Alex's Outlook

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

I'm making a prediction: the US goes to war within two weeks of January 27, when Hans Blix and his Keystone Kops crowd of inspectors presents everything they've found to the UN Security Council. If Bush allows Blix to work beyond Jan. 27, he will be surrendering to the obvious futility of the inspections regime. Blix insists that his Kops are doing a good job, but that's impossible. Saddam's government tracks them and bugs their buildings and cars. When the inspectors interview Iraqi weapons scientists, the Iraqis have at least one official present. Who are Blix, Annan, the European Union and the rest of the anti-war, pro-inspections crowd kidding? Giving into Blix's incompetence on the 27th will mean months of procrastinating (the inspectors are saying they need 10 months of inspections). And after inspections, Saddam will have more excuses and deceptions to stall for even more time. The 27th will define the future of Bush's Iraq policy, and whichever road he takes there will be no turning back.

As Bush rattles his saber at Iraq, it seems increasingly unlikely that either Bush or the European peaceniks are willing to give way at the UN. Hans Blix, Kofi Annan and the EU are all explicitly anti-war with Iraq. Yet Bush declared Iraq as an Axis of Evil member for its WMD pursuit, terror funding and oppressor regime. Going into the 2004 election without having toppled a single Axis of Evil nation is stupid policy and stupid politics.
Bush also wants to end American reliance on Saudi oil by getting a chunk of Iraq's (without resorting to Democrats' pie-in-the-sky alternative fuels/energy rationing program). Once Bush has a steady stream of oil he can turn his guns on Saudi Arabia, which funds a lot more terrorism than Iraq does but will be a lot weaker too once it commands a smaller share of American oil.
I still don't see how the Germans and French will veto an Iraqi war. The only reason Bush kept 73,000 troops in Germany after Gerhard Schroeder's anti-US reelection was as a bribe to keep Germany from vetoing an Iraq war. If Germany vetoes the US, Germany will have to pay a lot more for defense in the future. French presidents are professional buffoons, but I still think Chirac is serious. Polls all over Europe show enormous opposition to an Iraq war, and Europe's politicians would be fools to ignore that. But one thing is certain: with or without the endorsement of the United Nations, Bush will go to war against Iraq. He is NOT going to run from Iraq with his 150,000-man army and his tail between his legs.

In light of all this and the rhetoric of the Bush Administration, Bush has evidently decided upon war.


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