Well, so it appears that France and the US have come to something they agree on, and it’s really hard to discern at this point how it’s much different from the resolution that Bush and Co. had been lobbying for over the last several weeks, in which Saddam’s non-compliance with inspectors would free the US to act alone if we wish. The changes in wording that appear to have mollified France and Russia really aren’t too important, and I suspect that they are symbolic, a way for France to save face once it realized that it wasn’t going to be able to deter the US merely with stern looks and criticisms .

According to French diplomats, the United States agreed to change wording in a key provision that would declare Iraq in “material breach” of its U.N. obligations . The change addresses French and Russian concerns that the original wording could be used as a hidden trigger for an attack on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

As I understand it, the altering of this “material breach” language merely safegaurds against the immediate trigger for an attack by the UN against Saddam, in which presumably many nations besides the US and Britain would be expected to contribute, as it went in the first Gulf War. Now, without a “material breach,” all it seems to mean is that the US would be free to act by itself, along with the smattering of allies who have already joined the coalition freely, such as Britain, Australia, Qatar, etc .

This is really what everyone had expected from the beginning anyway.

Indeed, an attack that drew considerably from other UN nations as in Gulf War I would actually be detrimental to the US. The only real good that would come of it would be the shouldering of the some of the financial cost, but in terms of actual military aid on the battlefield, assembling a large UN coalition at this point, IMHO, would be a hinderance to the US’ war plans, since the mobilization of those countries (who for the last year have been working under the assumption that there would be no war in Iraq while Bush’s team has been working the logistics of the matter for more than 12 months now) would only serve to slow down the operation to the point that it would run into the spring and summer months, which would make things considerably more difficult .

I’ve said before that France et al would wrangle some kind of “concession” out of the Americans that really wasn’t a concession at all, just to preserve the veneer of them remaining an important diplomatic force in the world, and I think that’s what’s happened here.

Once the inspectors become convinced that Saddam isn’t being completely forthright with them (and that should happen very quickly, since the first places they ought to visit are those mysterious “palaces,” at which point Saddam will obstruct their access), they will report back to the UN, during which time France and Russia and China and most of the other SC members will take immediate action, instantly launching into a long, pointless debate about what to do next, and after only a few weeks of back-and-forth, will decisively conclude that what the UN must do is talk some more.

The US will of course gladly participate in this all-too-useful and never-tedious discussion, all the while quietly moving troops and equipment into position. They will be saying “nice doggie” to the UN only as long as it takes them to get their rock poised and ready. Then one day, when the French ambassador is suggesting that Iraq’s lawlessless calls for another round of talks, Bush will get up to the podium and announce that 15 minutes earlier, US and British planes started pounding Saddam’s military and command facilities, and that the ground forces were waiting for the order to cross into Iraq and deliver a whole world of pain.

That’s just my opinion, folks, I could be wrong.

last update : 26-5-2018

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