Germany has confirmed it would work with France to introduce a new Security Council resolution aimed at disarming Iraq without war by strengthening the inspections regime and backing it up with United Nations peacekeepers. While Russia expressed cautious support for the Franco-German initiative, the United States, predictably, threw a hissy fit. Meanwhile, Belgium and possibly France will block the United States’ request to NATO to shore up Turkey’s defenses when war breaks out with Iraq.
While chief United Nations arms inspectors Hans Blix and Mohammed El Baradei journeyed to Baghdad to for “very substantial” talks, the United states pulled out all but its most senior diplomats from the Persian Gulf region. At the same time, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Saturday that France and Germany’s attempts to give inspectors more time were actually increasing the possibility of war rather than averting it.
The dossier on Iraq published by the British Prime Minister’s office — which was lauded by Colin Powell yesterday at the United Nations — appears to have been plagiarized from a small Middle Eastern studies Journal.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell attempted to lay out the case for war against Iraq, using tape recordings, photographs and diagrams in an attempt to persuade a reluctant U.N. Security Council that war is the only answer to deal with Saddam Hussein’s defiance of UNSCR 1441. China, Russia and France, however, remained skeptical that war was the answer.
Sorry for the delay. I was slammed by a deadline and couldn’t come up for air. Thus, I missed the State of the Union. Please see George Paine’s entry on Warblogging for a good analysis of the speech. In other news, Stratfor is reporting that the French and Syrian presidents are planning to coordinate their …