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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Sept 9 Senate hearing; Dvlpts

Iraq News, SEPTEMBER 14, 1998

By Laurie Mylroie

The central focus of Iraq News is the tension between the considerable, proscribed WMD capabilities that Iraq is holding on to and its increasing stridency that it has complied with UNSCR 687 and it is time to lift sanctions. If you wish to receive Iraq News by email, a service which includes full-text of news reports not archived here, send your request to Laurie Mylroie .


I.  UNSCR 1194, SEPT 9
II. ASSEMBLY TO RECOMMEND SUSPENSION OF UNSCOM ACTIVITY, AFP, SEPT 13
III. MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, TO AMERICAN LEGION, EXCERPT ON IRAQ, SEPT 9
IV. SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS, MIDEAST, HEARING ON IRAQ, SEPT 9
   This is the 40th day without weapons inspections in Iraq.
   Scott Ritter will testify Sept 15, before the House Int'l Relations 
Committee ["Iraq News" should have details shortly].
  On Sept 9, RFE/RL announced that Amb. David Newton, a career FSO, 
ambassador to Iraq from 84 to 88 and ambassador to Yemen from 94 to 97, 
has been appointed director of Radio Free Iraq.
  An Iraqi reader reported that to mark the 50th anniversary of the 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Amnesty Int'l is collecting 
signatures to support the declaration.  To add your name: send an email 
to udhr50th@amnesty.org.au.  Put YOUR NAME in the SUBJECT field and the 
following text in the message: "I support the rights and freedoms in the 
Universal Declaration of Human Rights for all people, everywhere and 
specifically in Iraq."  You can check also out www.amnesty.excite.com
  On Sept 9, the UNSC unanimously passed resolution 1994, suspending 
sanctions reviews, until Iraq rescinded its Aug 5 decision on UNSCOM 
inspections and cooperated fully with it.  The UNSCR includes an 
"incentive" for Iraqi cooperation--a "comprehensive review" of Iraqi 
compliance, if Iraq cooperates.  One reader, retired from DoD, expressed 
concern about the "mild conditions" Iraq seems to have to meet for the 
"comprehensive review."   
   But "Iraq News" believes that that is not the immediate problem.  
Evidence mounts that Sen. John Kerry [D. Ma] was correct, when he said 
at the Sept 3 Scott Ritter hearing that Saddam's aim is to build 
proscribed unconventional weapons, not to get sanctions lifted [see 
"Iraq News," Sept 7].  AFP, Sept 13, reported on the Nat'l Assembly 
meeting to be held today.  The English AFP quoted a senior assembly 
member as saying that it would recommend a complete break with UNSCOM.  
The Arabic version identified the assembly member as Khalid Shihab 
al-Duri, chair of the Arab and Int'l Affairs committee, who said that 
the assembly "will call with determination on the Iraqi leadership to 
take decisive action to put an end to the work of UNSCOM."
  Also, on Sept 9, Sec State Albright, in an address in New Orleans to 
the American Legion Convention, dealt with the subject of US Iraq 
policy, among others.  It was very similar to Indyk's testimony that day 
to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mideast Subcommittee, even to 
the point of using nearly identical language, like "Iraq remains within 
the strategic box Saddam Hussein's folly created for it seven years ago. 
. . . If Iraq tries to break out of its strategic box, our response will 
be swift and strong."  
  On Sept 9, Asst Sec State for NEA, Martin Indyk, along with Jeane 
Kirkpatrick, former UN ambassador, James Woolsey, former CIA Director, 
and Richard Murphy, former Asst Sec State for NEA, testified before the 
Senate.  Sen. Brownback [R Ks] began the hearing by asking whether the 
US could live up to its position as the sole superpower, providing 
leadership, or whether it would follow a policy of transferring 
responsibility to a weak and divided UN.  He said the committee would 
explore problems with Iraq policy, stated and unstated, and "we've got a 
lot of tough questions."
   Indyk began by saying that a lot of charges had been leveled against 
the administration and the Secretary of State personally for pursuing a 
duplicitous policy on Iraq and he would set the record straight.  He 
said that the present goal was to deny Iraq the capacity ever again to 
threaten peace and security.  He explained that year after year, Iraqi 
weapons capabilities had been unmasked.  Still, Iraq would reconstitute 
its proscribed weapons if given the opportunity.  Iraq's goal was to get 
sanctions lifted, while retaining its proscribed capabilities.  
   Indyk then turned to Ritter, using the administration's well- 
established formula--Ritter is a fine fellow, but he doesn't see the big 
picture.  Indyk also quoted a statement of Amb Butler, critical of 
Ritter, that had appeared in that day's NYT.  He even likened Ritter to 
Saddam, as both, according to Indyk, were impugning UNSCOM's 
independence.
   Sen. Brownback began the questioning by hailing Ritter as "an 
American hero," explaining that Ritter was "a stand-up guy out doing his 
job."  He then asked Indyk about US interference in the Jul and Aug 
inspections.  Indyk explained that the US had "asked questions" about 
the July inspection and it was "adjusted."  On the Aug inspections, 
Tariq Aziz had told Amb. Butler that there would be no more inspections, 
unless UNSCOM declared that Iraq was free of proscribed weapons.  Indyk 
explained that the administration wanted to "keep the focus" on Iraq's 
blocking inspections, rather than muddy the waters with provocative 
inspections.  He said that he was not aware of the time-sensitive nature 
of UNSCOM's information.  
