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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

George Schultz on the run-up to the Iraq War

I have long been an admirer of George Shultz. He was also a very successful dean at the University of Chicago School of Business.

However there are several criticisms to be made about his comments of the run-up to the Iraq war.

While it is true that most Intelligence agencies were fooled, in part, about what Iraq was doing. They were not completely taken in.

The Germans told the Americans long before the war -- and Colin Powell's unfortunate UN speech -- that the information about Iraq's WMD capabilities was very shaky. The US administration knew this, yet still tried to make the case.

Second, after the vote to support war in November 2002, the Iraqis allowed UN inspectors into Iraq with extensive opportunities to search anywhere in the country. The US refused to give the inspectors specific information about where to look claiming that it would, endanger sources but, as we now know, because they did not have any. By mid-February, the inspectors reported that they could find no WMD's in Iraq. Yet Bush took us to war in March 2003.

I fear that it is Mr Shultz who has hijacked the truth. It is unfortunate that oft repeated falsehoods attain the patina of truth.

Sent to NPR: On Point

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