OK, so now we're being told that there's a 'moral case for going to war'
because Saddam Hussein abuses human rights. I don't deny that Hussein has tortured and killed his people, and along with the vast majority of the people on the marches on Saturday, I'd be happy to see him removed from power - it's just that we don't believe bombing the innocent civilians of Iraq is the way to achieve this.
Also, if the human rights issue is so important, why isn't Hussein's compliance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights included as part of the UN resolutions?
Anyway, I had a thought last night about a way to resolve this crisis. It's probably heavily flawed and unworkable, but I would appreciate any comments people have - and if you think it's a good idea, then tell people about it... I'm a bit fuzzy on international law, so there's probably better terminology that could be used in some parts, but I hope the basics make sense.
Firstly, the Security Council has to pass a second resolution, similar to the Franco-German proposal - an increased number of inspectors, with miltary support and a no-fly zone established across the whole country allowing for observation flights. As part of this, a deadline would be set for the Iraqi regime to absolutely comply with the inspectors, and with relevant human rights treaties.
Then, if the deadline is reached and Iraq has not complied, the leadership of Iraq will be declared criminals, in breach of international law. This would be coupled with all the major nations (and the UN, if it has the power) derecognising the government of Iraq. The Security Council (or perhaps the International Criminal Court) would then issue an 'arrest warrant' for Saddam Hussein the rest of the senior leadership of Iraq. They would then be offered two alternatives - exile or trial. The 'exile' option has already been discussed as a way to avert war now - Hussein and his lieutenants go to another country, in exchange for immunity. Former Soviet states have been mentioned as a possibility, but personally I think they'd have a much nicer time on one of those Pacific islands that's disappearing beneath the ocean.
Now, here comes the bit that I hope I can explain clearly. An international military force would be deployed into Iraq on what is almost literally a 'police action'. Their task would be to arrest and detain Hussein and the other named members of the regime, while causing a minimum of damage and loss of life elsewhere. Their rules on the use of force would be similar to those of the police - they would not be allowed to initiate combat, but would be able to respond with necessary force if they were attacked. To help facilitate their passage through the country, there would probably need to be a major propaganda campaign in the weeks leading up to their deployment. Effectively, the Iraqi Army would be told 'we do not want to fight you, we are solely here to arrest Saddam Hussein and his lieutenants. If you stay out of our way, you will not be harmed.' We're told that the Iraqi Army is ready to defect and not put up a fight, should we attack, so if this is the case, they ought to be willing to stay out of the way.
The international 'police' force would then be able to arrest Hussein and the others, who would then be detained in a third country, before going to trial - either before the International Criminal Court, or in baghdad when a new democratic government for Iraq has been established. If Hussein was removed from power this way, then it would be a lot easier to bring in a democratic government than after a war - plus, I'm sure the US, UK etc would be quite willing to donate at least some of the money they didn't have to spend on a full scale war to help the new Iraqi government establish itself.
So, that's my suggestion - it came to me at 2am in the morning while I was trying to get to sleep, so like all middle of the night ideas to change the world, it probably falls apart under the light of day. However, it ensures the removal of Husseina and a democratic government for Iraq, the disarmament of the country, a minimal loss of life (and if the reports about the people of Iraq being ready to rise up and overthrow the regime, almost none) and all within a legal framework rather than opening the giant can of worms called 'pre-emptive war'.
Like I said, let me know what you think.