  Sen. Coverdell [R Ga] asked Indyk what "adjustments" the 
administration was pursuing.  Indyk couldn't respond in open session.  
Coverdell also suggested that it might have been better to highlight 
Saddam's obstruction of inspections by letting them proceed and be 
blocked, rather than accept Iraqi diktat.  Indyk replied that that was a 
"judgment call."  Coverdell also suggested that the administration 
needed to review Ritter's Sept 3 testimony for inconsistencies between 
his account and theirs.  Brownback seconded that.
   In her testimony, Jeane Kirkpatrick hailed Ritter as "a distinguished 
international civil servant," while James Woolsey included the 
administration's criticism of him among the major US errors since the 
Gulf war's end.  Taking on Indyk, Woolsey distinguished between Ritter's 
effort to get the US to back more rigorous inspections and Saddam's aim, 
which was the reverse.
    In his testimony, Indyk also said those sympathetic to Iraq at the 
UNSC could find no defense in Iraq's suspension of inspections and that 
the administration was taking advantage of the "new atmosphere" there.  
Recent developments have put us on a ladder of escalating confrontation 
with Iraq.  We won't let this situation of no inspections go on forever. 
  Indyk ended his opening statement, saying that Iraq remains within the 
"strategic box" that Saddam Hussein's folly created seven years ago.  
And if he tries to break out of his box, "our response will be swift and 
strong."
  In questioning, Indyk maintained that diplomacy must be backed by the 
threat of force.  "We have not taken the threat of force off the table. 
It remains an option."  Sen. Robb replied that he hoped that we would 
never be in a position where we would take force off the table.
  Sen. Diane Feinstein's [D Ca] questioning was similar to her questions 
to Scott Ritter, Sept 3.  She is concerned about the proscribed weapons 
that Iraq retains.  She asked Indyk which UNSC members were having 
problems sustaining inspections.  Indyk replied that it was France, 
Russia, and China.
   Feinstein also asked how many inspections there had been since Aug 5. 
Indyk said zero.  He said that Butler had tried to conduct three 
inspections, but they had been blocked.  
   Yet Indyk's answer was garbled. UNSCOM has not tried to conduct any 
inspections since Aug 5.  Monitoring was blocked three times. 
Inspections are carried out at undeclared sites, while monitoring occurs 
at declared sites and involves both passive monitoring-cameras & etc-and 
visits to the sites being monitored.  Indyk was referring to the three 
incidents that Butler reported to the UNSC Aug 12, and the NYT reported 
Aug 13.
   Sen Feinstein proceeded by observing that there were 600 tons of VX 
precursors in Iraq, enough to make 200 tons of VX.  Indyk replied that 
was correct.  Feinstein said that for over a month there had been no 
UNSCOM inspections.  She asked about UNSCOM's discovery that Iraq had 
put VX in SCUD warheads, which Indyk confirmed.  And she concluded, 
noting that given the presence of VX in Iraq, its extreme lethality, and 
its presence having been detected on a SCUD warhead, the UNSC members 
not supporting inspections "ought to heave to."  It seemed she had the 
US in mind, as well as other UNSC members.
   Indyk replied by speaking about the imminent passage of UNSCR 1194 
[it passed late that afternoon].  He said that after that, the UN 
wouldn't even discuss lifting sanctions.  He recalled that Saddam had 
threatened "decisive action" in response and said the administration had 
other steps under consideration, while it had much stronger support than 
in the previous crises.
  In the second panel, Indyk/Iraq policy came in for a toasting by three 
of the four panelists--Kirkpatrick, Woolsey, and Eagleburger.  
Kirkpatrick explained that though she had listened very sympathetically, 
she couldn't understand what the policy was.  It was not acceptable to 
give the American public the impression that the US was vigorously 
pressing a policy of inspections and then not do so.  She said that the 
administration had an obligation to explain itself.  It is a kind of 
"trust me" attitude about a matter that is so important that we went to 
war.  "They owe us all some sort of explanation and perhaps apology"
   James Woolsey explained that since the closing hours of the Gulf war, 
the US had made a number of errors: 1) we stopped too soon; 2) we failed 
to support the popular rebellion in the south; 3) the response to 
Saddam's attempt to assassinate George Bush was weak; 4) we stood aside 
in 96, while Saddam attacked the democratic Iraqi opposition; 5) we've 
detained six Iraqi opposition members in California; 6) we've criticized 
Scott Ritter's principled stand; 7) overall, we've wasted the past seven 
years, punishing and ignoring those struggling against Saddam, while 
appeasing him.
   Richard Murphy was the only panelist to defend the administration.  
He said that US core objectives were to prevent Iraq from producing 
unconventional weapons and threatening its neighbors.  Those objectives 
remained within our capabilities.  He also underscored the importance of 
a question asked by Sen Feinstein-how long should Iraq be allowed to 
continue the present impasse over inspections? Murphy also explained 
that Arab criticism of US policy on Iraq had grown, in part, because 
Arabs doubt that the US will do enough to overthrow Saddam.   
