Secretary General Kofi Annan announced Baghdad’s decision to allow weapon inspections in Iraq on Tuesday. He made a formal announcement to the U.N. stating that they would allow international weapons inspectors to return “without conditions.”
While some people are seeing this as a breakthrough in the growing conflict between the United States and Iraq, president George W. Bush urges the country to take this statement with skepticism. Why is the president doing this? The deputy White House spokesman Scott McClellan says, “This is a tactical step by Iraq in hopes of avoiding strong U.N. Security Council action.”
The presidents speech to the United Nations last Thursday promoted many other nations to demand Iraq to readmit the inspectors. The inspectors were withdrawn in December 1998. Thus, the U.N. Security Council was growing closer to taking action against Iraq. This would be devastating to any plans Iraq is trying to lay out in private.
The announcement to allow these weapons inspectors back into Iraq is purely political nonsense to try and keep peace.
As a senior State Department said, Iraq’s letter was “not a promise to disarm, not a promise to allow unfettered inspections, not a promise to disclose the state of its weapons program.”
The New York Times reported that Saddam Hussein appeared to be attempting to undercut the American campaign for strong United Nations action and a surge of international criticism of his government since Mr. Bush?s speech. Hussein is trying to take the pressure off of himself by showing an act of peace and trying to make Bush look like a war-hungry leader.
Iraq’s position change was set into motion on Saturday morning. Hussein held a closed meeting with his top advisors and ambassadors. No one knows, aside from those present, what exactly happened at this meeting. But Mr. Annan said the it took “strenuous efforts” to persuade Hussein to switch his reluctance to allow weapon inspections. Therefore, knowing Hussein’s tactics, someone must have made him see how this would hold off severe action from the U.N. Security Council.
The fact the Iraq has decided to allow U.N. weapon inspectors to come in to Iraq really means very little in the big picture of things. Bush must continue to pursue Hussein. Allowing weapons inspectors does not take away any of Hussein’s powers or much of his weapons.