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Hans Blix and his inspectors never had a chance?
April 12, 2003 2:26 AM   Subscribe

Blix: US was bent on war. In a scathing attack on Britain and the US, Mr Blix accused them of planning the war "well in advance" and of "fabricating" evidence against Iraq to justify their campaign.
posted by skallas (51 comments total)

 
Whoops! There go all the horses! Time to close that barn door!
posted by arto at 2:41 AM on April 12, 2003


This very much a 'no shit, dick tracy' kind of thing, I think, but it is good nonetheless than someone of Hans' stature is standing up and saying so.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:25 AM on April 12, 2003


This is interesting - almost somewhat disappointing - coming from Hans Blix. In the months prior to the war I had total admiration for his genuinely neutral statements. He seemed like the only person who wasn't pushing an agenda. If you actually read what he said at the United Nations there wasn't a hint of bias there.

So I can understand why it must be frustrating for him now, seeing that the war was already decided upon despite the lack of any weapons of mass destruction. Still I would have preferred for him to remain politically neutral.
posted by skylar at 3:39 AM on April 12, 2003


US: Blix was bent on subterfuge by appeasement.
posted by hama7 at 3:42 AM on April 12, 2003


Who cares what he thinks? He has always been an incompetent, and let Iraq develop its entire initial nuclear weapons program under his nose in the 80's. He was only chosen for his latest inspection role after France and Russia vetoed stronger candidates for the job.
posted by Spacelegoman at 3:50 AM on April 12, 2003


Ah yes, he's obviously incompetent. Not that the U.S. military has done much better at uncovering those weapons, despite rolling across the country and all but asking for them to be used. And nevermind all that "evidence" of what he says, like those fabricated nuclear weapons reciepts that the CIA tried passing off. He's obviously a Bush-hating Nazi like all the other Europeans, and should be summarily dismissed. I mean, he's obviously not relevant if he doesn't agree with U.S. interests, right? Certainly the U.S. was hoping the inspections process would go well, as it started moving troops into the region before even the U.S.-pushed deadline had arrived. Diplomacy failed because Saddam wouldn't show his cards, and everyone else was refusing to lay theirs on the table. Fsckers.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:59 AM on April 12, 2003


I don't see what's so slanted about this. can anyone deny that this war hasn't been on the burner at the very least since the infamous memo sent to the Pentagon a few moments after 9//11 (can't find a link for it at the moment but I'm sure many of you know what I'm talking about)? or that some evidence was fabricated?
posted by mcsweetie at 4:56 AM on April 12, 2003


Well, duh. They had this thing planned before Bush even won the nomintation. I thought it was so obvious it didn't even need stating. Anyone with the tiniest smidgen of common sense could see it.
posted by Potsy at 5:05 AM on April 12, 2003


Blix: "It is a little too early to draw the conclusion that there aren't any [WMD's in Iraq]."

kaibutsu, there'll be plenty of time to rant if nothing turns up when the U.S. forces actually get around to searching for WMD's after they're done, umm, securing the cities oil wells. Just because Blix believes that the U.S. was (obviously) gung-ho about the war doesn't mean he also believes that there are no WMD's to be found in Iraq.

Last I checked, those things were supposed to be hidden away, right?
posted by DaShiv at 5:13 AM on April 12, 2003


Blix: "There is evidence that this war was planned well in advance."

Ya think?
posted by DBAPaul at 6:39 AM on April 12, 2003


Last I checked, Hussein was a ruthless tyrant who had no qualms using WMD on his own people, let alone invading troops.

So why didn't he?
posted by spazzm at 6:41 AM on April 12, 2003


I accuse this thread of fabricating surprise at Han's Blix attitude in order to invade my MeFi sidebar. The Associated Press tells the true story: Former chief weapons inspector relieved at speedy pace of war. Well, hmmmm, actually it reports the same remarks as the Guardian.

Help! A frenzied mob of media are looting my rational faculties while the Marines do nothing!
posted by hairyeyeball at 7:13 AM on April 12, 2003


spazzm: Why didn't he blow bridges that were wired for it? Why didn't he torch oil fields that were rigged for it? Why were dozens of unused suicide belts found? (And what became of those ranks upon ranks of suicide bombers that we saw marching in parade on Baath videos?) Why were there no fortifications in Baghdad? Why, why, why?

