Friday, October 25, 2002

Stephen Den Beste has everything you need about the UN wrangling.
Iraq owes France and Russia billions of dollars each. If Saddam is deposed, the chance of those debts being paid is nil. Both nations also have made various sweetheart deals for future trade with Iraq which would be worth even more, and those deals will become scrap paper if the US invades.

Therefore the only way France and Russia can hope to be paid is to keep Saddam in power (which Saddam knows, which is why he's made all those deals), and the only way Saddam can stay in power is if his development programs for WMDs are not eradicated, so that he doesn't face coup. From their point of view, the ideal outcome is partially-effective weapons inspections, where the programs continue in Iraq (maintaining Saddam's political support) but they're found and destroyed at a rate sufficient to prevent them from actually succeeding in giving Saddam sufficient military ability to carry out his ambition to form a greater Arabia. What they want is stalemate, a continuation of the status quo. They want Saddam in power without WMDs and want that to continue forever.
They're no more enthused about Saddam getting nukes than anyone else is, but the only way they can win is to dance close to the fire without the fire being put out.

There’s more. This is Required Reading, and There Will Be A Test.

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