   Lawrence Eagleburger began with the same complaint as Kirkpatrick-- 
the policy is incomprehensible.  What is the conclusion?  Where does 
this lead us?  Eagleburger described the policy as "fruitless," noting 
that Indyk had said that the US supported inspections, until Saddam 
blocked them.  "Gee Whiz!"  He cited Sen. Coverdell's question, why 
didn't the US go ahead with the planned inspection in Aug?  Eagleburger 
said that he didn't understand a policy that sought to keep the focus on 
Saddam's blocking inspections.  He asked what are you going to do?  Hold 
a press conference every day?  
  Sen. Brownback began the questioning saying that had listened 
carefully and agreed that we were in a mess, although that was 
predictable from the Annan accord.  He complained that the 
administration hadn't explained when it intended to push a policy of 
reviving inspections.  He said that he continued to believe that there 
is a different, private policy--also the view of "Iraq News."
  Eagleburger raised the danger of misperceptions, noting that it could 
be dangerous if Saddam perceived US weakness.  Kirkpatrick noted that 
Saddam had a tendency to underestimate his opponent, even as she noted 
that the administration had not followed up its threats regarding UNSCOM 
and Saddam may understand that this administration doesn't follow up 
threats.  Murphy said that Saddam was one of the great "misreaders."  In 
1991, he misread the likelihood of our losses.  He thought thousands of 
bodies would be returned.  If he is misreading Bill Clinton today, it 
would be part of a pattern.
   But why is it thought Saddam is "misreading" Clinton or our society 
more broadly?  "Iraq News" believes that Saddam has Clinton/us 
dead-to-rights.  Saddam is single-minded and focused; we are distracted 
and our attention divided.  Moreover, something went very wrong in the 
seven years since the Gulf war.  It became impossible to raise 
questions/discuss the Gulf war's unfinished business, because Saddam 
became so widely considered stupid and a bore.  In fact, that was the 
origin of "Iraq News," as there came a point when the major media 
wouldn't publish anything about Iraq, because it was "not news."
   But that didn't happen immediately after the war.  Despite the hoopla 
and ticker tape parades, enough people understood something was wrong.  
That was partly because of the way Bush handled the Mar 91 uprisings and 
the Kurdish exodus that followed, which drew the US back into Iraq.  It 
was also partly because the Bush administration responded to criticism 
of sufficient weight by taking it on, not by sweeping it under the rug, 
with an "agitprop machine."  Finally, it was also partly because of the 
extreme dissatisfaction of the Israeli Gov't, then headed by Itzhak 
Shamir, which was very concerned about Iraq's early, inadequate 
declarations about its proscribed weapons.  The Shamir Gov't, it seems, 
understood that Saddam intended to live to fight another day and it set 
out to assassinate him.  Unfortunately, a tragic training exercise 
occurred in Oct 92 and the mission was canceled by the new Rabin Gov't. 
  In fact, it was under Clinton/Rabin that Iraq was forgotten.  Rabin 
was in such a hurry for the peace process, that he kicked the unfinished 
business of the Gulf war off the agenda, while Clinton never wanted to 
deal with it anyway.  So, almost everything that gave indication that 
the Gulf war was not over, was, perversely, treated as evidence that 
Saddam was "stupid."  Thus, as Iraq lunged at Kuwait in Oct 94, Daniel 
Pipes, editor of the Middle East Quarterly, who had backed the way Bush 
ended the Gulf war-leaving Saddam in power, as a counter to Iran, or so 
Pipes thought-wrote in the WSJ Oct 14, "Stupid is as Stupid Does," about 
the Iraqi thrust at Kuwait.  Somehow that stuck.  And why not?  It made 
Americans feel good about themselves.  Moreover, the Israel-Jordan peace 
treaty, concluded at month's end, added to the general euphoria and cut 
off whatever debate there had been about the inadequacy of Clinton's 
response to Iraq's belligerence.  
  Then, the next year, in early Aug, Hussein Kamil defected, 
precipitating the dramatic revelations that Iraq's most lethal 
capabilities had survived the war and Saddam had managed to conceal that 
from UNSCOM. They included a BW program much vaster than Iraq had 
acknowledged having, just a month before; the capability to produce a 
stable form of VX and weaponize it; and a nuclear program far more 
advanced than had been thought.  Moreover, it was also learned that 
during the war, Iraq had deployed SCUDS with BW warheads, as well as 
bombs, to airfields in western Iraq.  If Baghdad fell, commanders were 
authorized to fire the missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia.  That made 
news in Aug, but by Labor Day, it had become just more evidence of 
Saddam's "stupidity."  Since Saddam had kept that material, sanctions 
would stay on.  And besides, there was Oslo II, concluded shortly 
thereafter, to make everyone feel good.
   A euphoria/quasi-messianism was generated by the way Rabin pursued 
the peace process--he didn't have to completely ignore Iraq.  And that 
bit Israelis particularly hard and left them, especially those on the 
center-left, with an enduring inability to understand the Iraqi threat. 
It is a phenomenon with which "Iraq News" has significant, direct 
personal experience.  And as both Martin Peretz, The New Republic, Sept 
7, and Tom Friedman, NYT Aug 29, observed, the peace-process was based 
on the premise, avidly promoted by Rabin, that along with the collapse 
of the Soviet Union, the US victory over Iraq was so decisive that 
Israel's secular neighbors had no choice but to fall in line.  Even 
Hafiz al Assad had made a "strategic decision" for peace, the Mossad, 
Military Intelligence, and the Foreign Ministry all claimed. 
