International Figures' Positions On Invasion Of Iraq
Richard Butler, who led the UN inspection teams in Iraq until 1998, accused the United States of promoting "shocking double standards" in considering unilateral military action against Iraq. He said, "The spectacle of the United States, armed with its weapons of mass destruction, acting without Security Council authority to invade a country in the heartland of Arabia and, if necessary, use its weapons of mass destruction to win that battle, is something that will so deeply violate any notion of fairness in this world that I strongly suspect it could set loose forces that we would deeply live to regret." In pointing out that the United States has not responded in the same way to Syria, which is also suspected of having weapons of mass destruction, and that several US allies, including Pakistan, India, and Israel, have such weapons without having signed the nuclear nonproliferation treaty, Butler asked why the United States is "permitting the persistence of such shocking double standards". However, part of the U.S.'s position is that Iraq is a unique case. Iraq is the only country out of this list that has had 12 years of defiance against 17 U.N. resolutions calling for its disarmament. Butler himself, upon leaving Iraq for the last time in 1998 said he could not say that Iraq had disarmed. Nor could he confirm that Iraq possessed WMDs.
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