War Averted?

Is this a good start?

(from CNN)

Assuming we all DO NOT want war with Iraq, is this a good beginning to eventual disarmament?

What more can be done (via peaceful means)?

Will this be a first step?

Are diplomatic efforts still possible?

Is war absolutely necessary to disarm Iraq?

Big assumption, isn’t it? Sure nobody says they want war, but for many it’s like saying they don’t want to take that last slice of cheesecake. Sort of a, “No we don’t want it, but we’ll do it anyway. Somebody has to.” They don’t want it, but they can’t help but take it.

Continued inspections are the most obvious, though we must realistically assume that the Iraqis would continue to resist UN (and in particular American) efforts.

Unlikely. It will not do anything to change the Bush Administration’s opinion; they’ve stated as much. If another country would take the lead on this issue with some real force behind it (but not behind Bush), say China or Russia… Well, it’d be nice to think that we’d back off a bit, but I expect we’d probably just say they were doing it for their own interests and go to war with Iraq anyway.

Possible, but not likely to change the course events are leading to, given the current situation.

I don’t think we can disarm any country that doesn’t want to be disarmed. (Nor do I think it’s really necessary to do so until there is a reasonable threat, which I don’t see in this case, but that’s another question altogether.) If we invade, there is the possibility of changing the social strata in such a way that disarmament will happen. Then again, the country could devolve into factional fighting and become a bloody mess without ever achieving disarmament. Maybe the biological and chemical weapons will not be found but used. Predicting the precise future anywhere (let alone the Middle East) is rarely a simple matter.

There are two concepts of how inspection might work. Resolution 1441 demanded full cooperation from Iraq, with inspectors to merely verify the cooperation. Everyone agrees that this is not happening.

An alternative view is that inspectors will be like detectives. They will search for banned weapons assuming that Iraq is trying to hide them. Only the weapons they find will be destroyed. Some people believe that this approach can prevent Saddam from acquiring more WMDs; others believe he could continues to build WMDs secretly even though the inspectors were present.

But Saddam’s words on the Al Samoud 2 missiles don’t even fulfill the weak version of “inspections.” He was supposed to begin destroying these missiles tomorrow. Instead, he put up a resistance and only backed down under pretty massive pressure. History shows that the world cannot maintain that level of pressure indefinitely. BTW AFAIK Saddam has merely agreed in principle to destroy the missiles. I would bet that he will not actually comply with the UN order to begin destroying them tomorrow. So far, all we have from Saddam is words.

No. It shows Saddam testing the UN to see what he can get away with.

The only peaceful approach with a ghost of a chance of disarming Iraq would be for the entire world to support war so strongly that Saddam would really believe he had no choice but to capitulate.

On the contrary, it’s a first step to Saddam’s evasion of the UN’s requirements.

As I said, the only conceivable “diplomatic” effort is massive and immediate threat.

Almost surely, yes. Saddam has shown that he will never choose to disarm.

Administration response: “Too little too late.”
Repeat as often as necessary, in response to all possible developments, until we initiate the attack.
I wonder what action by Iraq/Hussein - if any, would be enough to forestall the invasion?

Full and immediate disarmament of banned weapons, as required by UN Security Council Resolution 1441.

In other words, nothing, since this is apparently unproveable to the Bush Administration. Way to toe the line there, december. :rolleyes:

All disarming etc. will happen after regime change. This war is about that AFAIC and not about UN resolutions, humanitarian concerns, or revenge for Bush Snr. etc.

Nothing is going to stop this war in fact I would say that the war is already started. 6 air strikes over the last two days. These air strikes have been on the rise for a while now. Stealth’s on the way and troops in southern Iraq.

Hopefully it will all turn out OK but I seriously doubt it. I’m looking at the Kurds and how they respond to Turkey as having a very high “blowback” possibility.

His death/overthrow/request for exile etc. IMO nothing else, even a statement that he would fully comply with UN resolutions(The Allies would say he was just stalling or something to that effect)

On preview: december please explain how you think that Iraq could prove to you that they are carrying out " Full and immediate disarmament of banned weapons, as required by UN Security Council Resolution 1441"?

(Avalonian had a similar comment.)

This is not a problem. Iraq could simply provide a complete and accurate list of banned weapons, as was required by Resolution 1441. Note that the US and other countries would have a pretty good idea whether the list was complete, since their spy agencies know about some of these banned weapons. Another confirmation would be when the spy agencies reported that Iraq was no longer importing banned weapons and the wherewithall to manufacture banned weapons.

After making the list, Iraq could destroy all these weapons under the supervision of the UN inspectors, as required by the US resolutions.

