By now, we've all heard about Sean Penn's fatuous $135,000 ad in the New York Times, and you've probably read several dissections of its contents. This is the ultimate rebuttal. It's long, so pack a lunch and a change of clothes, because you won't want to miss any of it. A sample:
"It's a sunny afternoon in Northern California," the weatherman interrupted. "Puffy white clouds resting upon a beautiful blue sky." We sat in the car eating FRENCH fries in the parking lot of our local burger joint. President George W. Bush had just rebuffed the United Nations' push to re-introduce weapons inspection teams into an Iraq where even a deservedly humiliated Saddam Hussein had expressed willingness to accept them.
In October of 2002 a "deservedly humiliated" Saddan Hussein won 100% of his country's vote. If you're gullible enough to believe that Hussein was honestly willing to accept weapons inspectors then you're gullible enough to believe those election results.
At any rate, a quick check of the weapons inspections timeline shows exactly what prompted Hussein's "willingness" to accept weapons inspectors. The timeline starts on February 28, 1991 the end of the Gulf War, when Iraq agreed to be "subject to UN sanctions and arms inspections." We fart around and fart around for almost 12 years, during which time Iraq has done nothing but delay, obsctruct, and lie to UN weapons inspectors, and eventually and up at September 18, 2002. On that day "President Bush [addressed] the UN General Assembly and warns Iraq that military action will be unavoidable if it does not comply with UN resolutions on disarmament." Guess what happened next, Sean? "UN Secretary General Kofi Annan says he has received a letter from the Iraqi Government offering to allow the unconditional return of weapons inspectors." And guess how long it took to happen?
Twelve years of diplomatic [pussyfoooting] and UN weakness produced nothing. President Bush makes his speech to the UN, and four days later Iraq is all of a suddden ready to play nice with inspectors.
So, Sean, what exactly happened in October? "Hans Blix and Iraq agree practical arrangements for the return of weapons inspectors. US Secretary of State Colin Powell rejects it and says the US wants a tough new UN Security Council resolution. " So, far from Bush "rebuffing" UN efforts to re-introduce weapons inspectors, the US was rebuffing UN efforts to weaken US efforts to get weapons inspectors into Iraq. If it was not for Bush's bellicose talk and firm stand UN inspectors would never have gotten back into Iraq in the first place.