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Politics : PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH

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To: J_F_Shepard who wrote (645136)10/14/2004 10:01:38 PM
From: PROLIFE  Read Replies (1) of 769658
 
Duelfer Damns U.N.
With a presidential election less than a month away and the press and the Democrats eager to discredit the Bush administration, most of what we've been hearing about the final report of Charles Duelfer's Iraq Survey Group, issued yesterday, has centered on the question of whether Saddam Hussein's regime possessed stockpiles of mass-destruction weapons. The U.S. and most other world intelligence services believed it did, and this was among the justifications for Iraq's liberation last year. The absence of such stockpiles is supposed to prove that the U.S.-led coalition was wrong to liberate Iraq--that Saddam Hussein did not deserve to be toppled and George W. Bush does not deserve to be re-elected.

It won't surprise anyone to learn that we disagree. This column has long supported the liberation of Iraq, and weapons of mass destruction were in our view at most a secondary part of the case (see here and here). To our mind, the main lesson to be drawn from the ISG report is that the United Nations is ill suited to manage international crises.

Consider where things stood preliberation. As we noted in January 2003, Saddam Hussein had been technically at war with the U.S. and "the world" for more than a decade. There was never a peace agreement to end the Gulf War, only a cease-fire conditional upon Saddam Hussein's compliance with 17 U.N. resolutions. These resolutions required not only that Saddam not possess weapons of mass destruction, but also that he prove to the world that he had destroyed all such weapons programs. Resolution 1441 enumerated his other obligations:

BY JAMES TARANTO
Thursday, October 7, 2004 4:36 p.m. EDT
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