by Chris Ames
This is an open invitation to readers and contributors.
In the light of Gordon Brown indicating (as in this piece yesterday) that he intends to tell the Inquiry that it was “Saddam Husseinâs failure to comply with international demands on disclosure that persuaded him that action was necessary”, I think it will be necessary to analyse this position on the basis of clear evidence.
At the time of the war, most of the US and UK governments’ statements about alleged Iraqi non co-operation with the requirements of resolution 1441 were based on claims that it was not disclosing illegal weapons that it secretly possessed or that it was concealing information. See for example, Tony Blair’s speech to the House of Commons on 18 March 2003.
The reports of UNMOVIC were less critical, but similarly expressed dissatisfaction that Iraq was not being as open as it hoped. After the war, it became clear that Iraq had neither the weapons nor the documentation to prove their unilateral destruction.
This, admittedly, is a brief and simplistic pen-portrait of the situation. I have to admit that these issues are by no means my strong point. So, as I say, this is an open invitation to readers and contributors to provide information as to the extent to which Iraq complied or failed to comply with UNSCR 1441. I would particularly welcome contributions from readers and contributors who believe that there was significant non-compliance and can point to it. My intention would be to make the issue the subject of a new question page.