Sometimes It's Interesting to Look Back

Be Careful What You
Ask, by Jim Freeman

(February, 2003, One month before invasion)

Yevgenyprimakov_1 Be careful what you ask for, ‘cause you might just get it.
An old adage.

The Bush administration has based its Iraq policy strictly
in terms of regime change, weapons of mass destruction potential and al Qaeda
support
. Now, it appears that those misnamed chickens may well come home to
roost.

Although it’s gotten almost no US news coverage, the word
out of Russia is that a Russian envoy, former Prime
Minister Yevgeny Primakov, made a quick trip to Saddam Hussein in late February
to insist he cooperate fully with UN arms inspectors.

If the Russian reports are to be
believed, Saddam not only agreed unconditionally, but offered further to scrap
his missile program and invite UN peacekeepers into Iraq to back up their
weapons inspectors
. An international police force would stay on in Iraq until
the work is fully complete.

Vladimirputin_1Whoa, there goes the WMD
requirement.

But in a further concession,
Saddam has reportedly asked Vladimir Putin to tell the Americans and Brits that
he is ready to invite both British and American oil interests back into Iraq to
do business. This, after throwing them out some thirty years ago. Yeah? When?
Immediately, if the US calls off invasion plans.

Exxon and all those other big guys
get to go back without a war? Without having to rebuild a destroyed or
sabotaged oil infrastructure? Clever
guy, old Saddam. There goes another leg of purported support for war; the greed
factor satisfied (at least in part) without an invasion.

So that leaves regime change and
al Qaeda support, but the administration has never been able to make a credible
Iraqi link to al Qaeda.

Vladimirvoloshin_1 Vladimir Voloshin, a Russian
administrative official close to Putin, flew to Washington on February 24th
to deliver the details to president Bush. If the deal is straightforward and
enforceable, it pretty much leaves Bush with no leg left to stand on but regime
change.

That’s a pretty wobbly leg, given
that attacking another sovereign nation solely because you don’t care for its
leader, is unprecedented.

At least unprecedented in America.

At least until now.
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Read more of my musings on the war in Iraq at my personal web site.

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