Saddam Hussein was a terrible military leader, and his troops seem to have frequently failed to carry out orders. I don't find it surprising that his military actions were feeble and not what one would expect.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:39 AM on April 12, 2003


Considering how so many people are now calling Blix incompetent and irrelevant for , you know, doing his job correctly- I think I can understand why he might be pissed at the wealth of assholes who used him as a target because he didn't agree with the evidence we were making up.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:42 AM on April 12, 2003


I'm wondering why people haven't started using his name as a euphemism yet. As in: "You really Blixed that one up, now didn't you?"; or "You Blixhead."
posted by kablam at 7:55 AM on April 12, 2003


First, the US has been wargaming the Middle East since the Carter administration, if not before.

Second, if the Bush admin had any credible evidence, the military would have turned up some major stashes by now.
posted by mischief at 8:27 AM on April 12, 2003


This may come as a shock to a lot of people but there are plans to invade every country that isn't a close ally, and even a few that are.

It's that whole being prepared thing.
posted by Mick at 9:06 AM on April 12, 2003


Mick, I think you know what he means. The US had plans to invade Iraq like your fiance has plans to get married, not like your old toy box has plans for a model airplane.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:15 AM on April 12, 2003


Boy, you sure can't pull one over on Hans Blix.

Or maybe you *can*, and that's why we had to go to war...Hmm...
posted by padraigin at 9:26 AM on April 12, 2003


What's with all this talk about *finding WMD's*?

Colin Powell already knew where they all are! He has the 8x10 color photos with the circles and arrows and a report he found on the innernet.
posted by crunchland at 9:58 AM on April 12, 2003


Blix was an idiot for thinking he could win against Bush and not be fooled by the Iraqis both. There has not been time to search for WMD yet and he's allready coming out against Bush, obviously he was not a neutral party and had his own agenda. I honestly think he didn't care if they had WMD or not just so long as there was no war was his agenda. That was not his job and in a way his incompetence hastened the war. Had he been more ruthless, heavy handed and forceful in his inspections, instead of paradeing around with a giant smile and ready handshake, he may have had more credibility.
posted by stbalbach at 10:02 AM on April 12, 2003


Actually, real weapons inspections are only now about to start.
posted by MidasMulligan at 10:04 AM on April 12, 2003


Yeah, the 101st Airborne has plenty of time to plant whatever they want before the real ones start.
posted by crunchland at 10:06 AM on April 12, 2003


"Yeah, the 101st Airborne has plenty of time to plant whatever they want before the real ones start."

Yeah, cuz it's much easier to believe that we'd do that than to believe that a heinous dictator who had them, used them, and refused to provide proof he got rid of them, might still have them hidden.
posted by chris24 at 10:17 AM on April 12, 2003


if he had them, he would have used them.

(and what crunchland said, re: planting them)
posted by amberglow at 10:28 AM on April 12, 2003


There's a better transcript here. Key quote "I'm very curious to see if they do find any weapons". Quite. He obviously doesn't watch Fox News ;-)

On his main point, is he saying that the US had decided on war or were simply planning for it ? These are not the same things. As for the forgery, according to this in the Washington Post, ...The intelligence officials offered a tantalizing coda for conspiracy-mongers. They said the "crude forgery" received by U.N. weapons inspectors suggesting the Iraqis were trying to buy uranium from Niger as part of their nuclear program was originally put in intelligence channels by France. The officials wouldn't speculate on French motives."
posted by grahamwell at 10:28 AM on April 12, 2003


if he had them, he would have used them.

You mean like if had an Army he would have used it also? Your missing the point. The Iraqi army completely collapsed. Everyone in the Arab world is saying how "stunned" they are. However, we knew this before going in. Heck, even I knew it and posted it here on MeFi. Saddam is not personally in the field fireing weapons he has to give the orders that goes through chains of commands and that chain of command was not loyal to Saddam.

What Slithy_Tove said above:

Why didn't he blow bridges that were wired for it? Why didn't he torch oil fields that were rigged for it? Why were dozens of unused suicide belts found? (And what became of those ranks upon ranks of suicide bombers that we saw marching in parade on Baath videos?) Why were there no fortifications in Baghdad? Why, why, why?
posted by stbalbach at 10:49 AM on April 12, 2003


Yeah, cuz it's much easier to believe that we'd do that than to believe that a heinous dictator who had them, used them, and refused to provide proof he got rid of them, might still have them hidden.

All that is needed to prove otherwise, when and if the weapons are uncovered, is a rigorous chain-of-command and chain-of-custody. Anything less will feed the conspiracy theorists and muddy the historical waters forever.
posted by y2karl at 10:49 AM on April 12, 2003


Actually, real weapons inspections are only now about to start.

