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[casi] Thoughts About Huge Holes in "48 Hours or Else" speech

Thoughts jotted down to combat feeling baffled by the "48 Hours or Else"

Two reasons why President Bush went to the United Nations.  First, Prime
Minister Tony Blair knew that her Majesty's subjects would not let him send
their sons and daughters to breathe depleted uranium dust without the United

Second, President Bush wanted a paper to wave at critics claiming that the
slaughtering of Iraqis was mandated by the international community mandated
it. He thought that he could get a blank check from the SC.   It did not
quite work out that way because the French have been in politics  long
enough to be tripped up than George W. Bush. They did give him UNSCR 1441,
but they did not attach an automatic authorization to wage war. President
Bush had to concede letting the inspectors back into Iraq.

Now the inspectors were in a position to verify what President Bush and
Prime Minister Blair knew all along from general Kamel's disclosures: that
all the WMDs had been secretly destroyed, on his own order, and under his
supervision. The inspectors, while admitting that Saddam Hussein hadn't
altogether reformed and become a saint, said that they were being given free
access to any location they wanted to inspect, unannounced.

During hundreds of searches they found nothing. Finally, almost as if to
stage a demonstration of cooperation for the benefit of the SC who couldn't
get the sense of cooperation that the inspectors themselves were
experiencing inside Iraq, they got Saddam Hussein to agree to the
destruction of the few missiles he had that might actually present some
danger to a neighboring country.

Since then missiles have been destroyed almost daily. All this cooperation
from bad boy Saddam created a lot of sweat in the White House and at Number
10. Thus the stalward defenders of the rule of law were reduced to employing
criminal surveillance, parlor tricks and forgeries to retain a semblance of
cause for displeasure with Iraq.

Nothing worked. Everything went wrong. Powell's lies were exposed. Blair's
plagiarism was discovered. Incriminating documents from Nigeria were
unmasked as blunt forgeries (by a "third" or possibly "fourth" country).
What to do? UNSCR 1441 did not authorize war. Alas, a new resolution had to
be introduced to get consensus on the critical issue: that Saddam Hussein is
in material breach and that therefore force was authorized.

The one problem with this turned out to be the glaring fact that he is not
clearly in breach. Neither the inspectors nor the permanent SC members
outside of the Us and UK thought that he is. Some felt quite strongly about
it to the point where both France and Russia repeatedly stated they would
kill the new resolution with a veto should it be passed by vote.

Now it boiled down to whether a majority vote could be squeezed out of the
ten non-permanent SC members. The US engaged in most despicable, pathetic
arm twisting, blackmailing, bribing and spying. More things went wrong.
People within the US and UK intelligence services, acting from moral
imperative, leaked damning documents. More dirty fingers exposed in
Washington and London.

After all the illicit activities, cajoling, stepping on toes and making more
and more enemies out of friends, the laughable result was that nothing had
changed. Only Spain and Bulgaria, both of which had for inexplicable reasons
jumped onto the US/UK wagon at the start, were there. Nobody new.

Off they flew to the Azores to do some more "diplomacy." But there wasn't
anything left to do diplomacy with. The bribes were all gone.
The threats had all been stoically absorbed by the threatened. Even the
Quartet Roadmap trump card turned out to be worthless.

Off to plan B. Get rid of the pesky inspectors. If it comes down to having
to plant WMDs to be "discovered" later when the boys make it to Baghdad,
then it would not be useful to have a complete list of sites and coordinates
that the inspectors had already given a clean bill of health. Moreover, the
annoying Saddam has been way too cooperative.

That calls for strong measures. Tell Kofi Annan, Blix and ElBaradai that the
bombing will start any minute and they better get their people out quick,
for their own safety. Then, if the bombing won't start right away nobody
will be unhappy about it. Nobody will say, "hey, you told us to get out so
we won't be hit by your bombs. Where are the bombs?" Nobody will say that,
for sure.

So, that solves the problem with the inspectors. Without inspectors around
Saddam can't very well cooperate, can he? But it will be really easy to
accuse him of NOT cooperating. In the meantime new ideas will come. At least
Blix and ElBaradai won't be there constantly saying, not so, not so, not so.

Yes, let nobody claim that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair did not
do everything in their power to "work with the United Nations." Now divert
attention from Saddam Hussein for a little. He's been getting  too much good
press for being cooperative. Who can momentarily be attacked to keep a
momentum? The U.N. itself, of course.

They need to be reminded of the reason for their existence, at least what
President Bush would consider a bona fide reason. "We believe in the mission
of the United Nations. One reason the U.N. was founded after the second
world war was to confront aggressive dictators, actively and early, before
they can attack the innocent and destroy the peace."

