The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1441 requiring Saddam Hussein to fully and thoroughly declare his weapons. Saddam failed to do so. Even the French admitted Saddam failed to comply. Furthermore, the resolution said that failure to comply triggers "serious consequences." What do you suppose "serious consequences" means? That the United Nations would padlock one of his presidential palaces, or let the air out of one of his Mercedes Benzes? No, "serious consequences" meant war, and all who signed the resolution knew it. Many members of the Security Council, however, assumed Hussein rational enough to comply, therefore avoiding war and the loss of his power. The president, post-Sept. 11, simply could not allow a dictator, who lost the first Persian Gulf war, to defy numerous U.N. resolutions requiring him to declare and destroy his weapons of mass destruction.
Hussein, with ample time to hide, move or destroy his weapons program, nevertheless interfered with the second round of inspectors. Secretary Colin Powell, in his address to the United Nations, described telephone intercepts between Iraqi officials in which the Iraqis discussed schemes to thwart the inspectors.
Mansoor Ijaz, in an article in the National Review, furthermore outlines the ties between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda: "The Iraqis were intimately involved in helping al-Qaeda develop chemical-weapons capabilities -- and this continues to have consequences. In early June, 10 letters laced with toxic powders were found in Belgium addressed to -- among other targets -- Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and the American, Saudi, and British embassies. . . . Documents found in the rubble of Iraq’s Mukhabarat intelligence headquarters by reporters for London’s Daily Telegraph show that Iraqi military and intelligence officials sought out al-Qaeda leaders much earlier than previously thought, and met with (Osama) bin Laden on at least two occasions. In addition to previously reported meetings between Farouk Hijazi, a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, and bin Laden in Sudan in 1994, the Mukhabarat documents show that on February 19, 1998, about six months prior to the attacks in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, Iraqi intelligence officials made plans to bring a senior bin Laden aide to Baghdad from Khartoum. . . . Even the most diehard opponent of the war can no longer deny the physical evidence of the ties that bound Saddam to al-Qaeda and other terrorists, the scientific linkages that made them lethal, and the rationale for having to put an end to it all."
Finally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, too, faced charges of deliberately misleading the public. A Parliamentary committee investigating the allegations reported, "It is too soon to tell whether the government’s assertions on Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons will be borne out." The report questioned some of the intelligence on which Blair relied, but the committee found no evidence of "politically inspired meddling."
Expect a similar U.S. congressional investigation regarding Bush, and expect the same results.