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Former Egyptian FM: ‘Everyone knew there were no WMDs in Iraq’, invasion was in place before Bush came to power

Sputnik – 20.03.2023

Former Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmi was Egypt’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States at the time of the US invasion of Iraq. He shared his memories in an interview with Sputnik.

In his interview, Nabil Fahmi said that the American invasion of Iraq was already in place when George W Bush came to power, and he was simply looking for a suitable opportunity to carry out the plan.

Sputnik : As an Egyptian diplomat at the time, how did you feel about the US decision to invade Iraq in 2003?

Nabil Fahmi: At the time, in 2003, I was Egypt’s Ambassador to the United States. Of course, the entire Arab diplomatic corps was discussing the invasion in one way or another. Even with the election of Bush Jr as President of the United States, I noticed a really unhealthy interest the neocons took in Iraq. US vice-president Richard (“Dick”) Cheney was particularly prominent in this regard. On his first visit to Arab countries, he told me personally that he wanted to focus on Iraq.

Sputnik : Why Iraq in particular?

Nabil Fahmi: I asked him why Iraq and not, for example, the Palestinian issue. But he said that Iraq had caught his attention. I told the leadership in Cairo about the strange interest of the new American administration: but at that time, no one imagined that it would come to an open invasion in 2003.

Sputnik : Could you please tell us about Egypt’s position on the US invasion of Iraq?

Nabil Fahmi: I conveyed a message from President Hosni Mubarak to the Chief of Staff of the US Army and to one of the military commanders in the region that an invasion of Iraq was not advisable, and that there was a big difference between the liberation of Kuwait from occupation – in which the Egyptians had also been involved – and the direct occupation of an Arab country. This message was also conveyed to various American officials in Washington, including Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and others.

The Egyptian delegation arrived in Washington about four weeks before the invasion in a last-ditch effort to acquaint the US side with Cairo’s position. The delegation visited US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. They were warned that an invasion of an Arab country would be disastrous for the region.

Sputnik : And how did the Americans respond?

Nabil Fahmi: The US administration questioned us point by point, ranging from the invasion and how to take control of certain places. Each time we responded, we emphasized that we did not support the US invasion. At one point, Rice specifically asked why this point was being repeated in every response. Our delegation explained that Egypt continued to oppose the invasion in any case: the Iraqi state must be preserved.

Sputnik : What did Washington think of Cairo’s response to the invasion?

Nabil Fahmi: Our position put me, as Egypt’s ambassador to Washington, in a difficult position before the US Congress. I explicitly said that Cairo did not support the war in Iraq, even though we were friends of America.

Sputnik : And how did you assess the international position on the invasion?

Nabil Fahmi: The US administration was determined to invade Iraq from the first day it came to power, and this was evident in the speeches of Cheney and Wolfowitz. The course of action had started taking shape after 9/11. The Bush administration had to justify this military operation to convince the American public that there was a real threat. To this end, they played the card of Iraq’s possession of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Although in fact everyone knew that there were no weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in Iraq.

Sputnik : What then were the real reasons for the US invasion of Iraq?

Nabil Fahmi: The US decision to invade Iraq was made regardless of the actions of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the suffering of the Iraqi people, and there was no real evidence that Iraq possessed WMD. Either it was because they wanted to realize their ambitions after the liberation of Kuwait – because at that time the controversy about the need to end the war of liberation was raging – or maybe it was because the US was already developing the concept of a “New Middle East” and the easiest place to start implementing it was with a sanctions-weakened Iraq.

Sputnik : In your opinion, what has been the most significant consequence of the US invasion of Iraq?

Nabil Fahmi: I opposed Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and saw that it was unacceptable and a big mistake on the part of Saddam Hussein. I do not believe that any country has the right to invade another country without respecting international law. That is why I did not support the invasion of Iraq. However, this war caused a lot of trouble in the Levant and the Gulf Region, and later the emergence of Daesh terrorists in the region. To this day, the Middle East is still dealing with the consequences of the US invasion of Iraq 20 years ago.

Sputnik : Has there been a change in American policy toward Arab countries in the years since the invasion of Iraq?

Nabil Fahmi: Nothing has changed. What has changed is the American reality and the Arab reaction. In the early 2000s, the US wanted to show the Middle East that after the collapse of the Soviet Union it could do whatever it wanted with Moscow’s former allies – that was its interest.

Circumstances are different now. Washington is no longer willing to give guarantees or sacrifice its wealth or forces to protect anyone in the region as a whole. For their part, the Arab countries began to realize – after the American invasion of Iraq – that the US could not be given preferential treatment. Thus, the Arab countries began to balance their foreign policies, giving the US the role of an important partner, but by no means the only one. The Arabs now realize that they must take the lead in solving most of the region’s problems and not rely on others to do so.

