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The Folly of War Against Iraq
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Winner, jointly with wife Sheryl WuDunn, of the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for their coverage for The New York Times of the Tiananmen Square democracy movement in China and its bloody supression.
The New York Times, Feb. 7, 2003
"[I]n the Pentagon, civilian leaders are gung-ho but many in uniform are leery. Former generals like Norman Schwarzkopf, Anthony Zinni and Wesley Clark have all expressed concern about the rush to war. 'Candidly, I have gotten somewhat nervous at some of the pronouncements Rumsfeld has made,' General Schwarzkopf told The Washington Post, adding: 'I think it is very important for us to wait and see what the inspectors come up with.' (The White House has apparently launched a post-emptive strike on General Schwarzkopf, for he now refuses interviews.) As for General Zinni, he said of the hawks: 'I'm not sure which planet they live on, because it isn't the one that I travel.' In an Oct. speech to the Middle East Institute in Washington, he added: '[If] we intend to solve this through violent action, we're on the wrong course. First of all, I don't see that that's necessary. Second of all, I think that war and violence are a very last resort.' "
"It's true, as President Bush suggested last night, that Saddam is trying to play games with us. But the inspectors proved in the 1990's that they are no dummies; they made headway and destroyed much more weaponry than the U.S. had hit during the gulf war. Even if Saddam manages to hide existing weapons from inspectors, he won't be able to refine them. And he won't be able to develop nuclear weapons. Nuclear programs are relatively easily detected, partly because they require large plants with vast electrical hookups. Inspections have real shortcomings, but they can keep Saddam from acquiring nuclear weapons."