Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector, today reported to
the U.N. Security Council that Iraq still had not accounted for
banned weapons, including huge stocks of anthrax and nerve gas.
Blix also reported that two versions of Iraq's al Samoud 2 missile
exceeded the maximum range of 150 kilometers (93 miles) established
by the Security Council.
These findings are sufficient cause to declare Iraq to be in
violation of U.N. Security Council 1441, which the Security Council
passed by a unanimous vote on November 8, 2002 to give Saddam
Hussein one "last chance" to avoid war. It is now clear that the
Iraqi dictator has squandered that last chance. But France, Russia,
and Germany appear determined to ignore Resolution 1441 and give
Saddam yet another chance.
France has proposed to expand the U.N. inspection force and give
Iraq more time to comply with its disarmament obligations. But more
inspectors will not solve the problem, nor will stretching out
inspections into an endless game of hide and seek. The simple truth
is that the inspectors cannot inspect what they cannot find. And
they are not likely to find much of Saddam's hidden arsenal because
Iraq is bigger than Texas and the Iraqis have had years of
experience in hiding prohibited arms and materials.
Nor is extending the time allotted for inspections a realistic
way of solving the problem. The inspectors so far have turned up 12
empty chemical warheads. But Iraq has failed to account for roughly
30,000 of such warheads. At this rate it would take over 500 years
for the inspectors to find those warheads.
The problem is not a lack of inspectors but a lack of Iraqi
cooperation. The inspectors cannot do their jobs unless the Iraqis
show them what needs to be inspected and destroyed. Yet it is
futile to expect that Saddam Hussein will cooperate in disarming
his own regime, because that would threaten his own survival.
France sees inspections not as a way to disarm Iraq, but as a
way to disarm the United States. But the United States cannot
afford to go along with the charade of continued inspections.
Ineffective inspections are worse than none at all, because they
give the world a false sense of security by conveying the illusion
that arms control is working in Iraq.
The endgame in Iraq is now at hand. The Bush Administration
should press the United Nations to uphold its own resolutions
against Iraq, which is in violation of Resolution 1441 and 16 other
Security Council resolutions. If the Security Council fails to do
the right thing, then Bush should lead a coalition of willing
allies to disarm Iraq by force without a new resolution.
The Clinton Administration chose to use military force in Bosnia
and Kosovo without obtaining a specific resolution from the
Security Council. The threat posed by Saddam Hussein's regime is
too dangerous to do anything less now in Iraq.
A. Phillipsis a Research Fellow in the Kathryn
and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies at The