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Blix

At a first glance, Hans Blix seems like a common Swedish pensioner – he spends his days in his dark Stockholm apartment, he takes long afternoon walks with his wife, he tends the garden at his summer house, he plays with the grandkids and recently, he quietly celebrated his 91 st birthday with the family. The photos on the walls of his dark apartment reveal that this seemingly boring old man stood, not so long ago, side by side with the most powerful men on the planet. He shook hands with presidents of the democratic countries as well as with legendary dictators feared by the whole Western world. He stood in the epicenter of geopolitical turning points that impacted the politics of today. Sixteen years ago, Hans Blix received the most important task of his career. As U.N.’s chief weapons inspector he was sent to Iraq in order to find out whether the suspicions concerning the manufacturing of weapons of mass destruction were founded or not. If the suspicion turned out to be true, it would validate the intention of the United States to invade Iraq, overthrow Saddam’s regime and to install a new government. Within the course of their three months in Iraq, Blix and his team did not confirm the existence of any nuclear weapons. Despite Blix’s report, the leaders of the United States, Great Britain, Spain and other allies decided for a military intervention, starting the Iraq War. In the final stretch of his life, Blix is looking back. Did he fail when he couldn’t persuade the Western leaders? Does he bear responsibility for the invasion that, in turn, led to the breakdown of Iraq army, that in turn helped the rise of the Islamic State and the ensuing immigration crisis in Europe and the rise of populists in the West? Did his peaceful stand make sense or would it have been better to be aggressive like the seasoned political leaders? Is this quiet, inconspicuous man, striving all his life for appeasement, responsible for genocides, wars and millions of wasted lives?
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