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Bush is "skeptical" about Iraq's announcement to allow weapons inspectors unconditionally.
September 17, 2002 6:32 AM   Subscribe

Bush is "skeptical" about Iraq's announcement to allow weapons inspectors unconditionally. As the administration prepares for war with Iraq, the rogue state led by everyone's favorite madman agrees to pretty much everything the U.S. has demanded. So, we're not going to invade, right? And the fact that this is an election year has nothing whatsoever to do with any of this, right? And Iraq didn't just agree to this to make the U.S. look stupid, right? Right?
posted by vraxoin (42 comments total)

 
Says White House spokesman Scott McClellan, “it is a tactic that will fail.”

What tactic? Surrendering?

It's amazing, but right now it's the truth: the best way Saddam could score a personal victory against Bush right now is to give in to everything he demanded at the U.N. last week.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:36 AM on September 17, 2002


I'm guessing this post will inspire an identical debate to this thread.
posted by dhoyt at 6:40 AM on September 17, 2002


And to this thread.
posted by sheauga at 6:42 AM on September 17, 2002


and end up pretty much like this thread.
posted by quonsar at 6:51 AM on September 17, 2002


Although, oddly, it instead ended up as a thread about people bitching that it was too much like other threads. So I guess you guys are all wet.
posted by vraxoin at 7:00 AM on September 17, 2002


No, just that this has been talked to death in the last 24 hours in numerous other threads.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:04 AM on September 17, 2002


"And the fact that this is an election year has nothing whatsoever to do with any of this, right?"

Y'know, sometimes politicians do things not because it's an election year, but because they're all boneheads. I bet right now whenever Shrub goes behind the bushes, there's reporters out there following behind him claiming he did that cuz it's an election year.

Real tiresome. Of course I'm sure my typing this out is rather pointless, as soon as Matt wakes up he's gonna delete this 'doublepost.'
posted by ZachsMind at 7:10 AM on September 17, 2002


So, let me get this straight... the toy broom, it vibrates?!
posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:14 AM on September 17, 2002


I still don't understand why politicians can't be honest and come out with the electorate over the real issues. If George Bush came out and said "Saddam's weapons are a concern, but the big worries are oil and Middle Eastern stability", then most Americans would _still_ support him. If Bush said "We want regime change even if Saddam turns into Mother Teresa", most Americans would support that too. So why not some honesty?
posted by skylar at 7:18 AM on September 17, 2002


led by everyone's favorite madman

please. i have my own favorite madman. he's dreamy.
posted by tolkhan at 7:29 AM on September 17, 2002


Bush's address to the GA stated:

"If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately and unconditionally forswear, disclose, and remove or destroy all weapons of mass destruction, long-range missiles, and all related material.

"If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all support for terrorism and act to suppress it, as all states are required to do by U.N. Security Council resolutions.

"If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will cease persecution of its civilian population, including Shi'a, Sunnis, Kurds, Turkomans, and others, again as required by Security Council resolutions.

"If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will release or account for all Gulf War personnel whose fate is still unknown. It will return the remains of any who are deceased, return stolen property, accept liability for losses resulting from the invasion of Kuwait, and fully cooperate with international efforts to resolve these issues, as required by Security Council resolutions.

"If the Iraqi regime wishes peace, it will immediately end all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. It will accept U.N. administration of funds from that program, to ensure that the money is used fairly and promptly for the benefit of the Iraqi people."

So tell me how, exactly, agreeing to the return of weapons inspectors equals a full concession to all these demands?
posted by jammer at 7:29 AM on September 17, 2002


So tell me how, exactly, agreeing to the return of weapons inspectors equals a full concession to all these demands?

Nope. However, now the rest of the World will be against a war even more. And just when some were starting to lean towards a possible UN sanctioned invasion. The main case for war was Iraq had WMDs. If they let inspectors in, the case for war is really weak (even at home).
posted by quirked at 7:51 AM on September 17, 2002


The point that everyone is missing is that although inspectors are allowed in the country without conditions, they want to discuss the conditions under which the actual inspections will occur.

The Iraq position is essentially unchanged. Did you even read the letter?
posted by revbrian at 8:00 AM on September 17, 2002


To be fair, "Secretary General Kofi Annan said that Baghdad had agreed to "immediate discussions" about the return of international inspectors.
Not quite the same as agreeing to the immediate return of the inspectors, if you consider Saddam's record of evasive statements.
posted by semmi at 8:03 AM on September 17, 2002


_All_ politicians have a record of evasive statemens, Semmi, and that includes several high-ranking members of the US and UK goverments.

