THE UN REPORT….I know this is easy for me to say since I’m already convinced that we need to get rid of Saddam Hussein by force if necessary, but yesterday’s UN report was pretty damning. Hans Blix ? hardly a war hawk ? said, “Iraq appears not to have come to genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament that was demanded of it.” And his final sentence was this:

Mr. President, we now have an inspection apparatus that permits us to send multiple inspections teams every day all over Iraq by road or by air. Let me end by simply noting that that capability, which has been built up in a short time and which is now operating, is at the disposal of the Security Council.

He rather pointedly did not ask for more time for inspections.

And the report contains plenty of disturbing details, too. Today’s LA Times contains a long, but very good summary of the findings, and I recommend it highly. I think that even war skeptics might find themselves wavering if they read through the entire thing.

And in response to my own post about France right below this one, let me just say straight up: I don’t know. I don’t know why this evidence is insufficiently convincing to them and I don’t know what kind of political game they are playing. But I’ll stick to my prediction from two months ago: the French will come around shortly and the UN will approve military action. Saddam Hussein will be deposed by May, at which point the hard work will begin.

UPDATE: Josh Marshall seems to have roughly the same reaction as me: Iraq clearly isn’t complying with the UN declaration, but on the other hand, waiting another month or two won’t hurt. So, while we can’t wait forever, we ought to continue inspections for a while, and we should certainly share as much intelligence information as we possibly can in order to sway public opinion both at home and abroad.