Chance of Invasion
Today: 97 percent
Blix and ElBaradei conclude weekend talks with Iraq. Reports indicate Iraq 1) gives "explanations" of what happened to its WMD and 2) offers inspections of alleged WMD disposal sites but 3) supplies no evidence of WMD disposal and 4) fails to guarantee safety of U-2s. Spins vary wildly. Associated Press leads with Blix citing Iraq's "positive attitude" and ElBaradei voicing "cautious optimism." U.N. leads with Blix saying Iraq is taking disarmament "more seriously." But U.S. press leads with Blix saying Iraq's concessions offered no "breakthrough" and were "less good" than expected. France, Germany, and Belgium block NATO fortification of Turkish defenses, hoping to head off war. France and Germany reportedly discuss proposal to beef up inspections instead of war, but Blix undercuts them by echoing U.S. position: "The principal problem is not the number of inspectors but rather the active cooperation of the Iraqi side."