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Blix in Austin: Why the War Wasn't Necessary

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reprehensor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:00 PM
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Blix in Austin: Why the War Wasn't Necessary
Blix In Austin: Why the war wasn't necessary

A nearly full house, including Lady Bird Johnson in the front row, packed the 700-seat auditorium at UT's LBJ Library on April 28 to hear Sweden's Hans Blix, formerly the United Nations' chief weapons inspector in Iraq. Blix's mild personality and genial good humor belied the current of bitterness running through his words pulling few punches, he asserted that the war in Iraq and its human toll could have been averted through continued inspections, which would have revealed that Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction. Instead, he says, the Bush administration which he all but called liars pushed the war for political reasons, until it became a "train had its own momentum." The lecture amplified points he makes in his new book, Disarming Iraq.

Excerpts from Blix's 45-minute speech:

History will draw more and safer conclusions than we can do now. But already now, we can and we should try to learn some lessons.

An elementary but important lesson is that it does matter in which way conflicts between and within societies are sold by war, civil strife, terrorism; or through accommodation, negotiation, or diplomacy. During the Cold War, one solution to the East/West controversy was named "mutually assured destruction," or MAD. A sad, and costly, solution to that conflict, and fortunately, it was not used. Other options are containment, negotiation, accommodation, which are less costly. It has been said, indeed, that it is better that old negotiators get answers at the conference tables than that young men get killed on the battlefields. The cost in life and health and the cost in dollars are different if you choose the conference table or if you choose war. ...

In 2002 and 2003, the U.S. and the United Nations, and the world, wanted credible assurance that Iraq had no nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, and no missiles with a longer range than 150 kilometers <93 miles>. Was this assurance to be through armed force and occupation or through pressure and inspections? These were the two main options.

At the UN, we calculated I remember talking to Kofi Annan about this in February of last year we calculated that trying to achieve this assurance through inspection and long-term monitoring would require some 200 inspectors and cost something like $80 million per year. It had been done for eight years, between 1991 and 1998.

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ceile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:04 PM
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1. I missed it
Did anyone here attend? I'm curious to know what the atmosphere was like in the room, just because it was at UT doesn't always guarantee a liberal crowd.
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