Hussein’s agreement may not ensure peace

(U-WIRE) COLUMBUS, Ohio – On Wednesday, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announced his decision to cooperate with a U.N. resolution on arms inspections, but Ohio State University experts do not agree that compliance will end all possibilities of war.
Hussein’s acceptance came after Iraq’s parliament unanimously rejected the resolution on Tuesday. The United Nations had given Iraq until today to make its decision on Resolution 1441, which would allow weapons inspectors to return to Iraq.
Mary Ellen O’Connell, professor of law, said Hussein’s compliance to work with the U.N. is just an elimination of the first trigger that could have resulted in war.
O’Connell said three possible triggers still remain. One is Iraq’s list of weapons not being complete within the mandated 30 days. A second is the possible obstruction of weapons inspectors, and lastly, is if inspectors report weapons of mass destruction, she said.
“Even if Saddam Hussein fully complies with inspectors – if he does not obstruct inspectors, the U.S. stated they still claim the right to invade,” O’Connell said.
She disagrees with these actions.
“For the moment this is a positive step that Hussein agrees to have the weapons inspectors come in,” O’Connell said. “It should be getting full attention from the international community.”
Todd Stewart, director of the Program for International and Homeland Security at OSU, agreed that war may remain a possibility given Hussein’s past behavior.
“(Saddam) has proven in the past that he has not lived up to previous resolutions. He has interfered with previous inspection efforts,” Stewart said.
He said these inspections are needed because it has been proven Iraq does have weapons of chemical and biological warfare.
“Hussein has demonstrated his willingness to use these kinds of weapons. He has been attempting to get a nuclear weapon. With that power, he could blackmail or coerce his neighboring countries. These are high stakes,” Stewart said. “Can we afford to allow that regime to acquire a nuclear weapon?”
Another important factor is that the U.N. resolution was passed unanimously.
“The world community voted unanimously, spoken with one voice,” Stewart said.
“That was a good outcome. It sends a message that (Hussein) has no friends left,” O’Connell said.
Both Stewart and O’Connell agree that it is important for students to stay informed.
“Everybody should make up their own minds. It is most important that students keep in mind that the security is in the hands of the citizens,” said Stewart.
One student paying close attention to developments in Iraq is James Connors, a sophomore in aerospace engineering and an enlisted member of the Navy. He said though this is good news for now, he believes Saddam is doing what he has done in the past.
“I think Iraq and Saddam realize this is their last chance. But this still may be a cover-up and he is just giving into small demands,” Connors said.
He said conflicts like this technically push him one step closer to getting back into action.
“I am used to the college life,” Connors said. “I do hope they stop this before it escalates into something major.”