Iraq Calls Bush's Bluff on Weapons Scrutiny.
February 11, 2002 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Iraq Calls Bush's Bluff on Weapons Scrutiny. Former U.N. Weapons inspector Scott Ritter claims that Iraq's new attitude toward inspections might undermine attempts to end Saddam Hussein's regime.
posted by Ty Webb (7 comments total)
Think what you will about the administration - I don't think they would have made an offer unless they felt comfortable backing it up. Iraq is clearly up to no good, and I believe this administration will do what it takes to back up the inspectors and expose what is going on over there. What's to say they didn't want them to call the bluff? Sometimes that in itself is the bluff... That's just my opinion.

To make your own decisions, I'd suggest a couple articles: "After the Storm: U.S. Policy Toward Iraq Since 1991" and Frontline Interview with Scott Ritter (the author of the link in the FPP if you haven't yet read it).
posted by stormy at 10:50 AM on February 11, 2002

Alternative FPP wording: Threat of imminent ass-whupping accomplishes what years of sanctions haven't - Iraq talks about allowing inspectors back in.
posted by jaek at 11:10 AM on February 11, 2002

Might well be Arafat-like thing: I am going to take care of all the problems you seem bothered with. Trust me.
Iraq might well be stalling for time. Shen they say simply, Inspectors welcome to Iraq and can have access to any and all places, then we can see who is bluffing and who is not. I am not a great admirere of Mr. Bush, but then I don't admire Saddam either. So put up now that you have been dealt a hand.
posted by Postroad at 11:22 AM on February 11, 2002

Perhaps I'm oversimplifying, but aren't we reaching the point where effective WMD inspection is a must, regardless what country it is or who's in charge?

Richard Butler, described as "the man who led the United Nations' failed effort to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in the late 1990s" is proposing a Council on Weapons of Mass Destruction. This would be a group prepared to take military action against countries which violate non-proliferation.
posted by sheauga at 11:27 AM on February 11, 2002

"This would be a group prepared to take military action against countries which violate non-proliferation."

Unless those countries that have nuclear weapons agree to totally disarm, isn't it hypocritical to ask others not to acquire weapons.
posted by onegoodmove at 1:30 PM on February 11, 2002

If one line in a speech causes Saddam to freak and reopen Iraq to weapons inspections - something several years of diplomatic work by a number of nations and Bill Clinton was unable to accomplish - I'd call that a pretty flippin' effective speech. Seems odd to have it portrayed as "calling Bush's bluff".
posted by MidasMulligan at 5:54 PM on February 11, 2002

Supreme excellence in war consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
-- Sun Tzu

For a glimpse of the reshaped Middle East that could result -- a highly optimistic one, to be sure, but consider whether things could really be much worse than they are -- see this Jerusalem Post column that examines the endgame of a more directly goal-oriented policy in the region. A broad-based government in Baghdad; a post-theocracy Iran that welcomes the son of the Shah and cheers the US flag; and a disappointed, sidelined Wahabbist regime in Riyadh. Imagine this outcome, and how much better it would be for all in the region, and hope that bluster, backed up by solid results on the ground in Afghanistan, can do it all. Probably not. But we are a global hegemon; we can hardly shift our weight without disturbing things. With a positive goal in mind we stand a much better shot at achieving the win-win outcome. We might even get a pragmatic replacement for Arafat. Or Arafat, robbed of his sponsors, could begin to walk the way he talks.
posted by dhartung at 9:57 PM on February 11, 2002

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