Just Nathan

A musical offering, in parts
February 14, 2003
Blix reports again

Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei

Hans Blix reported on Iraq to the United Nations today. The response was a noticeable shift away from the US/UK position. The balance between the fifteen members of the Security Council seems to leave only Spain supporting Britain and the USA. The French, German and Russian alliance has gained ground. Tomorrow, millions will protest in "stop the war" demonstrations around the world.

The last round of UN-sponsored resolutions and weapons inspections fizzled out in failure. It was clear that the Iraqis had ABC weapons programmes, and partial decommissioning was carried out. Yet many weapons are claimed to have been destroyed since 1998, with no evidence to prove this.

So, on the one hand, we have the Americans and British - determined to press ahead, with the world against them, unwilling to prove, even to their people, that a war is necessary. They endeavour to be Churchillian in their resolve, but confuse us with misleading evidence. On the other, we have "old Europe" an insult for which the French, Germans and Russians will be forever proud. They demand that inspections be given more time. Within this faction is a further, more doveish group (the "Chamberlains"), who will not countenance war at all. I suspect their motives (financial ties and antizionism) as much as I suspect the Blair/Bush grandstanding.

We are living in a dangerous, uncertain time. From today's perspective it seems as though the "Allies" will be forced to wait for two weeks, until Blix reports again. Tomorrow's protests may finally cut through to Blair, even if Bush remains deaf. But can democratic leaders survive a war that is rooted in suspicion and spin? Can soldiers face death without their country behind them? Can Blair and Bush, or the weapons inspectors, provide evidence incontrovertible enough to sway the French, Russinas and Chinese?

Their alternative is to proceed to war regardless. But the New Moon is on 7th March.

I shudder at the thought of wasted blood.

Posted by nathan at February 14, 2003 10:35 PM

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