The US is now floating a compromise resolution in the UN, which would not mandate military action if inspections fail. It would leave the door open for an invasion, but it wouldn’t explicitly link the two.
This comes after strong criticism from most of the world in open UN debate. You’d expect Middle Eastern countries to be edgy about the whole thing, but even Australia recommended against linking military action to failed inspections. I should perhaps be more confident in the system.
The news becomes more interesting to me in that some right wing pundits had predicted disaster arising from anything short of Bush’s original resolution. At this point, it looks like the original resolution won’t happen. So what happens if there’s no disaster?
By the same token, left-wing pundits who called for Bush to follow the UN’s guidance on this need to accept it if this path leads to war. And it might. It probably will, and it probably should: while I’m still suspicious that we’re distracting ourselves from Al Qaeda by attacking Iraq, the UN isn’t at war with Al Qaeda. The UN does have an ongoing problem with Iraq’s refusal to abide by UN resolutions. If the US is willing to sacrifice its own interests to help the UN out, well, I can’t really argue that the UN should decline our gracious assistance.
Hopefully we’ll remember to deal with that nagging Osama bin Laden problem at some point.