  And that is why so many Israelis refuse to accept and incorporate, 
even now, the information that suggests the US did not win the war and 
Saddam remains very dangerous.  A few do--like Ehud Ya'ari/Ze'ev 
Schiff/Gerald Steinberg, Bar Ilan University/the editors of the 
Jerusalem Post.  But most do not and their work is so systematically 
distorted that it is fit for little more than wrapping fish.  The most 
recent example of such work is Dr. Joshua Teitelbaum's "Gulf Arabs & 
Iran," in MERIA, Sept 9, 1998.  Teitelbaum, the Saudi expert at the 
Dayan Center, Tel Aviv University, twisted himself into a pretzel to 
explain the Saudi-Iranian rapprochement that began in the spring of 
1997, while avoiding much mention of the Saudi fear of Iraq. 
That, even as following the Feb 97 visit to Wash DC of a large Saudi 
delegation, headed by the Defense Minister, Riyadh recognized that even 
after the presidential elections, the Clinton administration was not 
going do anything about Saddam.  So, the Saudis began turning to the 
Iranians to make the best of a bad business, even as one would never 
know that from Teitelbaum.  Because this is such a serious matter, "Iraq 
News" will increasingly point out Israeli writing on Iraq and closely 
related issues that meets the standard of "fit-for-wrapping fish"-a 
stubborn and obstinate refusal to incorporate publicly available 
information on the Iraqi menace into their work.  
   We are kidding ourselves, if we think Saddam does not intend to pay 
us back for what we have done.  James Woolsey told the Senate Judiciary 
committee, Sept 3, that since the Gulf war's end, US policy toward Iraq 
has been "flaccid and feckless."  Thus, "Iraq News" would respectfully 
suggest that is not Saddam who misreads us; it is we have not taken 
sufficient stock of what we have done and not done over the past years, 
regarding the threat from Iraq.
    Finally, the Sept 9 hearing ended with Eagleburger's protest that 
the present situation was intolerable.  Passing the UNSC resolution 
achieved nothing.  You have to be prepared to escalate.  You have to 
take the risk of using force now, understanding you may not accomplish 
your objective.  But it is better than doing nothing.  
   But using force, with no clear objective in mind, is problematic.  
That would only bring us back to where we were last Feb.  Rather, 
Woolsey suggested that the long term strategy should be to bring down 
Saddam's regime through overt means.  Addressing Sen Brownback, Woolsey 
said that things had come to the point where a set of proposals that 
Richard Perle, Ahmed Chalabi, Bill Kristol and I made earlier this year 
should be adopted.  The US should support the democrtic opposition in 
overthrowing Saddam.  It can be done.  But it requires leadership.  
Would Congress support it?  Yes, if it understood the dangers--Iraq's 
missiles, terrorism, and unconventional weapons.  "Iraq News" heartily 
concurs; the dangers are not properly understood, even now.
   Richard Murphy said that nothing James Woolsey had suggested would 
cause harm, while Sen. Brownback concluded the hearing, "We are in a 
mess.  We have an administration policy that is difficult to follow.  An 
administration that cannot or will not act and which invites challenges 
from abroad.  Referring to the Senate hearings earlier this year, 
which Woolsey had alluded to, Brownback said that Mr. Woolsey and Mr. 
Chalabi had presented a long term policy, rather than just dropping a 
few bombs. 
IV. SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS, MIDEAST, HEARING ON IRAQ
Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South Asian 
Affairs,
"US Policy in Iraq: Public Policy and Private Diplomacy"
September 9, 1998
 The Chair, Sen. Brownback, [R KS] began by asking whether the US could 
live up to its position as the sole superpower, providing leadership, or 
whether it would follow a policy of transferring responsibility to a 
weak and divided UN.  The US' word must be its bond.  If we have made a 
commitment, we must keep it.  The US reaction to Iraqi defiance over 
UNSCOM has been "tough on talk" but "weak on follow through."  The 
committee is going to explore problems with Iraq policy, stated and 
unstated, and  "we've got a lot of tough questions."
Testimony of Martin Indyk
  Martin Inydk, Asst Sec State for NEA, began by saying that a lot of 
charges had been leveled against the administration and the Secretary of 
State  personally for pursuing a duplicitous policy on Iraq and he would 
set the record straight.  The goal of Desert Story had been to roll back 
Iraq from Kuwait, Indyk explained.  The present goal was to deny Iraq 
the capacity ever again to threaten peace and security.  Year after 
year, Iraqi weapons capabilities had been unmasked.  We have constrained 
Iraqi operations through no-fly zones and the reinforcement of the US 
military position in the region. But the Iraqi threat has not been 
eliminated.  Iraq will reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction, if 
given the opportunity.  Iraq's goal is to get sanctions lifted, while 
retaining as much as possible of its residual WMD capability.  We've 
threatened the use of force three times since the Gulf war.  And the 
last time we did, in February, Iraq backed down.
