Several readers have gently told

Several readers have gently told me that I need not be alarmed about the U.N. resolution. They assure me that Presdent Bush ultimately will do what is necessary in Iraq. Some suggest that he is actually “playing” the U.N. I agree that, far more likely than not, President Bush will do what needs to be done regardless of the outcome of the “process” the U.N. has established. What bothers me is that we have already given France, Russia, et al. more say about how things will be than we should have. Left to our own devices, I don’t believe we’d be going through the inspections drill again. So we may spend the next few months advancing the U.N.’s agenda, not our own. I find this disturbing, even if everything comes out right in the end. I’ve also been concerned that, at the end of the process, our actions may well be less popular at home than if we had not undertaken the latest inspection regime. If Hans Blix can’t find a clear violation, or pretends that he can’t, the case for action may seem less compelling to some of our citizens than it does now. I recognize, however, that there are scenarios under which doing the inspection dance could make our subsequent action more popular. I’m not astute enough to figure out how this aspect will play out. So, I guess my real objection is to the principle of the thing.

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