
Do you think that UNSCOM at this point is dead?
I'm afraid that UNSCOM as we knew it, and certainly as we created it in 1991,
is finished. And by that I mean, UNSCOM being an inspection mission that uses
a broad range of tools to pursue the elimination of Iraq's program of weapons
of mass destruction.
I think we will a) no longer see it doing anything other than, at most, formal
sorts of I.A.E.A. inspections, and no longer focused on the past, unearthing
Iraq's program. In fact, if you listen to what the UN Secretary General [Kofi
Anan] has said, he's said, "Let the past be past." That means let Iraq's
weapons of mass destruction program that survived the war and have survived
eight years of inspection exist. We'll only worry about the future.
As a neighbor of Iraq or as a citizen of the U.S. whose sons and daughters are
ultimately going to have to be the guarantor of peace in the Middle East, that
worries me tremendously. I have no confidence in that regime.
Can you say who or what killed UNSCOM?
I think quite clearly, you can. Iraq killed UNSCOM. UNSCOM had to do what it
did in the ways that it did it, and ultimately led to the current crisis,
because Iraq didn't comply. So fundamentally, the responsibility is Iraq.
When it ultimately came down to it, the second responsibility is the
splintering of the Security Council coalition. Once the Council coalition
started to fray in 1994, everything that UNSCOM had done became extremely
And Ambassador Ekeus has my ultimate respect as a diplomat because he held
together UNSCOM on a steady course in the face of a coalition that had fallen
apart. Richard Butler [his successor] bore, unfortunately, the responsibility
of coming in and trying to do that as the coalition became even more
So, first it's Iraq. Secondly, it's the failure of the coalition. And
ultimately, it was doomed at that point. I never believed from the beginning
we would keep an UNSCOM type of aggressive inspection together for eight years,
nor did I believe that we would keep sanctions on of the type that we have in
Iraq, for eight years.
Where do we go from here, assuming that this is now not going to continue the
way it has for eight years? What should we do now?
I think ultimately, the only way out of this is the replacement of Saddam.
Now, my personal guess is that's more likely to occur as a result of internal
developments in Iraq. That is, Saddam is not going to freely step aside and
decide to retire to the South of France and enjoy the Riviera. Saddam is only
going to be removed by lead poisoning, that is, by some Iraqi, probably
military officer, who decides that Saddam is a greater threat to his personal
safety and his family or tribe's safety than are the Americans, and tries to
remove him. There have been a number who have tried, none successfully. I don't
think there's any way out of that.
Now, you can seek partial solutions: try to keep the sanctions on as long as
possible, some type of I.A.E.A. inspection that makes it more difficult and
more expensive to resume a massive weapons program. I have no confidence that
those things will ultimately work. Nor do I believe that Saddam Hussein is
likely to transform himself into a Jeffersonian democrat. Saddam Hussein is
today who he has always been, a completely paranoid character without any sense
of responsibility or bonding to norms. It's a regime that in its brutality is
And the people who ultimately suffer are not Americans. It's ultimately the
people of Iraq who are paying the price for Saddam Hussein. And we forget
So, contain him? Some kind of inspections? And hope that eventually someone
inside Iraq removes him?
No, I would say you've got to be more active, and hope. I'm always in favor of
hope and prayer, but I think if you restrict yourself to that-- I think, in
fact, we have got to actively try to aid those who are inside Iraq and outside
Iraq who may have motivations for replacing him. I think we also ought to
shape the political environment. Iraq today has become a terribly sad place.
Yet, we forget what Iraq was just a short ten years ago. It had the largest
middle class in the Middle East. It had a superb education system, high
system, public health system-- It lived under a tyrannical and horrible
regime, but in fact it was a secular society, a garden spot in the Middle East
where they are few garden spots. It has two river valleys that have been
irrigated successfully for thousands of years. The agricultural production in
Iraq was always fantastic.
And yet, today--and I fault American policy for this as much as anything
else--we have not held out an image of what is the future after Saddam? If I
were an Iraqi, would I be willing to run the risk to my own survival and that
of my family, by trying to get rid of Saddam, if I didn't know what tomorrow is
likely to be? I think we should have crafted a package that said, look, with
Saddam's replacement, Iraq will be reintegrated into the world. The debts and
all will be forgiven. We view you as a major rock of stability in the Middle
We haven't crafted that political strategy. I think it is wrong to think that
$97,000,000 fed into clandestine opposition groups or open opposition groups,
without a political strategy-- So I would not just hope. And I don't, quite
frankly--let me say--I don't believe containment, over the long run, is an
appropriate strategy. Containment is condemning of Iraq to a regime that is
truly horrendous, as well as condemning the region to things-- I don't think,
for example, the maintenance bombing that the Administration is carrying on
almost daily in Iraq, is something that we as a country should be happy with.
A), I don't think it will win the political battle. I think it is going to
very quickly become a larger political issue with our allies. We're already
seeing the Turks object to it. And there's less enthusiasm in the Gulf than
there used to be for this policy. Containment of that sort worked with regard
to the Soviets, but it existed under far different conditions there. So, I
think, in fact, the pressure--I would turn it on its head and say, a), we work
actively for replacement of Saddam. In the meantime, we certainly do try to
contain him. And we certainly might resort to some level of inspections,
although I'm not very confident they're good. But the first objective has got
to be replacement.
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