   The people who level these charges are well-intentioned.  We have 
nothing but respect for Scott Ritter.  But Ritter works with a different 
set of facts, said Indyk, quoting Amb. Butler in that day's New York 
Times, to the effect that Ritter's statements were inaccurate and 
misleading. Indyk said he would put forward some facts, implying that 
his "facts" would decisively refute Ritter.  
    Indyk explained that the US was the biggest backer of UNSCOM.  It 
provided vital technical support. The Secretary of State had issued a 
directive June 23 on the need to support UNSCOM.  US diplomacy 
internationally was to keep the heat on Iraq.  The suggestion that the 
US had urged other governments not to support UNSCOM was not true.  In 
fact, this summer UNSCOM was able to conduct an inspection of a site 
where it found new evidence that Iraq had lied about its chemical 
weapons.  The US hoped to maintain the unity of the UN Security Council 
on Iraq, as the only other option was to send US forces to Baghdad.  
Thus, the US needed the support of others for: 1) sanctions; 2) 
inspections; 3) the use of force.  Saddam seeks to divide the UNSC.  But 
the US seeks to isolate Saddam.  We want to keep the world spotlight on 
Iraqi actions, not US actions.
  The continuation of UNSCOM's work is essential if we are to achieve 
the goal of eliminating the Iraqi WMD threat.  UNSCOM must be seen to be 
independent.  Indyk said that both Ritter and Saddam were undermining 
the perception of UNSCOM's independence, as he again referred to 
Butler's comments in the NYT.  The purpose of every US contact with 
UNSCOM was to move closer to the goal of eliminating Saddam's proscribed 
weapons, but our tactics are not rigid.  We made tactical suggestions 
regarding the timing of inspections.  No nation has done more to support 
UNSCOM.  On August 26, Butler told the Wash Post that he never had any 
doubt about US resolve.
   On a few occasions our advise to UNSCOM had been cautious.  In 
January, our military operations were incomplete and Ramadan was 
approaching.  Indeed, Ritter himself opposed the inspection of the 
Ministry of Defense on the grounds that it would lead down a slippery 
slope of confrontation.  Indyk suggested that that was the same 
reasoning the US had used on other occasions regarding inspections and 
it was a legitimate consideration.
   In July, one inspection was postponed.  But there were other 
intrusive inspections going on.  We supported the August inspection, but 
the issue became moot, when Iraq unformed UNSCOM on August 4 that there 
would be no more inspections.
   At the UNSC, those sympathetic to Iraq can find no defense or sense 
in Iraq's action and we are taking advantage of the "new atmosphere" 
there.   Recent developments have put us on a ladder of escalating 
confrontation with Iraq.  We won't let this situation of no inspections 
go on forever.  
   Iraq remains within the "strategic box" that Saddam Hussein's folly 
created seven years ago.  And if Saddam Hussein tries to break out of 
his box, "our response will be swift and strong."
  Sen. Brownback began the questioning by saying that Scott Ritter is 
"an American hero."  As Brownback explained, he is a "stand-up guy out 
doing his job." Brownback said that in his Senate testimony the week 
before, Ritter had refuted the charge that he was dictating US policy.  
His reply was that he was an implementer, dealing with time sensitive 
information.   Brownback then turned to Indyk, saying you don't deny 
that the US did step in to delay inspections in July and August?
   Indyk replied that there were two instances in which the 
administration spoke to Amb. Butler in July and August.  In July we were 
briefed about inspections and we had questions about one or two of them. 
We asked Butler those questions.  Our concern and only motive was that 
Saddam Hussein would not be the beneficiary of inspections that did not 
produce results.
   Indyk also said that I can't judge how time sensitive Ritter's 
information was.  I wasn't aware of it.
   Brownback suggested that the administration was making an operational 
decision.  
   Indyk replied that we raised questions, questions about whether this 
inspection would be productive.  In early August, Tariq Aziz told Amb. 
Butler that Iraq would not allow further inspections, unless Butler said 
that Iraq was free of proscribed weapons.  So we wanted to keep the 
focus on Saddam Hussein's blocking of inspections, rather than muddy the 
waters with provocative inspections.  We were already receiving attacks 
by other UNSC members on UNSCOM.
   One inspection was "adjusted" and one was blocked.  We asked 
questions about the value of certain inspections.
   Brownback asked, "Did you ask that the date be changed?
   Indyk said, "Date, not the date."  The chairman of UNSCOM made the 
decision.  In the first case, we asked questions.  In the second, we 
suggested the focus should be on Saddam Hussein.    We asked questions 
about particular aspects of the inspections.  As far as I'm aware, it 
was not about the date.
   Sen. Charles Robb [D, Va] suggested that other US measures in 
response to Iraqi obstructionism were possible, like no-fly and no-drive 
zones to rachet up the pressure for Iraqi compliance then to respond 
with US military action.
   Indyk replied that he wanted to be careful I answering, because we 
don't want to telegraph our punches.  There was a range of pressure 
points.  In particular, the US was now focused on the sanctions regime, 
which had been under attack from those who wanted sanctions lifted.  
Saddam had two objectives.  One was to retain his residual WMD.  The 
other was to get sanctions lifted.  But our objective was to deny him 
both.  Sanctions were important to deny him the ability to rebuild his 
military, including his WMD.  If we can use Saddam's refusal to 
cooperate with UNSCOM as a way to strengthen the sanctions regime, we 
think that that is useful.  