I don't see why Iraq should destroy all its weapons of mass destruction. America, the UK, India, Pakistan and several other countries have WMDs... why should Iraq be the exception?
posted by skylar at 8:12 AM on September 17, 2002


Skylar's a TERRIST!
posted by Espoo2 at 9:23 AM on September 17, 2002


Because, skylar, Iraq under Saddam is an avowed enemy, when push comes to shove, to most, if not all, of its neighbors and, most significantly, the US, and because Saddam wants to use WMDs, as he has done before, and because the US can stop him having WMD's, the US will do just that. But you could write to your congressman, if you have another agenda or suggestion. Of course, you'd have to be living in the US for that.
posted by semmi at 9:37 AM on September 17, 2002


Hmm....if the problem is an unelected leader served by corrupt officials in a non-democratic state, it's hard to see why Bush deserves to control WMD any more than Hussein. Maybe the U.S. should set a good example by admitting U.N. weapons inspectors to oversee its disarmament?
posted by Raya at 10:16 AM on September 17, 2002


Not to mention that the USA is the only country that's used a weapon of mass destruction against another nation.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:30 AM on September 17, 2002


Thank you Raya and five fresh fish. Good thing it wasn't me grinding that axe this time. BTW, you're both "one trick ponies" now.
posted by nofundy at 10:55 AM on September 17, 2002


When Shrubby proclaims "skepticism," isn't that pretty much like a judge saying before a trial "well, this defendant's been guilty before, so he'll probably be guilty now." Now okay, I admit that legalese and diplomospeak are two distinct languages, but insofar as diplomacy exists to protect peace, the pressure on the prez not to be prejudicial is even more important. If Bush is trying to prove that he can pull the plug on Iraq anytime he wants to, well, that just does not seem like the kind of behavior that will help us in the long term.
posted by DenOfSizer at 11:14 AM on September 17, 2002


Uh, fishy, chemical weapons were used during WWI and by Iraq on Iran... Japan dropped plague fleas on China in the 40s. We're just the only country to ever nuke another. ;)

DebOfSizer: I think Bush's skepticism is more like a warden saying "I'll believe it when I see it" in response to an excaped prisoner's letter declaring his intentions to unconditionally discuss turning himself back in. Totally appropriate, in my opinion.
posted by techgnollogic at 11:24 AM on September 17, 2002


To this end, the Government of the Republic of Iraq is ready to discuss the practical arrangements necessary for the immediate resumption of inspections.

That is the phrase which would make one skeptical. They are ready to "discuss" arrangements. No promise to let inspectors back in.

DenOfSizer: The president is not a judge. He is not required to be unbiased. In fact, we expect our leaders to be biased. If they didn't have a bias what good would they be?
posted by billman at 12:24 PM on September 17, 2002


Oh, I fully expect Bush to be biased, and skeptical - as we all are - but as the Leader of the Free World, it strikes me that the rules of diplomacy especially require him to put on the pretense of judiciousness.
posted by DenOfSizer at 12:34 PM on September 17, 2002


DenOfSizer: Why? He's not a judge. Clinton never acted unbiased, Bush senior never acted unbiased, Reagan never acted unbiased, Carter never acted unbiased . . . George Washington never acted unbiased. It's not the expectation of anybody but seemingly you that the President of the US be unbiased. I don't mean that to sound like a ding but you have an expectation of the man that is not in check with reality.
posted by billman at 12:39 PM on September 17, 2002


billman: True, but they are talking about the "practical arrangements" which is a bit different than pure discussion. If we're going to parse the phrasing we would have to admit that the arrangements are merely practical, not whether they are going to happen. So this is somewhere inbetween the actual and the logisitcal. However we'll just have to wait and see, I suppose. Bush is right to be skeptical. It is his skepticism and harsh tone that got to this point in the first place.
posted by cell divide at 12:43 PM on September 17, 2002


I agree with Raya, Five Fresh Fish, and Skylar. Why should we hold other nations to standards that we are not going to live up to. We want this war, that's the only conclusion. They get war, death, and destruction and we get well....oil.
posted by Raichle at 1:16 PM on September 17, 2002


Why should we hold other nations to standards that we are not going to live up to.

So, what you are saying, is that the US should be allowed to violate any and all treaties, pacts and accords it has signed without any retribution or hard feelings? You seem to forget that we are asking for Iraq to obey UN restrictions THEY agreed to and SIGNED as part of the Gulf War cease fire. Seeing as how the US has never signed a document saying we would destroy all of our WMD and not seek WMD or the apparatus with which to develop WMD in the future your argument is pointless.

---------------------------------

And for the latest news out of the UK:

the Arab League's ambassador to London, Ali Muhsen Hamid, gave the first indication that the inspectors might not be allowed the unfettered access required when he said they could inspect only "military sites".
posted by RevGreg at 1:39 PM on September 17, 2002


So, what you are saying, is that the US should be allowed to violate any and all treaties, pacts and accords it has signed without any retribution or hard feelings?

