International Information Programs
Office of Research Issue Focus Foreign Media Reaction

January 29, 2004

January 29, 2004





**  Kay's WMD verdict is a "harsh embarrassment" and credibility problem for the White House.

**  Critics conclude the U.S. "deceived" the public, "systematically exaggerated" the Iraq threat.

**  Pro-Bush writers say "scathing criticism" of intelligence has "vindicated" the President.

** The WMD controversy could "haunt" Bush, but UK's PM Blair is more likely to "pay the price."




Proof of 'exaggerated threat' is a 'debacle' for Bush and Blair-- Global media depicted former chief U.S. weapons inspector David Kay's conclusion that Iraq had no WMD as a "slap in the face" of the Bush Administration, but writers were unsure whether the revelations meant the White House "consciously lied" or was "just misled" by faulty intelligence.  Nevertheless, papers across the spectrum agreed the findings had damaged U.S. and UK credibility and was evidence of "embarrassing work of U.S. and other Western intelligence services." Secretary Powell's "confession" that Iraq might not have any WMD, "further eroded" U.S. credibility and "exposed its fraud," noted India's independent Awam.  Recognizing "it is a better world" without Saddam, Germany's business Handelsblatt held: "But this cannot justify the Iraq war belatedly."


War based on 'fabricated allegations' and 'elegant lies'--  Emboldened by the "most serious testimony mounting" against the White House, Arab and Muslim papers sniped at the U.S. for its "fabricated pretexts and made-up lies."  Kay's findings proved to Egypt's aggressive Al-Akhbar that "the issue was not about Iraq's freedom or democracy or about confronting the proliferation of WMD" but to "seize Iraq and impose hegemony on the entire Middle East."  The U.S. was now "diverting attention" from Iraq, declared Syria's government-owned Al-Thawra, by "unleashing more accusations against countries in the region."  Editorials in Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Malaysia warned the "war of suspicion might be moving towards Syria." An Algerian paper added that any country that "displeases the U.S." has the "right to fear for its security."


Defenders downplay intel 'flaws'; uncertainty can't justify 'doing nothing'-- Underscoring that Kay's "scathing criticisms" were an indictment of the intel system rather than the White House, conservative and centrist European and Canadian papers countered that the failure to unearth WMD does not suggest the administration had "systematically lied."  The "picture does not reveal a conspiracy for war," as Berlin's Der Tagesspiegel explained:  "It seems neither Western intelligence services nor Saddam himself had a clear picture of the Iraqi weapons programs."  They acknowledged, along with London's Times, that while the intelligence the West acted upon "had flaws," that does not "invalidate" the action taken in Iraq. 


Should Bush or Blair be 'worried'?--  In contrast with British PM Blair, President Bush "has not come under pressure at home" despite the absence of WMD, thus the "lack of a smoking gun" would probably not be a problem for Bush in the end.  Those opposed to the war all along will harbor "malice," reflected center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine, but at "home harm will be minimal."  Skeptics in leftist and Muslims outlets urged the American people to realize the "great deception" to which they were subjected.  Brazil's liberal Folha de S. Paulo predicted the "White House's lies would remain on the scene until November as an unburied corpse."


EDITOR: Irene Marr

EDITOR'S NOTE:  This analysis is based on 54 reports from 25 countries, (1/26-29).  Editorial excerpts from each country are listed from the most recent date.




BRITAIN:  "Cheney Backs Away From Iraq WMD Claim"


Stefan Wagstyl and Guy Dinmore reported in the independent Financial Times (1/28):  "Dick Cheney, U.S. vice-president, on Tuesday defended the U.S. decision to invade Iraq but, in a notable shift of emphasis, he left open the question of whether Saddam Hussein had possessed weapons of mass destruction--a claim he made repeatedly before the war.  In his first public response to David Kay, who resigned last Friday as the chief U.S. arms inspector....  Mr. Cheney said: 'There's still work to be done to ascertain exactly what's there, and I am not prepared to make a final judgment until they have completed their work'....  During the interview, Mr. Cheney highlighted comments by Mr. Kay which supported the case that the former Iraqi leader had sought to develop prohibited weapons long after big stockpiles were destroyed in the early 1990s....  Mr. Cheney repeated the conciliatory message he has delivered during his trip to Europe, seeking international cooperation in Iraqi reconstruction and war on terror.  But he never wavered from his insistence that the U.S. had been right to fight the war."


"Why Should Blair Say Sorry For Making Us All Safer?"


Michael Gove commented in the conservative Times (1/27):  "The essence of prudent statecraft is anticipating dangers, not waiting upon events.  But that lesson, reinforced by the events of 9/11, is being challenged this week.  Instead of accepting the principle that we are better safe than sorry, proponents of a new consensus want our leaders to say sorry for trying to keep the world safer....  It does appear to be true that the intelligence on which the West acted had flaws.  But that does not invalidate the action taken in Iraq.  As any dispassionate assessment of the evidence shows....  It was therefore not only reasonable but justifiable, with full hindsight, to conclude that the only way to eliminate the threat of an Iraqi regime armed with WMD was to change that regime.  That was certainly David Kelly's view....  The greatest danger we now face is that those gains will be jeopardized by a new consensus that dictates that we can only ever intervene again if the threat is so obvious that it is staring us in the face.  Because by that time, as America discovered two Septembers ago, the threat will have us by the throat."


FRANCE:   "The Shortcomings Of Intelligence Gathering"


Jacques Amalric in left-of-center Liberation (1/29): “In the U.S. and Great Britain, and to a lesser extent in other countries, the world of intelligence gathering is under scrutiny. In at least two instances it has proven its incompetence.… First in the Iraqi affair… President Bush’s certainty about Saddam Hussein’s arsenal has just been reduced to smithereens in the wake of David Kay’s categorical declarations… Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship did not represent a clear and immediate danger for the U.S.… The second fiasco of western intelligence networks lies with Libya. In this instance they are not accused of having seen what wasn’t there, but rather of not having seen what was being developed right under their noses.… The blindness of intelligence gathering networks and of the a source of concern for the future.  America’s position in these affairs is all the more embarrassing because the information available on an international proliferation network, which has benefited North Korea and Iran, places Pakistan at its center.… The fiasco of U.S. intelligence gathering in Iraq is a godsend for North Korea, which is hoping that the accusations made by the U.S. will be viewed with skepticism by the rest of the world.”


