July 26, 2003


NOW: Transcript - Bill Moyers Talks with Joseph C. Wilson, IV (PBS, 2/28/03)
MOYERS: President Bush's recent speech to the American Enterprise Institute, he said, let me quote it to you. 'The danger posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons cannot be ignored or wished away.' You agree with that?

WILSON: I agree with that. Sure. I…

MOYERS: 'The danger must be confronted.' You agree with that? 'We would hope that the Iraqi regime will meet the demands of the United Nations and disarm fully and peacefully. If it does not, we are prepared to disarm Iraq by force. Either way, this danger will be removed. The safety of the American people depends on ending this direct and growing threat.' You agree with that?

WILSON: I agree with that. Sure. The President goes on to say in that speech as he did in the State of the Union Address is we will liberate Iraq from a brutal dictator. All of which is true. But the only thing Saddam Hussein hears in this speech or the State of the Union Address is, 'He's coming to kill me. He doesn't care if I have weapons of mass destruction or not. His objective is to come and overthrow my regime and to kill me.' And that then does not provide any incentive whatsoever to disarm.

MOYERS: All of us change in 12 years and obviously Saddam Hussein has changed since you last saw him. But what do you know about him that would help us understand what might be going through his mind right now?

WILSON: [G]iven that his worldview is limited, there is a tendency to develop a logical argument where the premise is skewed. . . . So he will, for example — four days after he invaded Kuwait when I saw him in August of 1990 — he said that the United States lacked the intestinal fortitude and the stamina to confront his invasion in Kuwait. And it was clear to me that he was drawing upon his interpretation of our experiences in Vietnam, Beirut and possibly Tehran. And he had drawn exactly the wrong lessons from that.

We, in fact, stayed in Vietnam far longer than we should have perhaps. We were there for 15 years. And we suffered 50,000 casualties. We did not cut and run. We did spill the blood of our soldiers for many, many years. Give you another example, the whole decision to go into Kuwait was, from his perspective, rational based upon his understanding of the region and of what the international community would do.
OK, but he didn't buy yellowcake from Niger, right? Posted by David Cohen at July 26, 2003 10:25 PM
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