It appears as though the Iraqi government has approved the UN resolution calling for a new round of weapons inspections. The Iraqis now have until December 8 to bring the UN a comprehensive list of their weapons of mass destruction.
Of course, the Iraqis are lying when they say that they have no such weapons. They will also undoubtedly lie when they present their list. They will also ensure that any inspectors who arrive in Iraq are not allowed anywhere near the actual facilities where these weapons are being manufactured.
Iraq is doing exactly what one would expect them for do – stall for time. They know that the US is slowly but surely building up its forces in Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Qatar, and Kuwait. They know that the attack order could come at any time, and they’re hoping that if they play along with the UN the threat will eventually go away.
Where Hussein is making a strategic miscalculation is by assuming that the US is willing to let this matter drop. Sooner or later the inspectors will get too close to Saddam’s weapons facilities and he’ll have to either stall them or kick them out. In either case, he risks immediate US reprisal. Iraq will play along with the UN for as long as it suits their interests – but should the UN make an action that would jeopardize Saddam’s plans for achieving nuclear status, expect the old Iraqi obstructionism and obfuscation to return.