"Iraq Deception"


Left-of-center Le Monde judged (Internet Version-WWW, 1/27):  A year ago, in his State of the Union message, President George W. Bush lacked a sufficiently alarmist formula to describe the immediate danger that Iraq's arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed to the United States.   The following 5 February, addressing the UN Security Council, Secretary of State Colin Powell claimed to present absolute proof of the existence of such a threat.   A few weeks later, citing meteorological constraints, President Bush went to war.   There could be no question of waiting any longer: the danger was too great....   David Kay was definite: there were no WMDs.   This man, who was appointed by the CIA, and who cannot be suspected of naive pacifism, favors the following hypothesis: under the pressure of the UN disarmament inspectors -- so despised by the Bush administration -- Iraq rid itself of its WMD arsenal after 1991 and never restored it, even though it suggested otherwise, for reasons having to do both with domestic prestige and with regional leadership.... It would be normal for his political and moral credibility to be destroyed by Mr Kay's conclusions.   Not so at all: the majority of US citizens still approve of the war.   The fact is that there has been another manipulation: the same majority of US citizens still believe that Saddam Husayn was implicated in the September 2001 attacks.   There is absolutely no evidence of this.   But the administration has exploited public confusion, adding one "deception" to another."


"Too Much, Too Fast"


Francois Ernenwein wrote in Catholic La Croix (1/26):  “Of all the WMD at the center of the war in Iraq, one has been neglected for quite a long time: lying.  David Kay’s resignation is casting doubts once more on the existence of the alleged arsenal.  Here is a careful and prudent man who is saying:  ‘I don’t think they existed…’  Yet the WMD were the main justification for America and Great Britain’s quickly going to war against Iraq.…  Today everything is falling apart like a house of trumped up cards.  But in spite of this, the message in Washington and London is still ‘keep up a strong front,’ as if there were still things to be discovered.  The fact is that recognizing one’s mistake would make things even worse for postwar Iraq.  Troop morale is down and doubt seems to be gripping public opinion.… American and British high officials are under pressure.… There is no doubt that Saddam’s dictatorship had to be fought with determination.  The world agreed.  What was in doubt were the means to be used.  In their hurry for an armed intervention, the Americans and the British deliberately chose to disregard the legitimate doubts that existed.  They wanted to prove too much too quickly.  This disdain for the law and the truth has led to today’s chaos: repeated attacks and uncertainty about a date for elections in Iraq.  If the cause was a just one, was there a need to invent such bad arguments?”


"The Unfound Iraqi Arsenal"


Pascal Riche observed in left-of-center Liberation (1/26):  “One after another U.S. officials are acknowledging that they were mistaken: there were no WMD in Iraq.  President Bush himself in his State of the Union Message gave up on the idea of mentioning a weapons stockpile, speaking instead about ‘activities linked to WMD’ which has everyone confused about what he was speaking about.… Washington’s official embarrassment was made even worse this weekend after David Kay’s resignation.  While the news did not make the front page in U.S. papers, the story casts more shadows on President Bush’s results in Iraq.”


GERMANY:  "The White House Is Now Trying To Embellish The Debacle"


Matthias Nass judged in an editorial in center-left, weekly Die Zeit of Hamburg (1/29): "Now it has been official: former chief inspector Kay no longer expects the discovery of WMD in Iraq.  The threat that allegedly emanated from Saddam?  It did not exist.  The White House is now trying to embellish the debacle...but in reality, Washington has been searching for scapegoats for a long time.  Did the CIA embarrass the government or did the government politicize the CIA in an improper way and manipulated its findings?  In reality, both misled the American people, Congress, and the global public.  The reasons that are to justify the war in hindsight do not diminish the scandal of deception, which was, in the best case, a self-deception.  And they do not reduce the scandal's dangerousness, since the logic of pre-emptive strikes is based on the premise that 'a rogue state tries to get WMD and has joined international terrorism.' This is why it is necessary to strike before the suspicion comes true in the form of a nuclear mushroom.  This is a logic that it dangerous to the public and George W. Bush acted accordingly in Iraq.  David Kay said that the CIA owns the president one explanation.   But what about Bush himself?  He only gave him Kay advice:  'Find the truth.'  At least a beginning has been made."


 "Cheney's Reasons"


Guenter Nonnenmacher argued in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (1/28):  "In contrast to Britain's Premier Blair, U.S. President Bush has not come under pressure at home, even though no WMD were found in Iraq.  But the question is which effect it will have on the credibility of the U.S. government when Vice President Cheney without any embarrassment says that there were enough other reasons to oust Saddam Hussein.  This may be true, but, nevertheless, the issue of WMD is so important--and the Americans repeated it over and over again--that it should not be misused for tactical reasons.  We remember one thing:  Even when Cheney had issued the slogan of regime change as the real objective for the war against Saddam's Baath regime, Secretary Powell presented the UN Security Council with great seriousness his alleged evidence of the immediate danger emanating from Iraq.  Who will believe him--or Cheney or even Bush in the future?  It would be a serious mistake if Washington assumed that power alone would suffice to restructure the world."


"Secret And Dangerous"


Hans Leyendecker argued in an editorial in center-left Sueddeutsche Zeitung of Munich (1/27):  "This case shows that a kind of sticky proximity to policy and intelligence can be devastating.  Leading intelligence officials were part of the team, with George Tenet at the helm.  And nobody made a mistake; everything was planned with intent.  Since human rights violations would not have been enough to go to war, the danger was excessively played up by referring to alleged WMD....  A small group of people did the dirty work....  The primacy of politics was decisive and the intelligence officials did not have the courage to put up open resistance.  Vice President Cheney showed up at the CIA at a regular basis, and this can be intimidating.  The Bush administration deleted or ignored all terms in the intelligence reports that minimized the dangers.  The goal was clear:  war.  But intelligence services that should only find out what politicians tell them to find out, deceive not only the enemy but also their own population.  If a suspicion turns into a weapon, such services are highly dangerous."


"Corruption Instead Of Weapons Production"


Clemens Wergin judged in centrist Der Tagesspiegel of Berlin (1/27):  "A year ago, Colin Powell had his spectacular appearance before the UN Security Council, but in the meantime, all his arguments have been refuted....  So it is no wonder that many people assume that the White House systematically lied.  But the picture drawn by U.S. chief inspector Kay does not reveal a conspiracy for war.  It seems that neither western intelligence services nor Saddam himself had a clear picture of the Iraqi weapons programs....  Large sums of money were invested in corruption instead of weapons production....  In addition, many assumptions of intelligence services were based on unsafe data.  This is why Kay's criticism is less directed against the Bush administration but against a system, in which a 'we-know-that-we-know-too- little' is not provided for.  But this would be the better answer for a politician that is looking for arguments."




