September 18, 2002
VIRGINIA POSTREL observes:
The Iraqis apparently have their own definition of "without conditions," which is, "with conditions." For starters, there's the delay: a 10-day delay just for the meeting on the arrangements, never mind the inspections themselves. More important, the Iraqis' letter leaves wiggle room for conditions . . . .
As the Japanese and the would-be Confederate States can testify, the U.S. government traditionally takes the idea of "unconditional" a bit more literally than the United Nations seems to.
And rightly so.
UPDATE: Geitner Simmons and Donald Sensing have additional observations, and some interesting background. And Jennie Taliaferro has some polling data and remarks, "FASTER, PLEASE."