That's a very interesting point. Hey, maybe under Patriot II they'll make the same great leap forward when they want to search your home: Instead of getting a warrant and looking around, or maybe after doing so and coming up dry, they come with heavy equipment and firepower, smash down the walls, kill a family member or two and maybe a neighbor who got too close and start tearing up the floorboards. The world just becomes a better place every day.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:54 AM on April 12, 2003


the 101st Airborne has plenty of time to plant whatever they want

Your conspiracy theories should at least be believeable. It would be CIA operatives working through Iraqis with Russian weapons who "find" the evidence and lead the 101st to it.
posted by stbalbach at 10:55 AM on April 12, 2003


if he had them, he would have used them

Well, since he was never going to defeat the coalition militarily, his one hope of surviving was a negotiated truce by a world community outraged at US aggression and Iraqi casualties. Using WMD was the one action that would have turned world public opinion against him and ended that possibility.

At the very end though, seeing that there was no hope, he might have wanted to use them, but at that point either command and control or the nerve of those tasked to push the actual button may have been damaged enough to prevent it. It's not like he has a red button in his palace to push that does it all. He is dependent on subordinates to execute the commands, assuming the commands even get to them

(and what crunchland said, re: planting them)

It's funny that so many people have no trouble believing this or any number of other nefarious conspiracy theories about the US government, yet they ridicule people who polls show think there might be some direct or indirect connection between Hussein and 9/11. I don't think there is any connection, but why are conspiracy theories only valid when they fit your political idealogy? (And I'm not implying that Crunchland or Amberglow have mocked people who believe Iraq and 9/11 are related. Just speaking in generalities.)
posted by chris24 at 10:59 AM on April 12, 2003


i dont ridicule people who believe what they're told, over and over, even obliquely, by our government, chris24...(count how many times bush has said 9/11 and saddam in the same sentence--you may be surprised)..i just don't blindly agree with everything they've said.

you'll have to pardon my skepticism--if al quaeda or osama had ever been truly hunted for and destroyed (remember "dead or alive"?), and if afghanistan was getting the help they need, i would have more faith in this administration. i see another puppet like karzai being installed, and then we move on to the next country--syria??? (and it sickens me)
posted by amberglow at 11:14 AM on April 12, 2003



It's funny that so many people have no trouble believing this or any number of other nefarious conspiracy theories about the US government, yet they ridicule people who polls show think there might be some direct or indirect connection between Hussein and 9/11.

Possibly because there is such a long history of the US government lying to the American people, where as the agenda for concealing who really attacked the US makes less sense. Not to mention the fact that that the players in the 911 theory do not mix so well. "The enemy of my enemy who is also my enemy is my friend" is not how the phrase goes.
posted by thirteen at 11:15 AM on April 12, 2003


yet they ridicule people who polls show think there might be some direct or indirect connection between Hussein and 9/11.

There are differences, and yet the two are not unrelated:

Speculation about things like discovered WMDs being planted is clearly speculation as it refers to something that hasn't even happened yet. Whereas the people who believe Saddam was materially responsible for the Tragic Events genuinely do believe it, and seem to believe that the President said so in so many words. Which he did not quite do, but he routinely conflated the issues so as to leave the unmistakable impression that he said it in the minds of everyone who didn't want to think about it too hard.

Anyway, we may suppose it's where much of the public support for the invasion came from, and there seems to be very little room for doubt that this was deliberate. Whereas remarks about planting weapons are simply frustrated expressions of skepticism about the administration's future honesty, which in light of the foregoing alone would seem to be a pretty reasonable thing to be skeptical about.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:17 AM on April 12, 2003


I'm sure that the masses calling Blix incompetent are all quite accomplished in their chosen professions.
Nothing like hearing a marketing lackey, UNIX admin, or a transmission mechanic criticize a guy with a pile of degrees and 40 some odd years of experience in international law and diplomacy.
posted by 2sheets at 11:54 AM on April 12, 2003


were'nt we warned about Iraq being an "imminent threat to our safety" - at the end of the day it looks like the "regime" was barely able to defend itself ... let alone pose any real threat to the the worlds most important people - US Citizens.
posted by specialk420 at 11:59 AM on April 12, 2003