Peter Sturm opined in center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine (1/26):  "What was it again about WMD in Iraq?  Secretary Powell now says it is clear that Saddam wanted them.  This could be right, but the validity of the information cannot be proved.  However, there is little hope that the 'smoking gun' so often cited before the war will be found in predictable time.  Those who were skeptical about the Iraq mission right from the start will bear a lot of malice toward the American government.  But at home, harm will be minimal.  Washington's closest ally, the British PM Blair, would be happy if he could say the same.  But he faces an uncomfortable week....  Blair still stands by his conviction that the weapons exist.  Powell's statement will not make it easier for him."


"With Empty Hands"


Business daily Handelsblatt of Duesseldorf stated (1/26):  "David Kay, the weapons inspector in Iraq, resigned and told the world that he believes that Saddam did not possess WMD since the 90s.  Kay is not a left wing Bush opponent but a thorough expert chosen by the President for searching the weapons....  Secretary Powell was the first one to realize the significance of the expert's verdict asking why Kay's knowledge was not taken into account earlier....  Saddam was a criminal tyrant and deserved to be toppled.  It is a better world without him.   But this cannot justify the Iraq war belatedly.  It was argued differently and apparently waged on a pretext."


"The Great Uncertainty"


Business daily Financial Times Deutschland of Hamburg declared (1/26):  "The unsuccessful search for WMD in Iraq is of great embarrassment to  President Bush and his most faithful ally, Tony Blair.…  First of all it is a big political scandal, but it would be too simple if the government had simply lied.  The electorate could exchange those responsible and hope that their successors learnt the lesson.   But there is a more serious problem:  Even the best-equipped intelligence services are apparently not able to gain reliable information on authoritarian regimes like North Korea or Iran.  Those who want to prevent WMD getting into wrong hands act under great uncertainties.   In the case of Iraq it was hardly disputed before the war whether it had biological or chemical weapons.  This information also came from the Clinton administration, UN weapon inspectors and even the German intelligence service.  Also the British expert David Kelly, whose suicide turned into a dangerous scandal for Blair, believed in the existence of these weapons....  Americans have lost a lot of credibility by exaggerating the danger systematically, e.g. the claims of nuclear programs and connections to al-Qaida.   This could end in a bitter revenge if nobody believes them anymore in the future.  This makes it more important to support independent sources.  UN chief inspector El Baradei is right in calling for more support for his authority.  But politicians and citizens also have to learn to deal with uncertainties.   Rapid preemptive strikes like the U.S. has incorporated in its strategy cannot be accepted.  But uncertainty does not justify doing nothing either."


"List Of Doubters Growing"


Washington correspondent Markus Guenther filed the following editorial for right-of-center Augsburger Allgemeine (1/26):  "The list of those who concede that there have never been WMD in Iraq is getting longer.  The fact that U.S. chief inspector David Kay now says that nothing can be found in Iraq is a slap in President Bush's face.  And the Bush team does not seem to know how to deal with the problem....  [The Bush administration] hopes that the reasons to go to war will be getting less interesting if it can present a stable Iraq and the withdrawal of U.S. forces.  But in order for this calculation to come true, there must be progress in Iraq.  The most recent attacks are running counter to this embellishing rhetoric....  Sooner or later the question will be raised why the United States began this war at all."


ITALY:   "Weapons In Iraq, ‘[Intelligence] Agencies Mistake’"


Mario Platero wrote in leading business Il Sole-24 Ore (1/29): “David Kay, former head of U.S. inspectors in Iraq, who is at the center of a political storm for his declarations on the missing WMD in Iraq prior to the U.S. intervention in March 2003, took center stage at the Senate yesterday.… Democratic and Republican senators questioned Kay at length.… Bush began to distance himself from the thesis regarding the presence of WMD during a brief press meeting on Tuesday morning and instead emphasized the fact that Saddam Hussein represented a threat to the United States.”


RUSSIA:  "Bush Brought Into Conflict With Special Services"


Yuliya Petrovskaya argued in Boris Berezovskiy-controlled, elite Nezavisimaya Gazeta (HTML version, 1/27):  "Kay, who had previously cast doubt on the actual fact that Saddam's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction after 1991, launched into scathing criticism of the special services....  It turns out that Kay has essentially vindicated Bush after a number of his own comments which had 'sullied the President's honor.'...  The expert ruled out the possibility of Saddam's destruction of the stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.  Because, according to Kay, they simply were not there.  As for the nuclear program, it was in the embryonic stage.  The uncertainty shown by Secretary of State Colin Powell has made the resignation of the inspectors' leader even more controversial.... The remarkable thing is that the Secretary of State shared his doubts immediately after the White House reacted to Kay's resignation with a statement that WMD did exist. Such inconsistency is bound to impede Bush on the Iraq front of his election campaign....  But whereas Bush has finally been vindicated by the 'WMD seeker' himself, for British Premier Tony Blair, the topic of Iraq is becoming increasingly complex.   This week, analysts believe, could be decisive for Blair's political career primarily because of the long-awaited report from Lord Justice Hatton....  Blair must be worried:  Most inopportunely, the press is circulating the U.S. expert's revelations just before the publication of Hutton's findings tomorrow."


CZECH REPUBLIC:  "The Pitfall Of Exaggerated Threat"


Petr Pesek opined in the center-right Lidove Noviny (1/26): "It seems less and less probable that the forbidden weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq.…It was a mistake to assert that the existence of enormous stocks of WMD in Iraq was the main reason for going to Iraqi war.  Saddam evidently had these weapons in the past …and the nature of his regime with his preparedness to use them was a weighty argument for his removal.  Seeking "more attractive" reasons can have deplorable consequences in the future, for example in the search for support for an action against similar evil as Saddam was."


