KLAX
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Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:23 am

The Debate is going on at the UN over Iraq. Syrian representative is talking about Israel and Palestine, Blix has spoken, says inspections are not over, but highlights Iraqi discrepancies.

-Clovis

(Hope this one will be as good as the one about Powell Big grin )
 
Sonic
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:29 am

Yes, I am watching the live on BBC. I have to say I 100% agree with Syrian foreign minister. How Israel is different from Iraq?

Israel occupies and acts cruelry against Palestine - Iraq does about the same on Kurdistan, but it can't act so cruelry anymore because of no-fly zones

Israel has ABC weapons and USA doesn't cares - Iraq only once tried to develop them and USA immidietly started reacting
 
KLAX
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:32 am

I agree, although you must take into account the fact that Israel suffers from terrorist attacks all to often. The terrorists dont follow any rules...

-Clovis
 
5280AGL
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:34 am

Oh my god, that was about the dumbest repsonse I have ever seen on this board. How is Israel different from Iraq?  Wow! Ummm, well, for starters...Lets talk about SADDAM HUSSEIN! Iraq would actually use their weapons if given the chance...would Israel? Well, considering they haven't already, what makes you think they would now or in the future?

 
racko
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:35 am

Blix and Baradei said that Iraq's cooperation has improved over the last week and want the inspections to go on and to expand them, as proposed by France & Germany and supported by China and Russia. The missiles which were called a material breach by Blair had been reported in the 12.000 page dossier which Iraq handed over in december. Blix has also questioned some of the "evidence" from Powell, particularly the vehicles which Powell called "Decontainment trucks" by Powell. Blix also said that Iraq has to comply further with the inspections. And Blix complained that some intelligence agencies are not handing over informations about possible WMD.

Currently the French foreign minister is making his statement. He wants to continue and expand the inspections, as Blix and Baradei have requested and as France & Germany had already proposed earlier this week. He says the use of force is not entitled by the results of the inspections.

The Syrian representative is btw always talking about Israel and Palestine, no matter what's the agenda, and if they were talking about the weather.
 
Sonic
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:37 am

5280AGL, how could you prove Iraq would use those weapons? This is just typical propaganda, which you catched. No country is stupid enough to use WOMD, because they knows how this would end up. You can see how Saddam tries to do everything to stay in power and avoid war... Well, usage of WOMD would immidietly force him out of power. He is not that stupid.
 
Sonic
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:38 am

Yes, I have to agree that Israel is a bit better than Iraq because it is democratic. But I doubt however if USA would let Iraq or any other muslim state in the region to get WOMD even if they would be democratic...
 
N79969
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:40 am

Sonic,

Iran is probably in the process of getting WMD. I don't think there are any plans to take action against Iran. Pakistan has them. The difference: Saddam has used WMD already.
 
mt99
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:42 am

If the US attack.. Iraq will become another Israel.. in the sense that groups will "fight" for the ocupation just like Israel and fight to "get back" Iraq.. just groups want to "get back" Israel.. I just think that it will be a bigger mess than that it is now, and that in the long run it will do more harm than good. Unfortunately the US is knee deep in a pissing contest with the rest of the world and even if Saddam allowed George Bush to personally inspect his countyr the US will attack just so that no one says that they were wrong or backed off (IMHO, of course). One more thing:

Does anyone else get the impression that Powell is not fully convinced that war is the best option, but just going along with his boss? (something in his eyes)
Step into my office, baby
 
Sonic
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:43 am

Iran is far from getting WOMD. WIth Pakistan it is a completely different issue - remember, until about 1994 USA supported Pakistan in Indian/Pakistan conflict. Thus they also supported/turned a blind eye on Pakistani program, as India already had WOMD. I believe if pakistan still wouldn't have WOMD and would try to get them now, USA would protest.
 
KLAX
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:47 am

Does anyone else get the impression that Powell is not fully convinced that war is the best option, but just going along with his boss? (something in his eyes)

Powell is a good man caught in the wrong administration...  Sad

-CLovis
 
mt99
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 1:49 am

sorry.. but i guess nitpickers her will comment on my "rest of the world" thing.. i meant other nations (so there)

ive been hearing all these things about the UN becoming irrelevant (as stated by the US-side of the argumnet).. It seems the the US-sides is saying the the UN is not relevant beacause they dont let us do what we want when we want it.
Step into my office, baby
 
Cyril B
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:23 am

Dominique de Villepin's statement was excellent (he was even applauded), inspections must go on.
 
