The Road to War

Thunder Bay, Ontario - Thursday, November 14, 2002 - by: Richard P. Neumann




Make no mistake. Saddam Hussein's acceptance of the United Nations Resolution calling for unfettered access for its weapons inspectors was entirely expected. The position of the Iraqi Government has been consistent since its defeat in the first Gulf War, publicly accept any and all UN Resolutions while decrying them as an unjust intrusion into its sovereign affairs. What follows is equally consistent, a diplomatic cat and mouse game between the regime and the weapons inspectors meant to delay, confuse and confound both the experts and the UN in the hopes of creating the schism necessary to prevent a concerted effort at enforcement.




Saddam will make his final, and fateful miscalculation. Saddam must now provide a list to the UN containing all information regarding its weapons programs. There is an abundance of evidence indicating the dictator has been rebuilding his chemical weapons capabilities, and equally compelling evidence of an active nuclear weapons program. Significant elements of this program were in fact detected in the last round of UN inspections which forced the return of capacitors whose sole purpose was to produce weapons grade uranium.




None of these programs will appear on Saddam's list for the UN, for they would provide all the proof needed for immediate invasion. With list in hand, the inspectors will begin their work in Iraq, and be denied access to sites due to diplomatic oversights, unbriefed local officials, scientists with sudden bouts of illness, or some other invented excuse. Previously, this would be cause for significant debate and delay at the UN. The end result would be the entire issue fading from the public conscience while attention shifted to some other more urgent matter (Rwanda, Yugoslavia).



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Saddam's mistake is to believe that somehow, this display will repeat itself. In this he is wrong. In previous instances the Americans have been unwilling to move without the blessing of the UN as they did not wish to see the UN marginalized by the precedent. The international body still served a useful purpose in those world trouble spots that Americans had no desire to become deeply involved.



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After 9-11, the prevailing attitude of many in the US administration is exactly the opposite. They are looking for an excuse to marginalize the UN precisely because they want the focus to remain squarely on the war against terror, and not sidetracked by the many other conflicts raging in today's world. The leaders who make up the powerful Security Council know this, and will not provide the Americans the excuse they need. They will therefore authorize military action, and quickly, preserving UN influence for use another day, against a more direct threat to world peace.




Make no mistake. There will be a war, and it will come in the spring because of UN agreement, Canada will play a largely symbolic role, again stretching the limit of what our underfunded and grossly neglected Armed Forces can accomplish. Once the regime change in Iraq has been affected and Saddam himself eliminated, American attention will turn to the next culprit in its axis of evil, North Korea, a far more dangerous and unpredictable foe.

Richard Neumann

  Iraq will allow weapons inspectors to return, November 14, 2002, CBC


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