From CNN: Transcript of Hans Blix’s report to the U.N. Security Council. CNN’s summary of the report is right here. While not a “smoking gun” (to use a very overused cliche as it relates to Iraq), Blix points out several glaring inconsistencies and troublesome areas in Iraq’s various weapons declarations. Among the inconsistencies are gaps in records concerning VX nerve gas and indirect evidence of continuing nuclear research. Furthermore, Blix criticizes Iraq for failing to be proactive in their cooperation; he states that Iraq has thus far only been reactive, merely allowing access to facilities when requested and not taking any independent action to verify their own claims of disarmament. Perhaps most interesting is Blix’s description of an Iraqi report that was originally released years ago and was then included in their official weapons declaration on 12/7/02. A key table in the document was omitted, and the pages renumbered. Perhaps this was done because of outdated information, but Blix suggests that the information in that table was unavailable elsewhere in the document.

No, none of Blix’s statements is new, and none of them supplies a basis on which to mount an armed response. Until such evidence is shared with the world, it would be foolish to send in the troops — and Bush knows it. But the report does bring up some very troubling holes in the Iraqi story, and Blix’s assessment of Iraqi cooperation with the U.N. is not encouraging. If Iraq continues with their lack of full cooperation, I doubt that the U.N. inspectors will satisfactorily account for all of the inconsistencies they find. And I have no reason to believe that Iraq will change their ways after so many years of intransigence.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is formulating a U.N. resolution to authorize the use of force against Iraq, which it will not introduce unless it can assure the support of at least nine members of the security council (including the five permanent member nations with veto powers). In order for this to happen, the U.S. will have to give the inspectors more time to appease some of our European critics. The U.S. will also have to produce more and stronger evidence that Iraq is hiding evidence of its weapons program. If, after all this has been done, we still have no allies in the U.N., I would be supportive of the U.S. acting alone against Iraq. If the U.N. security council decides to sit on its hands after being spoon-fed direct evidence of a material breach, the U.N. will lose its credibility and Bush will have no choice but to pull the trigger.

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