John Prados over at TomPaine.com makes an interesting argument that Team Bush will start a war sooner rather than later in order to shuck off the diplomatic restraints of the U.N. Security Council. At the same time, Hans Blix’s mixed report to the Security Council today has rallied markets as the threat of war supposedly recedes. The White House must surely be gnashing its collective teeth.
Three members of the Iraqi opposition movement showed up at Columbia University’s Political Union to make the case for war. They appealed to the hearts of the audience — a mainly sympathetic one — but unfortunately not the minds.
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.
101st Airborne and the USS Kittyhawk are en route to the Gulf. That’s will mean 20,000 more troops and Navy aircraft totaling 250.