Friday, October 08, 2004


Bush's report on Iraqi WMD appears to be the definitive statement on the issue. (It is by the way Bush's report - he commissioned the independent enquiry).

This report will have both something and nothing for all sides of the debate; it won't be changing many minds.

For the anti-war side it has been shown there were no WMD and that sanctions had severely curtailed Saddam's military strength. So the status quo was working. He was contained.

For the pro-war side it has been shown that Saddam was biding his time until sanctions were lifted and would have then recommenced his WMD ambitions. The eventual showdown with Saddam would merely have been postponed until he did indeed possess WMD.

So both sides should consider what other options could have been considered.

UPDATE: from The Scotsman -
SADDAM HUSSEIN believed he could avoid the Iraq war with a bribery strategy targeting Jacques Chirac, the President of France, according to devastating documents released last night.
Saddam was convinced that the UN sanctions - which stopped him acquiring weapons - were on the brink of collapse and he bankrolled several foreign activists who were campaigning for their abolition. He personally approved every one.

To keep America at bay, he focusing on Russia, France and China - three of the five UN Security Council members with the power to veto war. Politicians, journalists and diplomats were all given lavish gifts and oil-for-food vouchers.

Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister, told the ISG that the "primary motive for French co-operation" was to secure lucrative oil deals when UN sanctions were lifted. Total, the French oil giant, had been promised exploration rights.
That was the nature of the "status quo" the anti-war side were prepared to see continue.


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