"Bluffing About Iraq Is Endless"


Viliam Buchert commented in the leading, centrist MF Dnes (1/26):  "Who lied about Iraq?  Or rather, who lied more?  These questions keep coming up after Friday's resignation of David Kay, the head of U.S. inspectors searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.…U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell then admitted over the weekend that Saddam Hussein did not possess any weapons of mass destruction before the start of the Iraqi war in March last year.  Does it mean that inspector Kay and Secretary of State Powell were wrong or are perhaps liars [because they claimed quite the opposite in the past]?  Both options are possible.  But first of all, this is evidence of the embarrassing work of U.S. and other Western intelligence services, which provided politicians and then the public with this kind of information.  But Iraq is not an occasional case in this respect.…The last U.S. agent allegedly left Afghanistan in 1995, before the Taliban came to true was the information about what Osama Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda were doing?…The CIA also several times in the past reiterated that North Korea produced at minimum two nuclear bombs.  Now U.S. inspectors say it has none....  However, it is indisputable that forcing out Saddam Hussein was a good thing because by terrorizing his own people he threatened the entire region.  And this was a strong enough reason for military action without bluffing about WMD."


"The Power of Nuclear Threat"


Martin Ehl editorializes in the business Hospodarske Noviny (1/26): "Mohamed El Baradei warns against the new quality of the current nuclear threat in the world.  The new or potential owners of nuclear weapons...are not put off from using these weapons by threat of retaliation.  Their motivation is very much different from the motivation of the Cold War adversaries.  Terrorists do not hesitate to put their lives at stake; leaders of some countries are completely oblivious to these wider consequences or the fate of their countries.  Even the most ideologically blinded members of the Moscow politburo and the roughest American hawks had some counterweight inside their parties and never made decisions without some justification for their actions.  The new nuclear threat is so dangerous not because of the foreseeable impact of the explosion, but mainly because of the unpredictability of its use."


POLAND:  "Trouble With Kay"


Dawid Warszawski observed in liberal Gazeta Wyborcza (1/28):  "David Kay, former head of the American team that searched for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, said recently that Iraq had given up its biological and chemical weapons programs after the Gulf war in 1991, and destroyed the stockpiles it already possessed....  According to Kay, Saddam did try to reactivate nuclear weapons program after 2000, but he was far from the advanced stage of Iran or Libya....  Kay's statement is very embarrassing to the president's team. It is also embarrassing to people like myself who saw the WMD threat as a justification for the war. Everything indicates I misled the public by voicing such an opinion--and the fact that I had been misled is no excuse. After all, there were people back then who said exactly what Kay is saying now....  The crucial question is how Bush made the decision on war: had he been misled, or did he consciously lie?


SLOVAKIA: "Credibility As A Casus Belli"


Commentary by Marian Leskob in center-right Sme judged (1/27):  "Long before David Kay resigned as the senior U.S. seeker of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, U.S. political scientist E. J. Dione wrote:   'If the weapons sought are not found, Bush will have a serious problem in the year of the presidential elections--the problem of credibility, not only at home, but, first and foremost, in Europe.'   Since Kay has resigned from his post, because, according to him, there are no stockpiles of prohibited biological and chemical weapons in Iraq, the U.S. Administration will have to deal with a problem that it itself has created....  Secretary of State Powell explained to the whole world in a live broadcast a year ago why he was 'absolutely convinced' that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction at its disposal.   Now, following the resignation of David Kay, he has admitted that Iraq did not have such weapons.   The year-long difference between his claims is so chasmic that it is impossible to bridge it with the cursory comment that Hussen's weapons are no longer important and that no one is interested in them.   Namely, they are important for everyone who is interested in whether the current U.S. Administration is credible.  If the White House does not come up with a serious explanation of why its casus belli has not been confirmed, the critics of George Bush can reiterate sarcastically what the President has not understood.   According to them, he has not understood that credibility is like virginity.   It is not as easy to restore it as it is to lose it."


SPAIN:  "Lies As A Weapon"


An editorial in center-left El Pais asserted (Internet Version, 1/28):  "The recent resignation of U.S. chief arms inspector in Iraq puts an end to a history of lies and manipulations....  The David Kay verdict was conclusive:  Saddam Hussein before the invasion had rudimentary armament capabilities, although he may have been playing with fire.  Kay suspects that the Iraqi regime probably gradually disarmed his arsenals of mass destruction after the 1991 war and under international pressure....  Kay has said that the CIA owes Bush an explanation for the reports they gave him concerning Saddam's war capabilities.  The affirmations of Kay should come as no surprise [even] at the highest levels.  The question of Saddam's arsenals was deflated by international public opinion almost immediately after the end of the U.S.' lightning war.  What does draw attention, however, is the ease with which Colin Powell now admits that perhaps there had been none.  Especially when remembering the spectacular sound and lights show the Secretary organized just a year ago before the UNSC to convince us...that Washington had irrefutable proof that demanded going to war and the extraordinary resonance his false arguments had in the mouth of the Spanish government."


TURKEY:  "The Suspicion War"


Fikret Ertan commented in the Islamist-intellectual Zaman (1/27):  "The Iraq turmoil was created by a war based on a suspicion about the existence of WMD that allegedly posed a global threat....  In the post-war situation, no weapons of mass destruction have been identified and it looks like they never will.  This is because Iraq had been eliminating such weapons since 1990.  There are also credible facts to make us believe that there were actually no WMD in Iraq before the war....  The resignation of David Kay is a significant event in this regard, and Secretary Powell has failed to come up with a convincing argument against the claims made by Kay....  Nevertheless, Kay also pointed the finger at Syria for having WMD.  This war of suspicion might be moving towards Syria."




ISRAEL:  "President Bush Is in Trouble"


Ultra-Orthodox Yated Ne'eman editorialized (1/26):  "The announcement by the head of the American team looking for WMD in Iraq that there are no biological or chemical weapons in Iraq, has raised a harsh embarrassment among the U.S. Administration.  That man, David Kay, announced his resignation and stated his belief that there is no chance of finding WMD in Iraq....  For George Bush, who is in the middle of an election year, this is a most painful blow....  Contrary to other Western and Middle Eastern leaders, the U.S. President will have to provide appropriate answer to his electorate.  He won't be able to explain that his war against Iraq stems from personal and family-related emotions, in order to 'settle accounts' with the man who made his father lose the election."