Pardon me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that this is precicely the opinion of the current administration.
posted by TCMITS at 2:18 PM on September 17, 2002


Pardon me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that this is precicely the opinion of the current administration.

Consider yourself pardoned.
posted by RevGreg at 2:26 PM on September 17, 2002




RevGreg - I'm not sure that Saddam signed those treaties you talk about. I might be wrong, but I don't think he signed them.
posted by skylar at 2:39 PM on September 17, 2002


UN security council being fooled and Bush Administration knows the truth !!!!! lol
{sarcastic meter off the charts}
Does the UN get a chance to check out US weapons of mass distruction or is that top secret....
posted by pyr at 2:52 PM on September 17, 2002


I'm not sure that Saddam signed those treaties you talk about. I might be wrong, but I don't think he signed them.

I think he pretended to be sick and had his mom sign them.
posted by Ty Webb at 2:55 PM on September 17, 2002


I'm not sure that Saddam signed those treaties you talk about. I might be wrong, but I don't think he signed them.

They were conditions of the cease fire during the Gulf War. Who else woudl have signed them?
posted by billman at 3:24 PM on September 17, 2002


RevGreg - I'm not sure that Saddam signed those treaties you talk about. I might be wrong, but I don't think he signed them.

Okay, so what you are saying is that they used invisible ink when they agreed to the terms of UN "Resolutions" (ha!) that ended the Gulf War? Sorry, Saddam was in power at the time and UN demands were drawn up and agreed to as part of the termination of hostilities - he knows what he agreed to do. And, if he does mean to backdown on his agreements, he still waged a war of aggression on Kuwait (looting, raping and pillaging the country) for which earlier UN Resolutions call for his removal or agreement to cease fire terms.

So, as Bush said in his speech, either the UN matters or it doesn't. Either it wishes to be taken seriously or it wants to follow the League of Nations into irrelevancy. What *is* the point of the UN if they are going to back down on this? And before you go into the obligatory rant about the US, Israel, etc. flaunting UN requests please make a slight attempt to remain on topic concerning this issue. The issue isn't about everyone else, it's about Iraq and their agreements - start a new thread for other complaints!
posted by RevGreg at 3:38 PM on September 17, 2002


the rogue state led by everyone's favorite madman

Are we the rogue state led by the madman or are they?
posted by metaforth at 3:53 PM on September 17, 2002


...the US should be allowed to violate any and all treaties, pacts and accords it has signed without any retribution or hard feelings

The US is infamous for violating trade agreements, disarmament agreements, international environment agreements, etcetera. The USA as signatory to anything is rapidly becoming completely meaningless: the US government will do whatever the hell it wants at any given time, regardless what it's previously said it would do.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:22 PM on September 17, 2002


chemical weapons were used during WWI and by Iraq on Iran... Japan dropped plague fleas on China in the 40s.

Lest we forget, America the Beautiful also used chemical and bioweapons in the Korean (apparently) and Vietnam wars, too, of course...

Are we the rogue state led by the madman or are they?

Indeed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:18 PM on September 17, 2002


What *is* the point of the UN if they are going to back down on this?

What is the point of the UN if they don't agree with the US administration entirely? The job of the UN is not to agree with the American administration.

People have to realize how the UN works, and what resolutions are. Think of them as stand-alone documents. There may be 30 resolutions regarding Iraq, that does not mean that if any single resolution is not followed military force is the alternative. The countries vote for resolutions independently. A resolution like "Not oppressing the Kurdish people" will get support, because who wants people oppressed? That does not mean that the people who sign this resolution are willing to use military force if Iraq does oppress the Kurds, unless the resolution says that.

Currently Bush and Co. are saying, "UN, these are your resolutions, if you are unwilling to enforce them then you must be meaningless, you can't even enforce your own will" That is asinine. The resolutions would not have been passed if they authorized force, to say they should be enforced with a military after they have been accepted is just being deceitful, or stupid.

Many resolutions do not have enforcement because to include that would make them fail, they are more a statement of principle. Women should have the right to vote, children should have clean drinking water etc. If military force is authorized it will be done in the individual resolution, there is no implied "or we will bomb you" after every UN resolution.

Consider yourself pardoned.

If you don't have time for more of a response than "you're wrong" why not hold off a little?
posted by rhyax at 8:05 PM on September 17, 2002


stavros: oh yeah, i wasn't trying to tiptoe around our usage of Agent Orange and so forth, it was just already established that we're big WMDers.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:22 PM on September 17, 2002


If you don't have time for more of a response than "you're wrong" why not hold off a little?

Likewise, if you're not going to make more than empty, unsubstantiated allegations, don't bother. I felt my response was tit-for-tat...
posted by RevGreg at 2:37 AM on September 18, 2002


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