Hans Blix: "I'm more worried about global warming than I am of any major military conflict".
Blix is clearly insane and was the wrong man for the job. He is a scientist and a diplomat and like the French he is unwilling to admit that there may come a time when diplomacy and sanctions and empty threats are inadequate tools. The French and Russians are masters of doublespeak: they speak of diplomacy yet employ unilateral warmongering in Ivory Coast and Chechnya, and want the US to deal with N. Korea unilaterally, while their financial interests in Iraq expose their bifurcated morality. The Arab World *demands* that we leave soon and allow the Iraqi people to choose their own government, while not one of those countries offers that option to their own citizens. Syria calls the US "occupiers" as they enter their 17th year of occupation in Lebanon; Now that the Baathist regime in Syria has possession of Iraq's WMD and is harboring the escaped criminals their people are undoubtable preparing for liberation. After Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are liberated Yemen and the Sudan will come to their senses without a fight. Anyone who can't see the wisdom in this is a communist. {The above is for entertainment purposes only and does not necessarily reflect the views of poster}...
posted by Mack Twain at 12:17 PM on April 12, 2003


"Yeah, cuz it's much easier to believe that we'd do that than to believe that a heinous dictator..."

Well, yeah... for some people it is. Having a seriously negative opinion of the US is the latest thing in faux sophistication.

Remember - murdering dictators are good, never lie, are innocent victims of aggression and champions of their people. They are the good guys.

A democratic government who arrests people who are blocking traffic and breakign the law during a protest is the epitome of evil and ... well they call it an evil dictatorship, which is confusing because thats supposed to be a good thing.

Let me boil it down:

If the US did it it's bad.

If someoen who says bad things about the US did it it's good.

If it is ABOUT the US and it is good, it's a media conspiracy.

If it is ABOUT the US and it is bad, it is unbiased reporting from courageous outsiders.
posted by soulhuntre at 12:50 PM on April 12, 2003


if al quaeda or osama had ever been truly hunted for and destroyed (remember "dead or alive"?)

Speaking of Osama...
posted by homunculus at 12:57 PM on April 12, 2003


It's funny that so many people have no trouble believing this or any number of other nefarious conspiracy theories about the US government, yet they ridicule people who polls show think there might be some direct or indirect connection between Hussein and 9/11. I don't think there is any connection, but why are conspiracy theories only valid when they fit your political idealogy? (And I'm not implying that Crunchland or Amberglow have mocked people who believe Iraq and 9/11 are related. Just speaking in generalities.)

chris24: I will now tell you the WHY.

The WHY is that these aren't conspiracy theories tailored to fit an ideology, they are conspiracy theories tailored to fit the obvious personal motivations of those in power. Consider:

Saddam is the frontman for Arabia the secular state. Up until Desert Storm, he was buddy-buddy with the United States, even.

Osama Bin Laden was/is the frontman for Arabia the religious state. His appeal is to religious fundamentalists - the polar opposite of Saddam.

These two have absolutely no motivation to work for each other (and plenty of motivation to attempt the other's assassination) outside of common hatred of the United States, and Osama knows all too well that Saddam's hatred of the United States is not a genuine one (he certainly had no problem with us until 1990), but rather a matter of personal convenience.

This 'conspiracy theory' of a 9/11-Saddam link is laughed at because it is wholly, fundamentally, flawed to the very core - there is no motive.

Meanwhile the United States is headed by oilmen whose companies will see assloads of money from this war, and one of who has a legitimate personal vendetta against the head of the former state being targeted ("he tried to kill my dad!"). The US clearly had this whole circus planned out well in advance, which was why they acted nearly as belligerent - sometimes slightly moreso - than Iraq. The administration is taken with the Wolfowitz and Perle doctrines regarding the Middle East, and we're seeing the execution of those doctrines before our very eyes.

There is a motive, the administration (Wolfowitz/Perle/Rumsfeld) wrote during the end of the Clinton administration for a thinktank that they would do exactly what we're seeing - a sort of preemptive admission. In short, this is a good conspiracy theory that might prove true. You have motive AND something not unlike an unofficial confession - why *don't* people believe this would be a very good question.
posted by Ryvar at 12:58 PM on April 12, 2003


Exactly what Ryvar said. It's kind of hard to declare that the possibility of U.S. long-term interests in a dominated Iraq are "a conspiracy theory" when you can get a copy of the plans on paper signed by half of Bush's cabinet.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:06 PM on April 12, 2003


Let me boil it down:

If the US did it it's bad.

If someoen who says bad things about the US did it it's good.

If it is ABOUT the US and it is good, it's a media conspiracy.

If it is ABOUT the US and it is bad, it is unbiased reporting from courageous outsiders.


From the advance release of Ranting For Dummies...
posted by y2karl at 1:10 PM on April 12, 2003


It's kind of hard to declare that the possibility of U.S. long-term interests in a dominated Iraq are "a conspiracy theory"

I never claimed that the US having political and other interests in Iraq was a conspiracy theory, it's a fact. I was talking about the planting of WMD.

