According to an item on the NBC evening news, which is sort of confirmed bythis story in the on-line NY Times, Dan Rather has had an interview in which Saddam has suggested that he will not destroy the marginally too long ranged surface to surface missiles as the UN weapons inspections people require. The whole interview is to be broadcast Tuesday night. Assuming that the NBC story is substantially correct and Saddam has dug in his heels on this one, has he finally demonstrated an intransigence that will trigger an international consensus that military action is necessary to bring Iraq into compliance with the Security Council resolution? If the story is true, and if Saddam does not retract the position, is this enough to overcome French-German-Russian-Chinese insistence that continued inspections will effect an Iraqi disarmament? It seems a little foolish to insist that inspections can work if given a chance if Saddam is demonstrated to have defied the inspectors. Having been strung enough rope is Saddam about to hang himself?
I have made my position fairly clear in past postings. It seems to me that up until this time the only necessity for war with Iraq is to protect the credibility of the United States–that having said that the nation is going to nail Saddam’s hide to the barn door we have to go ahead and try to do it, no matter what our friends might think of it. In the absence of US government officials at the highest levels running off at the mouth we could probably live with a robust inspection regime until this last development. I don’t think this justifies the already demonstrated resolution to go to war but it sure would seem to deflate any reasonable hope that inspections will pull Saddam’s fangs. Once that hope is dispelled, is there anything left but war?
I can see the guy’s point, however. Give up your missiles, say the UN inspectors. But if I do, says Saddam, the US will invade anyway and I’ll be deprived of a major means to defend my self. Well, maybe, say the UN inspectors. Hell, says Saddam, if I going to be in a fight anyway I might as well keep my missiles–they might come in handy.