Allow me to add this:
On the other hand, members of the Security Council have not acquiesced in using force in connection with Iraqi weapons inspections. The ceasefire resolution declares that sanctions will remain on Iraq until inspectors certify it is free of weapons of mass destruction. The debate since 1991 has been about lifting or leaving the sanctions, not whether states should be able to use military force to rid Iraq of weapons of mass destruction and the means to produce them. No acquiescence has occurred to allow force for enforcing weapons inspections, and certainly none has developed to authorize ousting Saddam Hussein.
This conclusion was underscored when President Bush acknowledged as much in his speech to the UN on September 12. He said the US would pursue the necessary resolutions in the Security Council, meaning that new resolutions, authorizing force, would be necessary before the US or any other country could carry out lawful enforcement action in respect to any Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.
Resolution 1441 provides no new authorization for using force. It states in paragraph 12 that a meeting of the Security Council will be the first step upon a report by inspectors that Iraq has obstructed their activities. Consequences will follow a meeting. Syria has confirmed that it received a letter from US Secretary of State Colin Powell "in which he stressed that there is nothing in the resolution to allow it to be used as a pretext to launch a war on Iraq." Thus, if and when a meeting is called, Security Council members will have an opportunity to state their assessment of whether serious consequences are called for or not.
In conclusion, Resolution 1441 is designed to ensure that Saddam Hussein does not have weapons of mass destruction nor the capability to produce them. If applied reasonably by the Security Council, consistently with principles of international law, it is possible for Saddam to comply. To that extent, the resolution is not a cynical exercise to provide legal cover for a US invasion. Indeed, it requires restraint on the part of the US, too. The resolution weakens US arguments of authority to use force under prior resolutions, in the face of material breach or to pre-empt threats. However, Resolution 1441 does open the door for Security Council authorized action, including force, should Saddam fail to comply in good faith.
JURIST - O'Connell: UN Resolution 1441 - Compelling Saddam, Restraining Bush