No Confusion on Iraq
Jude Wanniski
October 23, 2002


The confusion was in my own mind, I`m afraid. The NYT version simply left off the preamble to the official U.S. version, which seems deliberately designed to provoke Iraq into its rejection. The chief dealbreaker, I think, would be the provisions relating to inspectors being allowed to "conduct interviews inside or outside of Iraq, may facilitate the travel of those interviewed and family members outside of Iraq, and that such interviews shall occur without the presence of observers from the Iraqi government." The language does give the inspectors authority to do this at their "discretion," but from the first they heard about the idea of having Iraqi families taken out of the country, the Iraqis have insisted this was a non-starter. In a New York Times interview Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz asked if the families would be taken away from their homes by force. Baghdad suspects the intent is not to locate weapons, but to take out key people and their families who would be able to testify against Saddam in the court of public opinion. 

If the draft comes to a vote, it would be rejected by the Security Council. But then the administration has the authority it needs from Congress to start the invasion when it wishes. Of course, the UN already has authority under UNSCR #1284 to send the inspection teams in without a new resolution. There are still open opportunities for ways around war.