EGYPT:  "A Lie That Fell Apart"


 Editor-in-Chief Jalal Duwaydart reflected in government-owned Al Akhbar (1/27): "Since the end of the Iraq War, facts are revealed every day to disprove the lie about possession of weapons of mass destruction.... The war ended some eight months ago with the destruction of Iraq and seizing it after the toppling of Saddam Husayn's dictatorial regime. As a face-saving measure to cover up for this lie that was used to justify the invasion, the United States assigned an American team to conduct a comprehensive survey in search of these alleged weapons in Iraq, but to no avail. The work of that team ended recently with its chief, David Kay, announcing his resignation and confirming he had not found any weapons of mass destruction.... The denial of the existence of such weapons was not limited to experts and technicians assigned to look for them in Iraq. The pillars of President Bush's Administration, led by Secretary of State Colin Powell, besieged by journalists' question, could not help but admit that all evidence confirm there is no existence of such weapons. No doubt this issue and its ramifications will be an ignitable element in the presidential election campaign involving the two major U.S. parties....  This will not be because of love for Saddam Hussein but because of the unacceptability of resort to lies.   All the facts indicate at present that the issue was not about Iraq's freedom or democracy or about confronting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It has become clear that the objective was to seize Iraq and impose hegemony on the entire Middle East region for the sake of petroleum and in order to back the agent and the ally, Israel."


"Diseased Imagination"


From the "Misgivings" column by Sana al-Sa'id in independent Al-Usbu (1/27):  "Bush seems to be living in a self-made world of deception and delusion.   In the State of the Union address he talked about the sweeping triumph that America had achieved by occupying Iraq. He made no mention of his human and material losses, his killed and wounded troops, and the quagmire he sank in....  We ask what weapons he talks about since none has ever been proved to have existed. Everybody has given him the lie, including his former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill in his book 'Price of Loyalty', the testimonies of UNSCOM and UNMOVIC and the U.S. inspectors whose long months of search in Iraq have ended in finding nothing related to weapons of mass destruction.   This has impelled chief U.S. inspector David Kay to refuse to return to Iraq to complete the search for something that exists only in the mind of Bush who sees illusory things.   Kay has even submitted his resignation recently.  Bush looked while delivering the Union of the State address as if he belonged to another world.   The matter with Bush is that he thinks the world around him is a world of fools who see nothing of what happens around them. May God help us!"    


ALGERIA:  "Fear Around The World"


An editorial by Tayeb Belghiche in French ran in french-language, independent El Watan stating (Internet version 1/27):   "It has not been possible to find the slightest material evidence of a program for the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein's regime.   No supporter of the former dictator or any sort of Ba'thist is saying this.   It was one David Kay, an important leading American figure, charged by President George W. Bush with finding a possible arsenal of weapons of mass destruction to justify an invasion of Iraq, who emphasized this in a sensational statement followed by his resignation.   Despite a negative report, the head of the White House attacked an independent country, dragging the United Kingdom along on his adventure....   Today the most credible and the most serious testimony is mounting against him.   Since 2001 he has not stopped lying and talking about weapons that do not exist, this with the sole aim of seizing ancient Mesopotamia....  This negative behavior by Mr. Bush's administration is not tailored to reassure the international community.   Any country now has the right to fear for its security if it displeases the United States.  Today any state that has petroleum has reasons to feel threatened.   The U.S. talk about democracy and human rights around the world does not fit in with what is happening in Iraq.   Certainly it is an excellent thing that the Iraqi people have been rid of a bloodthirsty tyrant.   The American intervention will become acceptable if the coalition army pulls out immediately.   This will unfortunately not be the case and here is where we must be afraid of imperial America."


JORDAN: "Exposed Fabrications"


Daily columnist Rakan Majali contended on the back-page of center-left, influential Al-Dustour (01/28):  "In recent weeks, a number of American and British officials, including Powell's remarks in Moscow, have acknowledged the fact that Iraq does not have any type of weapons of mass destruction.  After nine months of Iraq's occupation, it is confirmed that the accusation that Iraq owns dangerous weapons is a fabricated allegation, on which the United States depended to launch a war on Iraq.  Furthermore, the United States is pompously determined to prove the allegation against Al-Qaeda organization and that it is responsible for the terrorist crime of 9/11, something that the United States adopted as a pretext for launching war against Afghanistan....  The U.S. administration is latching on to lies and fabrications about people, even if they are linked to Al-Qaeda organization.  Al-Masoudi's story is not the last of thousands of other stories of prisoners in American and western jails, where America failed after two years of investigations to prove Al-Qaeda's link to the 9/11 attacks."


"The Sand Pyramid Has Begun To Fall"


Chief Editor Taher Udwan wrote on the back-page of independent, mass-appeal Al-Arab Al-Yawm (1/28):  "They have made a mountain out of a molehill and they have build a pyramid of allegations and pretexts to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq.  This is the story of Bush and Blair with the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.  But, now that they have managed to achieve their dreams of the empire over the shattered pieces of Iraq and its people, the sand pyramid turns out to be made of elegant lies....  The question is however is: how did the world allow two leaders of two democratic countries to occupy a weaker besieged country and to destroy it under fabricated pretexts and made-up lies, leading the Iraqi people into a state of division, sectarianism and destruction?  Now that the pyramid of lies has collapsed, the occupiers are trying to cover themselves with the image of the liberators who have come to save the Iraqi people and give them democracy; another pyramid of lies, for what is happening there is a massacre by all means: a massacre of geography and a massacre of humanity. We just hope that the Iraqis will survive with the least amount of losses."


SYRIA:  "A Backward Escape"


Ahmad Dawa maintained in government-owned Al-Thawra (1/28):  "Some U.S. officials' statements on transferring Iraqi WMD to neighboring countries seem naïve....  They lack credibility....  They can be characterized as an attempt by those officials to escape backwards from confronting facts, which are being exposed day after day, on the deliberate and organized misleading which was practiced by some U.S. officials to falsely prove Iraq's possession of WMD....  Some U.S. officials' attempt to mislead the American people and diverting their attention from the consequences of the Iraqi WMD crisis by unleashing more accusation against countries in the region including Syria; this proves bankruptcy of U.S. policy....  Confusion in the U.S. officials' statements, whether in justifying war in Iraq or transfer of Iraqi WMD outside Iraq, exposes the reality of the conflicting positions within the U.S. Administration on how to face this crisis and its possible impact on the U.S. election."


"Where Is The Justification For War?"


Mohamed Khair al-Jamali commented in government-owned Al-Thawra (1/27):  "Ten months after war on Iraq, the American people are beginning to wonder whether this war was in their country's interest, while the whole world is debating the justification for this war....  The U.S. people are starting to wake up from the stupor and anesthetization of misleading U.S. policies, after seeing the grave loss of U.S. soldiers which is reminiscent of U.S. losses in Vietnam.  With the exposure of this U.S. policy, Americans have started to realize the great deception they were subjected to."


