I think we just can't let the situation drift any more. It's becoming increasingly hard to keep support for sanctions. I think we've got six months to deal with this, or whatever unity there is -- it's pretty sort of thin already -- will totally fall apart, and we'll end up with a regime in Baghdad with nuclear weapons in two years' time.
In principle I don't have a problem with what Chirac is saying, and I suspect it will gain some currency on this side of the Atlantic. There are dangers lurking in it -- but it's worth a shot. As long as we stand together when it doesn't work. And no strings. Zero strings. Otherwise, we are in serious trouble. We'll have a nuclear-armed Iraq, able to dominate the region. More advanced biological- or chemical-weapons programs, and maybe even advanced missile programs. And we'd have to deal with Iraq differently than the way we deal with it now. Whereas, I think if there is a really credible threat of the use of substantial military force against Iraq, it will force a recalculation in Baghdad among Saddam Hussein's colleagues. You need that dynamic to make policy changes in Baghdad.