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Old 03-30-2004, 08:09 PM   #1
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Ex-Iraq WMD Hunter Fears U.S. Credibility Erosion

Ex-Iraq WMD Hunter Fears U.S. Credibility Erosion
Mon Mar 22,10:47 PM ET
By Missy Ryan

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - The former chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq (news - web sites) warned on Monday that the United States is in "grave danger" of destroying its credibility at home and abroad if it does not own up to its mistakes in Iraq.
"The cost of our mistakes ... with regard to the explanation of why we went to war in Iraq are far greater than Iraq itself," David Kay said in a speech at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
"We are in grave danger of having destroyed our credibility internationally and domestically with regard to warning about future events," he said. "The answer is to admit you were wrong, and what I find most disturbing around Washington ... is the belief ... you can never admit you're wrong."

The comments by Kay came as the White House sought to fend off accusations from its former anti-terrorism czar, Richard Clarke, who said President Bush (news - web sites) ignored the al Qaeda threat before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and focused on Iraq rather than the Islamic militant group afterward.
The White House last year cited Iraq's weapons of mass destruction as the main reason for going to war.
Kay resigned his post in January, saying he believed no such arms existed and that the failure to find any such weapons raised serious questions about the quality of prewar intelligence.

Kay, who was part of United Nations (news - web sites) weapons probes in Iraq in the early 1990s, said U.S. intelligence there was poor in the decade before the war, relying entirely on international inspectors themselves, Iraqi defectors or intelligence from allies like France and Britain.

He cautioned the intelligence community against jumping to premature conclusions, as it did in Iraq. "One of the most dangerous things abroad in the world of intelligence today actually came out of 9/11 ... the insistence of 'Why didn't you connect the dots?' The dots were all there," he said.

"When we finally do the sums on Iraq, what will turn out is that we simply didn't know what was going on, but we connected the dots -- the dots from 1991 behavior were connected with 2000 behavior and 2003 behavior, and it became an explanation and a picture of Iraq that simply didn't exist," Kay said.
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Old 03-30-2004, 11:40 PM   #2
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Think of the few times a president has ever said they were wrong. It's not going to happen, not when lives were losts.
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Old 03-31-2004, 11:13 AM   #3
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I've respected David Kay from the first interview I heard him give. He seems to be his own man. He gets the trouble we're in. He was not going to report other than what he found--or didn't find, as it turned out. I wish men like him could be president. *sigh*

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Old 03-31-2004, 07:16 PM   #4
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He also has believes that the administrations policy on Iraq is the correct one.
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Old 03-31-2004, 09:44 PM   #5
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Sting, he generally supports what the Administration is doing but has questions about some particulars. I think that's healthy, and I'd like to see more of it.
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Old 03-31-2004, 11:03 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, the fact that he believes the administration did the right thing is rarely if ever aknowledged among those that take his questions or criticisms and use it for their unrelenting attack on this administration.
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Old 03-31-2004, 11:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Sting, he generally supports what the Administration is doing but has questions about some particulars. I think that's healthy, and I'd like to see more of it.
Right. I'm so sick of everything being painted so black and white, because it's not. People find one thing they like about this administrations actions and they throw 100% support behind it while they throw everything else out. If someone believes that this administration has nothing to answer for they are completely in the dark, regardless of the support or turn out of the war.
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Old 04-01-2004, 06:08 AM   #8
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STING2: I also think that the idea to remove Saddam was a good thing, but the way the administration did it was verry damaging for the western world and imho counterproductive.
Lots of people who were sceptical reflecting the US way before the Iraq-war are now convinced that the US dosn't care about Democracy, Human Rights or God. They just seemed to care about money (Oil and Power).
I think G.W.Bush did "great" propaganda for Alquaida, now it's easier to convince young people that the USA is the "great satan"

So it was not the "what must be done" but the "how it was done politically" which caused great damage.
"Curveball" became a boomerang (Kay calls him a liar today). Achmed Dschalabi and his got what they wanted and what they paid for (Lobbying for decades) - Iraq.

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Old 04-01-2004, 08:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Right. I'm so sick of everything being painted so black and white, because it's not.
Exactly, BVS and Verte. Either-ors and false dichotomies are just sloppy critical thinking.

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Old 04-01-2004, 07:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus
STING2: I also think that the idea to remove Saddam was a good thing, but the way the administration did it was verry damaging for the western world and imho counterproductive.
Lots of people who were sceptical reflecting the US way before the Iraq-war are now convinced that the US dosn't care about Democracy, Human Rights or God. They just seemed to care about money (Oil and Power).
I think G.W.Bush did "great" propaganda for Alquaida, now it's easier to convince young people that the USA is the "great satan"

So it was not the "what must be done" but the "how it was done politically" which caused great damage.
"Curveball" became a boomerang (Kay calls him a liar today). Achmed Dschalabi and his got what they wanted and what they paid for (Lobbying for decades) - Iraq.

