Finding parallels between Syria and Iraq


Some spot similarities between Syria now and Iraq ten years ago. We explore that argument with two Washington insiders who debate the merits of the intelligence on which President Barack Obama is trying to sell a military strike in Syria.

The Obama Administration -- along with France --  says it has convincing evidence the Syrian government ordered the use of sarin gas on its own people. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad continues to deny the charge. In the meantime, UN weapons inspectors are racing to analyze samples and complete their findings.

To some observers, the similarities with Iraq ten years ago are unsettling. The intelligence then turned out to be false, wrong ... even torqued to win approval for what the Bush Administration would later call "Operation Iraqi Freedom."

To discuss whether Syria now resembles Iraq then, we spoke to:

  • Greg Thielmann, who was a high-ranking intelligence official in the State Department, and one of the few voices of dissent casting doubt on the George W Bush administration's evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Today he is a senior fellow at the Arms Control Association.

  • Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired US Army Colonel who served as Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell. He reviewed the intelligence that went into Powell's 2003 UN presentation on Iraq.

This segment was produced by The Current's Idella Sturino and Peter Mitton.

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