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Cablegate: Media Reaction Powell Evidence Against Iraq;

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 000274

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PDPA FOR DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM ZI KPAO KMDR
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION POWELL EVIDENCE AGAINST IRAQ;
HARARE

1. Under headline "Powell fails to prove case against
Baghdad" the pro-government daily "Daily Mirror"
dedicated its February 7 editorial to dismissing
Secretary of State Colin Powell's testimony against
Iraq, saying, Powell's presentation was "flawed" and
"did not have any shred of evidence." Excerpts:

2. "United States Secretary of State Colin Powell's
theatrical presentation of what he said was
evidence that Iraq possesses weapons of mass
destruction was unconvincing to say the least.
It was full of assumptions and presumptions, and
therefore the United Nations should not sanction
war against a sovereign nation, Iraq, on the
basis of Powell's flawed presentation. To say
the truth, Powell did not have any shred of
evidence, he was just whipping emotions. Armed
with data from the Iraqi defectors, spy
satellites and telephone intercepts, his
presentation lagged far behind the expectations
of the world, real evidence that would justify a
war. . . Logically, if the U.S. has no hidden
agenda, it should agree to increase the
capabilities of monitoring and collecting
information on Iraqi territory. Political
decisions should be based on facts and evidence,
and definitely not on egocentric beliefs. Who
says the `so-called evidence' cannot be
concocted, especially in this age of high
technology? As for the photographs of what
Powell called weapons sites and mobile weapons
factories, why is it that the information had
not been presented to the U.N. arms inspectors
for verification?

"We believe it is folly for Powell, who is not
in Iraq, to accuse the Iraqis of hiding biological
and chemical weapons when the U.N. inspectors, who
are practically scrounging for proof in that
country, have not found any shred of evidence
since. It should be noted that weapons of mass
destruction are not like an aspirin tablet that
you can hide in your pocket. They are weapons
that cannot be concealed easily. Without wanting
to pacify Iraq, its response has been more
convincing. Since the Gulf War numerous
inspections have been conducted but no weapons of
mass destruction have been found. So, could the
assertion by Iraq that Powell's presentation was
`unrelated to the truth' be truth. Powell's
presentation, created two camps, with Britain, as
expected, supporting the U.S. while China, Russia
and France are insisting that there was need to
find convincing evidence. . . It should be asked:
to what extend do the nature and scope of the
threat justify the recourse to war and how does
the U.N. make sure that the considerable risks of
such intervention are actually kept under
control?"

SULLIVAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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