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Fernand Carrel: “This war could be a disaster”

Fernand Carrel says disinformation is gaining the upper hand Keystone Archive

Fernard Carrel is the former head of the Swiss air force and is currently overseeing a military aviation museum project.

swissinfo: Is there a valid reason for going to war?

I think we are in a truly difficult situation. Everybody agrees that Saddam Hussein’s regime is no good, but there are huge differences on how to deal with him.

What bothers me is that we are in a situation where misunderstandings, bad faith and disinformation are commonplace. Misunderstandings probably stem from the fact that we judge each other according to our own views, culture and habits.

I believe we Europeans haven’t truly measured the impact of the September 11 attacks on the American people.

I personally fear nothing will ever be the same again if war breaks out. The balance of power will be changed.

If the war is short and there are few civilian victims, the United States will probably come out of this as the big winner. That would mean that Europe, which hasn’t followed the American lead, would be even weaker in its political and economic relationship with the United States.

If the war drags on as it did in Vietnam it will be a catastrophe for the US, and Europe will suffer as well, particularly business.

swissinfo: Has the United Nations lost its credibility?

This is not the first crisis for the organisation, but it seems to me that it has lost a lot of credibility.

The damage that has been inflicted by this crisis will be long term. And Mr Bush will have to take into account American public opinion which is heavily against the UN at the moment.

swissinfo-interview: Chantal Nicolet (translation: Scott Capper)

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR