Larry Elder

Per Ahlmark, Sweden's former deputy prime minister, wrote in The Wall Street Journal, "Despite (Blix's) obvious shortcomings as IAEA chief before the Gulf War, after the war he was asked to head the U.N. inspections team, this time in tandem with (Swedish diplomat Rolf) Ekeus. And, like the previous period before 1991, Iraqi officials again assured the U.N. that they were hiding no weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Blix again believed them. He even reproached the most creative and energetic of his inspectors, David Kay, who did not trust Saddam's henchmen. Mr. Blix said that he should trust them.

"The crucial discoveries in the middle and end of 1991 became possible when Mr. Kay initiated raids into suspected buildings without telling the Iraqis in advance. Hans Blix disliked this method. But Mr. Kay went on efficiently, was supported by Mr. Ekeus, and found large amounts of documents and weapons within a year after the war. He proved that Iraq had huge quantities of chemical and biological weapons. It later became visible beyond doubt that, when the Gulf War broke out, Saddam had been only six to 18 months from his first atomic device."

Why didn't President Clinton object to Blix?

According to Ahlmark, "Indeed, in 1999, Mr. Ekeus made the shortlist for Mr. Blix's current position but was vetoed by Russia, then France. As the former chief U.N. weapons inspector Richard Butler writes in his book, 'Saddam Defiant,' the Russians were taking marching orders directly from Baghdad. In Mr. Butler's book, Ambassador Sergei Lavrov is quoted as saying that Russia 'blocked the Ekeus nomination because Iraq did not want him!' He goes on to say that all appointments were to be treated the same way -- approval from Iraq was mandatory. When Hans Blix's candidacy was discussed, no veto arrived from Baghdad.

"With the go ahead from Saddam, Russia and France threw their support behind Mr. Blix, and he was soon approved by the Security Council. The Clinton administration seems to have been too paralyzed by the Monica Lewinsky scandal to put up a fight. Thus, you could say that Hans Blix was handpicked by the very regime he was to inspect and disarm (emphasis added)."

Why does much of the world refuse to accept that Saddam continues to develop weapons of mass destruction, that such "material breach" necessitates serious consequences?

Don't bother asking Blix.

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit