Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:47 PM
tableturner (415 posts)
2-24-01 (pre 9-11) Powell remarks, in which he states that Iraq can't threaten neighbors, no WMD
Below is a link to Powell's remarks in Egypt on February 24, 2001, which is a point in time in which he and the Bush administration did not have the motivation to lie about Iraq's military and WMD capabilities, because the 9-11 attack had not yet happened. To me, this is an indictment of both Powell and the entire Bush administration. Do you believe that suddenly, on 9-11-01, the evidence they had about this subject changed? I don't! This is proof that all of them knew that Iraq lacked WMD and other strong military capabilities.
Here is the link, directly from the State Department's website:
In his remarks within his answer to the first question, he states (please closely read the bold and underlined text):
"QUESTION: The Egyptian press editorial commentary that we have seen here has been bitterly aggressive in denouncing the U.S. role and not welcoming you. I am wondering whether you believe you accomplished anything during your meetings to assuage concerns about the air strikes against Iraq and the continuing sanctions?
SECRETARY POWELL: I received a very warm welcome from the leaders and I know there is some unhappiness as expressed in the Egyptian press. I understand that, but at the same time, with respect to the no-fly zones and the air strikes that we from time to time must conduct to defend our pilots, I just want to remind everybody that the purpose of those no-fly zones and the purpose of those occasional strikes to protect our pilots, is not to pursue an aggressive stance toward Iraq, but to defend the people that the no-fly zones are put in to defend. The people in the southern part of Iraq and the people in the northern part of Iraq, and these zones have a purpose, and their purpose is to protect people -- protect Arabs -- not to affect anything else in the region. And we have to defend ourselves.
We will always try to consult with our friends in the region so that they are not surprised and do everything we can to explain the purpose of our responses. We had a good discussion, the Foreign Minister and I and the President and I, had a good discussion about the nature of the sanctions -- the fact that the sanctions exist -- not for the purpose of hurting the Iraqi people, but for the purpose of keeping in check Saddam Hussein's ambitions toward developing weapons of mass destruction. We should constantly be reviewing our policies, constantly be looking at those sanctions to make sure that they are directed toward that purpose. That purpose is every bit as important now as it was ten years ago when we began it. And frankly they have worked. He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors. So in effect, our policies have strengthened the security of the neighbors of Iraq, and these are policies that we are going to keep in place, but we are always willing to review them to make sure that they are being carried out in a way that does not affect the Iraqi people but does affect the Iraqi regime's ambitions and the ability to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and we had a good conversation on this issue."
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