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Alexander Haig speaks to The Hurricane

Since World War II, few Americans have been as involved in the development of United States government policy as former Secretary of State Alexander Haig. Since graduating from West Point in 1947, Haig has served under presidents Nixon, Carter, Ford and Reagan.

More than 20 years after his retirement from public office, Haig is still a highly sought-after guest on a variety of news channels. That demand has only increased since the war in Iraq.

Haig supports the decision to go to war with Iraq, despite the fact no weapons of mass destruction [WMD] have been found.

“There’s no question that [Bush] was justified in going to war,” Haig said. “The WMD issue became a part of our logic in taking the action because of the wrong-headed decision to go back to the UN for another resolution.”

According to Haig, the United States should have gone to the United Nations and asked for an ultimatum instead of a resolution supporting the war. The UN would have had to support the United States because otherwise, it would have meant acting against its own resolutions, in effect destroying its credibility.

WHO IS HAIG?

* Graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1947
* Served in the Korean War on Gen. MacArthur’s staff (1950-1951)
* Served in the Vietnam War (1966-1967)
* Deputy National Security Advisor and White House Chief of Staff to President Nixon (1969-1974)
* NATO Commander during the Ford and Carter presidencies (1974-1979)
* Secretary of State to President Reagan(1981-198)

Haig added that the decision to go to the UN for another resolution was influenced by the same wing of the Republican Party that advocated leaving Saddam Hussein in power at the conclusion of the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

“The survival of Saddam made him the hero of the Arab world, and also the terrorist world,” Haig said. “He was one of the most significant factors in the war on terrorism.”

Reviewing the current operational plan of United States forces in post-war Iraq, Haig expressed concern.

“I don’t think they’ve pursued the correct strategy, and time has confirmed that that’s the case,” Haig said. “It’s important to remember that the six-month delay that the UN deliberations entailed gave Saddam and his henchmen an opportunity to prepare an ‘after conflict.'”

He added that this time delay allowed for the organization of cells and the placement of a multitude of weapons, supplies and money caches all around Iraq, resulting in the country’s waging guerilla war.

Concerning the United States’ proper course of action in the world, Haig believes that the national interest must be placed at the center of the nation’s strategic concerns.

“There seems to be a belief that we can’t do anything in this world unless we have a global mandate of approval,” Haig said.

Scott Wacholtz can be contacted at s.wacholtz@umiami.edu.

March 9, 2004

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.