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Iraq unlikely to attack U.S. — CIA

Early 2003 —

The CIA reported the opinion that Iraq is unlikely to strike the United States' interests unless it is itself attacked. The CIA. The Central Intelligence Agency of the United States said that, whilst all official America seems to be either drumming for their war or debating how to prosecute war more cautiously.

Naturally, it seems a no-brainer; Iraq is not Al-Qaida, and cannot simply vanish in a whisp of smoke — Iraq is a country, with a physical location. The standard rhetoric of defiance that we read in print as coming from the lips of Saddam Hussein may be arrogant and bold; Saddam certainly seems all of that and more. But the defiance of an autocrat of a country whose sovereignty is threatened by a greater force is not the same as the threat that he is going to defy that power by attacking it. That would be unwise by anyone's calculation. And, our own CIA says it's unlikely.

Of course, the CIA has produced some notable fumbles in its time — not least of all the overlooking of valuable information concerning Al-Qaida* prior to the September 11th atrocities. But on this one, the agency may be onto something.

The chance that Iraq will instigate war with America is "very low." If America attacks Iraq, the chance that Saddam will respond with chemical or biological weapons is "very high."

That's from the CIA.


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* It appears now (as of October 2006) that the CIA was in fact rather adamant that Al Qaeda (as the name of the organization is now spelled in American media) presented an imminent threat — and that this assertion, in early Summer 2001, was imperiously disacknowledged by principals in the Bush administration.

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