   Indyk explained the only language that Saddam respected was force.  
Diplomacy must be backed by the threat of force.  "We have not taken the 
threat of force off the table.  It remains an option."
  Sen Robb replied that he hoped we would never be in a position where 
would take force off the table.
  Sen Paul Coverdell [R Ga] asked Indyk what "adjustments" were you 
pursuing with Amb. Butler?
  Indyk replied that those were sensitive details, which he couldn't 
reveal in public session.
  Coverdell asked whether it was to have Scott Ritter removed?
  Indyk replied that we did not seek to have Ritter removed.  We had 
questions which were not directed at Ritter personally.  We did not 
object to Ritter's inspection in August.  I told Charles Duelfer that we 
had no problem with that.  Other members of the UNSC did have problems. 
 But we wanted to keep the focus on Saddam's blockage of inspections.
    Coverdell suggested that it might have been better to highlight 
Saddam's obstruction of the inspections by letting them proceed, and be 
blocked, rather than just accepting Iraq's saying so.
    Indyk responded that that was "a judgement call."  He referred to 
the RCC's August 5 statement announcing the suspension of inspections 
and explained that UNSCOM and its chairman were under strong assault at 
the UNSC.  One member was charging UNSCOM with provocations, even as the 
RCC issued its August 5 statement.
    Coverdell suggested that Ritter's testimony needed to be reviewed 
again by the administration.  There were clear inconsistencies, which 
sometimes happened.  Sen. Brownback emphasized the need to follow up the 
record of Ritter's testimony.
   Sen. Diane Feinstein [D Ca] asked, since August 5, how many 
inspections have there been?
   Indyk replied zero. Indyk explained that Butler had tried to conduct 
three inspections, but they had been blocked.  However, passive 
monitoring was going on. 
   Feinstein asked which parties in the UNSC were having problems 
sustaining inspections?
   Indyk replied that Russia, France, China were permanent members who 
believe that the best way to insure Iraqi compliance was to provide 
incentives by closing files, partially lifting sanctions.   But we won't 
go along with that.
   Feinstein observed that there were 600 tons of VX precursors in Iraq, 
enough to make 200 tons of VX.
   Indyk replied that was correct.  
   Feinstein said that Iraq had weaponized VX.
   Indyk replied that was correct.
   Feinstein said that for over a month there had been no inspections in 
Iraq and Iraq could have moved around its stockpile of VX precursors.
   Indyk said yes, but if UNSCOM inspections had been ongoing, that 
still could have happened.
   Feinstein said that I guess what bothers me is that VX is known to be 
in Iraq and there is a commitment  to a regime of inspections.  What is 
keeping countries from carrying out their responsibilities to back those 
inspections?
   Indyk replied that they assess their national interests differently. 
   Feinstein asked about VX warheads.
   Indyk recounted Butler's submission to the UNSC on Iraq's having put 
VX in SCUD warheads.  He also explained that UNSCOM had recently come 
across a document on chemical munitions that Iraq had used during the 
Iran-Iraq war.  The document was discovered in July at Iraq's Air Force 
headquarters.  It is still in Iraq's possession, in violation of the UN 
resolutions.  The document showed that Iraq used 50% less chemical 
munitions during that war than it claimed to have used, leaving a 
question as to what happened to the thousands of chemical munitions Iraq 
claimed were consumed.
   Feinstein replied that it seems to me that the presence of VX, which 
is so dangerous,--a thousandth of a gram on the skin is lethal--found on 
a warhead, that those nations not supporting inspections ought to heave 
to.
   Indyk replied that following passage of the UNSC resolution 
suspending sanctions reviews, the UN wouldn't even discuss lifting 
sanctions.   And the vote would be unanimous.  Saddam has threatened 
"decisive action."  We'll see about that.  There is under consideration 
other steps that we will take.  We are finding this time that we have 
much stronger support than in the previous crises.
   Sen Robb stressed the importance of maintaining sanctions.
   Sen Brownback asked how was it possible that the UN Sanctions 
Committee had cleared Iraq to receive shipments from the Khartoum plant 
that the US bombed that was involved with the production of a VX 
precursor.
   Indyk replied that the "oil for food" resolution was instituted 
because of US concern for the Iraqi people and had been expanded at the 
initiative of the UNSG.  The expansion met Iraq's requirements for food, 
medicine, and then some, including infrastructure.  But because oil 
prices had dropped, Iraq couldn't pump enough oil to meet its allowed 
sum.  Yet at the same time the US made sure that dual use equipment did 
not got to Iraq.  The US has the ability to exercise "tight control" 
over what goes into Iraq.   Indyk explained that he personally was not 
aware of the exact details of the Sudan contract.
Testimony of Jeane Kirkpatrick
  Former UN Ambassador, Jeane Kirkpatrick, began the testimony of the 
second panel.  She said I can't fathom quite what the administration 
intends in response to the testimony of Scott Ritter, a distinguished 
international civil servant.  I was shocked when I read what was 
reported, that the administration was seeking to discourage intrusive 
inspections.  I thought there must be some explanation.  But I haven't 
found it.