In addition to the fact that our glorious leader has blundered and blustered his way into this corner, it’s hard to imagine how he and his cold war cowboy henchmen can extricate themselves. If they were really looking for peace and security, they never would have bullied their way into this situation in the first place. Threat to the US? Who out there feels a threat from Saddam? From what - a missle that can go 183 kilometers rather than the 150 kilometer limit? And if nobody knows where all these weapons are now, including our wonderful intelligence community, how are we going to disarm him when we get there? There is only a tiny window of possiblities in all the likely scenarios that would wind up peacefully, worldwide. This is a great tragedy waiting to happen. Our president has unilaterally destroyed an American image - developed over decades of good works - throughout the world. The fact that Saddam is a nutcase notwithstanding, this is something that never should have gotten to this point in the first place. And, of course, in the minds of the macho biznoids in this administrtion, opting for peace right now would be seen as “backing down.” We got trouble, right here in River City.

And do you think that Saddam would be left in power afterwards?

Come on, IF Iraq did exactly that, you would be the first to point to it as a material breach of 1441 (their deadline for doing so has now passed), and justification for an invasion.

If the US spy agencies had such a good accounting of these weapons, and they continue to exist, why can’t the US instruct the inspectors where to find them? On second thought, don’t answer that, as I suspect you will just accuse Saddam of playing the shell game (and you may be correct).

Bush is simply trying to change the rules of the game he setup. He originally wanted the UNSC to declare Iraq in violation of previous resolutions, and authorize force. The UNSC didn’t agree. The American public didn’t agree. Bush backed off his “go it alone” rhetoric, and pursued Res. 1441. It was a calculated risk - Bush had to assume that the inspectors, with help from US gathered intelligence, would prove the WoMD violations. But they haven’t. So now Bush wants to change the rules again (It’s good to be the king!). And the UNSC doesn’t see it that way, and resists capitulating to the US bullying.

One must believe that the inspectors will find a material breach of 1441, or that pursuing 1441 was a mistake.

Changing the rules again will be quite the challenge. It looks like we’ll be going with UN approval. The wisdom of such will be determined at a future date.

Pardon me, "…without UN approval.

As I said, the US knows about some of the banned weapons. If Iraq decided to prepare a list and their list included every weapon the US knows about, one would believe that the list also included all the banned weapons unknown to the US.

No doubt the US could have pointed the US inspectors to more banned weapons than they did. There’s no need. It’s clear to the world that Iraq has not complied with Resolution 1441. The question now is whether non-compliance is grounds for war.

:confused: Every report from Hans Blix has confirmed that Saddam isn’t complying with Resolution 1441, so Bush has won this particular gamble. It’s France who is trying to change the rules.

I suspect that even IF SH provided such a list - it would be viewed as “too late.” Another delaying tactic. We are poised to invade in the near future. No systemmatic identification and destruction of weapons could accomodate our timetable.

As far as SH’s exile, I fear that alone would not be sufficient depending on what provisions were made for a successor government.

I guess I’m slow, perhaps I missed the news. When did the UNSC declare Iraq in material breach of 1441?

And if they haven’t, upon what facts do you base your statement above?

Apologies to december for a snarky reply on my part earlier. I really shouldn’t post right after waking up. :slight_smile:

What I was thinking was more along the lines of what Dinsdale said above. Every effort on Iraq’s part to do something has met with “too little, too late” from the US. Bush, Rumsfeld, and Powell (this last one surprises me) have stretched facts to the breaking point in order to justify themselves in this matter, and their weaknesses are showing. There’s no reason to believe that there is any action Iraq could take at this point which would change the Bush Administration’s hardline stance… anything Iraq does at this point will be met with the same response: too little, too late.

War it is. Sadly.

I thought there HAD been no action, at least none of substance. There’s only been words.

Why should we compromise our intelligence by giving what we know to Saddam? I ask because the minute the inspectors know what we know, he will too. His people can move faster than the inspectors, and anywhere we point inspectors to will be wiped clean by the time they get there.

How would Saddam avert war? Simple. Follow South Africa’s example in disarmament. It is my understanding that, to comply with treaty edicts, South Africa invited UN inspectors in, threw their doors open wide and said, in effect, “Go ahead, look around!” IOW, they were willing to prove they were complying with UN resolutions. Saddam has taken 12 years to show the opposite.

As for the promise to destroy the missiles, I just don’t understand this. Why are so many people willing to trust Saddam more than the Bush administration?

So, I will assume you are not saying that the UN inspectors are in cahoots with Saddam, but that Saddam’s intelligence is such that they can (practically) read the minds of the UN inspectors.

Even if I grant you that, so what? That is what 1441 called for. If the US doesn’t like it, and can’t provide sufficient proof on its own to the UNSC, what should happen now?

The best you can conclude from that is that 1441 was a mistake. The Bush administration assumed that they could catch Saddam red-handed with the UN inspectors, and they made an ass out of u and me.

Now the US wants to change the rules. “Inspectors don’t work!”

So even if I accept that the inspectors don’t work, what now? Even if I don’t trust Saddam at all, should I simply trust GW? If so, why?