"Why The Continuing Campaign of Allegations"


Government-owned Al-Ba'th editorialized (1/25):  "In David Kay's Sunday Telegraph statement, he claimed that the former Iraqi regime may have transferred undetermined materials and programs on WMD to Syria prior to the war.  This statement is mere allegation and lacks any material evidence....  Kay is driven behind a campaign of evil intentions waged with Israeli and pro-Zionist horns to strike at Syria's steadfastness by holding it responsible for the aggravating crisis in Iraq....  It is sufficient to mention that U.S. officials from the Republicans and the Democrats have denied these claims which aimed to hold Syria responsible for Iraq's 'non possession' of WMD;... Among those officials, is Secretary Powell who, in a radio interview, denied this claim adding that he didn't see any evidence on this theory...and that he didn't know any reason why Syria would something which doesn't serve Syria's interests, as it were not on good terms with Iraq.  Powell acknowledged that his country didn't find WMD in Iraq; even Kay stated that he was not sure that Iraq owned WMD.  All this confirm the falsehood of this claim and expose the real intentions of pro-Zionists who seek to intimidate Syria to make it change its position"  




JAPAN:  "Did Iraq's WMD Threat Really Exist?"


Liberal Asahi observed (1/26):  "Was Iraq's possession of WMD only an illusion?  At a time when the international community has become skeptical about the authenticity of Iraq's WMD development and possession, former CIA chief WMD inspector David Kay and Secretary Powell reportedly made remarks that 'cast doubt on' Saddam Hussein's prewar possession of WMD.  We wonder whether the Bush administration used force against Hussein under the false assumption that he possessed WMD.  We also wonder whether U.S. and British leaders used the WMD dispute as an excuse to remove Saddam Hussein, who has been an archenemy of the U.S.-led camp since the Gulf War.  The world community is still skeptical about President Bush's policy on Iraq, including the justification for a pre-emptive military strike.  Despite this lingering sentiment, PM Koizumi is going ahead with SDF troop deployment without discussing the justification for the war in Iraq."


HONG KONG SAR:  "Skeptical World Waits As Weapons Trail Fades"


The independent English-language South China Morning Post stated (1/25):  "In his annual State of the Union address last week, George W. Bush returned to a familiar theme--the grave danger the world is said to have faced from Saddam Hussein's biological and chemical weapons....  But the failure to find any WMD, despite months of searching, has weakened this position.  And it was further undermined this weekend by the verdict of the man (David Kay) who was given the task of finding the stockpiles....  While the hunt will go on, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the feared weapon stockpiles will be found....  Mr. Kay is to be replaced by former UN weapons inspector Charles Duelfer, who recently expressed his own doubts that WMD would be found.  We hope he lives up to his pledge to discover the truth--whatever that may be.  Vice-President Cheney said last week that 'the jury is still out' on the weapons issue.  That may be true.  But the jury--in the form of international opinion--is still lacking evidence and is becoming more skeptical by the day."


MALAYSIA:  "Bush Has Syria In His Sights"


Government-influenced Malay-language daily Berita Harian ran the following commentary by Azman Nadzir (1/27):  "Flush with its initial success in occupying Baghdad and reducing much of Iraq to chaos and ruin, the Bush administration is already setting its sights further afield --on Syria in particular.  While U.S. tanks may not be immediately heading for Damascus, a string of recent statements by Bush and his senior officials carries the unmistakable threat: unconditionally bow to U.S. demands or face the same fate as Iraq....  While U.S. officials have avoided making a direct military threat against Damascus, there is no doubt that a case for war is being made.  The growing list of unsubstantiated accusations directly parallels Washington’s pretexts for invading Iraq.  Moreover, even if the immediate aim is to bully Syria into compliance, there is an inexorable political logic to such threats."


"American Credibility Damaged"


Government-influenced English language daily New Straits Times ran the following commentary by Kamarul Idris (1/27):  "More will no doubt be spent to keep the pages of the WMD story turning until the U.S. has moved the goalposts far enough to rivet international attention on the future of a post-war, post-Saddam Iraq....  As vile as the Saddam regime was, the resort to illegal or fabricated means to decide on matters of war and peace undermines both global security and the ethics of its chief policeman--the United States.  Malaysia's strenuous opposition to the war had not been based on knee-jerk anti-Americanism or any fellow feeling for Saddam, but on the integrity of the international order within which nations coexist under the leadership of the UN.  The absence of WMD in Iraq has damaged American credibility in the eyes of the world and struck down the UN's authority to deter aggression."


"Failure To Find WMD In Iraq:  Malaysia Right In Opposing War"


Government-influenced English-language daily New Straits Times commented (1/27):  "Now there is proof that the US had no justification for their attack.  It would be different if the US went to war and later admitted that they only wanted to get rid of Saddam and remove his threat from the Middle East.  It is good America has come out with the admission as this will end the guessing game on whether there were destructive weapons in Iraq.  It was important that someone who worked closely with the CIA made the revelation.  The argument for WMD was just a smokescreen to justify the invasion.  The main objective was to secure a new source of oil.  We also did not think that there would be significant changes in the American leadership.  The discovery of lies and untruths does not, unfortunately, figure very highly with the American public.  For Americans, deaths of their soldiers, not Iraqis, are more pressing."


"U.S. Deceit To Legalize Invasion Of Iraq Has Been Exposed"


Kuala Lumpur's government-owned Utusan Malaysia commented (Internet Version-WWW, 1/27):  "A 'bomb' dropped by David Kay, former chief of UN arms inspection team, when he said Iraq no longer had stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons even before the US invasion in March 2003, appears to have shaken Washington.   This can be likened to bombs and missiles the U.S. troops dropped on Baghdad.  Also, the western media has failed to make meaningful and serious follow-up reports concerning Kay's exposure....  Kay's exposure should be an eye-opener to most of the US cronies.   The fact is that they have been deceived into lending support to the United States to wage war against Iraq.   Besides, Washington now continues to dominate Iraq's economy and current politics.... Kay's exposure should prompt peace-loving countries to start a tribunal proceeding against Washington for launching the war against Iraq based on false and concocted reasons.  Former Iraqi President Saddam Husayn indeed deserves to be punished for his tyranny and oppression against the Iraqi people."




