THE GREATEST THREAT: Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and the Crisis of Global Security.THE GREATEST THREAT: Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction Weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, but exclude the means of transporting or , and the Crisis of Global Security by Richard Butler ''Richard Butler may refer to:
THERE HAVE BEEN NO WEAPONS inspectors in Iraq since December 1998. If that statement doesn't scare the crap out of you, it should. Although most of Saddam Hussein's arsenal of mass destruction has been accounted for and destroyed, he's had 18 months to rebuild it. The full extent of his biological weapons program remains a mystery, and there is evidence that the Iraqi dictator is hoarding supplies of the nerve gas nerve gas, any of several poison gases intended for military use, e.g., tabun, sarin, soman, and VX. Nerve gases were first developed by Germany during World War II but were not used at that time. VX--a substance so toxic that a single warhead of it could kill up to one million people. The United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. and its Gulf War allies spent $61 billion to drive Saddam from Kuwait and box him in with UN Security Council Resolutions. Maybe it's time It's Time was a successful political campaign run by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under Gough Whitlam at the 1972 election in Australia. Campaigning on the perceived need for change after 23 years of conservative (Liberal Party of Australia) government, Labor put forward a to ask for a refund.
Whenever a monumental foreign policy screw-up occurs, there's an inevitable rush to "investigate the truth," assign blame, and offer up a sacrificial lamb A sacrificial lamb is a lamb (or metaphorical parallel) killed or discounted in some way (as in a sacrifice) in order to further some other cause. In typical modern usage, it is a metaphorical reference for a person who has no chance of surviving the challenge ahead, but is placed . In the case of Iraq, one lamb-of-choice has been Richard Buffer, the Australian diplomat who in 1997 took over from Rolf Ekeus as head of the now-defunct United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM UNSCOM United Nations Special Commission ) tasked with disarming Iraq. In his book Endgame Endgame
blind and chair-bound, Hamm learns that nearly everybody has died; his own parents are dying in separate trash cans. [Anglo-Fr. Drama: Beckett Endgame in Weiss, 143]
See : Death , Scott Ritter--the chief inspector of UNSCOM who resigned in August 1998--portrays his former boss as a Clinton administration puppet, declaring that "Butler appeared to have forgotten that he was a servant of the Security Council, not the United States." With the smell of Butler's blood in the water, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan joined the feeding frenzy. Although Annan did not personally criticize his former colleague, the Secretary-General's inner circle of advisers anonymously leaked unflattering stories to the press that characterized Butler as a vulgar roughneck who had allowed UNSCOM to get out of control.
It was only a matter of time before Butler weighed in with his side of the story. His book, The Greatest Threat, chronicles the decline and fall of UNSCOM during his tenure as executive chairman. Readers expecting an angry, tell-all memoir will be disappointed. This book is not "Richard Butler Responds to His Critics." Instead, he prefers to let the facts (as he saw them) speak for themselves and offers a dispassionate dis·pas·sion·ate
Devoid of or unaffected by passion, emotion, or bias. See Synonyms at fair1.
dis·pas analysis of how the United Nations undermined the efforts of its own weapons inspectors.
Butler devotes fewer than 10 pages to addressing the most serious charges leveled against him. Among the most prominent of those allegations was Scott Ritter's claim that the CIA CIA: see Central Intelligence Agency.
(1) (Confidentiality Integrity Authentication) The three important concerns with regards to information security. Encryption is used to provide confidentiality (privacy, secrecy). had infiltrated UNSCOM and that the United States had used evidence gathered by the weapons inspectors to select bombing targets in Baghdad. While Butler doesn't hide behind excuses along the lines of Al Gore's "no controlling legal authority," he comes perilously close. "Is it possible that some UNSCOM data, without my knowledge, made its way into the vast hopper of information used in U.S. military targeting?" he asks. "Maybe," he responds. Having offered that mother-of-all caveats, Buffer goes on to explain that the United States, which possesses spy satellites that can practically read license plates from 50 miles in orbit, likely had little use for a small-shop operation such as UNSCOM. "If anything," he notes, "we at UNSCOM coveted cov·et
v. cov·et·ed, cov·et·ing, cov·ets
1. To feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another's). See Synonyms at envy.
2. To wish for longingly. See Synonyms at desire. the highly advanced intelligence data the Americans owned." Buffer, in fact, blames Ritter rit·ter
n. pl. ritter
[German, from Middle High German riter, from Middle Dutch ridder, from r for handing the Iraqis a propaganda tool that they used to great effect in their ongoing diplomatic offensive to reign in UNSCOM.
