Dick Cheney Was Right

WSJ.com – Dick Cheney Was Right
The whole idea of inspectors turns the notion of disarmament on its head by giving the impression we are responsible for dissarming Saddam, instead of vice-versa. It’s also mission impossible because there’s no way to know where the weapons are hidden.

The best thing to do now is go ahead and attack. France will veto any new resolution so going to the Security Council is a waste of time. We should also consider disbanding that entire institution, or at least kicking them out of New York, considering how inneffectual they are at enforcing their own resolutions.

Mr. Blix’s evidence for declaring that the inspections climate has “improved” in a month’s time was almost a parody of compliance with Resolution 1441: The number of Iraqi minders for inspectors has recently changed to one-to-one from five-to-one. Iraq has begun to consult South Africa for insight on what disarmament would entail. The Iraqis have decided to allow a couple of scientists to be interviewed by inspectors, albeit in downtown Baghdad and not outside of Iraq where they and their families would be safe from bloody retribution. And, of course, after 12 years Iraq has now finally passed a law banning weapons of mass destruction. These were his best points.

It isn’t Mr. Blix’s fault that these are the only details of cooperation he could provide. But the fact that the French, Russians and others hailed them as serious shows how unserious the Security Council is about enforcing Resolution 1441. The French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, says all of this proves that inspections need more time. And the unusual U.N. cheers Friday for Mr. de Villepin from the delegates should have been embarrassing, if a body that puts Libya in charge of human rights were still capable of being embarrassed.

The conclusion Saddam will reach from those cheers is that he is now winning the battle inside the U.N. He will assume he can dribble out more such signs of “progress” before Mr. Blix’s next report, playing the U.N. for even more time and hoping in the meantime that antiwar protests grow in size, that Mr. Blair’s government falls and that the weather turns hot enough to become miserable and dangerous for U.S. troops.

The French want the U.N. to wait until March 14 for at least one more Blix report, and are vowing to veto any second resolution offered by the U.S. and Britain before that date. So be it. It is impossible to persuade the unpersuadable, and if there is a veto Mr. Bush will have every right to do what he said he would do all along and enforce 1441 with whatever nations are willing to help (and there are many).

With the U.N. abdicating its role, the U.S. is the only force on the planet capable of disarming the world’s terror-supporting states. Because of that superpower status, the U.S. is also now a unique target, something that many Europeans don’t seem to appreciate. Europe may think it has left its own religious and nationalist wars behind (the Balkans excepted), but too much of the rest of the world still lives by Hobbesian rules. Someone has to prevent the emergence of nuclear- and biological-armed chaos.

The best response to this weekend’s antiwar protests is for the world to see Iraqis welcoming American and British troops as liberators. And the only useful “inspections” will be the ones conducted by those same troops as they search for plans and stockpiles once Saddam is deposed. The U.S. will have to live up to the U.N.’s Iraq promises, even if the U.N. itself refuses to.

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