by Hans Blix
The war against Iraq divided opinion throughout the world and generated a maelstrom of spin and counterspin. The man at the eye of the storm, and arguably the only key player to emerge from it with his integrity intact, was Hans Blix, head of the UN weapons inspection team.
This is Dr. Blix’s account of what really happened during the months leading up to the declaration of war in March 2003. In riveting descriptions of his meetings with Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and Kofi Annan, he conveys the frustrations, the tensions, the pressure and the drama as the clock ticked toward the fateful hour. In the process, he asks the vital questions about the war: Was it inevitable? Why couldn’t the U.S. and UK get the backing of the other member states of the UN Security Council? Did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction? What does the situation in Iraq teach us about the propriety and efficacy of policies of preemptive attack and unilateral action?
Free of the agendas of politicians and ideologues, Blix is the plainspoken, measured voice of reason in the cacophony of debate about Iraq. His assessment of what happened is invaluable in trying to understand both what brought us to the present state of affairs and what we can learn as we try to move toward peace and security in the world after Iraq.
From the Hardcover edition.
- Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, March 2004
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