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Edouard Brunner: “War was always an option for the US”

Edouard Brunner is a keen observer of the United States Keystone

Edouard Brunner is a former secretary of state and Swiss ambassador to Washington.

He is currently on the board of Merrill Lynch and a series of foundations.

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

There are no good reasons for war. It’s more a question of feeling or perception. I believe the American administration always considered from the start that war was an option.

September 11 made the US more vulnerable, and they have always considered Saddam Hussein to be one of their enemies.

Resolution 1441 said in its last paragraph that Iraq would face grave consequences if it did not disarm. The Americans have interpreted this as offering war as an option.

swissinfo: Has the United Nations lost its credibility?

I believe that many international organisations created around the world after the Second World War, such as Nato or the European Union, are facing intense pressure and starting to break apart.

That’s because there are different perceptions in different countries. At the UN Security Council there is no clear majority – only a stalemate.

Everything seems to be changing. The Iraq crisis may have revealed deep-rooted problems that hadn’t been noticed before, but it could also be the cause of these problems.

There will be one issue we will have to seriously consider and that is whether the United Nations is the main organisation, if not the only one, that can decide if war should be declared.

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