3,696. 8/4/2002

“The Palestinian-Israel conflict and the global war on terror were far higher national security priorities than Iraq, [former National Security Advisor Brent] Scowcroft cautioned [on Face the Nation on August 4, 2002], and both would be jeopardized by an invasion. ‘The president [Bush] has announced that terrorism is our number one focus. Now, Saddam’s a problem, but he’s not a problem because of terrorism.’ The primary link between al-Qaeda and Saddam, he said, was that they shared ‘an intense dislike of the United States.’ Invading Iraq to overthrow Saddam, Scowcroft warned, would result in ‘an explosion in the Middle East’ that ‘could turn the whole region into a cauldron and thus destroy the war on terrorism.’ If the administration was worried about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, he advised, it should ‘get to the U.N. to insist on an inspection regime that is no notice, any time, anywhere, and so on. The administration says Saddam would never agree to it. But if he doesn’t agree to it, that gives you the casus belli that we don’t really have right now.’  ”

 – Karen DeYoung, Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell, Pages 400-401

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