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Saddam's big chance

It occurs to me, concerning Iraq's chemical and biological weapons — what happens if Saddam Hussein decides to give up some the material? A lot of it, that is — but only a part?

He's dumb if he doesn't; he most likely has plenty to spare, and he might profit immensely. Look, he could say. I am complying! The inspections are working! This is what you said you wanted!

If the discoveries were substantial, it would drive an even deeper wedge through the international community, and, worse, between Arab countries and the United States. Wouldn't it? A partial disarmament would be no victory for the U.S. But it could be just the excuse other nations and their governments are looking for to insist that war isn't actually necessary. There would be little hope for cooperation or consensus.

Saddam's complete and transparent refusal to comply with the inspections is actually making the situation much easier for the United States and the world than it might otherwise be — but only so far. It could get uglier still.

February 7, 2003 11:50 AM

Comments (and TrackBacks)

The very last thing the Franco-German Bloc wants is for Saddam to disclose an -active- WMD system. The leaves him only the option of disclosing dormant WMD systems, like artillary shells long-sealed ago with anthrax or VX.

Should he actually disclose one of his many active systems (don't hold your breath, cause that would mean Saddam's diplomatic defear), this would be a HUGE diplomatic loss for the Franco-Germ Bloc. "Gee, he really was producing VX... sorry!"

So, today, and tomorrow, and later this week, we'll begin to see documents and witnesses who claim "Oh, yes, those 300 vx artillary shells we destroyed and burried at alKindi in august 2000."

That presents the Ameri-Brit Alliance which problem? Logic isn't an active art these days, it seems, eh?

How does that refute our other claims? Where are the drones? Where are the production facilities? And, lastly and bestly, just where is that dump outside alKindi or wherever that contains all those destroyed shells and other WMD systems?

Unfortunately, answers to those very important questions will not be forthcoming, because that would mean diplomatic defeat for Iraq, and that would in itself present a pre-text for intervention in Iraq -- cause it would refute their prior claims.

And, that's the point of this whole procedure.
We have, indeed, effectively corner Saddam, and the FrancoGerman Bloc knows this; They just don't like the results.


Posted by rob adams on February 10, 2003 1:04 PM

but the French and Germans haven't been claiming that Saddam doesn't have chemical or biological weapons; they've just been saying that inspections are enough to keep him in check, and are preferable to war. For Saddam to better comply -- and give up some of the weapons everyone already knows he has -- would only strengthen that argument, wouldn't it?

And since everyone already knows Saddam is lying, I don't see how his partially admitting the truth would be much of a diplomatic defeat. Not to mention that, even if it were, it's nothing compared to what'll happen to him if there's a war.

Posted by M on February 10, 2003 1:39 PM

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