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Appeasers can't rescue Saddam

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Commentary written by Michael Kramer in today's Daily News:

It's appeasment, pure and simple. France, Russian, Germany and a slew of other nations have not only welcomed Saddam Hussein's supposed capitulation on the weapens inspection issue, they are now decrying as unnecessary the tough new resolution President Bush wants.

Has Saddam Hussein buffaloed the appeasers? No way. As co-conspirators in Irag's latest effort to fool the world, the appeasers think they know what they're doing and are no doubt congratulating themselves for their cleverness.

But it is they who are fools, they who can’t see that their complicity in Iraq’s diversion may prompt the outcome they most fear – war.

Consider where we are today, beginning with Iraq’s carefully crafted letter to the UN, the statement that appeasers have fixed on as proof that Saddam has caved to U.S. pressure.

The second, single-sentence paragraph, a truly Clintonian example of linguistic obfuscation, exposes Iraq’s duplicity: “I am pleased to inform you” that Iraq “will allow the return of United Nations weapons inspectors…without conditions,” Saddam’s foreign minister wrote to the UN.

Notice what the Iraqi letter didn’t say: It didn’t say Iraq would allow inspections without conditions. All it said was that Saddam would allow the inspectors without conditions. “We have seen this game before,” says Secretary of State Powell – and indeed, we know all about Saddam’s propensity to cheat and retreat.

Shell game

It’s useful to recall some of that history because it reveals as bankrupt the position of those who suggest the previous inspections experience can serve as an adequate model for what’s needed today.

The testimony of several former UN weapons inspectors confirms Saddam’s capacity for manipulation: At various times, these frustrated experts say, the Iraqi’s built hidden rooms to avoid detection ans transferred suspect items to hospitals, schools, mosques and private homes. At other times, they simply moved the bad stuff when they learned the inspectors were at the doorstep.

In one instance, as an experiment, the inspectors had a spy plane photograph a suspected site. There was no activity. After the Iraqi’s learned the inspectors would soon appear, there was frantic movement, with convoys of trucks taking unknown materials away from the area. Then, in the third photograph, there again was no activity. When the inspectors finally showed up, naturally they found nothing.

For sheer hubris, the high point came in February 1988, when Iraq’s friends the Russians caused the UN to agree that Saddam could designate vast swatches of the country “presidential sites.” These areas, comprising about 1,000 buildings, couldn’t be inspected without advance notice – which, of course, rendered the inspection of those sites useless.

Need new approach

If the inspectors now return without tougher rules, the old constraints will apply and the new inspections will be a waste of time, effort, and money.

Iraq could thwart the process by blocking the inspectors, or the inspectors’ report might be inconclusive. In either case, the U.S. would likely act on its own.

The only way the appeasers can protect Saddam is if they force him to accept intrusive inspections. If they don’t, and the inspectors return under the old inadequate rules, war will be inevitable.

And then, if only at home, Bush will win high marks for having at least tried to through the UN before pulling the trigger.

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Saddam has completely out-witted them by his latest tactic. I think that the US government and it's allies should sit back and watch so when it is apparent to all the Saddam has pulled the wool over their eyes we can let out a big "I told you so".

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Personally I beleive its time to hand saddam his ass. This latest effort for UN inspectors is a waste of time and money. If the US ends up acting on its own, so be it!

here saddam... come here boy.... good boy..... :blown:

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I feel the same way. Bush did what the UN wanted him to do, he is doing what Congress has asked him to do. Now if the UN decides that just letting the inspectors back in with the sam conditions as before then they have proven themselves ineffective, but the US should not attack. We should let him screw everyone over so once and for all we can prove that the man must be dealt with.

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