The accusations that were made against Iraq during the Gulf War are still being used today, and they are still not true, said Edward Walker, former ambassador to Israel and Egypt.
Ã¬It was said in 1990 that Saddam Hussein was planning to make a nuclear bomb,Ã® Walker said. Ã¬He still doesnÃt have the material to make a nuclear bomb.Ã®
Before the United States goes to war with Iraq, President George W. Bush needs more evidence to support his motives, Walker told a room of about 100 people Wednesday afternoon.
While discussing the current situation in the Middle East, Walker said BushÃs reasons to oust Hussein are persuasive, but people need to look at them critically to see if war will solve relations with Iraq.
Ã¬People in the (Middle East) donÃt understand our obsession with Saddam Hussein,Ã® Walker said. Ã¬They do understand our war against terrorism.Ã®
One of the motives, Walker said, was HusseinÃs connection with al-Qaida.
Ã¬The indication of a link between Hussein and al-Qaida has not been verified,Ã® Walker said. Ã¬It was not a mistake that there were so many Saudis assigned to the attacks on the World Trade Center.Ã®
But Walker attributes the SaudisÃ role in the Sept. 11 attacks to Osama bin LadenÃs intent to cause a division between the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Ã¬I donÃt think the original argument by Bush, that the United States is under imminent threat by Iraqis, is accurate. The evidence isnÃt there,Ã® Walker said. Ã¬Ousting Hussein is not going to solve the problem of terrorism.Ã®
Iraq has possessed chemical weapons for years, Walker said, who was the ambassador to the United Arab Emirates throughout the Gulf War.
Ã¬Saddam Hussein did not use weapons that would have had devastating consequences (in the Gulf War),Ã® Walker said. Ã¬Because he knew the consequences for him would have been devastating.Ã®
If the United States goes to war against Iraq, Walker said it has been estimated to cost at least $60 billion.
If Bush wants the war to be a success for democracy, Walker said it is important that he gains international cooperation. And without this support, Walker said it is unlikely that the United States could afford to fight a war.
During the Vietnam War, Walker said he was responsible for attending student demonstrations against the war to convince them that the war would be a success.
Walker said it is necessary that people are critical of the presidentÃs plans before engaging in a war.
Ã¬If we would have asked questions before Vietnam, it would have changed the history of the United States,Ã® Walker said. Ã¬Challenging the president is not disloyal.Ã®