N79969
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:26 am

Villepin is the genius who suggested the Iraq must pass legislation banning WMD. An idea promptly adopted by Iraq. He cannot be taken seriously.
 
Cyril B
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:30 am

South Africa is behind the legislation banning WMD. But it is fun in the US to say all you don't like come from France...
 
Cyril B
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:35 am

By the way, Blix backed the french proposals, and told Powell that real proofs are needed...
 
N79969
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:36 am

Cyril,

You are mistaken. Villepin suggested this as a step in the right direction for Iraq.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/WO0302/S00059.htm
 
Cyril B
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:39 am

The UN asked for this legislation. Villepin backed this proposal, but didn't initiated it.
 
N79969
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 2:44 am

Whoever thought of this particular piece of idiocy (all indications I have seen are France) is delusional and actually suggesting it borders on lunacy. Saddam Hussein is a dictator. Laws do not apply to him in Iraq and apparently the UN. The stupidity of anti-WMD legislation in Iraq at this point is almost beyond words.
 
Cyril B
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 3:02 am

It is clear that Blix's report is a blow to the US push for war.
Blix openly questionned the so-called proofs Powell showed last week, and neutral countries like Chile joined the franco-german-russian position.
Even Spain began to take a more neutral stance...
 
N79969
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 3:29 am

Nice transition Cyril.

I am convinced that Iraq has WMD. The evidence is clear that Saddam is hiding something.

I am not convinced that the US (and the UK) should take on the burden of disarming him alone. As I have stated before, I am for full withdrawal from the Iraq theater. I think the US should hand over the challenge of disarming Iraq to France and Germany and walk away.
 
Cyril B
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 3:32 am

The evidence is clear that Saddam is hiding something.

There is no evidence. The US were unable to produce evidence.
That's why UN inspectors a working in Iraq: find WMD (if Iraq does have WMD), and destroy them.
 
N79969
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 3:40 am

Saddam Hussein will be glad to know that he has convinced somebody. Only the most naive actually believe that Saddam does not have WMD. In 1999, the UN reported that Saddam had enough botulinum toxin to kill everyone on the planet 3 times over. That is just one kind of weapon. The UN also reported on stores of VX, sarin, and anthrax. Now Saddam claims that they never existed and people rushing to believe him.

If Powell went and showed photos of missles or of anthrax under a microscope, would you have believed him? How about a picture of Saddam holding a vial of VX smiling? How about then?

Among reasonable people, there is no question about whether he has them or not. He clearly is hiding WMD. However there is debate among reasonable people about whether his possession of these weapons justifies waging a war before he can use these weapons or give them to some group who will. That is the question the world needs to be debating. The debate on whether he has WMD is a waste of time.
 
mt99
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 3:50 am

Well the US seems to be asking the UN to do something impossible which is to prove a negative statement: "Prove that Iraq has no WMD" What Dr. Blix said is completly true and does not support the US claims: "We havent seen WMD but that doesnt mean that there arent any".

Let me take a radical turn to the left here: "Prove to me that the biological weapons the US has will not be used agains civilians"

I agree that the world would be a better place ifIraq, Russia, France, US, britain and all countries got rid of WMD. Iraq Should disarm Saddam is crazy and he may be trigger happy, but there are ways to get this done. I also agree that the "cooperation" that iraq has shown latetly has only been due to the pressure that has been placed on it latley and probably would not have cooperated other wise. Lets keep the pressure level up.. lets allow the inspectors to contuine to do their job.. then lets talk about war

BTW, yes a picture of Saddam would convince me and many other (the smile is not necessary, though) Do you have one?

Step into my office, baby
 
N79969
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sat Feb 15, 2003 4:02 am

This is not simply proving a negative. Saddam had this stuff in 1999 (and of course used mustard gas in 1980s). He has offered no proof that he destroyed any of it. Instead he pretends that it never existed.

WMD are not like pennies in a coin tray...countries that have them keep an eye on them, make sure the containers don't leak, and are otherwise careful. If he destroyed them, there would almost certainly some evidence that he did so: paper, a toxic waste dump, something.

I agree with you Mt99 that we should keep the pressure up. The problem is that Europe and to a lesser extent Russia are sending the following message to Saddam: you can keep doing what you have been doing and we will do nothing but talk about it. In the process, they are watering-down our effective message of "comply or else." Any results in the disarmament of Iraq should be credited to the Bush Administration's pressure.

Our allies need to stand with us in telling Saddam he needs to disarm or face actual, meaningful consequences. He will not respond to anything else if at all.
 
Klaus
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N79969

Sun Feb 16, 2003 12:00 am

N79969: WMD are not like pennies in a coin tray...countries that have them keep an eye on them, make sure the containers don't leak, and are otherwise careful. If he destroyed them, there would almost certainly some evidence that he did so: paper, a toxic waste dump, something.

That´s exactly what the inspectors are working on as we speak. This topic was explicitly mentioned in the report.


N79969: I agree with you Mt99 that we should keep the pressure up. The problem is that Europe and to a lesser extent Russia are sending the following message to Saddam: you can keep doing what you have been doing and we will do nothing but talk about it.

The criteria about what is "something" and what´s "nothing" are somewhat different from Dave Letterman´s in his late show. (And no "grinder girl", either...  Wink/being sarcastic)

"Nothing" would mean:

- no political pressure

- no surveillance

- no inspections

- no destruction of illegal weapons or material

- no sanctions

- no military threat on non-compliance

And the list goes on.


N79969: Any results in the disarmament of Iraq should be credited to the Bush Administration's pressure.

Sorry, but I think he should run his next campaign on his actual merits (if there are any, that is).  Wink/being sarcastic


N79969: Our allies need to stand with us in telling Saddam he needs to disarm or face actual, meaningful consequences. He will not respond to anything else if at all.

He already has responded. Reluctantly, no doubt about it, and only under military and political pressure (in that order), but responded he has.


The security council session has marked the miserable failure of the Bush administration to bully the world community into war. Powell´s presentation didn´t just fail to win over any of the formerly uncommitted members; The Bush camp even lost one vote and is now down to only three: The USA, Britain and Spain.

And the - very unusual - lively applause for the french statement wasn´t just coming from anybody. As far as I know, we´ve heard the applause coming from a large number of international UN ambassadors who just happened not to be members of the Security Council at this time and were therefore sitting in the audience.

I think it´s possible that Powell´s sense of loyalty may have cost him his credibility. And he does not deserve this, as far as I can tell.

So the imperial tone of the Bush administration appears to have succeeded in alienating the majority of the world community to a point where the USA is more or less isolated - with the two remaining partner governments for war being increasingly isolated from their own populations.

If this doesn´t call for a change of course, I don´t know what does!

But from past experience, I fear that the reigning republican fundamentalists have become deaf from their own constant shouting and won´t be able to hear what´s going on...  Sad
 
cfalk
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sun Feb 16, 2003 2:00 am

That’s exactly what the inspectors are working on as we speak. This topic was explicitly mentioned in the report.

So why are so many people willing to give Saddam the benefit of the doubt? It is up to HIM to provide the proof, not just sit back and allow the inspectors to go on a treasure hunt.

It's really quite simple. We know for a fact that he had these weapons a few years ago. We simply want to know where they went. I mean, I know the Arabs are not the most efficient people in the world in terms of bureaucracy, but there must be SOME trace, considering the importance of this material. If he does not provide such a trace, that appears to be very strong evidence that he still has them.

A lot of people like to say "innocent until proven guilty". He has already been found guilty - the various UN resolutions to that effect since 1991 testify to that. It is up to Saddam to prove otherwise, not for inspectors to have to prove it again.

"Nothing" would mean:

- no political pressure


Political pressure works against democracies, but not against dictators who feel no need to heed anyone except themselves. Political pressure has been tried for 12 years on Saddam, and has been proven to be insufficient.

- no surveillance
Spy satellites can show some things, but all you need is a tarpaulin to cover up and cast enough doubt that people can ignore the photos if they want to (like what happened with Powell's presentation).

- no inspections

Saddam blocked the inspectors for 7 years. When they finally started to figure out how he operated and started turning up hidden caches of WMDs with regularity, he had them kicked out and spent the last 5 years finding ways to hide them more effectively, knowing that one day the inspectors would probably return.

What did the international community do when he booted them out in 1998? Nothing.

- no destruction of illegal weapons or material

they tend to be difficult to destroy when they are well hidden.

