I’m not sure why Blix’s latest comments haven’t gotten more play. I think that when Blix says “We feel that Iraq must do more than they have done so far in order to make this a credible avenue,” that it behooves us to take note. He is in fact agreeing at least in part with the US claims that Iraq has not demonstrated that they have disarmed.
This is, in my book, exceedingly good news — we want the various parties interested in the sanctions to agree on the current state of affairs. If it’s generally accepted that Iraq is ignoring UN sanctions, the matter becomes much clearer, and you have common ground on which to base any further discussion. It’s hard to have a rational argument about what happens next when you can’t even agree if the milk is spilt.
Mind you, there is still discussion to be had subsequent. C.f. John Le Carre’s op-ed, in which he explicitly says he wants Saddam gone even though he disagrees with Bush’s methods. The dissension on method but not on goals is perhaps overly complicated; certainly Lileks missed it. (Hint: when the man says he would love to see Saddam’s downfall, that’s probably an indication that he doesn’t like Saddam’s policies, including the ecological diaster’s Saddam’s caused.)
This does sort of make people who predicted Blix would never find fault with Iraq look silly. That’s the risk of partisan punditry, though.