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use of chemical, biological, nuclear weapons by attacking Iraq preemptively.
Are we convinced, and I want to know if you are convinced, the two of you, that Iraq is preparing to use these weapons against the United States, its assets, not just to develop them. I mean, so much of what we have heard, generally the last two or three weeks, has been they are close to developing, they are going to develop them, the word has been developed. The question is, do you believe they are preparing to use them against America or American interests, or they would only be used in response to an attack?
Dr. SPERTZEL. If the U.S. does not agree not to stop bombing in the north and the south, frankly get out and stop interfering with the Iraqi regime's desires, whatever they happen to be, yes, I fully believe that Iraq is prepared to use weapons of mass destruction against U.S. interests at home as well as abroad. I happen to believe the one person that still believes we haven't found out yet who was behind the anthrax spores last fall. And when we do, there may be a lot of people surprised.
Dr. Kay. On the issue of whether Saddam—and I think you made a distinction between Saddam and Iraqi military forces—if we were to use military forces and come at him for regime change, his removal and replacement, I certainly think Saddam would attempt to use it, but I am actually more optimistic that you are dealing at that point with individual missile commanders who, if they know Saddam, and there is little doubt now they understand that if American military force is exercised to replace the regime, I think many of them will cut deals and will decide “I really shouldn't fire this weapon because I may be held personally responsible, and tomorrow morning may not be the best thing that happens to my family and my life.”
So I think the tactical deterrence and perhaps more so in a terrorist state, we may find a lot of those weapons not used. We are lucky that those weapons—the command and control system is not one like we would have, and even ours was never always that tight where the President could exercise and it was guaranteed to happen. So I think we may actually escape large scale use of it if we are smart and go at the head of the snake and get the head early before he can do it because a lot of people in Iraq-I am absolutely convinced that probably no more than 250 or 350 at the very core, that if it is clear they are gone or they are in the process of going. It is going to be much like the end of the Second World War when we worried about the Nazis retreating to the Bavarian Alps.
Where did they retreat to? The American zone. They didn't retreat to the Bavarian Alps. Everyone suddenly wanted a transition from a Nazi to a freedom fighter and being in the American as opposed to the Soviet zone. I suspect if it is clear that we are going to exercise effective military force, we are going to discover a lot of people who always oppose Saddam and were only there because of the terrorism and would like to live a better life.
Mr. MCINTYRE. So in essence—and you started out, Dr. Kay, by saying Saddam Hussein would attempt to use it. Do you agree with Dr. Spertzel that you believe he is preparing to use these, and he is not just developing them.
Dr. Kay. I am convinced that he is preparing to use them for political effect. The use of a weapon doesn't involve necessarily going off particularly when you have weak neighbors. The intimidation is shadowing effect of showing, demonstrating that it has chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, at some point will change the politics in the region and get the effect. I think if I were Israel, the possession of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein would be fundamentally disturbing because I think he has an animosity and desire to destroy the State of Israel.
Dr. SPERTZEL. I don't think there is any question about the latter, because the one thing that we constantly heard was Israel's taking out the Osirak reactor back in 1981 and that is bitter at all levels.
Mr. MCINTYRE. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman and that was a very good line of questions. And now the distinguished ranking member, the gentleman from Missouri, Mr. Skelton.
Mr. SKELTON. I want to say a special thanks. It has been one of the best hearings we have had in this room and your efforts are well appreciated. You also point out the old adage that you just can't pit a snake. So we thank you for your comments and I hope a lot of folks heard exactly what you said.
Mr. HUNTER. I thank the gentleman. And I thank Mr. Spratt too, in supporting the idea that we have some pretty robust hearings. I think this has been good for the whole committee.
Mr. SPRATT. I second what the chairman and Ike said. But let me end on an anecdote. We went to-Duncan, I believe you were with us when we went to the Persian Gulf and met Tariq Aziz at the Hotel Rashid. And he began the meeting by—this was before we reflagged the Kuwaiti tankers. It was during the Iran Iraq war. And he began by chiding us by not giving Iraq greater support. We are fighting your fight for you because after all, you were severely embarrassed by the Iranians and they are certainly not your friend. You should be supporting us more openly and more vigorously. And Larry Hopkins, a Republican Member, spoke up and said, “Mr. Secretary, if your country was not openly and aggressively using chemical weapons in violation of Geneva conventions, we might be supporting you more openly and vigorously.” And
Tarik Aziz said, "Well it is a policy, the official policy of my country, to deny that we are using chemical weapons, but I won't maintain that pretense. What I will tell you is that the Iranians are fanatics and if they were to prevail in this war they would take over our country and change it radically, and we cannot permit that to happen and you should appreciate why. And I will say this: Yes, we are using chemical weapons, and if we had nuclear weapons we would use them too."
Mr. HUNTER. And to note, Mr. Saxton, do you have any final thoughts or questions here?
Gentlemen, once again, thank you very much. I want to thank the members of the committee. I think we have had a great hearing, and I hope you will be available because you have an insight that very few people in the world have because of your experiences in Iraq, attempting to make weapons inspection work. And we now
are in a country with millions of citizens and lots of leaders with a need to share in those insights, so you are going to be called upon, I know, a lot in the next several weeks and months, and we appreciate your service to the country. Thank you. And this hearing is adjourned. [Whereupon, at 7:21 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]