September 28, 2002

Gulf War POW Slams Bush

John Nichol, who was shot down and captured by Iraq during the Gulf War, brings some realism to the depate on going to war against Iraq. (see

"One reason why the West, and Britain and the United States in particular, are in such a difficult position is that they seem to think that they can cherry-pick regimes that are bad and need to be changed," said Nichol. "We deal with bad regimes on a daily basis: we deal with Iran, we deal with Saudi Arabia, which has a truly appalling record on human rights, but we don't talk about regime change there. America and Britain can't set themselves up as the world policemen without a mandate from the world."

Blair's dossier reinforced the notion that Saddam has an appalling record for human rights, and that he has weapons of mass destruction and wants more, Nichol said, but: "I could name 10 other countries in the region whose names you could substitute for Iraq's in that dossier."

Nichol was horribly mistreated by the Iraqis when he was captured, but feels no animosity toward the people. "War is an appalling, brutal experience which I have been through on a couple of occasions," he said. "Members of the general public and even politicians seem to forget that. They think that war can be waged by computer, by cruise missile, by laser-guided bomb. It can't be."

-- By David Cogswell

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