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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
It's always amusing when historians attempt to reconstruct the… 
4th-Oct-2010 12:47 pm
It's always amusing when historians attempt to reconstruct the present. In this case, they're attempting to say that the US and Britain didn't take the question of Saddam's weapons and possible diplomatic initiatives to disarmament seriously.

The answer, of course, is that they didn't: the question of disarmament and diplomatic initiatives was not undertaken for the purpose of preventing the war, but for the purpose of further authorizing it. The war itself had well understood other grounds for its waging, as well as a Congressional Resolution in 1998 which set American policy. Once Saddam showed that being defeated did not mean that he was going to comply with the cease-fire in place, is it all that surprising that the United States following its own rules, and policies in place, got set to take him out? When there had been various moves on his part to deploy WMDs against his own population, is it surprising that we would consider that as a minor factor in our own calculations?

That we weren't listening to the UN seriously is because whenever we do, we regret it.
4th-Oct-2010 07:55 pm (UTC)
Can't say I disagree. I spent the nineties watching Saddam climb out of the deep hole that had been dug for him after Kuwait and broadening his space of manoeuvre until only British and American armed force stood between him and full freedom of action. Paradoxically, I think that it was Blair's obsession with a second UN resolution that made things worse: he was never going to obtain it, and the fit of last-minute negotiations that caused only strengthened the opponents of war. The US should have gone to war without trying to find other supporters - they had the legal right to.
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