Broadcasting Corporation, The World Today: Wolfowitz reveals Iraq PR plan,
May , 2003
HAMISH ROBERTSON: There's been a very candid
statement by the United States Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, that
the US decision to stress the dangers posed by Iraq's supposed weapons of mass
destruction above all other reasons was taken because of disputes within the
Mr Wolfowitz says that stressing Iraq's alleged chemical and biological weapons
as the main argument for going to war with Iraq was the only one that all arms
of the bureaucracy could agree on.
John Shovelan reports from Washington:
JOHN SHOVELAN: The Deputy Defence Secretary, Paul Wolfowitz is seen as one of
the most hawkish figures in the Bush administration, and it was he who, shortly
after the terrorist strikes on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, laid out
the reasoning for President Bush why the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein needed
to be overthrown.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Mr Wolfowitz is quoted at saying the
reason for choosing Iraq's alleged stocks of chemical and biological weapons to
justify going to war was taken for bureaucratic reasons.
It was, he says one of many reasons. The magazine quotes Mr Wolfowitz saying
"for bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue – weapons of mass
destruction – because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."
Despite a concerted effort by US forces in Iraq, no chemical or biological
weapons have been found. In the lead-up to the war, President Bush and his key
allies, British Prime Minister, Tony Blair and Australian Prime Minister, John
Howard repeated assertions that the threat posed by Saddam's stocks of banned
weapons was sufficient enough to go to war and eliminate them.
The UN Security Council disagreed. Just yesterday, Defence Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld, asked why no weapons of mass destruction had been found, said Iraq may
have destroyed them before US-led forces invaded.
DONALD RUMSFELD: It is also possible that they decided that they would destroy
them prior to a conflict.
JOHN SHOVELAN: Of late, the administration has begun focussing on the human
rights violations under Saddam Hussein and the mass graves that have been
discovered since the end of the war.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: That are testament to what this regime was like and let's not
lose sight of the fact that the Iraqi people are far better off with that brutal
JOHN SHOVELAN: But some Democrats in Congress believe US intelligence was faulty,
and on Sunday, Senator Joe Biden said the administration had hyped the claims
about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
As the US administration now pressures Iran about its alleged nuclear weapons
program, Condoleezza Rice, the President's National Security Adviser, denied the
standing of US intelligence in the region had suffered.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE: I think that US credibility on these issues is actually quite
JOHN SHOVELAN: In his interview with Vanity Fair, Mr Wolfowitz said
another reason largely ignored for going to war with Iraq was that it enabled
the withdrawal of US troops from Saudi Arabia. Lifting that burden, he said, is
itself going to open the door to a more peaceful Middle East.
The interview was conducted just days before the terrorist bombing in Riyadh.
Not long after the major conflict was declared over in Iraq, the Defence
Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld announced US troops would be withdrawing. One of
Osama bin Laden's demands has been the withdrawal of US forces from the home of
Islam's holiest sites.
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