What's wrong with this picture? Every time the United Nations attempted to
"confront aggressive dictators, actively and early...," they were thwarted
by veto, either from the US, the Soviet Union, or China, mostly the US
though. The United States has put more dictators into power, replaced them
with other dictators and prevented the UN from "confronting them before they
can attack the innocent and destroy the peace," than any other country on
the planet. The fifty year turmoil in the Middle East has been kept alive by
none other than the US and its baby brother Israel. The greatest threat to
peace on earth has been and now is more than ever before the United States
of America.

Now that UNSCR 1441 has proven ineffective as a self-destruct device against
Iraq's sovereignty, a hybrid will be created. A little 1441, a little 678,
and a pinch of 687. Presto, a perfectly fine and effective new Resolution. I
can see problems with this.

First, there IS an established protocol for passing resolutions, and one of
the indispensable steps in that protocol is a vote. Making up new
resolutions is a novel thing, but it won't fly. I am not sure John Ashcroft
would approve of this method. Next thing, someone is going to say, "well, US
law says such and such, but there is an obsure French law that says
something else. I'll just put the two of them together and let them

Second, and this is a far bigger problem, even were we to allow procreating
between UNSCRs, President Bush would still not get what he so desperately
craves. True, as stated in "678 and 687 -- both still in effect -- the
United States and our allies are authorized to use force in ridding Iraq of
weapons of mass destruction. This is not a question of authority, it is a
question of will."

I have to apologize here for our president. He has been known to lack
precision in the comprehension and use of words. What he is missing  are the
operative words "in ridding Iraq of weapons of mass destruction." Neither of
the two resolutions says that the "United States and its allies are
authorized to use force" in LOOKING FOR weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
They only authorize the use of force in RIDDING Iraq OF weapons of mass

So, the use of force is predicated upon a number of conditions:
Explicitly the existence of the WMD has to be established first. Sending in
tanks to look for WMDs, particularly after first reducing the place to
rubble by bombing, is just not in the spirit of the resolutions.

The only methods authorized by the Security Council for the discovery of
weapons of mass destruction are voluntary disclosure by Iraq, and search and
recovery by the UN weapons inspectors. US/UK war planes, tanks, aircraft
carriers, armed forces, etc are all excluded from that part of the

Implicitly the use of force is then authorized only if, after the discovery
of the WMD, Iraq refuses to disarm itself. In other words, if by going the
authorized route, inspectors find a WMD,  the earlier resolutions do not
automatically say, "Green light, Mssrs. Bush and Blair. Go bang 'em up."
Before this joyful moment Iraq has to be given the option of either
destroying the located WMD or refusing to do so. ONLY in the latter case
does the clause regarding the use of force kick in.

Clearly NONE of the conditions for the force clauses of 678 and 687 have
been met. Sorry Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister. There is no forced
"ridding of" to be done yet. You need to await your turn. There are two
non-optional steps ahead of you in line.

The way I read 1441 is that Iraq has been cited for material breach but not
convicted of it. It put Iraq into a somewhat awkward position because it
made it necessary  to create a way of proving that it is in compliance
rather than in material breach. Iraq agreed to this unusual procedure and to
the suggested method of using the inspectors in a cooperative, interactive
way for ascertaining that Iraq is in compliance.

This process has worked out quite well, despite constant sabotage and
disinformation from the US and the UK. President Bush and Prime Minister
Blair constantly distort the truth by saying the inspection process has gone
on for 12 years and Iraq still has not disarmed. There is one huge and
serious flaw in that claim.

The nature of the inspectors' participation is only peripherally continuous
with previous inspection work. In its most essential aspect, the work of the
inspectors since 1441 is something entirely new. The purpose before they
were withdrawn the last time due to US pressure was to gather evidence
against Iraq whose position was comparable to that of a suspect in a
criminal investigation.

Since 1441 Iraq stands in a client relationship with the inspectors. The
inspectors services are provided to Iraq by the United Nations specifically
to help Iraq in the difficult work of establishing negative proof. In other
words, the primary function of the inspectors is to see what Iraq can come
up with by way of proving that it has disarmed, and then formulate this in
such a way that it can be read as positive proof of compliance by the United
Nations in the first instance, and by the United States and the United
Kingdom in the second instance.

