As expected, Iraq has replied to the United Nations’ ultimatum by agreeing to the return of weapons inspectors. The full text of the Iraqi letter to the Secretary General is available here. The letter is long, rambling, abusive and incoherent. It begins like this:
“You may recall the huge clamor fabricated by the President of the United States administration, in the biggest and most wicked slander against Iraq, supported in malicious intent, and spearheaded in word and malevolence, by his lackey Tony Blair…” and goes on in similar style for a number of pages.
The two portions of the letter containing the commitment to permit the return of the inspectors are gothic in tone and hedged with apparent qualifiers:
“Dealing with the inspectors, the government of Iraq will also take into consideration their way of conduct, the intentions of those who are ill-intentioned among them and their improper approach in showing respect to the people’s national dignity, their independence and security, and their country’s security, independence and sovereignty. We are eager to see them perform their duties in accordance with the international law as soon as possible. If they do so, professionally, and lawfully, without any premeditated intentions, the liar’s lies will be exposed to public opinion and the declared objective of the Security Council will be achieved.”
And this: “We hereby inform you that we will deal with resolution 1441, despite its bad contents, if it is to be implemented according to the premeditated evil of the parties of ill-intent, the important thing in this is trying to spare our people from harm. But we will not forget, nor should others do, that safeguarding our people’s dignity, security, independence, and protecting our country, its sovereignty and sublime values, is as sacred a duty in our leadership’s and government’s agenda. Therefore, and as we said in the foresaid agreement and press statement, we are prepared to receive the inspectors, so that they can carry out their duties, and make sure that Iraq has not developed weapons of mass destruction during their absence since 1998.”
The overall impression created by Iraq’s letter is that the inmates are firmly in control of the asylum. Now begins a dance of obfuscation which, despite its deadly seriousness, will frequently be characterized by low comedy.
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