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Rebuilding Iraq


Should UN inspectors return to Iraq?

The Bush administration, eager to prove that Iraq is hiding weapons of mass destruction, is engaged in a heated internal debate over whether to seek a return of the United Nations weapons inspection team to help expose the regime's suspected arsenal of chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons.

In addition to providing expertise, a UN delegation would help validate any findings before a highly suspicious international community. But opponents in the administration distrust UN oversight after sparring repeatedly with chief inspector Hans Blix.

One official who has participated in administration deliberations said yesterday that Bush officials ''are desperate'' to confirm the charges that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction - the administration's primary justification for war - but undecided on whether to give the UN an equal role in assessing Iraqi weapons.

No evidence has been found thus far, but most of the sites on the Defense Department's watchlist are still in Iraqi control. What do you think?
Share your thoughts

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Page 1

We already have weapon inspectors in Iraq. They're called the US Marines!!! And they'll do far better than Blitzer and gang. Seize and destroy!!!

tom, cambridge

Letting the inspectors back in to finish their job would be a great idea. If Saddam really does have weapons of mass destruction, why hasn't he used them yet? This process would add much needed legitimacy to the motives of the US unilateral invasion. If such weapons are found to exist by the UN, I think a lot of current world opposition might soften. If however, no weapons are found to exist, W and the rest of the war mongers are in deep doo doo and rightfully so.

Lou, Hingham

This question is premature. Wait until we find something to inspect, and until things have stabilized over there, then ask this dumb question again. Iraq's death squads and brutality toward its own people is WMD enough to justify the US invasion.

drew, Boston

I dont believe for one second that they really want the UN inspectors back in there. I personally would love to see them go back, though I doubt they would like to be there at this moment. I never though the WMB party line had any credability, confirmation of that would be nice. Any talk of an internal disagreement amongst Bush's staff regarding this issue is just talk. They would be loathe to see any inspection.

Brian, Boston

Trying to return inspectors to the war area would be a distraction. The entire process of obstruction by those who wanted more time to inspect cost days and weeks and has apparently caused the conflict to extend into the hotest weather of summer. We don't need inspectiors, we need to support the war effort and stop enabling Sadam to delay what must be done.

Jack, Atlanta,, Georgia

I think it's critical for the UN to be involved in the search and verification of any potential Bio/Chem weapons. This was used as the principal argument by the US to invade Iraq and the absence of such weapons would deal a devastating blow to US credibility. I think the absence of "objective" inspectors at this stage of the war ( since nothing has been found yet ) would cast doubt on the credibility of any future discovery of such weapons.

NJ, Boston

While I fully agree that inspectors should be in Iraq, it's obvious Bush is only considering it now because he's feeling international pressure (when has that ever affected his thinking?) to produce the "smoking gun". The fact remains that inspectors should never have been forced out by the US in the first place and a unilateral war should never have been waged. But isn't it a bit late for our fearless leader to be finally realizing, "Hey, the world doesn't trust me. We might actually need the UN." My guess is he'll stick to his policy of arrogance and continue to wield the Bush sneer at anyone pushing for international involvement. After all, "we don't need the UN's backing." Wrong again, George.

Patrick, Bar Harbor, Maine

I thin they never should have left. Set them, or a rotating UN presence, permanently in Iraq. Forever.

Sara, Tewksbury

Yes. If he has them we should find them before he uses them on the military and Iraqi civilians. If the war extends into the summer, they'll die from the heat, fighting in 120 degrees, wearing chemsuits. Another reason is that it might patch up our relations with the allies, validating the original reason for the war, to find WMD. If they still don't find any, then the other reason, to liberate the Iraqis, should be carried out in a different way, not bombing them first. That doesn't make much sense. Finding them in a nonviolent way would solve the problem without more carnage and validate our reasons. If they insist Iraq has them, they should look until the find them, which should be easier now that the place is occupied. Continued bombing without finding them only makes us look like warmongers.

Ann, Boston

You have to be kidding me? Those Inspector Clouseau weapons inspectors couldn't find sand in Iraq much less and WMD's. The UN has really been exposed as a modern day League of Nations, unwilling to stop a threat even after it asserts itself. After the First Gulf War, the UN gave Hussein 15 days to declare all weapons of mass destruction. The UN then accepted it when he claimed to not have a nuclear program, stating they could no evidence of such a program (just like Mohammed ElBaradei). In 1994 (a mere 1000 days after the end of the deadline to declare his programs), a defector provided the UN with irrefutable info that led to the discovery of a massive nuclear weapons program. The UN proceeded to do nothing about it (except for a lot of bluster to look tough) for the next 8 years. When finally called on it, they pushed to give Hussein "one last chance". And when this last chance passed, they did not condemn Saddam, but instead attacked the US for a rush to war. Nowe they want back in? Sorry fellas. You had your chance and you blew it. You tied your fate to Hussein's and now you will soon share his as a sad and irrelevant footnote in history.

Sean, Brockton, MA

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