As for Ritter's other allegation--that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger unduly influenced UNSCOM on the scope and timing of weapons inspections--Butler offers a categorical denial. "Senior U.S. officials never crossed the clear line between saying what they thought would be best, on the one hand, and seeking to give me directions, on the other," he notes. Indeed, far more significant than what Buffer says about U.S. policy makers is what he doesn't say about them. Clinton administration officials are peripheral actors throughout his narrative, which seems odd in light of the central role they played in orchestrating international policy toward Iraq. It's hard not to get the impression that Butler is going out of his way to show there was no U.S. influence.
With the United States consigned to the background, Buffer focuses most of his narrative on the Byzantine politics at the UN. He recounts how three permanent members of the Security Council-France, China, and Russia--were becoming increasingly impatient with UNSCOM's "failure" to wrap up its work and clear the way for the lifting of sanctions. The Russians, as far as Buffer was concerned, had become Iraq's de facto [Latin, In fact.] In fact, in deed, actually.
This phrase is used to characterize an officer, a government, a past action, or a state of affairs that must be accepted for all practical purposes, but is illegal or illegitimate. surrogate on the Security Council--driven by a desire to recoup the $8 billion that Iraq still owed them for military equipment. (Also, Butler learned by way of "reliable intelligence reports," that then-Russian Foreign Minister Yevegeny Primakov was receiving personal payoffs from the Iraqi regime.)
Butler, however, reserves some of his harshest criticism for Kofi Annan, whom he portrays as a Neville Chamberlainesque figure, often more intent on defusing potential military conflict with Iraq than on verifying the destruction of Saddam Hussein's arsenal. With painstaking (and sometimes painful) attention to detail, Butler parses the words of one UN document after another, revealing how UNSCOM's authority was gradually whittled away. Moreover, Butler came to realize that Annan's inner circle of advisers had grown increasingly distrustful dis·trust·ful
Feeling or showing doubt.
dis·trust of UNSCOM, since it didn't conform to proper UN culture. "Simply put, they couldn't bear the unusual--and essential--degree of independence we enjoyed."
Butler himself became the trigger man for terminating UNSCOM. His December 1998 report detailing Saddam's continued intransigence in·tran·si·gent also in·tran·si·geant
Refusing to moderate a position, especially an extreme position; uncompromising.
[French intransigeant, from Spanish intransigente : led to the U.S.-led bombing of Iraq There have been several bombings of Iraq:
As Butler warns, these commissioners "would not be technical experts but rather diplomats appointed by governments ... in short, political commissars." Meanwhile, Saddam still won't allow UN inspectors back into Iraq (he was apparently unmoved by the UN resolution dictating that UNMOVIC staff must be given "cultural training" to be more "sensitive" to Iraqi feelings).
Looking back upon the death of UNSCOM, Butler understandably worries about the precedent Iraq might set for other nations who now see how easy it is to cheat on arms-control agreements and get away with it. He argues that since each permanent member of the UN Security Council has veto power, it is all but impossible to guarantee that any international arms control treaty will ever be credibly enforced. In this context he proposes the formation of a "United Nations Council on Weapons of Mass Destruction"--the members of which would pledge never to use their veto power. It's difficult to fault Butler's reasons for creating such an organization, but his own narrative suggests that it won't work. Nations could not overcome their narrow self-interests to destroy the arsenal of Saddam Hussein, a dictator who invaded a neighboring country and used chemical weapons against his own people. What hope is there then that these same nations would ever empower any organization to enforce arms control agreements against themselves?
MARK STRAUSS is Senior Editor of Foreign Policy magazine.