- no sanctions

Economic sanctions do not work on dictatorships. 12 years of ruinous sanctions, and no result. Look at Cuba. Sanctions are a politically expedient method of seeming to do something without angering the "love-not-war hippies", but don't actually do anything except starve the innocent and provide opportunities for the well connected to become fabulously rich through smuggling operations. Saddam is now a multi-billionaire, and I'm sure a couple hundred of his cronies are well into the multi-millionaire range. It's the same elsewhere. I met the son of former president Milosevic of Yugoslavia, and the smuggling of fuel, food, cigarettes, weapons, etc. into Serbia during the 1990s all had to pay him a "royalty".

I believe that the deaths from starvation and lack of medical supplies to date is squarely on Saddam's head - he had the power to get rid of the sanctions simply by obeying the UN. But now that we have seen that even the toughest sanctions have no effect, I believe that the sanctions should be lifted. It is unconscionable to continue the suffering of the Iraqi people when the effect desired does not materialize. In addition, the sanctions provide fuel for the arguments of some Arabs that Westerners hate Arabs and will jump on the slightest chance to starve them and abuse them.

However the sanctions did have one positive result, although it was relatively unintended. They did limit (but not eliminate) Saddam’s ability to acquire a new army and additional WMD capability. If sanctions were lifted with Saddam still in power, there is no doubt that he would toss out all UN resolutions, use the immense natural wealth of Iraq to rebuild his military capability and start threatening his neighbors again. Refer to Hitler, 1933-36 as a precedent.

So in my mind, continuing the sanctions is not an acceptable option, given the huge human cost and limited return. At the same time, removing the sanctions while Saddam is still in place is not acceptable either. Leaving permenant inspectors is hardly a practical solution – he can just kick them out again one day. So what is left? We have to get rid of Saddam. Do you see another solution that would offer a better chance for long-term peace?

- no military threat on non-compliance.

A military threat is only effective it is credible. France and Germany have done everything possible to remove the credibility of the threat. The only reason that military threats have garnered some limited success recently is that the U.S. and a few allies have gone on their own, but at a very high cost in terms of American image and prestige overseas. I have no doubt that if France, Germany, Russia and the others had aligned themselves with the U.S., there would be a much greater chance to accomplish the task without a fight.

…He already has responded. Reluctantly, no doubt about it, and only under military and political pressure (in that order), but responded he has

As it is, the fracture of the UN and NATO is playing into Saddam’s hands. Knowing how people are very simple-minded and only read the headlines, he makes empty concessions hoping to strengthen the French position in the eyes of the public. Witness the protests around the world today.

But the concessions are empty. True, the inspectors are back, but he has had several years to prepare for their return, and they are faced with the impossible task of searching half a million square kilometers. Talk about a needle in a field of haystacks…

True, Iraqi scientists can now be interviewed in private, but a tape of the interview must be handed over to Iraqi authorities after the interview. Hardly an improvement.

True, U2 surveillance flights have been authorized. But they must give 48 hours warning before their flight, allowing time to cover things up. No improvement there either. To be effective, such flights must be constant, random, and unpredictable.

True, Spy satellites don’t need such approval, but their orbits are very easy to predict – the Iraqis know to the minute when one passes overhead.

Again, if the world was united against him, I expect that he would give some real concessions. But as long as the UN and NATO squabble, he will fuel the side which wants to go easy on him. Saddam maybe an insane megalomaniac, but he’s not stupid. He got to where he is now by knowing how to manipulate people.

And the - very unusual - lively applause for the French statement wasn’t just coming from anybody. As far as I know, we’ve heard the applause coming from a large number of international UN ambassadors who just happened not to be members of the Security Council at this time and were therefore sitting in the audience.

I found this interesting too. The meaning was clear. In the opinions of most nations of the world, the UN shall be a toothless paper tiger. A place where governments can send their buddies, political hacks and other useless people on cushy diplomatic assignments. Where UN resolutions can be ignored with impunity, because getting enough people to agree on tough, expensive, and potentially unpopular foreign endeavors is almost impossible. I can see where they are coming from. Most nations do not want a strong UN, because one day they might run afoul as well. I expect most countries have already ignored the UN before – why change a cozy arrangement which the public swallows as effective?

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Klaus
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Cfalk

Sun Feb 16, 2003 10:25 am

Cfalk: So why are so many people willing to give Saddam the benefit of the doubt?

If that were the case, there would be no inspections, obviously.


Cfalk: Political pressure has been tried for 12 years on Saddam, and has been proven to be insufficient.