Klaus
The international community considered the verifiable disarmament of Saddam a vital matter. Everything short of the use of large scale military force was tried over a 12 year period achieve verifiable disarmament. All of these efforts failed. Removal of Saddam was the only way to insure that he was verifaibly disarmed.

In addition removing Saddam, for whatever the reason, required a large scale military invasion. Saddam's military although only 40% of its strength from the first Gulf War was still one of the largest military's in the world. In addition, Saddam had 12 overlapping security services which made assisination or other covert attempts to overthrow the regime, impossible.

Any informed person will see that the USA is sending Billions of dollars in aid to Iraq to rebuild infrustructure and society that have fallen apart or neglected under the rule of Saddam. How many other Arab countries have a constitution likes Iraq's? How many other Arab countries will be having elections in January 2005?

The development job that the United States is doing in Iraq is enormous. It is absurd for anyone to believe that the USA does not care about democracy and human rights because the USA has removed a dictator who was one of the greatest human rights abusers and is now setting up a democracy to replace him just as it has done in the past with Germany, Japan and other countries.

Those that oppose the war think that it is some great Al Quada recruiting tool, yet this is only a theory as there are certainly no facts to back that statement up. Arab's and Muslims around the world are not so ininformed and uneducated as these critics seem to suggest. If you really think Al Quada is larger now than before 9/11, could you please provide some numbers to back that up.

By the way, Kay does not at all call Bush a "liar". Kay strongly supports the Presidents actions and found over 300 items in his searches that were in total violation of UN resolution 1441.
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Old 04-02-2004, 05:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
The development job that the United States is doing in Iraq is enormous. It is absurd for anyone to believe that the USA does not care about democracy and human rights because the USA has removed a dictator who was one of the greatest human rights abusers and is now setting up a democracy to replace him just as it has done in the past with Germany, Japan and other countries.
The people in the arab world also remember that two of the worst dictators in this region were installed or at least heavily supported by the USA over decades (First the Shah, later Saddam Hussein)
So i understand that the people down there are verry sceptical. "Details" like the sudden hurry because of the WMDs , the 9/11 connection and the Picture the public media painted (USA=Satan) there over a long time had its effects.
And as i said at the beginning of the war the USA is verry verry powerful in military actions, absolutely outstanding.
Its political abilities sadly aren't that outstanding.

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Old 04-02-2004, 06:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus


The people in the arab world also remember that two of the worst dictators in this region were installed or at least heavily supported by the USA over decades (First the Shah, later Saddam Hussein)
So i understand that the people down there are verry sceptical. "Details" like the sudden hurry because of the WMDs , the 9/11 connection and the Picture the public media painted (USA=Satan) there over a long time had its effects.
And as i said at the beginning of the war the USA is verry verry powerful in military actions, absolutely outstanding.
Its political abilities sadly aren't that outstanding.

Klaus
The United States did not heavily support or install Saddam Hussein. The United States did strongly support the Shah though as a way to check Soviet supported Iraq. The Shah may have been cruel at times, but he was no Saddam Hussein. He did not invade or attack his neighbors, nor did he develop mass stocks of WMD and use it.

There was no sudden hurry over WMD's as the process to disarm Saddam had been ongoing for 12 years.

The United States has excellant political abilities as well as its military capabilities. Thats why the USA has been so successful in the foreign policy area since World War II where as many countries in Europe sit on the sidelines.
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:25 PM   #13
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Sting:
In the last year of the tyranny of Shah Reza Pahlewidi the terror-troops of the Shah killed 10.000 demonstrants, another were 50.000 injured.

When Ronald Reagan became president he decided to support Mr. Hussein to weaken the Ayatolla. Geoffrey Kemp, a member of the Reagan administration was quoted that they exactly knew which kind of dictator they supported.

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Old 04-03-2004, 08:53 PM   #14
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Klaus, I agree, the Shah was a . He had a horrific human rights record.
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Old 04-03-2004, 10:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus
Sting:
In the last year of the tyranny of Shah Reza Pahlewidi the terror-troops of the Shah killed 10.000 demonstrants, another were 50.000 injured.

When Ronald Reagan became president he decided to support Mr. Hussein to weaken the Ayatolla. Geoffrey Kemp, a member of the Reagan administration was quoted that they exactly knew which kind of dictator they supported.

Klaus
Klaus,

I can bring out the weapons tables and other statistics I have on exactly who supported who if you would like. The USA did support the Shah because of the greater threat from the Soviet Union.

The United States did not even talk to Iraq until nearly 18 months after it had invaded Iran. The United States was concerned about what an Iranian victory of Iraq would mean for the region and the majority of the planets energy supply. Ultimately, the Soviet Union provided the vast majority of supplies to Iraq and the Persian Gulf States did a vast amount of funding. The United States sent no weapons to Saddam and it was not even in the top 10 as far as sending money.
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