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Insider opposition to Iraq war? (Insider Report).

In early August, Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft wrote op-ed columns seemingly opposed to the approaching U.S. attack on Iraq. Since both of these CFR stalwarts served as national security advisers to Republican presidents, some commentators insisted that their criticisms indicate a fissure in the GOP over the impending war. Others attuned to the influence of the Council on Foreign Relations and the partially submerged Power Elite--of which Kissinger and Scowcroft are prominent representatives--wondered if those objections signaled a change in Establishment objectives.

While there remains a possibility that America could avoid a Gulf War encore, it is important to recognize the substance of Kissinger and Scowcroft's criticisms. In his August 11th syndicated column, Kissinger emphasized that any U.S. attack on Iraq must serve the interests of "a new international system" presided over by the UN. Thus the case for military action is based on the supposed fact that Saddam is building nuclear weapons "in direct violation of United Nations resolutions.... The case is all the stronger because Saddam expelled UN inspectors...." The objective of a "regime change" in Iraq, continued Kissinger, "should be subordinated in American declaratory policy to the need to eliminate weapons of mass destruction from Iraq as required by the UN resolutions."

Echoing Kissinger's line three days later in the Wall Street Journal, Scowcroft wrote: [W]e should be pressing the United Nations Security Council to insist on an effective no-notice inspection regime for Iraq--any time, anywhere, no permission required. On this point, senior administration officials have opined that Saddam Hussein would never agree to such an inspection regime. But if he did, inspections would serve to keep him off balance and under close observation, even if all his weapons of mass destruction capabilities were not uncovered. And if he refused, his rejection could provide the persuasive casus belli [grounds for war] which many claim we do not now have. Compelling evidence that Saddam had acquired nuclear-weapons capability could have a similar effect."

The sum and substance of the Kissinger/Scowcroft objection is this: War against Iraqis only acceptable if it is conducted under UN "authority," and with the aim of strengthening the world body's power.
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Title Annotation:Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Sep 9, 2002
Words:362
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