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  • The problem with this conversation is you state, as fact "weapons inspections aren't working." That skews the entire conversation. The weapons inspections are working according to Blix and El Baradei who are actually running the inspections. They aren't working perfectly, but they are working, and they've made considerable progress in 11 weeks. They've collected so much data haven't processed all of it yet.

    And according to Scott Ritter, who was the chief inspector for UNSCOM from 1991-1998 inspections were working then as well. He certainly complained bitterly about lack of cooperation, but estimated that 90-95% of Iraq's weapons, and weapon making potential had been destoryed.

    So given considerable international support for the idea that weapons inspections are working, and given the support of the people doing the work, the burden, it would seen, is on those calling for a policy change to justify it.

    But I'll suggest an alternative anyway. Not one I've spent a lot of time working on, but at least as well thought out as our current invasion plans.

    How about lifting the deadly sanctions the US has been keeping in place for the last 12 years, they haven't worked, and sanctions sure haven't worked with Cuba.

    And then flood the area with UN peacekeepers, and UN relief workers. And make a big deal of the fact that none of those peacekeepers are US spies (which was one of Iraq's provable complaints during the first round of inspections), or US soliders. And stop sending Saddam the message that we only want peace over his dead body (as Bush the First, and Clinton both did)

    Iraq was in many ways a nice, modern 1st world country in the 80s when they were our favorite Middle Eastern tool. I think given the chance to regain that quality of life, and given some real hope, you would have a real, popular uprising (perhaps violent, perhaps not) of the Shiite majority, and the significant Kurd minority against the Sunni population who currently run the country. Just a thought.
    • The weapons inspections are working according to Blix and El Baradei who are actually running the inspections.

      That is false. Inspections require unconditional and complete cooperation. This is absolutely clear from the UN resolutions. Please read them. If there is not complete cooperation, inspections are definitionally not working. There is no grey area. It is a delightful fancy, but it is not reality.

      Nation after nation recognizes that inspections are not working. France and Germany are basicall