The reason for the inspectors' unannounced inspection work in this new
context is to help Iraq find the means to proove something that normally
does not call for proof. Using a criminal case scenario, the analogy would
be something like this:
Judge to suspect: proove to me that you have not stolen something.
Suspect: I am telling you, your honor. I have not stolen anything.
Judge: That won't do. There are people who say you are a thief.
Suspect: Your honor, I have been a thief in the past, but I am not now.
Judge: Then prove it to me.
Suspect: Could you tell me what item I am supposed to have stolen?
Judge: That is not possible. You will have to tell me that yourself.
Suspect: Is it something big?
Judge: Perhaps. But I'm afraid you are not being very cooperative.
Suspect: Could you give me somebody to help me figure this out?
Judge to police: Go with suspect here and help him come up with proof that
he has not stolen anything.

The analogy, of course, does not match in all respects, but it does give a
sense of the different function of the inspectors this time around. My guess
is that the arrangement turned out to be too successful for the US and the
UK. That is why they had to discredit the inspectors all along, and now have
succeeded in getting them out of the picture altogether.

Neither can any nation possibly claim that Iraq has not disarmed. That is
the whole problem with this Catch 22 situation created by the United States
for no other purpose than to plough the ground of the Middle East so that it
can firmly plant its world hegemony there, in the original Garden of Eden.

What can be said though is that the "evidence" is more in favor that Iraq
has disarmed than that it has not. First, there is general Kamel's
testimony. Then there is the testimony of Chief Weapons Inspector Scott
Ritter. Finally, there is the documentary and anectotal evidence submitted
by Iraq, as well as the phsysical evidence of Iraq'a destroying of missiles
that are valuable to Iraq, and that could have been argued as not falling
within the parameters of proscription.

Saddam disarming.  Not "will not," can not! This is the giveaway. What
President Bush is saying is that the only "proof" of disarmament that the US
will accept is regime change. That is what it is about. The WMD that Bush
wants Iraq to disarm itself of is Saddam Hussein himself. Saddam is the
weapon of mass destruction that President Bush wants to rid Iraq of. And

Because Saddam Hussein has stood his ground against the most vicious
assault, manipulation, demonization and undermining that has been leveled
against any head of state by a country like the United States for that
length of time. President Bush is well aware that US hegemony cannot take
root in the Middle East as long as Saddam Hussein is there. Forget WMDs. It
is Saddam that this is all about.

Dissimulation, Bush style. The claim that "some permanent members of the
Security Council have publicly announced they will veto any resolution that
compels the disarmament of Iraq," is an out and out lie. First, neither
France nor Russia have said that they will veto any resolution that compels
the disarmament of Iraq. What they did say was that they will veto any
resolution that would render ineffective resolution 1441 the mandate of
which is already in the process of being carried out.

What France and Russia are saying, on behalf of themselves and the entire
world with the sole exception of the US, UK, Spain, and Bulgaria, is: "We
have passed UNSC 1441 and are observing its workings. Despite your
interference and sabotage, we are satisfied that the inspectors are doing
exactly the job for which we gave them to Iraq as councelors and assistants
to establish proof of compliance. We will veto any resolution that
undermines 1441. We are satisfied that 1441 is being carried out according
to our wishes, and we respectfully request that you cease and desist further

These governments manifestly do not share President Bush' and Prime Minister
Blair's assessment of the danger. They are assessing the danger differently.
It is they who are consistent in sticking to the spirit of UNSCR 1441. It is
Bush and Blair who act erratically, irrationally and obsessively. The world,
not just France and Russia, is telling Bush and Blair:

"Let the inspectors work. We know what we want the inspectors to do. They
are doing it!!! It is you, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair, who do
not want to understand what the nature of the inspectors' work
is at this stage. You are only frustrated because your parade is being
rained on. Go take your parade somewhere else.

Don't come to the Security Council with underhanded motives. We, the world,
are not your lackeys. We cannot prevent you from unleashing a tragedy upon
an innocent people and upon the whole world. You have too many weapons of
mass destruction to be resisted in this way. But we will not do your bidding
willingly. Yankee go home to Texas and learn some manners."

There is no broad coalition. There are only a handful accomplices and a few
more browbeaten, misguided lackeys who will be thrown away by the US in the
same callous way that other lackeys have been thrown away once they served
their purpose.

The United Nations, much to the contrary of President Bush' vituperative,
HAS lived up to its responsibilities, perhaps for the very first time since
its inception. It is the US who attempted to subvert the true purpose of the
UN Security Council, which is to protect the people of this world against
the brute, unthinking might of an insatiable monster of a sole super power.

It may be the sole super power, but it is a dwarf when it is being measured
against the combined power of the nations of this earth when truly united.
France has risen to a hight of leadership that was thought to have been
lost. It is because of the courageous stand France has taken that the rest
of the world is beginning to believe that perhaps not all is lost yet.

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