In light of the UN Security Council’s unanimous ‘yea’ vote on Resolution 1441, I assume that all of the people who have been criticizing the Bush administration for defying the will of the “rest of the world,” will now cease that course of action and proclaim support for George W. Bush. After all isn’t giving Iraq yet another UN resolution to defy better then holding them accountable for the sixteen they already broke? Must be since working through the UN is the war opponent’s preferred course of action. So now what do we have, sixteen broken agreements with Saddam Hussein and a seventeenth that says, ‘Iraq, if you don’t comply unconditionally with the weapons inspection regime, why…. Dammit! …we’re going to call another meeting!’ Then they’ll really be in trouble!
Certainly, diplomacy has its place. Talking is definitely better than going to war, provided that such conversation is between two reasonable states with a genuine desire to avoid conflict. That has not been the case insofar as the Ba-athist regime of Saddam Hussein is concerned. Like Hitler before him, Hussein is interested in negotiating only so long as it serves to throw his adversaries off balance, thereby allowing him to prolong his power. By giving him a new resolution, the Security Council is effectively saying that any previous resolutions passed concerning Iraq are meaningless. This should not be the message sent by a body proclaiming that it has the world’s security interests at heart.
While it is unfortunate, but politically understandable, that the Bush administration spent so much time on resolution drafts just to change the word ‘and’ to ‘or’ and the word ‘ensure’ to ‘secure,’ so as to appease the French and guarantee their support on the Security Council, the Bush administration correctly asserted that this resolution does not prevent any nation from acting in the interest of its own self defense. This sends the correct message to Hussein, ‘Screw around at your own peril.’ In any event the US military build-up in the region should continue. It was a belief by Iraq that Bush was serious about invading that forced Hussein’s acquiescence to UN demands. Now is the time to increase the pressure if for no other reason than because that is the only real way to avoid war. Another meeting will only produce more hot air and leave the world less secure.
Scott Wacholtz is a junior majoring in political science and computer science.