The WSJ’s editors think they know who Bush, Blair, and Aznar were really addressing:
Yesterday’s Azores summit was pitched as offering one more final chance for Saddam Hussein to disarm, but it is closer to the truth to say that its real purpose was offering one more last chance to Jacques Chirac.
Well, of course. Saddam can’t back down. Dictators who give up fear, give up their power. The Berlin Wall fell when Gorbachev said he wouldn’t interfere in the “internal affairs” of Warsaw Pact nations, not when Reagan demanded he “tear down this wall.”
If Saddam allows himself to be disarmed by the UN, he’ll give up the ability to cause the fear that keeps in in power.
So the question is, are we going to go about the business of UNSC Resolution 1441 with or without the extra blessing of the UNSC? Only Jacque Chirac knows for sure — or he has just tomorrow to make up his mind.