   I thought hard about the UN environment.  I thought there must be 
some agreement with the UNSG which was complex, half-stated that UNSCOM 
would avoid provoking Iraq, while Iraq would cooperate.  
   Iraq enjoys more standing in the UN than most Americans understand.  
And there is within the UN a powerful drive to conduct its activities on 
the basis of consensus.  Consensus become an end, as well as a means.  
So I though there maybe some agreement between the Secretary of State 
and the Secretary General and maybe that wasn't so bad-although we would 
need to know about that.
   But what seems not reasonable is to give the American public the 
impression that the US is vigorously pressing a policy of inspections 
and then not to do so. 
  The Secretary of State's comments [about Scott Ritter], seemed very 
angry, that if he were looking at the problem from  her perspective, he 
would see a broader picture.
   The administration has an obligation to explain itself.  But no 
matter how one bends over backwards to understand their view, it is 
unacceptable.  It is a kind of "trust me" attitude about a matter that 
is so important that we went to war.  "They owe us all some sort of 
explanation and perhaps apology."
Testimony of James Woolsey
  Former CIA director, James Woolsey, said that since the closing hours 
of the Gulf war, we made a number of errors.  1) We stopped too soon.  
2) The rebellion in the south should have been supported; the US should 
have shot down Iraqi helicopters.  3) The reaction to Saddam's April 
1993 attempt to assassinate George Bush-striking an empty building a 
night-was too weak.  4) In 1996, we stood aside when supporters of 
democracy were massacred in Iraq.  5) The US detained Iraqi opposition 
members in California for no good reason.  6) We erred in criticizing 
Scott Ritter for taking a principled stand.  7) We erred in spending 
seven years in dealing with Iraq in which we punished/ignored those 
struggling against Saddam, while we dealt lightly with/appeased him.
   Woolsey then spent the rest of his testimony taking issue with Martin 
Indyk.  Woolsey noted that Indyk had said that US policy with regard to 
inspections was not duplicitous.   It is far too clumsy to call it 
duplicitous.  We are reversing Teddy Roosevelt's dictum.  We are 
speaking loudly and carrying a flimsy stick.  We are speaking like a 
sheep in wolf's clothing.
   Martin Indyk said that Scott Ritter plays into Saddam's hands.  But 
Scott Ritter said that the US is pushing UNSCOM into a weaker position. 
But Saddam is trying to change UNSCOM in the reverse direction.  Scott 
Ritter said that on a number of occasions we have inspected what was not 
strategically important and not inspected what was.  Efforts to be 
"productive," Ritter's term, will be confrontational, because Saddam's 
personal security apparatus hides the weapons.  This requires more than 
a numerical scorecard, as if inspections were beans to be counted, as 
Indyk suggested.
   Woolsey rejected Indyk's characterization of the motives of the 
pro-Iraq UNSC members, as if they represented some respectable 
definition of national interest.  France is after contracts, while 
Russia wants to collect old debts from weapons sales.
Testimony of Richard Murphy
   Richard Murphy, former Asst Sec State for NEA, said that the 
administration had been charged with weakness, malfeasance, and 
betrayal.  I've been critical of the administration when it has had 
tough rhetoric and not been willing to back it up.  Our core objectives 
are to prevent Iraq from producing unconventional weapons and 
threatening its neighbors.  These objectives remain within our 
capabilities to achieve.  The US has shifted from the military to the 
diplomatic option.  This is not a new policy.  We've always stood ready 
to deter Iraqi aggression.
   UNSCOM has its value.  Sen. Feinstein asked an important question.  
How long should Iraq be allowed to continue the present impasse?  But 
going it alone is not attractive.  It is a shrewd tactic to pin 
responsibility on Saddam Hussein.  But no one in the administration 
denies that the use of force might be needed.  
    We can't compel Iraq to surrender its proscribed weapons, but we can 
punish it.  We don't have support from the regional powers for an attack 
on Iraq.  The emphasis on diplomacy in recent weeks reflects the lessons 
learned from the past two crises.  Time and regional developments have 
eroded the UNSC consensus on Iraq and the US has an overriding interest 
in maintaining financial control over Iraq's income and in long-term 
weapons monitoring.  
  Arab criticism of US policy on Iraq has grown, because 1) Arabs doubt 
that we will do enough to overthrow Saddam; and 2) the lack of progress 
in the Arab-Israeli talks, as compared to 1991-96.  The US orchestrated 
anti-terrorism conference two years ago at Sharm al Sheikh couldn't be 
duplicated today.  
Testimony of Lawrence Eagleburger
   Lawrence Eagleburger, former Sec State, began by explaining that I 
thought that I might get some clearer sense of the administration's 
policy on Iraq.  But I don't think I got it.  [Jeane Kirkpatrick 
vigorously nodded her head in agreement].  What is the conclusion?  
Where does this lead us?  Eagleburger described US policy as 
"fruitless."
   Eagleburger explained that Martin Indyk has said that the US 
supported inspections, until Saddam Hussein blocked them.  "Gee whiz!"  
He cited Sen. Coverdell's question, why didn't the US go ahead with the 
planned August inspection.  I don't understand what is being said about 
a policy that we're going to focus on Saddam Hussein's blocking the 
inspections, unless you go ahead with the inspections.  What are you 
going to do?  Hold a press conference every day?
