Hans Blix

Swedish politician

Hans Martin Blix (born June 28, 1928) is a Swedish diplomat and politician for the Liberal People's Party. He was Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs (1978–1979) and later became the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He led the IAEA inspection and response of the Chernobyl disaster. He later led the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission between 2000 and 2003 to inspect Iraq for weapons of mass destruction.

Hans Blix (2010)


  • I found it peculiar that those who wanted to take military action could — with 100 per cent certainty — know that the weapons existed and turn out to have zero knowledge of where they were.
    • from an unnamed Swedish radio program, quoted in Mirror.co.uk, "Blix Blasts 'Illegal' US War on Iraq", August 7, 2003 [1]
  • I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media.
  • … there are people in this administration who say they don't care if the UN sinks under the East river, and other crude things…
    • The Guardian, ibid.
  • It's true the Iraqis misbehaved and had no credibility but that doesn't necessarily mean that they were in the wrong.
    • The Guardian, "One last warning from the man who made an enemy of Bush", June 11, 2003 [3]
  • But in the Middle Ages people were convinced there were witches. They looked for them and they certainly found them.
    • BBC News, "Blix criticises UK's Iraq dossier", September 18, 2003 [4]
    • referring to the British and American governments' insistence that there are WMD in Iraq after Blix had already concluded and reported there was nothing to be found
  • There was a very consistent creation of a virtual reality, and eventually it collided with our old-fashioned, ordinary reality.
    • On the U.S. attitude regarding alleged Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as a justification for U.S. military action, as quoted widely in the media including the Boston Globe article "Newsview: U.S. reports no weapons in Iraq", September 18, 2004 [5]

Quotes of others about Blix

  • But tarring the Blix-led inspection mission ranked as a high priority for war enthusiasts on the Bush team who were eager to pressure Blix into becoming more confrontational with the Iraqi government and perhaps to lay groundwork for discounting his future reports to the Security Council. Key rightwing media voices were warbling from the same songbook. “We hope that as the days unfold Mr. Blix understands that his own credibility is as much on the line as Saddam Hussein’s,” the Wall Street Journal editorialized on November 22, adding darkly that “Mr. Blix has his own track record in Iraq, and it doesn’t inspire confidence that he will go to the mat to disarm the dictator. The question now is whether the seventy-four-year-old Swedish diplomat is going to let Saddam make a fool of him and the U.N. one more time.” The Journal’s editorial page, often the source of opening salvos that quickly resound in the national media echo chamber, was just getting started. Two editions later, a long top-of-thepage attack appeared under the headline “Hans the Timid.” As if to be graphic about Blix’s dubious character, the drawing that accompanied the op-ed article showed him wearing a tie with a peace sign on it
  • Personally, Mr. Blix is amiable and has a sense of humor; politically he is weak and easily fooled. I can think of few European officials less suitable for a showdown with Saddam. Indeed, it is with utter disbelief that I watch television news about Mr. Blix's negotiations with the Iraqi dictator's henchmen. [...] Regardless of how this crisis develops from this point, the United Nations has neglected its duties by asking a wimp to lead the inspectors who are supposed to stand up to the brute of Baghdad.
    • Per Ahlmark, Former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden (Liberal Party), in The Washington Times, November 1, 2002. [6]

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