Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Check out this interview with Paul Wolfowitz over at FrontPage Magazine. It's fairly long and this is only a tiny piece. Go check it out.

"RS - Britain, Italy, Poland and Ukraine supported you in Iraq with troops, but their publics are sceptical.

PW - Some of the hostility among European publics comes from basic, deep-seated factual misrepresentations. Left-wing academics say that this is a war for oil or for Halliburton or other absurdities. Political leaders could take on some of this falsehood and demagoguery. If the US president talked as regularly and as critically about Europe as some European leaders talk about the US, there would probably be a lot more anti-European feeling in this country than there is. And I am surprised that given the American sacrifice in Europe, 50, 60 years ago, more Europeans don't think that the Iraqi people or the Afghan people are entitled to a similar consideration. It's astonishing to hear liberals and socialists, whether in Europe or here, effectively saying that Saddam's fascist, genocidal dictatorship should have been left alone.

RS - The US would have won more support in Europe if it had justified war on humanitarian grounds - Europe accepted war against Serbia on that basis.

PW - But we would never have had 15 votes in the UN on that proposition. The UN was what forced us down the WMD path, which was a legitimate argument. When the president first went to the UN, he made three arguments. He talked about terrorism, he talked about WMD and he talked about abuse of the Iraqi people. Even with the UN resolution, we might have pushed harder on this issue. On the other hand, the Syrians weren't going to vote for a resolution that endorsed removing Saddam for the sake of the Iraqis.

RS - The leader of the British Tories, the pro-Atlanticist Michael Howard, was cold shouldered by the White House because he dared to criticise Tony Blair's presentation on Iraq. So if you want to be received at the White House, do you have to show obedience these days?

PW - If we expected obedience we wouldn't have any relations with Europe at all. It's usually our practice to meet with politicians from across the spectrum.
Look, we've been through 50 years now of the most successful alliance in history. It's had its downs. We're in the middle of a war which hasn't been won yet and it's tough and nobody likes a war. I can understand people being anti-war, even if they know all the facts. But I still believe that freedom is a powerful force that will help sort this out. It's also a glue that holds us together. Who would have dreamed ten years ago that a Nato force would be keeping the peace in Kabul, so that Afghanistan could build a democracy? There's a lot that's creative and good."

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