Some of you will have supposed that the idea of sending weapons inspectors to Iraq was to discover if there were any weapons there. Silly you. The Washington Post knows better:
… the inspectors’ mission is not to ferret out the weapons and production facilities that Saddam Hussein fails to declare. Should that become their mission, they will surely fail, just as the last inspection team failed to fully disarm an unwilling regime.
The fact that no convincing evidence of this has ever been produced in all the blizzard of propaganda this year is wholly irrelevant:
“Any country on the face of the earth with an active intelligence program knows that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction,” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last week.
So, if the Iraqis admit they have weapons, we must invade them to be sure of disarming them. If they deny they have such weapons, we must invade them to disarm them. Either way, we are going to war on the evidence provided by the CIA, and, presumably, by Mossad; nothing the inspectors find or fail to find can stand in the way of this:
Further activity by the inspectors will be useful only if it is to confirm a voluntary and complete disclosure of Iraq’s arsenal and oversee its destruction. The Bush administration must not allow the inspectors to be converted, once again, into detectives.
The right course, in the event of a clearly false declaration, will be for the administration to immediately lay before the Security Council evidence of the Iraqi arsenal.
But why can’t they lay this evidence before the rest of us? What is it about the Syrian delegation to the Security Council that makes them better judges of whether my country should go to war than I am?
Only the US has weapons of mass duplication.