The Web     
Powered by
powered by Yahoo!
Return to Transcripts main page


Interview with Nile Gardiner, Norman Solomon

Aired September 6, 2003 - 12:37   ET


FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: The new resolution has sparked renewed debate. We get two perspectives now. Nile Gardener is a fellow at the Heritage Foundation. He joins us from Washington
And Norman Solomon is the director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. And he is in San Francisco.

Good to see both of you, thanks for joining us.

Let me begin with you. You think the U.S. should seek a resolution. Why after the U.S. Almost literally called the U.N. insignificant before the war?

NORMAN SOLOMON, INST. FOR PUBLIC ACCURACY: Well, I think the problem really is that the U.S. Administration stumbling over its own contradictions. I think we have had an example of that today with Rumsfeld in Baghdad saying that the occupation is off to a quote wonderful start. This is kind of an approach of a Mr. Magoo sort of presidency. And on the other hand, some of the problems that exist are simply impossible to ignore. And so, after launching a war and implementing an occupation, when the war according to Kofi Annan at the U.N. was a violation of the U.N. charter, now the Bush administration finds it can't handle the occupation on its own terms. The cost of it will be $140 billion according to the appropriations that are being sought by the Bush administration.

So here we are. The White house says, gee, we've thumbed our nose at the U.N. Now we're going to go back and insist on control over Iraq and I don't think that's going to work.

WHITFIELD: Norman, if I could bring you in on this. You see this as the U.s. Conceding that, oops, we made a mistake. Perhaps didn't have a plan in place for a good rebuilding, or restructuring of Iraq, and that perhaps the U.S. might need to concede further saying to the U.N. it's time for you to take over completely in the rebuilding process?

SOLOMON: Well, I don't think there's any doubt that the war was illegitimate. Therefore, the U.S., U.K occupation is illegitimate. And the only solution for the U.S. to show that, in fact, it's no longer interested in controlling Iraq and the Oil. Get out. Let the U.N. do its job without more U.S. soldiers dying and killing in Iraq.

WHITFIELD: All right. Niles, what do you think about all of this? Do you think the U.S. Needs to say, OK, U.N., take over all together?

NILE GARDINER, HERITAGE FOUNDATION: Far from it. I'd like to point out the war was not a violation of the U.N. charter. United States and Great Britain went to war against Iraq to enforce the Security Council resolutions. It is a stunning military success. Things on the ground in Iraq are certainly not crisis. I believe it's manageable. It's very sensibly, the United States is going back to the United Nations to talk about a further U.N. resolution to provide political cover for those nations who wish to assist on the ground. And one would like to bring up the examples of India, Pakistan, Turkey. A number of nations who would like to contribute tens of thousands of troops and like a to see a U.S. mandate. The United States is not talking about ceding political or military control.

WHITFIELD: Why not, should they be talking that way.

GARDINER: They certainly should not. And I believe that the United States and Great Britain best placed to ensure the long term security.

WHITFIELD: Isn't it likely that the U.S. get greater U.N. support if they concede on that issue, particularly since the argument is to who will militarily lead?

Who will try to rebuild this country because it's not working right now?

GARDINER: I just...

SOLOMON: That's a key point.

WHITFIELD: Nile, let me get you on this one.

GARDINER: I don't think conceding military and political control in the interest of the Iraqi people, and that's what it's all about here. We want to ensure the security of the Iraqi people. We want to ensure the develop of a free and Democratic Iraqi state.


WHITFIELD: All right, Norman make your point.

SOLOMON: What we have just heard and heard from Rumsfeld today is it's all about the Iraqi people. But what the U.S. Government through the Bush administration is actually pushing is 180 degrees in the other direction. If it really was about the Iraqi people, then the 112 billion barrels of oil under the sand would be no interest to the U.S. Getting the contract for White House connected firms, Bechtel and Halliburton that wouldn't be of interest, either. And they would welcome at the White House with open arms, full U.N. involvement, giving up U.S. military control of Iraq. But since it's not really about the Iraqi people, since it's about the economic and geopolitical agendas of the Bush administration, the White House won't think of actually cooperating with the U.N. That's why this whole gambit going to the United Nations, I think, is bound to fail.

WHITFIELD: Nile, how do you see this ending?

GARDINER: I think like to see long, drawn out negotiations. I don't see the Bush administration compromising at the United Nations and rightly so. We are likely to see, I think, the French and the Russians causing considerable amount of trouble. And for these two nations, of course, economic concerns are a paramount interest in Iraq. And I think that the French and the Russians don't necessarily have the long term future of the Iraqi people at heart. And I believe we need or the weary of the designs of France and Russia in post war Iraq.

WHITFIELD: All right, Nile Gardiner, and Norman Solomon, I'm going to have to let it be the last word. We are out of time. Thank you, gentlemen, for joining us.


International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.