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What 1998 strikes against Iraq can teach us about Syria

September 11th, 2013
05:38 AM ET

Appearing on AC360 Later with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Christiane Amanpour asked David Kay, former chief U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, about the efficacy of air strikes against Iraq in 1998.

"I tell you, at the time of the strike I confess I was a skeptic," he said. "Blowing up empty buildings in the middle of the night didn't strike me as terribly effective."

But Kay said his mind was changed when he visited Iraq years later.

"We carried out a vast range of interviews with senior officials," Kay said. "Their claim was that it fundamentally shook Saddam's confidence. ... What he cared most about was survival. And he saw those institutions of coercion that he used to control the society and his own military being threatened. He said, 'Ah,' and he did draw back at that point."

Click above to see Amanpour's exchange with Kay.

More from AC360 Later.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. ashok

    The moment for a military strike against Syria has passed. Divesting Assad of his chemical weapons in the full glare of the civilised world's approbation would be a better development. It also sends him a powerful message that he must moderate his murderous impulses towards his own citizens.

    September 11, 2013 at 7:47 am | Reply
  2. Willow

    Christiane, your performance on CNN was hysterical and over the top this week. A little more poise and thought would be appreciated. Your opinion on Syria carries no more weight than anyone else's. Get over yourself!

    September 14, 2013 at 11:27 am | Reply

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