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Saturday, February 01, 2003
It is off to war we go
"Saddam Hussein is not disarming. He is a danger to the world. He must disarm. And that's why I have constantly said and the Prime Minister has constantly said this issue will come to a head in a matter of weeks, not months," President George W. Bush said yesterday during a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
This exchange with an unidentified reporter is interesting:
Q Thank you, sir. First, quickly to the Prime Minister, did you ask President Bush to secure a second U.N. resolution and to give the inspectors more time? And, President Bush, the U.N. says -- the U.N. inspectors say Saddam is not complying, you say Saddam is not complying, why wait a matter of weeks? What's -- why hold up on the decision?Limiting reporters to two questions is not mentioned in the text itself so I will have to assume that ground rule appears elsewhere, and I will of course ignore Bush's rude behavoir of answering a question that was not first addressed to him.. Still it is interesting to note that neither Bush nor Blair answered why they are so willing to drag this process out. As I have pointed out here, for all the talk of Iraq being an immediate and dangerous threat, the Bush-Blair Axis of War Without End doesn't appear to be in a hurry to deal with Saddam Hussein. It appears that, despite their rhetoric, they do not regard him as a threat in at least the near future.
I wonder how much Bush and Blair have privately discussed what they are going to do after Iraq. The Bush Administration is set on further military actions and Blair is set on being Bush's lapdog -he had a similar relationship with Bill Clinton, FWIW-, so they have to have further plans but they also have to be worried about pulling them off. If going after Iraq is this much work, the potential difficulties of getting support for war on a country with a leader who hasn't been demonzed for over a decade are huge.