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Peter Arnett: Un'intervista che vale il licenziamento di un Premio Pulitzer

Fonte: CNN - 

Transcript of Peter Arnett interview on Iraqi TV
Sunday, March 30, 2003 Posted: 10:06 PM EST (0306 GMT)

Peter Arnett

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S. war plan has "failed," veteran war 
correspondent Peter Arnett told Iraqi TV in an interview that aired Sunday. 
Following is a transcript of that interview:

IRAQI TV HOST: Welcome in Baghdad, and our people know you, know your 
reports to CNN in 1991. Let us start with a question about the general 
image that you look now in Iraq.

ARNETT: Well, I'd like to say from the beginning that the 12 years I've 
been coming here, I've met unfailing courtesy and cooperation. Courtesy 
from your people, and cooperation from the Ministry of Information, which 
has allowed me and many other reporters to cover 12 whole years since the 
Gulf War with a degree of freedom which we appreciate. And that is 
continuing today.

HOST: (Translates into Arabic)

ARNETT: In answer to your question, it is clear that within the United 
States there is growing challenge to President Bush about the conduct of 
the war and also opposition to the war. So our reports about civilian 
casualties here, about the resistance of the Iraqi forces, are going back 
to the United States. It helps those who oppose the war when you challenge 
the policy to develop their arguments.

HOST: (in Arabic)

ARNETT: One other point. I've been mainly in Baghdad in the past few weeks. 
But, clearly this is a city that is disciplined, the population is 
responsive to the government's requirements of discipline and my Iraqi 
friends tell me there is a growing sense of nationalism and resistance to 
what the United States and Britain are doing.

HOST: (In Arabic first) What have you seen until now, have you been to some 
of these places where civilian casualties have been seen during these two 

ARNETT: Yeah, I think American policy and strategy is the weakest when it 
comes to the Iraqi people. The U.S. administration is concerned with the 
possibility of killing civilians, because the international community is 
very concerned about the Iraqi people. President Bush says he is concerned 
about the Iraqi people, but if Iraqi people are dying in numbers, then 
American policy will be challenged very strongly.

Arnett's Iraqi TV interviewer
HOST: (In Arabic)

ARNETT: For that reason, the Pentagon keeps saying that the civilian 
casualties, particularly in Baghdad in the last three or four days, at the 
market places -- the Pentagon says -- well they are Iraqi missiles that 
land amongst the people. They keep saying that, but of course the Iraqi 
government says they are clearly cruise missiles that hit the population.

HOST: (In Arabic)

ARNETT: For that reason the Pentagon keeps saying that maybe it is an Iraqi 
missile that hit the population and not a U.S.

Whenever I gave a report on civilian casualties on CNN (in the first Gulf 
War) the Pentagon and the Bush administration got very angry and called me 
a traitor.

HOST: (In Arabic)

ARNETT: However, when missiles hit the Al-Maria shelter in early February 
of 1991, killing nearly 400 women and children, the Bush administration had 
to admit that they were responsible. And when that happened, there was a 
different attitude to the war. They had to try and complete the war fast, 
because the world criticized that bombing very severely.

HOST: (In Arabic)

ARNETT: Clearly, the American war planners misjudged the determination of 
the Iraqi forces.

HOST: (In Arabic)

ARNETT: And I personally do not understand how that happened, because I've 
been here many times and in my commentaries on television I would tell the 
Americans about the determination of the Iraqi forces, the determination of 
the government, and the willingness to fight for their country. But me, and 
others who felt the same way were not listened to by the Bush administration.

HOST: (In Arabic)

ARNETT: That is why now America is re-appraising the battlefield, delaying 
the war, maybe a week, and re-writing the war plan. The first war plan has 
failed because of Iraqi resistance now they are trying to write another war 

HOST: Yeah. (Speaks in Arabic) Mr. Arnett Thank you very much. (Speaks in