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This has cost the US little. In one sense they are already at war. In another sense they will not be ready for war until February (I have had that from a number of sources including a Labour MP last night). So, what they have is a resolution which can justify an attack and a timescale that is unlikely to delay anything beyond that which they initially have been working on. For the major tribes to abandon Saddam and the opposition to arise against him requires a clear situation in that he is going to lose. That is really a matter of will. On a practical basis he cannot win. For the tribes such as Al Juburi and Al Hamdani to abandon him means they have to see where their future lies. I can see why the americans as planning to build a substantial force which is clearly perceived as overwhelming in as much as he loses support within the Sooni Arabs. So what the Americans now have is a situation in which they can justify action for the rest of the world outside the Middle East. The interesting point about the Syrian vote is that there are quite a few Jubiri in Syria as well as Iraq. As far as the Security Council goes. Consulting the SC only requires a discussion. A resolution against military action would be vetoed by the US so it will not be proposed. The US accepted the resolution on the basis that it did not require a further resolution, merely consultation, before any military action. The only thing that confuses me is why people see as consultation as requiring a resolution. From a purely legal perspective it cannot be argued. Indeed frequently when people are consulted the consulters do the opposite of what the consultees request. The only circumstance in which there would be an additional resolution is that in which the US knew it would pass. Here is the text (key extracts from un.org) 1. Decides that Iraq has been and remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions, including resolution 687 (1991), in particular through Iraqs failure to cooperate with United Nations inspectors and the IAEA, and to complete the actions required under paragraphs 8 to 13 of resolution 687 (1991); 12. Decides to convene immediately upon receipt of a report in accordance with paragraphs 4 or 11 above, in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant Council resolutions in order to secure international peace and security; 13. Recalls, in that context, that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations; That as I read it does not even require consultation of the security council. a) If Iraq does not behave it faces "serious consequences" b) It is in "material breach". Regardless of what people (including myself) would like to be the situation SCRes1441 does not constrain the US. (even to Consulting the UN Sec Council). It requires that the Security Council meet with that matter on the agenda. Para 4 relates to any false statements or omissions being a material breach and requiring reporting cf 11. 11 refers to interfering with the inspection and/or failing to disarm. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk