Reports the Associated Press,

The U.N. chief weapons inspectors emerged from key talks with Iraq officials Sunday, saying they saw signs of a “change of heart” from Baghdad over disarmament demands and that further U.N. inspections were preferable to a quick U.S.-led military strike.

In two days of meetings with Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, Iraq officials handed over documents on anthrax, VX nerve gas and missile development….

Both Blix and ElBaradei avoided saying they were convinced Iraq now was ready to cooperate fully with the inspection program. Blix quipped that the “proof is in the pudding….”

And Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose country holds veto powers on the council–reiterated his strong opposition to military action against Baghdad.

“We are convinced that efforts for a peaceful resolution of the situation regarding Iraq should be persistently continued,” Putin told journalists after talks with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Berlin.

Putin also rejected U.S. goals of a “regime change” in Iraq. “The task of reckoning with Saddam Hussein does not stand before us,” Putin said in an interview with France-3 television, part of which was aired on Russian television Sunday. “There is nothing in the U.N. Charter that would allow the U.N. Security Council to make a decision to change the political regime of one country or another — whether we like that regime or not.”
To such mentalities, a threat isn’t real unless it has already been carried out, and effects can be obtained without addressing the causes. It’s as if the police were arguing about apprehending a known criminal because “there wasn’t enough evidence” that he would use his cache of automatic weapons–with the Russian position being tantamount to saying that at the utmost we might disarm the criminal, but on no account arrest him.

The agent’s criminal nature is all the evidence that is needed to establish a threat and to warrant action. For those who say, “What evidence do you have that Saddam will use these weapons or pass them on to terrorism?” The response is: Such evidence is unnecessary and irrelevant. We had enough evidence long ago to prove he posed a threat. The only thing delay does is encourage this kind of irresponsible temporizing.

Voice of Capitalism

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