|Cat and Mouse|
After a second day of 'surprise' snap inspections, the UN inspection team has
been racing around Iraqi in
their expensive-looking 4WDs (that's SUVs for our US readers) and dropping in on
surprised machine-shop workers. And they appear to have turned up .. nothing.
While it's tempting to blame this on the usual UN incompetence there are
more forces at work here. These are just the opening moves in a larger
game, and both sides are watching the other very closely. Let's revisit
- Observing what the Iraqis do when they have nothing to hide will make it
easier to spot when they do have something to hide.
- Saddam has until the 8th of December to come clean, and tell the world
that everything he has said before that was a justifiable lie, here are the
WMDs, and from now on we should trust him that everything he says is Allah's truth.
- Saddam will only admit to what he thinks he can get away with.
- The purpose of the inspection team isn't to find the WMDs as
quickly as possible - it's to catch the Iraqis lying about it to justify
So if the UN inspection team bumbles around like a bunch of international
public servants for the next ten days (and that shouldn't be hard), they can
fool Saddam into making the mistake of under-declaring his arsenal. Then on the
9th, the team can unexpectedly get lucky, find a big stash, and let George W
know that it's OK to start the war.
Normally such involved conspiracy theories would merely be an embarrassment,
but this is a situation in the Middle East. The whole political system is based on
weird conspiracies, so when in Baghdad, so as the Iraqis do.
But for the next ten days, it's UN business as usual.