Hans Blix - On the Ropes

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Big_Duke_Six, Apr 24, 2007.

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  1. Radio 4's series "On the Ropes" today featured Hans Blix. I have attached the link to the "Listen Again" facility for those interested. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/aod/radio4_aod.shtml?radio4/ontheropes]Listen Again - Hans Blix[/url]

    John Humphries doing his usual thing, but not too agressively or rudely. Some leading questions, some criticisms or invitations to refute claims of incompetence etc.

    Blix is lucid, very frank and refused to be drawn on contentious issues (Humphries tries to catch him on the death of David Kelly) while still putting across his view that he was on a hiding to nothing, with the US and UK desperately wanting him to fail, which, in a sense, he did by not finding any WMD.

    Unless I missed it, what didn't come out (and I have heard him say it before) was that you can never prove the non-existence of something, however compelling the evidence may be, and by the time he was pulled out Blix believed that it was. So, all you have to do is declare that any evidence for non-existence is not strong enough, then discredit the man providing it and you have the perfect excuse for going to war.

    He justifies his different approach from those such as Scott Ritter and Richard Butler (the man who nearly caused a war in 1998). He comes across very well and is worth listening to for a refreshing opinion from an intelligent man and if you have half an hour and your system allows access to the BBC.
  2. So he survived his encounter with Kim Jong Il?

    Kim Jong Il: Hans Brix? Oh no! Oh, herro. Great to see you again, Hans!
    Hans Blix: Mr. Il, I was supposed to be allowed to inspect your palace today, but your guards won't let me enter certain areas.
    Kim Jong Il: Hans, Hans, Hans! We've been frew this a dozen times. I don't have any weapons of mass destwuction, OK Hans?
    Hans Blix: Then let me look around, so I can ease the UN's collective mind. I'm sorry, but the UN must be firm with you. Let me in, or else.
    Kim Jong Il: Or else what?
    Hans Blix: Or else we will be very angry with you... and we will write you a letter, telling you how angry we are.
    Kim Jong Il: OK, Hans. I'll show you. Stand to your reft.
    Hans Blix: [Moves to the left]
    Kim Jong Il: A rittle more.
    Hans Blix: [Moves to the left again]
    Kim Jong Il: Good.
    [Opens up trap, Hans falls in]
  3. His last speech to the UN prior to the invasion of Iraq, he stated that there was still 800 unaccounted for chemical mortar shells, and that if they had been destroyed the site of the destruction of the chemical mortar shells was unknown. I've never heard him say that these shells never existed. I assume that the investigators found these mortars at some point then asked the Iraqi’s where they were, if they were still intact or asked the Iraqi’s to prove they had destroyed them, they didn’t.

    At the same time Hans Blix was saying he needed more time he was saying there was evidence of WMD. A weapon of mass destruction does not have to travel a great distance; it simply has to kill a large number of people in a very short space of time.

  4. You're bweaking my bawrs!

    He repeated yesterday that he had wanted more time and that he felt that the "spectacular" that the US wanted in order to delay an invasion (although I can only think that anything spectacular would simply confirm, not deny, the existence of WMD) had been provided when they discovered and destroyed the Al Mahmood (sp?) missiles that were believed to have excessive range. He was also quite clear it was not a sudden decision that the WMD did not exist (reinforcing the point that you can never absolutely prove the non-existence of something), but a gradual deepening of the suspicion that they did not leading him to be convinced that they weren't there - certainly not in sufficient quantity to be a global or even regional threat.

    One place he did allow himself to be drawn was on whether Iraq was better off now that Saddam has been removed. He felt that the removal of Saddam was a good thing, but that most Iraqis probably wouldn't agree that the current anarchy was better than his dictatorship. He was clear, however, that Saddam might have been a threat to his people, but was not a threat to the world.
  5. To me, his most telling point was when he reminded Humph that one cannot prove a negative as in "Can you say he had no WMD?"