Ryvar, again I say I don't belive Iraq had anything to do with 9/11. But if the strongest argument you have against it is that secular and religious worlds never mix there's Al Queda and Aidid in Mogadishu. As far as arch enemies working together against a common enemy, there's Hitler/Stalin. Stalin/Allies, US/Saddam and any other dictators we used/abetted/tolerated in the Cold War for traction against USSR and other enemies.

Speculation about things like discovered WMDs being planted is clearly speculation as it refers to something that hasn't even happened yet

The timing (i.e. speculation/ hasn't happened yet) is a moot point. The fact that people are already specualting that WMDs will be planted clearly shows that there will be people that believe when/if WMDs are found that the US planted them. Which again means that they are making the choice to believe that the US government is more dishonest than Saddam's.

if al quaeda or osama had ever been truly hunted for and destroyed (remember "dead or alive"?

While the US hasn't gotten Bin Laden, to say we haven't really been hunting Al Queda when we arrested Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and others jsut before the war, and when Special Forces are still dying in Afghanistan in the hunt, is a bit of an exageration.

if afghanistan was getting the help they need

You're right on this. We need to do better there and not mess this up in Iraq.

were'nt we warned about Iraq being an "imminent threat to our safety" - at the end of the day it looks like the "regime" was barely able to defend itself

The threat was always their WMDs (assuming they have them), not their conventional forces.
posted by chris24 at 1:34 PM on April 12, 2003


The tragedy is that this man who (unlike certain others) has never been shown to lie, who discharged an extraordinarily difficult set of responsibilities with professionalism and skill while fending off unreasonable pressure from all sides, will be publicly pilloried and possibly professionally destroyed if it turns out Saddam was able to hide something from him. A thing which no-one ever doubted was possible, not even him. But now his reputation depends on it not happening. Fair? Don't think so.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:38 PM on April 12, 2003


Which again means that they are making the choice to believe that the US government is more dishonest than Saddam's.

Only in your own little confused world, blinded by rhetoric and groupthink.
posted by Espoo2 at 4:05 PM on April 12, 2003


I think, but it is good nonetheless than someone of Hans' stature is standing up and saying so.

Ha! Thanks. It was a long day at work, and I needed a good laugh.

The sides are already divided. If wmd are found, those against the war will put on their tinfoil hats and point to conspiracy.

If they're not found, those in favor of the war will claim they were all sent to syria.

Really, the point is moot. Still, that 'stature' remark makes the whole thread worth it.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 5:05 PM on April 12, 2003


Good thing he still has his rally racing to soothe his soul...
posted by Vidiot at 5:29 PM on April 12, 2003


The sides are already divided. If wmd are found, those against the war will put on their tinfoil hats and point to conspiracy.

You see, this is why no one respects you, kid. You think no one against the war has any valid reasoning behind it, and that they "hate America". I hope we DO find WMD's, so the US doesn't look like the bumbling asshole that it currently does. I am GLAD that Saddam is gone and that the Iraqi people are a step closer to real freedom. What pisses me off and the reason I am against this war, is the BLINDINGLY stupid and careless way we went about getting there.
posted by Espoo2 at 7:34 PM on April 12, 2003


Only in your own little confused world, blinded by rhetoric and groupthink.

Care to explain or do you like your own rhetoric?
posted by chris24 at 1:03 AM on April 13, 2003


The tragedy is that this man who (unlike certain others) has never been shown to lie...

Really, I think Blix could probably care less... He's gettin' up there in the years, and he seems sort of like the hobbit who would be just as happy to retire back to Hobbitton at the end of a long day of adventures.



As for the conspiracy theory thing, I'm surprised noone bothered to mention, you know, the "proof" that Iraq was developing nuclear weapons that the CIA fabricated some months ago. There's precedent for this sort of thing. Can we really not imagine the CIA or whoever acting like the over-zealous cop, dropping the bag of pot in the car of someone who's "probably a junkie anyway?"
posted by kaibutsu at 6:08 AM on April 13, 2003


Care to explain or do you like your own rhetoric?
I did. See the post above yours. Your 3rd grade rational, somehow linking "being opposed to the war at this time" to "Iraqi government is more trustworthy than the US" is laughable. Do you honestly think anyone in the US opposed to the war would rather be in Iraq? Do you honestly think that we WANT for Saddam to keep torturing people? If you are going to make such an idiotic and ridiculous claim, at least try to back it up with some sort of rational thinking.
posted by Espoo2 at 12:19 PM on April 13, 2003


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