Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Blog

Earlier this week, the Washington Post ran an article highlighting President George W. Bush’s “selective use of Iraq data” in his memoir to justify the invasion of Iraq. As the article notes, President Bush picked specific portions of the report issued by UN Inspector Hans Blix in January which criticized the cooperation levels of Saddam’s regime, while ignoring the portions that didn’t support his case. More importantly, Bush’s memoir completely ignores two subsequent reports by Hans Blix, issued in February and March, which “show Iraq cooperating with inspectors and the inspectors finding no significant evidence that Hussein was hiding such arms programs.” In February, Blix reported that he “conducted 400 inspections at more than 300 sites without advance notice and without Iraqi interference.”

While quoting Hans Blix directly expressing frustration in January about the Saddam regime’s attitude, the memoir leaves out what Blix said later:

“Iraq has on the whole cooperated rather well so far… The most important point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect and with one exception it has been prompt.”

Bush also cites Saddam’s “blocking of U-2 flights” when Baghdad refused to guarantee their safety, but also failed to mention that the policy changed shortly after Blix expressed his hope that it would be reconsidered.

The article concludes with a striking reflection from President Bush: "If Saddam doesn't actually have WMD, I asked myself, why on earth would he subject himself to a war he most certainly will lose?" One could equally pose the question, why would we rush into war despite (apparently because of) the fact that weapons inspectors seemed to be heading towards declaring Iraq free from WMD?

comments powered by Disqus