March 07, 2003

"Show Their Cards" "No matter

"Show Their Cards"

"No matter what the whip count, we are calling for a vote." So says Dubya at his press conference in response to a question about whether he will table a motion even if the U.S. doesn't think it has the votes.

So he is willing to go to war without UNSC approval. Obviously, no surprise there. But it shows he has the courage of his convictions regarding forcing member states to stake their ground. Can any of Russia, China or France really agree that Saddam isn't in flagrant material breach (or in Dubya's new locution engaged in a "willfull charade")? Will they risk a spectacle of U.N. impotence of perilous scale by casting vetos? Will Chirac cast the first French anti-US UNSC veto since the Suez Crisis of 1956 in defense of a Baathist thug with the blood of over 200,000 individuals on his hands? Questions we will be getting answers to rapidly.

Fair to say too, as Instapundit points out, that Dubya didn't look like a bloodthirsty warmonger. He is still holding out for a peaceful settlement if Saddam would come clean (he said he still prays for peace in response to one question). In that vein, he suggested he had no problem with the exile option and appeared to urge Saddam to consider that exit strategy. Of course, neither true disarmament or Saddam decamping to Qatar or the like appear in the offing. So, aside from U.K. compromise motions that might drag out the U.N. endgame a couple weeks more, the war looks set to begin in the next two weeks.

BTW, after all the speculation, UBL wasn't even mentioned once--just an initial statement re: the KSM apprehension by Dubya. And there were no follow-up Qs on al-Qaeda. Aside from several questions on North Korea, the approximately 50 minute press conference was solely about Iraq.

Here's the NYT's first cut at the story.

Posted by Gregory at March 7, 2003 02:09 AM
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