Eight European countries have published an open letter of support for disarming Iraq, in support of the US. The most interesting to me of the bunch is Denmark, which to me is the country that is more conscience-driven than most others. If Denmark says that we need to hold Iraq’s feet to the fire, then perhaps we do. And after reading the stories on the weapons inspectors’ report to the UN, the Ken Pollack interview, and other things over the past few days, I’m in agreement with the people who say that the weapons inspections have failed, or have been proven to be ineffective. Or, to put it another way, have effectively demonstrated that Iraq has no intention of disarming. Of course, most of us already knew that Iraq had not disarmed and had no intention of doing so, but that fact has now been proven.
I don’t think that there’s much point in continuing the inspections. While the inspections may slow Iraq’s progress toward its goals, at some point they have to end, and at that point Iraq will ramp its weapons programs back up. Either we have to accept the fact that Iraq will continue to manufacture chemical and biological weapons and put its full effort toward joining the nuclear club, or we have to do something else to stop them.
Update: A reader from Denmark sent me an email indicating that the letter was signed by Denmark’s PM, who is part of a center-right party and was elected with the support of a right wing nationalist party, so perhaps Denmark’s endorsement doesn’t mean what it once did.