The United Nations and Iraq have agreed on practical arrangements for the return to Iraq of UN weapons inspectors.Good news, although the presidential palace part will likely be a sticking point. Can anybody point me to the relevant agreement involving those palaces?
Announcing the deal - after two days of talks in Vienna - the head of the inspection team Hans Blix said Iraq accepted all inspection rights under existing UN resolutions.
Dr Blix said the inspectors would have unconditional access to all sites - but not to eight presidential palaces which are covered under a separate agreement between Iraq and UN.
What this meant, of course, is that the U.S. had instantly lost a lot of the momentum to have the new resolution put in place. If Blix and co were going in, then the argument for the necessity of a new resolution (and the possibility of a related war) weaken considerably.
Why do I use the past tense?
Because there's more. Feast your eyes on this:
Another State Department official even went as far as to warn that the US will "thwart" the return of inspectors under the existing UN arrangements.
Washington - which wants to see Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein toppled - is pressing for a tougher Security Council resolution that would specifically mention the threat of military intervention should the inspectors be unable to complete their work.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said President George W Bush had not made any decision to go to war in Iraq - he suggested the Iraqis assassinate their leader.
What the hell were they thinking? As if it didn't already look like the U.S. wanted to invade at any costs and under any circumstances, they have gone so far as to say they want to deliberately subvert the inspections regime? Do they even have the faintest idea how utterly this will discredit them in the eyes of world public opinion, and how absolutely valid that discrediting is? Even if this was their goal, to publicly go ahead and say it was so astoundingly stupid that I have to wonder how much desperation propelled it.
And (although not quoted) you're also saying (through Ari) that the only way to avert war is the exile or assassination of Hussein?
See, the Bushite's war would be in trouble already thanks to these inspection agreements , but this clinches it. Georgie, you might as well wave bye-bye to Chirac, the Chinese, and "Pootie-poot", because there's no bloody way that they're going to support the U.S. resolution now. They'd have to be absolutely daft, and that is one thing that they are not. Especially Putin. Hell, I wouldn't be overly surprised if Blair backs away too.
This was ludicrous. It's possibly the biggest and best example yet of just how incompetent at P.R. the Bushites really are, despite their cynical harnessing of 9/11 sentiments and their tight control over leaks. Neither helps if your "message" is so utterly moronic.
Looks like the only options remaining are giving up on the war or invading despite world opinion being aligned against you. Lovely. Just think- Americans have to suffer two more years of these idiots.