No, it hasn´t. Since certain important members of the UN were "tied up elsewhere" or busy blocking other UN resolutions much of the time or simply refused to take part at all, there was no basis for exerting any meaningful pressure.


Cfalk: Spy satellites can show some things, but all you need is a tarpaulin to cover up and cast enough doubt that people can ignore the photos if they want to (like what happened with Powell's presentation).

That´s why they are not the only part of the inspection process, but a valuable addition (well, if the results are actually presented to the inspectors, that is).


Cfalk: Saddam blocked the inspectors for 7 years. When they finally started to figure out how he operated and started turning up hidden caches of WMDs with regularity, he had them kicked out and spent the last 5 years finding ways to hide them more effectively, knowing that one day the inspectors would probably return.

Were you just explaining why Saddam was right to fear the inspections? We could stop arguing right here and now.  Wink/being sarcastic


Cfalk: What did the international community do when he booted them out in 1998? Nothing.

Not exactly. Immediately after the inspectors left on their own, the bombs started dropping in Gulf War I (being the reason for their exodus).


Klaus: - no destruction of illegal weapons or material

Cfalk: they tend to be difficult to destroy when they are well hidden.

It is pretty difficult to hide a large weapons program completely. As we´ve seen.


Cfalk: Economic sanctions do not work on dictatorships.

Of course they do, if they´re taken seriously. They´ve crippled Saddam´s military efforts successfully all through these years.

I agree that the side effects (especially those for the population) are not acceptable in the long run. Another reason why external sanctions cannot remain the primary means of containment.


Cfalk: However the sanctions did have one positive result, although it was relatively unintended. They did limit (but not eliminate) Saddam’s ability to acquire a new army and additional WMD capability.

That was in fact the primary intention.


Cfalk: A military threat is only effective it is credible.

Limiting the range of possible options exclusively to a massive invasion is a bad idea with no other benefits than being easier to sell at home.

In fact, a range of combined political and military options can close a lot more doors for Saddam to wiggle out again than painting oneself into a corner like the US administration has done during the past months.


Cfalk: France and Germany have done everything possible to remove the credibility of the threat.

Wrong. Bush "just" snapped the line when he firmly crossed over into illegal territory. With a massive breach of international law, it is simply impossible to champion stability and freedom at the same time. At this extreme point, the means sabotage the end.


Cfalk: I have no doubt that if France, Germany, Russia and the others had aligned themselves with the U.S., there would be a much greater chance to accomplish the task without a fight.

It´s also quite possible that if you applied torture to a suspect of a heinous crime, he´d actually confess and make a conviction possible. You´d lose any legitimacy to actually do so; But hey! You can´t have everything!  Nuts

If your means grossly violate the ends you´re supposedly fighting for, you just can´t hope to be taken seriously.


Cfalk: Again, if the world was united against him, I expect that he would give some real concessions. But as long as the UN and NATO squabble, he will fuel the side which wants to go easy on him. Saddam maybe an insane megalomaniac, but he’s not stupid. He got to where he is now by knowing how to manipulate people.

Indeed. The problem is that Bush attempted to impose a stance that would be in massive violation of international law. His open contempt for international law is well-known by now. But actually trying to ram this point of view down the throats of his allies finally broke the camel´s back.

True, there have been insensitivities, sarcasm and even personal insults. But they only obscure the fact that at the core of this matter, it´s a fundamental disagreement about whether international law is the necessary basis of the global community or whether it is "irrelevant" along with its proponents.


Cfalk: The meaning was clear. In the opinions of most nations of the world, the UN shall be a toothless paper tiger.

Exactly the opposite!

If the "roll over or get screwed anyway" concept of "handling" the UN was to be accepted, the UN would be reduced to a meaningless alibi provider for the respective main power (which might be supplanted by another one as soon as it could be overpowered).

It´s the oldest trick in every politician´s book to attempt excluding all the other options from public debate until only one´s "pet option" remains alongside another one which is so obviously undesirable that one´s position appears irresistible.

Too bad it only works when the opposition is firmly asleep!

There are multiple options that can lead to Saddam´s disarmament. A robust and intensified inspection regime being one of them.

And international law being the quintessential precondition for any imposed disarmament.
 
Thumper
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RE: Debate At UN Over Iraq...

Sun Feb 16, 2003 10:44 am

Cfalk: Great post! Glad to see someone across the pond has the brains they were born with!

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