Blix: Lack of 'Critical Judgment' Led to Iraq War

Former Top U.N. Weapons Inspector Blames U.S., U.K. Leaders

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Listen: <b>Web Extra:</b> Bob Edwards' Extended Interview with Hans Blix

Hans Blix and Colin Powell

Hans Blix, right, and Secretary of State Colin Powell appear at a press briefing at the State Department, Oct. 4, 2002. Michael Gross, U.S. State Department hide caption

toggle caption Michael Gross, U.S. State Department

Disarming Iraq by Hans Blix hide caption

toggle caption

The leaders of the United States and Britain failed to exercise "critical judgment" in going to war against Iraq a year ago despite the lack of hard evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, says Hans Blix, the former chief United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq.

"If you sentence someone to death or you sentence someone to war, you'd better have some evidence," Blix tells NPR's Bob Edwards. "And we didn't feel there was evidence..."

This item is available for purchase online. Your purchase helps support NPR.

Blix, whose new book is called Disarming Iraq, says he became doubtful about the existence of Iraqi WMD in January 2003. He says U.N. inspectors visited locations in Iraq that intelligence had indicated "as places where there would be weapons. And in none of these cases did we find any weapons."

Nevertheless, Blix says he did not believe before the war that a U.S.-led attack against Iraq was inevitable. The United States hoped that its military buildup, which led Iraq to allow weapons inspections, would cause Iraq to "crack" and come clean about its weapons, Blix says. "But they didn't."



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from