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“An attack on Iraq at this time would seriously jeopardize, if not destroy, the global counter-terrorist campaign we have undertaken,” he stated.
Scowcroft believed that launching a war in Iraq would not only divert the country from the war on terrorism but, if undertaken without America’s traditional allies, be far too costly: There is a virtual consensus in the world against an attack on Iraq at this time.
And we also have reason to believe they’re pursing the acquisition of nuclear weapons. We think it’s of concern to people all over the region.
In an opinion piece published in the on the same day of Condi’s BBC interview, Scowcroft warned that military action in Iraq would divert the United States from its war on terrorism, isolate us from the global community that did not support such a strike, and destabilize the Middle East.
“In real life, power and values are married completely,” she said. In January 2003, Condi published an editorial in entitled “Why We Know Iraq Is Lying,” in which she summarized Hussein’s non-compliance with the new inspections.
“Great powers matter a great deal—they have the ability to influence the lives of millions and change history. Inspectors had not been given the full access demanded by Resolution 1441, she stated, and Iraq’s “recent promises to do better can only be seen as an attempt to stall for time.” She concluded that Iraq treated the inspections as a game, and warned that the country “should know that time is running out.” In the editorial, Condi also discussed an issue that would become a hot-button crisis in the administration.
So long as that sentiment persists, it would require the U. to pursue a virtual go-it-alone strategy against Iraq, making any military operations correspondingly more difficult and expensive.
The most serious cost, however, would be to the war on terrorism.
She referred to their policy as “non-nein-nyet,” and stated that the U. strategy should be to “punish France, ignore Germany, and forgive Russia.” This hard-line position contrasted with the more moderate, Scowcroft-like foreign policy perspective Condi had spelled out in her article in January 2000.As the Bush administration laid out its plans to continue the war against terrorism by using military force against Iraq, Condi continued to be the White House’s lead spokesperson by taking the president’s message to the media in news conferences as well as on the political talk show circuit. The United States was justified in considering a preemptive strike, she explained, in that: History is littered with cases of inaction that led to very grave consequences for the world.President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other members of the administration had begun to make their case against Iraq in the spring of 2002. We just have to look back and ask how many dictators who end up being a tremendous global threat, and killing thousands, and indeed millions of people, should we have stopped in their tracks.At a press conference on March 17, for example, Cheney voiced concerns over Iraq’s weapon stockpiles and potential nuclear capabilities: The President’s made it clear that we are concerned about nations such as Iraq developing weapons of mass destruction. In the interview, part of the BBC’s September 11 anniversary radio series entitled “With Us or Against Us,” Condi reiterated the administration’s message that Hussein had “developed biological weapons [and] lied to the UN repeatedly about the stockpiles.” Among the critics of the administration’s preemptive strategy was Condi’s mentor Brent Scowcroft, who had served as George H. Bush’s national security advisor and brought Condi into that administration as an expert in Soviet and Eastern European affairs. And we think it’s important that we find a way to deal with that emerging threat.