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Re: [casi] FW: Blix to Step Down After U.S. Snub

I don't know if Blix is merely playing diplomat or whether he's been
hoodwinked by the US, but this comment is inane:

>Blix said he is certain President Bush "hoped that
>this path to disarmament would be successful" although
>many in his administration were skeptical of the

How he might know what goes on inside Bush's head, or that he himself
was more than merely a pawn of the war makers, biding time until
"coalition forces" were in place, stretches credulity.


On Sat, 29 Mar 2003 00:24:54 -0800 (PST), you wrote:

>Blix to Step Down After U.S. Snub
>By EDITH M. LEDERER and DAFNA LINZER, Associated Press
>UNITED NATIONS - His inspectors are becoming valuable
>commodities for the United States but Hans Blix isn't.
>The chief U.N. inspector, blamed by Washington for
>hurting its drive for international support in the
>run-up to the war, will be stepping down at the end of
>U.S. officials say his departure could make it easier
>for the Bush administration to include some of the
>world's top arms experts in their hunt for Iraqi
>At least three members of Blix's staff — two experts
>in biological weapons and one who specializes in
>Iraq's missile programs — have been approached by
>special U.S. military units who will oversee Iraq's
>It's a sign of recognition that the inspectors are
>well-trained and their expertise is essential. But the
>Americans have not made any overtures to their boss.
>"We don't believe he was fair in his reports, not to
>us and not on Iraq's cooperation," said one senior
>U.S. official.
>In an interview with The Associated Press on Friday,
>Blix said he resented the administration's portrayal
>of his work.
>"At some points, I think they went too far," he said.
>And he is disappointed that after three years of
>preparation, his teams only got 3 1/2 months in Iraq.
>"A few more months would have been useful," he said.
>Blix was not Washington's pick for the job of top
>inspector in Iraq in 1999.
>But the United States went along with his
>recommendation as a compromise candidate whose
>credentials as an international lawyer and member of
>the international arms control community satisfied
>Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Security Council.
>U.N. inspectors returned to Iraq for the first time in
>four years in late November, soon after the Security
>Council strengthened inspections and gave Baghdad a
>final opportunity to disarm peacefully or face serious
>Blix said he is certain President Bush "hoped that
>this path to disarmament would be successful" although
>many in his administration were skeptical of the
>The chief inspector's first report in early December
>was a tough assessment of Iraq's cooperation and a
>condemnation of a weapons declaration the Iraqis
>submitted to inspectors. The United States welcomed
>But in January, Blix reported that Iraq had decided to
>cooperate on the "process" of inspections, providing
>good access, though it still needed to provide
>substantive evidence about its weapons programs. By
>February, he reported that Iraq was trying to
>cooperate more on substance, but still wasn't
>providing much that was new.
>France, Russia and Germany believed that Iraq could be
>disarmed peacefully, and argued that these reports
>showed the inspections were working and should
>Sometime in late January or early February, Blix said
>the U.S. government "gave up on inspections" and
>stepped up military preparations.
>US officials began to criticize inconsistencies in
>Blix's reports and quietly questioned his motives.
>"There were complaints saying in January you were very
>harsh, and in February you were mild. Well, I looked
>out the window here and one day it's raining and the
>next day it's sunshine. How can you describe it in the
>same terms?" Blix asked. "Certainly not."
>Blix's last major report was devastating for U.S.
>efforts to convince the council that Iraq was a
>serious threat that needed to be disarmed by force.
>The upbeat account not only dealt with Iraq's
>last-ditch efforts to cooperate with inspectors and
>destroy missiles they weren't supposed to be
>producing, but also cast serious doubt on U.S.
>intelligence that claimed otherwise.
>France, Russia and others used the findings to counter
>Washington's claims and block U.N. support for the
>The Americans were outraged.
>"We gave him 70 sites to visit and he only went to
>seven," said one angry U.S. official, who spoke on
>condition of anonymity.
>Blix said he couldn't remember how many sites he was
>given, but noted that intelligence from all countries
>including the United States resulted in "a relatively
>meager" amount of new information.
>The chief inspector was hurt by criticism that he was
>in the anti-war camp.
>"I was in nobody's pocket," he said. "Maybe somebody
>wished I be in a pocket, but I was not."
>Blix said the United States and Britain, trying to win
>support for a U.N. resolution backing a war, went "too
>far" in trying to claim there was "evidence that we
>allegedly had suppressed."
>"I think it was unfair, and I do resent that to some
>extent," he said.
>Blix, a former Swedish foreign minister who led the
>International Atomic Energy Agency from 1981-1997, had
>said he would like to retire before his 75th birthday
>in June. But he had also hinted he could stay, saying
>he wouldn't abandon his responsibilities or turn down
>a request by the council that now seems unlikely.
>"As things look now, certainly I will be very happy to
>go home in June," he said.
>Inspections were suspended last week because of the
>war. Annan has said he expects their mission to resume
>once the hostilities cease, but there is no guarantee
>that will happen.
>There is disagreement in Washington about what role,
>if any, inspectors should play in disarming Iraq.
>Members of the U.N. teams are considered the only
>weapons experts in the world specifically trained in
>disarmament, and they have intimate knowledge of Iraq.
>But many are skeptical of U.S. claims that Saddam has
>stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.
>U.S. disarmament specialists are in Kuwait preparing
>to be equipped with ground-penetrating radar, sensors
>and sample-taking apparatus similar to that used by
>U.N. inspectors. Working with several former
>inspectors, they will probably go to many of the same
>locations the inspectors visited.
>Intelligence experts will question Iraqis involved in
>weapons programs while experts comb sites and analyze
>samples in the field using mobile labs.
>Meanwhile, Blix will prepare his next report to the
>council, which is due June 1. His staffers are pouring
>over documents and analysis collected from the Iraqis
>since November.
>But he said he's looking forward to spending more time
>in Sweden with his wife of 41 years and doing research
>and writing.
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