Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 5, 2003
WAR: Ted Sez
Ted Kennedy says "inspections are working." Gee, I feel much better now.
Let's think about what this means. If you buy the idea that disarming Saddam is enough (which I don't -- I'm for regime change anyway), presumably you mean removing all his WMD and disarming him of such weapons permanently. Let's look at just two problems with this:
1. Most of the weapons involved can be moved around pretty easily . . . hell, if the inspectors are so good that a handful of them can spot any weapon the size of a toaster oven in a country the size of California, we should hire them to replace the whole damn DEA. I mean, just tons of cocaine comes into this country every year, and we still don't have enough cops, DEA agents, etc. to find it all. And we run this $^!$#^! country. In the real world, as opposed to the short-term world of a single news cycle, I can't see how you can realistically certify permanent compliance with less than a permanent occupation of Iraq by an army of inspectors.
Two examples. First, ask Ted K. what would happen if Roe v Wade was overturned - I gar-on-tee he'd launch into tales of back-alley abortions to come by the thousands. I'm sorry, a functioning abortion clinic is a heck of a lot harder to hide than a couple dozen cannisters of mustard gas that are being saved up for a rainy day. Ted tells us, we could never stop all the abortionists (I'm actually skeptical of this, but let's accept it for the sake of argument). Yet, this tiny band of inspectors will find all the weapons?
Second, did Ted K. support the Brady Bill, and does he support 'ballistic fingerprinting'? Why do we need a bunch of bureaucratic requirements to track guns when we could just hire five hundred gun inspectors to locate all the guns in the United States, now and forever?
You see my point. In domestic law enforcement, we don't pretend that a quick look by a tiny coterie of inspectors is a guarantee that we can find everything we're looking for. Why should we buy the same argument for a foreign country?
2. So, we let's say disarm Saddam. Then we leave, with him still in power, sanctions lifted, his germ/chem/nuke scientists still in the country . . . does anyone really think he would never try to get the same weapons again???