It was widely reported that Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf had concerns about a possible war in Iraq:
“The thought of Saddam Hussein with a sophisticated nuclear capability is a frightening thought, OK?” he said. “Now, having said that, I don’t know what intelligence the U.S. government has. And before I can just stand up and say, ‘Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we need to invade Iraq,’ I guess I would like to have better information.”
And so – in sharp contrast to the Bush administration – he supports letting the UN weapons inspectors drive the timetable: “I think it is very important for us to wait and see what the inspectors come up with, and hopefully they come up with something conclusive.”
This morning, on Today, Schwarzkopf seemed to say that he was now convinced that war was a necessary option:
But on Wednesday, Gen.Schwarzkopf told NBC’s Today show he thought President Bush’s State of the Union speech was “very compelling,” and he said he looks forward to hearing the declassified information that Secretary of State Colin Powell will share with the world next week.
“Saddam’s got to go,” Schwarzkopf said Wednesday morning. “He’s a monster in every single way you can think of and with the linkage to the terrorists, it’s scary what in fact could be done.”
Schwarzkopf said he expects key facts to emerge after Powell briefs the U.N. Security Council next Wednesday. “I think that the intelligence people obviously have information about activities, and I think you’re going to see proof of those activities that show that in fact Saddam Hussein still has nuclear weapons or chemical weapons or biological weapons in his possession and has in fact hidden them someplace…I think that there’s going to be conclusive evidence to show that he has not destroyed all the weapons that they say he’s destroyed.”
I am not sure why he changed his mind, particularly since the President presented no new evidence (the evidence he stated has been on record- people have just conveniently ignored it).
My question- Is there a possibility that this was staged, that Schwarzkopf had always been in favor of an invasion, and the thought was that if he changed his mind publicly, it would help to sway public opinion? This sounds paranoid, but I am cynical enough to think this might have been the case. Another possibility is that he simply does not like Rumsfelfd…