Let me see if I have Hans Blix’s logic straight. He testified yesterday to the Security Council that after a dozen years of sanctions plus inspections, Iraq is as recalcitrant as ever. And after this stunning record of failure, what does he want? More time for the sanctions-inspection regime to try again!
Opening the Books
And now comes the American rebuttal. For months, critics of President Bush’s Iraq policy have demanded to know what the United States knows – that is, what it knows above and beyond what the UN inspectors have reported and what is already on the record, which is plenty. Now the Administration has overcome its instinct to be close-mouthed, and will declassify much of its evidence to release to the world. Maybe earlier would have been better- but then again, maybe not: Had the Administration released this stuff six months ago, no doubt it would now be “old news” – and opponents of action in Iraq, who are not going (really) to be moved by any evidence at all, would demand yet more new news. The secret of diplomacy, like comedy, is timing – and this timing is powerful.
Reminder: I’m looking forward to answering questions from NRO readers about the book excerpt we posted yesterday. Please send the questions to AskFrum@nationalreview.com and over the next few days I’ll devote this space to answering them. Talk to you soon!