June 11, 2003

Hans Blix To His Washington

Hans Blix To His Washington Detractors: The "Bastards"

Who knew? Sounding more like a fiery denizen of Napoli than a Swedish treaty lawyer Blix lets off some steam in an exclusive with the Guardian (assuming they got the quotes right!). Here's the link to the discussion.

A snippet from the reporter's round-up:

"There were "enemies" dating from his days as a liberal student leader at Uppsala University; enemies in the form of disgruntled ex-employees closely connected to hawks in the US Pentagon; Iraqi enemies who spread rumours about his being "homosexual, and going to Washington to pick up my instructions every two weeks".

There were even media jibes about his talent for inspection lying exclusively with menus at fancy East Side restaurants. But the accusations of "softness", levelled more often than not by senior American officials, were most galling."

Is it just me, or does Hans sound a bit the paranoid Nixonian here?

UPDATE: Um, they might have gotten the quote wrong indeed-- if you believe Fox:

In an interview with Fox News' Eric Shawn on Wednesday, Blix refuted any claim that there was a smear campaign against him in the Pentagon and denied he was referring to anyone in the Bush administration when he used the word "bastards."

"I was talking about private individuals," Blix said. "I had very good and correct relations with the Bush administration. I hope I still do."

He said his "bastards" remark was directed toward former Swedish Prime Minister Per Ahlmark, a longtime detractor who implied that Blix was naive and ineffective for not discovering Saddam's nuclear weapons program before the first Gulf War.

But the Guardian puts it this way:

"Speaking exclusively to the Guardian from his 31st floor office at the UN in New York, Mr Blix said: "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media. Not that I cared very much.

"It was like a mosquito bite in the evening that is there in the morning, an irritant."

So either Blix lied to Fox, the Fox reporter got it wrong, or it's another gross distortion from the Guardian!

Posted by Gregory at June 11, 2003 11:10 AM
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