WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- The Bush administration bullied and threatened foreign leaders to build a show of support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq, a Chilean diplomat says in a new book.
Heraldo Munoz, now the Chilean ambassador to the United Nations, charges that Washington's efforts have led to "bitterness" and "mistrust" in U.S. relations with many countries. His book, "A Solitary War: A Diplomat's Chronicle of the Iraq War and Its Lessons," is scheduled for publication next month, The Washington Post reported Saturday.
Chile had a seat on the U.N. Security Council in 2003 and was one of six countries that remained undecided on a resolution authorizing military action against Iraq. Munoz describes Bush pressuring Chile's then-president, Ricardo Lagos, to facilitate a U.N. vote authorizing use of force.
The Bush administration sabotaged a Chilean initiative that would have delayed the invasion by giving Saddam Hussein more time to show he had complied with U.N. disarmament orders, Munoz writes in the book. He claims the administration spied on allies and threatened recalcitrant governments with trade sanctions.
When the war effort began to falter, Munoz writes, Washington began to take a more conciliatory approach to the allies he said it had strong-armed into supporting the invasion.