Colin Powell Did Good Job At Un

*Colin Powell did a good job at the UN Security Council in making the case that Iraq has tried to thwart the weapons inspectors and is actively not cooperating with Resolution 1441. The Bush administration has all along known that this would be the case, and crafted 1441 as a trap for Saddam, into which they knew he would fall. The difference between the US and most other Security Council members is that the US views this non-cooperation as a casus belli or justification for war, whereas most other countries do not. The US government decided to launch this war shortly after September 11 (some administration figures had wanted to do so for many years before), and the war is going to happen. I suspect the Security Council in the end will go along with it reluctantly or at least not formally object.

I was sorry to see Powell try to link Saddam to al-Qaida. That is just propaganda. Terrorists are shadowy and pop up various places. That Abu Musab Zarqawi managed to get treated at a Baghdad hospital is no proof of active cooperation between the Baath and Usama Bin Laden (which anyway makes no sense since they hate each other). The US case is weakened rather than strengthened in this disregard for all evidence to the contrary on this issue.

*Fighting broke out in Kardway about 80 miles north of Qandahar between the forces of Gul Agha Shirzai and remnants of the Taliban, one of whom was wounded and captured. The rebels just had machine guns and the government expects to mop up the opposition shortly. A fuel truck exploded in Kabul suspiciously near a UN fuel supply depot. It is not known if this was terrorism or just an accident.

*Baghdad residents are storing water containers in their yards in expectation that US bombing will cut off water supplies in a few weeks.

*Former UN weapons inspector and Gulf War veteran Scott Ritter said in Tokyo that he expects the air war to begin soon and to go on until the end of February, with a land invasion at the beginning of March. He said he expects the war to be long and bloody.

*A Kuwaiti soldier accused of opening fire on two American GIs in December is claiming to be mentally ill and says he has nothing against Americans. Most of the al-Qaida members picked up lately appear to be mentally ill or marginal personalities. Richard Reid is an example and Moussaoui is another. One begins to wonder if Atta and Jarrah, German-trained engineers, were the best al-Qaida ever recruited, and whether what is left is really that formidable.

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