Waiting for War, Paris . . . or Godot; in the End, Greed May Lead France to Back Military Action

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 22, 2003 | Go to article overview

Waiting for War, Paris . . . or Godot; in the End, Greed May Lead France to Back Military Action


Byline: Tony Blankley, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The fog of war seems to have descended prematurely on Iraq. Pre-war's inevitably opaque diplomacy has turned downright duplicious. The evening news shows seem to be raising the suspicion that waiting for the war may be like waiting for Godot (the title character who never appears in Samuel Beckett's existential play. Imagine Don Rumsfeld and Bill Kristol in the roles of Estragon and Vladimir - the two characters who wait for the never-to-appear Godot). While Saddam is playing his same old games which fool no one, and while hundreds of thousands of American and British troops deploy to the impending war zone, the U. N. and its European allies blissfully prepare to intentionally let Saddam get away with it. We call them our European cousins - but I demand a DNA test. They must be pod people.

Those of us reasonably grounded in reality are perplexed by the diplomatic and media worlds ignoring this Monday's report in London's most respected newspaper - the Daily Telegraph - that "U.N. weapons inspectors have uncovered evidence that proves Saddam Hussein is trying to develop an arsenal of nuclear weapons . .." Documents that "had been hidden at the scientists' home on Saddam's personal orders ...are new and relate to on-going work taking place in Iraq to develop nuclear weapons." The Telgraph went on to report that "Although Dr. Hans Blix, the head of the U.N. inspections team, was made aware of the discovery last week, he failed to mention it during talks with Tony Blair ...and Jacques Chirac ..."

Now, this is interesting on two counts. First, this fact is evidence of a stunning and central violation of Iraq's obligations under U.N. Resolution 1441, which requires Iraq to fully and completely disclose all aspects of its nuclear weapons program, the omission of which "shall constitute a further material breach (paragraph 4 of Resolution 1441)" which triggers the "serious consequences" provision (paragraph 13) of the resolution. According to David Key, a former chief nuclear weapons inspector for the U.N. in Iraq, a "material breach is the Security Council's standard for measuring whether military force is required to compel disarmament."

Of course, realistic people expect Saddam to lie, cheat and be in violation of his disarmament obligations. But the Daily Telegraph story reveals a more alarming implication - that Hans Blix, the U.N. Security Council or both are in violation of their own Resolution 1441. Paragraph 11 of resolution 1441 "Directs the Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC [Hans Blix is the executive chairman]. ..to report immediately to the Council . …

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