INDIA:   "Number One Enemy Of The World" 


An editorial in Calcutta-based pro-left Urdu-langauge Aabshaar read (1/28):  "President George W. Bush presently has turned out as the most despicable one before the whole world including America. Now none has faith on him as it has become clear that the allegation of WMD on the pretext of which  Bush and Tony Blair invaded Iraq, was totally baseless....  Actually now a day the American government is under pressure of its own people, a large section of which does not think of Bush being a faithful person. According to them Bush and Blair were best aware of the fact that Iraq had no WMD, instead, they attacked that country.  The American general public has been against Iraq war....  After all what is the reason behind this war? Even the US troops deployed in Baghdad could not find answer to this question and anger and depression are flying high among the army and they are being driven to suicide more and more making the position of Bush critical.  But Bush remains adamant. This is the reason why he in his State of the Union without uttering even a word of regret, declared that America if needed, could attack any country and would not require any permission....  Under this circumstances the imperialist America can appropriately be called the number one enemy of the whole world."


"A Policy Unravels" 


The centrist Hindu editorialized (1/28):  "The U.S. administration's defense of its Iraq policy has been steadily rendered untenable by developments on the ground. Its justifications for the invasion have not withstood close scrutiny....  David Kay...has confirmed that Iraq did not possess a non-conventional capability....  President Bush and his political appointees have so consistently followed a pattern of doctoring data and concocting cases to suit their political purposes that they cannot blame professionals in the intelligence services for the wide gap between reality and their projections of it....  An Iraqi Government dominated by people who base their political identity on religious belief would be a serious embarrassment to the Bush administration....  Bush and his officials will have their work cut out to convince Americans that their security has been enhanced by the political fruits of their invasion of Iraq....  Bush's Iraqi misadventure will continue to haunt him, even if he manages to win the November presidential election."


"Weapons Of Deceit"


The centrist Times editorialized (1/27):  "As in love, everything apparently is fair in war, and as much now stands proved with more and more evidence turning up on Iraq 's non-existing weapons of mass destruction....  Of the two men who jointly led the attack on Iraq, one faces a crucial election later this year and the other an imminent grueling parliamentary session.  The first, George Bush, has so far had luck on his side, and indeed only a few days ago obtained a 66 per cent approval rating for his handling of the war on terrorism.  The second, Tony Blair, is unlikely to be so fortunate, especially now that David Kay, leader of the U.S. weapons inspection team, has lent his considerable weight to the growing belief that Saddam had no weapons....  From Hans Blix to El Baradei to David Kelly to now David Kay, every known authority on WMD has all but rubbished the weapons story that the Bush-Blair duo spun out to go into Iraq.  Kay, who led a 1,000-strong inspection team into Iraq, in fact resigned last week saying, 'the weapons did not exist.'  In other words, Iraq was attacked and Saddam Hussein humiliated and captured for a complete non-reason.  Saddam was a tyrant, as most dictators anywhere would be, but he was no threat to the U.S. and the UK....  Unlike in the U.S., in the UK, there was little support to the war from the beginning. Bush, on the other hand, not only had domestic backing for the war, he has also used the capture of Saddam to divert public attention away from WMD to terrorism.  But the respite may not last long.  For American David Kay has provided the Democrats with just the ammunition they need to take on George Teflon Bush."


"U.S. Exposed Once Again"


The independent Awam judged (1/26):  "David Kay, the man who headed the CIA team of arms inspectors looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, has confirmed that no chemical, biological or other banned arms were found in the country under inspection.  He not only said this but also resigned from his post, sparking a heated and prolonged debate around the globe including the U.S. and the countries participating in the plans of invading and plundering Iraq.  David Kay is only the latest in the series....  As the world community was unable to prevail against the war plans, it can do little even after David Kay's confirmation that the charges against Saddam regime were false and fabricated.  However, one can expect the American people to make the Bush administration accountable for misleading them as Tony Blair is facing increasing public wrath for his fraudulent claims before the war.  Several members of the intelligence committee of the U.S. Congress have also admitted that they were ill informed about the weapons in Iraq.  As though it was not enough, the confession of Secretary Powell that Iraq might not have any weapons of mass destruction has only further eroded the credibility of the U.S. and exposed its fraud with its own people and the world as a whole."


PAKISTAN:  "Truth About WMDs"


Independent English-language Dawn noted (Internet version, 1/27): " Kay's statement is embarrassing for President George Bush in an election year, because the arms expert's declaration demolishes the very basis of his war against Iraq.   In his state of the union address to Congress, Mr Bush said the American attack was necessary, because if Washington had failed to act 'the dictator's WMDs programmes would continue to this day.'...  What Kay has said is nothing new.   Much before the war, Hans Blix, chief of the UN Monitoring and Verification Commission, had said his team had found no 'smoking gun' in Iraq.   Yet a war was launched because America wanted it, even if the case it had made for the war was scuttled by the UN. Regime change-that was what Israel wanted, and Mr Bush had to oblige, WMDs or no WMDs.   America has won a resounding military victory, but in that process it has not only undermined the UN, it has also wrecked its own moral authority.   It is not for the Republican administration now to sermonize to other nations on truth, freedom and justice." 


"America’s Admission Of Guilt"


The second largest Urdu daily, Nawa-e-Waqt, editorialized (1/26):  "Secretary Powell has admitted that the possibility of WMDs presence in Iraq does not exist....  Colin Powell’s statement neither absolves the U.S. from the excesses it has committed nor does it compensate for the violence perpetrated.  After the arrest of Saddam Hussein the U.S. has no justification to stay in Iraq."


"Verification Of David Kay"


Sensationalist Ummat declared (1/26):  "David Kay, the head of the American inspection team, which had been looking for WMD in Iraq, has testified that no such stockpiles are available in the country.  This statement has forced Secretary Powell to admit the non-existence of the WMDs in Iraq but President Bush is still adamant that Iraq was working on its WMDs.  The question is how long it will take to search for these prohibited weapons in Iraq.  All of the three institutions that were assigned this task have reported their non-existence.  It is high time that the U.S. should also admit this." 


"A Slap In America’s Face"


Karachi's right-wing, pro-Islamic unity Jasarat commented (1/26):  "The Bush administration is keeping a mum over the resignation of David Kay who has failed to find out any WMDs in Iraq.  His resignation is in fact a slap in America’s face.  David Kay was not a UN Inspector, nor was he appointed by Iraq.  He was an American and was sent specially to Iraq.  A mountain can be built out of a molehill but if even the molehill is not present then what David Kay has done is the only option left."