  It is nice to say that we haven't  taken the use of force off the 
table.  In 30 years of government, I learned you can send the wrong 
message.  If the other side doesn't believe it, it's no good.  Going 
back to the Feb 23 accord, if I were Saddam Hussein, I wouldn't believe 
it.  Your actions have to demonstrate that and I don't think we've 
demonstrated it.
   We made it very clear that the US was reluctant at best to go ahead 
with inspections.  When you analyze what was said today, I don't know 
what it means or where we go next.  I get concerned when people say we 
must take the diplomatic option.  What diplomacy?  What is the 
consequence of France, Russia, China being unhappy about inspections?  
Sanctions will remain, as long as the US is prepared to veto.
   I don't know what the policy is.  I can understand the rationale for 
being cautious, but where is the denouement?  Where do we say enough is 
enough?
   What I listened to today is a policy that leads nowhere and our 
concern for showing caution is going to send a message to Saddam that we 
don't want to use force.  
Questioning
  Sen. Brownback said I've listed carefully today and I agree that we're 
in a mess, although that was predictable from the Annan accord.  We 
haven't explained when we're going to push a policy of reviving 
inspections.  I continue to believe that there is a different private 
policy.
   Eagleburger remarked that misperceptions can be dangerous.  It can be 
dangerous if Saddam perceives US weakness.
   Kirkpatrick said that Saddam has a known tendency to underestimate 
his opponent.  He did that in Kuwait.  He may be doing that with UNSCOM 
or he may understand that the administration issues threats and doesn't 
follow through.  
   Woolsey, responding to a question from Brownback as to how much the 
Lewinsky scandal had weakened Clinton's ability to conduct foreign 
policy, said that even strong presidents can take weak positions, citing 
Bush in Mar 91 and Clinton in Jun 93 [when he struck Iraqi intelligence 
headquarters at night] and vice versa.  Woolsey cited Nixon in the fall 
of 73, when he took decisive action, as the 1973 Arab-Israeli war broke 
out.  But Woolsey acknowledged that it was more difficult under present 
circumstances to recoup lost ground and to recover from past mistakes.
   Murphy said that Saddam was one of the great "misreaders."  In 1991, 
he misread the likelihood of our losses.  He thought thousands of bodies 
would be returned.  If he is misreading Bill Clinton today, it would be 
part of a pattern.  
  Eagleburger spoke of the impact of scandal on presidential 
decision-making, referring to the Nixon administration, in which he 
served.  He explained that under such circumstances debate about a 
decision becomes strung out, as some worry about the critics who will 
charge that any decisive action was taken to distract attention from the 
scandal.
  Sen. Robb said, with respect, there is a difference between having 
current responsibility and not.  I supported the 1991 gulf war and 
helped rally support for it on my side of the aisle.  In 1991, another 
day or two would have been useful, but the intelligence was flawed.
  Eagleburger said there was need for the use of force now.  If we have 
to act unilaterally, so be it.  Whether it will work or not, I don't 
know.  Passing the UNSC resolution suspending sanctions reviews achieves 
nothing.  You have to be prepared to escalate.  You have to take the 
risk of using force now, understanding you may not accomplish your 
objective.  But it is better than doing nothing.
   Kirkpatrick said I would share the problem with the Congress and the 
people.
   Robb suggested that Congress wouldn't support the administration's 
use of force.
   Kirkpatrick rejected the idea that Congress would do that.  If the 
problem is that bad, people need to know.  It is better than misleading 
them.  We need to consider whether there are issues that are so 
important that we need to support the use of force.
   Woolsey suggested that the long term strategy should be to bring down 
Saddam's regime through overt means.  The policy isn't going anywhere.  
You can't figure it out.  I agree with Lawrence Eagleburger.
   Woolsey also explained the dangers in Iraqi coordination with Sunni 
Muslim religious extremists.  He noted that a number of leading Sunni 
extremists call Saddam the new caliph, while "Allahu Akhbar" is written 
in Saddam's own calligraphy on the Iraqi flag.  It is comparable to 
Stalin, who in WWII, embraced the Greek Orthodox church.  Woolsey said 
that people like Osama Bin Ladin are looking to Saddam Hussein.  By 
being weak on Saddam, we are being weak on Bin Ladin and terrorism.  
   Woolsey further said that things have come to the point where a set 
of proposals that Richard Perle, Ahmad Chalabi, Bill Kristol and I made 
earlier this year should be adopted.  The US should support the Shia, 
Kurds, the entire democratic opposition, in overthrowing Saddam.  It can 
be done.  But it requires leadership.  Would Congress support it?  Yes, 
if it understood the dangers posed by Iraq's missiles, terrorism, 
unconventional weapons.
   Murphy said that nothing James Woolsey suggested would cause harm.
   Sen. Brownback concluded the hearing, "We are in a mess.  We have an 
administration policy that is difficult to follow.  An administration 
that cannot or will not act and which invites challenges from abroad.  
Mr. Woolsey and Mr. Chalabi presented a long-term policy, rather than 
just dropping a few bombs.





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Unconventional Threat podcast - Threats Foreign and Domestic: 'In Episode One of Unconventional Threat, we identify and examine a range of threats, both foreign and domestic, that are endangering the integrity of our democracy'