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> So 14 are illegal the rest are not. Why destroy them all? The original AP story reported that: > Iraq had declared the results of the missile tests in its semiannual report > to U.N. inspectors in October, and again in its 12,000-page weapons > declaration on Dec. 7. It said that 13 of the 40 tests went beyond the > 150-kilometre limit, once to 180 kilometres. Any individual missile tested is presumably now destroyed. What the tests indicate, though, is that the Al-Samoud II is capable of exceeding the 150 km limit imposed in 1991. If the existing tests are representative, then perhaps only 1/2 of the missiles would actually exceed this limit. If there was some way of distinguishing those that would exceed the limit from those that wouldn't, then there might be a case for only destroying those that would. As they all conform, as far as we know, to the same design, and as that design can exceed the limit, the missiles violate SCR 687. > What of Iraq's claim that when fitted out with guidance the range is not > beyond that mandated? SCR 687 does not allow the Iraqi government to develop missiles that exceed 150km if unguided or without warheads. The limit is not conditional. > Why destroy them? Why not modify them to be within range. Weapons inspectors do have provisions for monitoring rather than merely destroying items with which they are concerned. I am not a missile expert, but I would imagine that, if the Al-Samoud II can be modified to bring its range under 150km, it is likely that it can easily be reconfigured for a range above 150km. > So excessive legalism is fair? The question of whether and which Security Council resolutions should be upheld is a much deeper one. If one argues that adherence to them is optional, then one legitimises the same argument by advocates of other positions. Indeed, an important strand of the legal argument for war without a new Security Council resolution is that the central role given to nation states by international law is less relevant than it was in the past. > Do you think Rice et al are meeting with Blix just to > have a friendly visit.? Do you think the Russians reports of pressure are > wrong or just that Blix is such a great guy he wont be > influenced. Of course > in his last report he showed he was a bit miffed with the US. He > even asked > that the US give the intelligence that he needs. You think he will report > this time that the US in unco-operative and should be sanctioned. I think that no one is under any illusions that Blix is operating under extreme pressure, or that he is human and susceptible to persuasion or error. The issue of destroying missiles that are clearly illegal under the terms of his mandate, though, seems pretty clear cut. If he asked for missiles whose performance had never exceeded 150 km to be destoyed, then that be a different matter. > The most one can say is that Blix is not the complete doormat the US > would like him to be and hence is not loved by the US. But on the > other hand > this show of resistance and conflict creates the illusion of fairness. As a final note, it may be important to recognise that "the US" is not a monolith. As I understand the situation in Washington, there is no consensus on Iraq. Many policy makers are keenly aware that the world largely stands against them at present. These people may wish to avoid a war but also may feel that they need a strategy that can be presented as a victory. Blix may be their best hope: to the extent that he can assure that world that Iraq is disarming, he can show the world that the situation in Iraq has turned around from the Clinton period when, from the US Administration's point of view, it was getting out of hand. Best, Colin Rowat work | Room 406, Department of Economics | The University of Birmingham | Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK | web.bham.ac.uk/c.rowat | (+44/0) 121 414 3754 | (+44/0) 121 414 7377 (fax) | firstname.lastname@example.org personal | (+44/0) 7768 056 984 (mobile) | (+44/0) 7092 378 517 (fax) | (707) 221 3672 (US fax) | email@example.com _______________________________________________ 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