OxBlog

Saturday, February 22, 2003

# Posted 7:49 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

BLIX'S MOTIVES: A week ago, Blix was saying that the level of Saddam's cooperation with the inspectors was acceptable. Now he has told Iraq that it has to dismantle its outlawed missiles by March 1 or else.

What accounts for the change of heart? I think Blix has had just about enough of being attacked from all sides. He wants either to be left alone to finish the inspections the way he wants them done or to wash his hands of the whole matter and let the US armed forces take over.

There is, of course, the chance that either the Americans or the French have been tacitly supporting what seems like Blix's independent initiative. If the US knows that Saddam will refuse Blix's demands, then the deadline will end the diplomatic struggle at the UN. If the French know that Saddam will accept Blix's demands, then Blix's new credibility will force the US to accept an indefinite extension of the inspections.

Hold on to your seats...
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