Yes, it is a provocative title, and I hope to show you why it is justified. I am really starting to think that the French are not merely stupid or willfully blind, but actual accomplices of Saddam Hussein. Let’s start with several basic premises:
1.) Saddam Hussein is evil, and Iraq must not be allowed to possess or develop WMD.
2.) Iraq lost the Gulf War, and some of the conditions for surrender included weapons inspections.
3.) There are successful models for weapons inspections and appropriate disarmament.
4.) UN Resolution 1441 was the absolute last chance, and it was up to Saddam to prove he is disarming, and not for us to search and find hidden WMD.
If you accept those premises, you are a resident of the Planet Earth. If not, the Democratic Underground can be found here. Today, Colin Powell has outlined, in excrutiating detail, how Iraq is not complying with the current resolution regarding disarmament.
The French response? Here it is, in all its glory:
Given the choice between military intervention and an inspections regime that is inadequate because of a failure to operate on Iraq’s part, we must choose the decisive reinforcement of the means of inspection. This is today what France is proposing.”
France has been the leading opponent of using military force in Iraq now and has suggested it might veto a resolution that could lead to war.
Mr. de Villepin said the council should work with the chief inspectors to find ways to strengthen their mission.
“Let us double, let us triple the number of inspectors. Let us open more regional offices. Let us go further than this. Could we not, for example, put up, set up, a specialized body to keep under surveillance the sites and areas that have already been inspected? Let us very significantly reinforce the capacity for monitoring and collecting information in Iraq,” he said.
Get that? The problem is not that Hussein is not complying. We just don’t have enough inspectors, and they are not coordinated enough. You guys remember how Hans Blix stated the other day that the main problem was that Iraq was handing over the contraband materials too quickly for the inspectors to verify, right?
The French simply do not get it. If Saddam is complying, why do we need to set up surveillance for sights that have already been inspected? If we can trust him and the current inspections, why keep watching those sights? Why ramp up the inspections?
Simple answer- because he is not complying, he still possesses the weapons, and he is still attempting to develop new ones.
Are the French really this stupid?
*** Update ***
Mark Steyn gets it:
A few days ago, I said this thing was getting like Monica: by the time you’re in Year Two, no smoking gun is ever quite smoking enough. It’s perfectly obvious from Colin Powell’s presentation what’s going on. Ten minutes before the flatfoots show up, the bootleg liquor is whisked away, replaced by teacups and the gaming table gets dropped through the trapdoor and replaced by an ornamental fountain. If you think Saddam Hussein is a lovable rogue