Fool me once

I thought the strongest point in the Bush war speech was the exegesis of Security Council Resolution 1441: it demanded that SH disarm or face consequences, he obviously hasn’t disarmed, so here come the consequences.

One problem, though, as noted by Josh Marshall:

That’s not what our Ambassador to the UN said when the Security Council passed 1441, because a resolution authorizing us to make our own judgment about Iraqi compliance and act on it wasn’t something we could have gotten through the Security Council: “There’s no ‘automaticity’ and this is a two-stage process, and in that regard we have met the principal concerns that have been expressed for the resolution,” U.S. Ambassador John D. Negroponte said. “Whatever violation there is, or is judged to exist, will be dealt with in the council, and the council will have an opportunity to consider the matter before any other action is taken.”

[As Josh doesn’t note, that also seems to dispose of the argument that the resolutions from 1991 are still in effect and authorize our action; had that been the case, then Negroponte’s statement wouldn’t have been correct.]

Now it would be possible for us to merely say, “Hah! Fooled ya!” That is, we could argue that the resolution meant then what we’re saying it means now, but that our Ambassador willfully deceived the other members of the Security Council into voting for 1441. But is that where we really want to be?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com