March 20, 2023 - Posted by | Militarism | , , ,


  1. I believe the only ‘interests’ the American hawks want to protect are Zionist ones since Washington is awash with Friends of Israel in Congress, the CIA, the Department of Defence and various powerful institutions. Those ‘interests’ are the dissolution of the Muslim governments, especially those which seek to or sought to protect Palestinians from death and destruction under the Zionist jack-boot, bulldozer, artillery shells, attack drones and fighter bombers. Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Somalia and the Gulf States have been emasculated; Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen have been decimated by bombing and civil wars. Iran is the only power still bravely standing. Righteous nations like China and Russia are thankfully supporting her, inch’allah.


    Comment by jbthring | March 22, 2023 | Reply

  2. Susan Lindauer was a CIA backchannel to Libya and then Iraq for ten years. After 911, Iraq was supplying credible intelligence CIA did not have on Islamic terrorist networks operating in Central and Southwest Asia. Saddam was a staunch enemy of Islamic religious groups such as al Qaeda, and had developed one of the best intelligence and counterintelligence capabilities in the region.

    In August 2001, Ms. Lindauer delivered an intelligence report to Condi Rice, W. Bush’s National Security Security Advisor. It was a Humint or Human intelligence report with evidence that a plan had been devised to fly commercial Jet aircraft into highrise buildings in a major city in the United States. Incredibly National Security Advisor Rice refused to take Ms. Lindauer’s intel report seriously. Alarmed by Rice’s indifference to a potentially deadly threat to the United States, Ms. Lindauer personally visited the US Justice Dept to report her claim. After experiencing the same treatment she had received from Natl Security Advisor Rice, Ms. Lindauer confronted her CIA case officer with the same information. Her case officer’s silent response surprised her and he advised her not to take the issue any further. A month later on 9/11/2001, three Boeing 767 and 757 commercial jet aircraft were hijacked. There is a definite reason these two aircraft types were chosen by the hijackers. They had been trained on them! The hijackers were taken to a secret clandestine airfield in the Nevada desert where they were instructed on takeoffs only. They only needed one of these two types of aircraft because both the B-767 and 757 are driven by the same navigation and avionics systems. If a commercial pilot is type-rated one they are also type-rated to fly the other
    Ironically, the FBI is still in possession of 85k pages of documentation on the Florida hijackers! Robert Mueller who was appointed FBI director soon after 911, ordered the entire file on the hijackers to be classified and kept hidden from the American people. It will reveal the complicity on the part of US intelligence agencies in the 911 attack on America.

    Now scroll up to 2003, before the US shock and awe invasion of Iraq.
    Ms. Lindauer delivered Saddam Hussein’s personal messages intended for President Bush to her case officer. In them, Saddam offered to sell oil to America at a deep discount. He also agreed to purchase thousands of US automobiles, and do other ingratiating things for the US. Anything to stop the war drums and secure peaceful relations with the United States again.
    Iraq had been a friend of the US until British PM Margaret Thatcher goaded W’s father, President GHW Bush, into intervening on the side of Kuwait in an oil dispute with Iraq in 1990. Saddam felt he had been “sandbagged” by President Bush after receiving assurances from US Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, that the Bush administration had no interest in Saddam’s dispute with Kuwait, even if Iraq were to use its military to force Kuwait to stop underselling the price of its oil, Glaspie told Saddam there would be no US involvement in a regional dispute.
    Margaret Thatcher is credited with goading Bush into action because President Bush didn’t do anything for four days in the face of widespread outrage in America over a propaganda piece produced by a US advertising agency that purportedly showed Iraqi soldiers throwing Kuwaiti babies out of incubators! Someone on behalf of Kuwait hired the ad agency to produce the propaganda piece for them.
    Thatcher told Bush “this is no time to go wobbly”. The wimpish Bush reversed himself giving the green light to VP Dick Cheney. Cheney in turn unleashed the dogs of war on Iraq.

    Ms. Lindauer refused to give up her crusade on behalf of Iraq. She wanted to stop the invasion before it started. She knew Iraq had been a staunch ally of the US, but the “Big Lie” of WMD that had been sold to the US by Tony Blair and VP Dick Chaney had put the world into a frenzy. And after Condi Rice told an American TV audience that “Iraq could light up the skies of Washington DC” and Colin Powell went before the UN to reveal Iraqi equipment he said was used to increase Plutonium to WMD levels, the invasion was a foregone conclusion. WMD investigation team led by Major Scott Ritter, never found any WMD in Iraq! But when Saddam refused to allow Ritter’s team into Saddam’s Presidential Palaces, Ritter was ordered back to the US and the invasion was on.

    It only took a few days after the invasion before an FBI swat team pounded on Susan Lindauer’s door at 5am, with a warrant for her arrest!

    Ms. Lindauer was taken to a jail cell in DC where she was held without bail and denied legal representation. Her 5th Amendment Rights and due process were suspended. She was transferred to a prison cell in the Florida Panhandle town of Pensacola. There she remained for a year. She would probably still be there if it weren’t for her Uncle who was able to finally get her an attorney who got her released.

    After her release, Susan Lindauer wrote a book called, EXTREME PREJUDICE. She also relived her story before live audiences. The video recordings of her presentations are available on YouTube.


    Comment by Thomas Lee Simpson | April 2, 2023 | Reply

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