Bush Aznar Conversation: Full Transcript on Pajamas
Bush: Saddam won’t change and will keep playing games. The moment of getting rid of him has arrived. That’s it. As for me, from now on, I’ll try to use the most subtle rhetoric I can, while we look for the resolution to be approved. If some country vetoes [the resolution] we’ll go in. Saddam is not disarming. We must catch him right now. We have shown an incredible amount of patience until now. We have two weeks. In two weeks, our military will be ready. I think we’ll achieve a second resolution. In the Security Council, we have three African countries [Cameroon, Angola, Guinea], the Chileans, the Mexicans. I’ll talk with all of them, also with Putin, naturally. We’ll be in Baghdad at the end of March. There’s a 15% chance that Saddam will be dead by then or will have flown. But these possibilities won’t be there until we have shown our resolution. The Egyptians are talking with Saddam Hussein. It seems he has hinted he’d be willing to leave if he’s allowed to take 1 billion dollars and all the information on WMDs. Ghadaffi told Berlusconi that Saddam wants to leave. Mubarak tells us that in these circumstances there is a big chance that he’ll get killed.
We would like to act with the mandate of the UN. If we act militarily, we’ll do it with great precision and focus on our targets to as high a degree as possible. We’ll decimate the loyal troops, and the regular army will quickly know what it’s all about. We sent a very clear message to Saddam Hussein’s generals: we will treat them as war criminals. We know they have stocked big amounts of dynamite to blow up the bridges and other infrastructure, and the oil wells. We are planning to take control of those wells very soon. Also, the Saudis will help us by putting as much oil as necessary on the market. We are developing a very strong aid package. We can win without destruction. We are already working on the post-Saddam Iraq, and I think there’s a basis for a better future. Iraq has a good bureaucracy and a relatively strong civil society. It could be organized as a federation. Meanwhile we’re doing all we can to fulfill the political needs of our friends and allies.
Aznar: It’s very important to have that second resolution. It will be very different to act with or without it. It will be very advisable to have a sufficient majority in the Security Council backing that resolution. In fact, having that majority is more important than whether some country vetoes. We think that the resolution should, among other things, clearly state that Saddam Hussein has squandered his opportunity.
Bush: Yes, of course. That would be better to mention than “the necessary means.”
Aznar: Saddam Hussein hasn’t cooperated, hasn’t disarmed - we should summarize all his non-compliance and make a more elaborate message. That, for example, would allow Mexico to change [its opposition].
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