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A look at some Wolfowitz comments on Iraq

Following are some comments on Iraq by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, President's Bush's choice to head the World Bank:

_Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq: "They've worked at hiding things very, very deliberately. There's no question in my mind that there was something there. There are just too many pieces of evidence, and we'll get to the bottom of it." May 31, 2003.

_The justification for attacking Iraq: "The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy, we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but ... there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two. ... The third one by itself ... is a reason to help the Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it." Pentagon transcript of interview with Vanity Fair magazine, May 2003.

_Occupying Iraq: "The notion that it would take several hundred thousand American troops just seems outlandish." March 4, 2003.

"If you're looking for a historical analogy, it's probably closer to post-liberation France (after World War II)." Interview with Trudy Rubin of The Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 17, 2002.

"We want to see a situation where power and responsibility is transferred as quickly as possible to the Iraqis themselves, with as much international assistance as possible. ... We have no desire to occupy Iraq. ...'' April 10, 2003.

_Rebuilding Iraq: "There's a lot of money to pay for this. It doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money. We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon." March 27, 2003.

_The futures of Afghanistan and Iraq: "If we keep our commitment to helping Afghans and Iraqis chart their course toward a better future and demonstrate that we have no motive other than a more peaceful planet, then we will have struck a major blow to the ideology of terror and made major steps forward in making our country safer. The terrorists know that." May 6, 2004.

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(Compiled by researcher Tish Wells)

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(c) 2005, Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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