4,185. 11/8/2002

UN Security Council Resolution 1441 was a last-chance opportunity for Iraq to comply with disarmament obligations. Drafted by the U.K. and U.S., the Bush Administration knew that Iraq would be unable to meet its requirements, and planned to use it as an opportunity to invade with international blessing. However, France refused to go along with the wording of the resolution. "The language of the UN is often so vague, overblown, tedious and repetitive that for practical purposes each sovereign country has leeway to interpret resolutions as they wish. [Secretary of State Colin] Powell realized that what was really important was the headline in some form: Nations Agree on Iraq Resolution…On November 8 [2002], UN Security Council Resolution 1441 was brought to a vote…It said that if Saddam continued to violate his disarmament obligations, he would face 'serious consequences'–the ambiguous phrase that Powell had got inserted to replace 'all necessary means.' All 15 hands [on the UN Security Council] went up [in favor of the resolution]."

 – Plan of Attack, Bob Woodward, 11/8/2002

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