Why the Charade?

Wed Aug. 24, 2005 2:04 PM EDT

In Iran, as previously happened in Iraq, inspectors were sent in to see if the respective governments were meeting all demands of the U.S. international community. With Iraq it was the mysterious and elusive "weapons of mass destruction." With Iran, it has simply been a nuclear weapons program. In both instances, the Bush administration was willing to go through the theatricals of sending in weapons inspectors to validate their claims.

And now we can say that in both instances the inspectors exonerated the countries of any weapons misconduct. Today we have word that the IAEA has concluded that traces of enriched uranium found in Iran were in fact due to contamination from their supplier and not the result of a sinister weapons program.

Yet in both instances, the Bush administration refused to accept the inspectors' reports. We all know what happened with Iraq. And now Washington seems prepared to reject the IAEA's findings as "inconclusive" and that "unresolved concerns" remain. So it seems a forgone conclusion that Bush, as with Iraq, was going to stick to his own story regardless of the findings.

Why? Why the public charade? Why go through all the drama of sending in inspectors if you have already made up your mind?

It sort of makes you wonder what the administration would count as evidence that no program exists.

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