Saturday's lead editorial in the Washington Post strongly decries Friday's proceedings at the UN. Here's a great quote:
- Britain and the United States tried again to call attention to the path laid out by the council in a unanimous vote three months ago: Failure by Iraq "at any time" to comply was defined as a "material breach" mandating the council's consideration of "serious consequences" -- which all understood to mean military intervention. Finally, France, Germany and Russia argued -- to the applause of the gallery -- that the terms of Resolution 1441 simply be disregarded and that inspections continue despite Iraq's refusal to cooperate.
I just don't understand the French and Germans on this. But maybe to expect nation-states to act according to principle in such an important series of events as those upon us now is naive. Regardless, the editorial nails it on the head with this statement:
- the United States cannot again join the Security Council in backing down from a confrontation with the Iraqi dictator, as it did repeatedly during the 1990s, also under pressure from France and Russia. Saddam Hussein was offered a "final opportunity"; no member of the council contends that he accepted it. Even if others lose their nerve, the United States must ensure that this time the dictator suffers the "serious consequences" that are due.