. An advanced team arrives in Baghdad on 25 November under Hans Blitz, with 800 to 1000 inspectors starting work on 23 December with visits to "100 priority sites in a test of Iraqi cooperation". All weapons of mass destruction have to be destroyed by February 2003. Any refusal to cooperate will result in "serious consequences". (In the House of Lords the Bishop of Oxford said that the resolution was so strong that it could hardly be accepted by any country's leader.)
Both the US (President Bush) and Britain (Defence Secretary Geoffrey Hoon) have taken the resolution to mean that war may begin immediately any obstacles are reported, and both countries have stated that they "would not be bound by a new UN discussion
". Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Party, has called for a vote at the UN before an invasion is started, which is in line with the way the French, and possibly the Russians interpret the resolution.
This resolution is due to be voted on in the House of Commons shortly. Meanwhile "the strategy was for a land, sea and air force of 200,000 to 250,000 troops" senior US officials told the Associated Press Agency. "President Bush had approved tentative plans for invading Iraq in the event of a breach of the UN resolutions". This would be in order to be able to invade before the blazing Middle East summer begins at the end of February, when troop movements are made impossible.
The Iraqi parliament, following a recent 100 per cent vote giving Saddam Hussein another 8 years of premiership, and in a bizarre example of Arab politics, rejected the UN resolution, but Saddam Hussein is expected to agree to it never-the-less (BBC Radio 4 News).
Overall, as has been said: "Truth is the first casualty in war
" (even if undeclared).