Sep 23, 2002
At the beginning, Bush said that the U.S. has to go to war against Saddam Hussein because Hussein won't allow inspections. This proves, according to Bush, that Iraq has or intends to have weapons of mass destruction.
But then Hussein said he would allow the inspections to begin again. The details are to be worked out with UNMOVIC (the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission) in meetings at the end of September.
Suddenly Bush proclaimed the issue was "disarmament," not the inspections themselves. Now Hussein has to be disarmed of all chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction.
Of course, the previous week, Bush had admitted that Iraq does not have nuclear weapons. But if Hussein would acquire certain materials, the country "would be able to build a nuclear weapon within a year." Well, maybe, but then where is Bush's argument that Iraq already has weapons of mass destruction.
Bush's Secretary of State Colin Powell had stated after the Gulf War that all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction had been destroyed. But now that Hussein has again agreed to inspections, Powell threatens that the U.S. will stop the inspections unless it gets a UN resolution it likes on this issue.
Former UNSCOM chief weapons inspector Scott Ridder testified to Congress in 1998 that Iraq had been disarmed to 90 or 95%, including in surprise inspections. The small amount left, said Ritter in his testimony, was incomplete paper work.
In a country where there is not enough electricity generated to purify the water or run the hospitals, how has Iraq been able to build sophisticated weapons in the last four years? Ritter himself said they could not have done it in the last four years. And who is Ritter ? He was a weapons expert, a former Marine officer who took part in the Gulf War as an intelligence officer.
When faced with such statements coming from people who support his administration, what can Bush do? He simply says, "We have to change the regime." In other words, Bush is upping the ante once again. Is he bluffing? Or is he going to take the country into a war because he has to play his bluff up to the end in this high stakes poker game? Maybe, since he won't be called on to cover his bets like the people on both sides who will die to pay the price for his gamble.