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[casi] Newsnight on Desert Fox as 'response' to withdrawal of weaponsinspectors

Dear CASI list:

I emailed this to Newsnight:

'In tonight's Newsnight (19 November), Jeremy Paxman wrongly described
the Operation Desert Fox bombing of Iraq in December 1998 as a
'response' to the withdrawal of the UN weapon inspectors. In fact, the
withdrawal of the inspectors was a response to the US decision with
British support to bomb Iraq. On p. 224 of his memoir 'Saddam Defiant,
Richard Butler, then chief weapon inspector, writes: 'I received a
telephone call from U.S. Ambassador Peter Burleigh inviting me for a
private conversation at the US mission [...] Burleigh informed me that
on instructions from Washington it would be 'prudent to take measures
to ensure the safety and security of UNSCOM staff presently in Iraq.'
[...] I told him that I would act on this advice and remove my staff
from Iraq.' Butler made this decision without informing the Security
Council. The real sequence of events raises awkward questions about US
policy which do not arise from the Mr. Paxman's inaccurate version of

Dr. Eric Herring
Department of Politics
University of Bristol
10 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TU
England, UK
Office tel. +44-(0)117-928-8582
Mobile tel. +44-(0)7771-966608
Fax +44-(0)117-973-2133

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