February 9, 2003


Decide if you're relevant, Bush tells U.N. (United Press International, 2/9/2003)
President George W. Bush said Sunday the United Nations was facing a "moment of truth" over the Iraq issue and the world body had to decide if it would remain relevant.

"It is clear that not only is Saddam Hussein deceiving, it is clear he's not disarming," Bush told congressional Republicans at a policy conference in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. "And so you'll see us over the next short period of time working with friends and allies and the United Nations to bring that body along."

The United States maintains that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein cannot be trusted and must be disarmed with force if necessary.

Saddam "wants the world to think that hide-and-seek is a game that we should play," Bush said Sunday. "And it's over."

Washington says if the United Nations doesn't act against Iraq, then it will do so unilaterally.

Putin almost wholly agrees with French, German Iraq proposals (Agence France-Presse, 09-Feb-2003)
Russia is "almost completely in agreement" with proposals by France and Germany to disarm Iraq by peaceful means, President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday.

As Secretary Rumsfeld has been trying to tell the Europeans, their efforts to hamstring the US via the UN are about to have a paradoxical effect, rather than slow us they're going to destroy the credibility (such as it is) of the one international institution that Americans even recognize as having some slight legitimacy. That's a fine thing, but not what Old Europe meant to do. Posted by Orrin Judd at February 9, 2003 4:45 PM

I also do not trust the French news agency to report accurately the intentions of Putin. This may be a gigantic vat of wishful thinking on its part -- an opportunity to keep France on the stage -- but if not, I do have to wonder how serious Putin is about putting down Chechen terrorism.

Posted by: Melissa at February 9, 2003 8:45 PM

I got a sick feeling on Saturday a.m. when I heard of the French-German proposal. Many in the blogsphere (Den Beste, others) feel that France has outfoxed the US and that other countries (like Russia) will latch onto the French-German plan to prevent war. Nevermind there is no practical way this plan will work, the US will look very bad by ignoring the plan and going forward, if the US accepts the plan it means more months of wasted time on useless inspections.

Others, such as OJ, believe this is a last ditch ploy that will backfire on France/Germany. Let's hope so - otherwise this thing, which looked pretty straightforward after Powell's UN speech, looks very messy for the US

Posted by: AWW at February 9, 2003 11:30 PM

We'll look bad? When the folks are whooping it up in the streets of Baghdad? Folks like den Beste have been wrong about George W. Bush every single step of the way since 9-11.

Posted by: oj at February 9, 2003 11:48 PM

And if Saddam
decides to not play their game?

Posted by: Uncle Bill at February 10, 2003 7:27 AM

All the French-German plan means is that the US will go forward, very ostentatiously, without French or German support; and NATO will be seriously damaged. I suspect the US would retaliate, after the war, by releasing information that will hurt Chirac and Schroeder politically . . .

Posted by: pj at February 10, 2003 10:13 AM