The Road to Baghdad

The UN & its Security Counsel
So, we have Security Council members France and Russia saying they will veto any resolution that contains either an ultimatum or a use of force trigger. There are very few who would argue against the notion that Saddam Hussein’s current efforts to comply with UN resolution 1441 are due to the armed forces of the United States et al amassed at his borders. An interesting dichotomy seems to have developed here. The very progress that France et al are pointing to as proof that military action is not (yet some would insert) required is the result of the United States et al loudly threatening the use of military might to disarm Iraq and the positioning of the necessary personnel and materiel to execute on that threat.

I have to wonder if France, Russia, China and all others who would prefer to see Iraq disarmed peacefully wouldn’t better serve their cause by being a lot less vocal with their message. Saddam Hussein needs only to read the press to know that use of military force will be delayed and have rather fractured support at the present. Saddam Hussein doles out cooperation and information at a tickle as is needed to keep France and others believing that the peaceful path is working. Iraq waited until the last possible minute before it began to comply with Mr. Blix demand that the al-Samoud 2 missiles be destroyed.

If France and Russia were to be a bit more quiet about their desire to see the diplomatic process be given more time, Saddam Hussein might be under the impression that there was unanimous support for military action should he fail to comply and be a bit more forthcoming with cooperation and information. While this is only a guess at this point one thing is quite sure. What Saddam Hussein is currently working hardest at is exploiting the deep riff in the UN and its Security Counsel.

Dear Mr. Blix
Mr. Blix’s presentation to the U.N. seems an atttempt to put the best face on. Mr. Blix gingerly and without much conviction addresses the question of Iraq’s immediate, unconditional and active cooperation with his Inspections. Only a month ago Mr. Blix was saying that Iraq, “appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament that was demanded of it.” There seems little in Mr. Blix’s latest presentation to offer as evidence that Iraq’s cooperation is now immediate, unconditional or active. Could it be that Mr. Blix likes his current position and is loath to see it cease to exist?

To What End
And after all is said and done the fundamental problem seems to me to be that the current course provides no real resolution. Mr Hussein is clearly not going to have a change of heart and become a model citizen in the global community. As Mr. Blix’s report states, Iraq will require a watch team for as long as Mr. Hussein and/or his party is in power. What is the point? Why should the UN put themselves in the place of having to babysit Mr. Hussein?


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