Thursday, February 27, 2003

Smoove Blix is back at the UN


"Iraq is being coy, baby, but you know I'll win them over in the end with my inspectin' prowess!"
AP reports the usual silliness from the world's most illustrious treasure hunter, but some interesting tidbits are thrown about here and there:
But there were also signs that some undecided council countries, such as Chile, were pushing for a Canadian plan aimed at reconciling bitter differences between the U.S. plan and the French-led proposal.

Washington on Wednesday rejected the Canadian ideas, which were aimed at giving Iraq until the end of March to complete a list of disarmament tasks that inspectors are compiling.
What's interesting here is that apparently the Bush Administration is not willing to wait until the end of March. Most interesting.
The administration may have won new ammunition for its position from chief inspector Hans Blix. He said Wednesday, shortly before submitting a quarterly update on his team's work, that Baghdad has not taken "a fundamental decision" to disarm.

Blix welcomed recent Iraqi letters that contained new information about its weapons programs but said they did not represent "full cooperation or a breakthrough."

Nonetheless, he noted that inspections resumed only in November after a four-year break and asked: "Is it the right time to close the door?"

...Asked Wednesday whether there was any evidence that Iraq wants to disarm, Blix said: "I do not think I can say there is evidence of a fundamental decision, but there is some evidence of some increased activity."
Blix is doing more dancing these days than Fred Astaire, but it all boils down to this: Iraq doesn't want to cooperate, months after the inspectors were inserted into the country, and with a huge build-up of American forces at its border. And without Iraq's cooperation, the inspectors are worse than useless. So, to answer his question: yep, time to slam the door shut, preferably while Saddam's fingers are still jammed in it.

Oh, and let's not forget those oh-so-principled countries in opposition to the invasion:

Mexico appeared to be the first among a handful of undecided council members to shift toward the U.S. position, and an important Russian lawmaker, Mikhail Margelov, said Wednesday he doesn't believe his country would veto the resolution...

Mexico's shift came after Bush placed a weekend phone call to Mexican President Vicente Fox (news - web sites), and after senior U.S. officials made numerous visits to the country.
I don't doubt that Bush threatened and bought their cooperation, as necessary. Which only adds to the point: countries aren't opposing the U.S. out of principle. They are just trying to get something for themselves. The world today is the same as ever, progressive pipe dreams about "global unity" and "international order" being just that: pipe dreams. (And that's some good stuff they put in those pipes, too...)

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