Maybe "evil" words work after all...

February 11, 2002

Iraq Calls Bush's Bluff on Weapons Scrutiny and indicates that they're willing to let UN weapons inspection resume.

This either means that Saddam perceives the war-mongering from the Bush Administration as a legitimate threat that can be reduced by allowing the UN weapons inspectors to return, or that the programs have either achieved their goals or been sufficiently well-hidden. The cynic in me believes the second option is more likely.

Economic sanctions have been the cornerstone of a policy of containment pursued by three consecutive administrations. Sanctions are essential to Bush's plan to destabilize and eventually overthrow Saddam Hussein.

The resumption of serious weapons inspections would, by their very nature, open the door for the eventual lifting of the sanctions, which in turn would signal an end of containment.

Sanctions without weapons inspections has not led to effective containment. Rather, it has impoverished the Iraqi people and left Saddam with the opportunity to divert oil for food money to developing weapons of mass destruction. Sanctions have made the Iraqi people feel that they are the enemy of the US and support Saddam's despotic regime, even though it has done much to oppress the Iraqi people. Lifting sanctions might allow Iraqis enough resources to mount a coup or revolution. Right now, the sanctions in Iraq are as effective as the ones the US has used against Cuba since the 1960s.

Posted by Andrew Raff at February 11, 2002 05:47 PM