Saturday, October 08, 2005

I fart in your general direction

Thats a line from Monty Python's The Holy Grail, a rather pithy sentiment and one I'm sure the Nobel Prize committe had in mind to Festus when they gave the 2005 Nobel Peace prize to the head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei.

ElBaradei and Festus are old pals, go way back to the UN inspections of Saddam Husein's imaginary weapons of mass destructions. ElBaradei keep trying to point out that Iraq wasn't a viable threat to the US or even the world at large but Festus knew better. Many investigations since have bourne out the fact that Festus was absolutely wrong. Being a bad sport about such things Festus tried to have ElBaradei ousted from the IAEA just a few months ago. Tsk, tsk, tsk. . .

The award was a vindication of a man and an agency long at odds with President Bush and his administration over how to confront Iraq and Iran. It could strengthen the agency's position as conflicts loom over preventing Iran from obtaining fuel it could use for nuclear weapons and disarming North Korea.

For most of the last year, the Bush administration had tried to block Dr. ElBaradei from assuming a third term as chief of the agency, a part of the United Nations, arguing that he would not be strong enough to face down Iran and the covert nuclear weapons program it is suspected of having. But the United States had no support from any of its allies, and ultimately had to withdraw its objections to Dr. ElBaradei's reappointment.

More recently, Dr. ElBaradei has resisted Western pressure to ask the United Nations Security Council to consider sanctions against Iran for its past breaches of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, preferring to coax Iran into compliance.

"It is suspicious," Dr. ElBaradei said in an interview earlier this year, "but I try to explain to my friends in the Bush administration that suspicions are different than conclusive evidence."