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Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Correction, sort of:
As best as I can tell, the Wolfowitz quote from the Guardian (previous post below) wasn't quite accurate. Apparently it was a translation from a German translation of the original English, and some meaning got altered. It appears that Wolfowitz was trying to explain the difference between our approaches to North Korea and Iraq--why the one that actually has WMD programs doesn't need attacking while the one that doesn't does. Here's the quote:

Look, the primarily difference -- to put it a little too simply -- between North Korea and Iraq is that we had virtually no economic options with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil. In the case of North Korea, the country is teetering on the edge of economic collapse and that I believe is a major point of leverage whereas the military picture with North Korea is very different from that with Iraq. The problems in both cases have some similarities but the solutions have got to be tailored to the circumstances which are very different. (source)

So to summarize: illegally changing regimes in both countries was/is a given for Wolfowitz. North Korea is likely to starve into regime change without a war being required; Iraq would have taken longer because of its oil wealth. Not much better, but not really saying that the war was all about the oil.

My apologies for misleading anybody--I quoted the Guardian accurately, but they apparently didn't do the same with Wolfowitz. I discovered the error by checking Tom Tomorrow's blog.