Iraq: A Guest Rant
by Dan Mason
(with a Foreign Policy Primer by Tom and Ray Magliozzi)
Foreign Policy Primer
This whole Iraqi mess is finally starting to flare our foreign policy hemorrhoids.
You have to admit it: Saddam has it all figured out. He's realized that, no matter what we decide to do, it's going to be six months until we take any kind of meaningful action. During that time, he can play any one of 50 other cards he's got up his sleeve.
Everyone seems to be eager for us to run into Iraq and nuke Saddam back to the Stone Age...and keep going. We'd love to share in this patriotic zeal, but we don't think this is such a great idea.
So, what's the Magliozzi School of Diplomacy solution? We need to wait him out. Like, until that Mary Kay franchise comes through and he gives up on this idea of world domination.
In the meantime, we'd like to present a guest rant, by a Mr. Dan Mason.
Tom and Ray
Iraq: A Guest Rant
by Dan Mason
I know this is not really your long suit (do you guys have a long suit?), but I thought you might be able to help me with this stuff.
The way I understand it, a United Nations teams of inspectors was supposed to go into Iraq and look around to make sure old Saddam Hussein wasn't hiding a bunch of "weapons of mass destruction" in his control-tops.
But then Saddam said he didn't like the American weapons inspectors and kicked them out of the country.
If I've got this right, Mr. Hussein now wants to dictate who the inspectors will be, how many will be on the team, and what rules they will have to follow.
Oh, let me guess--he'd like there to be three inspectors: Pauly Shore and any two friends he'd like to bring. And the rules say they have to close their eyes, except when the Iraqi troops say it's okay to peek.
Look, what the hell is going on here?
I could be wrong, and maybe I was tuned to a really unusual miniseries, but didn't I watch the United Nations kick Saddam's butt in a war a few years ago?
Correct me if I'm out of line here, but when a pile of Iraqi guys throw their hands up and run away, shrieking, "Allah, spare us! Aieeeeee!" that's a signal that things are not going real well for them.
Now, I may have dozed through a few history classes, but the way I remember it is the guy who loses has to do what the guy who wins says. It's sort of to make up for everybody missing Monday Night Football during Operation Desert Storm and the $12 billion the U.S. spent on tanks and missiles and stuff.
Apparently the Iraqi prime minister said they don't need to be inspected because they've already "destroyed their weapons of mass destruction."
Oh, well, then, why didn't they just tell us? Hell, we were worried that their psychopathic, tyrannical, autocratic dictator might be stockpiling missiles and biological weapons to rain terror on his enemies, but if you say you recently flushed all that stuff down the toilet, well, then, hey--that's good enough for us.
And even though the Iraqis have destroyed all their weapons, they still don't want Americans doing the inspection. They want inspectors from other UN countries.
Now, that makes sense. Saddam wants Chinese and French inspectors because what, they're less likely than biased Americans to mistake a case of canned tuna for a radar-guided intercontinental missile?
Iraqi guide (walking into a warehouse): So, you see, you beer-swilling infidels, there is nothing here to inspect.
French inspector: Oui, oui, let's go back to hotel. It is hot and stuffy here and you are boorish and large and wear unpleasant clothes.
American inspector Billy Bob: Not so fast there, Frenchie. Listen, you fast-talking weasel, ol' Billy Bob would like a little look-see. Sure, it looks like a regular warehouse, but there could be weapons of mass destruction in here somewhere.
Iraqi: Go ahead, you Yankee dog. You will find nothing.
Billy Bob: Now, these giant wooden crates marked "Harmless Farm Implements." What's in there?
Iraqi: Some really bad Lada tractors we got from the Russians. Believe me, you unclean running sore, we can't give them away.
Frenchman: I am convinced, mon ami. Let's return to the hotel and eat grilled animal glands.
Billy Bob: I see, and these tall things that look strangely like missiles?
Iraqi: Ah, yes, those. They are, as you can see, you blind Western scum, giant-sized Crayola crayon models for our annual Praise to Santa Saddam Children's Parade.
French inspector: Oui, oui. Allons-nous. We have already seen these. Let's go to dinner. I am bored and require an aperitif.
For now the Americans are hanging tough while the rest of the world hems and haws. What I like best is Canada's response. Prime Minister Chretien said that "Canada doesn't want to get involved in any show of force with Iraq for the time being."
Whoa, now there's a shocker. What would we do anyway? Bungee-cord a grenade launcher to Lloyd Axworthy's bum and dangle him over Baghdad under a hot-air balloon?
Chretien reminded reporters that "we don't have any aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf region."
Maybe that's because "we" don't have any aircraft carriers, period. "We" might have a couple of boats "we" can use, if Ed at the marina has finished tuning up those outboards.
So, there it is. I guess we'll have to wait and see what Iraq's next move is.