by John Hawkins | November 13, 2002 1:51 pm
Saddam Says “Yes”: There was some hope that Saddam would reject the UN resolution since the Iraqi ‘Parliament’ unanimously voted it down. But, apparently Saddam ordered them to reject the resolution and then accepted it because he thought it would give the impression that he was willing to cooperate with UN over the objections of his people. I doubt that even the left-wing European press will buy into that sort of thing but maybe Saddam is playing to the captive audiences in other Middle Eastern nations who’ll be spoon-fed his missive with a positive spin via government controlled presses.
All of this is for show anyway. I don’t think the Bush administration has any intentions of leaving Saddam in power no matter what happens nor should they. It also looks like Saddam is simply playing for time judging by the letter sent to the UN…
“We are eager to see them [the inspectors] perform their duties in accordance with international law,” Al-Douri said. “We are prepared to receive the inspectors within the assigned timetable.”
In a letter from Baghdad accepting the terms, said Al-Douri, “We try to explain our position saying Iraq will not have mass destruction weapons. So we are not worried about the inspectors when they will be back in the country. Iraq is clean.”
Of course, when the time comes, if Iraq claims they have no weapons of mass destruction, they’ll be in breach of the UN Resolution when the inspectors almost immediately find something. There are actually a few possible triggers to an attack if you read through the resolution…
— The first was saying “no” to the resolution. That was low-hanging fruit for Saddam and he has picked it.
— Iraq has until Dec. 8th to provide the UN Security Council with a list of all the WMD & related dispersal systems they have. This is a biggie since Iraq is still to this day claiming that they don’t have any weapons of mass destruction.
— At the latest, UN inspectors have to start doing inspections in Iraq by Dec. 23rd. But Hans Blix says he’s going to have an inspection team in Iraq by Nov. 18th (although when they’ll actually start inspections is anyone’s guess at this point). Then if Iraq impedes the inspectors who I’m sure will be given excellent info by US intelligence in any way, shape, or form then the Iraqis have violated the resolution. If the inspectors find anything that Iraq hasn’t declared, then Iraq has violated the resolution.
— Also, the inspectors have the right to remove Iraqis of interest and their family from Iraq for interviews. Here is the relevant text,
“further decides that UNMOVIC and the IAEA may at their discretion conduct interviews inside or outside of Iraq, may facilitate the travel of those interviewed and family members outside of Iraq, and that, at the sole discretion of UNMOVIC and the IAEA, such interviews may occur without the presence of observers from the Iraqi Government”
If Iraq’s government tries to stop them, they’re triggering an invasion.
— Part 8 of resolution can be read to forbid Iraq from firing on US/British planes enforcing the no fly zone. Here’s the text…
“Decides further that Iraq shall not take or threaten hostile acts directed against any representative or personnel of the United Nations or the IAEA or of any Member State taking action to uphold any Council resolution.”
If the Iraqis shoot at our planes again, they’re triggering an invasion.
I actually would have liked to have seen an even tougher resolution that forbade Iraq from illegally trading oil, demanded they turn all terrorists within the country over to the UN, etc. But I have confidence that the Bush admin would have never signed on to this resolution if they thought there was any chance that Iraq was going to actually comply. My guess is that things will come to a head sometime in December and we’ll be invading in late Dec – January.
We’ve already decided that Saddam has to go, so at this point we’re just killing time until Iraq steps over the line on this resolution. As far as I’m concerned, the sooner we dispense with this charade and get down to business, the better.
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