SOUTH AFRICA:  "What About WMD?"


Nigerian-owned, liberal This Day (1/26) commented:  “The top U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq has resigned, having concluded that Saddam Hussein’s regime had no stockpiles of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons....  The man who is taking already on record as saying he doubts that any exist.  Even in Washington, from President...Bush down, they are toning down the rhetoric on Iraq.…  Bush may no longer have to keep up the pretence that he ousted prevent an attack on the U.S., but Blair may end up by asking ‘with friends like this, who needs enemies?’”


"Test Week"


Afrikaans language, centrist Die Burger observed (1/26):  “Saturday the excuses used by President Bush and Mr. Blair to attack Iraq received a further blow when the American leader of the search for weapons resigned.…  This week will indicate whether the two leaders will pay the price for a war which continues to be more and more controversial in the midst of attack against the occupying forces.”




CANADA:  "Challenge Bush's Spin On Iraq"


Gordon Barthos contended in the liberal Toronto Star (Internet Version-WWW, 1/29):  "George Bush and Tony Blair are braying like a pair of carny hucksters at the Ex, as they struggle to extricate themselves from the tangled web they've woven over Iraq.  And their scramble to rationalize a war that need never have been fought risks discrediting Canadian efforts to support the notion of intervening militarily to prevent despots from committing mass slaughter, as happened in Rwanda and Yugoslavia a decade ago. That's something Prime Minister Paul Martin should pay heed to, as he shapes a more 'proactive' Canadian foreign policy with the U.S. in mind. Remember Bush declaring 'Saddam Hussein has dangerous weapons today?' Remember Blair, ever the eager acolyte, insisting they could be launched on 45 minutes' notice?....  David Kay, Washington's own chief weapons inspector, now says Saddam scrapped his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons years ago. The weapons do not exist,' Kay says. And what of Saddam's notorious ties to Al Qaeda?... That leaves Bush and Blair struggling to close a credibility gap that yawns wider by the day. So they're now edging away from their risible claim that the war was a justified act of self-defence, and trying to rebrand it, improbably, as an act of human kindness.... By any reasonable standard, the Iraq war failed to meet even the minimum tests that Canada supports to qualify as a legitimate humanitarian intervention in defence of a beleaguered people."


"Hindsight In Iraq"


The centrist Winnipeg Free Press opined (1/27): "The presence or absence of weapons of mass destruction makes no practical difference now to the course the U.S. and its allies should follow from here on in Iraq. The Baathist regime has been removed, to the great benefit of Iraqis and their neighbours, and the task now is to help Iraqis build a peaceful, democratic, prosperous state. Their absence does, however, show that the United States, through some combination of faulty intelligence and political misjudgment, claimed to know of illegal weapons where there were none. Allies' confidence in U.S. knowledge of foreign countries has been shaken. To rebuild that confidence, the country should squarely acknowledge the error, show how it happened and correct the weaknesses that caused it."


BRAZIL:  "Unburied Corpse"


Liberal Folha de S. Paulo editorialized (1/28):  "It is nothing new for those who oppose the Bush administration to use more or less diplomatic language to say that in its attempt to justify the war in Iraq, the White House lied when it maintained that Saddam Hussein possessed WMD....  What is new is that now, former co-workers as well as those who oppose Bush are making such accusations....  Colin Powell was forced to admit that the WMD might not exist....  In normal circumstances, the disinformation that preceded the invasion might already have been forgotten. The truth is always the first victim in any war. But since this is an electoral year, the White House's lies are expected to remain on the scene until November as an unburied corpse."  


MEXICO:  "The War Of Legitimacy"


Jesus Silva-Herzog Marquez wrote in the independent Reforma (1/26):  "Last year's question still remains:  was there a real threat to the U.S.?  Last year Bush spoke about the grave danger of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. This year he ignored the issue, and merely said that the world is safer without the Iraqi dictator....  The real issue has to do with international legitimacy.  What is the basis for U.S. interventions abroad?  Is it merely the provincial argument of its own national interest?  The U.S. is experiencing diplomatic failure and international isolation.  Nobody questions its immense economic power and military might, but what is questioned is the nature of the leadership the U.S. tries to exercise in the world."


"Excuses Of The White House"


An editorial in the business-oriented El Financiero  concluded (1/26):  "The alleged existence of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in Iraq was always a weak argument, which was designed by the United States and its allies to justify an invasion of Iraq in February 2003.  This is particularly true because the attack was launched without allowing the United Nations inspectors to finish a job that would have probably avoided the war.  The statements by David Kay--former chief of the specialists' team sent by the White House after Saddam Hussein was overthrown--were enlightening.  They confirm that the USG tried to create an excuse--just as with the alleged links between Baghdad and Osama bin Laden's terrorist group, al-Qaida--that only served to hide the huge corporate interests of the governing group in Washington."


JAMAICA: "At Bush With The Truth"


Senior Executive in the Government of Jamaica's information system and newspaper columnist Ian Boyne wrote in the moderate, top circulation Sunday Gleaner (1/25): "President George W. Bush was at it again in his State of the Union address last Tuesday--engaging in his favourite pastime of playing fast and loose with the truth...Rather than coming clean with his people and the world and admitting his colossal miscalculation about the dangers Iraq posed to American and world security, he sought to use sleight of hand tactics to mask his shame. In his declaration of war on March 17, President Bush said, 'Saddam Hussein must disarm himself  or, for the sake of peace, we will lead a coalition to disarm him.' It was not for the sake of liberating the oppressed Iraqi people. Were the Iraqis the only oppressed people in the world, or even in the Middle East? On the eve of war the U.S. President employed his scare tactics to justify his impending actions in Iraq: 'The danger is clear: Using chemical, biological and one day nuclear weapons obtained with the help of Iraq, the terrorists could fulfil their stated ambitions and kill thousands of innocent people in this country or any other.' Yet, 10 months after, no weapons of mass destruction have been found despite intense search. And President Bush was, to put it most charitably, incomplete in his use of information from his chief sleuth for weapons in Iraq, David Kay.... Sleight of hand again. Programmes and weapons are not the same thing! But this born-again Christian President has been a master of deception. 'Had we failed to act the dictator's weapons of mass destruction programmes would continue to this day."


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