Monday morning's report by United Nations weapons inspector Hans Blix confirms there's only one remaining reason to delay military action against Iraq: to give our military a little more time to complete its final preparations for the strike.
But to suggest that we need to give sinister Saddam more time to comply with U.N. resolutions is insulting to our intelligence and potentially dangerous to America's fighting forces. There is simply no evidence that Iraq intends to comply with the resolutions and plenty to the contrary.
Some believe that President Bush changed the rules in the middle of the game by shifting the burden to Iraq to prove it has rid itself of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of production. They are gravely mistaken. By the terms of a series of U.N. resolutions since 1991, the burden has always been on Iraq. Those who contend otherwise are either willfully ignorant or deliberately deceitful.
The language of the Nov. 8, 2002 Resolution (1441), passed unanimously by the Security Council 15-0, couldn't be clearer. We all, especially Saddam apologists, must read it. Here are some highlights for your consumption. The resolution states that Iraq:
-- has not, as required by Resolution 687 (1991), provided a full and accurate disclosure of its WMD and long-range missile programs;
-- has repeatedly obstructed U.N. inspections and ultimately ceased cooperation in 1998;
-- has refused to allow inspections between 1998 and late 2002;
-- has failed to comply with its commitments concerning terrorism;
-- remains in material breach of its obligations under relevant resolutions;
-- will be given a final opportunity to comply with its WMD disarmament obligations;
-- will be considered in further material breach by making false statements or omissions in the required declaration and other failures to comply with resolution 1441;
-- will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations;
-- is required to "cooperate immediately, unconditionally and actively."
Inspector Blix issued a strongly worded indictment Monday against Iraq to the United Nations -- so strong as doubtlessly to shock the appeasement crowd, which, so far, has considered Blix an ally. Blix said:
-- Gulf War Cease-fire Resolution 687 required cooperation by Iraq. "Iraq, unlike South Africa, has not come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament demanded of it;"
-- Resolution 687 had the twin operations of "declare and verify," but turned into "a game of hide and seek;"
-- Resolution 1441 strongly reaffirmed the demand on Iraq to cooperate immediately, unconditionally and actively;
-- Iraq has cooperated only on access, not on substance. Iraq has an obligation to declare all WMD programs and either to present items for elimination or else to provide evidence that nothing proscribed remains. It must be active; it is not enough to open doors. "Inspection is not a game of catch as catch can. Rather it is a process of verification for the purpose of creating confidence. It is not built upon the premise of trust. Rather it is designed to lead to trust."
Blix also said Iraq:
-- failed to permit U2 planes safely to perform aerial imagery and surveillance;
-- likely encouraged and initiated harassment and demonstrations against inspectors;
-- failed to account for 6,500 missing chemical warfare bombs (containing 1,000 tons of chemical agents);
-- moved and stored chemical rocket warheads into a relatively new bunker near Baghdad in the last few years, when Iraq shouldn't have had such weapons; several thousand chemical rockets are unaccounted for;
-- probably misled about converting highly deadly VX nerve gas into weapons;
-- failed to account for anthrax supplies, providing no evidence of their destruction;
-- imported banned items, including 300 rocket engines, as late as December 2002, that could be used in a missile program;
-- failed to disclose all WMD documents in its 12,000 page, Dec. 8 declaration, most of which is a reprint of earlier documents;
-- stored mustard gas precursor that was found during inspections;
-- possibly concealed information, such as a box of 3,000 pages of documents in the private home of a scientist, many relating to the enrichment of uranium.
Kofi Annan and the United Nations may choose to ignore their own resolutions and the endless recalcitrance and lies of Iraq, and France and Germany can balk, but the Bush Administration has decided that 11 plus years is enough time. It is times like these that underscore how indispensable is American sovereignty, as is a president who is committed to safeguarding it and the national interest.